PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - Since 2007 Phenix Lumber received 77 citations for serious safety and health violations for their employees, and now the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined the company nearly $2 million for recent violations. And now the company is speaking out about the violations.
Jerry Schwarzauer, the land manager, told us off camera that the company's attorney has been working with them for the past few years to make sure Phenix Lumber was a safer workplace for their 60 employees. He says every employee went through a ten hour OSHA class and that's why this hefty fine comes as such a surprise. The company also told News Leader Nine in a written statement, "The company is obviously disappointed that OSHA apparently failed to take into account the dramatic improvement in the company's safety program when it decided on the citation classification and penalty amounts."
Schwarzauer adds the economy is already taking a toll on the business's finances, and coming up $1.9 million will be a stretch --- not to mention the possibility that his employees could lose their jobs.
Phenix Lumber has 15 days to figure out if they are going to try and pay the fines or appeal the citations. At this point the company says they will weight their options while continuing to improve their safety policies.