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Archive for January, 2014

New York: $147K Settelment for Electrocution Death

January 24, 2014 1 comment

Brooklyn, NY: A  telecommunications company has reached a settlement with OSHA resolving  litigation surrounding the electrocution death of an employee in 2011 in  Brooklyn. Under the agreement, the company will pay a fine of $147,000 and make  changes to its electrical safety training.

OSHA  Regional Administrator Robert Kulick commented, “While no settlement can bring  this worker back to his family, co-workers, and friends, this agreement can help  prevent similar and needless tragedies in the future.”

The  fatality occurred when a field technician came into contact with an energized  power line as he worked from an aerial lift bucket. OSHA determined that field  technicians were not adequately trained, did not wear proper protective gloves,  and did not ground the suspension strand they were installing.

The  settlement was filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission,  which reviews contested cases.

Story Via: safety.blr.com

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Florida Nonprofit facing $228K fine

January 24, 2014 Leave a comment

Pensacola, FL: OSHA is proposing $228,600 in fines for Teen Challenge of Florida Inc., a nonprofit rehabilitation program, after the agency said it found 25 safety and health violations at the organization’s facilities in Pensacola, Fla.

The Pensacola Teen Challenge Men’s Center says its mission is to help men 18 and older “who are struggling with drug addiction, alcoholism and other life-controlling issues.” The organization, which is part of Teen Challenge International, runs a screen-printing operation, a detail shop, a wood shop and two thrift stores, according to a report on the website of WEAR ABC 3 in northwest Florida.

OSHA said it initiated the July 2013 inspection after receiving a complaint alleging safety and health hazards.

“This employer willfully disregarded worker safety by exposing workers to amputation hazards,” said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA’s area director in Jacksonville, Fla. “The hazards found during our inspection must be eliminated from this workplace immediately.”

Three willful violations, with $162,000 in penalties, allegedly involve Teen Challenge exposing workers to amputation hazards by not providing machine guarding on the hand-fed ripsaws, the cutting heads of the routers and the abrasive wheels on the grinding wheel, according to OSHA.

Eighteen serious safety and health violations, with $66,600 in penalties, include allegedly failing to:

  •                               Provide workers first aid training in case of an emergency.
  •                               Provide a suitable eyewash facility.
  •                               Close unused openings in boxes, raceways, cabinets and equipment cases.
  •                               Have uniform step heights on a standard stairway and keep exit routes unobstructed.

The employer also exposed workers to numerous instances where the machines had no guarding, several electrical deficiencies were present and various tripping hazards were observed, according to OSHA.

OSHA cited Teen Challenge for four other-than-serious violations, stemming from the organization’s alleged failure to: illuminate exit signs; certify forklift operators as competent to operate powered industrial trucks safely; establish a respiratory protection program; and have forklift nameplates and markings in place and in legible condition. No monetary penalties were assigned for the other-than-serious violations.

Teen Challenge has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply or contest OSHA’s findings.

Story Via: EHStoday.com

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NH: $280K Fine Handed Out by OSHA

January 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Berlin, NH: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the general contractor and five subcontractors working on the construction of the Berlin Power Plant in Berlin, New Hampshire for 31 willful, serious and repeat violations of workplace safety standards. The employers face a combined $280,880 in proposed fines following inspections by OSHA’s Concord Area Office, which started in March in response to complaints.

“Workers at this site were exposed to serious and potentially fatal injuries from a variety of hazards. These included cave-in, fall, scaffold collapse, crushing, lead and electrocution hazards,” said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA’s area director for New Hampshire. “While it is fortunate no one was killed or seriously injured, worker safety cannot and must never be left to chance. For the safety and well-being of their employees, these employers must supply and ensure the use of proper safeguards on their job sites.”

Northeast Utilities Enterprises Inc., doing business as E.S. Boulos Co., of Lewiston, Maine, an electrical contractor that installed the primary electrical wiring and transmission lines, was issued one serious citation with a $5,000 fine, for exposed live electrical wiring, unlabeled electrical panels and not closing unused electrical cabinet openings effectively.

Vaillancourt Electrical Service of Berlin, which installed and maintained temporary power throughout the job site, was issued five serious citations, with $11,600 in fines. It allowed workers to be close to an energized 480-volt electrical panel, which exposed workers to arc flash and blast hazards; it did not ensure the use of personal protective equipment; and it overlooked deficiencies involving temporary lighting, electrical cords and a panel, and did not guard an energized electrical panel from water.

Virginia Transformer Corp., of Roanoke, Va., which furnished and installed the main power transformer, was issued one serious citation, with a $7,000 fine, for allowing workers to be close to an energized electrical panel.

Story Via: ecmweb.com

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India: Electrical Accident Fatalities Still Persistent

January 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Bangalore, India:
According to Bescom records, the number of fatal electrical accidents in the first half of Fiscal 2013 in the Bescom jurisdiction was 86 involving people, and 45 involving animals.
Statistics of the past five years show that the number of accidents has been persistently high. In 2009-10, the fatalities were 105, while in 2012-13, it was 127.

According to an analysis done by Bescom, there are seven categories under which these accidents have taken place. Among them, snapping of conductors, accidental contact with live wire, lack of supervision and violation of safety norms and defective appliances top the list.  The number of deaths due to electrical accidents involving the public is far higher than the number of deaths of the Bescom staff. In both 2012-13 fiscal and 2013-14 fiscal (until November), the number of fatal accidents involving the public has been higher compared with the number of non-fatal accidents. In 2012-13, 116 people died in electrical accidents and 51 met with non-fatal accidents.
In the current 2013-14 fiscal, 81 people have died, compared with 36 people who escaped in non-fatal incidents. As far as the staff is concerned, the company has lost four lives in 2013-14, and as many as 11 in 2012-13.
There have been deaths of animals, too. Of the 45 deaths of animals in electrical accidents, 17 were due to snapping of conductors, 13 due to accidental contact with live wire, among others.
In a circular on November 19, 2013, Bescom General Manager (Quality and Safety) Mohan Kalluraya notes: “Electrical accidents in the Bescom jurisdiction are increasing.
The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) is viewing this seriously… Even after issuing various circulars regarding identification and rectification of hazardous locations, yet accidents are on the rise.”
In a subsequent circular issued on December 7, 2013, by Bescom Director (Technical) H Nagesh, it is noted, “From the analysis of accidents reported, it is observed that the occurrence of departmental accidents is due to overconfidence of the field staff…”
Speaking to Deccan Herald, a KERC officer said that the majority of accidents occur because there is no sufficient gap between buildings and wires. Narrow roads and slums are more vulnerable.
Such accidents could be curtailed by 99 per cent by replacing open conductors with aerial bunched cables, he said. But these cables are quite expensive. “It is important to ensure that even if a wire snapped, it should not be hazardous. A better option is to resort to the underground system, though it is expensive. It costs approximately six times more than the overhead system, but it is definitely safer. Bescom may not have funds to replace it all at once, but it could be done in phases.”

Story Via: DeccanHerrald.com

OH: LOTO Fines of $293K for Reliable Castings Corp.

January 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Sidney, OH:  The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced today that it’s cited Reliable Castings Corp. for 14 safety and health violations, carrying proposed penalties of $293,700.

The federal agency said an inspection found workers were exposed to hazards at the Sidney aluminum die castings manufacturing facility.

“OSHA’s inspectors found a facility with multiple hazards and where safety was continually compromised,” said Kim Nelson, OSHA’s area director in Toledo. “Reliable Castings Corporation has a responsibility to train its workers and to implement all required safety procedures.”

One repeat violation was issued for failing to “de-energize an industrial robot and implement lockout/tag out procedures prior to performing servicing and maintenance work on the equipment.”

OSHA said four willful violations involved failing to develop lockout procedures for servicing and changing molds on various production cells, prevent exposure to molten aluminum splash hazards from the melting furnace, inspect chains on a daily basis and prevent use of an unapproved work platform to lift workers with the fork truck. “A willful violation is committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirement, or plain indifference to employee safety and health,” OSHA said.

Eight serious violations involved failing to install guardrails near ovens and floor openings to prevent fall hazards, perform protective equipment assessments, require the use of face shields and hard hats, ensure adequate guarding on 21 machines in the foundry areas, provide lockout procedures, ensure use of an electrical cabinet is protected from water, label lifting devices with load capacities and provide safety data sheets to workers, OSHA said.

Reliable Castings Corp. is based in Sidney and employs about 140 workers there and about 130 workers at its Cincinnati location.

OSHA said the company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

A spokesman for Reliable Castings could not be reached Thursday.

Story Via: limaohio.com

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