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New crane safety regulations take effect this fall

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced new rule today addressing the use of cranes and derricks in construction, replacing a decades-old standard that left construction sites throughout the country tragically unsafe. According to the Labor Department, crane and derrick accidents kill 100 people on average every year in the U.S. A single crane collapse on East 51st in Manhattan left seven people dead two years ago. Later that same year, another crane fell into an apartment building in New York’s Upper East Side, killing two workers and injuring others. The new rule published today is designed to prevent the ... Read More

Falling concrete from Milwaukee garage kills 15-year-old boy

A 15-year-old boy was killed and two others injured when a 30-foot concrete panel detached from a parking garage and fell in Milwaukee, Wisconsin yesterday afternoon. The incident occurred just after 4 p.m. at a garage located underneath a park across from the Milwaukee Museum of Art. Officials say that the decorative concrete slab fell from the garage’s façade onto a road leading out of the structure. Police closed off major streets in the surrounding area to make way for emergency vehicles. The incident created massive backups in the area, part of the lakefront location of an 11-day music festival ... Read More

OSHA investigates construction company after CT bridge collapse

Officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Bridgeport, Conn., office are investigating the scene of a bridge collapse that seriously injured a 59-year-old construction employee. Anthony Mariano, a member of a construction crew employed by Brunali Construction Co. of Southington, was operating an excavation machine Tuesday morning beneath a bridge in the city of Naugatuck. Sensing the bridge had become unstable, Mariano cleared his coworkers from under the bridge and was about to remove the excavating machine when a 100-foot section dislodged and fell. Paramedics rushed Mariano to Waterbury Hospital and then airlifted him to Yale-New Haven Hospital, ... Read More

Massey Energy hires PR agency to revamp image after mining disaster

The board of Massey Energy, parent company and owner of Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia where 29 miners died in explosion earlier this month, is seeking a public relations boost from a Texas-based firm with political connections. Since the tragic explosion on April 5, Massey’s safety record has come to the public’s attention, revealing a systemic disregard for critical safety measures that could have prevented the disaster had they been followed. The incident has placed Massey Energy and its controversial CEO Don Blankenship under fire from all directions. On the outside, federal regulators, safety advocates, and victims’ families ... Read More

Poor safety record, bad leadership caused mining deaths

Massey Energy, owner of the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, where at least 25 miners were killed on Monday, has had a long record of serious safety violations, many of which portended Monday’s tragic explosion and subsequent collapse of the mining shaft. Massey is the nation’s fourth largest coal company and the largest coal producer in Central Appalachia, with bituminous coal mines in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Virginia. Despite the size and scope of its operations, however, Massey invests very little in protecting its workers. Between 2005 and Monday, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) cited ... Read More