Worker Dies at Sewage Plant connected to Niagara River

Buffalo, NY- The body of a Buffalo Sewer Authority contractor whom fell down a well leading into the Niagara River was recovered last week in upstate New York.

The well at the city’s water treatment plant is 15 feet deep, and extends to feed into the Niagara River. The man was not wearing a life vest nor was he tethered or anchored to anything.

The Buffalo Police Department stated that its underwater rescue and recovery team was responding to a water rescue call near the foot of Ferry & Bird Island in Buffalo. The victim’s body ultimately recovered on Bird Island.

“Once he fell into this confined space, it’s a very intricate intake system that meanders into a lot of different areas, so it’s a very difficult process to find out exactly where he could’ve been. There was a hope that he could’ve gotten snagged on something as soon as he fell into the well, but unfortunately that doesn’t appear to be the case.” Buffalo Fire Commissioner William Renaldo stated.

Confined space training and confined space rescue training lower the risk of accidents becoming tragedies.

Police said the investigation is considered an incident, it was not noted at this time if OSHA is involved yet.

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Electrocution Death in NY Aluminum Factory

Scriba, NY — Peter Clark Jr., 54, of Tully, who died while working at the Novelis Inc. aluminum factory in Oswego County on the morning of May 15th, appears to have been accidentally electrocuted, according to local deputies.

He was pronounced dead at the scene after being electrocuted while working as a contractor at the Scriba factory, said the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office.  The deadly accident is being investigated by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), Ridley Electric, and the Novelis plant all together, as parts of the accident remain unclear and risks and causes are not yet publicized.

The Novelis plant in Oswego County is the county’s largest manufacturer and employs over 1,100 people. Within the 1.7-million-square-foot facility, workers make rolled aluminum that is used in vehicle body panels for automakers like Ford.

While details of the aluminum factory accident remain unclear, electrocution can be caused by a number of risks and inefficiencies.

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OSHA Fines Genpak for Lockout/Tagout Failures

Middletown, NY – Genpak L.L.C. has been cited for two repeat, six serious and one other-than-serious safety violations. The New York food packaging manufacturer faces $103,100 in proposed fines after two employees were seriously injured in separate workplace safety incidents last summer at Genpak’s Hope Hull (AL) facility.

OSHA conducted two investigations after learning of the injuries – one in June 2015, in which an employee suffered a partial finger amputation while trying to clear a machine jam; and the other in July 2015, when a worker was severely burned after the forklift he was using ignited butane vapors, creating an explosion inside a shipplockout/tagout failuresing trailer, according to the statement.

In response to the June 2015 lockout/tagout accident, Genpak was cited for failing to implement specific procedures to prevent machines from starting up during maintenance. Citations for failures related to servicing and exposing workers to fall hazards from unguarded platforms were issued against the July 2015 accident.

These 2016 violations are unforutnately similar to those the company was cited for in 2011 and 2012.

Additionally, Genpak was cited for failing to use an explosion-proof forklift in an area filled with flammable gas, exposing workers to being struck by improperly stacked boxes, and not protecting workers from electrical deficiencies.

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NJ Commercial Laundry Facility Fined for LOTO Failures

Lyndhurst, NJ – Prestige Industries LLC of Lyndhurst (NJ) is being cited for nine violations related to worker safety and health at its facility in Paterson (NJ) where the company launders fabrics for the hotel industry, and faces proposed fines of $305,000. These fines and violations are similar to those found after an employee death in 2011.

OSHA received a complaint from a Prestige employee. Upon investigation, the agency determined that employees in the facility faced hazards similar to those previously found at its Bay Shore, N.Y., location, where a 24-year-old worker was caught in an unguarded conveyor-belt machine and crushed to death in 2011.

“It is unacceptable when a company continues to neglect basic safety and health procedures, especially after experiencing a fatality,” said Robert Kulick, OSHA’s regional administrator in New York. “Prestige Industries’ deliberate failure to uphold its responsibility to provide a safe and healthful workplace is an indication that worker safety and health is not a priority.”

OSHA cited the Prestige for one willful violation for lack of lockout/tagout procedures, which prevent the accidental start-up or movement of machinery; three repeated violations that include failure to train employees on the purpose and function of an energy-control program; failure to provide machine guarding and failure to provide lockout/tagout devices on machinery; and five serious safety and health violations that include unsafe exit routes, electrical hazards and no established respiratory protection program.

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