The wife of a worker who was fatally crushed by a heavy rack is grateful that her emotionally painful days of attending court hearings in connection with his death are over.
Claudio Cardoso, 36, was painting a steel storage rack at Bravo Cement Contracting (Windsor) Inc. in Windsor, ON, in January 2009 when he fell from a ladder. He then tried grabbing the rack to stop his fall, but the steel rack, weighing about 1,400 pounds (635 kilograms) tipped over and fell, trapping him.
Bravo Cement pleaded guilty to failing to secure the rack to prevent it from tipping or falling. The company must pay a $90,000 fine, plus a 25 percent victim fine surcharge.
Veronica Carduso, Claudio’s widow, told the Windsor Star newspaper that her son, Mauricio, at age two, is too young to understand what happened to his dad. However, his five-year-old brother, Mateo, has been badly affected by the death.
When told that his father had died, Mateo said, “My papa has ouchie and he’s not coming back.”
Veronica says Mateo still says “I love you, papa” every night before falling asleep.Read More
The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published rulemaking that would require employers to better protect workers against tripping, slipping and falling hazards on walking and working surfaces.
“This proposal addresses workplace hazards that are a leading cause of work-related injuries and deaths,” says OSHA administrator Dr. David Michaels, adding that every year there are about 20 US fatalities and 3,500 serious injuries related to slips, trips and falls.
The noticed of proposed rulemaking describes revisions to the Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment standards to help prevent such injuries.
Current walking-working surfaces regulations allow employers to provide outdated and dangerous fall protection equipment such as lanyards and body belts, which can result in workers suffering greater injuries from falls.
Construction and maritime workers already receive safer, more effective fall protection devices such as self-retracting lanyards and ladder safety and rope descent systems, which the proposed revisions would also require for general industry workers.
The current walking-working surfaces standards also do not allow OSHA to fine employers who let workers climb certain ladders with protection. The revised standard would lift this restriction in virtually all industries, allowing OSHA inspectors to fine employers who jeopardize their workers’ safety and lives by letting them climb these ladders without proper fall protection.Read 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
If employees are at risk for falling considerable distances, they had better be trained in recognizing fall hazards and be using fall protection. Failure to do so has resulted in a $100,000 fine being levied against Kirkland Lake Gold Inc.
The Vancouver, BC-based mining company was cited after a worker lost his balance and fell from a ladder at a gold mine in Kirkland Lake, ON, on Dec. 14, 2005. The worker had been trying to help raise a metal landing gate at the time of the fall.
The employee first fell 65 feet (nearly 20 meters) to a landing below, then slipped through a service gate and fell a further 170 feet (52 meters).
Kirkland Lake Gold Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the worker’s health and safety. An additional 25 percent victim fine surcharge was imposed by the Ontario Court of Justice.
Info to go: Read more about fall protection by clicking on the link at www.SafeSupervisor.comRead More
Here’s a Top 10 list you’ll want to avoid finding yourself on: OSHA’s Top 10 list of most frequently-cited violations between January and the end of September 2006.
During the 94th annual National Safety Congress and Expo in San Diego in early November, OSHA announced that 43,374 violations were included in its 2006 Top 10 list. Numbers from state-run plans aren’t included.
Here are the most recent numbers:
A company was cited for seven alleged repeat and serious violations of safety standards following OSHA inspections in July and September 2006. OSHA inspectors observed employees working in unprotected trenches between 5.8 and 9.9 feet in depth. Two repeat citations were issued for an alleged lack of cave-in protection. The company was cited for similar violations in August 2005 and August 2006. The serious citations allege failure to provide workers with an adequate means to exit trenches, failure to use a trench box according to manufacturer’s specifications, failure to use protective vests, and safety shortcomings involving a ladder. Penalties totaling $50,000 have been proposed. [R.S. Audley Inc. Release Number 07-92-BOS/BOS 2007-014, Jan. 22, 2007].Read More
The two contractors face a combined total of $81,800 in proposed fines after two OSHA inspectors observed employees working in an apparently unprotected trench. The inspection revealed that employees of an excavation company were working in an unprotected catch basin almost eight feet deep and an unprotected building foundation nearly 10 feet deep. The company was issued two willful citations carrying proposed fines of $55,000 for allowing employees to work in both unprotected excavations and for not providing a ladder or other safe means of exit from the catch basin. It was also issued three serious citations with proposed penalties of $3,500 for not supporting an undermined sidewalk, failure to remove or support a power pole and failure to provide warning vests for employees exposed to vehicular traffic. A second company – the controlling employer responsible for overall job safety – was issued a willful citation with a proposed penalty of $21,000 for allowing unprotected trenches. It was also issued serious citations alleging lack of a safe exit means from the catch basin, failure to support a sidewalk and failure to remove or support a power pole. Those three violations carry $2,300 in proposed fines. [Jennings Excavation ($58,500 in total proposed fines) and Ferd Construction ($23,300 in total proposed fines). Release Number 07-251-BOS/BOS 2007-050, Feb. 28, 2007].
Ontario’s construction regulations mandate the use of stairs, runways, ramps or ladders when workers need to gain access to, or climb down from, roofs. An Ontario construction company that didn’t play by the rules has been fined $60,000, plus a 25 percent victim fine surcharge.
A worker who was climbing down a four-story scaffold using its end frames, slipped and fell about two meters onto a lower roof, suffering arm, leg and back injuries.
Schiedel Construction Inc. of Cambridge, ON, pleaded guilty to contravening Section 70(1) of the Regulations for Construction Projects.
Info to go: Read more about scaffold safety by clicking on the link at www.SafeSupervisor.comRead More
Two Ontario companies may face fines between $5,000 and $20,000 in connection with a workplace fatality at a Zellers store in Montreal, QC. La Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST) has concluded its investigation into the death of Andre Michaud in August 2006. Michaud received an electrical shock while changing an electrical fixture in a store kitchen. The power had not been shut off before work was undertaken – a contravention of the Canadian Electrical Code. The shock caused Michaud to fall from a ladder. He struck his head on the floor and died two days later in hospital. The CSST found that the method of work for changing ballasts was dangerous and that Michaud lacked sufficient training for the task. Poor planning and insufficient supervision were also deemed factors in his death. Relamping Services Canada Ltd., of Brampton, ON, and Samuel’s Signs & Lighting, of Kitchener, ON, were cited by CSST. The Zellers store was ordered to have a qualified electrician examine the fixture before any more work was carried out. Info to go: Read more about electrical safety by clicking on the link at www.SafeSupervisor.com
Two Ontario companies may face fines between $5,000 and $20,000 in connection with a workplace fatality at a Zellers store in Montreal, QC.
La Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST) has concluded its investigation into the death of Andre Michaud in August 2006. Michaud received an electrical shock while changing an electrical fixture in a store kitchen.
The power had not been shut off before work was undertaken – a contravention of the Canadian Electrical Code. The shock caused Michaud to fall from a ladder. He struck his head on the floor and died two days later in hospital.
The CSST found that the method of work for changing ballasts was dangerous and that Michaud lacked sufficient training for the task. Poor planning and insufficient supervision were also deemed factors in his death.
Relamping Services Canada Ltd., of Brampton, ON, and Samuel’s Signs & Lighting, of Kitchener, ON, were cited by CSST. The Zellers store was ordered to have a qualified electrician examine the fixture before any more work was carried out.
Info to go: Read more about electrical safety by clicking on the link at www.SafeSupervisor.com
An OSHA compliance officer initiated an inspection against a company after observing fall hazards at a roof decking installation jobsite at a high school in Valdosta, GA. OSHA issued a willful citation alleging failure to ensure that employees used personal fall protection or a fall restraint system. A previous warning had been issued, but OSHA alleges the contractor did not take steps to abate the hazard. The company was also cited for three serious violations, alleging improper use of a lifeline, improper use of a ladder and allowing employees to climb over guardrails on an aerial lift basket to gain access to a roof. Proposed penalties total $55,250.
[Composite Construction Systems, Columbus, GA. Release Number 07-538-ATL (098), May 3, 2007].Read More