Father of 4 Dies Months After Preventable Lockout Accident

preventable lockout accidentSearcy, AR – A worker who was seriously injured in a preventable lockout accident at Bryce Corporation Plant 8 last November has died from complications related to his injuries.

In November, 2016, Vernon Holland climbed inside a machine to fix a jam at the Bryce Corporation facility Searcy (AR). The machine was turned off at the time, but started back up while he was inside. Holland initially survived his injuries and spent months in the hospital. In April of this year, he was able to return home, but was re-hospitalized shortly afterward. Tragically, Holland died this month from numerous complications related to recovering from the workplace accident. His passing leaves four children fatherless.

Lockout Tagout programs and practices help to prevent the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities. These written procedures provide detailed instruction on how to isolate and lock each energy source for a given piece of equipment, and are an OSHA requirement.

Bryce Corporation Plant 8 in Searcy is less than an hour northeast of Little Rock, Arkansas. Bryce Corporation specializes in film conversion and manufactures flexible packaging.

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Repeat and Willful Machine Safety Violations Generate Nearly $.5 Million in Fines

Archbold, OH – Machine safety violations at Napoleon Spring Works have lead to $484,007 in OSHA fines. Federal inspectors cited the company for 21 violations, including two willful and nine repeat, following incidents of crushed and amputated fingers at the garage door parts manufacturer. An additionalmachine safety violations 10 violations were categorized as “serious.”

The willful and repeat violations stem from Napoleon Spring Works having been fined for similar violations in October, 2013. In the course of the 2012 inspection, the company was cited for exposing employees to both injury and amputation risk because of insufficient safeguards on various machinery. An OSHA representative stated that Napoleon Spring Works “made improvements” following the 2013 citations, “but then fell off” with their machine safety protocols.

Two recent incidents brought Napoleon Spring Works back to OSHA’s attention. Last October an employee loading and unloading parts suffered a crushed finger and an amputated finger while working on a mechanical power press that stamps out parts. OSHA’s report found that that machine lacked the proper safeguards to protect employees.

The following month, another employee lost a finger while trying to unjam a hinge-making machine. OSHA found that incident to have been the result of a failure in lockout/tagout practices since power to the machine had not being fully turned off while the employee was troubleshooting it. This was considered a “repeat” violation, and Napoleon Spring Works was cited for nott using lockout-tagout procedures for machinery and a failure to follow power control procedures.

Napoleon Spring Works were also cited for “serious” violations including exposing workers to electrical hazards and not wearing proper safety equipment when handling electrical equipment.

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Confined Space Death Reveals $350,000 in Violations

Los Angeles, CA – Cal/OSHA has issued fines of $352,570 for ten serious and willful health and safety violations following an investigation into a confined space death. Cal/OSHA reports that neither Tyler Development or D&D Construction Specialties Inc. were in compliance with required confined space procedures.

An employee of D&D Construction entered a drainage shaft in October 2016 to clean out mud and debris. No personal fall protection was utilized as the worker descended via bucket 10 ft. into the shaft. Reports state that the shaft was 4.5 ft. in diameter and lined with concrete. The worker lost consciousness due to the oxygen deficient atmosphere in the confined space, fell 40 ft., and then drowned in one foot of wconfined space deathater.

According to Cal/OSHA, Tyler Development was the general contractor constructing a single-family residence in the Bel Air area. They had subcontracted D&D Construction to install and service reinforced concrete posts known as caissons1 on the property.

These violations have been classified as willful because D&D Construction was cited in 2012 for similar safety violations at a different job site. In total, D&D has to pay a proposed $337,700 for 13 violations, including two willful serious accident-related, one willful serious, one serious accident-related, six serious, and three general in nature.

According to Cal/OSHA, the D&D Construction failed to ensure safe entry into the confined space; failed to have an effective method for rescuing the worker in the confined space in an emergency; and failed to test the environment to determine if additional protective equipment, such as a respirator or oxygen tank, were required to work safely in the shaft.

For their part, Tyler Development was cited $14,870 for five violations, three of them serious, for a failure to evaluate the worksite for possible permit-required confined spaces and failure to ensure that the subcontractor meets all requirements to comply with a permit space program.

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Renewable Energy Plant Fined for Multiple Hazards

South Sioux City, IA – Electrical, mechanical, and chemical hazards were among the violations found at the Big Ox renewable energy plant following a six month OSHA investigation. The six serious violations issued there represent over $50,000 in fines.

Gas exposure first brought this facility to OSHA’s attention after a contractor working at the facility was hospitalized due to hydrogen sulfide exposure. Just two months later, a maintenance worker was treated and released in another incident of hydrogen sulfide exposure. Earlier this year, another two workers were suffered chemical exposure, and one was hospitalized for chemical burns.renewable energy

Hazardous energy violations were also found at Big Ox Energy while OSHA conducted it’s investigation of the chemical exposure incidents.

OSHA reports show a failure to develop and implement energy control and lockout-tagout procedures for each piece of equipment, including Big Ox’s gas energy mixing system, centrifuge, raw-feed and digester pumps. According to OSHA, employees were exposed to electrical hazards, flowing wastewater, and chemical and mechanical hazards while performing equipment maintenance. Additional citations were issued for failing to ensure each authorized employee affixed his or her own lock or tag to certain devices prior to working on the equipment.

Confined space concerns were also cited. OSHA found a failure to retain confined space entry permits.

Additionally, Big Ox was cited for failure to ensure employees had eye and face protection to keep them safe from hazards like pressurized liquid wastewater. At the end of 2016, a Big Ox Energy employee wearing only safety glasses suffered lacerations, cheek and eye socket fractures, and chipped teeth after being struck by pressurized wastewater and a hose nozzle.

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Unguarded Machine Costs Worker his Hand, Costs Company $570K

Oregon, OH – Proper machine guarding and employee training could have prevented an amputation at the Autoneum North America plant just across the river from Toledo, OH. The auto parts maker is being fined $570,000 after a worker lost his right hand and part of his arm in an industrial accident.

Federal investigators report that a 46-year-old man was feeding scrap material into amachine guardingn unguarded shredding machine in December when he was hurt. OSHA says the accident was preventable and therefore cited the Autoneum plant for three of its highest safety violations. Federal officials cited the company for lacking proper protective guards and failing to train workers on proper operating procedures.

Autoneum North America makes automotive insulation at the factory in Oregon, OH
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Maintenance Worker Killed in Accident at SC Paper Mill

North Charleston, SC – The KapStone Paper mill was the site of an employee death earlier this week. The local coroner’s office reports that Lawrence Shiner, 60, died as the result of an accident that occurred while he performed maintenance at the facility Sunday night.maintenance

One person was killed and another injured while performing maintenance work in an operating area that was offline for repairs. The injured worker was hospitalized, but has since been released.

The accident is being investigated by OSHA.

At Martin Technical, our team of machines safety specialists combines the talents of electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, maintenance professionals and safety professionals from the US and Europe to provide our customers with optimal solutions for machine safety and lockout/tagout.

Our multi-functional teams, view safety not just from an engineering perspective, but also from a production line and maintenance perspective, giving our customers the best combination of safety and efficiency. We recognize that while machines must be safe to use, they must also not hinder production or reduce the capacity of the machine.

Contact a safety professional today to discuss the safety needs of your facility.

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Accident at Refinery Power Distribution Center Sends 4 to Hospital

Whiting, IN – The power distribution center at BP’s Whiting Refinery was the scene of an industrial accident last week which sent 4 workers to the hospital.

Details are still limited, but reports from Friday, April 28 indicate that four oil workers were taken by ambulance to area hospitals following an incident at a power distribution center inside the refinery. In a statement, BP said that there was no “impact to power distributionthe environment or the local community.”

The BP Whiting Refinery in northwestern Indiana is described as “sprawling,” and employs more than 1,800 workers as the largest refinery in the Midwest. The facility converts crude oil from Canada and the Dakotas into gasoline sold across the Midwestern United States.

The timing of this industrial accident was unfortunate in that April 28th was Worker’s Memorial Day, an annual event organized by USW chapters nationwide to observe and remember workers killed or injured on the job. Worker’s Memorial Day is designed to highlight workplace safety and accident prevention.

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Faulty PPE Cited in Death of WI Shipyard Worker

Superior, WI – A boilermaker employed at the Fraser Shipyards on Lake Superior has died two months after suffering severe burns on the job. Joseph Burch worked at the Fraser Shipyards for 22 years and was injured in February. Burch never recovered and lost his life due to the burns he sustained. The incident that has generated new citations from federal OSHA regulators for faulty personal protective equipment.

OSHA has issued two citations for serious violations in allegedly allowing holes and frayed fabric in protective clothing worn while performing hot work, and allegedly allowing employees to work without wearing fire retardant jackets and coveralls while using a hand-held torch. Fraser Shipyards faces $12,548 in potential fines.

OSHA says faulty personal protective equipmentemployees were not adequately protected from molten metal, sparks, fire or flame. The agency says at least one of the violations was corrected during their inspection.

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5 Maintenance Workers Hospitalized after Arc Flash Explosion

Queensland, Australia – Three maintenance workers fixing a power board sustained third-degree burns after an electrical explosion at the JBS processing plant in Ipswich, Queensland (Australia). Two other employees were hospitalized for smoke inhalation related to the accident.

The injuries were likely the result of an arc flash. The maintenance workers suffered severe burns on their upper bodies, faces, and hands.

An arc flash is an electrical explosion due to a fault condition or shortmaintenance workers circuit when either a phase to ground or phase to phase conductor is connected and current flows through the air. Arc flashes cause electrical equipment to explode, resulting in injury or death to workers and destruction of electrical equipment.

Temperatures may exceed 35,000° F (the surface of the sun is 9000° F). These high temperatures cause rapid heating of surrounding air and extreme pressures, resulting in an arc blast. Such a blast can vaporize all solid copper conductors. When vaporized, these conductors expand up to 67,000 times original volume. As a result, an arc flash  and arc blast produces fire, intense light, pressure waves, and flying shrapnel.

When an arc flash happens, it does so without warning and is lightning quick. The result of this violent event is usually destruction of the equipment involved, fire, and severe injury or evne death to any nearby people. Proper safety and protection measures must be taken to limit the damage from an arc flash. These measures include conducting an arc flash study, short circuit study, and NFPA 70E electrical safety training.

The JBS facility is the largest beef plant in the southern hemisphere, with a daily production of 3,350 head per day. JBS in Ipswich employs about 2,000 making it the largest employer in that region.

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Top 10 Most Cited OSHA Violations for 2016

Lockout/Tagout violations were the #5 most commonly issued OSHA violation in 2016, the #2 most common willful violation, and the #4 most commonly cited serious violation in the safety trainingpast year as presented by Patrick Kapust (deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs) at the 2016 National Safety Council Congress & Expo in Anaheim, CA.

In sharing OSHA’s Top 10 list of most frequently cited violations for 2016, Kapust recommends that each safety manager looks at the list and compare it to their own workplace. Since these are the most common violations OSHA is finding in the US, Kapust suggests that EHS managers ask themselves: “Would they find these at my workplace?”

Fall Protection was the most cited OSHA violation for the sixth year in a row. Hazard Communication and Scaffolding were second and third most common, which is unchanged from 2015’s top 10 most cited. Respiratory Protection and Lockout/Tagout were the next most common, in fourth and fifth position.

OSHA’s standards for Lockout/Tagout (or LOTO) outline the minimum performance requirements for the control of hazardous energy during servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment.

While Lockout violations are the fifth most common overall, LOTO was the #2 most common willful violation in 2016. Willful violations are defined as those “committed with an live training, electrical training, arc flash trainingintentional disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and requirements.”

Additionally, Lockout/Tagout represented the #4 most common serious violation issued in 2016. Serous violations are those which pose a “substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.”

 

OSHA’s Top 10 Most Cited Violations for 2016:
  • Fall Protection – General Requirements
  • Hazard Communication
  • Scaffolding
  • Respiratory Protection
  • Lockout/Tagout
  • Powered Industrial Trucks
  • Ladders
  • Machine Guarding
  • Electrical – Wiring Methods
  • Electrical – General Requirements

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