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.
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.
Lincoln, CA- One man was killed and another worker was injured at the Sierra Pacific Industries location in downtown Lincoln on the afternoon of Sept. 18, 2020. Sierra Pacific Industries is the second-largest lumber producer in the United States.
The two were working on an commercial-sized air compressor at the industrial plant when it allegedly exploded.
This accident is currently under a California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CAL/OSHA) investigation, and it is believed that the company will have a better understanding of what took place which caused the accident and death once the investigation is finished.
“Lincoln Police personnel interviewed witnesses and documented the scene, and will turn everything over to Cal OSHA investigators,” Public Safety Chief Doug Lee was quoted saying.
Milo Fryer Jr., 34, of Lincoln, was named as the man who lost his life because of this accident. The other worker was not identified in the local news reports but was released from the hospital.
San Francisco, CA- In the Bay Area, Cal/OSHA has cited six employers for failing to adequately protect employees from COVID-19 exposure.
Cal/OSHA conducted nearly 8,000 compliance checks in businesses across the state of California in July to identify issues with protecting employees from the coronavirus.
Cal/OSHA recently cited the following employers: Uni-Kool Partners, in Salinas; Sutter Bay Medical Foundation, in Berkeley; Serve Max Farm Labor, in Vacaville; Ruiz Farm Labor, in Dixon; Michel Labor Services Inc. in Dixon; and M and J Williams Inc. in Santa Clara.
These six are included among eleven employers cited statewide in California within the industries of food processing, meatpacking, health care, agriculture and retail.
These citations ranged from penalties of about $2,000 to a penalty of more than $50,000, which was cited for a food processing company in Monterey Park.
“These are industries where workers have been disproportionately affected, and these citations are the first of many to be issued in the coming weeks and months,” Cal/OSHA Chief Doug Parker was quoted as saying.
In general, workers in warehouses, factories, supermarkets, and others of the industries listed above are considered essential and have had outbreaks of COVID-19 in different establishments across the country.
Cleveland, OH- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $1.57 million in fines against an Ohio company after an accident that claimed the lives of two workers in February 2020. These two deaths prompted an on-site inspection on behalf of OSHA, and a letter from OSHA outlining the violations and fines was released August 2020.
The company in question is Great Lakes Tank and Vessel L.L.C., which specializes in cleaning large storage tanks such as chemical and gas. The proposed charges are the 5th-highest the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued since January of 2015.
With such a sum of over $1.5 million, the breakdown of individual charges and citations proposed by OSHA and served to the company can be found here. Among the many fines, one included was a fine for not evaluating the effectiveness of respirators after an Tattempt had been made to repair them using tape following chemical exposure.
Martin Technical reiterates our commitment to safety, education, and training that prevents these tragedies in the workplace.
Amesbury, MA- Firefighters responded to a concrete plant in Amesbury, Massachusetts last Monday afternoon after receiving a report that one of the workers was critically hurt in an industrial accident, according to Amesbury Fire. The plant, E.F. Shea, has been in operation for 75 years and is a manufacturer of precast concrete products.
At about 2 pm, fire personnel arrived at the scene and worked to extricate the injured man from a walkway that was 15-20 ft high.The fire department said removing the worker from the height was difficult because firefighters firstly needed to stabilize him.
The man sustained life-threatening injuries and was transported by helicopter to an area hospital to receive treatment. Amesbury Fire said an investigation has been opened by the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). No other details are available from OSHA nor local reporting at press time.
As many workers over the last weeks have begun to return to work in the time of COVID-19, Martin Technical encourages all forms of safety and prevention to be taken seriously, whether it is an injury or an illness.
Las Vegas, NV- Mortenson-McCarthy, a joint venture between M.A. Mortenson Co. and McCarthy Building Cos. is building the 65,000-seat stadium to host games of the Raiders and University of Nevada Las Vegas football teams, with games beginning this August.
The joint venture in charge of construction at the $2 billion Allegiant Stadium is facing a fine for a “serious” but unnamed violation by Nevada regulators, levied on June 23rd, 2020.
The amount of the fine, $13,494, is the maximum penalty for a serious OSHA violation. Repeat violators can face a fine of $134,937 for each violation.
A report from OSHA provided details of the violation, detailing two incidents regarding lack of social distancing amid strict coronavirus protocols put in place by the state of Nevada. The report included 35 photos capturing instances in which people were working in close proximity to each other. There were reported to be some 2,600 workers on the job.
On April 2nd, OSHA noted employees at the site were not abiding by the 6-feet minimum social distancing requirement, noting that two 65-foot boom lifts were operating, each of which had three men per basket in violation of the two-person-per-basket regulation.
Additionally, 30 employees were seen working in very close proximity doing concrete-related work, possibly laying rebar, in one corner of the work site. Mortenson-McCarthy has since reported dozens of stadium workers have been infected with COVID-19.
Does this OSHA fine come as a shock or surprise to you or your company? What is your group of workers doing to stay safe and healthy during COVID-19? Martin Technical provides safe, reliable, and approved products sourced by our PPE experts.
Selma, AL- Miller & Co. Inc. is facing $218,192 in OSHA penalties for failing to protect their employees from struck-by hazards and improper machine guarding after a worker was injured, resulting in their death.
Founded in 1923, Miller & Co. Inc. is an Alabama-based hardwood business producing lumber and flooring. A piece of wood fatally struck a worker who was attempting to clear a jammed machine, which then prompted an investigation.
OSHA cited Miller & Co. Inc. for failing to lockout equipment prior to beginning maintenance, ensuring machines were properly guarded and training employees on lockout/tagout procedures. Specifically, OSHA cited Miller & Co. Inc. with the following two citations: Willful – 29 CFR 1910.147 (c)(4)(i) and Serious – 29 CFR 1910.147 (c)(7)(i).
Jose Gonzalez, Mobile, Ala. area director, said in a statement, “Employers are required to identify safety hazards, implement safety measures and train workers on the proper use of safety equipment. Tragedies such as this can be prevented if employers comply with workplace standards, as required by law.”
Martin Technical extends our sympathy towards the family and circle of the worker that lost his life to this accident. Reflecting on the statement above, tragedies can and should be prevented- which is why our mission to improve workforce safety is driven by people who care about the greater good.
Creve Coeur, MO- OSHA cited a Missouri contractor for violations of trenching and excavation standards after an employee suffered severe injuries when a 20-foot trench collapsed during an excavation at Creve Coeur Sanitary Sewer Trunk.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Unnerstall Contracting Company LLC, based in Pacific, Missouri, for three willful and four serious violations. The penalties amounted to $224,459.
The company was cited for failing to use adequate trench protective systems, permitting employees to ride in the bucket of hydraulic excavators, allowing water to accumulate in the floor of the trench, failing to provide a safe means of egress from the trench, failing to protect workers from struck-by hazards, and failing to place excavated soil piles an adequate distance from trench edges.
OSHA has since placed the company in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the OSHA citations and 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.
These penalties and citations embody a number of safety topics and issues, some of which could be prevented and resolved by proper management training.
McAllen, TX- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined $6,148 against Plateros Produce for the November poisoning death of a 32-year-old worker.
The worker, Luis Reymundo Pierda Martinez, passed away on Nov. 18 possibly due to the inhalation of aluminum phosphate and pesticide vapors, according to OSHA. The exact cause of Martinez’ death is pending toxicology tests.
The incident is reported saying the man was placing aluminum phosphate tablets and pesticide fumigators throughout the warehouse on Nov. 18. He then went to sleep at the warehouse and employees returning on Monday found him dead in the office.
The federal agency issued the two fines on May 14. OHSA fined Plateros Produce $4,048 for an initial penalty and $2,100 for a current penalty, according to the agency’s records. That being said, OSHA still categorizes this as pending, and is not closed.
Our thoughts are with Martinez’s family and loved ones. Tragic incidents like this remind us of the importance of education, training, and preventative safety measures companies and warehouses must take to save lives.