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workplace 156 articles

Amazon Warehouse Workers Injured In Bear Repellent Accident

Two dozen Amazon workers were taken to the hospital with respiratory injuries after a warehouse machine punctured a can of bear repellant, sending noxious fumes into a section of its Robbinsville, New Jersey facility. At least one of the injured Amazon workers in the 1.3-million-square-foot fulfillment center at the time of the incident was in critical condition. Most of those injured reported they had difficulty breathing, and burning in their eyes, throat, and chest. Someone from the New Jersey Amazon facility placed a 911 call on the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 5, reporting the incident. Emergency responders arriving at the ... Read More

Workplace Sexual Harassment Triggers Google Employees’ Protest

On Thursday, Google employees from around the world walked off the job briefly to protest the company’s alleged mishandling of sexual misconduct claims against some of its executives. The walkout was the latest protest by employees expressing frustration over the treatment of women in the workplace, specifically sexual harassment, and efforts to cover up rather than address bad behavior. Approximately 1,000 Google workers protested in San Francisco and thousands more showed up at Google’s Mountain View, California, headquarters, according to the Associated Press. Protests were also held in Tokyo, Singapore, London, New York and Seattle as engineers and other workers ... Read More

DOL Proposes Rule Allowing Teens to Operate Powered Patient Lifts

If U.S. labor officials have their way, 16- and 17-year old teenagers will soon be allowed to operate powered patient lifts in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation clinics, and other facilities. The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed rolling back youth-employment provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandating that patient power lifts be operated by employees ages 18 and older. The proposed rule, published in the Sept. 27 Federal Register, would change the FLSA’s Hazardous Occupations Orders under to exempt powered patient lifts, effectively allowing all employees to operate the devices regardless of age. Powered patient lifts are devices ... Read More

Amputation Leads To Heavy Fines For Ohio Pallet Manufacturer

A worker’s accidental finger amputation on the job has prompted federal officials to fine an Ohio pallet manufacturer nearly $200,000 for serious safety violations that contributed to the accident. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Buckeye Diamond Logistics Inc. which operates as BDL Supply, will have to pay fines of $191,794 or contest the proposed fines within 15 business days of receiving notice of the penalties. OSHA said the injured employee suffered a finger amputation while working with an electrical pallet stack machine, but didn’t offer details about how the accident occurred other than to say the ... Read More

Worker Disability, Illness An Increasingly Costly U.S. Problem

If ever there were a sound argument for strong occupational safety and health laws, better regulator funding to enforce those laws, and affordable health care for all Americans, it would be this: the simple fact that a full quarter of the U.S. population has a disability that diminishes their ability to work or deprives them of it altogether. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that one in four U.S. adults – about 61 million citizens – has a disability that impacts major life activities. Analyzing data pulled from the ... Read More

OSHA Fines Patterson-UTI for Deadly Oklahoma Gas Rig Explosion

Safety failures triggered a massive explosion at a Patterson-UTI drilling site in eastern Oklahoma earlier this year, causing five workers to die of severe burns and blast injuries. Now federal regulators have assessed penalties of more than $118,000 for UTI-Patterson and two other companies involved with the drilling site. The explosion and subsequent fire occurred Jan. 22 on a Patterson-UTI drilling rig near Quinton, Oklahoma. It was the largest and deadliest drilling blast to occur since BP’s Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. The remains of the five workers who died in the explosion were ... Read More

Worker’s Amputation Injury Leads to Heavy Fines for Delaware Manufacturer

An employee’s accidental amputation injury at a Delaware plastic products and services company has triggered more than $146,000 in proposed federal fines for multiple safety and health violations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said that it sent inspectors to New Castle, Delaware-based Fibre Specialty Company Inc. in December 2019 after an employee of the plant suffered from an amputation injury while operating an improperly guarded machine. According to OSHA, a punch press the worker was using wasn’t adequately guarded to prevent amputations and other injuries from accidentally occurring during use. The machine severed three of the worker’s fingers. ... Read More

Two Workers Die From Burn Injuries After Kansas Plant Blast

Two workers of a Kansas power plant who suffered severe burn injuries on the job Sunday morning, June 3, have died. According to KSNT News of Topeka, Kansas, the deadly accident occurred at the Jeffrey Energy Center located in St. Mary’s, about 40 miles northwest of Topeka. The two plant workers were identified as operations supervisor Craig Burchett, of Overlook, Kansas, and Jesse Henson of Manhattan, Kansas. The men were critically injured when a steam safety valve on a piece of equipment failed, filling the area they were in with pressurized steam and leaving them with fatal burn injuries, The ... Read More

Whistleblower will be compensated by roofing contractor for Wrongful Termination

A whistleblower who lost his job with a Georgia roofing contractor because he cooperated with federal safety authorities investigating the company will receive back wages and other compensation. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) filed a lawsuit against Jasper Contractors Inc. of Kennesaw, Georgia on behalf of a former safety director who claimed he was fired after he cooperated with an OSHA investigation by providing the agency with a statement and safety documentation. The federal agency was investigating safety-related issues concerning work the company was performing in Florida. OSHA alleged the roofing company violated the whistleblower or anti-retaliation ... Read More

Accidental Amputation Leaves Deputy Sheriff Without Trigger Finger

A Michigan Sheriff Deputy suffered an accidental finger amputation and extensive damage to his hand while investigating a fire scene in Oakland County, Michigan. Detroit’s Fox 2 News reports that Deputy Tom Kangas, who works on arson investigations as a canine handler, got his right hand caught in the teeth of the grapple bucket on an excavator. The steel teeth clamped shut on his hand and mangled it. A GoFundMe fundraiser for Deputy Kangas describes the accident and amputation as “catastrophic” because it greatly affects his ability to perform his job. Surgeons tried to save the trigger finger on Deputy ... Read More