OSHA Fines Area Construction Firm for Repeat and Serious Jobsite Violations

Kansas City, MO- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited a Kansas City-area construction company for multiple violations observed during a May jobsite visit.

According to KSHB, OSHA fined Blue Nile Contractors Inc. $210,037 for failing “to protect employees from trench collapse and electrical hazards.” Inspectors reported four repeat and five serious safety violations during the visit to a site where water lines were being installed.

Blue Nile is a minority-owned wet utility contractor that specializes in trenchless sewer and water construction. The Birmingham, Mo., company was selected as one of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Top 10 Small Businesses in 2018.

Blue Nile has been placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program, KSHB reports. The company has 15 days to comply with OSHA demands or contest the findings.

Proper training and education regarding OSHA violations and accident prevention are is one way for companies to combat these high fines.

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Worker Crushed & Killed While Cleaning Machine

Edgewood, FL – An employee of an Orlando-area marble and granite facility died after being crushed by a machine he was cleaning earlier this month.

The worker has been identified as Shawn Knowles (age 44). Emergency responders were initially called to handle an arm injury, after co-workers found Knowles hurt but conscious. Unfortunately,  he subsequently lost consciousness from the shock of the injury and went into cardiac arrest.

cleaning machine

According to area fire rescue personnel, Knowles is reported to have been hosing down a water trench surrounding an automated machine when he was pushed into the wedge by the heavy device. He was crushed by a beam and a piece of the machinery. Firefighters arrived and began resuscitation efforts. Knowles was taken to the Orlando Regional Medical Center where he later died.

Part of the Majestic Marble and Granite shop was closed down while OSHA and local police investigate.

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Willful Violations Lead to Preventable Amputation

Pennsauken, NJ – Failure to implement OSHA recommendations has led to an amputation and over $200,000 in fines for willful violations documented at an NJ snack food manufacturing facility.

A worker at J&J Snack Foods Corporation suffered a partial finger amputation in a lockout accident that could have been prevented by rectifying prior violations identified by OSHA. Following an investigation, J&J faces $206,019 in fines for federal workplace safety violations, including willful violations.

OSHA’s investigation found that failures to correct previously issued workplace safety violations led to the amputation accident at J&J’s Pennsauken manufacturing facility. The snack-food maker failed to correct prior violations of safety procedures known as lockout/tagout procedures which are written instructions for de-energizing each piece of equipment.

OSHA inspectors determined that the worker was cleaning a machine when it activated. This is typical of accidents whose cause can be traced back to lockout/tagout failures or energy control hazards.

Million of American workers service equipment as a part of their job, and these people face the greatest risk of injury if lockout/tagout is not properly implemented. It is estimated that compliance with the federal lockout/tagout standard prevents 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. Workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous energy lose an average of 24 workdays for recuperation. OSHA’s area director stated that “the employer’s failure to correct previously identified violations and follow basic safety standards resulted in this preventable incident.”

J&J was cited for willfully failing to conduct periodic inspections of energy control procedures used to de-energize equipment when cleaning; failing to implement lockout procedures to prevent unintentional machine start-up; and failing to train employees on lockout/tagout procedures and energy hazards.

OSHA requires that employees be trained on lockout policies and procedures. Training is done to ensure that the purpose and function of the energy control program are understood by employees, and that the knowledge and skills required for the safe application, usage, and removal of the energy controls are acquired by employees.

J&J Snack Foods Corp manufactures popular snack foods like soft pretzels, churros, water ice, and frozen lemonade for popular brands sold throughout the United States.

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MN Worker Killed Maintaining Industrial Machinery

Watkins, MN – A maintenance worker was killed last week when he became pinned in the industrial machinery he was working on at International Barrier Technology. Rescue workers freed the man from the equipment and began life saving efforts, but sadly, he died at the scene.

The worker was identified as Todd Shoutz, 51, of Litchfield (MN). Shoutz, a mindustrial machineryaintenance worker at Barrier Technology, was reportedly working on a machine and became pinned in a piece of equipment. Despite the efforts of emergency teams on the scene, the employee succumbed to his injuries after being freed from the equipment.

The International Barrier Technology plant in MN processes building materials to make them fire-resistant.

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Worker Pinned in Machine While Cleaning Bolts

Columbus, IN – A worker cleaning at Rightway Fasteners was injured after becoming pinned in a machine at the plant last week. The employee was believed to be cleaning bolts when the accident occurred. Columbus (IN) firefighters responded to the industrial accident.

The worker’s name has yet to be released. He was pinned in the machine and then extricated by other Rightway employees before the fire department arrived. The employee was treated for cardiac arrest at the scene by firefighters and amworker cleaningbulance personnel then transported to Columbus Regional Hospital.

Approximately 3 million American workers service equipment – these employees face the greatest risk of injury from hazardous energy. Compliance with OSHA’s lockout/tagout standard prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. Workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous energy lose an average of 24 workdays for recuperation.

Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) and Hazardous Energy Control/Control of Hazardous Energy refers to the same safety standard designed to preventing unexpected start up or movement of equipment during routine maintenance. In a study conducted by the United Auto Workers, 20% of the fatalities that occurred among their members between 1973 and 1995 were attributed to inadequate hazardous energy control procedures.

Rightway Fasteners specializes in cold forming, thread rolling, heat treatment and surface treatment of high-torque tension bolts, screws, shafts and pins for the automotive industry. They employ 339 employees. Toyota is Rightway’s largest customer, according to the company.

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Attempts to Clear Machine Jam Send Worker to Hospital

Queensbury, NY – A worker injured while clearing a machine jam at a wood products facility in upstate NY has prompted a federal safety investigation. OSHA is citing the former RWS Manufacturing Inc. plant for seven safety violations documented during inspections in November and February, stemming from reports of an employee’s hospitalization. The wood shaving plant currently faces $59,577 in finemachine jams, and has been fined multiple times for alleged safety violations in the past.

Reports show an employee suffered a “work-related inpatient hospitalization” from a wood shaving machine where federal safety inspectors documented a lack of safety equipment of the type that would have been used when clearing a jam on the machine or performing other maintenance.

These safety devices and procedures are known as Lockout/Tagout (or LOTO). Lockout procedures provide detailed instruction on how to isolate and lock each energy source for a given piece of equipment, helping to prevent the unexpected startup of machinery and equipment, and preventing the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities. OSHA requires equipment specific lockout procedures be written for each piece of equipment including any prime movers, and machinery and equipment with mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, electrical, thermal, and any other energy source.

There are approximately 3 million American workers tasked with servicing equipment. These employees face the greatest risk of injury if lockout/tagout is not properly implemented. Compliance with the lockout/tagout standard prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. Workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous energy lose an average of 24 workdays for recuperation. In a study conducted by the United Auto Workers (UAW), 20% of the fatalities that occurred among their members were attributed to inadequate lockout/tagout procedures.

The OSHA investigation into this wood product plant marks the third time in the past four years that OSHA has fined the company over safety inspections, with a total of more than $360,000 in fines imposed during that period.

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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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Fatal TN Industrial Accident was Entirely Preventable

Lebanon, TN – Lockout training and written procedures could have saved the life of Carlex Glass America worker Catherine White.

White, 51, of Lebanon (TN) died in an industrial accident last week after suffering a severe head injury at the Carlex Glass America plant. Local lockout trainingpolice reported that the employee had encountered problems with a work station printer. According to police, White “put her head inside the machine in an attempt to address the issue when the printer suddenly initiated its work cycle, most likely due to White inadvertently activating the machine’s sensors as if the next windshield had entered the machine.” During the process, White suffered a severe head injury. Paramedics arrived shortly afterward and pronounced her dead.

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce is investigating the fatal industrial accident.

White had worked for Carlex Glass America for just under 18 years. Most recently, she worked as a production technician operating equipment used to manufacture windshields.

Lockout/Tagout procedures and employee training could have saved the life of Carlex Glass America worker Catherine White.

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