Loose Valve Cap Kills Employee in TN

Cookeville, TN – Police report that a loose valve cap has caused the death of an employee at M&E Industries.

A valve valve capcap on a highly pressurized tank came loose and hit M&E Industries employee Dewey Mayberry in the chest, critically injuring him. Mayberry was taken to a local medical center where he was pronounced dead.

Tennessee OSHA is investigating M&E Industries following the fatal industrial accident.

Dewey Mayberry, age 65, had worked at the M&E Industries plant since 2003. He is reported to have been performing his typical daily job duties when the accident occurred. Local police describe the valve cap as being thick metal and estimate it to have been the size of a “salad plate…about six inches in diameter.”

The M&E Industries facility in Cookeville produces refueling equipment such as filters, filter housings, and filter separators.

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Wegmans NY Bakery Division Fined $188K for Repeated Violations

Rochester, NY – The NY-based supermarket Wegmans faces fines totaling $188,000 following an investigation of two worker injuries at their bakery facility in Rochester, N.Y. OSHA cited Wegmans on Sept. 1 for three repeated and two serious violations while proposing fines totaling $188,200. After an inspection, the agency accused Wegmans of failing to properly train employees, ensuring that a machine’s moving parts had the proper safeguards, for providing inadequate hand and face protections for workers, and more.

OSHA claims that in March, a sanitation crew member lost a fingertip when it caught in the pinch point of an operating conveyor that he was cleaning. A month later, a mechanic sustained a first degree burn on his wrist when steam released while he attempted to repair a valve. The subsequent inspection by OSHA’s Buffalo (NY) office found hazardous conditions similar to those cited by the agency during a 2011 inspection of the same facility. Wegmans Food Markets faces proposed fines of more than $188,000 for these “recurring hazards.”

In the case of the amputation, OSHA found that Wegmans failed to turn off and lock out the conveyor’s power source, train employees in how to do this, and ensure the conveyor’s moving parts were protected against contact. In the steam burn incident, the company failed to develop a procedure to lockout the valve supplying steam to the pipe. The recurring hazards led the agency to cite Wegmans for three repeated violations with $175,000 in proposed fines. Additionally, OSHA cited the company for inadequate hand and face protection for the employees who worked on the steam valve, with fines amounting to $13,200.

Wegmans disputes the findings: “We work hard to maintain a safe workplace everywhere. Even one injury to an employee is too many for us…The current rate of workplace accidents at Wegmans is the lowest in our history.”

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