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Birmingham 160 articles

Birmingham Water Works Chemical Release Sickens Dozens

An accidental chemical release at a Birmingham Water Works facility in Alabama sent dozens of workers to the hospital Wednesday morning and prompted a “shelter in place” warning for residents of the surrounding communities. The accident occurred at the Birmingham Water Works’ Shades Mountain water filtration plant when two chemicals used in the water treatment process, sodium hypochlorite and ferric sulfate, were accidentally mixed, creating what Birmingham Fire & Rescue described as a “hazmat release.” According to Birmingham Water Works, 54 people were taken to Birmingham area hospitals for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. More than a dozen of the ... Read More

Drummond to pay $775,000 to settle benzene pollution violations

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S Department of Justice, and the Jefferson County Board of Health in Alabama have reached a settlement with Drummond Company over allegations that Drummond’s ABC Coke facility north of Birmingham, Alabama, was releasing 10 times the amount cancer-causing benzene into the air than it was reporting. As part of the settlement, Drummond will pay $775,000 in penalties, which will be equally split between the EPA and the Jefferson County Board of Health. The company will also complete a supplemental environmental project so that it can establish semi-annual monitoring for leaks using a thermal imaging ... Read More

Benzene Pollution Leads to $775,000 Fine for Birmingham Coal Company

As Alabama coal company that was belching more than 10 times the amount of benzene it had been reporting to state and federal regulators will pay $775,000 in penalties. Birmingham, Alabama-based Drummond Company, one of Alabama’s largest coal operations, agreed to the settlement eight years after the Jefferson County Board of Health inspectors and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered that the company’s foundry coke facilities were releasing hazardous levels of benzene into the air. According to the County and the EPA, both of which have gone to great lengths to shield Drummond from the community’s concerns, the company ... Read More

OSHA fines drilling company after explosion kills worker

Weatherford, Texas-based Legend Directional Services LLC was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and faces a more than $28,000 penalty, for violations of worker safety at the company’s Harpersville Reinforcement Project in Harpersville, Alabama, that resulted in a May 2018 explosion during which a worker was killed. OSHA investigators determined that the explosion occurred because flammable welding gases were stored in an unventilated storage container at the facility. When the now-deceased employee opened the container door, the container exploded. OSHA cited the drilling company for storing compressed welding gas containers and liquefied petroleum ... Read More

Farm eggs linked to 38 cases of Salmonella infection

Gravel Ridge Farms, located in Cullman, Alabama, has issued a recall of Large Cage Free Eggs after samples collected during an inspection at the plant identified its shell eggs as linked to 38 cases of Salmonella Enteritidis illnesses. The recall involves both single dozen and 2.5 dozen flats of Gravel Ridge Farms Large Cage Free Eggs with the UPC 7-06970-18444-6 and the Use By Dates ranging from 7/25/18 through 10/3/18. The eggs were distributed between June 25 and Sept. 6, 2018, and were sold primarily in restaurants and retail stores in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. Customers who have purchased these ... Read More

Bus accident injuries several UAB pediatric residents

Nearly two dozen University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) employees were treated for injuries and six hospitalized after the bus they were riding in careened into a tree. The bus was carrying 26 pediatric residents from UAB who had been at a retreat at Camp McDowell. The group was headed to the home of the program’s director for a final social event around noon on Friday when the single-vehicle accident occurred in Winston County near Arley, about 60 miles northwest of Birmingham, Alabama. The bus was reportedly traveling down a steep hill through an intersection when its brakes appeared to ... Read More

Deadly Flash Fire at Alabama Auto Dealer Leads to $114K Penalty

A deadly flash fire that broke out inside a Jasper, Alabama auto dealership in June 2017 was the result of serious safety lapses, federal regulators said. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said it reached a settlement agreement with Carl Cannon Chevrolet Buick GMC dealership Aug. 1, resolving citations and penalties issued in the wake of the deadly fire, which killed three employees and seriously injured two others. The agreement requires the auto dealer to pay $114,074 in penalties for safety violations OSHA investigators found after the fire. The investigators found that company employees were using a highly flammable ... Read More

OSHA: employee death at plastics manufacturer was ‘preventable tragedy’

ABC Polymer Industries LLC, a plastics manufacturer based out of Helena, Alabama, was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) when one of its employees died on the job. The worker was pulled in the company’s plastics recycling machine in August 2017. The agency says this unfortunate disaster was the result of the lack of compliance to the workplace safety regulations put in place by OSHA to prevent incidents such as this. The company is now facing $195,144 in projected fines and penalties. Following this tragedy, OSHA began an investigation to determine whether the incident was preventable and ... Read More

NTSB Boots Tesla From Model X Crash Investigation

Federal investigators have taken the rare action of removing Tesla as a party to an ongoing investigation of the fatal March 23 crash of a Tesla Model X in Mountain View, California. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said that Tesla Inc. violated investigative protocol by releasing information pertaining to the crash probe before it was vetted and approved by the NTSB officials. “Such releases of incomplete information often lead to speculation and incorrect assumptions about the probable cause of a crash, which does a disservice to the investigative process and the traveling public,” the NTSB said in a statement. ... Read More

Fatal Amputation Injury Leads to Heavy Fines For Alabama Co

A fatal amputation injury at an Alabama plastics manufacturing company has led to nearly $200,000 in proposed fines for violations the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says could have been prevented with the proper safety measures in place. OSHA says it cited ABC Polymer Industries LLC of Helena for multiple safety violations including one willful violation – the agency’s most serious – for failing to prevent workers from suffering amputation and other injuries in its industrial machinery. According to AL.com, Catalina Estillado, aka Eva Saenz, died Aug. 16 at the ABC Polymer Industries plant after she was pulled into ... Read More