A Ripley logging firm faces $39,000 in fines after one of its workers was killed on the job in February.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Wednesday cited Best Logging with 14 serious and four other-than-serious violations related to a Rock Castle tree-trimming site. On Feb. 21, one of the company's workers, who was not identified, died after a tree fell on him.
OSHA inspectors examined the location following the incident and said Wednesday the company failed to follow several proper safety measures, including ensuring workers had proper logging and first aid training and required protective equipment.
Prentice Cline, director of OSHA's Charleston Area Office, said OSHA considers logging a high-hazard industry, which, by most measures, is the most dangerous occupation in the United States.
"In West Virginia alone, there have already been five fatalities this year, all involving improper felling of trees," Cline said. "Employers, such as Best Logging, that put employees' lives in danger by not complying with federal logging safety laws will continue to be held legally responsible."
The company has 15 days to challenge the citations.
Felman Production to lay off 100 employees
New Haven steel additive manufacturer Felman Production, which temporarily curtailed most of its operations in May, says it will lay off 100 additional employees at the end of the month.
Felman produces the additive silicomanganese, a deoxidizer that allows steel companies to produce a purer type of steel. Facing poor market conditions and high power costs, the company shut down one of its electric arc furnaces in June and began maintenance on the other two.
The company already laid off 38 workers in May and announced Wednesday it will lay off an additional 100 workers on Aug. 31. About 100 workers will remain at the plant following the latest round of layoffs.
While its silicomanganese production has been curtailed, Felman is continuing to operate its slag processing unit.
The company said in a press release it is reviewing a number of options to ensure its long-term viability. It said officials would continue to implement cost control initiatives at the plant and conduct maintenance in order to prepare for a restart its furnaces once the market environment has improved.
Compiled by Jared Hunt