Sawmill where worker was killed faces nearly $200K in fines

Old small sawmill.

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — A St. Joseph sawmill faces nearly $200,000 in federal fines after an employee fell into the chute of a grinder and was killed.

The St. Joseph News-Press reports that the penalties include $112,000 from the review of the March 12 death of 38-year-old Joshua Hill at American Walnut Co. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that Hill wasn’t attached to a tether line when he fell.

The penalties finalized last month also include $86,000 for a subsequent inspection that found various noise levels and combustible dust violations.

American Walnut makes lumber products for gunstocks and furniture. OSHA also fined it last year after a worker lost a finger in a conveyor belt accident.

A woman who answered the phone at American Walnut said the owner had no comment.