Tagged Articles

on-the-job deaths 52 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

Long hours, fatigue made deadly Arizona fuel truck crash inevitable, whistleblower says

Arizona officials investigating the deadly August 1 crash of an asphalt oil truck in North Phoenix said that driver fatigue was to blame, and a whistleblower has bolstered those findings with claims that Cactus Transport forces its drivers to work dangerously long driving shifts without a break. Witnesses told investigators that they noticed the oil tanker swerving in the southbound lanes on Interstate 17 just before 5 a.m. The truck then ran onto the median, struck a sign post, and rolled over. The driver of the truck was killed. No other vehicles were involved, but the crash ruptured the tank ... Read More

Feds side with Oregon truck driver whistleblower, order reinstatement and back pay

An Oregon truck driver who filed a whistleblower complaint against her employer alleging she was fired for refusing to drive an unsafe truck will receive back wages and compensation for legal fees in addition to being reinstated to her job, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced. After completing an investigation of the complaint, OSHA ordered Terry Unrein, an independent trucking contractor based in Gresham, Ore., to reinstate the driver, who was fired in late 2011 after she refused to drive a five-ton truck with inadequate tire tread on public highways. According to OSHA, Terry Unrein fired the driver ... Read More

Federal agencies partner up to improve whistleblower protections for commercial drivers

Better oversight of whistleblower protections afforded by the federal Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) is the aim of a memorandum of understanding signed by leaders of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The joint effort will strengthen coordination and cooperation between the two agencies, resulting in better anti-retaliation protections for employees of the commercial truck and bus industries. According to OSHA, the memorandum “allows for the exchange of safety, coercion and retaliation allegations when received by one agency, that fall under the authority of the other.” The STAA shields drivers and ... Read More

Company ordered to reinstate, compensate truck drivers it fired for voicing safety concerns

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has ordered Pontiac, Mich.-based Asphalt Specialists Inc. to pay $1 million in back wages and damages and reinstate a foreman and two truck drivers who were fired after voicing safety concerns. According to OSHA, Asphalt Specialists fired the foreman on June 30, 2012, after he repeatedly raised concerns to the company’s co-owner about being forced to exceed hours-of-service (HOS) rules, which regulate commercial drivers’ periods of work and rest and are intended to mitigate driver fatigue. Company managers “repeatedly failed to allow for the 10-hour rest period mandated by the Department of Transportation,” ... Read More

Deadly Mississippi ambulance crash underscores dangers for emergency workers

Police investigating a deadly collision between an ambulance and a tractor trailer June 24 in southeastern Mississippi say the crash occurred when the emergency vehicle attempted to pass two 18-wheelers. The crash killed the two-man ambulance crew at the scene. According to Mississippi Highway Patrol officials, an ASAP ambulance traveling north on Highway 63 in Greene County while responding to an emergency call came up behind two semi trucks. The ambulance crew had activated the vehicle’s red lights but had not initialized the siren when they attempted to pass the trucks on the left. The ambulance cleared the first truck ... 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