Companies Behaving Badly – Fall Season


Let’s get right to it, shall we?  Even though September 23 at 4:21 a.m. ET is the official time of the arrival of autumn, it appears that in the construction industry, it is Fall Season every day.  In fact ladies and gentlemen, of the top ten OSHA violations, FALLS is still by far the number 1 infraction.  When working above 6 feet it is required that you should be provided with some type of fall protection whether railings or fall protection gear.  Why would you work without any fall protection?  Who are you helping?  You think the money the company owner saves by not providing you with safety equipment is going to be shared?  NO!  It’s all going right into their pocket.  Yet there are those of you who think, I can’t lose my job or it won’t happen to me.  Really? You can predict the future or fly I guess.  In the lead story below I’m sure they thought the same thing, just before they fell and were injured.  Remember dead is forever so why would you want to be dead longer then you have too.  As of August 15th, the latest OSHA numbers available for this Fy2014, 1,125 husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, partners, boyfriends, girlfriends and teens died in industrial accidents. That’s 63 less than last year which is great.  Keep it up and watch out for each other.  If the money to operate the U.S. Government isn’t approved there will be a shut down of services and OSHA will be affected.  You know, that really, unfortunately, sounds like another episode of Companies Behaving Badly.

Eden: OSHA’s Two Lightning Strikes Hit Alabama Roofing Contractor – PREVENTABLE – Some people just have to learn things the hard way but what makes it worse is when other people get injured during their lesson. Marcus Borden, a steel and roofing contractor literally didn’t know when to come out of the rain when a severe thunderstorm hit while he had a crew of 5 working on a roof.  3 of the 5 men were seriously injured as one had his left arm amputated when thrown against the edge of a new metal roof, another suffered an injured shoulder and the third became wrapped in sheet metal, rolled off the roof and fell 30 feet breaking both wrists, tailbone, and pelvis. Not one worker was wearing fall protection equipment or had a way to exit the roof quickly!  During their investigation, OSHA found 1 willful, 4 serious and 1 other for not notifying OSHA about the hospitalized workers.  To make matters worse this slimeball of a company owner then lied to OSHA saying he had fall protection gear on site when he actually purchased it 5 days after his workers were injured and lied that they were properly tied off.  After paying OSHA $55,000 in fines, Marcus Borden then pleaded guilty to 1 count of making a false statement and sentenced to 3 years of supervised probation and 30 hours of community service.  Maybe he can teach workers how to properly wear fall protection gear and how to tie off.  Marcus Borden is another one of those greedy owners with no morals and couldn’t care less about the workers in his company.  He should be sitting in a jail cell.

OSHA: Norfolk firm tried to hide safety problems – PREVENTABLE – How low can one go?  At MP Global Products LLC the answer is, pretty low.  After a temporary worker caught his left hand in a machine, amputating 1 finger and mangling another, OSHA began an investigation.  Not only did they find 2 Willful and 22 Serious violations, (Yes that’s 22) along with a proposed fine of $244,000 but also allegedly attempted to conceal hazardous equipment by shutting down a production line when inspectors arrived and threatened workers with immediate termination if they brought safety issues to the OSHA inspectors.  Throughout the facility several machines lacked guards, there were exposed electrical wires and damaged electrical boxes.  No surprise the company was also placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

OSHA fines Austin library contractors $88K for violations – PREVENTABLE – More contractors who think very little of their workers and not bothering protecting them as they worked in an open trench but one worker knew this was wrong as they called OSHA and filed a complaint. Good move as both contractors on the job was fined after the investigation. Hansel Phelps Construction was cited 1 Willful for failing to protect workers in an excavation site while CVI Development was also cited 1 Willful and for failing to provide supports after excavating below a structure and not removing workers from the hazard.  The total proposed fines for both are $88,000 but this is just a drop in the bucket for these companies that only care about profit and very little for human life.  You do not have to work under these conditions or place your life put in danger.  In fact, if you feel in danger on the job and no one listens to your concerns call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742)

Housing authority fined $47,000 by OSHA – PREVENTABLE – You can always tell a business or government agency that is devoid of leadership in how it operates and deals with issues.  The Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority is an example as they were hit with a $47,000 fine for 1 Willful-serious and 5 serious safety violations found by the Nevada OSHA. Housing Authority employees along with a contractor were repairing a broken water main, dug a trench and of course had no cave-in protection when several areas of the excavation collapsed. A ladder that was being used by the contractor, Anytime Plumbing, was not secure and didn’t extend above the upper landing surface by 3 feet while water was accumulating in the trench.  Just one big accident waiting to happen since no one obviously had a clue as to what they were doing.  To make matters worse the Housing Authority didn’t bother to pay the fine or submit a corrective action plan as requested by the state. They also didn’t bother to notify local utilities before the work began or give any training to their workers.  They had so little training they didn’t even determine the water main’s location before they started digging.  It is only luck that no one died and why the head of the Housing Authority is still employed is beyond me.


Tallahatchie sawmill face fines up to $78,800 after inspectors find workplace safety hazards – PREVENTABLE – Tallahatchie Lumber and Mat Company is facing a $78,800 fine for 27 safety rule violations including 1 Willful.  It appears they didn’t believe in L.O.T.O. before doing maintenance on machinery and that numerous machines didn’t have protective guards or railings in place during operation and they lacked well-developed safety procedures, in other words, their safety program was based on LUCK.  Never work on any piece of machinery or equipment unless it has been properly Locked Out and Tagged Out.  You don’t want it starting up while any part of your body is in there.  You can not be forced or threatened not to do LOTO.

OSHA says Material Control Systems failed to follow machine safety procedures after man loses fingers – PREVENTABLE – A 45-year-old employee had to endure the pain and agony of having 3 fingers on his left hand amputated at work, surgery to reattach them only to have the tip of his left middle finger removed permanently because him employer, Control Systems Inc, doing business as MATCON couldn’t be bothered to make sure that guards were placed and working on machinery.  For this lapse in judgment, OSHA has fined them $63,000 and issued 1 Willful safety violation.  If a guard is removed from a machine for repairs and it is not replaced by maintenance, don’t operate the machine even if someone in management tells you that it’s o.k. this time.  It’s not!

Wegmans Facing Possible $188,000 OSHA Fine – PREVENTABLE – Don’t you wonder about a company that just doesn’t get it?  Wegmans is facing a proposed fine of $188,000 because of 3 Repeat and 2 Serious violations at their central bakery. The repeat violations are very similar hazards found in a 2011 inspection as recently a sanitation worker had a fingertip amputated by a conveyor and a mechanic suffered a burn from steam released while repairing a valve.  Sounds like plant management doesn’t understand the concept of LOTO.  Of course, Wegmans issued the usual propaganda saying how much they care about their employees.  They care so much that there were 3 Repeat violations and 2 more employees were injured.  Imagine if they didn’t care.

Man’s death at bowling alley deemed a ‘preventable workplace tragedy’PREVENTABLE – This is the second time this year an employee has been killed in a bowling alley accident which confirms that unguarded machinery is always dangerous and shouldn’t be tolerated.  Vidal Garcia, a 29-year-old U.S. Navy veteran trying to better his life by attending college while employed part-time at the bowling alley was working on a pinsetter when his shirt became caught in the moving gears.  Imagine his horror as he was slowly strangled to death by his shirt collar.  The resulting inspection by OSHA found 10 Serious safety violations and issued a proposed $50,400 fine.  The Bowling alley knew the pinsetter had issues and still sent this young man into danger and ultimately his death.  This fine is way to low but the price of human life gets cheaper and cheaper.

State report critical of Metro Public Works after sanitation worker’s death – PREVENTABLE – Here again, we have another government agency that has no leadership or direction and a 19-year-old is dead before his life really got started.  The Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA) investigation found that Metro Public Works failed to provide employees with safety training and failed to protect workers from the recognized hazards associated with mobile refuse collection equipment.  The young man was killed after being pinned between a building and the sanitation truck and if he had received the proper training he would have found out riding on the back step of the vehicle while it’s backing up is prohibited but because Metro didn’t believe safety training was necessary he’d dead.  The fact that co-workers didn’t stop him tells me this is an agency with breakdowns in safety, lapses in supervision and workers not following procedures, doing what they want.  Unfortunately, no one will be jailed but the whole damn management team should be terminated for their stupidity and having a blind eye to what’s going on.  If you don’t receive any training on your first day or a 5-minute training session that should be a clue the company doesn’t care about your safety.

OSHA list details how Georgians die on the job – Interesting article

Northern companies win safety awards – SAFETY AWARD – Companies recognized in Canada for their efforts in making a safe workplace.

Mohawk’s Ohio Facility Sets Safety Standard As Company Garners Awards – SAFETY AWARD WINNER – Mohawk’s Saybrook, Ohio, converting and distribution center located in Ashtabula, Ohio, has logged eleven years – the equivalent of 3 million work hours or over 4,000 days – without a lost time injury.  It can be done!

COMMENTARY – Workplace safety should not be a political issue, yet there are very small minded recycled career politicians who’re real concern is only themselves or what’s in it for them and not for the people they are supposed to serve. They rarely offer leadership as this is a trait that puts fear into them as that may cause them to actually have to work.  Two well-written articles related to this subject for your reading.  Don’t ever remain quiet about safety and that includes writing your representatives.

Editorial board: Missed opportunity on workplace safety

A Needed Step Toward Fair Pay and Workplace Safety | Commentary

Well that my friends bring another episode of Companies Behaving Badly to a close.  As always, thank you for taking time out of your busy day and spending it here.  Please feel free to share any or all of these stories at your next tailgate/toolbox safety meeting.  As we have seen time and time again, safety training is vital to any organization.  How well organized and thorough the training, speaks volumes of how much the company cares about you as an individual and employee.  Don’t keep quiet about safety.  If you are not receiving training, if machine guards are always missing, if you are not issued PPE or fall protection gear, or if anyone tampers with safety shutoffs and you feel your life is in danger and no one in management listens to your concerns, before you become another statistic call OSHA -1-800-321-OSHA (6742) and file an anonymous complaint.  The life you save may be your own. There will not be an October 1st issue of Companies Behaving Badly.  See you October 15th.  Take care.

Companies Behaving Badly – Rushing To Die



Seems to be we are always rushing these days. Rushing to work, rushing home, rushing to the weekend, rushing to die. When it comes to accidents, sometimes it is your fault. You know what I mean. The boss is not watching, you’re feeling lazy, it’s so close to shifts end, you’re angry, you’re worried, you’re distracted, you’re impatient, so you cut corners, “this time only” is the justification from the voice in your head and then it happens.  When “IT” happens let’s look at 2 possible scenarios shall we?

A – You’re working on the top floor of a 5 story building moving materials and doing repairs.  You are wearing your fall prevention gear which is properly anchored. You are in one of the above mentioned moods. You lose focus, trip and fall off the roof but are suddenly jolted to a halt because the gear you wore just saved your life. While you are profusely thanking your deity, you also get the opportunity to learn a valuable lesson and work another day.
B – You’re working on the top floor of a 5 story building moving materials and doing repairs.  You are NOT wearing any fall prevention gear since you don’t need it because those things only happen to the other guy. You are in one of the above mentioned moods.  You lose focus, trip and fall off the roof but the sudden jolt this time is your head impacting the concrete ground below, splintering in hundreds of pieces. You die. No second chance, no opportunity, just dead. Which one do you go with? A or B?

No excuses folks and don’t use your boss as an excuse, wear your fall protection gear. As of April 18th. (the latest data from OSHA), 706 people have died in industrial accidents and that’s just about half way into the fiscal year.  701 in the same time period last year which is good and bad news.  Good – not much more, Bad – not much less either. Don’t ever be quiet about safety, you do not deserve to die on the job because of incompetent or greedy management.  Oh man, you know this unfortunately sounds like yet another episode of Companies Behaving Badly.

OSHA: Lloyd Industries in Montgomery Township fined more than $800K – PREVENTABLE – As I’ve said to you all many times before, a willful violation means the company couldn’t care less if you die on the job even though they know full well that could happen. So what do you think about how Lloyd Industries cares about their employees after OSHA found 10 Willful violations!  Yes my friends, this duct manufacturer’s management had no problem or concern that their own employees were having fingers amputated, suffering serious lacerations as well as crushed, fractured and dislocated fingers because for what ever reason they believe in running machinery without safety guards.  Lack of machine guards wasn’t the only issue. They also came up with the money saving idea of discontinuing their audiometric testing program which shouldn’t surprise anyone since they didn’t worry about the loss of body parts why would deafness be a concern. For all this the pending fine is $822,000 and when you add up everything since 2000 to now they’ve been assessed a total of $1 million in fines and earned them a spot in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.  There have also been 40 serious injuries during that same time period.  It is truly disgusting to see people treat other people in this manner and why this owner(s) is not in a jail cell I don’t understand.

OSHA cites $193K in penalties after Burnett Dairy worker dies in grain bin – PREVENTABLE – Again here is another company that knowingly allowed dangers to exist and this time a 52 year old long time employee died.  Burnett Dairy was cited with 2 Willful and 8 Serious safety violations, was placed in the Sever Violator Enforcement Program and a proposed fine of $193,200 because they couldn’t be bothered to LOTO a drag conveyor while the worker was trying to clear a clog in a bin when he was buried in corn and suffered a horrible death. This is a case where the person who operates the facility should be on trial for manslaughter.

     Geoffrey Schmidt

Geoffrey Schmidt

OSHA cites Kewanee factory for January death – PREVENTABLEGeoffrey Schmidt a 21 year old worker at the beginning of his journey was killed on the job in a forklift related accident.  The OSHA investigation found 4 Serious violations and proposed fine of $28,000. This was due to the fact that his employer Great Dane Limited Partnership didn’t think training was important as they lacked initial training for forklift operators, allowed employees to pass or stand under raised forks of a lift and forklifts not properly parked as the operator was not within 25 feet and the load still in the air and break not set. When ever you are out of sight of or more than 25 feet from a forklift, properly park it.  That means break on, forks lowered to ground and engine turned off. That’s it, no exceptions.  Never walk under raised forks with a load. Think of it as walking under a ladder, bad luck and dangerous.

OSHA proposes $50K fine for local paper company – PREVENTABLE – A routine inspection of Clearwater Paper Corporation by OSHA found 9 Serious violations and handed a proposed fine of $50,000.  The response by their V.P. of public affairs was the usual, employee safety is taken seriously and it’s our number one priority. Right, wink wink, nudge, nudge, it was so much a priority that the company lacked procedures for L.O.T.O. during repairs, lacked safety guards on operating machine parts, risk of amputation, lacked eye wash stations & safety latches on crane hooks as well as lacked guard rails to prevent falls over dangerous equipment. I think their corporate brass should get in touch with reality and visit the plant to take a good look at what management is doing by trying to cut corners on safety.

Westfarms Mall Forever 21 Fined $165,000 for Workplace Hazards: OSHA PREVENTABLE – No one is going to be forever 21 when having to work in such hazardous conditions.  Forever 21 is facing a fine of $165,000 for various safety violations found in many of it’s stores.  Their corporate safety plan appears to be based on luck and apparently doesn’t believe in training staff since that will cost money.  OSHA found employees having to work with emergency exits and hallways blocked by inventory, boxes unsafely stacked as high as 10 feet posing a hazard and open boxes scattered all over. This not only puts workers in danger but customers as well but when you’re trying to make a profit and pushing as much product as possible, safety only becomes an after thought if at all.


Americold Logistics in Manchester facing $47,300 penalty for safety hazards, OSHA says – PREVENTABLE – Nothing burns my butt more then a double standard and mixed message to employees. You take the time, effort and money to train your forklift drivers to follow proper procedures, pound it into their heads about safety, being vigilant and doing daily inspections and red tagging forklifts that are in need of repair and then when it’s convenient for you, the manager who’s suppose to be offering leadership and keeping your workers safe, tell them to go ahead and use the forklifts. What kind of message are you sending Americold Logistics?  Some of the employees became confused as well by this double standard and 3 of them filled complaints with OSHA. Safety is not a matter of convenience, it’s a matter of consistently enforcing the rules.  For the lapse in intelligence they are facing a $47,300 fine. Someone needs to sit down and retrain their management staff.

Oregon OSHA fines aircraft cleaning contractor at PDX – PREVENTABLE – OregonOSHA responding to 2 employee complaints on their employer, Prospect Airport Services, a cleaning service contractor at Portland International Airport found 5 Serious health and safety violations and proposed a fine of $1,140. Prospect had workers using vehicles without seat belts for all riders, inadequate eye or face protection while using sanitizers, using issued gloves that didn’t offer enough protection, not provided with eyewash or shower while using harsh cleaners and didn’t have a written hazard communication program.  Now you know why the employees complained. When companies bid for contracts as Prospect must have, the lowest price shouldn’t be the only consideration.  You should look at their safety record and audit their safety program to make sure this is someone you want to do business with.

Tenn. Contractor Appeals OSHA Fine, Judge Increases It – UPDATE – I really enjoy this one. A contractor had appealed their willful violation involved with a crane collapse and the judge not only upheld it but raised the fine.

Report: North Dakota Again Leads Nation in Worker Fatality Rate – MOST DANGEROUS STATE – North Dakota has the distinction of being the most dangerous state 3 years in a row.  Check out the article as the booming oil and gas industries are leading to more deaths of workers.

Make company directors personally liable for workplace deaths – AUSTRALIA – Read the article. They are going to make the company directors liable for workplace deaths which is something that needs to happen here as well.

Well my friends that brings another episode of Companies Behaving Badly to a close. Thank you for stopping by to take the time to read these articles and please don’t hesitate to use any of them at your next tailgate/toolbox safety meeting. Don’t know if you noticed but it appears more and more employees are filling complaints with OSHA.  A worker has to be pretty frustrated and at their wits end to finally make that call to OSHA.  It usually begins by bringing up the safety issues to their supervisor and getting no response or worse, some half assed comment. They go to H.R. and again nothing changes and now they are labeled as a complainer or told they’re not being a team player.  Then they see a fellow worker have a near miss or injured and still nothing changes so finally they call. NEVER blow off an employee when they’re trying to tell you about safety issues, because once OSHA is involved it’s going to cost you plenty.  Not just in money, but reputation and trust by your workers.  Remember, never stay quiet about safety for the life you safe may be your own.  Until next month, be safe.



Companies Behaving Badly – Knocking At Death’s Door

My first real job was working at a supermarket.  It was full of dangers and accidents waiting to happen and I was young and stupid, not a good combination.  There was no safety or other training back then as you were just pointed to your work station and told to watch someone else do it for a while until you were told you’re ready.  We had a conveyor belt in the supermarket that ran from the basement to the first floor to get product up or down and we also used it as a short cut to get here and there as quickly as possible.  One day coming up the belt I slipped and my foot got caught in the gap between the top roller and wall but I was lucky and pulled it out quickly escaping injury but putting a good scare into me for a little while. Then one day an employee got their hand crushed using the conveyor and we were told not to use it for transportation any longer, but we still did as the consequences were, well never really spelled out what they were.  Soon after I had my first industrial accident.  While using a box cutter I committed a rookie mistake and cut towards me and wound up putting a nice gash in my thigh.  At first I was more upset about cutting my jeans then my thigh. Remember there was no training and we were never told what to do in an emergency.  You learned as you went.  Our assistant manager was on duty at the time but he usually would take naps in a corner of the basement on his bed of paper products after a few shots.  He was a dear man sober but a SOB when drunk and was out cold when I found him so I left and went to my doctor since the bleeding was beginning to upset some of my co-workers.  I returned the next day all stitched up and ready for work when I ran into the Spanish Inquisition. The manager and the assistant manager berated me publicly as the RULES were finally explained to us on injuries, report it to them first!  Privately I was thanked by the assistant manager for my discretion since I didn’t explain why I couldn’t report it and was given this advise, “If it happens again, or any emergency, don’t be afraid to wake me!”  I was lucky and I was able to learn and grow from my experiences.  That was 45 years ago so I have a real problem that in 2015 a 19 year old dies a horrible death on his second day on the job because he didn’t receive any training and his peers weren’t any help either!  He never got a chance to make a mistake and learn from it.  Like I was 45 years ago, he was just pointed to his job and told, get going.  Any job you begin and you don’t receive any training and told what Personal Protective Equipment you need to wear or what to do in an emergency – LEAVE!  They don’t care what happens to you.  Oh man, this really unfortunately sounds like another episode of Companies Behaving Badly.

       Bradley Hogue

Bradley Hogue

State agency asks for criminal charges in teen’s workplace death – PREVENTABLE – We first covered this tragic story of Bradley Hogue, a 19 year old who was killed on his second day on the job, in the January 15th issue of Companies Behaving Badly.   After their investigation, the Washington State department of Labor and Industries fined Pacific Topsoils $199,000 for 2 willful and 12 serious violations as Bradley died trying to clear a jam in an auger that was spreading bark.  He was not trained, not shown how to properly clear a jam or how to do LOTO.  A moving conveyor was the only place to stand to clear the jam.  This could have been prevented but NO ONE at Pacific Topsoils bothered to tell him it was ok to turn it off before standing on it and apparently was the common practice to keep it running.  Now Washington L&I is seeking criminal charges against the company for their blatant disregard for a human life cutting short his journey.  WELL DONE!  Since there were 2 Willful violations related to the death, prison time is well in order.

Nabors Subsidiary Sanctioned by OSHA for ‘Preventable’ Death – PREVENTABLE – Dustin Ray Payne had survived tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and as a Marine, always knew the members of his unit had his back under any conditions.  After serving his country proud Dustin was ready to begin a career, settle down, he got engaged, and pursue his version of the American dream.  When he began working for Nabors Completion and Production Services Company, Dustin believed his employer would have his back and not let him weld on a tank that wasn’t washed out and still contained explosive vapors. The explosion ended this 28 year old’s journey as a company killed him in America. OSHA found 1 Willful and 4 serious violations along with a proposed fine of $92,000 and placed them on the OSHA’s list of Severe Violator Enforcement Program.  This was willful intent and someone should be on trial for this Marine’s death.  However Nabors Industries LTD.,a Bermuda-based company has a history of killing workers.  Read the article and wonder as I do how the leadership of this company can look at themselves in the mirror while they comfort their guilt with the profits they reap.

OSHA: Lack of Cave-In Protections Led to Trench Collapse PREVENTABLE – Oscar Portillo and Selvin Zelaya were probably caught by surprise as the walls of the deep trench they were in collapsed onto them and suffocating them to death.  There was no retrieval system in use and the trench that ran 9-13 feet deep had no supports to keep the walls up.  Their employer, Bednar Landscape Services Inc. had put them in harms way as OSHA issued 1 Willful and 9 serious safety violations.  As you know a willful violation means that Bednar knew of the danger they put those men into but couldn’t care less what happened to them.  Shoring those walls and having cave-in protection costs money and that cuts into profits.  The $77,000 fine issued by OSHA is nothing and again this is a case where management should be on trial.


Southbury Builder Faces $52K Fine for Exposing Workers to Potential Fall Hazards: Officials PREVENTABLE – Some companies for what ever reason just don’t seem to care what kind of dangers they place their employees into.  Rock Hard Homes, Inc. (like their heads) was cited by OSHA for 4 repeat and 1 serious violation of workplace fall safety standards along with a proposed fine of $52,360.  The repeat violations are related to the same lack of fall protection at their worksites in 2011 and 2013 as they failed to give workers adequate fall protection systems while they worked on a pitched roof 28 feet off the ground, allowing workers to walk on surfaces without fall protection while exposed to falls through holes and improper use of portable ladders to access upper landings and use of defective equipment.  With falls being the number one cause of death in the construction industry the workers need to start speaking up and not putting up with this any longer.  Protect yourselves and wear fall protection.  If they don’t offer it call OSHA – 800-321-OSHA (6742)

Barron company facing penalties from OSHA PREVENTABLE – An employee of Koser Iron Works Inc. had seen enough and called OSHA to file a complaint. No wonder he called as they found 2 Willful, 4 repeated and 12 serious safety violations which included lack of training and PPE.  For this a proposed fine of $102,180 was issued as similar hazards were found in 2013 (also based on an employee complaint) like no LOTO, failed to ensure safety mechanisms were in place.  They also didn’t bother to certify or train their forklift drivers and exposed workers to fire hazards or issue PPE.  As these employees who filed complaints decided, you don’t have to work under these conditions.

Beacon Industries Fined for OSHA Violations PREVENTABLE – Beacon industries must use LUCK as their safety program as they went for the gold a were found to have 18 serious violations of workplace safety standards along with a proposed fine of $71,100.  The violations ran from employees exposed to dangers that could cause cuts, crushing injuries, electrocution and amputation.  They also didn’t bother to properly train workers and weren’t issued PPE.  Again, why bother with safety, it costs money and cuts into valuable profits and bonuses. Don’t become a statistic.

USPS out of order as usual

USPS out of order as usual

OSHA Demands Changes To Workplace Conditions At Lincoln Park Postal Facility – PREVENTABLE – Yet another US Postal Service facility is cited by OSHA and this time it was based on an employee complaint.  Sad when one quasi-government organization feels that it has to call another government organization to get protection for the workers.  The inspection found 2 repeat and 5 other violations with a proposed fine of $63,540.  The repeats were electrical outlets not used properly and improperly grounded fans.  They also found unapproved electrical equipment and improperly spliced cords. True to form the USPS said it is addressing the problem but offered no timetable.  They can’t as their leadership is so inept they never know when they’ll fix a problem if at all.  They would never give us any estimates on completion and it took 82 days to replace a community mail box and the machine in the picture above has no estimate for repair either.  It’s time to shut down this waste of time, money and labor called the Postal Service.

OSHA Issues New Guidelines on Workplace Violence Prevention for Healthcare – Workplace violence is very much a safety issue and should be taken very seriously.  OSHA has released an update to its Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers.  Please take the time to read this well written article from the National Law Review.

Gateway Safety’s Glasses-To-Goggles Eyewear – PPE – Gateway Safety has announced the launch of Swap MAG, a unique safety eyewear solution that converts from safety glasses to goggles, now with bifocal magnification. Check it out.

That brings another episode of Companies Behaving Badly to a close. Thank you for stopping by a taking time to read the articles and as always please feel free to share any or all at your next tailgate/toolbox safety meeting.  I would ask that you just mention you found them here, witzshared.  We all need to work together to make workplace safety happen.  If you see a new guy about to make a horrible mistake don’t just shake your head and mutter, “moron” but be a hero, be a mentor and show them the right way.  It only takes a few minutes and it doesn’t hurt to be kind and you never know what new friendships can develop. You were there once and you know you would have loved to have had someone show you the ropes.  We want our young people to succeed and develop not die young.  Remember the life that you save may be your own.  Until next month my friends.

Burns My Butt – Death Wish

I had previously posted about this construction group and how sloppy a site they’re maintaining.  It is obvious that these workers received no training, have no supervision, don’t care about their own safety and couldn’t care less about putting the residents that live here in danger. (For the record, I don’t live here).

Some numbers for you to think about while you look at the photos below. 2012 – Of 775 construction deaths 269 (34.7%) were from falls.  2013 – Of 796 construction deaths 294 (36.9%) were from falls. When you see someone like the worker below on a roof, alone without any fall protection you know why the numbers are going up.

This is an exit used by the residents.  The contractor leaves a ladder, bucket and trash right outside the door.  There is NO sign on the inside of the door to warn you of workers outside.  One resident told me the contractor left a ladder partially blocking the main door over the weekend.


Generator running sitting in the walkway and there are no signs or cones to warn you of the operating machinery and the hose runs across the walkway and again there is no signage.





Notice the boards overlapping to cover the open gap. They are shifting since they are not anchored in any manner.







The bases are not totally flat on the ground.  At least half of the board is hanging over the dirt area which is at least an inch shorter.




This guy apparently has a death wish.  Working on the roof of a 3 story building without any safety equipment.




How lucky do you feel today?











This is what a  poorly run, unsafe operation looks like and unfortunately gives all honest law abiding contractors a bad name.


Burns My Butt – today

When you accept the lowest bidder, are you still getting safety with that bid?  Do you ever consider the vendor’s safety record before awarding a contract?  Do you care?

Today in the city of Vallejo I came across this intersection.  I was amazed how close to harms way these workers were placed.

We wonder why the number of work related deaths this year is 9% higher than last year.  This needs to stop.