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Showing posts from August, 2010

OSHA Fines SeaWorld $75k, while SeaWorld Blames the Victims

Yes! Shocking indeed. SeaWorld has now stooped to its lowest of lows, by pouncing on the devastated victims in an effort to clear it scarred image.

Believe it or not, but SeaWorld has even fired an employee, Linda Simmons, after she tried to cooperate with the federal investigations that were being carried out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administrators (OSHA).

In an interview with ABC, Linda Simmons stated that, “everyone who came to work at Sea World was given what she called the "Tili talk", it was a warning about the killer whale. She went on to say that, "They talk to you about going into the water with Tili," and "That if you go into the water with Tili you would come out as a corpse."

SeaWorld blasted these allegations by releasing a statement that stated that, Linda Simmons, "used the threat of negative publicity to seek a sizable monetary payment from SeaWorld in exchange for her not going public with these false allegations."


OSHA Investigates Tree Trimmer’s Accidental Death

The U.S, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is a body of the United States Department of Labor. It was created by the Congress, under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, on December 29, 1970. From its initiation OSHA has constantly aimed to prevent illnesses, occupational fatalities and work-related injuries, by enforcing and issuing certain standards and issues for workplace health and safety.

Recently, a tree trimmer was killed after a cherry picker boom snapped. The tree trimmer has been identified as Mr. Adam Mackintosh. Unfortunately, he has also left behind a wife, named Melanie, a son named Adison and twin daughters Claire and Sophia.

Mr. Mackintosh was killed in Littleton, after the cherry picker boom he was working on snapped. It is also important to note that he also fell from a height of 30ft.

The Littleton Fire Bureau Chief, Jay Ruoff, stated that the fatal mishap took place at noon, in the 5200 block of Sherman Street. Furthermore, a relative informed the pre…

OSHA Inspector's eye 45-minute time lag in Ala. Ammonia Leak

The ammonia leak sent 130 people who were living in the vicinity to hospitals. Unfortunately, they were not warned for at least 45 minutes after it was detected. Thus, this very delay has increased the risk to their safety. In turn, these safety violations have alerted the OSHA investigators.

Federal regulators have already started investigating the devastating effects of this time lag. However, the emergency and company officials said that they acted as quickly as they could.

Present below are a list of statements given by the local residents. These statements just highlight the very fact that the response action was just not initiated fast enough:

Mr. Charles Adams said that,“The alarms finally went off, but there were a lot of people who were hurt before they did.”Mr. John Ponder commented that,“There should have been an alarm that went off two minutes after that leak happened. Two minutes is too long.”This leak has come under OSHA's radar. For instance, Mr. Kurt Petermeyer, the d…

Family who Witnessed SeaWorld's Devastating Fatality Pleased with OSHA's Penalty

Its hard to believe, but the Connell family of Somersworth, stood less than 30 feet from Dawn Brancheau, who was the whale trainer of SeaWorld, when she was killed just a few months ago.

On Tuesday, Suzanne Connell informed the WESH 2 News that she was very pleased with OSHA's penalties and citations against SeaWorld. Connell went on to say that she wanted to know that what happened to Dawn would never happen to another trainer.

Furthermore, the family claims that the reaction of the SeaWorld employees was chaotic and unprofessional. They went on to say that they were very disappointed, since neither the Orange County Sheriff's Office nor SeaWorld wanted to have anything to do with their witness statements.

However, the OSHA inspectors did take notice. At one point an OSHA investigator even warned, Mrs. Suzanne Connell that she and her husband may have to testify, if the matter was taken to court.

It is also important to note that the husband of the SeaWorld Orlando trainer has h…

OSHA's New Plan - Employers must keep Track of Work-related Injuries

The U.S Occupational Safety and Health Administration was started by the Congress of the United States, on 29th December 1970, under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. From its introduction, OSHA's main goal has been to prevent work-related fatalities and serious injuries, by enforcing and issuing certain standards and regulations, in order to assure workplace health and safety.

From the very beginning, OSHA has not only emphasized the importance of safety at the workplace, but has also never spared anyone who tries to violate its safety regulations. Present below are a list of statements that highlight OSHA's priorities:

The Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, Dr. David Michaels, stated that, “All workers have the right to work in a safe environment, and the Labor Department will use all legal means necessary to ensure companies comply with established safety requirements."An OSHA spokesman, Mr. Scott Allen of Chicago recently said that, “When someone does somethin…

OSHA Fines SeaWorld $75k for Worker Safety Issues

The U.S. OSHA, has finally announced, that it has penalized SeaWorld for committing serious safety violations. This devastating blow has come, just months after, marine mammal trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed in an incident, involving a 12,000-pound orca named Tilikum.

More specifically, OSHA, has found 3 safety violations, that are now being categorized as “willful”, for primarily failing to protect employees from, struck-by and drowning hazards. The first “serious citation” was for failing to install a stairway railing system, where as the other “lesser- than serious citation” was, for failing to place, weatherproof enclosures over outdoor electrical outlets in the stadium. Overall, SeaWorld, has been slapped with a total fine of $75,000.

With regards to these safety violations, SeaWorld stated that those findings were “enfounded”. They further,went on to say that,"OSHA's allegations in this citation are unsupported by any evidence or precedent and reflect a fundamental la…

BME & Sons Penalized for Lying to OSHA Inspectors

Recently, Guam Based general contractor BME & Sons has come under OSHA’s radar, for not only failing to provide its employees with the necessary PPE, but more importantly, lying about it to the OSHA inspectors.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has in turn, penalized BME & Sons for one willful violation and one other serious violation that has been assessed at approximately $1,600. Hence, the Barrigada firm may have to pay a total amount of $45,600, in fines.

Mr.Ken Nishiyama Atha, OSHA’s regional administrator in San Francisco, stated that, “We cannot emphasize enough that employers have an obligation to provide protective safety equipment to their workers.”

However, BME & Sons is far from unfamiliar, with regards to OSHA’s standards, for it has been penalized by OSHA 16 times since 2005.

These penalties and citations stem from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s inspection, which was carried out on the 24th of February, at a work site in Santa…

OSHA penalizes Main Post Office for serious Safety Violations

Recently, OSHA announced that it had found the United States Postal Service’s Dayton processing center guilty of serious and willful safety violations involving equipment and electrical hazards. Due to its recklessness, the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has levied fines of $225,000 against the Main Post Office.

An OSHA spokesman, Mr. Scott Allen of Chicago said that in April, three “willful” safety violations were found. They were:

Workers weren’t properly trained on electrical equipment usage.They weren’t provided with protective gear for their hands, face and extremities.They were also exposed to live electrical parts.Regarding these violations, Mr. Allen said that a willful violation can be defined as the, “Intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirement, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.” He went on to say that, “When someone does something willfully, we hammer them pretty good.”

Furthermore, OSHA also uncove…

Yet Again, Cooperative Plus Inc. Slapped with a Hefty fine by OSHA for Safety Violations

The Cooperative Plus Inc, a farmer-owned cooperative, must be very familiar with OSHA's wrath by now. For it has been just a few months since it was slapped with a fine of $721,000 after an employee was seriously injured from nearly being engulfed by soybeans at the cooperative's Burlington, Wisconsin facility.

Currently, it faces a penalty of nearly $374,500, for being guilty of committing 25 safety violations at 2 particular grain facilities situated at Whitewater and Genoa City.

Regarding this matter, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, Dr. David Michaels said that, “This continued non-compliance with long established safety standards for working in grain handling operations by Cooperative Plus Inc. shows a complete disregard for worker safety,". He further went on to say that,"All workers have the right to work in a safe environment and the Labor Department will use all legal means necessary to ensure companies comply with established safety requirements.&qu…

BP has come to Terms with OSHA's Safety Management Standards

According to the Texas refinery agreement signed by BP, £350m would be set aside to develop a 'comprehensive' safety strategy. In particular, £319m would go towards the improvement plan, whereas, £32m would go towards the agreed settlement.

The agreement that BP has signed with the US government obliges the Oil Major to introduce a comprehensive IT system that would regulate and maintain various safety processes.

Furthermore, under this new pact, BP would have to begin safety reviews of the Texas City refinery equipment, in accordance with clear-cut schedules that would be set up by OSHA. Regarding this matter, OSHA stated that there would be an “an unprecedented level of oversight.”

However, it has become very clear that BP has agreed to adhere to the terms set by OSHA. These efforts have been taken primarily to reduce the incidents of,“catastrophic chemical releases”.

With regards to the above mentioned agreement, Mr.Jordan Barab, the deputy assistant secretary stated that, “By …

Wisconsin Polishing and Plating Co. Inc fined $75k by OSHA for Health Violations

The U.S OSHA was created by the Congress of the U.S, under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, on 29th December, 1970. Its goal is to prevent work-related injuries and occupational fatalities, by enforcing and issuing certain regulations and standards in order to assure workplace health and safety.

Recently, the OSHA administrator, Mr. David Michaels, was once again called upon in light of some new violations against the safety regulations and standards set up by OSHA.

This time its been the Wisconsin Polishing and Plating of West Allis, WI, that faces a total sum of $75,400 in OSHA fines. Its been slapped with such a large amount in fines, for the Wisconsin Polishing and Plating had committed nearly 53 health violations that are primarily associated with allowing workers to be overexposed to chromic acid and chromium.

This willful citation against the company has mainly been issued for allowing an employee to be exposed to hexavalent chromium above the standard permissible exposure …

Another blow for BP- OSHA fines British Petroleum $50.6 million

In 2005, a BP subsidiary blew up, killing 15 workers and leaving 170 employees injured. However, this slip did not go under OSHA’s radar. Recently, OSHA announced that the Texas refinery would be fined with a total of $50.6 million.

It is also important to note that as per BP’s agreement with the government, it will additionally be allocating a minimum of $500 million towards protecting those who currently work at the refinery.

Labor Secretary, Hilda Solis, stated that, “This agreement achieves our goal of protecting workers at the refinery and ensuring that critical safety upgrades are made as quickly as possible.”, she further went on to say that, “The penalty reflected BP’s disregard for workplace safety and shows that we will enforce the law so workers can return home safe at the end of the day.”

Unfortunately, this is another devastating blow to the Oil Major. Recently, it has come under attack by the administration, environmental groups and those affected by the enormous oil spill …

Garden City Plant comes under OSHA's wrath

The employees of the Garden City Plant were working in conditions that would have had some very "catastrophic consequences". Hence, this resulted in fines mounting up to $48,500.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration stated that the Hi Plains Feed had committed 24 violations of process safety management revolving around its anhydrous ammonia system.

Furthermore, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mr. Charles Adkins, stated that,"Our inspection identified numerous hazards that must be addressed," here then went on to say that, "OSHA's process safety management standard is stringent and comprehensive because a leak could have catastrophic consequences.”

OSHA had begun its investigation in February. During this investigation, they cited some serious violations that included, failure to compile process safety information, lack of employee participation in and training of system operators, failure to evalua…

Johnson Controls fined $70k by OSHA for Safety Violations

The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration was created by the Congress of the United States under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, on December 29, 1970. Its goal is to prevent work-related injuries and occupational fatalities by enforcing and issuing rules and regulations for workplace health and safety.

Recently, another company has come under the wrath of OSHA. This time, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, slapped Johnson Controls Inc. with a total fine of $70,000. According to the OSHA inspectors, employees were made to work on the rooftops of the Toledo, Ohio, facility, without any sort of fall protection.

This penalty was brought to light during the June 2010 inspection. It was here that the OSHA inspectors found out that the employees were not utilizing the mandatory fall protection, while working on the rooftop of the Key bank building. Whats startling is that this very building was nearly forty feet off t…

OSHA slaps Kleen Energy Plant with a $16.6 million fine

The U.S OSHA has slapped a fine of $16.6 million on the construction companies connected with the explosion in February this year at Kleen Energy Systems, which killed 6 workers.

O&G Industries, the project's general contractor was fined $8.3m, whereas, the commissioning and start up contractor for the plant, Blue-water Energy Services was fined $896,000 and 14 sub contractors were fined a total of $686,000.

The assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, Mr. David Michaels said that,"These employers blatantly disregarded well-known and accepted industry procedures and their own safety guidelines in conducting the gas blow operation in a manner that exposed workers to fire and explosion hazards." he also further stated that, "We see this time and time again across industries when companies deliberately ignore safety precautions in the interest of completing jobs quickly, and workers end up being killed or seriously hurt."

It is important to note that the Kleen Ener…

The Borough Council gears up for OSHA

The Borough Council recently set up an ordinance that would set aside $1.1 million for any kind of alterations and improvements, throughout the municipality. For instance, some of these improvements would include Borough Hall upgrades, drainage projects throughout the borough, a new police motorcycle and even new vehicles for the Department of Public Works.

The Council had introduced this very ordinance during its June 29th special council meeting. However, it was not adopted until its July 20th meeting.

Mr. Heck recapped, what the municipality wants to accomplish with the allocated funds. Primarily, the Borough intends to perform drainage work on some streets including Hickory Road, Welch Road, Wanaque Terrace, Wind-beam Loop and Skyline Lakes Drive. Mr. Heck also stated that the Borough also wants to replace any faulty DPW equipment. It is also planning to buy a roll-off truck to transport recycling containers to market.

The other half of the $1.1 million would go towards Borough Hall …

OSHA slaps U.S Postal Office with $3.7 million in fines

OSHA has slapped the United States Postal Office with a total fine of $357,000, after finding, “willful and serious” violations of federal workplace safety laws, at the South Boston mail center on Summer Street.

However, the postal service has vowed to fight back. The spokesperson for the postal service, Dennis P. Tarmey, recently stated that, “We are confident that our electrical work plan and our work practices meet requirements today”. He further said that there are “nearly 700 full-time safety professionals who work more than one million hours every year”.

More so, the postal service nearly spent almost $2 million on protective gear, including shatter-proof glasses, fire-resistant overalls and shock-proof gloves. Unfortunately, all the equipment may be arriving far too late.

The American Postal Workers Union has reportedly asked OSHA to launch the probe. During the probe, OSHA inspectors found several employees who had been exposed to electrical shock, which in turn lead to burns and…

The Interfor Pacific Honored by OSHA

According to the latest news, Molalla mill of Interfor Pacific was honored by Oregon OSHA with congratulatory Best in Class comments for five years without a lost time injury. The Interfor Pacific has not even had a single employee miss a days work or more due to injury since purchasing the plant in 2005.

OSHA, even recognized the Molalla mill, as being one of the best mills in the lumber manufacturing industry in the Northwest Pacific. The production manager, Mike Richardson stated that, "Three years prior to Interfor purchasing the mill there were 32 lost time injuries reported", he further stated that, "Five years with zero lost time injuries is a big safety accomplishment for our company"

Inferor Pacific, managed to pull off such a herculean task by making sure that certain safety systems and programs were in place, to ensure every employee returned home safely at the end of each day. The Molalla mill is also a part of the Oregan OSHA SHARP.

Inferor, in one of the…

The Oil Budget Calculator sheds some light on BP’s oil spill

BP’s blown out well has been spilling more than 35,000 barrels of oil per day, into the Gulf of Mexico. However, at present a vast majority of that oil has been skimmed, burned, evaporated, dispersed or recovered from the wellhead. This result is primarily due to the robust federal response efforts.

Furthermore, nearly 33% of that oil has either been mitigated or captured by the Unified Command recovery operations. Some of these operations include skimming, chemical dispersion and burning.

Moreover, an additional 25% of that oil has dissolved or evaporated naturally. Nearly, 16% of the oil dispersed naturally into tiny microscopic droplets. Whereas, 26% has either been buried in the sand or washed onto the shore.

These estimates were provided by the DOI and the NOAA, who jointly set up the Oil Budget Calculator. This calculator provides some of the best estimates as well as measurements with regards to the oil spill.

These estimates do not in any way mean that beaches and marshes aren’t a…

Is BP Shunning away its moral obligations

Millions of people are still wondering why it took BP so long to stop the flow of oil from its blown out well into the Gulf of Mexico. This clearly highlights the fact that BP doesn't really care about the families who lost their loved ones or those who lost their primary means of employment due to one of the biggest disasters in the history of the oil industry. Hence, people are beginning to believe that BP is shunning away its moral responsibilities.

BP however, has a justification for its actions. Apparently the technology that was employed to drill the well was inadequate, with regards to the forces associated with the pressure of the water and the depth of the well. BP has lost nearly 220,000,000 gallons of crude oil, due to its negligence. That very fuel would have been used in motor vehicle, aircraft, power companies and so on.

There is absolutely no doubt that such a huge oil leak should have been tamed within a few weeks. It even makes one ponder that greed might have led t…

BP's oil spill – Is it the real Catastrophe

From the very beginning, BP representatives have always underestimated the size of the spill. Initially, they even claimed that there was probably no oil spill at all. However, after being pressurized by the government, BP officials claimed that oil was flowing at about 5,000 barrels a day. By June, this estimate was raised to about 60,000 barrels a day.

Now, having gathered data from pressure readings of the oil capped well, scientists are claiming that the final estimate might even reach as high as 4.9 million barrels in total, making it about 206 million gallons of oil. Whats interesting to note is that scientists have recently stated that initially the oil was flowing at about 62,000 barrels a day. This ironically was at the very time when BP was claiming that there was absolutely no oil spill whatsoever.

These figures officially make BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico the biggest accidental spill in the history of the oil industry. The right oil spill estimate is very importa…

BP Oil Spill: Its impact on the Supply Chain Industry

Currently, BP is testing a containment cap that should stop the flow of oil from its blown-out well. Although, the containment cap may not capture every last drop of oil, installing it is very necessary in order to prepare for a demanding hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico. Furthermore, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stated that this could in fact be one of the worst hurricane seasons on record.

It is also important to note that the BP oil spill has implications for the supplier as well as risk management industry, that only time will tell. The world has a kept watchful eye on BP, due to the anguish caused by the spill to regional and local food and catering supply chains. A quiet uprising has been growing amongst these industries, which in turn, could well become the next stick with which to beat BP.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 32.5 percent of the Gulf fishery is closed due to concerns over contamination from the …