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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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CA: Arc Flash at Vandenberg Air Force Base

March 12, 2013 Leave a comment

Lompoc, CA: Two United Launch Alliance personnel working at Vandenberg Air Force Base were rushed to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Saturday morning with serious injuries caused by an arc flash. One was flown by helicopter, and the other was taken by ambulance. The incident occurred at Space Launch Complex-6 on the south end of the base.

The base hasn’t released any more information on the incident, and its Public Affairs and Base Operator phone lines weren’t accepting calls or messages Saturday afternoon.

An arc flash occurs when an electric current leaves its intended path and travels through the air from one conductor to another or to ground. According to the National Safety Council, the most common cause of arc flash accidents is human error, including distraction, dropping a tool or using an uninsulated tool, and the accumulation of dust in a work area. The most common injuries from arc flash incidents are second- and third-degree burns.

Visit Martin Technical for Arc Flash Analysis and Training:

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TX: OSHA Fines BMC Building Materials $41K; Electrical Cord Problems

January 23, 2013 Leave a comment

New Braunfels, TX: A New Braunfels company has been fined by OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which says they found a total of 7 serious safety violations during a recent inspection.

BMC Building Materials and Construction Services, located on FM 482 here in New Braunfels, builds prefabricated wood trusses.  But they are now facing fines totaling 41-thousand dollars following OSHA’s allegations that the company exposes workers to electric and machine guarding hazards.

Specifically, OSHA claims that during a safety inspection back in October (which was prompted by a complaint about unsafe working conditions) they discovered 7 separate safety violations including a lack of machine guarding on machinery equipment, saw blades, rotating shafts, and pulleys, which OSHA says can lead to serious injuries, including amputations.

Other violations included failing to ensure that electrical wiring is protected, and ensuring electrical cords are maintained in a safe condition.  OSHA says a serious violation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard that the employer either knew about or should have known about.

BMC Building Materials now has 15 business days to comply with the safety regulations, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in Austin, or contest the citations and penalties before an independent OSHA Review Commission.

Story via www.kgnb.am

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Martin Technical Electrical Safety Services Arc Flash

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