Companies Behaving Badly – Killing Me Softly



So what do the latest numbers tell us?  That people are going to work, trying to do the best they can and then dying for their troubles because their employer uses luck as the safety program. I have a question for you?  Your answer will remain between just us, O.K? Really. No one else will know your answer so please be honest. If you found one of your bagel halves got stuck in the toaster, would you jam a utensil into the toaster without first unplugging it?  Would you?  No?  Of course not, so why do you do it at work? Oh right, no one told me, boo hoo.  Tell them.  Tell them, no problem boss, I’ll fix the problem on the machine but first, let’s Lock Out Tag Out. You are in control  of your safety and you know what needs to be done, be professional and do LOTO.  The loto you win here may be your fingers or your life.  Well that unfortunately sounds like another episode of Companies Behaving Badly.

Bristol Plant Fined for OSHA Violations – PREVENTABLE – It looks like the message is getting out there as more workers are filing complaints with OSHA. Like with Covanta Energy Bristol, Inc. where after an OSHA inspection sparked by a employee complaint found 16 Serious violations along with a proposed $80,100 fine.  On a daily basis, employees were exposed to electrocution, fire, falls, slips and trips, crushing, being trapped or overcome in a confined space, eye injuries and caner and lung or kidney damage. Now you understand why the employee had enough, he wanted to go home to be with his family in one piece. Employees usually go to OSHA as a last resort and my guess is he had brought these safety matters to managements attention and no body listened to him and nothing changed.  You don’t have to put up with unsafe working conditions to put food on the table for your family.

Newark moving company faces nearly $90K in OSHA fines – PREVENTABLE – As Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA’s Parsippany Area Office put it, “In 2015, nobody should be surprised to learn that asbestos exposure is dangerous.”  Even thought Brantley Brothers Moving & Storage Co. didn’t have a clue, an employee there did understand and filed a complaint with OSHA.  They found 14 serious violations and handed out a proposed fine of $89,600.  The company had workers remove asbestos from pipes and didn’t bother to give them any PPE or any training on proper removal.  They just let them breath in all those particles of asbestos while the company saved money by doing it on the cheap.  I don’t understand why there is no Willful violation cited here.  Whether an employer tells you or not that you are being exposed to hazardous dust, if the environment and job creates lots of dust you should be given protective masks and receive some sort of training. If you are just put out on the work floor without this begin asking questions.

Aluminum foil manufacturer in Huntsville cited for serious safety, health hazards by OSHA PREVENTABLE – Yet again another OSHA inspection initiated thanks to an employee complaint as 14 violations were found at ATI Foil, 7 of them serious along with a proposed fine of $57,600.  It seems ATI Foil didn’t bother to provide PPE to it’s workers and had no problem exposing them to corrosive liquids. To make it even more dangerous they didn’t provide emergency showers or eyewash stations.  They couldn’t even be bothered to establish a hazard communication plan.  All of that costs time and money and unfortunately cuts into the profits.  Any time you work for a company and it involves corrosive liquids you should be given training on how to handle it, what PPE is required and what to do in case of a spill. Anything less is not acceptable.

Edison company exposed 50 workers to multiple hazards, OSHA says – PREVENTABLE – Just in case you didn’t know, a temporary employee is a short term worker not someone who wants to die soon and maybe that’s where the confusion lies for Bentley Laboratories as they were found to have 14 serious violations as they exposed temporary workers to chemical hazards, exposed them to loud noises and possible amputation hazards on machines.  The proposed fine is $45,000 and the temporary agency that supplied the workers was also fined $8,000.  It also turned out neither the employer or the agency wanted to be bothered with training workers on the hazards related to the handling of chemicals. Any agency you go through before you are placed, should give you some training and safety protective gear that will be required in relation to what job you’ll be doing.  Otherwise all they’re interested in is collecting a fee and not you.

Massachusetts Roofing Contractor Cited for Fatal Hazards – PREVENTABLE – What do you think is wrong with a company that is cited 4 times in 4 years for exposing employees to fatal falls?  A total lack of respect for it’s workers and William Trahant, Jr. Construction has demonstrated their contempt with their 1 Willful, 1 repeat and 3 serious violations along with a proposed fine of $43,560. As you may remember a willful violation means the company knew there were serious hazards but couldn’t care less as they had workers use a damaged ladder with split rails and bent rungs as well as inadequate anchorage points for fall arrest lines and NO training on fall hazards. In my opinion the penalty for putting people at risk and doing it repeatedly is too low and they should be temporarily suspended 30 days from doing business.


OSHA fines Kansas farm cooperative $65,900 after worker loses toes in grain auger – PREVENTABLE – Never under estimate the power of L.O.T.O.  What you may think takes to long to do can save you from a life time of disability or worse.  At the Beattie Farmers Union Cooperative they received 1 Willful, 1 repeat and 3 serious safety and health violations because they didn’t use LOTO and an employee lost the toes of his left foot.  The auger he was clearing out wasn’t properly LOTO and it started up unexpectedly.  The proposed fine is $65,900 which again I believe is far to low.  Don’t let anyone pressure you into not doing a proper LOTO on equipment.  Take the time, do it right.

OSHA cites Baytown construction company – PREVENTABLE – A worker for Angel Brothers Enterprises knew how dangerous working in trenches can be if not done properly and was motivated enough by what he saw to file a complaint with OSHA. Their inspection found the workers concerns were valid and hit Angel Brothers with a proposed fine of $89,500 for not protecting workers in a 9 foot excavation as they used LUCK as part of their safety program.  If you ever feel safety is an issue at your worksite, don’t become a statistic, call OSHA.

Safety officer in Canberra workplace death had no formal qualifications, court told – AUSTRALIA – Good read on a current court case in Australia as a worker is dead and the person on trial was responsible for safety at the worksite had no formal training at all and was most probably put in a position of failure.  I can’t stress enough the importance of training.

Workplace safety is critical matter – AUSTRALIA – They are taking workplace safety up a notch here and it’s reflected at the 2015 Resource Industry Network Safety Conference.  Check it out.

Saskatchewan needs to drink the ‘workplace safety Kool-Aid’ – CANADA – The province of Saskatchewan has the second highest workplace injury rate in Canada.  Great article on what’s going on and what needs to be done. What do you think can be done?

OSHA fall prevention stand-down set for May 4-15 – STAND DOWN – Get the word out!  A two week stand-down focusing on FALL PREVENTION.  Be part of this effort to reduce the number of injuries and deaths from falls on the job.  Use all the proper PPE available.

Report Chronicles Dangers Of Flavoring Chemical – INFO – Bizarre that a chemical long known to cause immediate severe lung damage remains unregulated by federal labor officials yet flavors your popcorn.  Yes, diacetyl, used in candy, chips and popcorn will be the new buzz word in 2015.  Read up on it.


Emergency Shower Decontamination Booths – NEW PRODUCT – If you work around chemicals or even just refill batteries for the forklift it’s always good to have a shower around.  Check it out.



Well my friends, that brings another episode of Companies Behaving Badly to a close. Thank you for taking time out of your hectic day and stopping by.  As always feel free to share any or all of these stories at your next company safety tailgate/toolbox meeting and always look forward to your comments on the stories, safety and about the blog.  Never be quiet about safety.  If something doesn’t seem or look right to you, ask questions.  If you don’t get answers, or are told to mind your business or we’ve always done it this way, call OSHA.  Be an advocate of safety, join the safety committee and participate.  If your company doesn’t have a safety committee, start one.  Get everyone involved and if you need help or advice please don’t hesitate to contact me.  Remember, the life you safe may be your own.  Until next time.



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