Companies Behaving Badly – Racing To Die


Let’s face it folks, the world can be a dangerous place.  Even though we’re not hunting mastodons with spears or competing with other wild animals for shelter in a cave, it’s still dangerous out there living in a modern world.  In the U.S. 19,000 have already died in auto accidents alone during the first half of 2015.  According to the NSC that’s a 14% increase over the same period last year and a estimated 130,000 will die due to all types of accidents this year.  As of 10/24/15, the latest numbers available from OSHA, 71 people have died in industrial accidents so far this fiscal year.  So as I said, the world is still a dangerous place and as much as we modernize and develop new techniques, and safety equipment to protect us from accidents, they don’t work at all unless we USE them.  Safety is just as much your responsibility as your employer as is the choice you make to do the right thing or not.  Today you choose not to wear a seatbelt while driving and begin texting on your cell phone even though you know quite well what the possible consequences are.  Nothing happened to you yesterday so what could possible go wrong today, when you are suddenly launched through your front windshield like a human cannon ball.  The possible consequences of your actions in addition to citations for no seat belt and texting while driving is reconstructive plastic surgery to your face, long hospitalization for other injuries and increased insurance rates but that’ll beat the other alternative where you don’t have to worry about the consequences at all, because you are DEAD.   Same in the construction industry, when you are assigned to work in a deep trench.  You notice the walls are not shored properly, there is no safety equipment offered to get you out of there in a rush and it rained heavy last night, but you don’t want to appear as less then a man and called names by your foreperson or lose your job, so you make the choice, pray and go in.  Today you lived but now you’ve set a dangerous precedent.  You are the guy who’ll go in. So you’re asked to do it again, and again.  You think you’re immortal and then that one time, you’re buried alive. Don’t keep quiet about safety!  Don’t be bullied into doing dangerous work. Your life matters.  If you feel you are being placed into dangerous situations by your company, Call the OSHA Hotline. 1 (800) 321-6742.  Well that unfortunately sounds like another episode of Companies Behaving Badly.

OSHA: Worker killed in Longmeadow trench collapse ‘would not have died if employer had followed proper procedures – PREVENTABLE – Davide S. Nascimento at 28 year old construction worker trusted that his employer, A. Martin & Son Construction Inc. wouldn’t send him to work in a dangerous trench and now 2 young girls are without a father.  A portion of the roadway above collapsed and broke a 6 inch water main pipe which very quickly filled the trench, trapping and drowning Davide.  Because his employer didn’t bother to protect the water main or inspect the site after the rainstorm the night before, which weakened excavation walls, OSHA cited them for 2 Serious violations and a proposed fine of $14,000.  Don’t keep quiet about safety and ask questions.  A good construction company foreperson has a quick huddle with the crew before work begins where situations like the above can be addressed.

Grave Matter: OSHA Fines NY Cemetery Company for Cave-In – PREVENTABLE – It may be extreme marketing when you try to make your employees, your customer as well.  Such is the case at St. Charles/Resurrection Cemeteries as one of their workers was injured when the walls of a grave he was working in collapsed and buried him up to his waist.  The OSHA investigation found 2 Willful and 3 Serious violations.  You know what willful means. They knew about the hazard but couldn’t care less to fix it or who was hurt or killed because of it.  The pending fine is $123,200.  When ever working in a trench, always take precautions and be aware of the ground conditions.

OSHA cites roofing company for safety violations – PREVENTABLE – Affordable Exteriors LLC apparently cares more about profits then it does the well being of it’s employees.  Even though they were cited an fined in 2013 for not providing workers with fall protection, and again in 2014, they tempted fate yet again in 2015 and earned 2 Willful, 1 Repeat and 3 Serious safety violations for again allowing employees to work 25 feet off the ground without fall protection equipment along with a proposed fine of $112,000.  When a company consistently puts workers in danger like this the fines are not enough.  We need laws to void the licenses of these companies and put the owners in a jail cell.  No matter what they promise you to get you to work without fall protection will not protect your family when you die.  Never keep quiet about safety.

OSHA fines TX companies $112K for exposing workers to asbestos – PREVENTABLE – Jason Berkowitz is evil personified as he couldn’t care less about what health problems his employees develop years from now as he has exposed them to asbestos at several construction sites so he can line his pockets with profits while they slowly die.  This creep’s three commercial real estate renovation companies all were fined by OSHA for exposing workers to asbestos or not ensuring they followed proper asbestos protocol while removing the toxic substance.  Each company received 1 Willful violation, FBZ Broadway, LP was fined $14,000, Roscoe Properties, Inc. was fined $63,000 and One Eighty Construction, Inc. was fined $35,000.  This person knew of the dangers he exposed his employees too but figured he’d get away with it as they probably won’t develop lung diseases or cancer years from now while he’s spending the money earned on their lives.  For these willful violations Mr. Berkowitz should be on trial for crimes against humanity.

Atlanta Construction Company Exposed Workers to Dangerous Falls, OSHA Finds – PREVENTABLE – Yet another construction company with no morals or ethics and treating workers like expendable parts while stuffing their own pockets with profits.  JA Siding Construction Services LLC was issued 2 Willful and 1 Repeat safety violations for not providing fall protection equipment to employees working on a scaffold and then not bothering to make sure it was properly secured.  The proposed fine is only $65,120. The repeat citation was for not providing protective eyewear to workers using a pneumatic nail gun.  You do not have to work under these conditions.  Maybe if we began charging willful violators for attempted manslaughter it would bring an end to this willful stupidity.

OSHA proposes $181,500 fine against N.J. firm for repeated workplace safety violations – PREVENTABLE – United Hospital Supply Corp. is a family run company that is trying to supply hospitals not only with metal cabinets and furniture but also with injured employees as they have ignored fixing safety issues at their facility since 2010.  This time OSHA found 21 safety violations, including Willful, repeat and serious violations and a proposed fine of $181,500.  This family operation has no problem exposing their workers to electrical hazards, unguarded machinery, lack of hand protection and improperly screened welding stations, but then fixing these problems will take money and apparently they don’t want to spend it on their hard working employees.

Worker’s leg amputation leads to OSHA fine for metal parts maker – PREVENTABLE – Clarion Sintered Metals Inc. is another company that is more concerned with profits than people’s lives as they failed to provide workers access to emergency stop buttons on a stationary compactor and because of this lapse in judgement an employee lost his leg.  The following investigation by OSHA found 30 Serious violations along with a proposed fine of $74,000. Workers were also routinely exposed to unprotected machinery, struck by hazards and use of uninspected and damaged equipment.  The company also had unilluminated exit signs and incomplete logging of all recordable injuries and illnesses.  Sounds like one big accident waiting to happen.

Kentucky’s workplace injury and illness rate lowest in history – WINNER – Great job Kentucky!  It can be done with hard work.

Louisiana ranks second for worker safety in 2014 – WINNER – According to the latest data from 2014, the state of Louisiana has greatly improved on workplace safety.  Congratulations!

Who is Responsible for Recording Injuries and Illnesses of Temporary Workers? – Great article in the National Law Review.  Strongly suggest you read it especially if you employ temporary help.  What do you think?
Well that brings yet another episode of Companies Behaving Badly to a close. Thank you for stopping by and reading the articles.  Please don’t hesitate to share some or all of these stories at your next safety tailgate/toolbox meeting. Learn from their lessons to help you become a safer worker and survive the workplace. Don’t let any foreperson, employer or company put you into a dangerous situation without proper training and equipment.  Don’t allow them to bully you or threaten to fire you for not doing a unsafe act.  Don’t let anyone take advantage of you because you are an immigrant or don’t speak english.  You have laws to protect you.  If you are subject to any of this kind of harassment call the OSHA Hotline at 1-800-321-6742(OSHA). No deje que nadie se aproveche de usted, porque usted es un inmigrante o no habla Ingles.  Usted tiene leyes para proteger a usted.  Si usted esta sujeto a cualquiera de este tipo de acoso llame a la Linea OSHA al 1-800-321-6742.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s