Hugo, OK – A series of confined space violations have resulted in two deaths, according to an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This occurred in Hugo, Oklahoma, on August 12th, 2020. As reported in an OSHA press release, one employee entered a natural gasoline rail car to clean the space. When the employee became unresponsive, a second attempted to rescue the first. This employee became unresponsive as well. Later, both workers were pronounced dead at a local hospital.
The rail company involved is Trinity Rail and Maintenance Service Inc. Trinity Rail is one of the largest rail car service providers in the United States. They are facing $419,347 in proposed penalties. OSHA has cited them for 11 serious violations and two willful violations due to the accident.
Among the confined space violations were, “…that the company failed to require a permit to allow entry into the rail car, ventilate the space, monitor hazards inside a confined space and complete entry permits for work inside a confined space…”
As OSHA points out in their press release, confined space work is dangerous. Following standards is the difference between making it home safe at the end of the day, or not. Martin Technical encourages all employers to train their employees in confined space safety. We also encourage training in any standards relevant to your industry. Safety training for your employees helps to avoid accidents such as these.
Henderson, NV – The Nevada Occupational Safety and Hazard Association (Nevada OSHA) is investigating the death of Harry Kenneth Peterson III, as reported by The Las Vegas Review Journal. Last week, the fire department was called to a rock quarry described as the Viento Puntero Pit.
Fire Department Chief, Shawn White, reported what he was told by emergency crews. Crews were informed that Peterson had been helping others move a rock crushing machine to another area of the work site.
When part of the machine was apparently jammed, Peterson tried to fix it and was caught in the machine. Rescue workers said it was not clear how he became stuck. White reported Peterson had head and chest injuries. When rescue crews arrived, Peterson had already been removed from the machine.
When emergency crews arrived, Peterson was breathing and transported to to Sunrise Trauma. On Friday, Peterson succumbed to his injuries at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.
The death has been ruled an accident. The Fire Department has contacted Nevada OSHA to investigate the work site death. A related police report was released Wednesday. It did not contain details about the incident, except that it did not appear to be a result of a criminal act.
Nevada OSHA’s spokeswoman, Teri Williams, described Peterson’s employer as Las Vegas Paving Corp. The company lists their services on its website, including: asphalt placing, aggregate crushing & material supply, Design-Build. James Barker acts as Las Vegas Paving Corp’s general counsel. He did not comment out of respect for the family and because of the ongoing investigation.
Gainesville, FL – On January 28th a deadly nitrogen leak took the lives of six workers at Foundation Food Group poultry plant located in Gainesville, Florida. The leak occurred during unplanned maintenance on a processing and freezing line. The line was installed about a month prior, according to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board’s report on January 30th.
In addition to the six dead in the nitrogen leak, there were 11 injuries, one more individual was sent to the hospital, and 130 other workers were forced to evacuate. Katherine A. Lemos, CEO & chairwoman of the CSB stated the investigation “…may take up to several years.” New information is still coming forward, and will continue to do so as Lemos suggests.
What We Know Currently
In the CSB’s report from January 30th, it was detailed that there was a release of liquid nitrogen. This rapidly converted to a gas. Because the gas form of liquid nitrogen is heavier than air, it forced the oxygen out the room.
How the liquid nitrogen was released was not detailed. The CSB is currently working to isolate the exact location of release inside the plant. Additional damage to the plant was avoided when a manger turned off an external isolation valve after the leak began.
Other details noted in the report included: Tools were found on the ground near the equipment. The plant receives 2-3 18-wheel truckloads per day of liquid nitrogen. Manufacturers of interior equipment are being looked into, and the supplier of liquid nitrogen was noted in the report.
The CSB lacks the authority to issue fines or criminal charges. However, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is also investigating the leak. The CSB has noted its investigations will include examinations and evaluations of multiple factors. The will include training as well as operations and procedures. Martin Technical encourages all industries and professionals to keep all employees up to date on training, as well as safety procedures and operations such as Lockout Tagout. Keep your team informed on all regulations and industry standards to prevent accidents such as these.
Bush Brothers and Company in Eau Claire, WI, is facing OSHA citations and fines after the death of one of its employees at an Augusta canning factory in July 2020.
On the day of the accident, it was originally reported by WQOW-18 that Augusta Police responded to a call to the factory just before 9:30 a.m. on July 27th, where a 58 year old woman had reportedly suffered work related traumatic injuries. Medical measures were taken to save her life, however she was pronounced dead at the scene.
As of January 21st, WQOW-18 has reported that the employee was Mary Falk of Eau Claire, WI. OSHA has investigated the death and filed a “serious” class citation against the company, which carries a fine of $12,145. Bush Brothers is accused of failing to store material so that it remains stable against sliding and/or collapse, which falls under Standard 1910.176(b) – Handling materials – general.
At Martin Technical, we encourage safety training in all standards relevant to your work place to prevent accidents such as these.
YEOSU, South Korea – Sunday, January 10th, 2021, a 33-year-old mechanic for a coal storing company at the national industrial complex in Yeosu died after his body got stuck in a machine used for coal transportation.
According to Yeosu Fire Station, the contract worker was caught in the machine starting around 7:55 p.m. Sunday and was taken out from the machine at 10:32 p.m. by rescuers dispatched to the scene.
The badly injured worker was transported to a nearby hospital in cardiac arrest and ultimately died there around 11:42 p.m. The accident occurred while he was inspecting the machinery with another worker, who was the one that initially reported the emergency to the company.
Police and labor authorities in South Korea are investigating the exact circumstances of the incident and whether there have been any violations of safety guidelines. Machine Safety is essential to stay trained and informed of, even with routine inspections.
In 2018, another worker fell to his death three meters off of a conveyor at the same company.
Hudson, N.C.- Last Tuesday, 12/29/20, at Sealed Air Corp. plant in Hudson, North Carolina, worker Alan Rothenberger was trapped in a machine for 45 minutes.
He was airlifted to a hospital and is currently in a coma due to brain damage caused by lack of air-flow to his brain for 10 minutes after the incident.
The North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) division has begun its investigation into the incident.
“Based on the preliminary information that we have at this time, an employee was threading up a machine when their body was pulled into the machine causing crushing injuries to their torso,” OSHA said in a statement.
The incident is believed to have taken place when rollers did not have a clear stop or release button accessed, potentially being a lockout tagout machine issue or fault. Sealed Air. Corp manufactures bubble wrap and foam.
Rapid City, SD – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has opened an investigation into a Rapid City trench collapse that trapped two workers, including one who died last Monday afternoon. OSHA is still confirming information of the identity of the workers as well as the company.
The incident occurred in the driveway of an unoccupied home in an area building up new homes and apartments.
The accident was reported just before 4 p.m., after a police officer and medic responded and found the two men trapped in a large dirt pile in a trench that was 15 feet long, six feet wide, and five feet deep.
First responders were able to rescue the man submerged up to his chest, but the other man was buried, where it took nearly five hours before recovering the body around 8:45 p.m.
Trenching, or creating a narrow excavation, is a dangerous activity if not done properly, according to OSHA’s Trenching and Excavation Safety publication. Cave-ins or collapses are the greatest risk and can be fatal since one cubic yard of soil can weigh as much as a car.
OSHA has cited $3.4 million for coronavirus-related violations since the start of the pandemic, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration stated last Friday. These 3.4 million in fines arise from 255 inspections conducted by OSHA. Senior living providers are among these citations.
Operators in these facilities have been fined for failing to implement written respiratory protection programs; failing to provide a medical evaluation, respirator fit test and training on the proper use of a respirator and personal protective equipment; and failing to report an injury, illness or fatality.
The retirement community, Friendship Senior Options, out of Schaumburg, IL, was fined $13,494 for three “serious” violations related to respiratory policies and employee use of respirators.
A spokeswoman for Friendship Senior Options said the provider has “cooperated fully” with OSHA during the investigation.
Another senior living facility, in Arlington, TX was fined. OSHA fined Meadowbrook Memory Care $1,928 for allegedly not keeping records of fatalities, injuries, and illnesses.
These two violations were among 11 found during inspections between Nov. 20 and 26, totaling $101,207 in fines.
Martin Technical provides COVID-19 solutions and learning for all types of plants and facilities.
Winnipeg, Canada – Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health is investigating at Gerdau Long Steel North America after a worker was injured in an accident at the mill in Selkirk on the weekend.
A spokesperson for the steel mill confirmed to press that a worker at the Gerdau Manitoba Steel Mill was injured and is expected to be released in “the next day or two.”
According to the province, the unnamed worker fell approximately eight feet from a stepladder and sustained a “serious leg injury,” and then was airlifted to a nearby hospital.
The incident is now under investigation. The company was issued two improvement orders related to ladders directly relating to this incident.
Improvement orders are issued when a priority contravention is noted; they require measures to be put in place by a specified timeframe in order to ensure the safety and health of workers. Approximately 7,000 improvement orders are issued annually in the province of Manitoba.
Every company has different needs and training requirements, which is why Martin Technical offers blended learning solutions internationally to countries like Canada.
Workplace Safety and Health have been notified of three other serious incidents ranging in injuries at the workplace this year, the spokesperson told the press. Some of these incidents also warranted improvement orders.
Commerce, GA- A construction worker at the SK Battery plant in Jackson County, Georgia was declared dead after he sustained injuries from a three story fall.
The accident itself took place November 4, 2020 at the plant’s Formation Building. Reportedly the worker fell through a hole in an air vent 46 feet above the ground, later landing on top of a female worker standing below who also sustained injuries.
Jackson County deputy coroner, Jeff Rogers, said the 34-year-old Augusta man suffered brain injuries and was kept on life support until this weekend. The female worker remains in critical condition but is ultimately expected to survive.
Some workers have told reporters at FOX 5 they worry sub-contractors are sacrificing safety for speed. “You take chances in our trade and you wind up dead,” warned Randy Gregory when FOX 5 Atlanta talked to him in September.
This month’s accident follows other recent injuries at the site. Recently, one worker was hospitalized after he fell through a ceiling, while another allegedly fell through a roof. Fall Protection Training actively addresses the factors that lead to such incidents like these three occurring.
Deputy coroner Rogers said the investigation by OSHA will determine whether the man who died followed safety procedures and at what fault the subcontractors and company will be held at.
“They’re going back out to the site,” explained the deputy coroner. “They’re interviewing witnesses, employees that were there that saw the accident.”