The graphic above may look familiar since it’s been used once before because unfortunately the top 10 OSHA violations hasn’t changed much since last year. In fact only items 5 & 6 swapped places, mainly due to the fact that there are still some folks out there, who are just hell bent on dying on the job because they kept quiet about safety at their workplace. So let’s celebrate those dedicated employees of death. Thank you all you managers and supervisors who walk around, if they ever get up from their desk, with blinders on and ignore potential hazards, and never put work orders in to fix equipment since the next guy will do it. This day is for you too. Happy Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos), All Saints Day, All Hallows Day. It looks like for the fiscal year that 1,304 fellow human beings died in industrial accidents. The only good news out of this is that it’s 78 fewer than the year before. Hmmm, that unfortunately sounds like yet another episode of Companies Behaving Badly.
Improper Load Rigging Caused Fatality: OSHA – PREVENTABLE – This is a great example what happens when you have sloppy supervision and worker complacency as no one felt compelled to follow the standard safety rules on the site. A worker, cleaning around a foundation hole was struck in the head by rebar that fell from a crane, killing him. His employer, CBS Pilings Solutions Inc. of Riverside, Mo. didn’t think it important enough to train workers in struck-by hazards that come along with working around cranes and suspended loads. They also didn’t bother removing all non-essential workers from the zone during crane operations either and improperly rigged the load. For this lapse in supervision OSHA fined them only $14,700 for 3 Serious safety violations. If your supervisors are too lazy to have a quick huddle before work begins to go over just these types of things, take the role of leader and remind the rest of the crew. Good morning guys and gals. Today we’re moving rebar into the wholes. Be aware of where you are when you hear the signal the crane will be moving. Remember to clear the area and don’t be under it. Done! This is also why you have to run a tight ship and can’t let things slide. The rules are there for a reason and safety is just as much your job as the bosses.
OSHA fines Park Ridge food facility after worker loses part of finger – PREVENTABLE – An employee of KochFoods Inc., which conducts business as Aspen Foods Inc. had a life altering experience at work as he tried to clear a paper jam in his machine and watched his right middle finger get chopped off. The machine he was operating didn’t have adequate safety guards like locking devices to protect him from dangerous moving parts starting up while clearing jams. If his company cared they would have insisted that the machine have proper guards so this couldn’t happen. Jams happen no matter what and you should be able to clear them without fear of amputation. Koch Foods was cited for 1 Repeat and 4 Serious safety violations and a proposed fine of $52,500. Apparently Koch Foods uses luck as their safety program. If you need to clear a jam and there is no locking device on the machine then do L.O.T.O. Yea, the machine will be down a little longer that way, but you have the right to go home the same way you arrived at work, in one piece. If anyone threatens you or tells you not to lock out a machine make a call to OSHA’s hotline at1-(800) 321-6742 (OSHA).
CAL/OSHA Fines 2 Firms for Exposing Workers to Cave-In Hazards in Piedmont – PREVENTABLE – I don’t know what irks me more, the construction company owners who pad their own pockets by not spending money on proper site safety while having no problem putting their workers at risk or the workers who blindly jump into the trenches knowing they have no way out if there’s a collapse. Two construction companies, EMI Design & Construction Inc. and Salt Light Investments Inc. allowed workers enter an 11 foot deep un-shored trench and were issued a STOP-WORK order by CalOSHA. Even though they knew this had the potential to serious injure or kill one of their own employees they ordered workers back into the trench without abating the hazard. Rather then spend the money to do it properly they opted to put their workers in danger. For their stupidity EMI was cited for 2 Willful, 3 Serious and 5 other safety violations and a proposed fine of $164,465 while the morons at Salt Light were issued 2 Willful and 1 other safety violation for a total penalty of $140,375. You don’t have to put your life in danger to put money in your bosses pocket. Ask questions like how am I suppose to get out of there.
Trenching Cave-In Injures Drainpipe Installer – PREVENTABLE – Here’s another construction company who couldn’t care less about their employees and this time the trench did collapse. Boyles Construction Inc. in Little Rock, Arkansas was cited for 1 Willful, 7 Serious and 1 other than serious safety violations after an employee was injured when the 7 to 8 foot deep trench he was working in fell around him. OSHA found there was no cave in protection for the workers, were not provided helmets, not provided a safe means to exit the trench or had slopes or steps along the side to prevent collapse. The proposed fine is only $47,600 and should be much more due to the willful violation. Construction jobs wouldn’t be so dangerous if there weren’t so many selfish owners worried more about profit than people.
Lockport landscaping company cited by OSHA – PREVENTABLE – Imagine yourself working outdoors on a beautiful day, trimming weeds when suddenly everything goes black when you’re struck in the back of the head with a rock. Unfortunately this happened to an employee of Perry’s Maintenance Inc. and he died several days later. His employer didn’t think it was worth the time and money to repair the bracket for the guard on the discharge of the lawnmower that hurled the rock. It’d been broken since 2014 and that would have prevented this loss of life. The company was cited for 1 violation and a proposed fine of $70,000. Lesson here is don’t put off repairs and don’t let anyone tell you it’s o.k. to operate any piece of machinery or powered industrial truck that is in need of repair. The life you save may be your own.
MIOSHA Writes up $357K in Electrical-Related Safety Violations at Holland Warehouse – PREVENTABLE – Gates Electric and Electrical Inspection Service was inspected by MichiganOSHA, who found 5 Willful Serious and 1 Serious violations in the facility and issued a proposed fine of $357,000. Another disciple of the LUCK safety program.
OSHA issues 3 citations against Ottumwa Post Office – PREVENTABLE – The U.S.P.S. is at it again folks. This time OSHA investigated based on a complaint from an employee since it appears the leadership at this branch doesn’t have a clue. OSHA cited them for 1 Repeat, 1 Serious and 1 other along with a proposed fine of $46,600. A carrier working in over 100 degree heat asked for assistance to complete his route and his bosses said, NO, even though he was exhibiting symptoms of heat illness. It turns out that A month later another carrier was hospitalized for heat illness after he was also turned down for help completing his route. This is such a great example of lazy and incompetent leadership who had no plan to deal with the heat or how to keep employees safe even though they had gone through this before and just couldn’t be bothered when employees needed help and why the hell isn’t their union doing anything? It’s time to end this lesson in futility and eliminate the USPS.
OSHA fines Ashley Furniture for third time this year – PREVENTABLE – I don’t know the Wanek family, who own Abbey Furniture but I don’t have too as their actions tell me what kind of people they are. They apparently have no problem exposing their employees to amputation hazards, don’t want to hear the truth about it, actually blame their workers for being careless, (no machine guarding in place) and believe they’re above the law and sure as hell don’t want to spend the money needed to improve working conditions but rather pay fines. OSHA has cited them again for a third time for $431,000 which is in addition to the $1.8 million fine issued earlier this year. At one point they had 1,000 injuries which was almost one a day. How hard is it to install locking devices or implement procedures that would prevent machines from unintentionally starting up? It’s not hard, but you have to want to do it. Wake up Waneks and protect your employees.
Harden Furniture factory cited for 25 serious safety violations – PREVENTABLE – It looks like it’s just not only Ashley Furniture who doesn’t care about it’s worker’s safety as employees of Harden Furniture were exposed to hazards of amputation, falls, fire, electric shock or caught in unexpectedly activated machinery. They are also a family owned business where OSHA found 25 Serious violations in the factory, yes, 25! They also issued a proposed fine of $106,200. It was full of the usual unguarded saws, unguarded floors and platforms, obstructed and poorly lit marked exit routes, deposits of combustible residue and ungrounded electrical equipment. This is all an accident waiting to happen especially when you let combustible wood residue and dust accumulate. One spark is all it takes. You don’t have to work in conditions like this. Don’t keep quiet about safety.
OSHA proposes biggest fine in Nebraska history – PREVENTABLE – Dallas Foulk, 40 and Adrian LaPour, 44 had no idea they were being sent to their deaths that day because they believed their employer, Nebraska Railcar Cleaning Services would do an air quality check to make sure it was safe before they began work. The company knew the environment in the tank was volatile and did nothing to ensure the safety of it’s workers and when they began work it resulted in an explosion that killed them and injured a 3rd man. Due to this lack of leadership and indifference to human life, they were cited for 7 Egregious Willful, 3 Willful, 2 Repeat, 20 Serious and 1 other than safety violations and given a proposed fine of $963,000. How can a company not monitor or care about workers in a confined space. They didn’t monitor the air, train workers, have a hazardous waste program or prevent falls. They used luck as their safety program and their luck just ran out. Nebraska Railcar has had 5 whistleblower complaints filed with OSHA since 2013, so why are they still allowed to operate like this and wonder why no one in management has been put on trial for manslaughter. This was criminal to humanity.
Ohio second in fatal workplace accidents in OSHA region – NEWS – According to OSHA’s latest numbers, the state of Ohio has the 2nd highest number of workers killed on the job, behind Illinois. Get the word out, never keep quiet about safety.
Tragic death of Brian Og Maguire sends out firm message – IRELAND – Death of a 24 year old sparks a commitment from the government. Construction needs to be held accountable for not following safety rules.
1360 workers injured, five fatal, from forklift accidents – AUSTRALIA – They wake up and declare that forklift safety needs to be enforced. Why have we let it get lax in the first place. Gotta love bureaucrats.
River Metals Recycling Paducah achieves SHARP workplace safety recognition – SAFETY WINNER – Congratulations to River Metals Recycling.
CPChem Pasadena Plastics recognized by OSHA – SAFETY WINNER – Another STAR site winner. Congrats. It can be done.
That brings this episode of Companies Behaving Badly to a close. Thank you for stopping by and checking out the stories and please feel free to use one or all at your next tailgate/toolbox safety meeting. Understand your rights to a safe workplace. You do not have to do any unsafe acts and if your boss tells you too, tell them NO. You can not be fired for refusing to perform an unsafe act. If they want you working on a roof, you want your fall protection gear. If they want you to work in a confined space, you want emergency retrieval and respiratory gear. If they want you to clear a jam, do L.O.T.O. If no one listens to your safety concerns at work, or tells you to shut up and you feel your life may be in danger. Call the OSHA Hotline -1 (800) 321-6742. The life you save may be your own. Until the 15th. take care my friends.
Did you change your batteries?