Disney Contractor Killed in Slip/Fall + Confined Space Accident

Orlando, FL – A fatal combination of slip/fall and confined space hazards lead to the death of Harvest Power employee John Korody. Korody died after falling into a vat filled with oil and grease outside of Walt Disney World last month. The slip/fall hazard was compounded by overwhelming fumes surrounding the oil vat.

The accident happened at the Harvest Power facility that contracts with Disney World to recycle the resort’s food waste and convert it into renewable energy and fertilizers.

Two Harvest Power employees were emptying oil and grease byproduct from a semi-truck into a vat when Korody slipped on a grate and fell in. Korody’s co-worker tried to pull him to safety but fumes from the oil and grease byproduct overwhelmed both workers, and Korody slipped farther into the vat. Korody was pronounced dead at the scene, and the local Fire Department helped to recover his body.

slip/fall

OSHA estimates that about 90 deaths involving confined spaces occur every year in the US and unfortunately, two-thirds of those killed are workers attempting to rescue someone else from the confined space.

Many workplaces contain areas that are considered “confined spaces” because while they were not necessarily designed for people, they are large enough for workers to enter and perform certain jobs. A confined space also has limited or restricted means for entry or exit and is not designed for continuous occupancy. Such spaces include (but are not limited to) tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, pits, manholes, tunnels, vats, equipment housings, ductwork, and pipelines.

OSHA outlines national workplace safety standards for permit-required confined spaces and the serious hazards they post to American workers. In addition to the difficultly in accessing and exiting confined spaces, these sites are often inadequately ventilated and/or trap noxious air. Without proper training, signage, and hazard mitigation planning, confined space conditions can result in tragic fatalities.

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Fall Protection Awareness

Fall Protection Awareness

A four-hour awareness course designed for individuals with frequent (daily or weekly) exposure to fall hazards. Participants gain knowledge and skills necessary to identify and avoid hazards associated with elevated work locations. The course features a series of presentations, demonstrations and hands-on exercises.

 

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MN Worker Dead After Falling Into Biomass Hopper

Benson, MN – Minnesota safety regulators are investigating the death of a worker who fell into a hopper last week at the Benson Power plant in central Minnesota. The Benson biomass plant supplies power to Xcel Energy and has previously been fined by OSHA for hazardous energy concerns.

Rescue personnel arrived and administered lifesaving measures on the scene, and the victim was later transported to a local hospital where he died. Authorities have yet to release the man’s name.

The Benson (MN) facility (previously known as FibroMinn) was fined several times in the past for OSHA violations, including a $1,050 fee in 2012 for inadequate hazardous energy control and another $11,000 fine in 2012 for not providing employee right-to know information and poorly storing flammable liquids and exposed wiring.

Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) and Hazardous Energy Control or Control of Hazardous Energy all refer to the same standard of preventing unexpected start up or movement of equipment. The terms are used interchangably, although “Lockout” is more universally used in the United States as it is the term OSHA uses, while ANSI uses “Control of Hazardous Energy ” in their standard, which is used more often by non-US entities.

Benson Power burns turkey manure and wood chips to generate power for Xcel Energy, but is expected to shut down soon as a cost saving measure. MN state utility regulators approved Xcel’s plan to close the 55-megawatt Benson plant and two other biomass electricity generators. Xcel anticipates that the buyout will lead to long-term savings of $345 million.

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CT Waste-to-Energy Plant Faces OSHA Fines for Hazardous Workplace Practices

BRISTOL, CT – Covanta Energy Bristol Inc faces more than $90,000 in proposed fines for fostering a hazardous workplace. Violations of workplace health standards included allowing combustible dust to accumulate on exposed surfaces and failing to determine the level of employees’ exposure to ash containing toxic metals. Additionally, the employer didn’t provide adequate training and “protective and protective clothing for an employee performing testing on live electrical parts;” had “inadequate safeguards for employees working in confined spaces;” and did not provide enough eyewash for “employees working with batteries”, and also failed to provide enough handwash such as deb instant foam for them to use to wash their hands after dealing with hazardous things. The plant also had “fall, fork truck, air pressure and mechanical hazards,” according to the OSHA inspection. The health and safety team also suggested that the company install an lel sensor due to them operating in a high-risk environment. When it comes to safety, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

The plant located in Bristol, CT burns garbage to produce energy and can process 650 tons of solid waste a day. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration began an inspection in October in response to a complaint about workplace safety and health violations.

“Covanta Energy Bristol Inc. needlessly exposed its employees to the hazards of electrocution, fire, falls, slips and trips, crushing, being trapped or overcome in a confined space, eye injuries and cancer, lung or kidney damage,” Terence McEvily, OSHA’s acting area director in Hartford, said in a statement. “It must take effective steps to eliminate these hazards and prevent them from happening again.” OSHA cited the plant for 16 “serious violations of workplace safety and health standards.”

A Covanta spokesman said the company had not yet received the citations from OSHA but looks forward to resolving the issues, stating: “The health and safety of employees is our first priority at Covanta so we take the assertions in the OSHA press release very seriously…We look forward to working cooperatively with OSHA to gain a thorough understanding of the concerns.”


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Wisconsin Foundry Faces $200K Fines

MARINETTE, WI – The recent federal safety inspections of a northern Wisconsin foundry determined workplace safety failures caused two workers to suffer severe injuries.  In May, a worker lost two fingers to amputation and in July, an overhead hot metal carrier struck and injured another worker. US Department of Labor proposes $200K in fines for the foundry. The company has 15 business days to comply, request a conference, or contest the findings before the independent OSHRC. Waupaca Foundry Inc. is a leading supplier of iron castings to the automotive, commercial vehicle, agriculture, construction, and industrial markets.

A-Wisconsin-foundry-faces-200k-Fines
A Total of Three Inspections Led to Penalties of $200K

While OSHA investigated the incident at Waupaca Foundry Inc. in Marinette, the agency opened a second scheduled inspection under its National Emphasis Program for Primary Metals. Inspectors found violations related to exposures to respirable crystalline silica and noise. The employer reported the July 17 injury to inspectors during the second inspection, which led to a third inspection. After completing the three inspections, OSHA issued one willful, seven serious, and five other-than-serious violations to Waupaca Foundry. The proposed penalties are $200,895.

The Violations

OSHA determined that a lack of energy control procedures, commonly known as lockout/tagout, exposed workers to hazards in both incidents. OSHA cited the following violations:

The foundry industry had a 6.4 percent rate of injury in 2020

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the foundry industry had a 6.4 percent injury rate for every 100 workers in 2020.  “Foundries are inherently dangerous industrial operations. The workers are exposed to hazards from machinery, trips and falls, occupational noise, and respirable silica,” said OSHA Area Director Robert Bonack in Appleton. “Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their workers,” he continued.

Key Takeaways

In conclusion, establishing a complete and comprehensive Lockout Tagout program that includes clear and precise lockout procedures for all workers is imperative. Partnering with certified lockout technicians and safety experts on developing LOTO procedures and placards allows faster and more accurate turnaround times. Additionally, routine safety training can also prevent accidents and avoid fines, ensuring the highest level of safety and efficiency in your workplace.

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Concrete Manufacturer Faces $118K Penalties

DRUMMONDS, TN U.S. Department of Labor finds a Mississippi concrete products manufacturer and distributor had ignored safety measures following a fatal accident investigation. Investigators determined the manufacturer’s employee was engulfed in rock while trying to repair a rockhopper of a mobile concrete plant. The industrial accident caused the death of a 67-year-old worker at a Drummonds worksite in April 2021. The OSHA investigation has found Mississippi Limestone Corp. could have prevented this tragedy if the manufacturer had followed federal workplace requirements. Mississippi Limestone Corp. faces $118K in proposed penalties.

Concrete Products Manufacturer Faces $118K Penalties for Ignoring Safety Measures

OSHA’s Citation and Penalties

OSHA cited the manufacturer for not evaluating the workplace to determine that spaces,  such as the rockhopper, were permit-required confined spaces. Investigators also found the company failed to establish a written permit space program for workers and didn’t provide adequate training. Additionally, the manufacturer failed to implement an energy control program for workers conducting maintenance on the plant.

OSHA also cited Mississippi Limestone Corp. for willfully exposing workers to fall hazards by not installing a stair rail system. The company also failed to evaluate each powered industrial truck operator and remove unsafe vehicles from service as required. “Mississippi Limestone’s failure to comply with safety and health requirements exposed workers to life-threatening hazards that led to the loss of a man’s life,” said OSHA Area Director William Cochran in Nashville, Tennessee. “Putting workers’ safety and health in jeopardy should never be an option. OSHA will hold employers accountable and ensure they meet their legal obligation to protect workers on the job,” Cochran continued.

Additionally, OSHA issued a notice to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with one serious violation for exposing workers to amputation, asphyxiation, and crushing hazards. Mississippi Limestone Corp. performs contract-based manufacturing for the U.S. Army Corps in connection with the Mississippi River Corps of Engineers Channel Improvement program. Under Executive Order 12196, federal agencies must comply with the same safety and health standards as private sector employers covered under the OSH Act. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.

Fall Protection is OSHA’s Most Frequently Cited Standard for the 11th Consecutive Year

OSHA recently revealed its top 10 most frequently cited standards for the 2021 fiscal year using preliminary data. This information is valuable for businesses to identify common exposures that affect their workforce and provide them with the necessary information to plan for compliance programs. Although several standards swapped positions, the criteria that make up the Top 10 Violations remained unchanged from FY 2020. Fall Protection remained OSHA’s most frequently cited standard for the 11th consecutive fiscal year in a row.

Martin Technical encourages organizations to develop a robust workplace safety strategy by scheduling regular workplace fall protection and confined space training.

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Bronx Contractor Cited for Scaffolding Accident – Brooklyn, NY

BROOKLYN, NY  A Bronx contractor was cited for a scaffolding accident and a worker’s fall when his arrest harness was not tethered as required by OSHAThe 21-year-old laborer, who was erecting scaffolding, suffered a deadly fall at a Brooklyn building project on November 13th, 2020.

Falls are the leading cause of death and injury when proper safety protocols are not in place. The laborer who was installing a welded frame scaffold fell over 50 feet from the construction site of the seven-story Brooklyn building.

Everest Scaffolding Inc from the Bronx failed to ensure the laborer’s fall arrest harness was attached, as required by the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration

“The Company cited the tragedy could have been prevented if Everest Scaffolding had provided appropriate training on fall hazards and ensured workers were using fall protection correctly,” said OSHA Area Director Kay Gee in Manhattan.

OSHA proposed $300,370 in penalties for the two serious safety violations. The Company did not train their workers on Fall Hazards and did not make sure they were using the protection correctly.

The Company Failed to evaluate the feasibility of using fall protection correctly and did not adequately train employees on fall hazards associated with scaffolding work.

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Grain Facility Cited for Injury and Explosion – Adrian, MO

ADRIAN, MO– A local Missouri grain facility has been cited for an injury and explosion from failing to correct critical safety procedures, including potential dust ignition sources at their Adrian grain loading facility.

Due to its negligence, the company suffered a grave explosion that seriously injured an employee and destroyed the main elevator at an Adrian grain loading facility. OSHA citedA West Central Agri Services Grain Facility was cited by OSHA West Central Agri Services for one willful and six serious safety violations totaling $215,525 in OSHA fines.

The U.S. Department of Labor  Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined the explosion could have been avoided if the company set up bucket elevators with monitoring devices that notify workers when a belt is slipping and potentially causing friction – this can ignite grain dust.

Within grain handling facilities, OSHA standards require a storage capacity of over one million bushels, and the company had not updated its dust collection system since its installation in 1974. MFA Enterprises failed to meet safety standards.

The company also did not repair an overhead trolly system used for connecting fall protection devices. The trolly system was out of service at the time of its investigation and noted violations, including a lack of preventive maintenance and a failure to designate hazardous areas existed. The company workers were exposed to fall hazards when walking atop the railcars to open and close the hatches without fall protection which is inconsistent with fall protection training and safety measures.

MFA Enterprises Inc. is one of the region’s oldest agricultural cooperatives and brings together 45,000 farmers in Missouri and adjacent states. Together with working with OSHA’s Grain-Handling Safety Standard focuses on the grain and feed industry’s six significant hazards: engulfment, falls, auger entanglement, “struck by,” combustible dust explosions, and electrocution hazard.

“West Central Agri Services failed to follow industry standards and create company policies for safe grain handling, and needlessly put their workers in danger,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Kimberly Stille in Kansas City, Missouri. “Grain handling hazards can be avoided by using well-known safety measures that are proven to help prevent workers from being injured or killed.”

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Toolbox Talks Training

TOOLBOX TALKS

Training Teacker Software

Toolbox talks are an easy and effective way for supervisors and managers to supplement OSHA training and keep safety topics fresh and relevant to their workforce. These learning topics are excellent for safety meeting and pre-job meetings for heightening employee awareness.  Documentation, tracking, reporting, delivery of educational training programs and mobile certificates are managed by Training Tracker by Safety Hive.

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Toolbox Talks – Video Training Topics

    • Safety Is Common Sense
    • Keeping In Shape
    • Warming Up
    • Proper Lifting
    • Horseplay
    • Short Cuts
    • Protecting the Public
    • Children and Construction Vehicle Operations
    • Traffic Control
    • Barricades & Warning Devices
    • Effects of Weather
    • Heat Exhaustion/Sunstroke Dressing for Winter Work
    • Dressing for Winter Work
    • Construction Clothing
    • Head Protection — Hard Hats
    • Eye Protection
    • Foot Protection
    • Hand Protection
    • PPE – Concrete Construction Knee Pads
    • Respirators
    • Knee Pads
    • Housekeeping
    • Trash Chutes
    • Material Storage
    • Material Handling
    • The Spotter Page
    • Signaling Techniques
    • The Right Tool For The Right Job
    • Hand Tools
    • Screwdrivers
    • Wrenches
    • Hammers/Chisels
    • Nails Are Dangerous Too
    • Table Saws
    • Electric Power Tools
    • Electric Hand Saws
    • Portable Electric Tools
    • Powder Actuated Tools
    • Chain Saws
    • What Are The Big Four?
    • Training Requirements – Fall Hazards
    • Falls
    • Ladders
    • Fall Causes Death: Ladders Are Killers
    • Floors and Other Openings
    • Guardrails
    • Ramps and Runways
    • Full Body Harnesses/Lifelines
    • Being Struck
    • Excavations
    • Excavation: Additional Discussion Points
    • Trenching
    • Dangers Overhead
    • Working in Confined Spaces
    • Heavy Equipment
    • Heavy Equipment Hazards
    • Working Around Cranes
    • Electrical Hazards
    • Assured Grounding Program
    • Power Lines and Mobile Cranes
    • Fire Protection and Control
    • Fire Extinguishers
    • Refueling Equipment
    • Gasoline
    • Safety Away From Work
    • Compressed Gas Cylinders

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Dollar Tree Faces $125k in Penalties for OSHA Violations

Athens, GA- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited national discount retailer Dollar Tree Stores Inc. at its store on Atlanta Highway in Athens, Georgia. The company faces $125,026 in proposed penalties for exposing employees to safety hazards.

OSHA cited the company for exposing employees to struck-by, trip and fall hazards by failing to keep passageways and walking surfaces in a clean, orderly and sanitary condition. OSHA found unsafely stacked cases of merchandise and blocked emergency exits, and cited Dollar Tree for not maintaining access to portable fire extinguishers.

“These hazardous conditions unnecessarily exposed employees to potentially life-threatening injury,” said OSHA Area Director William Fulcher, in Atlanta-East. “There is no reason why the employees in this store should have been subjected to the same hazards previously identified and cited at other Dollar Tree locations.”

Dollar Tree Stores has a long history of serious and repeated violations related to unsafe stacking of merchandise and blocked exits. Since 2015, OSHA has cited the Chesapeake, Virginia-based company for similar violations at locations in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Wisconsin, Idaho, Texas, New York, and Rhode Island.

OSHA provides resources on safe working surfaces and exit route requirements.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance.

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