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New York: Arc Flash Injury Leads to $88K in Fines

July 24, 2014 Leave a comment

NY – Another thousand-dollar-fine was issued by OSHA for citing violations on electrical safety and hazardous energy control standards. This time to O’Connell Electric Co., particularly on the May 18 Worker Arc Flash Injury. The incident happened at the North Campus of the State University of New York (SUNY) when O’Connell employees were performing maintenance on 34,500-volt switches while one of the switches had not been de-energized and properly barricaded and tagged to prevent exposure to live electrical parts before they began their work.

“Electricity can injure and kill almost instantly which makes it vital that power sources be de-energized and locked out, and workers be properly trained and equipped before electrical work is performed,” said Arthur Dube, OSHA’s area director in Buffalo. This statement given by Dube clarifies that de-energization, training and PPE have corresponding electrical standards that any company should comply with. O’Connell was not able to meet these standards which led to the $88,200 fine.

Yearly, OSHA never misses to issue citations on companies who violate safety standards. Injuries and unwanted losses usually are the reasons of these citations. It is the employer’s duty to ensure the welfare of your employees. Safety should always be the top priority. As a message to other employers, OSHA’s regional administrator, Robert Kulick said, “One means of preventing hazardous conditions and the accidents that can result from them is to establish an effective safety and health management system through which employers and employees work together to proactively evaluate, identify and eliminate hazards.”

O’Connell Electric has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, participate in an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Let this be a reminder to all other companies to review your safety policies and make sure that they are compliant to state and federal regulations. Review the policies regularly and make sure they are implemented and practiced by all workers. These simple steps can help keep your workplace safe.

Story via: www.safetyservicescompany.com

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New York: Subcontractor Suffers Burn From Arc Flash

February 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Rochester, NY: A man was injured from an electrical explosion at Advanced Glass Industries Inc. on Emerson Street just before 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

Rural Metro Ambulance Services reported that the man, 57, was taken with flash burn to Strong Memorial Hospital after the explosion, which occurred at 1335 Emerson St. He received burns to 25 percent of his body, mainly to his face, hands and arms, according to Capt. Joseph Luna of the Rochester Fire Department.

The man was a subcontractor who had been hired by the business to do electrical maintenance work, said Rochester Fire Department Battalion Chief Dan Mancuso. He said an arc flash, or an exposed current between two conductors, caused the injury.

Advanced Glass Industries is one of the world’s largest suppliers of precision machined optical glass blanks, molded optical glass blanks and slumped optical glass blanks, according to the company’s web site. The company was founded just after World War II as Fischer Optical, according to the website.

Story Via: www.democratandchronicle.com

Connecticut: OSHA Fines Bristol Plant $109K in Fines

February 4, 2014 Leave a comment

Bristol, CT: Radcliff Wire Inc., of Bristol, faces $109,000 in fines for repeated workplace hazards, including gaps in worker training, dangerous electrical conditions, and faulty safeguards against burns and eye injuries, federal regulators said Monday morning.

A new round of inspections by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that began last summer found the same kinds of hazards that were revealed at the plant in 2009, said OSHA‘s chief in Hartford, Warren Simpson.

“The sizable fines proposed here reflect the breadth and gravity of these hazards and the fact that this employer has been cited previously for several of these conditions,” Simpson said in a written statement released OSHA’s regional office in Boston.

“Left uncorrected, plant employees are exposed to hazards, such as electric shock, arc flashes, fire, eye and crushing injuries. It’s imperative that employers not just correct hazards, but effectively prevent their recurrence,” Simpson said.

Radcliff Wire, at 97 Ronzo Road, has 15 business days to either begin settlement negotiations with OSHA’s Hartford office, or contest the findings before OSHA’s review panel.

The latest inspection resulted in 15 citations for a range of hazards, including failure to shut power before electricians worked machinery, failure to regularly inspect pipe systems and protective gear, improper storage of flammable chemicals, and failure to provide eye prtoection to employees who were working with corrosive chemicals.

Story Via: Courant.com

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Iowa: I-OSHA Cites Electrician Company After 5 Workers Hospitalized

February 4, 2014 Leave a comment

Sibley, Iowa — Iowa safety officials have cited a Sibley electrician business for violations that occurred when a flash explosion sent five people to a hospital in July, 2013.

The Iowa Division of Labor Services Occupational Safety and Health Bureau, or I-OSHA says the accident happened when workers were switching over electric lines at Timewell Drainage in Sibley.

Three entities have now been cited, including the City of Sibley Electric Department, Timewell, and now Current Electric of Sibley.

According to the citation, the issue occurred when workers were installing new electrical wiring to an 800 amp interior panel board. They say work was being performed while the wiring was energized and people were allowed in the immediate area without personal protective equipment.  After installation of wiring to the panel board, the employer was confirming that proper function of the equipment had been achieved.  They say lock and tagout was not applied ensuring that the equipment was not energized prior to installation of the panel cover.  They say people were in the immediate area and were exposed to an arc flash and/or arc blast, and life-threatening injuries were sustained.

I-OSHA says that Current Electric should have conducted frequent and regular inspections of job sites, materials, and equipment. They also allege that Current Electric did not instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the applicable regulations.

Last fall, Timewell Drainage was cited for not instructing their employees in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions, and for employees not wearing personal protective equipment.

Also last fall, the City of Sibley Electric Department was cited in connection with the incident.  I-OSHA says controls deactivated during the course of work on energized or de-energized equipment or circuits were not tagged on the worksite involving the energizing and deenergizing of a transformer with an incoming line voltage of thousands of volts.

When more than one independent crew requires the same line or equipment to be deenergized, the law requires a prominent tag for each such independent crew to be placed on the line or equipment by a designated employee in charge, and according to I-OSHA, that didn’t happen

Story Via: kiwaradio.com

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Nevada: MSHA Issues 135 Citations to Mining Company

February 4, 2014 Leave a comment

ELKO, NV — The Mine Safety and Health Administration said Veris Gold failed to protect employees from harm at the company’s Jerritt Canyon Mill, after issuing 61 citations and orders to the site.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s MSHA announced the results of the December inspections Wednesday. The inspectors issued 135 citations, 24 orders and one safeguard during special impact inspections conducted at 11 coal mines and two metal and nonmetal mines.

The two highlighted properties in the inspection report were Jerritt Canyon and Hanover Resources LLC’s Caymus Mine in Boone County, W. Va. Caymus Mine produces coal.

“These two examples clearly indicate that some mine operators still don’t get it,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “They simply failed to comply with the Mine Act and find and fix hazards to protect miners from injury, illness and death.”

Veris Gold said “Jerritt Canyon takes all citations and actions from MSHA seriously and its management has been working with them diligently to review all claims. As of January 16, 2014, all citations and actions have been either acknowledged or met.

“It is important to note that the Jerritt Canyon Operations has an exemplary safety record with no fatalities since it began operating in 1982. Safety is our priority, and we will continue to work with MSHA in order to continue to ensure the safety of all employees.

“Recently, Veris Gold USA initiated a Safety Enhancement Program that is the personal responsibility of Graham Dickson, COO. This program will ensure that all employees remain secure at work and return home safely to their families at the end of the day.”

Jerritt Canyon received 49 citations and 12 orders after its inspection that began on Dec. 16. Veris Gold owns the Jerritt Canyon Mill Complex, which is 50 miles north of Elko and has more than 120 employees. The complex property includes three gold mines: Smith, SSX-Steer and Starvation Canyon.

According to the federal agency, “among the hazardous conditions cited during the inspection, MSHA found that an electrician working in the crusher area had been cleaning and performing maintenance on a 480-volt fully-energized switch gear, and there were spent mercury containers found at the bottom of wet mill stairs rather than being stored in a manner that would protect miners from mercury exposure. Nearly four feet of dirt had accumulated on the left side of a conveyor belt, blocking access to the steps and catwalk used to reach the plant and potentially hindering escape during an emergency.

“Inspectors also found: a chemical container improperly labeled; no warning signs for hazardous chemical storage; several unsecured gas cylinders; no provision for safe access in several locations; missing electrical cover plates on energized outlets; an improperly grounded cable; unlabeled breakers that exposed miners to electrical hazards; a broken ladder and insufficient illumination; failure to conduct workplace exams and air receiver tanks equipped with the wrong size pressure relief valves, creating the potential hazard of an exploding vessel.”

On Dec. 19, while MSHA inspectors were still on site, an electrical explosion and subsequent fire injured two employees in the mill.

The employees were injured after an arc flash and minor fire, said Shaun Heinrichs, chief financial officer for Veris Gold.

“One employee was airlifted with burns and another was taken into Elko with smoke inhalation,” Heinrichs told the Free Press in December. “Our thoughts are with our employees and their families. Safety is our utmost priority.”

Tim Woolever, Nevada Division of Forestry chief for the northern region, responded to the scene to handle the fire. He believed at least one of the men injured was an electrician who was working on a 480-volt panel.

MSHA inspected the Caymus Mine on Dec. 11 and issued 13 violations. The inspection party monitored the mine’s communication system to prevent advance notice of their arrival, and they proceeded to inspect the mine’s two working sections and a large portion of the conveyor belt. MSHA issued seven unwarrantable failure orders and six citations. This was the first impact inspection at this mine.

Since April 2010, MSHA has conducted 700 impact inspections and issued 11,562 citations, 1,076 orders and 49 safeguards.

Story Via ElkoDaily.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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Uniforms: Safety from Arc Flash

March 21, 2013 Leave a comment

“A few years back, a national survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates for the textile service industry found that customers are more inclined to do business with employees who wear uniforms because they stood out as professionals and were seen as being more competent and knowledgeable. Those survey results hold true today and can translate into real bottom line benefits for those companies choosing a managed uniform program for their employees.”

Adam Soreff says the top 10 reasons businesses opt for work uniform programs are:

1. Create an attractive business image. For better or worse, society tends
to judge people by how they dress. Selecting an appropriate employee
uniform can immediately establish a professional business image that
attracts and helps retain customers.
2. Promote a Brand. When employees wear uniforms displaying corporate logos
and colors, they help brand and differentiate their business in the
markets they serve.
3. Free advertising. Well designed work uniforms worn in public become
"walking billboards," promoting a company's products and services "for
free."
4. Protect workers. Uniforms deliver functional benefits, like wearer
safety. For example, flame resistant (FR) workwear can help prevent
injuries caused by accidental electrical arc flashes or flash fires, and
high visibility uniforms can help protect workers from being struck by
motorized vehicles.
5. Improve security. Company uniforms featuring specific styles or colors
quickly identify who does or does not belong in specific work areas or on
job sites.
6. Prevent product cross-contamination. Uniform programs designed
specifically for the food or healthcare industries can help reduce
cross-contamination threats; those constructed to dissipate static
electricity can help prevent damage to sensitive electronic components.
7. Create team spirit. Work uniforms promote a sense of team spirit and a
sense of belonging. This, in turn, can improve worker productivity.
8. Employee benefit. Employer provided uniforms save employees money, and
when provided as part of a rental program, eliminate employee laundering
time and expense.
9. Improve customer relationships. Work uniforms immediately identify
company representatives who can be approached for purchasing information,
thereby improving overall customer service.
10. Promote company pride. Work uniforms help instill a sense of pride and
responsibility and can convert employees into "brand ambassadors"
outside the actual workplace.

Story via providencejournal.com