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Articles Posted in Workplace Safety

At the end of last month, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited a manufacturer based in St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania with “one willful and five serious violations.”

P/M National Inc. has been found guilty by OSHA after inspection for lacking machine guarding, which prevents workers from amputation injuries and other hazards. The owners at the facility confessed to failing to install these guards on newer metal presses and removing old ones.

The fines for such disregard for the safety of their employees has subjected P/M National Inc. with a $60,200 fine.

Employee exposure to and lack of protection from highly flammable and potentially fatal chemicals has caused the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration to cite and fine a Connecticut chemical manufacturer.

Phoenix Products Co. violated 15 requirements of workplace safety regarding chemicals and will be charged with a $61,600 fine.

The company produces both swimming pool chemicals as well as chemicals found in nail polish remover. Their processes deal with highly combustible substances such as acetone and isopropyl alcohol 99 percent that could easily put workers’ lives in danger. For this reason, OSHA has a required process safety management program that Phoenix Products Co. failed to provide.

A Massachusetts roofing contractor is facing major fines for yet again placing its employees in potential life-threatening working environments.

The guilty party, A S General Construction Inc., has had repeated offenses of failing to provide their workers with both the fall protection and proper safety training that the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires.

This time, the company had employees working on an unguarded roof 26 feet from the ground, connected only by an incorrectly crafted ladder-jack scaffold.

A 31-year-old western Pennsylvania man was killed in a mining accident after being crushed by a boulder. The victim, Jeremy Neice, had been working in the mines around Mt. Morris at 6 p.m. when the incident occurred.

All operations at the mines have been shut down since the accident, and both the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration are leading the investigation.

The mine is operated by Dana Mining Company, and Neice’s death is the second within the last six months. 2015 ended with a total of 11 mining-related deaths, the safest in mining history, whereas 2016 has already seen three separate mining deaths within three weeks. A comparable year would be 2006, where fifteen miners were killed within a two-and-a-half-week span.

Through a renewed alliance with the Industrial Truck Association, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is working to minimize the amount of injuries and deaths related to powered industrial trucks. The renewed alliance is for another five years, and the primary topics of interest over this time will include tip-over and struck-by dangers.

For those employees who work with these trucks, the alliance will serve to provide more efficient resources and training so that potential life threatening dangers can be more readily recognized and accidents can be prevented.

Other OSHA promotions that will be pushed through this alliance include preventing falls, heat illness, and supporting a “culture of safety.” This culture includes preventing workers from being crushed under fallen equipment such as forklifts.

19-year-old Mason Cox was killed after being pulled into a wood chipper in Kings Mountain, North Carolina.

Reports say Cox was trying to kick a tree branch that he was loading into the chipper when his leg got caught in the tree branch.

Cox had just recently been hired by Crawford’s Tree and Stump Grinding Service and the accident occurred on his first day on the job.

Extending a decade long partnership, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the American Red Cross will continue to work together to further decrease the chance for workplace injury as well as safeguard workers from any exposures that could be life-threatening.

The partnership has been extended another five years, and the two organizations will shift their attention toward “providing workers and with information and training resources on emergency preparedness, disease prevention education and first aid,” said an OSHA Trade news release.

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels stated that OSHA looks forward to the continued alliance so that workers can continue to have the resources that will keep them safe and healthy while on the job.

A Dallas construction worker suffered a fatal accident while working on a third-story balcony of an apartment complex that lacked proper protection from his employers.

44-year-old Jorge Carrion Torres, who had been working on the job for a month at the time of the incident, was applying stucco to the unguarded balcony when he fell and was killed. Torres’s employers, Design Plastering Inc. and Design Plastering West LLC, were cited by The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for “eight egregious willful and four serious violations” on November 10 with fines estimated to be $407,400. Prior to this citation, Design Plastering had been cited with seven others also regarding fall-related dangers.

“When an employer fails to put up a guardrail or scaffolding, or doesn’t provide personal fall-arrest systems, anyone working at a height of six feet or more is defenseless against a fall. OSHA will not tolerate this kind of employer behavior,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels in a press release.

A breakthrough in wearable technology could lead to the improvement in workers’ quality of life as well as lower workers’ compensation claim costs.

Zack Craft, the vice president of Rehab Solutions and Complex Care Education at One Call Care Management, hopes that wearable technology will “help prevent workplace injury, keep routine injuries from migrating into more serious problems and improve the long term health status and independence of those who have serious injuries.”

Some features of the technology would include censoring the worker’s posture, monitoring the extent of their exercise and form, keeping track of whether or not equipment is being utilized properly, and even potentially allowing paralytics to walk again with the use of an exoskeleton awaiting FDA approval in 2016. The goal, Craft added, is for the wearable technology to help people evade re-injury or further complications. It also seeks to give back a significant amount of control to people who have already sustained severe injuries.

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