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safety 1238 articles

Coal Miner Deaths Surged in 2017 After Record Lows

The number of coal miner deaths surged in 2017 after hitting record lows in 2015 and 2016. Reporting federal labor statistics, the Associated Press said that 15 coal miner deaths were recorded in 2017. Eight of those coal miner deaths occurred in West Virginia mines; two of the deaths occurred in Kentucky; and there was one coal miner death each in Alabama, Colorado, Montana, Pennsylvania and Wyoming. The spate of coal miner deaths in 2017 is seen by some safety advocates and legislators as an alarming reversal of a coal mine trend brought on by policies instituted after the deadly ... Read More

150 Train Crashes, Hundreds of Deaths Preventable With Speed Control

Railroad data obtained by the Associated Press shows that nearly 300 people have been killed and several thousand maimed in 150 U.S. train crashes that could have been prevented had rail companies installed the speed-control technology that federal safety investigators have been advocating for decades. According to the AP, National Transportation Board (NTSB) investigators first pushed for “automatic train control” in 1969, after two Penn Central commuter trains crashed into each other in Darien, Connecticut, killing four people and injuring 43. Since that crash, there have been 298 deaths, 6,763 injuries, and $385 million in property damages in train crashes ... Read More

OSHA Cites Tampa Electric After Deadly Release of Molten Slag

Federal authorities have cited Tampa Electric Co. and Gaffin Industrial Services Inc. after a workplace accident involving a release of molten slag fatally injured five workers and left another with severe burn injuries. The deadly workplace accident occurred on Thursday, June 29, at Tampa Electric’s Big Bend River Station in Apollo Beach when the workers were performing routine maintenance on a slag tank, which holds molten coal waste after it’s burned. Slag is a lava-like substance that forms when burning coal is mixed with water. “We had employees that were working to unplug a blockage in that tank,” Tampa Electric President ... Read More

Amtrak Sped Excessively Before Deadly Washington Derailment

The Amtrak train that derailed south of Tacoma, Washington, Monday morning, killing three people and injuring dozens of others, was traveling nearly three times the speed limit, federal investigators said. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said that Amtrak’s Cascade Train 501 was speeding at 80 mph in a 30 mph zone as it entered an overpass in DuPont, where all but one of the train’s 14 cars careened off the tracks. At a news conference late Monday, NTSB board member Bella Dinh-Zarr said that investigators had retrieved the train’s event data recorder from the rear locomotive and are using ... Read More

Operator of Drone That Hit Army Helicopter Unaware of Flying Rules

The operator of a drone that collided with a U.S. Army helicopter in September was intentionally flying the drone out of visual range and did not have adequate knowledge of safe drone operating practices and regulations, federal investigators said. The incident occurred near Hoffman Island, New York, just east of Staten Island, on Sept. 21 when a DJI Phantom 4 drone and a U.S. Army Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter collided at an altitude of about 300 feet, said the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which investigated the accident. The helicopter landed safely but sustained significant damage. The drone was ... Read More

Biloxi Construction Worker Dies in Likely Electrocution Accident

Police in Hattiesburg, Mississippi are investigating a construction worker’s possible electrocution death at a shopping complex under construction in the city. According to the Hattiesburg American, Forest County Coroner Lisa Klem identified the construction worker as Paul Anthony Lawnicki of Biloxi. Jackson, Mississippi’s WHLT says that Mr. Lawnicki was 45 years old. The apparent accident occurred about 9:00 Friday morning at The District at Midtown. Emergency workers arrived at the work site in the 2900 block of Hardy Street to find Mr. Lawnicki in a crane that had made contact with a power line. He was declared dead at the ... Read More

OSHA Fines Alabama Dealership After Deadly Flash Fire

Federal authorities cited a Jasper, Alabama, car dealership for willful and serious workplace safety violations after a flash fire broke out in its facility in June 2017, killing three employees and leaving a fourth with critical burn injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said that employees of Carl Cannon Chevrolet Buick GMC dealership were using a flammable brake wash to scrub the floor of the service pit. A flame or other heat source met the floor, erupting in a massive flash fire that instantly consumed the service facility. The flash fire fatally burned three workers, Jake Jennings, Javan Robinson ... Read More

Holiday Laser Light Displays Can Endanger Aircraft, FAA Warns

Laser light displays can illuminate your house with holiday spirit, but these increasingly popular decorative light shows have become a threat to airplane pilots, federal aviation authorities say. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is urging people who use laser light systems to light up their home for the holidays to make sure the lights are hitting the house and not shining into the sky. To the person on the ground, it may not look like laser lights go much farther than the house, but the extremely concentrated beams of light can reach miles into the sky. Each holiday season during ... Read More

Christmas Tree Fire Destroys Los Angeles Home

Two Christmas Trees go up in flames

It happens every year, often with devastating consequences: An electrical circuit overloaded with Christmas lights bursts into flames, destroying homes, holidays, and even lives. Dozens of firefighters responded to a report of a fire at a house in Westlake, California, around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night, Dec. 13. Westlake is a community just northwest of downtown Los Angeles. They arrived to find a home completely engulfed in flames and a mother and her five children without a home. According to NBC Channel 4 Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Fire Department said the fire was caused by an electrical overload from a ... Read More

Multiple Deaths, Injuries in Washington Amtrak Derailment

An Amtrak derailment in DuPont, Washington, Monday morning has resulted in multiple deaths and injuries. Authorities say at least three people are dead after part of Amtrak’s newly opened Cascades 501 line careened off an overpass near Mounts Road in Dupont and landing on the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 below. Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma is serving as the main hospital receiving casualties from the train crash, but the hospital did not disclose how many patients it has seen. A spokesman for Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia told The Seattle Times that it had received about a ... Read More