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workplace safety 176 articles

Whistleblower Sues Oregon DMV, Alleging Retaliation Over Sexual Harassment Complaints

A Salem, Oregon woman has filed a whistleblower complaint against the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles, accusing the agency of retaliating against her for reporting sexual harassment in the workplace. The whistleblower complaint was filed in Marion County Circuit Court Nov. 8 by a woman who worked for the Oregon DMV as a document specialist. The plaintiff’s position was a temporary one, but she was interviewing last year for a permanent position as office specialist within the DMV. It was on Dec. 8, after her second interview, that she says her troubles at the DMV began. According to the Salem ... Read More

Panda Express Worker Suffers Burn Injuries in Kitchen Explosion

A worker suffered burn injuries in a suspected gas explosion in the kitchen of a Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Panda Express restaurant Nov. 5. Hawaii Fire Department Battalion Chief John Whitman told West Hawaii Today that the injured worker was taken to Kona Community Hospital for treatment of her burn injuries. A second person was also injured in the explosion, but the nature and extent of the injuries is unclear. The injured Panda Express worker told responders that she smelled gas after a rice cooker dropped on the floor in the kitchen area of the restaurant. When she bent down to pick ... Read More

Jacobs Engineering Failed to Protect Coal Ash Cleanup Workers, Jury Finds

Jacobs Engineering, the government contractor hired to clean up and remediate the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) disastrous 2008 coal ash spill, failed to protect its workers from the slew of toxins in the sludgy waste, a federal jury has found. The Dallas-based global contractor employed hundreds of construction workers to clean TVA’s coal ash spill, which occurred when the company’s retaining ponds and facilities in Kingston, Tennessee failed. The resulting food of coal ash sludge – the byproduct of coal burning to generate electricity – knocked houses from their foundations, contaminated two rivers, and covered hundreds of acres of land ... Read More

Widow Sues Honeywell Over Husband’s Gas Explosion Death

The widow of a utility worker who was killed in a July 2017 gas explosion in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Honeywell International and other defendants, alleging their errors claimed the life of her husband. Richard Bouder, 54, was part of a three-worker UGI crew responding to reports of a gas odor at a house in Manor Township when a gas explosion leveled the house and rocked the surrounding neighborhood. Mr. Bouder was killed in the blast and the other two workers were seriously injured. Kim Bouder’s complaint, filed in Philadelphia County Court, includes claims ... Read More

NY Helicopter Crash Kills Two Workers, Injures Two

Federal investigators are looking into a helicopter crash that killed two utility workers and injured two others in upstate New York last week during a routine inspection. The helicopter crash occurred Tuesday, Oct. 27 in Beekmantown, New York, just a few miles south of the Canadian border while a crew working for Northline Utilities was conducting an aerial inspection of power lines in the area. According to CBS News, the Aerospatiale AS355F2 helicopter became caught in some power lines about 40 feet above the ground, triggering electrical shorts and explosions. All four men jumped from the burning helicopter, plunging about ... Read More

Toxic Lead Exposure blamed for Sickening Georgia Battery Plant Worker

Federal authorities are investigating a Georgia-based lead battery manufacturer after a woman complained that her husband is being exposed to dangerously high lead levels on the job. Lakecia Demmons told Augusta, Georgia’s WRDW Channel 12 that blood tests showed her husband Timothy Demmons has levels of lead in his system that are considered toxic by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Mrs. Demmons told Channel 12’s I-Team that her husband works at the U.S. Battery plant in Augusta, where he routinely lifts and stacks pieces of lead on his work release from prison. OSHA confirms it is investigating ... Read More

Worker Suffers Arm Amputation at Pennsylvania Toy Factory

Workplace amputation accidents continue to leave U.S. workers with debilitating, lifelong injuries that can adversely impact their ability to work and earn an income, despite federal and state efforts to raise awareness among employers about the work-related hazards that cause these crippling injuries. One of the latest examples of an on-the-job amputation accident occurred at an Elysburg, Pennsylvania toy manufacturing facility when a worker cleaning a machine suffered an arm amputation. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an employee of The Toy Factory became stuck in a machine when the amputation occurred. Although OSHA doesn’t elaborate ... Read More

Fryer Explosion in Maine Restaurant Leaves Workers With Burn Injuries

Two workers suffered serious burn injuries when a propane-powered deep fryer exploded in the kitchen of a popular southern Maine restaurant Oct. 11. The accident occurred just before 11 a.m. in the kitchen of Rick’s All Seasons Restaurant in York, Maine, when the fryolator suddenly burst into “a ball of fire,” according to Seacoast Online. A sprinkler system quickly put out the fire, but the explosion and hot oil left employees BreeAnne McDowell and Marianne Porter with serious burn injuries. According to Seacoast Online and the Bangor Daily News, York Village Fire Department Chief Chris Balentine said one of the employees ... Read More

California’s Lax Lead-Poisoning Laws Leave Workers Unprotected

California’s lack of a lead-poisoning benchmark for workers and the reluctance of state agencies to adopt tougher rules governing lead exposure in the workplace have become a serious occupational hazard, the Los Angeles Times reports. Unlike the majority of other states, California hasn’t adopted the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) standard for lead, which sets a “red line” of 25 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood. Under the standard, any reading above that level automatically triggers an OSHA inspection of the workplace. California, however, lacks a lead-poisoning benchmark that would prompt an inspection by the California Division ... Read More

Needlestick Injury a Growing Occupational Hazard for Waste Workers

Needlestick injuries among workers in the waste and recycling industries are a serious workplace hazard, with an estimated 2.7 incidents per 100 workers occurring, a new report from the Environmental Research and Education Foundation (EREF) and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA). The waste workers most at risk of being affected by a needlestick injury are workers in material recovery facilities, especially line workers who sort solid waste for recycling. Researchers analyzed 2016 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and found the injury rate at material recovery facilities, including injuries that didn’t involve needlesticks, was 6 per 100 ... Read More