Wyoming to adopt new oil-gas worker safety rules
Wyoming is adopting new safety rules for oil and gas drilling during a year in which accidents have killed five oil and gas workers in the state. Wyoming consistently ranks among the most dangerous states for workers, largely due to accidents in the oil and gas industry. Among other changes, the new rules prohibit smoking within 75 feet of a well bore and require rig workers to get annual fire extinguisher training.
Deaths at ‘model workplaces’ missing from list of federal overseers
As the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News has reported , more than 80 workers have died since 2000 at federally overseen VPP sites. OSHA keeps a database of these deaths, though the agency recently acknowledged it was incomplete after iWatch News identified additional deaths. But no comparable list tracks fatal accidents at VPP sites in the remaining 21 states. The dividing line between state and federal oversight, along with OSHA’s policy of viewing each VPP site in isolation, makes it more difficult for the agency to detect problems that may exist at more than one workplace because of broader issues in a company or an industry.
Why were the Sanitation Two fired?
For 12 years, Clark picked up, hauled and dumped trash for the Town of Chapel Hill. That job ended last fall when Clark and a co-worker, the Rev. Kerry Bigelow, were fired. Public Works Director Lance Norris says that they were fired for insubordination and threatening behavior toward co-workers and residents. But to Clark and Bigelow, who are African-American, the firings were retaliation for filing race discrimination grievances with town and federal officials, for speaking out on work and safety conditions in the public works department and for joining a union. They have fought unsuccessfully for almost a year to get their jobs back, and on Oct. 4 they sued the Town of Chapel Hill and Town Manager Roger Stancil for wrongful discharge and for violations of their free speech and civil rights.
China coal mine disaster kills 4, traps 50
A coal mine cave-in in central China has killed four workers and trapped at least 50 others. State media reported that Thursday night’s disaster in Sanmenxia, in the province of Henan, followed a magnitude-2.9 earthquake in the area. Reports say rescuers have pulled out seven injured miners, and another 14 have managed to escape.
Recycler cited after NY worker crushed to death
Metals recycler Metalico Inc. has been cited by federal regulators for safety violations at an upstate New York factory where an employee was killed in a baling machine accident. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says Friday the company is suspected of repeated, serious workplace safety violations. A worker was crushed to death at a Rochester recycling plant in June when the baler unexpectedly activated while he was removing material from it.
We know that using tools and machinery that produce less noise will help prevent hearing loss among the workers who use them. The next step would seem obvious—buy quieter tools and machinery. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
Early results of inquiry into Atchison blast may come next week
Even as a memorial service was being held Thursday for victims of the Atchison grain elevator explosion, inspectors were combing through rubble to discover the cause of the unusual disaster. Preliminary results of the Kansas state fire marshal’s investigation could be released as early as next week, a spokeswoman said. It will be closely watched because catastrophic explosions at grain elevators like the one on Saturday night that blew the top off the building and reduced the inside to rubble have become uncommon.
New way to be sure bus drivers, and others, are alert
Bowles-Langley Technology has been advancing alertness testing to improve workplace safety for years. A new iPhone App, Alertometer®, now brings this technology to every safety manager’s desk.