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Occupational Health and Safety Administration 9 articles

Explosion at Indiana grain and fertilizer facility kills one

UNION MILLS, Ind. – An explosion has killed one person at an Indiana agricultural facility that stores fertilizer, grain, and feed, the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office confirmed. The deadly blast occurred in Union Mills, about 50 miles southeast of Chicago. The cause of the explosion remains under investigation, but authorities reported that it was confined to a part of the facility that handles grain. The sheriff’s office said that no toxic chemicals or fumes were released in the explosion. The person killed, James Swank, 67, was an employee of Co-Alliance LLP, operator of the grain elevator. According to the coroner’s ... Read More

Back wages, corrective action ordered for two Connecticut whistleblowers

HARTFORD, CONN — Two Connecticut workers who were allegedly fired for reporting safety and health concerns to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will receive back wages and interest from their previous employers. OSHA obtained consent judgments from Connecticut’s U.S. District Court requiring the employers – Parker Medical Inc., a maker of x-ray imaging components, and a Brookfield, Conn-based dentist – to compensate the terminated employees and take other corrective actions. On Feb. 17, 2009, the Parker Medical employee filed a complaint with OSHA’s Hartford Office, which began an inspection two days later. Parker Medical terminated the employee the ... Read More

OSHA orders reinstatement of pilot fired for reporting safety concerns to FAA

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has ordered the reinstatement of a pilot who alleged he was fired over his unwillingness to participate in fraudulent activity on the job and for reporting his concerns to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The pilot’s employer, Northern Illinois Flight Center, was also ordered to compensate the pilot more than $500,000 in back pay, benefits, and damages. According to OSHA, “the whistleblower, a pilot from Illinois, was dismissed after contacting the Federal Aviation Administration to discuss violations of the pilot certification process.” The pilot alleges his employer asked him to falsify an ... Read More

Plant explosion earns New Hampshire manufacturers hefty OSHA fines

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited two New Hampshire companies for violating workplace safety standards after a January 23 explosion rocked a plant in Nashua. Combined penalties against the two employers — Worthen Industries Inc., a manufacturer of glues and adhesives, and S.L. Chasse Welding & Fabrication Inc., a steel erection contractor, amount to $257,500. The explosion occurred when flammable vapors ignited while S.L. Chasse workers were installing a new motor on a vessel used in Worthen’s Nashua plant. OSHA inspectors found that Worthen had not cleaned the vessel thoroughly enough to ensure the absence of flammable materials ... Read More

OSHA hits U.S. Postal Service with hefty fines for endangering workers

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the U.S. Postal Service for workplace safety violations involving electrical safety hazards found at a Pittsburgh mail processing facility. OSHA proposed penalties of $299,500 for the violations. An employee complaint prompted the inspections, which OSHA launched in October 2009. Inspectors later cited the Postal Service with four willful violations incurring a fine of $265,000, two serious violations with a penalty of $9,500, and one repeat violation carrying a fine of $25,000. OSHA Assistant Secretary of Labor Dr. David Michaels said the Postal Service demonstrated a “blatant disregard ... Read More

OSHA investigates Ohio construction worker electrocution

A 26-year-old construction worker was electrocuted last week while working on a road project near Canton, Ohio. Kevin Meyer, a resident of Grove City, Ohio, was pulling old guardrail posts out of the ground when the accident occurred. Reports say that the boom of a drill / driver truck owned by Lake Erie Construction Company of Norwalk, Ohio, came close to an overhead electric service line crossing the road, allowing electricity to arc from the line to the truck. Meyer was working next to the truck at the time and was electrocuted when he came into contact with the truck. ... 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

Teenager’s death leads to multiple FLSA and OSHA fines for Georgia company

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and hour Division has ordered a Suwanee, Georgia-based demolition company to pay a steep penalty for violating child labor laws after a teenage employee died on the work site. The teenager, an employee of Demon Demo Inc., was working on a demolition site at Macy’s in the Gwinnett Place Mall when he fell from the third story of the building. The boy had been tossing debris off the building when he fell. The fine was the first one issued by the Wage and Hour Division under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 – ... Read More

OSHA, Congress mark Workers Memorial Day

Companies throughout the United States need to do a better job of providing safe working environments for their employees … or else. That’s the message the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is sounding this week in honor of Workers Memorial Day today. To mark the occasion, Congress will be spending the day conducting hearings on OSHA’s performance in enforcing the law. Many lawmakers in the Democrat-controlled Congress think that OSHA’s enforcement of workplace standards and regulations was too lax under the Bush Administration, allowing corporations to compromise the health and safety of its workers. Safety experts and union members ... Read More