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Iowa: OSHA Documents 23 Serious Safety Violations at Tire Plant

July 25, 2014 Leave a comment

Des Moines, IA — The investigation into a rubber tire plant accident has shed light on dozens of other serious concerns at a local facility.

Dan Keeney lost his left arm when it got caught in an auger — the machine used to move rubber pallets.

OSHA’s investigation revealed it happened on the facility’s fourth floor.

“It involved an amputation and we’re working with Bridgestone to come to some type of resolution,” said Iowa Labor Commissioner Mike Mauro.

According to the report, a guard was not in place and personnel were exposed to an energized auger.

The 38-page inspection revealed much more than safety concerns surrounding the Feb. 16 incident.

Concerns included a “railing with no mid and upper rail, runways without railings, and an electric motor with no cover exposing internal parts, and workers to possible electric shock.”

OSHA investigators documented 23 serious safety violations, resulting in Bridgestone-Firestone facing almost $60,000 in fines.

“Citations were issued,” Mauro said. “We have notified the company and at this time the company has some time to respond to those citations.”

The company plans to appeal the citations.

“While we respect the work of the OSHA team, we do not believe the citations issued are warranted given the facts of this case,” a spokesman said.

Local 310 union president said Keeney has made a remarkable recovery, and that he plans to return to work at Bridgestone next month.

Story via: www.kcci.com

CT: $85K in Fines for Windsor Plant

July 15, 2014 Leave a comment

WINDSOR, CONNECTICUT — Federal safety officials said they found 17 serious safety violations at TLD Ace. Corp., a maker of ground-support equipment for aircraft, and have fined the company $85,000 following an inspection in February.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration said in a statement released Wednesday that they went to the Bloomfield Avenue plant on a snow-removal complaint but expanded the probe after reviewing TLD Ace’s higher-than-average rate of worker injuries and illnesses.

The inspection found that workers were routinely exposed to “potential falls, burns and electric shock due to missing or inadequate safeguards at the company’s manufacturing plant.”Warren Simpson, OSHA’s area director in Hartford, said the amount of lost work days indicated serious problems at the plant.

“What we found were conditions that could seriously injure workers or negatively impact their health,” Simpson said in the statement. “It’s crucial for this company to correct these conditions now and take action to prevent them from happening again.”

OSHA inspectors went to the plant on a complaint that employees were exposed to falls while removing snow from the roof.

Once inside, inspectors found that electrical equipment was not being used properly, and that workers doing electrical testing lacked . Inspectors saw improperly stored flammable materials and noted that there were no sprinklers in a section of the plant where flammable adhesive was applied.

Company officials also failed to retrain an employee who had suffered hearing loss, and had failed to require workers exposed to dangerous noise levels to wear effective ear protection, the OSHA statement said.

TLD Ace has 15 days to comply with the orders, begin negotiations with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before an independent OSHA review panel.

Story Via: www.courant.com

Georgia Company Faces Up to $46K in Fines

June 23, 2014 1 comment

MACON, GA: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined a Macon company $40,600.

California Cereal Products Inc., 375 Mead Road, was cited for nine “serious” safety and health violations for exposing workers to electrical, fall and noise hazards, an OSHA news release states.

The agency inspected the business in December 2013 after a complaint was filed.

The violations include the employer’s failure to provide workers with training to protect themselves from moving machine parts during servicing and maintenance activities and for exposing workers to fall hazards, the news release states.

The company also failed to institute a monitoring and training program for noise exposure to prevent permanent hearing loss from unsafe noise levels, according to the news release.

Story via: 13wmaz.com

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New York – $160K in Fines for Tire Retreading Company’s Unsafe Work Conditions

June 23, 2014 Leave a comment

ELMIRA HEIGHTS, N.Y.— An Elmira Heights tire retreading firm is facing more than $160,000 in fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for alleged failure to correct workplace hazards discovered by OSHA inspectors, the agency said.

Inspectors from OSHA’s Syracuse office found 16 serious violations of workplace safety standards at the American Made Tires facility in July 2013, according to an OSHA press release. The agency defines serious violations as those that could probably cause death or serious injury to workers, and that employers either knew about or should have known about.

The violations OSHA found at American Made Tires included spray booths in the tire buffer area that was made of wood instead of a non-flammable material, as well as a total lack of lockout/tagout procedures for safe maintenance of machinery, the agency said.

OSHA ordered American Made Tires to correct the violations and fined the company $20,100. When the company failed to submit proof that the corrections had been made, OSHA conducted a follow-up inspection in November 2013, according to the agency.

The inspectors found most of the hazards were uncorrected, and on May 21, 2014, issued the company 12 failure-to-abate citations carrying $144,000 in fines.

Also on May 21, the agency issued $14,080 for three repeat violations and $2,200 for one new serious violation.

The repeat violations included use of hazardous electrical equipment, accumulation of flammable dust and the use of a spark-producing grinder in a flammable area, OSHA said. The new serious violation was the use of a portable electric lamp in a spraying area during operations.

Altogether, the new fines issued May 21 total $160,280. American Made Tires had 15 business days from May 21 to correct the violations and pay the fines, request an informal meeting with OSHA’s Syracuse area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Officials of American Made Tires could not be reached for comment. The American Made Tires facility in Elmira Heights was known previously as Green Diamond Tire of New York, a manufacturer of innovative remolded tires designed for winter traction.

Green Diamond closed the Elmira Heights plant in 2010, then opened a new plant in Sheridan, Colo., in 2012.

 

Story via: tirebusiness.com

Categories: Industrial Tags: ,

Arkansas: Railcar Company Faces $61K in Fines from OSHA

March 6, 2014 Leave a comment

Marmaduke, Ark: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited American Railcar Industries Inc., headquartered in Saint Charles, Mo., for 10 serious safety violations after an employee was electrocuted while performing repair work on a tanker-style railcar July 25 at the company’s work site near Marmaduke.

“Exposing workers to electrocution hazards without proper safeguards and training is inexcusable,” said Carlos Reynolds, the agency’s area director in Little Rock. “It is the employer’s responsibility to create a safe and healthful workplace where preventable hazards don’t cost workers their lives.”

Upon receiving a fatality report from the employer, OSHA‘s Little Rock Area Office initiated an investigation July 26 at the company’s facility on Highway 34 East and found that workers were being exposed to electrical shocks from welding equipment. The violations include failing to provide personal protection for employees conducting cutting and welding operations; properly mark the power supply and control boxes for voltage, current and wattage; use fixed wiring instead of flexible cords and protect the wiring from possible damage; remove defective electrical equipment from service; and inspect and mark web slings. 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.

American Railcar Industries, which employs about 260 workers at the Marmaduke facility and about 1,500 workers nationwide, designs and manufactures railcars.

Proposed penalties total $61,400. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in Little Rock or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Story Via: thv11.com

FL: Electrical Fire Sends Workers to Hospital

February 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Jacksonville, FL: Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office responded to reports of an explosion at the Advanced Disposal Tuesday.

Police and fire crews responded to Advance Disposal at 9798 Normandy Boulevard in the Normandy Estates area of the Westside around 8 a.m. Tuesday following reports of an explosion and small fire.

At least two men in their 20s were injured in the blast.  A 29-year-old victim was air lifted to UF Health Jacksonville initially, according to Tom Francis with JFRD. He was later air lifted with critical injuries to UF Health Shands Hospital burn unit, according to JSO Sgt. Jay Farhat. The 29-year-old was injured when his clothes caught on fire after being shocked.

According to a release from Advanced Disposal, staff extinguished the fire with a fire extinguisher and called 911.

A 26-year-old victim suffered minor injuries, including having his hair singed, and was not transported to the hospital.

The victims are both employees of Pilot Electrical Construction Co and were working on a wall panel they thought was turned off.

JFRD is continuing its investigation of the incident.

First Coast News has been looking into Pilot Electrical Construction Company’s history. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports, company work sites have been inspected three times since the early ’80s, twice as routine and once in response to a complaint.

OSHA records show the violations were “serious,” a level below the more serious “willful” or “repeated” violations.

Violation codes ranged from failure to distribute Material Safety Data Sheets to employees to the presence of work site debris.

OSHA has opened an investigation into today’s incident. They have six months from today to issue a citation should they chose to do so.

Story Via: www.firstcoastnews.com

Ohio: $86K in Fines for Ohio Plant for Safety Violations

February 17, 2014 Leave a comment

Ohio: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers Inc. for seven workplace health and safety violations, carrying proposed penalties of $86,900. OSHA initiated an inspection of the Franklin Furnace plant in July 2013 under its Site-Specific Targeting Program, which targets facilities with higher than average illness and injury rates.

“This company consistently failed to protect its workers and implement basic safety requirements,” said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA’s area director in Cincinnati. “Repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to employee safety and health, and that is unacceptable when employee safety is on the line.”

Two repeat safety violations involve failing to ensure that employees utilize appropriate personal protective  equipment when working with electrical sources and implement lockout/tagout procedures to prevent the unintentional startup of equipment during maintenance and servicing, when employees are most at risk.

A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The same violations were cited in 2009 at the company’s Hamilton facility.

Five serious safety citations were issued to the company. Two of those violations involved failure to use lockout/tagout procedures. The remaining three included failing to perform hazard assessments related to personal protective equipment, failure to use appropriate protective equipment and failure to perform annual fit testing to ensure employees wore respirators. 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.

G&J employs more than 1,600 people at 11 locations in Ohio and Kentucky, including production facilities in Lexington and Winchester, Ky., and in Columbus and Portsmouth, Ohio. G&J has distribution centers in Hamilton, Ripley, Hillsboro, Athens, Chillicothe, and Zanesville and in Harrodsburg, Ky. The company has contested the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.

Story Via: norwalkreflector.com

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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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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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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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