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workplace hazards 10 articles

California Bill Aims To Protect Salon Workers From Toxic Exposures

A new bill aiming to better protect beauty salon workers from the chemical hazards they routinely face is making its way through the California legislature. While beauty salons don’t normally conjure images of occupational hazards like some other occupations do, say for instance construction work or long-haul truck driving, the truth is that hairdressers, manicurists, and other salon workers face some of the biggest workplace risks with their daily exposures to toxic chemicals. Formaldehyde, a highly volatile and toxic compound that poses a substantial threat to human health, is commonly found in and released by certain hair-smoothing products used by salons, such ... Read More

Poultry Industry Conditions Dangerous and Unfair, Oxfam Report Finds

Oxfam America has released a new report exposing the extreme hazards and hardships workers in America’s poultry industry continue to endure, despite claims by several industry leaders that employees are treated fairly and that conditions are improving. According to the Oxfam report, Lives on the Line, hazardous plant conditions lead to alarmingly high rates of illness and injury. At the same time, industry practices are designed to discourage workers from reporting violations that directly affect their health and well-being and the employees are prohibited from organizing to push for better conditions and protections. “He told us ‘you shouldn’t drink so ... Read More

Alabama manufacturer gets steep OSHA fines for endangering workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Birmingham, Alabama, office has rebuked a fabrication company based in Albertville, Ala., for disregarding the health and safety of its employees by ignoring several federal safety regulations. OSHA issued 19 safety citations to FABCO Equipment Co. following an investigation at its Albertville facility. Penalties for the violations total $71,764. OSHA investigators identified the workplace hazards while conducting a follow-up investigation to one conducted in November 2009. The investigation resulted in one failure-to-abate health citation with a proposed penalty of $7,700, alleging the company failed to train employees in using and handling hazardous chemicals. OSHA ... Read More

Timely tips help promote workplace safety

It is the mission of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which is a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to provide national and world leadership to prevent work-related illness, injury, disability and death. One way the organization works to accomplish this mission is to provide a variety of timely publications that provide valuable information about workplace hazards, and guidelines to help workers stay safe. Two recent publications span a broad spectrum. The first, published in December 2010, is an Alert titled “Preventing Injuries and Deaths from Skid-Steer Loaders.” This publication is aimed ... Read More

Safety violations result in deadly explosion, $1.2 million fine

A New Hampshire gunpowder substitute manufacturer faces federal fines of $1.2 million following a deadly plant explosion in May that killed two workers who had been on the job for just a month. Officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted an investigation of Black Mag LLC’s facilities to determine the cause of the blast and found dozens of workplace safety and health violations, including failure to prohibit smoking in the facility and other basic safety and security measures. “The fines levied here pale in comparison to the value of the two lives lost,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda ... Read More

Government agencies work to combat job safety hazards behind the wheel

Earlier this month we posted on workplace safety and how most on-the-job fatalities actually occur behind the wheel. Transportation accidents accounted for 40 percent of all workplace fatalities last year, and they have been a leading cause of on-the-job deaths for the last 18 consecutive years. In an effort to address this safety problem more effectively, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has teamed up with the Department of Transportation to combat distracted driving. Distracted driving, mainly the use of cell phones while behind the wheel, has emerged as a significant safety threat in the last decade, and it’s a ... 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

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

Plant explosion earns New Hampshire manufacturers hefty OSHA fines

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited two New Hampshire companies for violating workplace safety standards after a January 23 explosion rocked a plant in Nashua. Combined penalties against the two employers — Worthen Industries Inc., a manufacturer of glues and adhesives, and S.L. Chasse Welding & Fabrication Inc., a steel erection contractor, amount to $257,500. The explosion occurred when flammable vapors ignited while S.L. Chasse workers were installing a new motor on a vessel used in Worthen’s Nashua plant. OSHA inspectors found that Worthen had not cleaned the vessel thoroughly enough to ensure the absence of flammable materials ... Read More