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NY: OSHA Fines Hunter Panels LLC $123K – Lockout Tagout and Electrical

March 12, 2013 Leave a comment

Kingston, NY: OSHA has cited a manufacturer of roof insulation panels with 23 alleged serious safety violations following an inspection that began in July 2012.  OSHA found several deficiencies in the plant’s process safety management (PSM) program.  The chemical was n-pentane, an organic compound used in the manufacturing process. The cited deficiencies included missing PSI, failing to develop and implement SWP, correct equipment deficiencies, follow up on the findings of compliance audits, address all hazards identified during a PHA, and document the resolution of corrective actions, in the plant’s emergency response, confined space and hazardous energy control programs, lack of personal protective equipment, accumulation of combustible dust, as well as fall and respirator hazards.  Here is a breakdown of the citations…

Combustible Dust

  • 1910.22(a)(1) – Combustible Dusts on structures and surfaces (Serious; $5K)

Process Safety Information

  • 1910.119(d)(1)(v) – no corrosivity data on the metallic Type 321 SS hoses used in the process (Serious; $7K)

Process Hazard Analysis

  • 1910.119(e)(3)(i) – The PHA did not address the hazards of a combustible dust deflagration, a release of pentane due to the failure of the SS braided hoses, the CUNO filter plugging at the pentane pump. (Serious; $7K)
  • 1910.119(e)(5) – No system to track 2007 and 2012 PHA recommendations to closure, items were not closed in a timely manner, the resolutions were not documented, and did not communicate the actions to operating, maintenance and other employees who work assignments were in the process. (Serious; $5K)

Operating Procedures

  • 1910.119(f)(4) – No line break procedure and no LOTO and CS Entry procedures to address the isolation of pentane lines during maintenance of a laminator. (Serious; $7K)

Mechanical Integrity

  • 1910.119(j)(2) – No maintenance procedures to maintain the on-going integrity of pentane piping systems, including corrosion under insulation (CUI) inspection procedures. (Serious; $7K)
  • 1910.119(j)(4) – the frequency of inspections and tests of the Type 321 SS Flexible Metallic hose was not determined.  (Serious; $0)
  • 1910.119(j)(5) – did not correct deficiencies in the steel piping to and from the CUNO pentane filter was not painted in accordance with design specification, NFPA-30, or other methods to provide similar protection from corrosion.  (Serious; $7K)

Management of Change

  • 1910.119(l)(1) – Hazards were not evaluated through an MOC for the addition of the CUNO Auto-Klean Model EG Filter at the pentane transfer pump.  (Serious; $7K)

Compliance Audit

  • 1910.119(o(4) – did not document closures from the 2007 and 2009 audits.(Serious; $7K)

Emergency Response

  • 1910.120(q)2)(iii) – the emergency response plan did not define the types of releases and emergencies that could potentially require an emergency response vs. incidental releases.  (Serious; $5K)
  • 1910.120(q)2)(iv) – the emergency response plan identified only one location as an assembly area; alternative areas were not considered.  (Serious; $0)
  • 1910.120(q)(8)(i) – The safety manager, acting as the emergency coordinator, did not have annual refresher training. (Serious; $5K)

Personal Protective Equipment

  • 1910.133(a)(1) – personnel were not wearing goggles to protect against dripping grease and dust while lubricating the Laminator. (Serious; $3K)
  • 1910.134(c)(1) – No written respiratory protection program for required respirator use.  Employees were required to use 3M 8210 disposable N95 respirators for certain jobs.  (Serious; $5K)
  • 1910.134(e)(1) – No medical evaluations to determine employee’s ability to use a respirator. (Serious; $0)
  • 1910.134(k)(3) – No respirator training. (Serious; $0)
  • 1910.138(b) – Wearing improper gloves while opening chemical pumps to remove and clean out filters. (Serious; $6K)
  • 1910.134(d)(1)(iii) – employer did not identify and evaluate the respiratory hazards in the workplace, including a reasonable estimate of employee exposures to respiratory hazards and identification of the contaminants chemical state and physical form. (Other-than-Serious; $0)

Permit-Required Confined Spaces

  • 1910.146(d)(3)(i) – did not develop and implement the means, procedures, and practices necessary for safe permit space entry operations, including specifying acceptable entry conditions, such as: the speed of the conveyor, the temperature in the laminator, and the level of pentane.  (Serious; $5K)
  • 1910.146(d)(5)(i) – did not test conditions in the permit spa e to determine if acceptable entry condition existed before entry was authorized. (Serious; $0)
  • 1910.146(f)(9) – entry permit did not identify the acceptable entry conditions. (Serious; $0)
  • 1910.146(d)(9) – no procedures for summoning rescue and emergency services to rescue employees and for preventing unauthorized personnel from attempting a rescue. (Serious; $5K)
  • 1910.146(j)(4) – entry supervisors did not verify that entry supervisor(s) verified that rescue services were available and that the means for summoning them were operable.  (Serious; $0)
  • 1910.146(k)(1)(i) – did not evaluate a prospective rescuer’s ability to respond a rescue summons in a timely manner, considering the hazard(s) identified.  The facility stated they would use “911”. (Serious; $0)
  • 1910.146(k)(1)(ii) – did not evaluate a prospective rescuer’s ability in terms of proficiency with rescue-related tasks and equipment, to function appropriately while rescuing entrants.  The facility stated they would use “911”. (Serious; $0)
  • 1910.146(d)(3)(iii) – did not develop and implement the means, procedures, and practices necessary for safe permit space entry operations, including isolating the permit space.  (Serious; $5K)
  • 1910.146(f)(7) – entry permit did not identify the hazards of the permit space to be entered.  (Serious; $0)
  • 1910.146(g)(1) – entry supervisor that supervising an entry did not receive adequate training about the control of hazards due to the employer having an inadequate procedure for entry.  (Serious; $5K)
  • 1910.146(f)(3) – an entry permit had the incorrect date of entry (Other-than-Serious; $0)

LOTO (Lockout Tagout)

  • 1910.147(c)(4)(i) – no machine specific LOTO procedures for entry into the laminator and no procedures for line breaks. (Serious; $5K)
  • 1910.147(c)(7)(i)(A) – authorized personnel did not receive training in the recognition of applicable hazardous energy sources, the type and magnitude of energy available in the workplace and the methods and means necessary for energy isolation and control.  (Serious; $5K)

Electrical

  • 1910.303(b)(2) – a two-receptacle 120V metallic outlet box was used on the end of a flexible cord to provide electricity to a fluorescent lamp during a PRCS entry.  The box was designed to be wall mounted instead of being placed on the floor. (Serious; $3K)
  • 1910/305(g)(2)(iii) – a flexible cord attached to a fluorescent light was not provided with strain relief in that the outer shielding had separated from the light.  (Serious; $3K)

Story via safteng.net

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NY: Buildings Demolished by Electrical Fire

November 15, 2012 Leave a comment

GRANVILLE, NY: Two downtown buildings were heavily damaged by an electrical  fire early Monday that investigators have traced to an electrical problem.

No one was hurt but the fire, which was called in to the fire department at 3:56 a.m., gutted a three-story building at 12 Main St., just east of Scotties’ Coffee Shop. The building housed All in One Exchange, a pawn shop, on the first floor, and at least one apartment upstairs.

A woman and young child lived in an apartment above the pawn shop, and both escaped the building without injuries. It was unclear where they were staying later Monday.

The building next door, a stone-faced former Washington County National Bank building, was also heavily damaged. It was owned by a local artist who uses the two-story structure for a part-time gallery, officials said.

Both buildings were demolished later Monday.

Scotties’ Coffee Shop — a popular gathering spot in the village — appeared to have suffered smoke and/or water damage, Granville Fire Chief Ryan Pedone said.

Owner Tom Scott could not be reached later Monday and it could not be determined when the shop would re-open, but police said late Monday that the damage seemed minimal. The business’ page on Facebook indicated a Wednesday morning re-opening was planned.

“There was very little damage in Scotties’, there was some water in the basement and a faint odor of smoke and the firefighters had to pull down the drop ceiling to check for fire,” Granville Police Sgt. David Williams said.

Firefighters battled flames for more than six hours before the fire was declared out at about 10:30 a.m. Main Street remained closed to traffic through the downtown area into late afternoon. A crowd of onlookers watched from Church Street as the pawn shop building burned and parts of it collapsed.

An electrical problem was found to have caused the blaze. When firefighters arrived, they observed sparking from electrical meters on the back of the All in One Exchange shop, Pedone said. There is a parking lot at the back of the building.

Pedone said the fire was initially reported as a Dumpster fire behind the building, but firefighters found the blaze began in an electrical connection on the building next to where the Dumpster was.

Both buildings were demolished later Monday, after Washington County code enforcement officers reviewed the situation.

The pawn shop building had a “for sale” sign on its east side, and Pedone said a woman who lives in Hawaii owns it.

Fire officials had been unable to contact her or the owner of the other building Monday morning, he said.

Pedone said firefighters did a great job keeping the fire from spreading down the connected commercial block of buildings.

“It was a very impressive stop,” he said. “We’ve had block fires in Granville before and this could have been much bigger.”

An estimated 20 fire companies from around Washington County and western Vermont were called to the scene, and two ladder trucks poured water on the buildings from above.

Story via poststar.com

NY: Barn Destroyed by Electrical Fire

September 17, 2012 Leave a comment

East Hampton, NY:  Investigators believe the cause of a fire that nearly destroyed a commercial barn on Long Lane is electrical.  East Hampton Town Fire Marshal Tom Baker said on Friday morning that he traced the source of the fire to the electrical panel. There are three main leads that went into the building, he said. “Three to five feet of wiring — we don’t know where it is. It just vaporized.”

The fire marshal’s office is now looking into what could have caused the sudden electrical fire.  “It’s something we’ve seen before,” Baker said. About a year ago, at a house on Windmill Lane, part of the copper wiring just blasted apart. “It’s pretty remarkable.”  Firefighters from at least three departments were on scene at 168 Long Lane for more than three hours after the initial call on Thursday at about 1 p.m. Two of those hours were spent fighting flames that had traveled into the eaves of the barn and were difficult to reach.

The building was used as a garage and office space for J&R Landscaping. Baker said he spoke to the owners, who reported no problems with the electrical, such as sudden dimming, flickering or outages.  No one was on the property when the fire broke out. A firefighter driving by saw the smoke and discovered the barn was on fire.”There’s quite a bit of landscaping between the building and road,” Baker said, adding that the fire went from the electrical panel, traveling inside the wall. “It can stay concealed for a while,” he said. “It was pretty rapid in terms of what it did, in terms of moving.”

East Hampton Fire Department Chief Tom Bono said on Thursday that the fire had been a difficult one to reach. Baker agreed. He said there were many plantings that were up close to the barn on one side, while on another side there were wire cages for trees, and on the third side there was a pre-fab tent. An old burned truck was sitting in front of the building, he said.  Smoke detectors were set off inside the barn, and were still going off when firefighters arrived, but they were not hooked to an alarm company to notify the fire department, according to Baker.  The fire marshal said the second floor sustained most of the damage. Some landscaping equipment on the ground floor was salvageable.  Baker said the fire department was called back out for a fire that rekindled there at about 6:45 p.m., but that it was due to several bundles of burlap, for covering greenery in the winter. “That type of material will just sit and smolder.”

The department also had to lay 3,000 feet of hose to the nearest hydrant to get water to its tower ladder to douse the barn with and get to the flames shooting through the roof.  Asked if the area needs more hydrants, the fire marshal said he thinks it may be that the road needs a bigger water main. “They do have a series of hydrants and electric wells. It’s something I’m sure the fire chief will take up. If he feels the area needs more, he’ll ask for it.”  Baker said the activity in the commercial farming area, just a mile or so from East Hampton High School, has grown over the years. “I remember when it was just fields without the buildings.”

Story via patch.com

Homeless Man Electrocuted on Rail Tracks

January 8, 2011 Leave a comment

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, NY – An apparently homeless man was electrocuted on the third rail at the 1 train tracks at the 181st Street station Thursday, officials said.

A conductor on a northbound 1 train spotted the man, who officials have not identified, standing in the path of the oncoming train at the St. Nicholas Ave. and 181st Street station shortly after 8 a.m., according to Transit Supervisor John Boldt.

The driver braked to a halt in time to avoid hitting the man, who ran toward the southbound tracks and was electrocuted on the third rail, Bolt said.

Workers cut down the power to the third rail immediately, and sent crews in to retrieve the body and bring it back to the platform, where medical personnel were waiting, Boldt said. The man was not identified.

The MTA did not immediately return calls for comment.

The description of events differs from what a transit worker at the subway station described earlier, in a version of events that did not end in the man’s death.

Service on the 1 train was restored shortly after 9:30 a.m., witnesses said.

Boldt said the conductor of the northbound 1 train and another conductor of a southbound train that was further away from the scene will follow protocol and be tested for drugs and alcohol, even though it does not appear they did anything wrong.

Both conductors have requested medical attention because they are so shaken up by the gruesome death, Boldt said.

Story via DNAInfo.com
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NJ State Agency Orders Utilities to Assess Contact Voltage Threats

December 7, 2010 Leave a comment

NJ – In New York City a few years ago, a woman walking along the streets stepped onto a manhole cover and was electrocuted. In Baltimore, the 14-year-old daughter of a former NFL football player died after she touched an electrified fence at a softball game. Probably, neither had ever heard of the phenomenon known as contact voltage.

The state is ordering its four electric utilities to determine whether contact voltage, or faults in a power system that can prove hazardous to humans and pets, is a problem that needs to be dealt with in New Jersey.

The Board of Public Utilities (BPU) yesterday directed the companies to assess the extent of the problem and to recommend if there should be better reporting of cases involving electric shock with energized objects.

Some commissioners called the assessment long overdue, given the risks associated with the issue.

“It’s a sad state of affairs when we have to order utilities to look at safety issues in their own infrastructure,” said BPU Commissioner Nicholas Asselta, at a bimonthly meeting of the state agency in its Trenton offices. “I hope this is a wake-up call for the utilities.”

The agency has been examining the problem since it first began holding stakeholder hearings with the utilities and other interested parties this past August. At the time, the utilities said the state’s current rules are adequate to deal with any potential problems, which they argued were minimal at most.

More Than 400 Threats Detected

That view was countered by Power Survey Company, a Kearny-based company that provides detection services to help root out contact voltage problems. It conducted a survey of 33 urban municipalities, mostly in northern New Jersey, and detected 408 energized objects, according to a presentation it made to the agency in August.

Contact voltage is mostly a problem in urban areas where underground wires are buried and the infrastructure is aging, with a lot of foot traffic creating potential situations where contact with energized objects, such as manhole covers, streetlights and parking meters, is more common. In addition to aging, objects can become energized because of accidents and faulty workmanship.

New Jersey’s largest utility, Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G), said it will furnish the agency with further information regarding its limited experiences with contact voltage, according to Bonnie Sheppard, spokeswoman. The utility recently surveyed all of its streetlight poles and randomly sampled its manholes for contact voltage. It does spot inspections of its equipment every year.

An Underground Issue

“We have never had a reportable incident involving contact voltage causing injury to members of the public, employees or contractors,” Sheppard said. “Moreover, contact voltage concerns electric utility underground infrastructure and, unlike New York City, most of New Jersey’s electric utility distribution infrastructure, including PSE&G’s, is overhead.”

Ron Morano, a spokesman for Jersey Central Power & Light Co., the state’s second-largest utility, with more than 1 million customers, said the utility has not yet seen the written order, but added, “We understand it applies mainly to underground networks in urban areas. We have limited exposure to those situations.”

BPU President Lee Solomon noted the agency does not yet know the extent of problems with contact voltage, but Asselta said it has been a big problem in New York. Commissioner Jeanne Fox urged the agency’s staff to find out how the neighboring state has dealt with the problem.

According to Power Survey, contact voltage test programs and reporting requirements do exist in other states. After the death in New York City, the New York Public Service Commission mandated that all NY cities with populations in excess of 50,000 be scanned for contact voltage via mobile detection, because it was shown that mobile detection is more effective and less costly than any other means of detection.

Story via njspotlight.com

2 Window Washers Electricuted Outside Bank of America in NY

December 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Long Island, NY– Two window washers are in severe shock after they were electrocuted by a 33,000-volt power line. A 40-foot pole the men were holding was blown into the power line at a Bank of America, located at 300 Merrick Road in Lynbrook on Saturday, November 27, 2010, according to LIHerald.com.

Police officials reported that the two Hewlett Window Cleaners were preparing to wash the third story windows of the Bank of America, when a 40-foot washing pole, which had a brush attached to one end, was blown by a gust of wind into the power line, electrocuting them both.

Alan Weinberg, 64, of Long Beach was holding the pole at the top of a ladder as Nicholas Genovese, 58, of Staten Island, was standing on the ground holding the other end. A gust of wind blew the pole, sending electricity throughout the pole and causing both men to fall to the ground.

Lynbrook officer Doug King and NCPD Detective Gary Ferrucci began CPR on Weinberg, who was in cardiac arrest. When Lynbrook firefighters arrived, they continued CPR on Weinberg, who had no pulse. After 20 minutes and the third shock of the defibrillator, Weinberg was finally revived and transported to South Nassau Communities Hospital in critical condition. He was stabilized and then transported to Nassau University Medical Center Burn Unit for treatment of second and third degree burns on his hands and feet.

Genovese also sustained burns, but was conscious. Genovese was taken to Nassau University Medical Center Burn Unit as well, where he is being treated for second and third degree burns. He is reportedly in stable condition.

It is unknown if the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the electrical accident.

Story via JusticeNewsFlash.com