Tagged Articles

worker safety 146 articles

Record settlement reached over Massey mining deaths, criminal charges may come

Alpha Natural Resources has agreed to pay $209 million in civil fines, criminal penalties, and restitution for the role Massey Energy played in the April 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine explosion that left 29 miners dead and several others injured in West Virginia. The settlement is the largest ever reached in connection with mining disaster, according to federal officials. Massey Energy, the company that owned and operated the mine when the disaster occurred, entered a downward spiral from which it couldn’t recover after the deadly blast and was acquired by its competitor Alpha Natural Resources last June. The settlement allocates ... Read More

Grocery chain incurs steep fines for multiple workplace hazards

When an employee of a grocery store in Rindge, New Hampshire, fell 11 feet to a concrete floor from a storage platform, sustaining broken bones and head trauma, instead of calling for help, store managers lifted the injured worker off the floor, put him in a wheel chair, and pushed him to the store’s receiving dock to wait for a relative to take him to the hospital. That unusually harsh disregard of federal safety standards prompted an investigation of DeMoulas Supermarkets Inc. (doing business as Market Basket) by a regional office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), whereupon ... Read More

Employers have responsibility to prevent workplace violence

Workplace violence may seem random and unpreventable compared to other sources of job injuries, but according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there is much employers can do to prevent violence from occurring at work. Employers actually have a tremendous responsibility in preventing workplace violence. U.S. labor statistics show that homicide is currently the fourth-leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the United States. Last year, 506 of the 4,547 fatal workplace injuries were homicide. Most disturbing is the fact the homicide is the leading cause of death in the workplace. The number of women killed by ... Read More

Georgia bus manufacturer will compensate worker fired for expressing safety concerns

ATLANTA, GA — A former employee of Georgia-based school bus manufacturer Blue Bird Corp. will receive $176,000 in back wages and interest after being illegally terminated for refusing to work under unsafe conditions and reporting the safety concerns to labor officials. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a Blue Bird maintenance worker was ordered to use a bucket lift truck to hang Christmas wreaths for the company. Not familiar with the operation of the bucket truck, the worker requested training in the equipment’s operation. Instead of receiving the proper training, however, a dispute erupted with company management ... Read More

Mississippi manufacturer slapped with heavy fines after worker death

ELLISVILLE, Miss. – Federal inspectors cited Howard Industries Inc. for 17 safety violations following the January death of an employee who was electrocuted while working on equipment used for testing electrical transformers. The Mississippi company develops, designs, and manufactures power transformers and employs about 170 people. In addition to its two Ellisville plants, Howard Industries has two additional plants in Mississippi and one in West Virginia. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspectors found two serious violations at the manufacturing facility that they believe contributed to the worker’s death. One violation concerned the company’s failure to have employees abide by ... Read More

Coal company sued for miners’ deaths

The widows of two men trapped and killed in a Kentucky coal mine collapse last year are suing the operator of the mine, alleging the company placed profits over people at its massive Dotiki mine in western Kentucky. According to the Associated Press, Sandy Travis of Dixon, Ken., and Melissa Carter of Hanson, Ken., filed the lawsuit in a U.S. District Court in Kentucky, seeking an undisclosed amount of compensatory damages against Webster County Coal, a subsidiary company of Oklahoma-based Alliance Resource partners. Ms. Travis also asks for $5 million in punitive damages, and Ms. Carter, who is also suing ... Read More

Brother of slain Deepwater Horizon worker stands up for worker safety

Overcome with grief at times, Christopher Jones, the brother of a BP contractor who died in the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, fought back tears as he spoke before a congressional panel, pleading with legislators to toughen worker safety laws and increase liability for companies that recklessly endanger the lives of their workers. Jones made his remarks before a House Natural Resources Committee meeting that was primarily exploring Republican criticism that the Obama administration was moving too slowly in its approval of new drilling permits after BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion, which killed 11 workers and created the worst environmental disaster ... Read More

Deadly refinery explosion earns Tesoro 44 citations and record fine

On April 2, 2010, heat exchangers at a Tesoro Petroleum refinery in Anacortes, Washington, exploded, killing two female and five male company employees.  After six months of investigations, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) announced it had issued a $2.39 million fine against Tesoro — the largest fine in the agency’s history. According to L&I, a heat exchanger at the Tesoro refinery ruptured around 12:30 a.m., releasing volatile hydrocarbon vapor, which ignited almost immediately upon its release. L&I officials said the resulting explosion was the worst industrial disaster in the 37 years that the agency has been enforcing the ... Read More

Georgia paper company fined after plant worker loses fingers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited McDuffie Box Co. Inc. of Thomson, Georgia, for a number of safety violations following a factory incident that severed the fingers of an employee. Proposed penalties total $47,550. OSHA’s investigation found that the machine involved in the amputation incident lacked the proper machine guarding required by OSHA to prevent such an accident from occurring. Investigators also found a number of other violations concerning the lack of emergency stops on the factory machines, a lack of forklift training for workers, and inoperable horns on the forklift. The fines include one for a willful ... Read More

Alabama lumber company faces steep fines after worker death

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited MDLG, doing business as Phenix Lumber Co., for 53 safety and health violations following the death of one worker and the critical injury of a second at its facility in Phenix City, Alabama. Proposed penalties total $439,400. In March, OSHA inspectors opened a follow-up joint safety and health inspection to verify abatement from a previous visit that identified failure-to-abate violations. Before OSHA could conclude its review, one worker was killed when his head was crushed between a motor being hoisted with a forklift and other equipment. Another worker was seriously injured after ... Read More