Odds of winning the lottery 1 in 135,145,920 (multi-state, mega-millions jackpot)
Odds of dying as a result of asbestos exposure: 1 in 80,000.
About 4 new cases of asbestos-related cancer are diagnosed in Canada every day. (Source: Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment)
The use of asbestos dates to about 2500 BC, when it was used as an ingredient in pottery. (Source: Mesothelioma Center)
At least 90,000 people die each year around the world as a result of asbestosrelated diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. (Source: United Nations)
More than 80 percent of men with mesothelioma, a cancer of the mesothelium lining the lungs, heart or abdomen, were likely exposed to asbestos on the job. (Source: French National Mesothelioma Surveillance Program)
It can take between 30 and 40 years for the negative health effects of asbestos exposure to become evident. (Source: Mesothelioma Center)
At least 20 percent of India’s workers are exposed to asbestos regularly. (Source: Trade Union Centre of India)
Source:American Council on Science and HealthRead More
Company Charged Following Scaffold Collapse facing $54,750 in proposed penalties. OSHA opened an inspection after four workers were injured when a ladder jack scaffold collapsed. OSHA says the ladder jack scaffold was overloaded beyond its weight capacity and erected with a damaged wooden work platform. OSHA says its inspection found that workers were being exposed to falls of 14 to 17 feet because of missing or inadequate fall protection safeguards and a lack of fall protection and scaffold hazards training. Other problems cited included damaged, misused or inadequate extension ladders, no proper access to the scaffold work platform, improperly tied-off lifelines and workers carrying bundles of roofing shingles while climbing ladders. Workers also lacked head and eye protection. [Legacy Builders, Quincy, MA, Jan. 29, 2010].
Contractors Cited After Worker Falls to Death from municipal water tower. OSHA opened an inspection after a worker fell 90 feet from a water town in Epping, NH. Bullins Painting Inc. was cited for three willful and 16 serious violations, which include failure to provide the worker with fall protection, failure to inspect fall protection equipment before each use, failure to protect vertical lifelines against cuts and abrasions and failure to provide a ladder cage or equivalent safeguard for tower access ladders. Other citations were issued for improper lifeline anchorage points, an uninspected suspended scaffold, respirator protection deficiencies, overexposure to respirable dust, fumes and solvents, improper transfer of flammable liquids, allowing smoking during mixing of flammable liquids, electrical hazards and failure to appropriately monitor the inside of the water tank for oxygen-deficient atmospheres before workers entered it. Bullins Painting Inc. faces proposed fines totaling $187,800. General contractor Utility Services Inc. was issued one willful and three serious citations for failure to inspect fall protection equipment, protect vertical lifelines against cuts and abrasions and provide a ladder cage or equivalent safeguard, and fined $93,000. [Bullins Painting Inc., Eden NC, and Utility Services Inc., Perry GA, Feb. 22, 2010].
Company Cited for Alleged Explosion and Fire Hazards issued $90,500 in proposed penalties. OSHA inspected a company that makes composite manhole covers and found that combustible particulate solids generated during trimming and repair operations were not collected into an adequately designed dust collection system, were allowed to accumulate on machinery and surfaces and were not adequately cleaned up to prevent such buildup. OSHA says the combustible material was exposed to several potential ignition sources, including an LP gas-powered industrial truck, exposed wiring and a spark-producing tool. Other alleged hazards among 20 serious citations included improper storage of waste material saturated with combustible residue, flammable liquid waste allowed to drip into an open bucket, inadequate precautions to avoid ignition sources for flammable liquids, a spray booth lacking a sprinkler and adequate grounding, a lack of an emergency action plan, unguarded power presses, a lack of specific energy control procedures for various machines, excessive air pressure for a cleaning hose and electrical hazards. [Fibrelite, Pawcatuck, CT, Jan. 26, 2010].
Contractor Cited for Alleged Cave-in Hazards at two Massachusetts worksites. OSHA has cited a company for 23 alleged willful, serious and other-than-serious safety violations carrying $167,000 in proposed fines. OSHA says employees at two worksites were found working in trenches deeper than six feet without protection against potential collapses. They were also exposed to struck-by hazards from material stored at a trench’s edge in Quincy, MA and from an undermined sidewalk in Lynnfield. OSHA alleges that workers were not trained to recognize and avoid trenching hazards. The Quincy trench also lacked a safe means of exit. Additional hazards alleged by OSHA include damaged, inadequate or misused access ladders, a lack of inspections and safety training, electrical hazards, improper storage of flammables and incomplete recording of injuries/illnesses in Quincy. Alleged hazards at the Lynnfield site include damaged lifting slings, electrical hazards, no backup alarm on an earthmover and a lack of jobsite safety inspections. [L. Perrina Construction Co. Inc., Methuen, MA, Jan. 27, 2010].
Company Hit With $45,500 in Proposed Fines for repeat and serious citations Employee complaints about chemical and electrical hazards resulted in an OSHA inspection. The company received two repeat citations for a lack of PPE and unlabeled containers of chemicals, while six serious citations were issued for alleged problems such as blocked exits, unmarked electrical equipment, exposed live electrical parts and moisture in electrical equipment. [Cranesville Block Co., Kingston, NY, Feb. 18, 2010].
Helicopter Manufacturing Plant Issued $71,000 in Proposed Fines for willful, repeat and serious violations. OSHA cited the company for willful failure to de-energize live electrical parts before having employees work on them. A repeat citation was issued for failure to properly record an injury on the company’s injury and illness log, while serious citations issued include misuse of extension cords, unlabeled electrical circuits, unguarded open-sided roof areas and work platforms, a lack of protective gloves, inadequate chemical hazard communication and allowing a buildup of combustible residue in a flammable spraying area. [Schweizer Aircraft Corp., Horseheads, NY, Jan. 26, 2010].
Printing Plant Cited for 24 Alleged Safety and Health Violations issued $62,350 in proposed penalties. OSHA alleges that its inspectors found instances of improper transfer and storage of flammable liquids, lack of specific lockout/tagout procedures and training to prevent the unintentional startup of machinery during maintenance and a lack of hearing protection. Other alleged hazards include inadequate respirator training, fit-testing, medical evaluation, inspection and maintenance, unguarded grinders, blocked access to electrical boxes, electrical equipment not safely maintained in hazardous locations and an accumulation of combustible dust in a work area. Further, OSHA says the plant lacked a written program and training for employees required to enter confined spaces, failed to inform workers of the presence of asbestos-containing insulation on steam pipes and failed to provide the Hepatitis B vaccine and training to workers whose duties involved exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials. [Worldcolor Buffalo, Depew, NY, Feb. 24, 2010].
Heavy Fines Proposed in Aftermath of Fatal Fall in Washington, PA. OSHA has cited a Valencia, PA, roof installer for willful failure to protect workers against falls following an investigation of a worker’s death in a 40-foot fall from a pitched roof. OSHA says company owner Christopher Franc repeatedly refused workers’ requests to provide fall protection and also failed to train a newly hired college student in roofing hazards and safety measures for roofing work. Ten per-instance willful citations were issued for each employee found working without fall protection and an additional willful violation was issued for failing to train the new employee. Total penalties of $539,000 have been proposed. General contractor Hospitality Builders Inc. was also issued a $70,000 proposed penalty for willful failure to ensure that C.A. Franc workers had fall protection. C.A. Franc Construction Co., Valencia, PA, Feb. 12, 2010].
Pittsburgh Construction Company Cited following worker’s death. OSHA opened an investigation in August 2009 after a worker fell 225 feet to his death at a construction site. A willful citation was issued for failure to provide workers with fall protection while they were performing maintenance on The Pennsylvanian Building. OSHA says the company was cited for the same violation in 2007, yet did not take proper steps to ensure its workers’ safety. The proposed penalty is $70,000. [Mariani & Richards Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, Feb. 12, 2010].
Company Cited for Alleged Willful, Serious Violations. OSHA has proposed penalties totaling $217,500 against a fire log manufacturer operating a plant in Birmingham, AL. OSHA opened an inspection in July 2009 after an employee was burned when hot wax he was transferring from a railcar erupted. Two willful citations allege failure to develop and use specific lockout/tagout procedures for workers engaged in servicing and performing maintenance activities and housekeeping issues related to the accumulation of combustible dust. Thirty-one serious citations allege hazards including failure to establish and implement procedures for employees transferring wax from railcars to holding tanks, unguarded platforms, fixed stairs not having standard guardrails, a lack of machine guarding, numerous electrical hazards, failure to fill out required permits for confined spaces, failure to guard belts, pulleys and shafts and failure to utilize restraint systems on powered industrial trucks. [Hearthmark LLC, doing business as Jarden Home Brands, headquartered in Dareville, IN, Jan. 26, 2010].
Complaint Results in Inspection at Alabama plant. OSHA responded to a complaint about unguarded machinery, insufficient training and certification for forklift operators and fire prevention system deficiencies. It cited one willful citation alleging failure to protect workers from caught-in and amputation hazards while cleaning, changing dies and performing maintenance on press machines. Eight serious violations which were cited by OSHA allege operating an improperly guarded press brake, inadequate guarding on floor fans, worker exposure to struck-by hazards while operating overhead hoists and cranes, fire hazards and tripping/slipping hazards. The company was also cited for failure to offer the Hepatitis B vaccination and training to workers who provided first aid response for two amputations in the facility. OSHA says blood was not cleaned from a machine before it was put back into operation, potentially exposing workers to bloodborne pathogens. Total penalties of $59,250 have been proposed. [C&W Industries, Union Springs, AL, Feb. 4, 2010].
Stone Countertop Manufacturer Issued $135,000 in Proposed Fines for allegedly failing to correct previously cited health hazards. OSHA says a follow-up inspection held more than a year after the company was first cited found that workers continued to be exposed to excessive amounts of silica as a result of the company’s failure to fully implement a respiratory protection program. The firm is also alleged to have failed to fully implement a hearing conservation program and establish a written hazard communication program on exposure to hazardous substances. In addition, the countertop maker faces a new serious citation alleging failure to equip portable tools with machine guards. [Atlanta Intown Granite Co., Atlanta, GA, Jan. 27, 2010].
Company Cited Following Worker’s Death issued $112,000 in proposed fines. OSHA opened an inspection after a worker was electrocuted while removing a wall. The company was cited for willful failure to adequately protect workers from energized electrical circuits and willful failure to inform employees about the hazards involved with energized electrical circuits. [O.S. Interior Systems Inc., Houston, TX, Feb. 2, 2010].
Alleged Combustible Dust Hazards Bring Willful and Serious Citations to Kansas company. A company that recycles inedible food products into pig feed and chicken feed has been cited for willful violations that include the inappropriate location of an air material separator that lacked explosion venting, an inadequate housekeeping program and allowing combustible dust to collect at depths greater than one-eighth of an inch. Serious citations were issued for an inadequate number of exit routes, the lack of a written emergency action plan, an improperly rated powered industrial truck being operated in a hazardous atmosphere and failure to maintain preventative maintenance records. Proposed fines total $137,250. [Endres Processing LLC, Kansas City, KS, Feb. 18, 2010].
Contractors Cited for Alleged Trenching Hazards at two Montana worksites. Phillips Construction and Cascade Pipeline Corp. have been issued proposed fines of $39,000 and $32,000 respectively for charges that include willful failure to provide protection to workers in trenches. Phillips has also been issued serious citations for the alleged misuse of ladders used to enter and exit trenches, while Cascade was issued serious citations for the alleged misuse of ladders and for excavated materials being placed too close to a trench edge. OSHA requires that all excavations five feet or deeper be protected against collapse. [Phillips Construction, Great Falls, MT, and Cascade Pipeline Corp., Meridian, ID, Feb. 25, 2010].Read More
A construction manager in charge of a renovation project in Des Moines, IA, has pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act and violating the Clean Air Act’s work practice standards relating to asbestos removal.
The charges to which Russell Coco pleaded guilty relate to his failure to safely remove all regulated asbestos containing material from The Equitable Building before starting renovations to convert the 87-year-old structure into luxury residential condominium units and commercial space.
Coco, who will be sentenced in US District Court—Southern District of Iowa, in May 2011, faces up to 12 months’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.Read More
A company under contract to the US Navy has been ordered to pay $45,000 to an employee who was fired after filing a safety complaint to Cal-OSHA (California’s state OSHA program).
An OSHA investigation determined that the worker had been fired after complaining to Westfield, MA-based NWS Corp. about being required to climb microwave towers, work in manholes and enter asbestos-filled buildings without safety training or equipment while working at several San Diego-area military installations.
NWS Corp. was under contract to perform installation, construction and maintenance of cable and Internet systems for the US Navy.
The US Department of Labor’s Office of the Solicitor filed a lawsuit after NWS Corp. refused to reinstate the worker to the same or an equivalent position and refused to pay back wages or other employment benefits.
“We will vigorously pursue employers who attempt to stifle workers’ voices. NWS Corp. made a serious mistake by taking action against a worker who complained about unsafe working conditions and by failing to make restitution following OSHA’s findings,” says Ken Atha, OSHA’s regional administrator in San Francisco.Read More
Freight Carrier Issued $76,000 in Proposed Fines following worker’s injury at a freight terminal in Pawtucket, RI. An OSHA inspection found several instances where forklifts were operated incorrectly, resulting in collisions and an injury. Employees were not wearing attached seatbelts while operating forklifts and forklift operators did not receive required refresher training. As a result, the company was cited for seven serious violations. The inspection also found that defective forklifts were not removed from service and no assessment had been made to determine the PPE needed for forklift operators who changed liquefied petroleum gas tanks. OSHA previously had cited New England Motor Freight for similar hazards at two other company terminals. As a result, two repeat citations were issued. Eight other-than-serious violations were also issued for inadequate and incomplete recording of injuries and illnesses. [New England Motor Freight Inc., Elizabeth, NJ, Dec. 13, 2010].
Contractors Cited for Alleged Cave-in Hazards issued $154,700 in proposed penalties. OSHA has cited three companies contracted to install a grease trap and piping for a supermarket under construction in Salem, NH. An OSHA official observed employees working in an unprotected eight-foot-deep excavation that also lacked a ladder or other safe means of egress. Joseph P. Cardillo & Son Inc. of Wakefield, MA, was cited for willful failure to provide cave-in protection and a ladder and issued $105,000 in proposed fines. Majestic Mechanical Contractors Inc. of Tewksbury, MA, was issued willful citations alleging similar hazards and issued $42,000 in proposed fines. Domenick Zanni Sons Inc. of Reading, MA, was issued two serious citations carrying $5,600 in proposed penalties. Cardillo and Majestic were also issued three other-than-serious citations for inadequate recordkeeping. [Joseph P. Cardillo & Son Inc, Wakefield, MA, Majestic Mechanical Contractors Inc., Tewksbury, MA, and Domenick Zanni Sons Inc., Reading MA, Dec. 9, 2010].
Stainless Steel Fabricator Fined $71,000 for alleged repeat and serious violations. OSHA says it found workers performing service and maintenance on various machines without adequate training in hazardous energy control and without having affixed lockout devices to machines before performing service and maintenance. In addition, brakes on mechanical power presses were not guarded to prevent employees from becoming caught in moving parts. OSHA had cited the same company for similar hazards in 2007. Three repeat citations carrying $42,000 in proposed fines were issued for these alleged recurring hazards. Six serious citations carrying $29,000 in proposed penalties were issued for alleged failure to conduct periodic inspections of energy control procedures, failure to label steel lifting slings with their lifting capacity and other required information, failure to keep inspection records for lifting slings, unguarded moving machine parts, misused electrical equipment and an exposed electrical conductor. [Cannon Industries Inc., Rochester, NY, Dec. 8, 2010].
Theater Cited for Alleged Asbestos, Fall and Crushing Hazards issued $51,000 in proposed fines. An OSHA inspection found that theater employees and outside contractors had not been informed of the presence of asbestos-containing and potentially asbestos-containing materials in the theater’s promenade area and in nearby electrical closets. In addition, an exit door was stuck and a portable fire extinguisher was not mounted. Four repeat citations were issued for those alleged violations. Three serious citations were issued for alleged fall hazards when the stage was raised above the orchestra pit, for potential crushing/struck by hazards when the stage was lowered into the pit and for the use of temporary wiring when permanent lighting should have been used in the promenade area. [David H. Koch Theater in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Manhattan, NY, Dec. 2, 2010].
Philadelphia Paper Manufacturer Investigated Following Worker’s Death issued 39 serious citations. OSHA opened an investigation after learning that a worker had been crushed by a paper hopper during loading operations. Serious violations allege failure to remove hazards from aisles, an inadequate lockout/tagout program that exposed workers to hazardous energy, inadequate machine guarding, electrical hazards, blocked fire exits, an ineffective pest control program, a lack of PPE to protect workers against burns, inadequate exposure control for bloodborne pathogens and a lack of runway guardrails. Other-than-serious citations were issued for failure to provide hearing conservation training, effectively inform workers of the dangers related to confined spaces and failure to record employee injuries. Proposed fines totaling $86,100 were issued. [Newman and Co., Philadelphia, PA, Dec. 9, 2010].
Company Fined Heavily for Alleged Hazardous Dust Exposure and failure to provide adequate breathing protection and training. US Minerals LLC, headquartered in Dyer, IN, was issued numerous health and safety citations carrying $396,000 in proposed fines. Six willful citations relating to a company facility in Coffeen, IL, allege that workers were exposed to levels of hazardous dust at concentrations exceeding the permissible exposure limit, failure to implement a written respiratory protection program or to mandate that employees wear respirators, failure to implement engineering controls to reduce harmful dust exposures and failure to develop and utilize energy control procedures. Seven repeat citations allege failure to follow permit-required confined space entry rules, failure to provide fall protection, failure to provide required training on energy procedures and failure to provide guards on mechanical powered equipment. Ten serious citations include alleged failure to assess the need for adequate PPE, inadequate eye protection, failure to develop procedures and practices for permit-required confined space entry, the lack of a written hazard communication program, inadequate information and training on dust containing silica and failure to cover floor holes and enclose electrical boxes. [US Minerals LLC., Coffeen, IL, Dec. 7, 2010].
Steel Manufacturer Cited for Two Willful and Four Serious Violations facing $156,000 in proposed fines. OSHA conducted an inspection and issued citations for willfully exposing workers to fall hazards and willfully failing to complete periodic inspections of overhead cranes within the past 12 months. The serious citations allege operation of cranes with severe cracks in brake assemblies, failure to provide proper illumination on ladder ways and stairways, failure to keep floor areas and walkways free of debris and failure to maintain equipment. [Republic Engineered Products Inc., Canton, OH, Dec. 6, 2010].
Worker’s Death Leads to Inspection and Willful and Serious Citations for Illinois company. OSHA opened an inspection after a worker was killed while operating a laser cutting machine at the company’s Newton, IL, plant. The manufacturer of grain dryer equipment was cited for willful failure to have guards in place on its automatic laser cutting machine. GSI Group LLC also received two serious citations alleging failure to use lockout/tagout procedures while performing various operations on the laser cutting machine and failure to effectively close an electrical box opening. The company faces proposed fines of $78,500. [GSI Group LLC, Assumption, IL, Dec. 8, 2010].
Company Issued $360,000 in Proposed Fines for alleged cave-in hazards. OSHA issued willful citations alleging that Gerardi Sewer & Water Co. failed to properly protect workers from trench cave-ins, the result of four separate inspections conducted under the OSHA Trenching and Excavation Special Emphasis Program. OSHA standards mandate that all excavations five feet or deeper be protected against collapse. Employees were found to be working at varying depths from 5.9 to 8 feet without cave-in protection during the inspections. Repeat citations alleging that employees failed to wear hardhats and high-visibility vests and failure to provide a safe means of access and egress for employees working at an excavation site were also issued, along with serious citations alleging failure to ensure that water accumulations were removed from trenches at two worksites. [Gerardi Sewer &Water Co., Norridge, IL, Dec. 21, 2010].
Ceramic Products Manufacturer Issued $91,500 in Proposed Fines after worker suffers a permanent arm injury. OSHA cited the company with willful failure to establish and enforce energy control procedures and to have guards in place on tube cutters. Serious citations were issued for failure to train employees on lockout/tagout procedures for energized equipment, failure to provide appropriate PPE for employees working on electrical equipment and failure to ensure that electrical parts were de-energized when employees were working on them. [Industrial Ceramic Products, Marysville, OH, Dec. 10, 2010].
Linen Processing Facility Faces $126,400 in Proposed Penalties following inspection. OSHA found workers operating forklifts without wearing seatbelts, along with wet floors in passageways, aisles and laundry work areas. OSHA issued serious citations alleging failure to provide fall protection for employees working at an elevation of 16 feet, failure to provide an adequate number of locks and enforce lockout procedures during machine servicing to prevent injuries from unexpected activation of machinery and failure to ensure that a fiberglass ladder was set up and used correctly. Repeat citations were issued for alleged failure to keep flooring dry, cover floor holes, provide machine guards, provide illuminated exit signs and clear exit access, provide properly identified locks for machine servicing and provide working and easily accessible portable fire extinguishers. [Texas Linen Co. Ltd., Austin, TX, Dec. 9, 2010].
Substantial Fine Proposed Against Texas Company for allegedly overexposing workers to hexavalent chromium. The company was issued one alleged willful, 30 alleged serious and two alleged repeat citations carrying $261,500 in proposed fines, after OSHA responded to a complaint of workers experiencing headaches and nosebleeds from exposure to hexavalent chromium during chrome plating and cleanup operations. A willful violation was issued for failure to ensure that employees’ airborne exposure to hexavalent chromium did not exceed OSHA’s permissible exposure limit of five micrograms per cubic meter of air. The serious violations allege failure to train workers on OSHA’s hexavalent chromium standard, failure to implement proper hygiene practices and housekeeping procedures and failure to have high-temperature alarms on hardening and tempering tanks. The repeat citations allege failure to provide adequate point of operation guarding on lathes and failure to ensure containers used for dipping and coating operations were marked and labeled. [Weatherford International Ltd., Longview, TX, Nov. 23, 2010].
Beverage Manufacturer Issued $52,250 in Proposed Fines for alleged failure to provide forklift training to workers. OSHA opened an inspection Sept. 10, 2010 and cited the employer for willful failure to properly train workers in the use of forklifts. Several serious violations were also cited, including failure to provide guardrails on elevated working areas, failure to provide proper housekeeping by placing miscellaneous items on a stairway and electrical deficiencies, including a lack of enclosures or guards to prevent damage to electrical components, exposed live conductors and blocked and unlabeled electrical disconnects. [Frio Distributing Co., Hondo, TX, Dec.1, 2010].
Company Issued $273,000 in Proposed Fines for three alleged willful and 35 alleged serious violations. OSHA issued the abrasive blasting and roofing materials manufacturer willful citations alleging failure to provide fall protection for open-sided platforms, failure to provide conveyors equipped with emergency stops or pull cords and failure to provide adequate fall protection for the bulk load out area. The serious citations issued allege failure to provide covers on chute floors, failure to remove damaged portable metal ladders from service, failure to ensure compressed gas cylinders were properly secured, failure to provide fire extinguishers where combustible and flammable materials were stored and failure to develop and document machine-specific lockout/tagout procedures for equipment. [U.S. Minerals Inc., Galveston, TX, Dec. 2, 2010].
Petrochemical Company Issued 12 Serious Citations alleging an inadequate process safety management system and deficient lockout/tagout procedures to prevent the accidental startup of machinery. Proposed penalties of $75,600 have been issued for the company’s alleged failure to incorporate operating procedures for all safety devices in the company’s operating guide, failure to adequately train employees in safe operating procedures, failure to properly shut down process equipment, failure to identify and isolate all energy sources to the equipment and failure to ensure lockout/tagout of energy isolating devices such as line valves prior to employees performing equipment maintenance. [Huntsman Petrochemical LLC, Houston, TX, Dec. 1, 2010].
Company Issued $60,000 in Proposed Penalties for allegedly serious electrical hazards. OSHA cited the company after investigating an incident in which two workers were subjected to electrical shock. A Next Step Burwell LLC worker received an electrical shock after being instructed to clean out a charge electrical wiring cable tray in which a combination of rain water and corn stalk dust had been allowed to accumulate. Subsequently, a subcontracted employee was fatally electrocuted after being asked to check the cable tray. The company was issued a willful citation alleging failure to de-energize live parts when an employee may have been working in the vicinity. Serious citations issued include alleged failure to inform subcontracted employees of lockout/tagout procedures to prevent accidental startup of machinery, failure to ensure that an adequate group lockout system was employed, allowing an unqualified person to work on or around energized circuits or equipment, a lack of guardrails on the floor area where the cable tray was accessed and failure to guard or cap a rotating shaft that presented an entanglement hazard. [Next Step Burwell LLC, Burwell, NE, Dec. 1, 2010].
Company Cited After Cameraman Dies on Race Course in Colorado. OSHA opened an investigation after a cameraman fell from an elevated all-terrain scissor lift and died at the Thunder Valley Motocross race course near Lakewood, CO. It was determined that guardrails had deliberately been removed from the lift and the company was issued a willful citation for that hazard. Serious citations were issued for alleged failure to provide training to employees on the proper operating procedures of all-terrain scissor lifts and exposing employees to crushing and amputation hazards by not having established a lockout program for performing modifications on the lifts. Proposed penalties totaling $91,000 were issued. [Lucas Oil Production Studios, Corona, CA, Dec. 15, 2010].Read More
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has announced an increased focus on exposure monitoring at metal and nonmetal mines throughout the country to ensure better worker protection from overexposure to harmful airborne contaminants.
Agency efforts will include stakeholder outreach, education and training, along with enhanced implementation of existing standards. In particular, MSHA will focus on 30 Code of Federal Regulations 56.5002 and 57.5002, which require mine operators to conduct dust, gas, mist and fume surveys for harmful airborne contaminants’ fumes to determine the adequacy of control measures.
“We want to ensure that miners are protected from overexposure to harmful contaminants and mine operators have required safety and health programs in place to meet that objective,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health.
“A number of diseases and illnesses can be caused by overexposure to harmful airborne contaminants, including lead poisoning, nervous system damage, lung cancer, asbestosis, lung inflammation and scarring, bronchitis and metal fume fever,” said Dr. Gregory Wagner, deputy assistant secretary for mine safety and health. “Some health conditions can take a long time to develop and may not be apparent at the time of exposure. Exposure monitoring programs to identify unhealthful levels of contaminants are critical to disease prevention.”
Main says MSHA will be working closely with the mining community, national and state mining associations, labor organizations, MSHA’s Small Mines Office and others to implement this initiative. Ultimately, the goal is improved health protection for metal and nonmetal miners, and help for all mine operators to better understand and meet the requirements of this standard.”
Info to go: Mine operator assistance in planning and implementing a system to conduct surveys to determine the adequacy of control measures is available by clicking on the Info to Go safety links at www.SafeSupervisor.comRead More
OSHA has ordered a South Carolina real estate company to reinstate a worker who was fired after expressing concerns to management and two state agencies about exposure to asbestos at a company condominium property.
Following the worker’s complaint, inspectors from OSHA and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control inspected the condominiums and found that CMM Realty Inc. was in violation of asbestos control standards. The company was issued citations.
CMM Realty was ordered to pay back wages and interest of more than $50,000 and $16,222 in compensatory damages to the employee who was fired in violation of the whistleblower protection provisions of the Clean Air Act.
Info to go: Read more about asbestos hazards by clicking on the Info to Go safety links at www.SafeSupervisor.comRead More
A California business owner has been sentenced to five months in prison after admitting to issuing asbestos training certificates to students who had taken little or no training.
Rogelio Lowe, also known as Roger Lowe, 44, was also sentenced to three months of home confinement, to follow his jail term, along with 300 hours of community service, after pleading guilty to two counts of mail fraud. Lowe operated E&D Environmental Safety Training Inc., a Thornton, CA, company that offered occupational training for asbestos workers for a fee.
During the two-year scam, which ran between 2007 and 2009, students were presented with training certificates in spite of not training for the required amount of time or receiving minimal instruction in asbestos safety practices.
By law, any person seeking accreditation as an asbestos worker must complete a four-day training course that is eight hours per day in length. The course includes lectures, demonstrations, at least 14 hours of hands-on training and individual respirator fit testing. The student must then pass a closed-book examination. Once a person receives a certificate, he or she must then take an annual refresher course.
US Attorney Melinda Haag says Lowe provided asbestos removal courses that did not comply with federal law. As part of the scheme, Lowe did not teach the course for the required number of hours, including holding classes that were no more than 30 minutes in length, provided answers to the closed-book examinations, and forged tests for students who did not attend a test day.Read More
An excavating company supervisor has been fined $8,000, along with a $2,000 victim fine surcharge, after pleading guilty to charges related to potential asbestos exposure.
Mary O’Neill, a supervisor for O’Neill Excavating 2005 in Belleville, ON, Canada, pleaded guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice to failing to ensure that only persons wearing proper protective clothing entered a work area where there was an asbestos dust hazard and failing to use proper methods required to seal off a work area to prevent the spread of airborne asbestos fibers.Read More
OSHA issued 26 willful, repeat and serious citations for alleged violations of standards, including bypassed or removed safety interlocks on machinery, exposed live electrical parts and lack of required hand protection. Other alleged violations include improper extension of fork trucks and no warning signs and asbestos awareness training for workers. Proposed penalties total $247,600. [Danaher Tool Group, doing business as Holo-Krome Inc., Release No. 06-2093-BOS/BOS 2006-366, Dec. 26, 2006].Read More