Using tap water as opposed to windshield washer fluid during warm weather months might seem like an environmentally friendly, cost-saving idea. However, it could put drivers at greater risk for Legionnaires’ disease.
Great Britain’s Health Protection Agency (HPA) says stagnant water in a vehicle’s washer fluid tank, heated by the engine, provides an ideal environment for the development of Legionella bacteria. It could be responsible for 20 percent of cases of Legionnaires’ disease, a potentially fatal respiratory illness.
An HPA study found traces of Legionella bacteria in about one in five cars where water had been used to clean windshields.
After spraying water on a windshield, a driver may be exposed to the bacteria via a vehicle’s ventilation system or through an open driver’s window. The solution for avoiding such exposures is to use windshield washer fluid, not water, in the windshield washer reservoir.
The agency estimates that professional drivers are five times more likely to be infected with Legionnaires’ disease because of the length of time they spend driving in vehicles.
Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include fatigue, headache, dry cough, fever and muscle aches. Between 10 and 15 percent of people who get the disease die from it.Read More
Few people would argue with the point that talking or texting on a cell phone while driving causes dangerous and potentially fatal distractions.
But a worker doesn’t need to be behind the wheel to be distracted while using a cell phone. Whether deeply engaged in a cell phone call or busily texting a message while walking across the shop floor, a worker may be zoned out and oblivious to forklift and other traffic, machine hazards and other dangers.
Sure, using a cell phone in an office probably isn’t dangerous. But if workers are on the shop floor, on a roof, in a trench or any place where they need to stay aware of their surroundings, cell phones can be a menace.
In one case, a road construction worker suffered serious injuries while talking on a cell phone when he stepped into the path of a passing truck.
Workers don’t even need to be walking while talking or texting on a cell phone to be in danger. For example, if a worker needs to remove gloves or other PPE to use a cell phone, he or she is temporarily unprotected against hazards posed by running machinery or chemical processes.
Another potential hazard created by the sudden ringing of a cell phone is that a worker could be in the middle of a procedure that requires following complicated steps in a precise sequence. When the worker returns to the task after the call, he or she may have lost track of whether a step was performed.
If a critical step is performed twice instead of once, a dangerous error may result. At best, a batch of material might be ruined by the addition of twice as much of a called for ingredient, or at worst, the mistake could injure or kill the worker and others. Skipping a critical step could also bring disastrous consequences.
Supervisors have a general duty to protect workers’ health and safety, so if workers are using cell phones while performing safety sensitive tasks, whether driving-related or otherwise, you need to put an end to that practice.
One way to avoid confusion is to write a blanket policy covering the use of cell phones in vehicles and in the workplace. It’s probably unrealistic to ban the use of cell phones, but their use can be limited in a policy.
For example, your policy might direct drivers to not take or make cell phone calls unless they first pull over and stop. And the policy can direct other workers to only use cell phones and other communication devices during breaks in designated areas, or in emergencies.
The policy should spell out the use of such devices to include:
Workers caught violating the policy should be warned and if the practice continues, they should be disciplined. In serious cases, offenders may need to be fired.Read More
Melinda Carter was a devoted daughter who cared about the well-being of her family. Whether it was ensuring that her parents were taking their medications, or that her nephew had new shoes, Carter was always sure to express her love and attention.
She had worked for the CSX Corporation in Chicago, Ill. for 11 years, and was planning to buy her first home for herself and her mother and father.
Sadly, Carter’s life was cut short. She was conducting routine switching operations in the CSX rail yard one evening when she was tossed from a locomotive and struck by it. An 11-year CSX employee and a member of the company’s safety committee, Carter was responsible for moving train cars around and arranging them on the proper tracks using a remote-controlled locomotive.
It is possible that the locomotive had developed a mechanical problem, but the exact cause of the fatality remains under investigation.Read More
Contractor Issued $61,650 in Proposed Penalties for alleged excavation hazards. OSHA says it found employees working in a trench more than eight feet deep which lacked cave-in protection and a ladder or other safe means of exit, and also had excavated spoils piled at its edge. One willful citation alleging storage of materials at the edge of a trench was issued, along with serious citations alleging a lack of collapse protection and not having an exit ladder in place. Four other-than-serious citations were issued for incomplete injury and illness records. [The Welch Corp., Brighton, MA, May 10, 2010].
US Postal Service Issued Hefty Proposed Fines for alleged electrical hazards. OSHA has cited the US Postal Service in Rhode Island for alleged willful and serious violations of safety standards. OSHA alleges that untrained or unqualified workers were performing tests on live electrical equipment and doing so without adequate training, PPE, safety-related work practices and warning signs. They were also allegedly working on equipment that had not been de-energized. In addition, inspections of hazardous energy control procedures were allegedly conducted by employees who lacked the knowledge and training to determine if such procedures were performed correctly. As a result, eight willful citations were issued. Four serious citations were also issued for alleged failure to develop procedures and provide training for locking out power sources to prevent their unexpected startup during servicing, and other related hazards. Proposed penalties total $558,000. [US Postal Service Providence Processing and Delivery Center, Providence, RI, April 30, 2010].
Tonawanda Coke Corp. Cited for 14 Alleged Serious Violations issued $48,500 in proposed fines. A foundry coke producer was cited for allegedly failing to adequately train workers on respirator selection, use, storage and maintenance, failing to ensure the use of protective clothing by workers and failing to implement work-specific procedures in the plant’s respiratory protection program. OSHA alleges the company also did not conduct all required monitoring and perform all required medical evaluations for workers exposed to coke emissions, allowed coke spillage to be shoveled into a heated oven, did not supply positive pressure filtered air to all work cabs and failed to maintain a machine in good working order. Additional charges include failure to label containers of coke-contaminated clothing and allowing food and beverages to be consumed in an area with visible accumulations of coke oven emissions. [Tonawanda Coke Corp., Tonawanda, NY, May 7, 2010].
Alleged Fall Hazards Bring Fines totaling $47,000 A contractor has been cited for three repeat violations and one serious violation related to fall hazards at a Lebanon, NJ, worksite. OSHA investigators watched masonry workers being exposed to fall hazards from heights approaching 25 feet. Repeat violations were cited for failure to adequately plank scaffolding, failure to provide workers with a ladder to ensure safe access to scaffolding and failure to provide a fall protection system for employees working from a scaffold. The serious violation alleges failure to provide workers with a fall arrest harness with a lanyard. [Acies Group LLC, Fairfield, NJ, May 6, 2010].
Sheet Metal Fabricator Cited for Uncorrected and Recurring Hazards issued $106,800 in proposed penalties. OSHA cited Service Manufacturing Group for 12 violations of safety standards in March 2009. The company agreed to correct all hazards but it failed to submit proof of abatement. OSHA then opened up a follow-up inspection and found that eight of the 12 violations had not been corrected. As a result the company was issued eight failure-to-abate notices for uninspected overhead cranes, lifting slings and fire extinguishers, failure to electrically interconnect containers while dispensing flammable liquids, missing gauges that would have ensured proper air velocity in paint spray booths and failure to medically evaluate an employee’s fitness to wear a respirator. The company was also cited for alleged failure to close unused openings in electrical boxes and cabinets, the lack of an educational program on fire extinguisher use and limitations and failure to post in the workplace the citations issued as a result of the earlier inspection. [Service Manufacturing Group Inc., Buffalo, NY, April 28, 2010].
OSHA Cites Lumber Company for Failure to Abate Hazards and proposes $189,730 in fines. OSHA initiated an inspection on Nov. 3, 2009 after the company failed to provide abatement certification within the required timeframe for earlier violations related to failure to provide proper training to workers operating powered industrial trucks, properly guard machinery, install required stair railings, remove debris from underneath machinery, properly complete required OSHA injury and illness logs, and provide an adequate hearing protection program. [Pineville Lumber Inc., Varney, WV, May 6, 2010].
Automotive Supplier Issued $136,000 in Proposed Fines for alleged failure to protect workers against hazards. OSHA opened an inspection in response to a complaint and issued two willful violations alleging failure to provide workers with appropriate hand protection and failure to protect workers from arc welding flash burns. Twelve serious violations were also cited for alleged electrical deficiencies, failure to train or evaluate all workers operating industrial trucks, failure to guard against confined sparks during welding operations, failure to provide lockout/tagout procedures for energy sources and failure to provide proper machine guarding. [Sewon America Inc., LaGrange, GA, May 18, 2010].
Tire Center Cited for Alleged Serious and Willful Violations alleging failure to protect workers. OSHA conducted an inspection after four workers were injured in an agricultural tire explosion. The company was cited for willful failure to provide a cage or barrier to protect workers servicing large agricultural tires, failure to ensure employees worked outside the trajectory path and for exceeding the maximum tire pressure while seating the tire. Serious citations were also issued for alleged failure to ensure safety glasses were worn by workers when servicing tires and failure to have an inline valve pressure gauge. Total penalties of $177,800 are being proposed by OSHA. [Tireman Auto Service Centers Ltd., Maumee, OH, April 27, 2010].
US Postal Service Processing Center Issued $210,000 in Proposed Fines for alleged willful violations. OSHA opened an inspection in November 2009 and cited three willful violations alleging failure to provide required electrical safety training for workers, failure to ensure workers used safety-related work practices while working on electrical equipment and failure to provide workers with appropriate PPE while working on energized equipment. [US Postal Service, Bedford Park, IL, May 10, 2010].
OSHA Proposes $96,500 in Fines for alleged willful and serious violations. OSHA inspected the Packaging Corporation of America in Milwaukee in October 2009 and issued a willful citation for failure to provide adequate PPE to workers responding to a caustic solution spill. Six serious citations were also issued for alleged hazards that included failure to provide proper employee training for a caustic solution spill, failure to implement decontamination procedures for a caustic spill and failure to implement an emergency response plan. The company, which makes corrugated and solid fiber boxes, has been inspected by OSHA more than 40 times and received more than 90 citations within the past 10 years. [Packaging Corporation of America, Milwaukee, WI, April 27, 2010].
Alleged Lack of Fall Protection brings willful citation to Chicago-based firm. Following a November 2009 inspection, OSHA cited National Wrecking Co. for willful failure to provide fall protection to employees working 16 feet above ground level. A serious citation was also issued for alleged failure to protect workers who were exposed to struck-by and caught in-between hazards while working in a hydraulic excavator. OSHA has proposed total fines of $60,000. [National Wrecking Co., Chicago, IL, April 27, 2010].
Painting Company Issued $130,300 in Proposed Penalties for violations related to worker lead exposures. An industrial painting and sandblasting company in Chicago has been cited for willful failure to provide PPE to employees working in and around lead while performing abrasive blasting and painting. Serious citations were also issued for alleged failure to ensure that workers used respirators in accordance with the conditions of certification, failure to prohibit the use of respirators by employees with facial hair and failure to provide a clean changing area for employees. [ERA Valdivia Contractors Inc., Chicago, IL, April 29, 2010].
Inspection Brings Serious, Repeat Citations to Oklahoma worksite. OSHA opened an inspection on Oct. 27, 2009 as part of its Site-Specific Targeting Program. The serious citation alleges 25 safety and 13 health violations. Safety violations include failure to clean settled combustible dust from floors and pipes, failure to place covers on electrical equipment, failure to provide adequate machine guarding, failure to provide fall protection equipment such as standard guardrails and failure to follow manufacturer’s instructions on forklift equipment. Health violations include failure to ensure employees were wearing PPE and failure to follow safety procedures for controlling lead. In addition, a repeat citation was issued for failure to properly install and mount receptacle boxes as listed and labeled for use. The company was cited three years ago for a similar hazard at the same plant following a fatality there. Proposed penalties of $158,780 have been issued. [National Standard Co, Stillwater, OK, April 28, 2010].
Alleged Machine Hazards Bring Willful and Serious Citations to Texas plastics manufacturer. An investigation resulted in a willful violation alleging failure to protect workers from hazards associated with rotating energized machinery and for disabling safety interlocks on the machinery. Serious citations were issued for failure to implement an effective energy control program and failure to provide adequate machine guarding on grinders. Other-than-serious citations were issued for failure to properly certify annual injury and illness records and failure to train employees on the use of respirators. Total penalties of $72,900 have been proposed in this case. [FAST-Houston, Humble, TX, April 30, 2010].
Company Cited in Wake of Workers’ Dallas Cowboys Stadium Fall issued $45,000 in proposed fines. OSHA opened an inspection after two workers slid 260 feet down the side of the dome’s roof before falling into the gutter system. Both workers sustained life-threatening injuries. Birdair Inc. was cited for willful failure to ensure that workers were wearing required fall protection equipment, along with one serious violation of failure to provide workers with training on the hazards associated with falls. [BirdairInc. headquartered in Amhurst, NY, April 26, 2010].
US Postal Service Cited for Allegedly Exposing Workers to Electrical Hazards issued $217,000 in proposed fines. An OSHA inspection resulted in three willful citations for allowing workers to perform testing on live equipment and doing so without adequate training, PPE and safety related work practices. One serious citation was also issued for failure to post warning signs to alert employees about electrical hazards. [US Postal Service, Denver, CO, May 10, 2010].Read More
When the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board (YWCHSB) issues orders, it expects employers to send notices that workplace hazards have been addressed. But in 2009, only about 29 percent of Yukon employers who received orders provided notice of compliance by the order’s deadline.
Unimpressed by that low number, the board has started issuing $250 penalties to employers who fail to provide notice of compliance. For every week the employer has not notified YWCHSB of compliance, the fine will double.
Fines for employers who have not complied with orders, not corrected hazards or have committed serious infractions of OH&S regulations have also increased. For violations classified in the low- to-medium severity range, penalties for employers have increased to $1,000 from $500, while violations classified as severe will receive $2,500 penalties, compared to $1,000 in the past.
For supervisors and workers charged with violations in the low-to-medium severity range, fines remain the same at $250 and $50 respectively. But in severe cases, supervisors’ penalties have increased to $750 (from $500 previously) and workers’ penalties have increased to $150 (from $100 previously.)
The board has also announced it is adopting a zero-tolerance policy for safety violations involving machine guards and equipment maintenance. A similar zero-tolerance policy introduced in July 2009 for workers not wearing required PPE resulted in significant compliance improvement, says YWCHSB.Read More
A 44-year-old mechanic drowned after a floating barge ramp collapsed in North Vancouver, BC. Kevin Lowes had been using a lift truck to move welding equipment to the end of the ramp when it gave way.
Initial reports suggest that one of the pontoons supporting the ramp possibly failed. The ramp then tipped, throwing the forklift and Lowes into the water.
Lowes became trapped about 15 feet (4.6 meters) underwater for up to two hours. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Lowes had 16 years’ experience working on the waterfront. He is survived by his wife and three children.
Since the Canadian government has jurisdiction over ports, the investigation into what caused the ramp to collapse is being undertaken by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.Read More
Editor’s Note: Share this safety talk with your workers.
What’s At Stake
You can slip, trip and fall in all kinds of workplaces, from offices to construction sites. Falls are the leading cause of injuries in North American workplaces.
What’s The Danger
Most workplace falls which cause injury or death are falls from the same level, not from heights.
You may be in a hurry and run down a flight of stairs, or walk a corridor while reading instructions. You might slip on a slick surface and suddenly your feet go out from under you. Falls can also be caused by tripping on an obstacle – your feet get caught but your body keeps on going.
How To Protect Yourself
Don’t wear shoes with loose soles. When working on slippery surfaces or in icy weather, wear non-slip soles. Be aware that overly long, loose pant cuffs are a tripping hazard.
Report burned-out lights. Turn on lights before entering an area.
If you see something in an aisle such as litter or extension cords, move or report them. Also watch for loose or torn carpeting, mats or runners. Don’t store things on or near stairways. Watch out for unexpected hazards such as unguarded floor openings. Report them so they can be correctly covered and guarded.
Obey signs such as “Caution: Wet Floor.” Clean up spills immediately. When you come indoors from rain or snow, your wet footwear slides more easily. Newly waxed and high gloss floors are also hazards. On slippery or rough surfaces, take small steps and walk slowly.
Keep your head up. Don’t run down a hallway. Never engage in horseplay. Use stairways’ handrails. When carrying a load, make sure you can see over or around it.
Don’t tip back in a chair. Chairs should have five legs to prevent tipping. Keep drawers of desks, cupboards and filing cabinets closed.
Don’t stand on makeshift platforms such as a chair on top of a desk. Instead, correctly use a stepstool, ladder or scaffold.
Working at heights
Be sure to use the required fall protection equipment and all safe procedures when working at heights. Many falls from heights are actually caused by tripping or slipping.
Be aware of fall hazards, and repair or report them promptly.Read More
A young factory worker who had not been fully trained and certified to operate a loader did so anyway, with predictably tragic consequences. Mark Bate, 21, died after his head became trapped under the arm of a loader at a recycling plant in England.
Bate had been using the excavator to load cardboard onto a conveyor. A co-worker who testified at an inquest into Bate’s June 2008 death said the worker put the back of the JCB (loader) on the floor and tilted it forward, which lifted the machine’s front wheels off the ground.
Then he reversed the loader across the floor, pulling cardboard along. He then stopped the machine, stood up and leaned across the front of the machine in an attempt to free some stuck cardboard.
The co-worker said it appeared that the machine suddenly moved and that Bate was in trouble. He ran to check on him and saw that Bate’s head was trapped under the arm of the machine.
Supervisor Ian Raybould told the coroner’s jury that Bate was a competent worker who had been allowed to operate the loader while being supervised. However, he admitted that Bate had not received formal training in its operation and was not certified to operate the machine.Read More
Yonkers Woodwork Manufacturer Issued $130,800 in Proposed Fines for alleged hazards. Following a worker’s partial hand amputation on an unguarded radial arm saw, OSHA conducted an inspection and cited a manufacturer of custom architectural woodwork for 26 alleged willful and serious violations of safety and health standards. Two willful violations were cited for failure to guard saw blades, while serious citations were issued for alleged fire hazards, a failure to ground and bond segments of the plant’s dust collection system, unbonded containers of flammable liquids, combustible residue accumulation on surfaces of spray booths and no training in fire extinguisher use. Other alleged hazards include a locked exit door, an obstructed exit route, untrained forklift operators, no lockout/tagout program, respirator deficiencies, no chemical hazard communication program, allowing workers to consume food in areas where hazardous chemicals were being used, a lack of quick drenching facilities for workers exposed to corrosive liquids and insufficient protective measures for employees working with methylene chloride. [H&H Woodworking Inc., Yonkers, NY, April 19, 2010].
Stucco Contractor Cited for Fall Hazards issued $49,600 in proposed fines. OSHA says employees were exposed to potentially fatal falls of more than 13 feet while applying stucco to a building. The company has been cited for three willful violations alleging failure to adequately plank a scaffold platform, provide workers with a ladder for safe access to scaffold platforms and provide workers with fall protection. A repeat violation for use of a scaffold that was missing cross bracing was also issued, along with serious violations for failure to have a competent person inspect a scaffold and train workers to recognize hazards associated with a scaffold. [JLC Stucco Co, South Amboy, NJ, March 25, 2010].
Plastic Resins Company Issued Proposed Fines of $133,500 for 27 alleged serious workplace safety and health violations. OSHA initiated an investigation in October 2009 in response to an employee complaint. Alleged violations include failure to properly contain polyvinyl chloride dust particles, evaluate contractors’ safety programs and procedures, properly inspect process equipment, provide fire retardant clothing for workers, require employees to wear adequate eye protection with side shields, provide proper training and provide employees with an infirmary, clinic or person trained in first aid. Additionally, inspectors identified hazards involving a lack of machine guarding, a deficient process safety management system, inadequate lockout/tagout procedures for energy sources and unguarded machinery, floor holes and walkways. [Formosa Plastics Corp., Delaware City, DE, March 31, 2010].
Alabama Manufacturer Cited After Worker Loses Three Fingers in machinery issued willful, serious citations. OSHA opened an inspection after a worker suffered the amputation of three fingers as a result of using unguarded equipment. OSHA issued one willful citation alleging that light curtains designed to protect workers had been overridden and remained inoperable for two years. Serious citations were issued for alleged open-sided floors, electrical hazards, other machine guarding deficiencies and failure to label stop buttons. Proposed penalties total $63,700. [Daehan Solution Alabama LLC, Hope Hull, AL, April 19, 2010].
Georgia Manufacturer Issued $133,350 in Proposed Penalties following complaint. OSHA opened an inspection after receiving a complaint about the partial amputation of an employee’s index finger. OSHA says it found a number of deficiencies at the plant, including unguarded power presses, failure to develop lockout/tagout procedures, a lack of training for forklift operators, improper PPE for employees handling acids and caustics and failure to provide a written hazard communications plan. Forty serious citations were issued for unguarded power presses, fall hazards, damaged storage racks, crane and overhead hoists exposing employees to struck-by hazards, a lack of adequate lighting and signage for emergency egress and several electrical deficiencies. Fourteen serious health violations were also cited for alleged respiratory, noise exposure, emergency response deficiencies and issues involving abrasive blasting and permit required confined spaces, plus failure to assess PPE and failure to provide appropriate emergency eyewash/shower facilities. [Scovill Fasteners, Clarksville, GA, April 21, 2010].
Company Issued 29 Alleged Serious Citations following fatal explosion. OSHA opened an investigation after a maintenance technician was killed in an explosion. Flammable vapors were present when the worker was using a grinder to cut a bolt. Alleged violations include failure to provide safe work practice procedures for hot work in a confined space, failure to properly train workers in procedures to safely maintain equipment, the lack of a proper emergency response plan, the lack of procedures for summoning rescue and emergency services, failure to provide appropriate PPE for workers, the absence of lockout/tagout procedures and various process safety management deficiencies. Other violations cited by OSHA allege failure to take adequate precautions to prevent the ignition of flammable vapors, failure to prevent cutting operations in the presence of explosive atmospheres and failure to maintain safe handling of equipment in cutting operations. The company was issued proposed penalties of $127,350. [American Packaging Corp., Columbus, WI, April 19, 2010].
Freight Logistics and Management Company Issued $64,000 in Proposed Fines for alleged serious and repeat safety infractions. The company was issued two serious citations alleging failure to properly inspect powered industrial trucks before use and failure to provide legible name plates on the trucks. Two repeat citations were issued for alleged failure to provide proper load backrest extensions and failure to take trucks with safety defects out of service. Two other than serious violations were also cited, alleging failure to record injuries and illnesses on OSHA 300 forms and failure to provide those forms to OSHA when requested. [Ceva Freight LLC, Elk Grove, IL, April 19, 2010].
Regional Airport Notified of Workplace Health and Safety Violations, but no fines are issued. OSHA conducted a planned inspection under the Airport Air Traffic Control Tower Monitoring Program in August 2009 and found several alleged serious violations. They include an improperly grounded electrical outlet, failure to post a diagram of emergency egress routes, failure to conduct annual fire drills and failure to properly identify doors as “not an exit.” Repeat violations include failure to test the stair pressurization system, failure to have unobstructed exit routes and inadequate or missing emergency action plans and fire prevention plans. If these violations were found at a private sector workplace, fines would have been in the $125,000 range. However, OSHA does not impose fines on federal agencies. [Evansville Regional Airport, Evansville, IN, March 26, 2010].
Truck Parts Distributor Issued $61,500 in Proposed Fines for alleged serious and repeat violations. Following an inspection, OSHA cited the company for three alleged serious violations including damaged or inoperable emergency lighting, exit signs that weren’t illuminated and a damaged fall protection lanyard that wasn’t removed from service. Four repeat violations were also cited. They allege improper PPE, an uncovered electrical box, no hazard assessment certification and no PPE equipment training certification. [Fleetpride Inc., Willowbrook, IL, April 14, 2010].
Tower Design, Manufacturing, Installation and Servicing Company Cited by OSHA issued $293,400 in proposed penalties. OSHA has cited three willful and 38 serious violations of OSHA standards. The willful violations allege failure to conduct noise monitoring for employees who were exposed to noise levels at or above a time-weighted average of 120 dBA, failure to identify and evaluate respiratory hazards associated with methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and failure to provide a carbon monoxide monitor for employees utilizing compressed air from an oil lubricated compressor as breathing air during blasting operations. Serious violations allege failure to institute a hearing conservation program for workers exposed to noise levels above the action level and provide and enforce the use of PPE, failure to provide a respiratory protection program and proper respirator for employees utilizing respirators to work with hazardous chemicals and failure to conduct air monitoring for employees exposed to methylene chloride. [FWT Inc., Fort Worth, TX, March 26, 2010].
Gulf Chemical & Metallurgical Corp. Cited for allegedly exposing workers to hazardous airborne substances. OSHA has proposed $50,400 in fines following an October 2009 inspection that resulted in 16 alleged serious violations being cited. The alleged violations include failure to adequately protect workers from exposure to hazardous air contaminants, train employees on the hazards associated with chemicals in the workplace, provide training with limitations in the use of respirators, properly locate and inspect portable fire extinguishers, provide training in the use of attachments on forklifts and adequately protect employees from electrical hazards. [Gulf Chemical & Metallurgical Corp., Freeport, TX, March 25, 2010].
Construction Company Cited in Worker’s Death cited for one serious and three willful violations. OSHA opened an investigation after a worker became caught in a roadway belt paving machine’s screw conveyors and died. The willful violations allege the company’s failure to instruct equipment operators in the safe operation of the belt paving machine, along with having unguarded screw conveyors and screw conveyors that were unlocked during maintenance. The serious violation alleges failure to provide employee instruction in recognizing and avoiding hazards associated with the belt paving machine. OSHA has proposed $202,000 in total fines. [Werner Construction Inc., Norfolk, NB, March 25, 2010].
Fatality at Plastic Injection Molding Company Brings Willful, Serious Citations carrying $116,000 in proposed penalties. OSHA opened an investigation after a worker was fatally crushed inside a plastic injection molding machine. A willful citation was issued for alleged failure to lock out the machine during maintenance activities inside the machine’s danger zone. Serious citations alleged by OSHA include a lack of open-sided floor guarding, obstructed emergency exits, permit required confined space deficiencies, a lack of lockout/tagout training and periodic inspection and a lack of eyewash facilities. Other alleged serious violations include improperly stored materials, powered industrial trucks in need of repair that were not taken from service, welding cylinders that were not secured in storage, electrical wiring installation deficiencies, the lack of strain relief on flexible cords in use and unmarked containers of hazardous materials. [Buckhorn Inc., Springfield, MO, April 15, 2010].
AmeriCold Logistics Cited for Alleged Safety Violations at Idaho operation. OSHA conducted an inspection at a Nampa, ID, facility and cited seven alleged serious and four alleged repeat violations, along with one other-than-serious violation. The serious citations allege failure to protect ammonia piping from forklift impact, failure to locate discharge pipes in a safe location, failure to implement recommendations from the process hazard team, failure to replace pressure relief valves as recommended, failure to design the PSM covered system, unguarded exposed parts of horizontal shafting and the lack of an adequate respirator for employees. The repeat citations allege unguarded open-sided floors or platforms, a lack of piping and instrument diagrams for equipment within safety information, a lack of written procedures regarding maintenance, inspection and testing of equipment and wiring methods, and placing or installing equipment in locations that were not safe or not approved for such areas. The other-than-serious citation alleges unguarded stairway floor openings. The company was issued proposed fines totaling $153,000. [AmeriCold Logistics LLC, Nampa, ID, April 14, 2010].Read More
Failing to ensure that a press was equipped with an automatic start-up warning device that sounded when a press was being closed from all positions has cost an Ottawa company $75,000, plus a 25 percent victim fine surcharge.
Canadian Bank Note Company Ltd., a security printing company, was investigated by the Ontario Ministry of Labour after a worker suffered crushed fingers and a broken wrist.
Workers were restarting a press machine that has two hydraulically powered towers that come together to close the press. To restart the press, buttons on the inside of the towers had to be reset.
A worker at the bottom of the towers opened the press to access reset buttons. A second worker accessed the top of the towers to press one of the buttons and a third worker at ground level pressed yet another button, which caused the press to start.
The towers closed on the second worker’s hand and wrist, causing injuries. While the press was equipped with a start-up warning device, it did not sound when the press closed after being opened just a few inches. The warning device likely would have prevented the worker’s injuries.Read More