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Archive for May, 2010

Muellwer Industries Fined $70K by OSHA Includes Electrical Maintenance Fines

WYNNE, ARKANSAS – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Mueller Copper Tube Products, a subsidiary of Mueller Industries Inc. in Wynne, Ark., with safety and health violations following an inspection at the company’s worksite on North Falls Boulevard.

The privately held corporation, headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., owns and operates 20 facilities located in eight states and two foreign countries. Proposed penalties total $70,675.

OSHA’s Little Rock office began its investigation on Jan. 27.

The plant was cited for four serious violations including failing to provide chains on platforms to protect workers from falling, to ensure workers were knowledgeable about the proper use of compressed air, and to repair or maintain electrical conduits.

Two repeat safety violations were issued for failing to provide machine guarding and to ensure shafts were adequately guarded. The serious and repeat safety violation penalties total $48,500.

The health inspection portion brought seven serious, one repeat and one other-than-serious violation with proposed penalties totaling $22,175.

Serious violations include failing to provide monitoring of noise levels, to ground and bond flammable and combustible liquids during transfer and to provide personal protective equipment.

The repeat violation was issued for failing to properly label containers.

Mueller Copper Tube Products employs about 2,000 workers in Arkansas, California, Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Canada and England — about 372 of whom are located at the Wynne facility.

In January, OSHA issued three Mueller Industries Inc. subsidiaries in Fulton, Miss., with 128 citations for exposing workers to safety and health hazards.

The citations resulted from an investigation in July 2009 after a maintenance worker employed by Mueller Copper Tube Co. was killed and two other workers were injured when naphtha, a flammable liquid of hydrocarbon mixtures, leaked from an electric pump and ignited.

The penalties total $683,000, and the company has contested the citations and penalties.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of these latest citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in Little Rock, Ark., or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Categories: Industrial, Legal Tags: , , , ,

Milk Specialties to Pay $535K in OSHA Fines Including Hazardous Energy Requirments

WHITEHALL, WISCONSIN – 

Milk Specialties Co. in Whitehall has agreed to pay $535,000 in penalties as part of a legal settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration after being cited with willful, repeat and serious violations concerning combustible dust hazards, untrained employees working in potentially dangerous areas and a lack of proper permits for working in confined spaces.

“We are pleased that Milk Specialties Co. has recognized and agreed to abate the health and safety violations addressed in the settlement,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. “Our number one concern is to ensure the safety and welfare of all workers. With this agreement, I am confident the company is moving in the right direction.”

OSHA began a December 2008 inspection in response to a complaint alleging a variety of safety hazards at the company’s whey processing plant. Willful citations were issued for the employer’s failure to comply with OSHA’s confined space entry and control of hazardous energy requirements. Untrained employees entered confined spaces and performed maintenance and cleaning on powered equipment without protection from various hazards. Penalties for the nine willful violations total $504,000. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirement, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Seventeen serious citations, with penalties totaling $21,855, address combustible dust and electrical hazards; lack of exit route lighting and signage; lack of confined space evaluations; uninspected fire extinguishers; and untrained and uncertified powered industrial truck operators, among other issues.

An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists. Four repeat violations with penalties totaling $9,145 address the guarding of floor and wall openings, ladders and respiratory protection, and other issues addressed in previous inspections of this company.

Milk Specialties has been inspected by OSHA 15 times since 1974, including four inspections in Wisconsin between 2006 and 2008, with citations resulting from many of the same safety and health hazards cited in the most recent inspection.

The company engages in the research, development and manufacture of protein and fat products for nutritional applications and feeding regimes that include products such as pasteurized milk extenders, spray-dried protein encapsulated fats, dried whey permeates, and condensed whey and liquid whey products.

Story Via CCH.com

Categories: Industrial, Legal Tags: , , ,

PA Workers Injured in Electrical Accident when Boom Hits Power Line

SOUTH MIDDKETON TOWNSHIP, PENNSYLVANIA – Two workers injured in an electrical accident on a farm in South Middleton Township, Cumberland County, were flown to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center just after noon today.

Tim Yingst, chief of Citizens Fire Company of Mount Holly Springs, said the two were injured around 11:30 a.m. while delivering cattle feed to a farm in the 800 block of Petersburg Road. A boom of their truck, owned by Good Transportation Services Inc of Columbia, Lancaster County, hit a high-voltage electrical cable, Yingst said. He said he didn’t know the names of the accident victims.

Story Via PennLive.com

53,000 Electrical Home Fire Accidents Occur Each Year in US

In this blog, we do not typically report the numerous electrical fires that happen each day in the US, however the following information is a useful summary and reminder of the severage damage to property and life that electrical accidents cause.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International reports that “Thousands of people in the United States are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires and accidents in their own homes each year. An average of 53,000 electrical home structure fires occur each year, claiming more than 450 lives, injuring more than 1,400 people, and causing more than $1.4 billion in property damage”

Categories: Electrical Fire, Home Tags: ,

TN Man Loses Both Hands and Part of Arms in Electrical Accident

Story Via Tippah360.c0m

Scottish Man Killed When Polytunnels Contact Overhead Wire

BLAIRGOWRIE, SCOTLAND – A fruit picker told yesterday of his fight to save his brother who had been electrocuted by an 11,000 volt overhead power line.

Lucas Faltynowski, 24, spent 45 minutes giving older brother Gerard, 26, heart massage.

Gerard was electrocuted when polytunnels he was carrying hit lines six metres above the ground.

Lucas, of Arbroath, told a fatal electrical accident inquiry at Perth Sheriff Court he heard an “electrical noise” and rushed to help.

Other workers at Mains of Rattray Farm in nearby Blairgowrie spoke of a “blue flash”.

Dundee University pathologist Dr David Sadler said Gerard’s hands and toes were blistered and the shock ripped his socks and shoes.

Scottish and Southern Energy linesman Russell Airth, 56, said he warned the farm’s workers a fortnight before the accident to carry the polytunnels horizontally.

The farm’s owner Peter Thomson and his firm Thomas Thomson Ltd were fined more than £10,000 over Gerard’s death, which happened in July 2006.

Story Via Daily Record

Canadian Man Killed in Electrical Accident When Boom Contacts Power Line

LYNDHURST, ONTARIO CANADA – An excavating company has been issued a series of orders following a fatal workplace accident in Lyndhurst, Ontario.

On the afternoon of May 18, an employee of Brockville, Ontario-based Ken Miller Excavating was assisting boom trucks that were delivering concrete sections for storm sewers when the accident occurred, says Ministry of Labour (MoL) spokesman Bruce Skeaff. “The boom of one of the trucks came into contact with overhead live wires and this worker was electrocuted,” Skeaff says. “The circumstances of how this transpired, we don’t know, and that’s what we’re investigating.”

The worker, Jamie Lascelle, was taken to Kingston General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Skeaff says that Ken Miller Excavating was issued a series of orders requiring the company to provide documents related to: its health and safety policy and program, procedures specific to work in close proximity to electrical conductors, its emergency plan, safety training of workers and workplace safety procedures. A stop work order was also issued on a piece of equipment, a 10-tonne off-loader, and the machine is to be inspected to determine whether it can handle its rated capacity, Skeaff confirms.

The MoL also issued three orders to another company, Kingston-based Anchor Concrete Products Ltd, requiring documents related to training and its health and safety policy and program. Furthermore, both Ken Miller Excavating and Anchor Concrete Products were ordered to provide a written report of the circumstances of the occurrence to the ministry and any applicable union by May 20.

Neither company could be reached for comment by press time.

The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) in Mississauga, Ontario says that fatal accidents involving equipment contacting overhead power lines is not uncommon in the province. “Fatalities involving power lines account for 50 per cent of all electrocutions in Ontario in the past eight years,” the safety authority says in safety alert issued last May.

Story Via OHS Canada