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Archive for February, 2010

From hand washing to trash handling, local health systems have a lot going on visibly and behind the scenes to ensure the health and safety of their employees as well as patients.

In 2009, nearly 26 million workers were likely infected with the H1N1 (swine flu) virus. The spread of the virus may have been aided by lack of paid sick leave, which prompted more than 8 million of those workers to take no time off from work, according to a new study.

Walt Disney World has been cleared of any workplace safety violations related the death last summer of a stunt performer who was rehearsing for a show.

A special state panel looking into the cause of the fatal Middletown, Conn., power plant explosion will use the state police investigation as a springboard to consider whether workplace safety, licensing, training and supervision were adequate at the site, the group’s chairman said Tuesday.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has issued contempt orders against a St. Louis, Mo.-area company and individuals for failing to comply with court orders enforcing citations of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC).

Mueller Industries has appealed a $683,000 fine levied by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration for alleged safety violations after a fire and explosion killed one worker and injured two others on July 29 in Mississippi.

The Oklahoma division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating after two men die in an excavation hole on a construction site in McCloud.

A 57-year-old worker at a West Milwaukee manufacturer is dead after a piece of sheet metal fell on top of him.

Two construction workers were seriously injured when the scaffolding they were working on collapsed outside a shopping center in Texas Tuesday afternoon.

A construction worker died while working on a project for the East Baton Rouge, La., Parish School Board Tuesday afternoon.

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The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a rule change to the H-2A guestworker program intended to increase wages and provide job safety protections for both U.S. and foreign workers.

Men exposed to benzene, a common industrial chemical that can be found in gasoline, paints, marking pens, rubber products and solvents, at levels close to the U.S. permissible limit are more likely to have an abnormal number of chromosomes in their sperm, researchers report in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

As some companies let these regulations slide, one Rapid City construction company makes it crucial to keep all employees safe and healthy while building commercial construction projects and custom homes in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

A 64-year-old Texas construction worker has been awarded a $1.7 million settlement by a jury, in his workplace safety lawsuit against Maxim Crane Works LP.

On Feb. 11, production worker Adam Wilson, 20, of Rochester, N.H., received severe burns and lacerations to his left forearm and wrist when his arm was caught in the blade of a 150-gallon mixer.

A fireworks company that lost four workers last summer on Ocracoke Island is appealing a $44,800 state fine.

On Wednesday, Feb.10, the Quality Surface Processing employee who was severely burned in a chemical explosion tragically passed away.

OSHA has stepped up efforts to penalize violators after the same combustible dust caused an Imperial Sugar plant explosion last year that killed 14 people.

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As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the White House are trying to minimize their differences, a brewing battle at OSHA over a workplace injury reporting rule illustrates how tough that could become, given the administration’s pro-labor leanings.

The Obama administration moved Thursday to increase wages and job safety protections for temporary farmworkers, reversing a Bush era policy that unions said fostered cheap labor and undercut domestic hiring.

Three days before the deadly explosion at a Connecticut natural gas power plant, a federal agency that investigates chemical accidents recommended urgent changes to national safety standards for clearing gas from pipes.

No local or state fire-safety official was present at the purging of the natural-gas pipeline that preceded Sunday’s deadly blast at the Kleen Energy power plant in Middletown, Conn.

A construction worker from Colorado drowned when the excavator he was operating fell into a retaining pond in West Laramie, Wyo., on Wednesday morning, the county coroner has determined.

A Pennsylvania construction company has been cited by federal investigators after a worker fell 225 feet to his death.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined three Polk County, Fla., companies for violating federal safety guidelines in separate incidents that led to the deaths of two workers and elevated carbon monoxide exposure to several others in 2009.

Owner of firm admits safety violation in roofer’s death

The owner of a Butler County, Penn., construction firm pleaded guilty today in federal court to violating safety rules on a job site where one of his employees died in a fall from a roof.

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The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) recently joined together to stress that commitment to safe work be a focus in the Congressional Jobs Bill, HR 2847, which is now under consideration.

Medical marijuana laws are designed to ease pain for migraine sufferers and other people with conditions that leave them in chronic pain. Now they are also causing headaches for employers.

St. Lawrence County, N.Y., officials and Highway Department supervisors say allegations by a small number of workers that insufficient training puts their safety at risk have no substance.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board voted to urge changes in national and international safety codes at a meeting Thursday, Feb. 4 in response to preliminary findings from an investigation into the deadly natural gas explosion at the ConAgra Foods plant June 9.

Vermont has no intention of trying to shut down the Vermont Yankee Nuclear power plant while workers there are seeking the source of leaking tritium, a radioactive isotope.

Former Nevada Test Site workers who are seeking compensation from the federal government for cancer they contracted while working on underground nuclear tests are one big step closer to achieving that goal.

Several consumers have come forward with a rare lung disease, claiming it is from the same dangerous chemical that is used in butter flavoring.

A Greeley, Colo., man died when the excavation machine he was driving fell into an ice-covered retention pond at a Laramie car wash.

OSHA has cited O.S. Interior Systems Inc., a specialty contractor, for alleged workplace safety violations following a fatality at the company’s worksite in Houston.

The Appleton, Wisc., Office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says they’re beginning an investigation of the chemical accident that seriously injured one person at Quality Surface Processing in Schofield.

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Mining contractor Murray & Roberts Cementation is engineering a new shaft sinking methodology for its African operations that will see both an increase in productivity and an improvement in the safety performance of its shaft sinking project teams.

The Highways Agency (HA) is reminding drivers to take extra care when driving through roadworks both for their own safety and that of thousands of workers who maintain our roads.

Many popcorn-making employees have bronchiolitis obliterans, a rare, irreversible lung disease they attribute to jobs they used to hold at the ConAgra Foods plant in Marion, Ohio, after they were exposed to diacetyl, a chemical the company formerly used in the production of butter-flavored microwave popcorn.

Activists are urging the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), which controls medical residency training programs, to limit the amount of time residents go without sleep to 16 hours and to increase supervision of the residents.

The agency that accredits U.S. medical schools should limit allowable residents’ consecutive work hours to 16 instead of 30 because the long shifts lead to errors that threaten lives of patients as well as their own, the health watchdog Public Citizen said Thursday.

No business is immune from the risk of violence on its premises: FBI statistics estimate that each year 1 million people are exposed to some form of workplace violence.

Maurice Buzzell told federal workplace-safety officials that he had to constantly press his employees to wear hardhats while they were felling trees for his tree removal business.

O.S. Interior Systems Inc. was cited by OSHA officials for two alleged willful violations for “failing to adequately protect employees from energized electrical circuits and failing to inform employees about the hazards involved with energized electrical outlets.”

The investigation continues into the accidental death of an Oneida man from a fall at the demolition site at the former St. George Roman Catholic Church on Monday.

OSHA is proposing $57,000 in penalties against Triangle Grading and Paving Inc. for safety violations that exposed its employees to cave-in hazards working at a trench in Fort Bragg, N.C.

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Many large U.S. employers are ramping up initiatives to improve worker health and productivity despite pressure to reduce budgets in the midst of the recession.

One side effect of delays in the implementation of Colorado’s roadless rule has been the prohibition of new vent boreholes, and without them, a buildup of methane gas concentrations will compromise the safety of miners and cause severe operational problems.

NIOSH (the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), which functions more or less as OSHA’s “research arm,” reported that, in 2005-2006, approximately 9-percent of workers with a minimum of 25 years of service tested positive for black lung, a startling 5-percent increase in incidence rates from the late 1990s.

Federal officials on Thursday recommended that safety codes be changed to prevent natural gas build-up inside buildings, such as the one that led to a fatal explosion at the ConAgra Foods Inc. plant in Garner, N.C., last summer.

More than 60 staff members at the Middle School of the Kennebunks in Kennebunk, Maine, signed a letter sent to RSU 21 Superintendent Andrew Dolloff in December, demanding they be removed from the building because it is a “danger” to the health of both staff and students.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is involved in the investigation into the ammonia leak at AmeriCold in Portland, Maine, nearly two weeks ago.

A man with more than three decades experience working on towers died this morning when he fell about 100 feet from a cell phone tower in Saline County, Ark.

A 40-year-old construction worker died today after falling about 25 feet from the roof of a movie theater that is being built in Palm Coast, Fla.

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On January 29, 2010, OSHA published a proposed rule to revise its 300 Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, which would restore a column dedicated to tracking musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

Grain processors, shippers and millers are worried the Obama administration may tighten worker-safety rules aimed at preventing explosions in elevators and other facilities. Industry officials say additional regulations aren’t needed.

Both employer and employee advocates are commending Gov. Dave Freudenthal for setting aside $406,000 to hire a health and safety scientist as part of an ongoing effort to address Wyoming’s poor workplace safety record.

A construction worker died Wednesday morning after falling about 25 feet from the roof of a building under construction on Central Avenue in Palm Coast, Fla.

As the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) initial investigation into alleged improper disposal of asbestos pipe draws to a close, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) begins their look into if the ex-employee with the county who “blew the whistle” was wrongfully terminated for letting his superiors know there were health hazards.

A local interior contracting company faces fines totalling $112,000 after one of their employees was killed last year, officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Tuesday.

A worker at a Hale Street business in Bridgewater, Mass., cut his thumb off on a table saw on Thursday morning, according to the police log.

Investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were in the borough Tuesday investigating the accident that killed a worker at the St. George Roman Catholic Church demolition site in New York.

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