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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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India: Electrical Accident Deaths Continue to Rise

February 17, 2014 Leave a comment

Bangalore, India: Even as Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (Mescom) winds up its one-week awareness programme, it is confronted with an ever-increasing number of fatalities, due to electrocution. The latest being the death of a farmer who touched a faulty fuse on his pumpset near Vittal on Wednesday.

Between April and December, 52 persons, including one official, died in electrical accidents involving Mescom connections. By sheer extrapolation, the financial year 2013-14 will record the most accidents for the public utility company – which serves Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Shimoga and Chikmagalur – in the recent years.

Reasons

Officials offer a bevy of reasons, the prime being sagging wires, bent poles – either due to trees or branches falling during the monsoons, or damage to poles during ploughing or construction work – improper grounding due to stagnating water, illegal construction close to electric lines and illegal irrigation pumpsets among others.

Employee deaths are attributed to “overconfidence” in not creating a ‘safe zone’ while repairing live wires, or “procedural lapses” arising due to pressures of attending numerous complaints during the monsoons.

“During the rains, the porcelain insulators may develop hairline cracks, and as water seeps in, the insulators conduct electricity. If the lineman, who has to climb up each pole and see the insulators, is not observant, he may end up touching a live insulator,” said an official. A rainy night may see a team of linemen attending four to five calls, adding to the possibility of procedural lapses, he said.

Though at least two linemen have died in service in the district, since April last year, they do not feature in official records of Mescom personnel dead in the district – the number remains zero. The reason being, said officials, that linemen on contract are not considered “employees of Mescom”.

“For the regular linemen they get facilities of rehabilitation from Mescom. For the contract workers, you have to haggle with the contractor for additional funds,” said Shivkumar, president of the Mescom non-permanent workers association.

Story Via: thehindu.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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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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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

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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