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Archive for April, 2013

NE: Nebraska Beef Fined $61,084: Electrical Safety

OMAHA, Neb. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Nebraska Beef Ltd. with eight safety violations, including one repeat, for failing to guard open stairs and platforms to prevent a fall hazard at its Omaha beef processing plant. Proposed penalties of $61,084 resulted from the November local emphasis program inspection for high-hazard general industry establishments, as identified by injury and illness rates in Nebraska.

“Nebraska Beef has a responsibility to recognize the hazards that exist in the workplace and to install barriers, signage and make appropriate repairs to ensure a safe working environment,” said Bonita Winingham, OSHA’s area director in Omaha. “Employers who are cited for repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to employee safety and health.”

The repeat violation was cited for failing to provide standard railings and toe boards on open-sided floors and platforms 4 feet or above an adjacent floor or ground level. This violation was noted on a crossover platform in the scale room. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. A similar violation was cited in 2011.

Seven serious violations were cited for failing to post warning signs indicating permit required confined spaces, use lockout/tagout devices for purposes other than controlling energy sources, and provide an eyewash station and a clear path to safety showers for employees exposed to corrosive chemicals, such as bleach, and properly adjust machine guarding. Three of the violations involve electrical safety standards, including operating machinery with visible electrical hazards, such as broken wires and damaged junction boxes, and failing to cover outlet boxes and use permanent wiring instead of flexible electrical cords. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Nebraska Beef has been inspected 12 times since 1998, resulting in several citations for violations, such as lack of fall protection, inadequate machine guarding and electrical safety hazards. The company has 15 days from receipt of the citation and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Story via osha.gov

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NE: Darling International Fined $91,300; Electrical Hazards

LEXINGTON, NE:  The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Darling International Inc., which operates as DarPro in Lexington, with six safety violations, including one repeat, for failing to properly adjust or provide adequate machine guarding at its food byproducts processing facility. Proposed penalties of $91,300 resulted from the January local emphasis program inspection for high-hazard general industry establishments, as identified by injury and illness rates in Nebraska.

“DarPro has a responsibility to recognize the hazards that exist in the workplace and ensure equipment is properly adjusted and maintained,” said Bonita Winingham, OSHA’s area director in Omaha. “Employers who are cited for repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to employee safety and health.”

The repeat violation was issued for failing to properly adjust work rest and tongue guards on grinding machinery in the company’s maintenance shop. Improperly adjusted guards can expose workers to amputations and other hazards. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. A similar violation was cited in 2010 at the Atlantic, Mo., facility.

A total of four serious violations were cited, including failing to maintain bench grinders and improper storage of oxygen cylinders. The other two involve electrical safe work practices, including improperly marked circuit breakers and not effectively closing unused openings in electrical boxes. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

One other-than-serious citation was issued for failing to mark storage areas with approved load capacity limits. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

Darling International, headquartered in Irving, Texas, recycles used restaurant cooking oil and byproducts from the beef, pork and poultry processing industries into usable products.

Inspected by OSHA 22 times at various sites since 2005, Darling International has received several citations for violations, such as lack of fall protection, inadequate machine guarding and electrical safety hazards. The company has 15 days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Omaha Area Office at 402-553-0171.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

Story via osha.gov

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NJ: Brite Services fined $164,700; Electrical Hazards

PATERSON, N.J. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Brite Services Inc., doing business as Star Laundry, for 39 serious safety and health violations found at its commercial laundry facility in Paterson. Inspectors were prompted by a complaint alleging the company would not allow workers to leave the building during an emergency. Proposed penalties total $164,700.

OSHA found electrical hazards and an obstructed and improperly marked exit route. Additional violations include: allowing employees to potentially be struck by traffic while transporting laundry bins from one building to another while crossing a public street; failing to provide a cover and guardrails for open pits; provide a handrail for the stairway; evaluate the workplace for permit-required confined spaces; post signs informing workers of confined spaces; and develop a written confined space permit program. Other violations include failing to establish an energy control program for performing maintenance/servicing work; train power industrial truck operators; take powered industrial trucks in need of repair out-of-service; insulate or cover steam pipes less than 7 feet from the floor; properly guard machines; implement a hearing conservation program for workers exposed to noise levels at 88 and 89 decibels; ensure safety goggle usage; provide an unblocked eyewash station; develop a written hazard communication program; and provide hazard communication training.

“The vast number and range of safety and health hazards observed by OSHA at this facility indicates the lack of a functioning safety and health management system,” said Lisa Levy, director of OSHA’s area office in Hasbrouck Heights. “Each employer is responsible for ensuring a safe and healthful work environment, which Brite Services did not do. This company has the opportunity now to educate itself, correct these hazards and protect its workers.”

The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/briteservices_641138and658718_0314_13.pdf*.

Brite Services Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Hasbrouck Heights, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Hasbrouck Heights Area Office at 201-288-1700.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

Story via osha.gov

Visit Martin Technical for Electrical Safety Audit Services:

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OR: $30K in Damages from Electrical Fire

Portland, OR: A 40-year old business is recovering after a fire dealt $30,000 worth of damage Monday afternoon. Lt Rich Chatman with Portland Fire says a faulty electrical system is to blame.

“Each year in the U.S. electrical problems cause 68,000 home fires and 500 deaths. Homes more than 40 years old are three times more likely to have an electrical fire than newer homes built in the last 20 years,” Chatman told KXL.

Lt. Chatman says it has to do with older homes and buildings using knob and tube wiring “There’s a lot more care taken into insulation with the wiring that prevents heat from being exposed to the wooden structures”.

The fire broke out around 5:00PM at Dale Brothers Barber Shop on Southeast 82nd Avenue. Chatman also says the fire burnt for 25 minutes before crews were able to put it out, by eventually cutting 25 holes in the roof to let smoke escape.

Story via kxl.com

OH: 10 Horses Perish in Electrical Fire

Oregon, OH: The cause of a fire that destroyed a barn containing several horses and other animals at the Vail Meadow Equestrian Center on Cedar Point Road in the early morning hours of March 21 was likely electrical in nature, Oregon Fire Chief Ed Ellis said on Wednesday evening.

“There’s no official report yet, but the State Fire Marshal’s Office is leaning towards electrical fire,” said Ellis. “There was electricity in the building. There were warmers in buckets of water to keep it from freezing over so the horses could drink.”

That, he said, may have been the cause of the fire.

“There may have been a `pinch point’ from a cord leading up to one of the buckets, which normally hangs from the walls,” he said. “The extent of damage is so severe that it’s hard to get a handle on it. There was no foul play, so it drops back to an electrical problem.”

Ten horses, along with a pot bellied pig, a goat, and two ducks, perished in the fire at Vail, which provides a therapy horse riding program for those with disabilities. Most of the horses that died were therapy horses.

Horses buried
Paul Mullen, assistant fire chief, said the official cause will likely be “undetermined” because the fire had consumed the barn.

“There was an electrical heater, but it was shut off,” said Mullen, who helped fight the fire. “There were also lighting fixtures. It doesn’t take much for a wire to be shorted out. Whether it was a heating bucket or lighting fixture, we’ll probably never know.”

Mullen called the Agriculture Department on behalf of Vail Meadows so the horses could be buried on site. The graves had to be excavated to a certain depth.

“We try to help anyone who suffers a fire loss, whether they are homes or businesses,” said Ellis. “If there’s anything within our power to help them, we will do that.”

The fire, called in at about 3:30 a.m. by a passing motorist, had completely engulfed the barn by the time firefighters arrived just minutes later.

Ellis said most barn fires are not natural but man made.

“Even in the summer, you don’t get a lot of lightening strikes. Most barns are protected from lightening,” he said.

He noted a similar fire that burned a barn to the ground on Corduroy Road in January 2009 that was caused by a wood burning stove. The fire, fueled by high winds, had started at 12:27 a.m. in the barn, which was owned by Prakash Thombre. He and his family, who lived in a house 30 feet from the barn, were unharmed. Hundreds of livestock, including goats, ducks, chickens, guineas, rabbits and chickens, had perished in the fire.

“Usually, you see fires in barns that are supplied with heat to keep it warm or to keep water from freezing,” said Ellis. “That’s what we look at right away.”

Mullen said barns could be equipped with a sprinkler system to prevent fires, but it’s costly. An alarm system is cheaper.

“Outside of having a sprinkler system or alarm to let you know there is a fire, there’s nothing you can do,” he said.

Vail Meadows has an account set up for donations at First Federal Bank of the Midwest, 3426 Navarre Ave. Also accepting donations on behalf of Vail are most businesses at Great Eastern Shopping Center on Woodville Road. Eagles Landing Golf Course will host a golf scramble on May 18. A 5K fundraiser, Run for the Meadows, is planned for May 25. To register, go tohttp://www.runforthemeadows.com/
Brown slams council
Former Oregon Mayor Marge Brown told city council at a meeting on March 25 that a spaghetti dinner fundraiser was planned for Vail Meadows on Saturday, March 30, starting at 5 p.m. at Icons Eatery & Entertainment, the former Yeehas Bar & Grill, 3150 Navarre Ave.

She also blasted council for their “lack of response” to the fire.

“It was tragic on Thursday when I got the call and I was out there,” said Brown. “More tragic was the lack of response we got from our council people. I’m not going to defend you. I’m sorry. I was there, they asked where you were. I said I was not there anymore. That’s not my problem.”

Councilman Dennis Walendzak said Brown was short sighted in her comments.

“Former Mayor Brown took a little shot at members of council not knowing what we have done or not have done in regards to Vail Meadows.. She spoke a little out of turn not knowing what some members may have done. I know every member of this council saw that as a tragedy and have reached out to Vail Meadows in other ways. Sometimes it’s better to understand what someone has done before making a backhanded comment like that.”

Mayor Mike Seferian agreed.

“The fire department personnel did address it very seriously. As Chief Ellis will tell you, they were there and did a lot of things on behalf of the city, like they would do in any tragedy,” said Seferian. “We believe we handled people fairly and equally throughout the community, and provided other services so they could bury the horses on site, and facilitated some of the work in being able to carry that out, as well as offering to do other additional things. And that was the personnel most able to help in this situation.”

Sheehy said he found out about the fire later that day.

“I certainly went over there to observe first hand what had happened but the gates were closed. There were things for them to do and they had business to tend to. I think maybe the worst thing to do would have been to stick my nose in there. I, like others on council, felt terrible about it. We all in our own way will do something to help the Vails out. It’s a great charity and great organization and a plus to our community. Hopefully, they will carry on and something greater will grow from he ashes.”

“It’s a very personal thing,” said Seferian, adding that he believed Brown’s comments were mostly aimed at him rather than council.

“And I can take that,” he said.

Seferian defeated Brown in her bid for a third term as mayor in 2008.

Story via presspublications.com

Africa: Mother and Son Electrocuted

Osun, Africa: A mother and her son have been electrocuted in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, the police have said.

The Osun State Police Command said the electrocution happened after a rainstorm in Osogbo.

Story via premiumtimesng.com