Seattle Company Fined for Confined Space and LOTO failures

Seattle, WA – Washington State Department of Labor & Industries has cited Industrial Container Services $215,250 for seven failure to abate serious violations related to confined space hazards and for not ensuring that moving parts were de-energized to prevent workers from becoming caught in machinery.

Industrial Container Services refurbishes metal drums and other industrial containers. It operates a “drum shot-blaster unit,” a 24-foot long tunnel with a series of rotating shafts that move metal drums through as they’re being shot-blasted to remove paint and coatings. L&I began its investigation in January 2015 after a worker was hospitalized after being injured while working inside a drum shot-blaster. The worker became entangled in a rotating shaft while working inside the confined space. L&I’s statement said the agency had cited the company previously for many of these hazards, but they had not been corrected.

L&I cited the company for seven failure to abate serious violations related to the confined space hazards and for not ensuring that moving parts were de-energized to prevent workers from becoming caught in machinery – procedures known as Lockout/Tagout.

These violations were originally cited in October 2013 and had not been corrected. Each carries a penalty of $22,750. L&I also cited the company for four repeat-serious violations and four serious violations related to confined space procedures and lockout/tagout, with penalties ranging from $11,700 to $4,550 for these.

“As a result of these safety issues, Industrial Container Solutions has been identified as a severe violator and could be subject to increased scrutiny at all its locations nationwide,” L&I’s announcement stated. It said the company has appealed the citation.

Read more from original source.

Read More

Manke Lumber Fined for Repeat Violations After 2014 Worker Death

Tacoma, WA – Manke Lumber Company Inc., of Tacoma, has been fined by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) for 25 serious and 11 general safety and health violations, totaling $87,120.

An investigation began in December of 2014, following the fatal injury of a worker at the facility. Jeffrey Busha died on the job at Manke Lumber when his clothing was caught by a rotating shaft that pulled him into a conveyor as he was trying to loosen jammed lumber. The fatal incident prompted L&I to do a comprehensive safety and health inspection of the entire worksite.

Manke Lumber was fined $6,600 for not safeguarding exposed shafts in four locations, including the conveyor where the worker died. The exposed shafts created the potential for workers to become entangled, which can cause severe injuries, permanent disability and death.repeat violations

The investigation also found a serious-repeat violation with a penalty of $8,400 for not ensuring that bench grinders were guarded to prevent severe injuries to the hand and face. The company had been previously cited for the violation in 2013.

Additionally, Manke Lumber was cited for serious violations for hazards related to “confined spaces.” Confined spaces are enclosed areas where employees are required to enter to perform maintenance and repair. Examples include hoppers, conveyors and dryers. Entering confined spaces may expose workers to the risk of suffocation, toxic atmospheres, engulfment, entrapment or other harm.

When a confined space has one or more hazardous characteristics that could harm workers, employers must control access to the area and use a permit system to prevent unauthorized entry. Anyone working in or around a permit-required confined space must be trained and there must be safety measures and rescue procedures in place.

The employer was cited for 12 violations for confined space hazards and fined $14,400.

Additional penalties totaling $57,720 were assessed for violations that included failing to guard moving parts on belt sanders, bandsaws, sprocket wheels, and pulleys; exposing workers to falls into unprotected holes and openings in the floor and open-sided elevated areas up to 10 feet; electrical hazards; failing to remove worn and damaged web slings from service; and not storing wood dust properly to prevent fire and/or explosion hazards.

Read more from original source.

Read More

Worker Killed in Confined Space Accident in Dublin Sewer

Dublin, UK – One worker has died and another is seriously ill after a confined space accident approximately 20ft below a housing estate in Portmarnock County, a suburb of Dublin. The men were employees of the drainage and cleaning company DrainTech, and were overcome by fumes while working in a sewer. The sewer was located in a residential area of Portmarnock called Drumnigh Woods.

Authorities confirmed two men were taken from the sewer, one of whom was pronounced dead at Beaumont Hospital while the second was said to be in a serious condition. Three members of Dublin Fire Brigade were also treated following the rescue efforts – two as a precaution for noxious gases and one who suffered a minor injury in the operation.

Two inspectors from the HSA were sent to the scene and an investigation has been launched into the circumstances surrounding the deaths by the Garda and the HSA. Their inquiries center on whether the men inhaled lethal fumes while working in underground pipes and sewerage systems. Fire crews reported the difficulty of the conditions that the men were working in, a confined space, below ground and at risk of dangerous gases.

The DrainTech company operates mostly in the Dublin region and has been in business for more than 20 years with staff qualified in confined space and deep manhole entry.

Read more from original source.

Read More

Confined Space Violations Result in Fines for Two WA Companies

Puget Sound, WA – An investigation by the Washington Department of Labor & Industries has cited and fined two Puget Sound-area companies for 19 safety and health violations each, finding that temporary workers were entering fuel tanks with no controls in place to ensure their health and safety.

Inspections began last October after the state Department of Ecology notified L&I that workers were entering the fuel tanks to clean and service them but that no safety procedures were being used when working in the tanks.

These fuel tanks are 20′ long, 8′ wide, and 8′ tall, with a 20-inch entry hatch on top. In order to clean inside the tanks, workers climbed through the hatch and down a 6-foot stepladder. Entering fuel tanks exposes workers to confined space hazards that can include suffocation, toxic atmospheres, engulfment, entrapment or other dangerous conditions. Additionally, confined space hazards endanger rescue personnel.

The companies fined are Smarttalent LLC., of Kirkland, and Innovative Repairs, of Fife, WA. Smarttalent is a temporary staffing agency that provides workers to Innovative Repairs, which in turn services fuel tanks and containers for mining operations in Alaska. Smarttalent was fined $120,400, and Innovative Repairs has been fined $46,200.

Read more from original source.

Read More

$193K OSHA Penalty in WI Confined Space Death

Grantsburg, WI – An OSHA investigation into the death of a Burnett Dairy Cooperative employee identified two willful and eight serious safety violations at the Wisconsin dairy.

In November of 2014, a Burnett Dairy employee was attempting to unclog a sump when he was engulfed by corn and died in a grain bin. OSHA inspectors found that Burnett Dairy did not follow safety standards for entering grain bins. In a press release, OSHA said the company failed to deactivate a drag conveyor and allowed the worker to be in the bin while the corn was moving.

According to OSHA, the inspection found Burnett Dairy exposed the worker to engulfment hazards by not following required grain handling and Lockout/Tagout energy control procedures. OSHA also said the company violated confined space regulations by failing to have an attendant trained in confined space rescue for the worker while inside the grain bin.

Mark Hysell, OSHA’s area director in Eau Claire, said it takes just “seconds to become trapped in flowing grain…Burnett Dairy is familiar with the precautions to protect its workers, but failed to follow them. Life or limb should never be the cost of doing business.”

OSHA proposed penalties of $193,200 and placed the company in its Sever Violator Enforcement Program.

Read more from original source.

Read More

Worker Killed by Auger Leads to Citation for Landscaping Company

Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has cited a landscaping company for multiple safety violations related to the death of a worker last July. A nineteen-year-old worker was killed by a rotating auger while working inside the hopper of a bark-blower truck at a residential jobsite. The blower and auger were energized at the time the worker was clearing a jam.

The employer has been cited for two willful and 14 serious violations, with penalties totaling $199,000. The employer has also been identified as a severe violator and will be subject to follow-up inspections to determine if the conditions still exist in the future.

“The loss of this young man’s life is a tragedy that could have been prevented if the employer had followed basic safety and health rules that protect workers from moving machinery,” said L&I Assistant Director Anne Soiza. “We hope this citation and the penalties serve as a deterrent so that nothing like this ever happens again.”

The L&I investigation found that the employer’s workers were regularly assigned to clear jams in the bark-blower truck hoppers while the hoppers were operating. This exposed them to three very hazardous elements: a floor conveyor belt, two rotating-screw conveyors (angled augers) and a rotating stir rod. Exposure to any of these parts of the equipment could potentially result in entanglement, causing severe crushing injuries or death.

Working in and around this type of extremely hazardous equipment requires lockout/tagout safety procedures to prevent machinery from starting up or moving during service or maintenance by workers.

The employer was cited for two willful violations. The first was issued for not ensuring lockout/tagout procedures were regularly used; it carries a penalty of $56,000. The second willful violation was issued for not training the employees in the proper use of those critical procedures; it carries a $52,000 penalty.

Additionally, working in the hopper of bark-blower trucks exposed workers to confined space hazards. Confined spaces, like hoppers, are areas large enough to accommodate a worker, but aren’t designed for continuous employee occupancy and have limited ways to enter or exit.

Twelve of the serious violations cited were for failure to implement safe work practices when entering a permit-required confined space. Two other serious violations were cited for not having an effective accident prevention program and for failure to document lockout/tagout procedures. Each of these violations carries a $6,500 penalty.

Read more at the original source

Read More