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worker safety 146 articles

Miami company willfully overexposed its workers to toxic levels of lead

Miami, Florida company E.N. Range Inc. has been slapped with more than $2 million in penalties for willfully exposing its employees to lead and for other violations that seriously threaten the health and safety of company workers. Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors found that the company knowingly neglected to protect its employees, who clean gun ranges, from dangerous overexposure to lead. The company also dispensed non-FDA-approved treatments for lead exposure to the employees without the proper medical supervision. OSHA cited E.N. Range with more than 50 violations with penalties totaling $2,099,600. Lead is a dangerous neurotoxin that can impair ... Read More

OSHA fines Sea World for safety violations after orca trainer’s death

SeaWorld has been hit with a $75,000 fine by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for three safety violations following the death of one of its senior trainers in February. One of the violations is classified as willful – OSHA’s most serious civil penalty. “SeaWorld recognized the inherent risk of allowing trainers to interact with potentially dangerous animals,” said Cindy Coe, OSHA’s regional administrator in Atlanta, Ga. “Nonetheless, it required its employees to work within the pool walls, on ledges, and on shelves where they were subject to dangerous behavior by the animals.” On Feb. 24, a six-ton orca named ... Read More

BP agrees to pay record OSHA fines for Texas City refinery explosions

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced that BP Products North America Inc. will pay a  record $50.6 million penalty for violations that caused the 2005 explosion at its Texas City, Texas, refinery. The blast killed 15 workers and injured 170 others. The agreement resolves failure-to-abate citations OSHA levied for problems found in a follow-up investigation last year. In addition to paying the record fine, BP has agreed to take immediate steps to protect workers currently employed at the Texas City refinery, allocating a minimum of $500 million to that effort. “This agreement achieves our goal of protecting workers at ... Read More

Companies involved in Connecticut gas explosion fined $16.6 million

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says the February 7 natural gas explosion at a Kleen Energy power plant construction site in Middletown, Connecticut that killed 6 workers and injured 50 others was the result of safety standards and regulations being “blatantly disregarded” by those in charge. OSHA cited three companies and 14 site contractors involved in the explosion with 371 workplace violations and proposed $16.6 million in penalties following an investigation into the causes of the deadly explosion. In connection with the explosion, OSHA cited O&G Industries Inc., the project’s general contractor; Keystone Construction and Maintenance Inc., which was ... Read More

New crane safety regulations take effect this fall

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced new rule today addressing the use of cranes and derricks in construction, replacing a decades-old standard that left construction sites throughout the country tragically unsafe. According to the Labor Department, crane and derrick accidents kill 100 people on average every year in the U.S. A single crane collapse on East 51st in Manhattan left seven people dead two years ago. Later that same year, another crane fell into an apartment building in New York’s Upper East Side, killing two workers and injuring others. The new rule published today is designed to prevent the ... Read More

DuPont receives multiple OSHA penalties after fatal gas leak

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited DuPont $43,000 for subjecting its employees to toxic chemicals after a fatal workplace incident in January at the company’s Belle, West Virginia, plant. OSHA launched its investigation in January after a plant worker was exposed to fatal levels of phosgene, a colorless gas that was used as a chemical weapon in World War I. OSHA’s investigation subsequently expanded to two additional chemical releases that occurred at the same plant involving oleum, a sulfuric acid solution, and hexazinone, a potent herbicide. Last year, OSHA launched its National Emphasis Program (“NEP”) for chemical ... Read More

BP received back-to-back record OSHA fines before Gulf oil spill

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration hit BP Products North America Inc. with nearly $90 million in penalties less than nine months ago for the company’s failure to correct an array of safety violations that threatened the lives and health of its workers. The fine, which OSHA announced on October 30 of last year, was the largest in the agency’s history. According to OSHA’s website, prior to the $87,430,000 fine, the largest penalty issued by the agency was $21 million. That fine, issued in 2005, was also levied against BP. OSHA issued the fine for safety violations found at BP’s ... Read More

Sugar company to pay $6 million in penalties after deadly plant blast

A Georgia sugar company will pay more than $6 million in penalties for the February 2008 explosion at its Port Wentworth, Georgia, plant and subsequent health and safety violations discovered at the company’s other facility in Gramercy, Louisiana. The explosion at Imperial Sugar Co. claimed the lives of 14 workers and seriously injured dozens of others. The company reached an agreement with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after months of litigation following the accident. Imperial Sugar will pay $4,050,000 in penalties for 124 violations found at its Port Wentworth plant after the explosion, plus an additional $2 million for the ... 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