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workplace safety 176 articles

Whistleblower Settles Retaliation Complaint With Bowling Alley

A mechanic who filed a whistleblower retaliation complaint against the Chicago-area bowling alley where he formerly worked will receive $40,000 in back wages as part of a consent judgment between the employer and federal regulators. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said the mechanic filed a whistleblower complaint alleging that Lucky Strike Entertainment LLC, a bowling center in Lombard, Illinois, terminated him in June 2015 in retaliation for voicing concerns about unsafe working conditions. Federal statutes regulating workplace safety prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who raise concerns over workplace conditions or practices that put the safety and health ... Read More

Whistleblower Fired For Contesting Asbestos Violations Awarded $173,000

Federal authorities ordered a New York demolition and construction company to pay a whistleblower it allegedly fired for reporting asbestos safety concerns more than $173,000. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said that it investigated Champagne Demolition LLC, an Albany-based company, and its owner Joseph Champagne in response to a worker’s complaint about improper asbestos removal practices at a New York school site. Although OSHA didn’t provide details about the alleged asbestos violations, companies that fail to follow specific procedures for proper removal not only endanger their workers but potentially expose others as well. On June 10, 2010, the ... Read More

Parents of Worker Killed At ExxonMobil Refinery File Lawsuit

The parents of a worker killed at the ExxonMobil refinery in Beaumont, Texas, have filed a lawsuit seeking compensation and damages from the companies whose negligence they allege caused the workplace fatality of their daughter. Yesenia Espinoza, 31, was working as a pipefitter assistant at a construction project at the ExxonMobil plant Dec. 1 when she was struck by a piece of piping and killed, according to the Beaumont Enterprise. Ms. Espinoza’s parents filed their lawsuit in Jefferson County court Dec. 4 against ExxonMobil, the construction and engineering firm Bechtel, and Echo Maintenance, the Port Arthur, Texas, company that employed ... Read More

Worker’s Deadly Fall Leads To $112K Fines for Lumber Mill

A Washington lumber mill faces $112,000 for critical safety violations following the death of a worker who fell from an improperly guarded elevated platform in April. The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) said 41-year-old Andrew Ward died on the job at Sierra Pacific Industries after a section of permanent yellow guardrail had been removed from the 17-and-a-half-foot-high platform and replaced with yellow caution tape. According to investigators, Sierra Pacific removed the section of guardrail so that a crane could better move some equipment. At some point after the guardrail was removed, Mr. Ward went to the edge of the ... Read More

Auto Auction Co. Faces Steep Safety Penalties After Deadly Crash

Federal officials have cited a Massachusetts automobile auction company with multiple safety violations and proposed more than a quarter million dollars in fines after five people were struck and killed by a runaway Jeep being exhibited at auction in May. Several others gathered for the auction were seriously injured. The citations stem from a May 3 investigation triggered by a May 1 incident involving a 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee that suddenly accelerated to about 40 mph and plowed into a crowd of people gathered inside the Lynnway Auto Auction in Billerica, Massachusetts. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said ... Read More

OSHA: Safety Failures Led to Utility Worker deaths

Failure of their employers to follow required safety measures resulted in the deaths of three utility workers in Key Largo, Florida, January 16, federal investigators said. Elway Gray, a 34-year-old pipe layer, entered the manhole first and quickly became unresponsive, EHS Today reported. Louis O’Keefe, a 49-year-old laborer, entered the hole in an attempt to retrieve Mr. Gray when he, too, became unresponsive. Robert Wilson, a 24-year-old equipment operator, entered the hole to help his coworkers. All three men died. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), atmospheric testing inside the manhole after the accident revealed lethal levels ... Read More

Worker Death at Deadly Detroit-Area Steel Plant Under Investigation

A 32-year-old worker fell to his death May 22 while working at U.S. Steel’s Great Lakes Steel mill in Ecorse, Michigan, just outside Detroit. The death was the fourth to occur at the plant in less than four years. Ecorse authorities have released little information about the worker’s death, saying only that the man fell 20 feet to his death and that city police and fire services were not called because the company keeps its own emergency personnel. The Southgate News Herald reported that Ecorse police “confirmed that a man working at U.S. Steel was killed at about 3:30 a.m. Monday ... Read More

Fatigue Now Included in National Safety Council’s List of Occupational Injury Risks

The National Safety Council’s (NSC) Injury Facts 2017 report has included a new occupational injury risk: fatigue. The impact fatigue has on workplace safety has been included in this annual report for the first time. Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) advises that including fatigue as an occupational injury risk “sheds new light on the impact of fatigue” by educating on preventable deaths. According to NSC, the reason for including fatigue in Injury Facts 2017 is “because of alarming trends” and “because of alarming data.” The information also includes expanded details such as mortality numbers based on mode of transportation, preventable deaths categorized by state, as well ... Read More

Fraser Shipyards Settles Worker-Safety Claims With OSHA

Fraser Shipyards of Superior, Wisconsin, has struck a deal with federal safety regulators in the wake of a February accident that severely burned a worker and ultimately claimed his life. The company has agreed to pay a $7,530 penalty to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for “serious” violations related to the shipyard accident but will not be subject to a finding of wrongdoing in the case, the Duluth News Tribune reported. The penalty Fraser paid was reduced from the $12,500 penalty OSHA originally proposed after a post-accident inspection. Fraser employee John Burch, 53, suffered severe burn injuries Feb. ... Read More

John Deere Pays Former Employee $275K to Settle Whistleblower Retaliation Suit

John Deere & Co. has agreed to pay a former employee $275,000 in back pay and damages after allegedly firing him in retaliation for complaining of unsafe working conditions at the company’s Moline, Illinois facility. The agreement resolves a lawsuit filed last year by the U.S. Department of Labor on behalf of a pipefitter who accused the company of firing him in 2012 in retaliation for speaking out against workplace dangers and filing a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Federal law prohibits employers from retaliating against workers who blow the whistle on safety violations in the ... Read More