JAY — A Verso Paper Corp. employee was taken to a hospital Thursday with hot-water burns on his chest and arm, Communications Manager Cherilee Budrick said Friday.

The employee, a maintenance worker whose name was not released, was still being treated at the hospital Friday, she said.

The worker reportedly was doing regular maintenance on a pipe in the company’s power plant. The water and steam had been shut off, but while he was putting the pipe back together, somehow pressure built up, Budrick said.

“We are investigating how the incident occurred and are taking all preventive measures possible to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” she said.

The natural gas-fired power plant went online in January 2000 to provide steam to International Paper’s Androscoggin Mill, which is now owned by Verso. The plant provides steam to the mill to supplant the use of heavy No. 6 oil to operate the paper mill’s power boilers, and provide electricity to the power market.

“We care about our co-workers and always try to keep ourselves and them safe. That is why our total incident rate is a fraction of other facilities like ours,” Budrick said. “We have a world class safety record here at the Androscoggin Mill. It’s something we are all very proud of.

“In fact, prior to this incident we had just reached three million safe-hours this week, meaning we collectively worked three million hours without anyone having to miss work due to injury. That is something we are very proud of. It is the first time this facility has ever achieved this milestone.”

[email protected]

filed under: