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inspectors 43 articles

OSHA fines Wireless Horizon for tower collapse that killed two workers

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Wireless Horizon Inc. with two willful and four serious safety violations following an investigation of a March 25 cell tower collapse that killed two workers in Kansas. The deaths of the workers, two technicians ages 25 and 38, bring the number of U.S. communication tower deaths to 11 so far this year. There have been 24 deaths among cell tower workers since the beginning of 2013, according to OSHA records. The Wireless Horizon workers were dismantling a tower in Blaine, Kansas, using a gin pole, a special load-lifting device. The ... Read More

OSHA orders back pay, damages, and job reinstatement to railroad employee

Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) LLC, the second-largest freight railroad network in North America, retaliated against a North Dakota worker in December 2013 for reporting a work-related injury and submitting a physician’s treatment plan to his employer, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) concluded in an investigation. OSHA ordered Fort Worth, Texas-based BNSF to pay the worker more than $30,000 in back wages and damages and to take other corrective actions. The former employee submitted a whistleblower complaint to OSHA alleging BNSF violated the anti-retaliation provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety Act, which prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who ... Read More

Wyoming fracking site blast kills one worker, injures three others

One worker has died and three others were seriously injured after an explosion ripped through a storage tank Wednesday at a natural gas production facility operated by fracking giant EOG Resources Inc. in southwestern Wyoming. The worker who was killed was contracted to clean natural gas storage tanks at the EOG site south of LaBarge, Wyo., alongside another contract worker and two EOG employees. A company representative told Reuters that the site contained one natural gas well and two gas storage tanks. “The tank stores natural gas, and was undergoing cleaning when the explosion occurred,” the Lincoln County Homeland Security ... Read More

Companies must report all employee amputations, eye loss, death to OSHA under new rule

Under a new federal safety rule that will take effect Jan. 1, all employers will be required to notify the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) whenever an employee is hospitalized for an on-the-job injury, suffers an amputation, or loses an eye at work. OSHA regulators originally proposed the new rule change three years ago to enhance current requirements, which mandate that employers notify OSHA when a work-related accident kills an employee or injures and hospitalizes three employees. “Hospitalizations and amputations are sentinel events, indicating that serious hazards are likely to be present at a workplace and that an intervention ... Read More

Former Survivor star killed on the job at Birmingham railroad

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Former Survivor: Blood vs. Water contestant and Alabama resident Caleb Bankston was killed June 24 in a work-related accident in Birmingham. Sources say the 26-year-old locomotive engineer and conductor for Alabama Warrior Railway was working on one of the train cars at a company rail yard in Birmingham when he was crushed to death. According to TMZ, Mr. Bankston “was checking on something in the small space between two of the cars when the train went off the tracks. Cops say the rear car slammed into the forward car … with Bankston caught helplessly between.” Mr. Bankston ... Read More

Wrongful death lawsuit targets rock legend Gregg Allman, Hollywood filmmakers

SAVANNAH, Ga. — The family of a 27-year-old camera assistant who was struck and killed by a freight train on the set of a movie about Gregg Allman said they are suing the rock legend and producers of his movie as a “wake up call” to make Hollywood safer. Sarah Jones, 27, died Feb. 20 when a freight train struck part of a film crew shooting on a railroad bridge in southeastern Georgia. Six other workers on the set were injured. Ms. Jones and the others were filming a scene for the movie “Midnight Rider,” a film about the life ... Read More

President Obama urged to reject USDA rule loosening poultry plant inspections

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is nearly ready to implement a new rule that will increase line speeds at chicken processing plants, saying it will improve efficiency and enhance food safety, but the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a number of consumer-safety groups, and other organizations are urging President Barack Obama to reject the rule. Most significantly, the new rule would increase chicken processing line speeds – the number of birds inspectors visually check per minute — from 140 per minute to 175 per minute. The rule also would effectively remove most USDA inspectors from the line to focus on ... Read More

OSHA investigating construction worker’s death on Baylor stadium worksite

WACO, Texas — An ironworker’s death at a Baylor University stadium construction site in January has prompted federal safety regulators to investigate a Dallas/Fort Worth-area construction company that has a history of past violations. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials are probing the death of Jose Dario Suarez, a 55-year-old construction worker who was working on a bridge over the Brazos River that is being built as part of Baylor’s new stadium. Mr. Suarez was standing on an aerial lift boom, to which he was tethered, when it fell off the side of a barge into the river. Divers ... Read More

Prison management company agrees to reduce threat of violence-related injuries for staff

A Boca-Raton, Fla.-based prison management company has entered into a settlement agreement with the U.S. Labor Department that requires it to make sweeping changes across all of its facilities to better protect correctional officers, guards, and other prison staff from workplace violence. U.S. safety regulators cited GEO Group Inc. in June 2012 for numerous workplace safety violations at a prison facility it manages in Meridian, Miss. GEO specializes in correctional, detention, and community re-entry services with 95 facilities, approximately 73,000 beds, and 18,000 employees around the world. The company’s safety violations involved its failure to hire a sufficient number of ... Read More

Georgia company cited for exposing workers to amputation, laceration, and burn injuries

THOMSON, Ga. – Federal authorities have cited a Georgia automotive parts manufacturer with 22 safety and health violations for exposing workers to a multitude of hazards, including the risk of amputation, laceration, and burn injuries. Inspectors with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited HP Pelzer Automotive Systems Inc. and staffing agency Sizemore Inc. for 22 violations of federal safety codes at the HP Pelzer’s Thomson-based manufacturing facility. The violations amount to more than $207,000 in proposed fines. HP Pelzer makes and supplies numerous automotive parts to major car manufacturers and employs about 10,000 workers in nine facilities ... Read More