Safety Lessons Learned From Wile E. Coyote 6


Today’s lesson learned at the Wile E. Coyote school of safety where they constantly disregard the laws of physics, corrupt the rules of nature and live in animated immortality.  But here reality kills.


Training/Certification – Whether you drive the family wagon or other pieces of powered equipment like a forklift or backhaul you need to be trained and certified before legally operating that piece of equipment.  To drive a car I took Driver’s Education to get training and then my written/road test to get certified and obtain my license.  In the workplace, the process is very similar.  The company that hired you will give you classroom training as well as hands-on training on how to properly operate, inspect, report safety/maintenance issues, report accidents and professionally conduct yourself within the confines of the facility.  After passing a written and road test you will be certified to operate that vehicle and the more hours behind the wheel, the better your skills will become and you will achieve the status of professional. 

A professional understands their certification is a privilege earned through hard work that can be revoked by the company at any time for violating safety rules.  A professional understands the limits of the powered equipment, never uses it for horseplay or any other purpose than the intended, observes the speed limit and all other rules of the road, reports all maintenance issues immediately, and respects the vehicle by keeping it clean and free of debris.


The certification process is to protect the company as well as YOU!  Your certification says they invested the time and money to train you to operate the vehicle safely and efficiently.  If you were to operate a powered vehicle without training you could cause a serious accident and the company would have no choice but to throw you under the bus for doing this.  That’s why you NEVER do it without training even if a boss tells you that it’s okay this time.  It’s not okay at any time unless an extreme emergency.  If you do not receive any training at a facility and told you are required to operate an industrial powered vehicle you need to stop and ask why?  If the answer is not satisfactory you have three choices.  You can find another job, you can continue and risk your life or you can call the OSHA Hotline at 1-800-321-6742 (OSHA) and make an anonymous complaint.  Remember, the life you save may be your own. 




#staysafe #socialdistancing

Safety Lessons Learned From Wile E. Coyote 3


Today’s lesson learned from the Wile E. Coyote school of safety where they constantly defy the laws of physics, perverse the rules of nature and live in animated immortality.  But in our world, the earth sucks as gravity still wins.



LESSON 3 – Weight Limits.  Each of you has a limit on how much weight you can lift and hold safely.  Machines and equipment are very much the same way in that respect. When they are built at the factory, with the specifications made by engineers, they can easily move or lift the weight they were designed to handle.  That’s why it’s important to familiarize yourself with those limits so you use the right equipment for the job so it’s done quickly and safely.  



This applies to everything from forklifts (try to pick up something over the weight rating and you will tip over) motorized pallet jacks and tugs.  It also applies to trucks, (too much weight on an axle will get you red-tagged at the state scale because it’s dangerous). An overweight truck is harder to stop and very unstable and harder to control on the road.  Even the steel racking in your warehouse has weight limits that you must observe and should have posted so everyone can stay safe and not worry about falling racks.  So as you see it’s just not just fashionable to worry about being overweight but healthy for you on many levels.



Safety Lessons Learned From Wile E. Coyote 2


Today’s lesson learned from the Wile E. Coyote school of safety where they constantly defy the laws of physics, perverse the rules of nature and live in animated immortality.  But in our world reality always wins.


Lesson two – Daily inspections and checklist.  Yea, yea. They’re a pain, every day the same thing, what a waste of time said one employee as he picked up a forklift checklist and just marked everything off right down the list as ok without even looking at the forklift.  When I challenged him on it he asked does anybody really look at them?  Yes, I do, I replied.  Not only did I look at them and keep them on file but when items are indicated that need maintenance or repair I always attach the repair technician’s report of repairs so there is one easy continuous paper trail available if you were to ever have an OSHA audit.


However, what is more, important than the completed checklist is the actual conduction of the inspection.  That’s right, the checklist is not there just to torture you but to remind you what to look at and for during that preshift inspection so the forklift or other powered vehicle is safe to operate for the full shift.  An inspection report is a tool for communicating needed maintenance and a legal document that must be properly completed.


Did you see a puddle under the vehicle, does the horn work properly, what condition are the tires, do the breaks work?  Those observations make inspections critical to your safety.  Don’t assume the last person to operate the equipment had no problems or the warehouse fairy will do repairs overnight and if the horn stops working or the breaks are pulling don’t wait to report the problem on the next inspection.  Stop and report immediately!  Take the few minutes to do a proper inspection, complete the checklist and have a productive day at work.




















The TopTen OSHA Violations Before Christmas. On the Eve Day


It’s Christmas Eve at the Northpole and everybody is busy and celebrating!  Santa and the elves did an outstanding job of fixing all the violations which included hours of training and practice and then completing the seemingly impossible task of getting all the toys and gifts that boys and girls around the world had asked Santa for produced and loaded on the sleigh!  This could only have been accomplished thanks to the great team effort of the elves.

That’s what it takes when it comes to safety at the workplace,  It takes a team of dedicated workers watching each other’s backs and reminding how to properly deal with hazards.  Even if the call for safety doesn’t come from the top executives you can still control what goes on in your work area.  You make the decision to wear your PPE, (safety goggles, ear protection, dust mask, and bump caps.  You make the decision to wear your fall protection gear, you make the decision to work on your machine without LOTO.  You make the decision to inspect your forklift before using it.

It is against the law to bully or threaten an employee to commit an unsafe act.  It is against the law to tamper with any kind of safety shutoff.   Yes, some companies are disrespectful dumbasses and may fire you for insubordination but do you want to work for a company that doesn’t care enough about whether you live or die on the job?   You do have OSHA in your corner.  That’s why they have an 1-800-321-6742 (OSHA) HOTLINE.  

Tomorrow is Christmas day, and around our beautiful country, as families gather and celebrate the holiday, there will be over 5,000 empty seats.   Mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, uncles, aunts, cousins will not be there because they died in an industrial accident this year.  We will miss the way they carved the ham, that special pie she made, the awful jokes Uncle told or the great laugh she had.  They will be missed and the heartache will have to be relived all over again.  We are all like snowflakes, no two alike.  Each with our own combination of skills and talents which makes us unique.  We come into this world for a short time to accomplish goals, have families, make a comfortable living.  You never know if they were the one with the next cure for a disease or invention to benefit the human race.

Thank you for stopping by and taking time out of your busy day to read our presentation of the TopTen OSHA Violations before Christmas.  The reception has greatly exceeded our expectations and that’s only because of great fans like you. Thank you.  Wish you all a Happy Chanukah and a Merry Christmas.


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The TopTen OSHA Violations Before Christmas. On the Fourth Day


Santa received a notice of violation( 1910.178) Powered Industrial Trucks.  This is listed as #7 on OSHA’s TopTen violations for 2019.

We must be on the right track because we haven’t seen or heard from the grinch since we began this series.  As mentioned yesterday, training is the most critical part of safety.  I can’t say it enough.  With proper training chances are an elf can retire with all body parts intact.  Powered Industrial Trucks are included in the category of don’t touch until you’ve been trained.  Powered Industrial trucks include tugs, ride-ons, forklifts and any other vehicle that moves within your warehouse using electric, propane, diesel or reindeer as a power source.


Even before Santa was allowed to fly the sleigh he had to spend hours training and practicing at the controls and learn what to inspect during pre-flight, how to properly hook up the reindeer and board and care for them as well.  The training should include how to professionally operate the forklift within the confines of or the outside of your facility.  You need to know how to inspect the vehicle before operating which must be done at the beginning of each shift and how to properly red tag out of service if needed so someone else won’t operate an unsafe vehicle.  You also need to be aware of the capacity of your forklift.  How much weight can it lift safely without tipping over?  Yes, tipping over.  If you lift beyond what your forklift can handle or shift in the wrong direction it all, including yourself will tip over.

Forklifts are the workhorse for every facility in every trade or industry.  They are NOT toys and NOT to ever be used in horseplay.  Santa pays an enormous annual workers compensation premium and doesn’t need your help to increase it any time soon.  So now the elves will be trained as follows:

  1. Never operate any powered industrial truck that you have NOT been trained or certified to operate.  You need to be certified to operate by a trained instructor.
  2. Certification is achieved by first completing a classroom training session using a combination of written materials, videos, and instruction.  Document all training with signatures of those attended and the material covered and keep.
  3. Upon completion of the classroom segment, the candidate takes a road test operating the vehicle.  Some think you need to set up some sort of obstacle course as part of the road test.  I want to make sure my elves can pull or put away pallets and load trucks.  That’s what I actually test them on.  Again, document.
  4. Demonstrate what to examine and look for during a preshift inspection of a forklift. If it is not safe to operate never be afraid to RED TAG it.
  5. NEVER use your forklift to transport people, as a piece of exercise equipment, like a ladder, like a racecar or drag racer and NEVER use it for horseplay.

Santa will be taking a breather during the weekend as the crew concentrates on their upcoming deliveries around the world.  He greatly appreciates all of everyone’s support and good wishes in getting his workshop back in order.  Hope you all have a great weekend preparing for the holidays.  Monday: On the Fifth Day.


RBMB-Exceeded Limitations


We all deal with limitations of one sort or another and at times we have depended on machinery of some type to help us compensate for those limitations.  However, we tend to become enamored by their speed and strength and forget that those pieces of industrial powered machinery have limits themselves as we take them for granted and push them beyond the tasks they’ve been designed for.  That means it falls upon us humans to protect the machinery and make sure they don’t exceed their capabilities so they can keep us safe at the same time.

It really burns my butt that workers are being injured and killed due to mis-information or lack of communication on what task their machine can do safely or the weight capacities of equipment.  By following the steps below, you can protect yourself, prevent accidents or serious injuries at work if YOU know what to look for when it comes to equipment limitations .

Step 1 – Certification:  When you were hired and your job involves the operating of any kind of industrial powered trucks/equipment you should have first received a general safety orientation and then been trained and certified by the company to operate that piece of equipment.  If you were certified on a powered pallet jack and you need to operate a forklift, you need to be certified again for the operation of that forklift as well.  


Step 2 – Data Plate:  During the certification process you were introduced to the “data plate”.  This plate is very important since it’s an I.D. the manufacturer has put together to tell you how much weight you can move safely in the facility without having to worry about tip over.  It will also come in handy and help you for those times you may have to operate a different type of forklift.  The weight you can move with a diesel powered forklift is more then an electric and you would learn this by reading the data plate.  In fact, the data plate is so important that it is a OSHA violation to operate any powered vehicle without a date plate.  So if your industrial powered truck is missing the plate, immediately inform your supervisor via the daily checklist and verbally.  

Step 3 – Seatbelt:  Always wear a seatbelt when operating your forklift.  The manufacturer has designed your forklift to protect you within it’s cage, so if you do unfortunately experience a tip over, the seat belt will keep you within that cage and safe so you don’t wind up under a 8,000 pound forklift.

Step 4 – Modifications to any piece of equipment should be approved and done by the manufacturer of the equipment only!  They know how to safely add any modifications so the equipment will continue to operate properly.  As soon as the modifications are completed it is critical to have retraining of operators so they know how the modifications affect operation.

Step 5 – New Equipment:  When ever you get any new piece of equipment, before anyone is allowed to touch it, training needs to be given.  Why?  Where is the emergency shut off, what are the weight limitations, are there exposed moving parts?  I always reccommend that the manufacturers representative do the initial training to management and staff so questions can be asked by all on the equipment and then later you can develop your own training for in-house use.  


Step 6 – Quick huddle:  When you find that your crew has to operate equipment that hasn’t been used in a while, like seasonal equipment such as a snow plow or large industrial vehicles like a boom lift, take the few minutes and have a quick huddle to go over and remind everyone on proper operation, it’s limitations and any safety reminders related to operation of the equipment.  Those few minutes taken to explain and remind can avoid hours of accident investigation and/or a trip to the E.R.

Don’t let anyone ever push you to operate equipment beyond it capabilities, limitations and safety limits.  Don’t let anyone ever push you to operate equipment in need of repair and unsafe to operate even if it’s “only this once”.  If it doesn’t sound right to you, ask questions and if you don’t get answers and still being bullied to do the wrong thing, call the OSHA hotline at 1-800-321-6742 (OSHA).  Never keep quiet about safety, for the life you save may be your own.


Really Burns My Butt – Die Young


Kelsey “Bug”Hagenson

When a young person dies in war, it is heartbreaking and only somewhat comforting that it was in the service of their country.  When a young person dies in an industrial accident it is just as heartbreaking and in both cases the world has lost an original masterpiece, someone who later in their life may have gone on to invent or discover or paint or write something that will improve the world or produce the offspring that may accomplish all that.  The Army gives at least 10 weeks of basic training to ensure civilians become soldiers and 14 – 16 weeks in some cases of specialized military functions so they are prepared and ready before being sent into a dangerous situation.  So when I see a young man die in an industrial accident because he was thrown into a job like grist for the mill my feelings turn into anger.  Kelsey “Bug” Hagenson, an 18 year old who enjoyed the outdoors and just beginning his journey in life, had been on the job only 3 months, when he was mixing concrete at a construction site when a forklift, driven by another employee, 15 years on the job, with inadequate training and no use of his right hand, hit and killed Kelsey.

OSHA has cited the company, Lunda Construction Company for 1 Willful and 5 Serious safety violations along with a proposed fine of $105,000.  For those of you who don’t know, a willful violation means the company knew there was a hazard that could kill one of their workers but couldn’t care less to do anything about it.  Too me, that’s manslaughter especially when you take into account that Lunda has a history of worker deaths and safety violations being inspected 30 times over the last 5 years, receiving 12 Serious violations and earning a spot in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.  With this history, they also should be barred from competing for ANY Federal, state, or city construction contracts .

Let’s not allow Kelsey’s death be for nothing and turn this into a positive.  On any construction site in any state, watch out for each other.  Pair up with the younger workers, be their buddy and mentor them on safety, the job and how to go home in one piece.  You are there to do a job under dangerous conditions.  There is no room for horseplay or joking. Yea, there will be times they may come off as a know it all, talk to much, or you think their music sucks but guess what, you were like that when you were young too.  Just because you were treated like crap and weren’t shown anything when you began years ago doesn’t mean that has to continue.  Be a mentor, share knowledge, be kind and let’s prevent another senseless death of a young worker.  For you young workers, if you don’t receive any training on how to recognize hazards at the job site, or how to operate machinery or how to use fall protection gear, you must make an important decision.  Is the job worth your life?  If it’s a union job, get hold of your representative immediately and if there is no one there to protect you, CALL the OSHA hotline – 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).  Also check out the OSHA website for information in both Spanish and English on what to expect on the job.  The information could just possibly save your life.  Don’t become a statistic and never keep quiet about safety, it’s the best way to honor the memory of Kelsey.











Burns My Butt – Double Standards

wait-whatThis week Americold Logistics, was issued 2 repeat and 2 serious citations from OSHA at their Manchester facility based on complaints from 3 employees.   The employees were forced to use forklifts in need of repair and were not taken out of service as they were trained to do.  This really burns my butt.  You spend all that time and money training forklift drivers to work safely, to do daily inspections and red tag unsafe equipment under the penalty of reprimand or termination and then you tell them to forget all that training and go ahead and use the unsafe forklifts?  What kind of message about safety are you sending?  What double standard is this?  If anyone of those workers had used a red tagged forklift and were injured or worse you know damn well that Americold would have thrown them under the bus.  There is only one message – SAFETY.

I commend those 3 employees who obviously were paying attention during training, however the supervisors and managers there need some retraining now!  If you know a piece of equipment is not safe to operate, RED TAG it and don’t let anyone use it.  If your boss tells you or threatens you to use it, CALL OSHA!




Companies Behaving Badly – Willful a Few Dollars More

Nothing says “I care about you” more than a willful safety violation.  OSHA’s definition of a WILLFUL violation is ” a violation in which the employer either knowingly failed to comply with a legal requirement (purposeful disregard) or acted with plain indifference to employee safety.” I put that into these terms: Company management knew of the safety hazard but couldn’t care less if anyone got injured or killed let alone fix it.  Not our problem, you need to be careful that’s what we said in our last safety meeting.  Didn’t you pay attention?  You do not have to work in an unsafe environment and NO ONE can force you to commit an unsafe act.  Report safety issues to your supervisor and if nothing happens report it to your union representative and if nothing still happens call OSHA. The company will feed you lots of bull about we’re working on it, or that parts are backordered, but in the meantime, it’s o.k. to use.  Just break sooner.  Because if you do use it and get hurt, the company will throw you under the bus in a minute, their lawyers will insist on it.  You have only one life on this planet, why would you risk it for some company that couldn’t care less about you.  As of September 13, 2014 – 1,315 people have died on the job.  After those remarks I know this has unfortunately got to be another episode of Companies Behaving Badly.

Somerville cabinet company exposed workers to carcinogens, OSHA says – PREVENTABLE OSHA as part of their Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high injury and illness rates couldn’t have come to Choice Cabinetry of Somerville, New Jersey soon enough as they found15 violations including 3 WILLFUL and 7 serious.  They use methylene chloride at this plant, a chemical that when a worker is exposed, has an increased risk of developing cancer and skin and eye irritation as well as possible adverse effects on the heart, central nervous system and liver.  So of course the willful violations were lack of a hazard communication program, hazard communication training and methylene chloride training.  They also didn’t have proper P.P.E. or eyewash facilities. For all this love they have been hit with a proposed fine of only $136,290.

Florida Roofing Contractor Faces $340K in OSHA Fines for Fall, PPE Hazards – PREVENTABLEMore Willful choices as GP Roofing & Construction LLC seemed to have no problem at all exposing their workers to falls or injuries at their two residential work sites.  You know safety costs time and money and just cuts into that profit margin.  So GP Roofing was found to have at total of 12 safety violations including 3 WILLFUL and 4 REPEAT violations.  They willfully failed to provide workers with fall protection systems as well as repeatedly allowed workers to use powered nail guns without eye and face protection and for failing to extend ladders three feet above the landing surface for roof access.  Yes, I know, another company that shares the love.


Man dies in Valley forklift accident – PREVENTABLE – George Young a 54 year old employee of Midwest Manufacturing wasn’t expecting to be killed by his forklift that Monday evening.  He had been employed there for 2 years before the standup forklift he was using backed into some shelving and he became pinned.  Don’t know if his forklift didn’t stop in time or how he became dislodged from his standup to get pinned but this should remind everyone that forklifts are secret killers in your warehouse if not properly maintained and your drivers trained.

Pedestrian killed in forklift accident in Lancaster County, police say + Postal employee taken to hospital after forklift accident – PREVENTABLE – Two forklift accidents that were both avoidable if only the drivers were paying attention.  The driver in Lancaster county wasn’t paying attention or watching the road when he struck Debroahlee Pinot who was walking towards him on the road shoulder.  The postal worker was not paying attention or he would have seen the support beam before he hit it. A forklift like any other motorized vehicle is only as safe as it’s operator drives it and driving distracted will almost always end with an accident.  The notion that you’re the only one on the road or warehouse is ridiculous and you should always operate under the guise there are folks around.  LOOK before you drive!!!  In fact if you see any of your forklift drivers back up without first looking, pull them off, suspend their forklift license and have them go through the training course again.

Supervisor Fatally Injured at Ohio Plant – PREVENTABLE – Imagine the thoughts that went through the mind of the 48 year old supervisor as a heavy metal door struck him and slowly squeezed the last breath out of his body.  He had worked for Certified Heat Treating Inc. of Miamisburg, OH for 25 years and obviously worked his way up to supervisor, but also obvious, safety wasn’t a priority in his training or to the company itself.  Bill Wilkerson, OSHA’s area director put it best, “No worker should lose their life because an employer decided to cut corners on safety.”  Think about it, he started there at about the age of 23 and for years was told it’s o.k. to do it this way and for 25 years nothing happened, that is until March 31st. 2014 when he gave his life trying to save the company money by cutting corners. When OSHA inspected the facility they found 10 serious violations mostly related to confined space and L.O.T.O standards for the control of machinery and moving parts.  Workers were also inadequately trained on specific procedures to prevent such incidents, and periodic inspections of equipment were NOT conducted.  The proposed fine is only $64,000.  Yes after 25 years of service that’s what it amounts too.  DO NOT work on any piece of machinery or equipment unless you know it is properly locked out and tagged out.

Rockville Construction LLC Cited By OSHA – PREVENTABLE – Yet another construction company, this time in Manchester, Conn. was found to have over 24 health and safety violations after an OSHA inspection.  During a renovation project the workers weren’t given adequate safeguards to prevent exposure to lead, falls and electrical hazards.  There was also inadequate training to workers about the hazards of lead exposure and the company lacked a hazard communication program.  In other words, the company figured the less said the better, and we can save some money as well.  Don’t ever be afraid to ask about the conditions in a work site.

OSHA Cites Haverhill Chemicals in Fatality – PREVENTABLE – Nick Walters, OSHA’s regional director in Chicago said it best, “A long term employee, preparing to retire and spend more time with his loved ones, lost his life in a preventable tragedy.  A worker who dedicated his life to a job should never lose that life to that job.” The OSHA investigation into his death found 21 serious and 2 other than serious safety violations. The 61 year old worker suffered fatal injuries as an expansion joint failed while he was clearing a blockage and a thermally heated chemical mixture spewed on him.  That was Haverhill Chemicals send off for their long time employee. They had failed him and other workers by not ensuring misaligned pipes and expansion joints were repaired properly and adequate safety shields were installed.  Proposed fine is only $134,000.

Newington Business Fined After Worker Loses Parts Of Fingers – PREVENTABLE – Nothing like a little accident to get all that unwanted attention from OSHA and then having them find all kinds of things.  That’s what happened at West Hartford Stairs & Cabinets when an employee cut off parts of two of his fingers and OSHA found 16 serious violations to a tune of a $60,200 proposed fine.  In addition to the inadequate guarded machine where the employee amputated his fingers, they also found no spark detector in the dust collection system, improper disposal of flammable rags and buildup of flammable chemicals, failed to have employees wear safety glasses and protective gloves when using chemicals and NO emergency eyewash station and were only some of the issues.  The good thing here is yes the worker suffered an injury but that caused OSHA to come by before this company had a chance to blow itself up and hurt more employees.

CT Roofing Contractor Cited After Fatal Worker Fall PREVENTABLE – A young worker, 28 years old fell 18 feet off a roof he was working on and died 4 days later from his injuries.  The saddest thing about this death is that he was wearing a safety harness but it wasn’t tied to an independent anchorage.  Where the hell was his foreman and why didn’t they make him tie off?  Ah, but it turns out M&M Roofing has been cited 3 times before by OSHA for similar hazards so they have a history of NOT caring for their employees.  In addition to the fall hazard, they were cited for 2 serious violations, an unguarded skylight and allowing workers to work close to power lines.  Only $40,600 for their indifference to their employees safety. In my opinion repeat violators in construction should have their licenses pulled and suspended for a period of time.  We need to stop these senseless deaths.

(Photo courtesy of the          Collins family)

(Photo courtesy of the Collins family)

Lawmaker: Time to consider stiffer OSHA penalties – OPINION/FOOD FOR THOUGHT –  As you regular readers know I am a big proponent of greatly increasing the fines and penalties for violating companies, but for willful and serious violations which also should have an added penalty if the violation results in a death.  To me the lesser violations should be more of a teaching moment.  However this article is more about Brett Samuel Collins, a 20 year old college student who was happy to have a summer job so he could have some money when he returned to school.  Unfortunately, Brett never made it back to classes. We need to do a better job of teaching safety to our younger workers.

Cargill’s Illinois Pork Plant Reaches 6 Million Work Hours With No Injuries – SAFETY WINNER – Cargill’s pork processing facility in Beardstown, Ill. who employs more than 2,000 workers and processes 1 billion pounds of pork in a year.  Congratulations, It can be done!!

Maine Businesses Recognized for Workplace Safety – SAFETY WINNERCommissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette announced that Maine Oxy of Brewer and Davis Brothers of Chester have each earned the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program Award (SHARP) in recognition of each business’ rigorous safety achievement program.

The days are getting shorter. Make sure your workplace is properly lit in all seasons. – SAFETY TIP – Great information on lighting the workplace and tips from  Remember your workers are not mushrooms and studies show people work better and safer in well lit work areas.


Well, that brings another episode of Companies Behaving Badly to a close. Thank you for stopping by and please share these stories at your next safety tailgate/toolbox safety meeting.  You should never fell guilty about speaking up about safety.  You have every right to do so.  Even if most of the plant doesn’t observe the rules, make sure your team does.  You’ll take some flack for it but you’ll be able to look at yourself in the mirror and the great feeling of sending all your staff home in one piece. Insist on a safe workplace.  Until next month my friends, have a happy Halloween.


Companies Behaving Badly – It’s a Virus of Course

It must be a virus!  How else can you explain all the falls that are still going on.  As of September 6th. 2014 – 1,296 workers died due to their job this fiscal year.  In 2013 Falls were the most cited violation in the construction industry as 294 died due to falls (36.9% of all 796 deaths in construction).  It must be the virus that keeps us from leaning from past experience as fall protection is still the #1 OSHA violation as 6,143 have been issued so far.  So let’s stop the madness. It is so easy to buy fall protection gear, you can even get it online from Grainger. Stop making excuses and you workers, why do you listen to idiots that tell you it’s O.K. to work without fall protection.  You know they’re called ACCIDENTS for a reason, not on purposes.  You don’t know if a gust of wind is going to hit that sheet of plywood and push you or if you will slip on someones spilled coffee.  If you are forced to work in unsafe conditions and no one in management is listening, you can go to the OSHA website and file a complaint online or call OSHA at1-800-321-OSHA.  Well unfortunately, this sounds like another episode of Companies Behaving Badly.

A continuación se presentan los pasos para ponerse en contacto con OSHA para presentar una queja. Sé que la realidad es que la mayoría de ustedes no tienen máquinas de fax para presentar una queja y lo hago encontrar este paso ridículo. Llame al número 800 – la vida es demasiado importante. No deje que los jefes se aprovechen de ti. Usted tiene los derechos para un lugar de trabajo seguro.Éstas son las opciones para presentar su queja de seguridad y salud:

1. Online – Ir a la línea Formulario de Quejas Las quejas escritas que están firmadas por los trabajadores o sus representantes y presentados a un área de OSHA o la oficina regional tienen más probabilidades de resultar en inspecciones de OSHA. Las quejas recibidas en la línea de los trabajadores en los estados de plan estatal aprobado por OSHA serán enviadas al plan estatal apropiado.
2. Descargar y Fax / Correo – Descargue el formulario de queja de OSHA * [En Espanol *] (o solicitar una copia a la oficina local de área de OSHA regional o), completarlo y enviarlo por fax o por correo de vuelta a su OSHA regional o local de servicios Oficina. Las quejas por escrito que están firmados por un trabajador o representante y presentadas a la Oficina de Área de OSHA más cercano tienen más probabilidades de resultar en inspecciones de OSHA. Por favor, incluya su nombre, dirección y número de teléfono para que podamos contactar con usted para dar seguimiento. Esta información es confidencial.
3. Teléfono – su oficina local de OSHA local o regional. Personal de OSHA puede discutir su queja y responder a cualquier pregunta que tengas. Si hay una emergencia o el peligro es potencialmente mortal, llame a su oficina local de OSHA local o regional o al 1-800-321-OSHA.

Security Guard Killed on the Set of ‘Falling Skies’ – PREVENTABLE – A horrible accident that could have been prevented as Amrik Singh Gill, a security guard on a television production site was pinned against a tree as a unattended 5-ton truck sitting on a slight slope, slide down, killing him. The truck driver should have know better than to leave his vehicle like that.  As with forklifts if you are going to be out of sight of the vehicle make sure it is correctly parked. Engine off, break on, forks down.  Do it the same way every time, make it a habit for life.

Forklift accident in Edmond leaves two dead, one injured – PREVENTABLE – Two brothers, Michael Birney, 56, and Daniel Birney, 54 were killed when the forklift supporting their elevated platform tipped over and crashed to the ground.  A third person, a 21 years old male was severely injured and is in the hospital.  They were moving decking tile when the accident occurred.  The investigation is currently in progress, but forklifts tip over when the maximum weight capacity is exceeded and/or not used on a level surface.  Always check the manufacturers plate for the weight limits at various heights before using and if there is no plate tag the vehicle out of service and report it.

Man crushed to death in forklift accident near Tampa – PREVENTABLE – Ricardo McCalop, 51, an employee of Infra-Metals owned by Reliance Steel & Aluminum, was near the end of his shift and looking forward to spending time with his family when the forklift he was driving overturned and crushed him.  He was moving a steel beam when it struck a pile of other beams causing them to shift and hit the forklift knocking it over.  Why you would allow workers to operate in an area of such tight quarters is beyond me, it’s just an accident waiting to happen.  Don’t set your employees up for failure.

Company fined $70k for forklift death – PREVENTABLE – Even in New Zealand they know a forklift in need of repairs should NOT be used as Busck Prestressed Concrete Ltd was convicted in District Court for the death of 47 year old employee, Anthony Wells.  Busck Ltd. in all their glorious stupidity allowed a modified 6.5 tonne telehandler operate in service even though the headlights, front indicators, brake lights, front hazard lights, horn, screen washers and front wipers were NOT WORKING in addition to having a missing right mirror and 4 different brands of tires, each with a different tire pressure!  As if this wasn’t enough of a recipe for disaster they also had a trainee with NO formal qualifications operate the vehicle!  Because of their arrogance in allowing this machine to operate Anthony Wells was hit and killed in the early hours of February 25th and now they were ordered to pay a fine of $70,000 and pay reparation of $60,000 for a total of $130,000.  The repairs would have been much less. Do NOT operate a forklift or any vehicle that is in need of repairs even if someone in management tells you it’s o.k.  If they threaten your job for refusal to drive a death trap call OSHA!!

OSHA investigates forklift accident at P&G distribution center PREVENTABLE – In the early afternoon of a Friday an employee of the Procter & Gamble D.C. in Pennsylvania was seriously injured when he was trapped between a forklift and a shelving unit.  OSHA is currently investigating the accident but my suspicion is that the forklift driver didn’t look before backing up and/or the worker didn’t alert the driver he was behind him.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a forklift driver just quickly slip into reverse and move without so much as a glance to see if the area is clear.  It’s like the same morons who just pull out into traffic from a parked position without first signaling and looking to see if traffic is clear. Why would you think you are the only one out there?  If your warehouse doesn’t have specific walkways for employees to use to avoid forklifts or other vehicular traffic you are just delaying the inevitable.

Cal/OSHA fines UC Berkeley $26,000 in death of custodian – PREVENTABLE – Even in the environment of a great institution of higher learning where some of the greatest minds have been taught, common sense can still be lacking.  Damon Frick, 45 was busy cleaning windows when the lift he was using collapsed under him and he fell 22 feet and later died from his injuries at Highland Hospital.  Mr. Frick had assembled the lift by himself before using and if one of his supervisors had bothered to check in with him and his work maybe he’d still be alive today but then, they even allowed him operate at that height ALONE!  The University was quick to cover their butt by showing they had documentation he was fully trained, back on March 12, 2012 on a piece of equipment that’s used once a year. There was no refresher training conducted in-between or practice and you have no idea how ironic this is since Berkeley is also the home of Continued Education where courses for Lawyers, Doctors and other professionals are offered so they can keep up to date on practices and procedures.  This is now costing UC Berkeley $26,250 for ineffective training, improperly assembled equipment, no documentation of safety inspections, maintenance records as well as no operating instructions on the lift.

OSHA cites MCM Industries Co. for serious violations – PREVENTABLE – It takes a lot to finally push an employee to make a complaint to OSHA.  Usually the final straw is when they realize the company isn’t going do anything about an obvious hazard and that’s what MCM Industries Company was doing.  In fact when OSHA conducted their inspection they found 23 violations including 1 WILLFUL which you know means they knew about the problem but couldn’t care less about fixing it.  Workers who help these owners and bosses to earn money on their sweat were exposed to amputation injuries from lack of required guards on mechanical power presses.  Hey boss, how about we put some amputation hazards under you desk.  Think you can still concentrate on your job?  They also received 17 serious violations including, surprise, surprise, no L.O.T.O. procedures and for all this a proposed fine of only $126,700.  I strongly feel that if you demonstrate indifference to human life with a willful violation we should be talking million dollar fines and/or jail time.


Condiment Maker Faces $235,000 in OSHA Fines – PREVENTABLE – Again, an inspection initiated by an employee complaint from an employee in the Brundidge, Alabama facility of Supreme Oil Company of New Jersey. This worker understood the hazards as OSHA found 8 repeat violations, having been found previously in a 2012 inspection for no guardrails on staircases and open-sided platforms, wet floors, untrained workers in L.O.T.O. In addition the company exposed workers to struck-by, amputation and electrical hazards.  A total of 14 violations for a total of $234,960 in fines. It is so sad when companies care about profits more than employee’s lives.

OSHA cites Canton aluminum plant for safety violations – PREVENTABLE – Here is a third case of an employee finally seeing enough and calling OSHA and filing a complaint and this time 2 Willful violations were found along with 1 repeat and 2 serious for a grand total of $130,200. The name of this company who couldn’t care less if an employee was maimed or killed on the job is Matalco U.S. Inc. and they had no problem exposing workers to amputation hazards and failing to remove a crane with broken safety mechanisms out of service. Can you believe that?!  They knew if there was an emergency and a worker went to shut it off it wouldn’t! They also exposed workers falls of more than 23 feet over an open pit.  The best is during their inspection, OSHA actually observed workers standing on aluminum blocks and elevated by a forklift to perform tasks on the furnace exposing them to falls at least 8 feet.  They are now in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program but again I believe larger fines and jail time sound appropriate for this owners and bosses.

Want to save over 3 Billion dollars this week?: The Importance of Workplace Safety – READ THIS – Great article in the National Law Review on how workplace safety can be done and save money while increasing pride amongst your workers.

10 easy, low-cost solutions for warehouse safety – READ THIS – has a great article on low cost solutions for improving safety.  This is awesome information for you small businesses.

OSHA Announces Final Rule On Recording Requirements – CHANGES – New recording requirements become effective January 1st. 2015. All work related fatalities must be reported including work related inpatient hospitalizations of one or more employees and all work related amputations and all work related losses of an eye. Read and see what are changes will take place.  Make sure you are compliant.

Changes to OSHA Law are Coming to California – CHANGES – Also beginning January 1st. 2015 CAL/OSHA has some significant changes putting more of the burden on the employer and reducing the ability of CAL/OSHA to make modifications to civil penalties.


That my friends brings another episode of Companies Behaving Badly to a close.  As always I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy day, stopping by and reading this blog.  Please feel free to share these incidents at your next tailgate/toolbox safety meeting.  The more information your employees have the better job they can accomplish.  Be active on your company safety committee and if you don’t have one start one, it’s easy to do.  Speak to your supervisor or H.R. department.  You do not have to work in unsafe conditions and no one can force you to do an unsafe act.  Don’t wait until someone dies, report unsafe acts to OSHA.  Remember the life you save may be your own.  Until we see you again on October 15 – take care.