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NJ: $124K in OSHA Electrical Safety Fines

July 10, 2012 1 comment

Norwood, NJ:  The employees of a cleaning-products company face “serious” hazards, OSHA says.

Earth Friendly Products, which makes plant-based cleaning products, faces a $124,000 fine for 23 alleged safety and health violations at its Norwood facility, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said on Thursday.

In response to a complaint, OSHA inspected the operation from Dec. 28 to May 31 and found workers were exposed to hazards like insufficient machine guarding, flammable liquids and deficient personal protective equipment(PPE), among other violations, the federal agency said.

“The large number and extensive range of safety and health hazards found at this establishment are of great concern to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration,” Lisa Levy, OSHA’s area director in Hasbrouck Heights, said in a statement. “This employer needs to address the hazards to prevent injuries from occurring at its facility.”

The company, based in Addison, Ill., makes “environmentally friendly” cleaning products. It employs 38 people at 380 Chestnut St. in Norwood.

The alleged “serious” violations at the Norwood plant include safety hazards related to confined-space entry, which means having workers in an enclosed area not meant for human occupancy, with limited access and only one way in or out, according to OSHA.

Other alleged violations include: deficient “lockout/tagout” procedures to prevent machinery from accidentally starting up; failing to train powered industrial truck operators and make sure that truck modifications are performed with the manufacturer’s prior written approval, and insufficient machine-guarding equipment.

Also on the list of alleged violations are: junction boxes connected with flexible cords instead of being mounted on the wall; unlabeled breakers on the electrcial panel; unsafe flammable liquid storage and handling; personal protective equipment and respirator deficiencies; a lack of eye-wash stations, and a deficiency in fire extinguisher training and hazard communications.

Earth Friendly Products has 15 business days from receiving the citations and penalties to either comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before OSHA’s independent review commission.

The company’s chief executive and owner, Van Vlahakis, said his lawyer, Amber Enriquez, will be meeting with OSHA officials next week. Enriquez said she couldn’t discuss the case in any detail, but added, “We are working with them to reduce the fine.”

Vlahakis said the company was once cited by OSHA at another one of its facilities for a minor infraction.

OSHA considers a violation “serious” 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,” according to the agency.

Story via North Jersey.com

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2 Electricians Shocked Working on Panel in MA

December 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Norton, MA – Earlier today, fire and rescue officials were deployed to Horizon Beverage facility, located at 45 Commerce Way, Norton, for two electricians who were injured by an electrical shock.

Both men, who were working on an electrical panel, were taken to area hospitals for treatment of electrical burns.

According to reports by Sun Chronicle, fire captain Shawn Simmons said that one worker suffered  second-degree burns to his face and another suffered minor burns. The victims were subcontractors at the site  and  were not employees of Horizon Beverage, Simmons said.

One worker has since been treated and released; the other remains hospitalized.

The exact cause of the accident is under investigation.

“Our thoughts are with the injured men and their families,” said vice president of operations Michael Epstein.

Story via NortonPatch.com

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Arc Flash in CT Grocery Store Injures Worker

December 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Old Lyme, CT – Fire officials say a man received an electric shock at the Big Y World Class Market on Route 1 Thursday afternoon and was transported to the Shoreline Medical Center to meet a Life Star helicopter.

The man was shocked around 2:10 this afternoon and suffered severe burns to his hands and face, Old Lyme Fire Marshal David Roberge said.

The man was conscious but it appears to be fairly serious, he said.

Roberge said the man, in his 40s, is a Big Y employee and was working upstairs in an electrical room. Roberge said the man was working on a refrigeration system electrical panel when he experienced an arc flash. An arc flash is a high flash of energy, Roberge said.

The man was transported to the Shoreline Medical Center before he was flown to Bridgeport Hospital, Roberge said.

A call to the Big Y corporate office was not returned.

Story via TheDay.com

Electrical Arc Flash Burns Worker in WA

January 15, 2011 Leave a comment

WENATCHEE, WA — An worker suffered minor burns to his face at about 7:50 a.m. today when electricity arced inside an electrical panel he was working on at 521 S. Columbia Street.  [bloggers note – this is most likely due to an arc flash accident ]

The worker was treated at Central Washington Hospital, said Mitch Barnes, a batallion chief for the Wenatchee Fire Department. Barnes did not know the name of the injured worker this morning, so his condition was not available from officials at Central Washington Hospital.

The building is being remodeled, Barnes said. It is owned by Hamilton Investment Group, LLC.

Story via WenatcheeWorld.com

Electrical Failure on Queen Mary 2 Causes Explosion & Blackout

December 3, 2010 Leave a comment

SOUTHAMPTON, UK – An electrical failure which caused an explosion and a blackout on the Cunard liner Queen Mary 2 was described today by marine accident investigators.

One of the capacitors – an energy-storing container – in a compartment within a switchboard room failed as the 151,000-tonne Southampton-based vessel was approaching Barcelona, a report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said.

There was a loud explosion and extensive damage to the surrounding electric panels and the vessel blacked out.

A steel cover plate was blown out into the main switchboard room but ”fortunately there were no personnel in the vicinity” the MAIB said.

Story via DailyEcho.co.uk

Igloo Products Faces $113K in Fines from OSHA Including Electrical Safety Violations

October 21, 2010 Leave a comment

KATY, TEXAS – A company in Katy is facing more than $113,000 in federal penalties for allegation of unsafe working conditions, authorities said.

The investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration began May 27 when employees at Igloo Products Corp. complained they were exposed to safety hazards while servicing machines at the company.

OSHA officials said the company didn’t provide eye protection or adequate safety shower stations for employees. They also failed to close electrical panel covers, provide clean and dry walkways and stairway, among other violations.

The company also failed to maintain power tools and adequately label electrical equipment.

The company has 15 days to comply with the requirements, contest the ruling or request a conference with OSHA officials in Houston.

Story via chron.com