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worker safety 146 articles

Burning Death of Pipefitter Leads to Safety Fines For Refinery, Welding Contractor

Federal safety regulators said critical safety violations led to the gruesome death of a 38-year-old pipefitter in South Dakota who suffered fatal burn injuries after ethanol spilled from a process pipe he was working on and became ignited by flames from nearby welding operations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said it cited two companies for safety violations following the worker’s death after an investigation turned up multiple violations. Bilfinger-Westcon, the worker’s employer and project construction contractor, faces $62,355 in penalties for five serious violations. Refinery owner and operator Sioux River Ethanol LLC, operating as Poet Biorefining-Hudson, faces $37,413 ... Read More

OSHA Finds ‘Astounding’ Number of Safety Violations At Texas Filter Factory

Federal authorities were inspecting the circumstances the led to an employee of Texas manufacturer PECOFacet being seriously injured in May when they found themselves investigating another accident that left a worker with debilitating injuries just three days into the initial investigation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said that on May 3 it was investigating the finger amputation of a worker in training at the PECOFacet plant in Mineral Springs, Texas, to determine how part of a metal plate being fabricated fell onto the newly hired worker’s hand. In the course of that investigation, on May 6, a 1,300-pound ... Read More

Ohio Truck Trailer Liner Factory Penalized For Amputation Risks

For at least two years, an Ohio manufacturer of thermoplastic lining systems for truck bodies and trailers exposed workers to the risk of amputation and other serious injuries by disabling safety devices to speed production. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said it inspected the Pataskala, Ohio-based Ridge Corporation’s Frazeyburg, Ohio, manufacturing facility in October. During the inspection, OSHA officials found that Ridge sacrificed worker safety for faster production by disabling the light curtain safety mechanisms that stop machinery and prevent workers’ hands from coming in contact with the machine’s moving parts. “OSHA’s investigation found the company’s leadership ... Read More

Colonial Pipeline Explosion Kills One, Severely Burns Several Others In Alabama

One worker is dead and at least five others were severely burned when Colonial Pipeline’s major gasoline conduit exploded Monday afternoon in Shelby County, Ala., about five miles from where a break in the same pipeline triggered a short-lived fuel crisis in the South. Colonial Pipeline said that a crew working for contractor L.E. Bell Construction company were to drain a stretch of the 36-inch pipeline of gasoline. Around 2 p.m., a trackhoe used for digging earth hit the pipeline and triggered the explosion, creating a giant plume of fire and black smoke visible for miles. Shelby County Sheriff John ... Read More

Hyundai Supplier To Reinstate, Compensate Whistleblower Who Raised Safety Concerns

A Selma, Ala., plant that manufactures seats for Hyundai vehicles has agreed to drop its lawsuit against a former employee, reinstate her, and compensate other workers suspended during a dispute over health and safety conditions in the plant. The U.S. Labor Department said Tuesday that it reached a deal with the Renosol Seating, a unit of Lear Corp., and filed a joint motion asking the court to drop the Labor Department’s federal lawsuit against the manufacturer and three of its managers. Federal authorities alleged that the company retaliated against plant employees who complained that chemicals used in the production process ... Read More

OSHA hits Ohio Auto Supplier demonstrating ‘total disregard for its workers’ with Near-Record Penalty

An Ohio-based auto parts manufacturer with “an extensive history of federal safety violations dating back 20 years” has been hit with one of the highest-ever regulatory penalties for its systemic noncompliance with U.S. safety laws that endangers its workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said Wednesday that it proposed Sunfield Inc. pay more than $3.42 million in penalties for 57 violations that included its failure to depower machinery before maintenance and servicing and failure to train workers using dangerous machine presses. OSHA said the fines it assessed against the Hebron, Ohio, auto supplier, which makes parts for several ... Read More

OSHA’s Heat Illness Safety Campaign Focuses On Southern States

In 2014, 2,630 U.S. workers suffered from heat illness and 18 died from heat stroke and other heat-related related causes on the job. With 2016 set to be even hotter across much of the nation than 2014, federal safety regulators are holding heat illness awareness and training events across the Southeastern states. From June 27 to July 1, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) worked with employers and trade associations to conduct a one-hour “Safety Stand-Down” at construction sites and other workplaces in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. During these Safety Stand Downs, workers ... Read More

N.Y. Rail Car Plant Employees Exposed To Dangerous Toxin Levels, OSHA Finds

Workers at an Upstate New York railway manufacturing and repair facility have been exposed to impermissible and dangerous levels of cancer-causing substances, including cadmium, lead, nickel, and silica, federal safety regulators warned. New York City-based Alstom Transportation Inc., a subsidiary of Alstom SA of France, was hit with 17 serious violations after Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials investigated the company’s Hornell, N.Y., facilities in response to a worker complaint. The company develops and manufactures railway equipment and systems and operates the largest passenger rail manufacturing facility in North America. Alstom makes more than 8,000 new or refurbished rail ... Read More

OSHA Steps Up Fight Against Whistleblower Retaliation With New Pilot Program

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a test run for its first severe violator enforcement program for employers that continually and willfully disregard the rights of whistleblowers. OSHA’s Whistleblower-Severe Violator Enforcement Program (W-SVEP) will be modeled after a similar program that has been in use for years – the Severe Violator Program, which helps regulators deal with employers that routinely ignore federal workplace safety and health regulations and protects workers by bringing workplaces up to code. OSHA’s Whistleblower-Severe Violator Enforcement Program became effective May 27, 2016, in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and companies under federal enforcement in Iowa. The new ... Read More

Pennsylvania Flavor Maker Fined After Chemical Release Injures Workers

A Pennsylvania flavor and fragrance manufacturer has drawn federal scrutiny after a number of plant employees suffered from respiratory injuries and distress after inhaling an unknown chemical odor. The workplace accident occurred at an Ungerer & Company production facility in Bethlehem, Penn., in January, triggering an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Although OSHA’s investigation failed to identify the source of the chemical release, agency officials uncovered numerous safety violations that put workers at risk of illness, injury, and even death. On May 25, OSHA cited the Ungerer & Company for eight violations, including six serious violations. ... Read More