Companies Behaving Badly-WHY


Why bother?  Why bother to continue to beat up on companies for safety violations when their employees continue to die in falls because they believe they won’t die.  (Well, actually they don’t always die. Sometimes they suffer with life long disabilities associated with the crushing of bones in their bodies or just remain in coma until their heart finally stops beating.)  They believe they won’t die because their employer doesn’t feel the need to give them the protection they need.  There are no guard rails installed, no fall prevention vests that are properly anchored and no stable scaffolding, so my boss must believe nothing will happen to me.  I come to work everyday, give them every effort and do the best job I can, so why would they let me get injured on the job.  Then someone falls and dies. Someone you’ve sat and drank with, a fellow fan of the local team, a close friend who lived next door and coached your kids,after the thought of sorrow, then during your grief, for one brief moment it dares to flash across your synapses, “but that would never happen to me”.  The graveyard is full of people who thought that same thing and they were wrong.  Don’t spend more time dead then you have too.  Don’t allow companies to put you into a hazardous situation.  If you feel in danger on the job and no one cares, call the toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).  As of January 16th,  271 people have died in industrial accidents.  That, unfortunately sounds like yet another episode of Companies Behaving Badly.


OSHA fines Ephrata builder $64,400 for not protecting workers from potential 2-story falls – PREVENTABLE – The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration has fined Burkholder Builders, $64,400 for failing to protect its workers from potential falls and 2 Willful, 4 Serious and 1 other than serious safety violations were found.  In addition to the usual of allowing employees to work 17 1/2 feet off the ground without fall protection, guardrails and toeboards, they allowed workers to be lifted on platforms that were too wide for the forklift raising them; not providing eye protection for workers using a nail gun; not having an operator at the controls of the forklifts holding up the elevated platforms; and the improper use of a portable ladder.  You do NOT have to work under these conditions. Don’t keep quiet about safety.

OSHA: Fatal Taunton aerial lift tip-over was ‘preventable’ – PREVENTABLE – There is a reason it says, “Read manual before operating.” You should never operate any piece of machinery without first being trained by the company and even more important, use it only as the manufacturer has specified.  Kevin Miranda, 48 years old working for Skyline Contracting and Roofing Corp. was operating an aerial lift conducting an inspection on a large smokestack. The lift’s boom was extended to a height of 45 feet when the lift tipped over, and the operator’s basket hit the ground, the force ejected and threw him 16 feet. Miranda, subsequently died from his injuries. OSHA inspectors found the lift was positioned on ground that was not level, a condition that conflicted with both industry safety standards and the lift’s operator manual. In addition, Miranda’s fall protection lanyard was not attached to the basket or boom. Inspectors determined his employer had not trained him to recognize this hazard, as required by OSHA standards. OSHA cited Skyline Contracting and Roofing Corp. for 2 Willful and 1 Serious violation along with proposed fines of $102,900.

Wire Manufacturer Faces $124K In OSHA Fines For Willful, Repeated, Serious Safety Hazards – PREVENTABLE – I don’t know what’s worse?  Knowing you’re exposing workers to hazards that can seriously injure them and not telling them OR being told you’re exposing workers to hazards, told that you must fix it and how but then do nothing at all but ignore it?  That’s what Tecnofil Chenango SAC does as they continue to expose workers at its Sherburne manufacturing plant to potential deadly or disabling injuries.  The latest inspection found numerous instances of new and recurring machine guarding hazards on die presses, saws, lathes and other machinery. Hazards included bypassing interlocks designed to stop machines from operating when their doors opened. A related hazard stemmed from not locking out machines’ power sources before changing dies or performing maintenance and not adequately training employees to do so.  They also found workers exposed to falls of up to 8 feet from unguarded work platforms, slipping and tripping hazards from floors littered with tools, machine parts, lubricants and coolants and electric shocks from ungrounded equipment.  For their efforts, they received 1 Willful, 7 Repeat and 9 Serious violations along with proposed fines of $124,740.


OSHA: Bryant collapse was preventable; contractor cited – PREVENTABLE – Why is it when companies want to cut corners to save a few bucks they always do it with safety? Then wonder why 6 employees got hurt.  Barnes Building & Management Group was cited for 1 Willful and 1 Serious violation of workplace safety standards and OSHA proposed fines totaling $59,290 as they had failed to follow the manufacturer’s plans and install adequate bracing to ensure the framework’s structural stability.


Shoddy work caused circus tent collapse, killing dad, girl: OSHA – PREVENTABLE – The circus tent that collapsed during a severe thunderstorm in Lancaster last year was not built correctly, as OSHA officials said their inspection found that the circus operator, Walker International Events, failed to follow repeated severe thunderstorm warnings from the National Weather Service.  As a result a father and daughter were killed and 50 others were hurt when the tent collapsed on Aug. 3, 2015.  The OSHA inspection found 14 Serious violations and proposed that Walker International Events be fined $33,800.  Walker International  failed to use required tent stakes, to properly anchor the stakes, to remove and replace damaged stakes and to take down the tent amid warnings of 60-mph winds.


OSHA slams MDF door manufacturer with 32 safety citations – PREVENTABLE – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began an inspection on December 2, 2015, after it received a complaint about several unsafe working conditions at the Primecraft Doors’ location in Malvern, Arkansas.  Guess what? They found 27 Serious and 5 other ranging from risk of amputations caused by contact with moving machine parts, numerous electrical shock and electrocution hazards, and noted that proper procedures to lockout/tagout machines to prevent sudden machine starts or movement were not in place.  They also found improperly lit exits and not providing workers with required personal protective equipment.  This totaled $65,600 in fines.  Never keep quiet about safety.

Lowe’s undergoes safety changes following last year’s employee death – HAZARDS – Lowe’s Home Improvement no longer allows its employees to replace bases on cantilever racks following last year’s death of Rodolfo “Rudy” Trevino, a 23-year-old supervisor at a Lubbock store when about 800 pieces of lumber and a cantilever rack fell on him while replacing the rack’s base.  It’s a shame when a tragedy helps bring change and even better when it’s positive change.  This is why it’s important to look at your operation, procedures and jobs at least once a year.  Always solicit and incorporate employee feed back and take near misses seriously.  It can be a indication a look see is needed.

Your social success

The Worst Recorded Methane Leak In US History – CALIFORNIAA new study finds that the Aliso Canyon gas leak near Los Angeles last October released more than 100,000 tons of methane into the atmosphere.  What ever you do, you should always have a plan for an emergency.  What each person is expected to do, why, who to call, what PPE is needed, anything that gives them a chance to contain the emergency and survive.  No plan is not an excuse. Please check out the video.

Workplace safety starts with attitude and behaviour – ARTICLE – Check out the article by Derek Clouthier on the making of a safety advocate.

Forklift accessories for drum storage increase increase storage capacity and safety – PRODUCTS –Forklift Drum Rotator Carriers and Drum Grippers bring safety and efficiency to your warehouse.

That brings this episode of Companies Behaving Badly to a close.  Thank you for stopping by and checking out the articles.  Please don’t hesitate to use any or all of these stories at your next tailgate/toolbox safety meeting.  Never keep quiet about safety, for the life you save may be your own.  Safety also includes keeping safe from workplace violence.  OSHA says homicide is currently the fourth-leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the United States.  Of the 4,679 fatal workplace injuries that took place in 2014; 403 of those were workplace homicides.  Until next time, take care and be safe.




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