Company Cited for Workplace Death

CHIPPEWA FALLS, WI – A company has been cited for a workplace death in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Berry Global, a plastic fabrication company, has been issued $40,959 in fines regarding the death of one of its employees due to an accident at their plant.

The accident occurred October 5th 2020. According to local news the 54-year-old man received a laceration to the head when he was struck by a piece of machinery. Police reviewed a video of the incident and determined it was an accident.

As of press time, OSHA’s inspection report for the case cites as all violations Lockout/Tagout. Martin Technical offers Lockout Tagout services to prevent accidents such as these.

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Florida Contractor Cited for Fall Hazard Violations

BUNNELL, FL – A Florida contractor was cited for fall hazard violations, totaling over $61k. Fall safety is often the number one cited Safety Violation of the year. OSHA released this announcement on April 7th, 2021.

OSHA stated this citation was part of its Regional Emphasis Program for Fall in Construction. The contractor cited for fall hazard violations, P & S Service Group Inc. has repeat violations for failing to ensure employees use fall protection while working from heights greater than 6 feet. The company was cited for a similar violation in October, 2017. The 2021 violation totals $61,575.  P & S, a framing and and sheathing contractor, has 15 days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference, or contest the findings before OSHA.

According OSHA’s press release, and BizJournals.com OSHA Area Director Michelle Gonzalez in Jacksonville, Florida stated “This employer has repeatedly disregarded the safety of their employees despite previous OSHA violations. Employers must ensure that workers are protected from these well-known hazards.”

In partnership with PIXO VR, we offer fall protection training through Virtual Reality training.

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OSHA Cites Maine Auto Body Plant for Violations

Waterville, Maine – OSHA has cited a Maine auto body plant for safety violations. These violations total nearly $400k. They are the direct result of an inspection opened Oct. 1st 2020 in response to a complaint.

Shyft Group Duramag LLC, formerly known as F3 MFG Inc., faces $393,992 in proposed fines. These fines are due to not addressing hazards that placed employees at risk, OSHA cited two willful and 10 serious violations.

OSHA Area Director David McGuan in Augusta, Maine, stated “Management’s knowledge of these hazards and their failure to correct them led us to cite these conditions as willful violations.”

As stated in OSHA’s Press Release: OSHA also cited the Maine auto body plant for violations regarding failure to:

  • Guard employees against struck-by and crushing hazards from homemade attachments used on auto lifts and provide adequate training to employees.
  • Guard machinery to prevent employees from coming in contact with machines’ operating parts.
  • Conduct a hazard assessment to determine what personal protective equipment is required for employees and to select appropriate protective equipment for employees.
  • Provide appropriate protective goggles for workers and other persons near a welding area that lacked noncombustible or flameproof screens or shields.
  • Establish and implement a respiratory protection program, medically evaluate employees’ ability to wear respirators, fit-test employees before using respirators, train employees on respirators and adequately maintain and store respirators.
  • Securely anchor machines to prevent them from moving.
    Refrain from using flexible cords and/or cables as a substitute for fixed electrical wiring and adequately guard electrical openings.

Martin Technical offers a variety of training programs and audit and compliance programs to ensure your facility is meeting standards.

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Confined Space Violations Results in Two Deaths

Hugo, OK – A series of confined space violations have resulted in two deaths, according to an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This occurred in Hugo, Oklahoma, on August 12th, 2020. As reported in an OSHA press release, one employee entered a natural gasoline rail car to clean the space. When the employee became unresponsive, a second attempted to rescue the first. This employee became unresponsive as well. Later, both workers were pronounced dead at a local hospital.Tank Rail Cars on a track with industrial buildings in the background on a clear day. This is an example image of the type of confined space the employees may have dealt with.

The rail company involved is Trinity Rail and Maintenance Service Inc. Trinity Rail is one of the largest rail car service providers in the United States. They are facing $419,347 in proposed penalties. OSHA has cited them for 11 serious violations and two willful violations due to the accident.

Among the confined space violations were, “…that the company failed to require a permit to allow entry into the rail car, ventilate the space, monitor hazards inside a confined space and complete entry permits for work inside a confined space…”

As OSHA points out in their press release, confined space work is dangerous. Following standards is the difference between making it home safe at the end of the day, or not. Martin Technical encourages all employers to train their employees in confined space safety. We also encourage training in any standards relevant to your industry. Safety training for your employees helps to avoid accidents such as these.

 

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Nitrogen Leak Kills Six, Injures 11 in Poultry Plant Accident

Gainesville, FL – On January 28th a deadly nitrogen leak took the livesAn example photo of industrial liquid nitrogen cannisters of six workers at Foundation Food Group poultry plant located in Gainesville, Florida. The leak occurred during unplanned maintenance on a processing and freezing line. The line was installed about a month prior, according to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board’s report on January 30th.

In addition to the six dead in the nitrogen leak, there were 11 injuries, one more individual was sent to the hospital, and 130 other workers were forced to evacuate. Katherine A. Lemos, CEO & chairwoman of the CSB stated the investigation “…may take up to several years.” New information is still coming forward, and will continue to do so as Lemos suggests.

What We Know Currently

In the CSB’s report from January 30th, it was detailed that there was a release of liquid nitrogen. This rapidly converted to a gas. Because the gas form of liquid nitrogen is heavier than air, it forced the oxygen out the room.

How the liquid nitrogen was released was not detailed. The CSB is currently working to isolate the exact location of release inside the plant. Additional damage to the plant was avoided when a manger turned off an external isolation valve after the leak began.

Other details noted in the report included: Tools were found on the ground near the equipment. The plant receives 2-3 18-wheel truckloads per day of liquid nitrogen. Manufacturers of interior equipment are being looked into, and the supplier of liquid nitrogen was noted in the report.

Going Forward

The CSB lacks the authority to issue fines or criminal charges. However, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is also investigating the leak. The CSB has noted its investigations will include examinations and evaluations of multiple factors. The will include training as well as operations and procedures. Martin Technical encourages all industries and professionals to keep all employees up to date on training, as well as safety procedures and operations such as Lockout Tagout. Keep your team informed on all regulations and industry standards to prevent accidents such as these.

Read more coverage from NPR, New York Times, and USA Today

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OSHA Fines Bush Brothers for Death of Worker

Eau Claire, WI –

Bush Brothers and Company in Eau Claire, WI, is facing OSHA citations and fines after the death of one of its employees at an Augusta canning factory in July 2020.

On the day of the accident, it was originally reported by WQOW-18 that Augusta PoliceAn image of the outside of a Bush Brothers factory. Shipping truck loads are in front of the factory and mountains lay in the background. responded to a call to the factory just before 9:30 a.m. on July 27th, where a 58 year old woman had reportedly suffered work related traumatic injuries. Medical measures were taken to save her life, however she was pronounced dead at the scene.

As of January 21st, WQOW-18 has reported that the employee was Mary Falk of Eau Claire, WI. OSHA has investigated the death and filed a “serious” class citation against the company, which carries a fine of $12,145. Bush Brothers is accused of failing to store material so that it remains stable against sliding and/or collapse, which falls under Standard 1910.176(b) – Handling materials – general.

At Martin Technical, we encourage safety training in all standards relevant to your work place to prevent accidents such as these.

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OSHA Fines Senior Living Facilities Over COVID-19

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.

Originally sourced from McKnight’s Senior Living.

Image from nursingtimes.net

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OSHA Fines New Jersey Hospitals and Nursing Homes for lack of PPE

New Jersey, USA- Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited 37 establishments for violations, resulting in proposed penalties totaling $484,069.

The establishments in New Jersey were fined more than any other state, totaling  $252,150. Fourteen health care institutions in the state have been cited for failing to provide enough equipment and other protections to health care workers. Among these violations were failure to provide PPE, and failure to fit workers so that their masks had a tight seal that prevented virus particles from entering, and to have a written “respiratory protection program.”

These failures resulted in workers falling sick and in some cases dying of COVID-19, in a range of establishments such as hospitals, nursing homes and an ambulance company. According to obituaries, more than 100 health care workers in New Jersey have died from COVID-19 since March.

Surrounding the coronavirus threat, it has been stated that over 4,000 workers across the United States have submitted complaints to OSHA.

Martin Technical sells medical PPE products to help protect workers, students, and community members alike.

Originally sourced from northjersey.com.

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Six Bay Area Employers fined over lack of COVID-19 Protection

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.

Martin Technical and Safety Hive Software provides and manufactures COVID-19 safety solutions including antibacterial wipes, face masks, and free COVID apps.

Read more from our source, CBS SF Bay.

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Two Deaths result in 1.57 Million in OSHA Fines

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 TTwo deaths OSHA finesattempt 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.

Find more details from our source, Bloomberg Law

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