Didion Milling Inc. faces $1,837,861 in proposed fines after five workers died and 12 others were injured in an explosion at the corn milling facility in Cambria, Wis. An OSHA investigation found that the company failed to correct an accumulation and leakage of highly combustible grain dust; maintain equipment to control ignition sources; provide employees with adequate personal protective equipment; and correct malfunctioning dust collection systems. Didion was cited for 14 willful and five serious violations, and placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.For more information, read the news release.
OSHA provides news and commentary on workplace safety and health from its senior leadership, staff and guest contributors on the DOL blog.See our latest posts:
- Cleaning Up, Staying Safe, by Mandy Edens, director of OSHA’s Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management
- OSHA Program for Small Businesses Makes a Big Difference, by Patrick Showalter, director of OSHA’s Office for Small Business Assistance
- An Ounce of Prevention with OSHA Consultation, by Eric R. Lucero, deputy director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Public Affairs in Atlanta
A new guide is available to help administrators, instructors, and others involved in Career and Technical Education (CTE) incorporate safety and health into construction training programs. Each year, more than 75,000 students enter two-year post-secondary CTE programs that prepare new and young workers to enter careers in various fields. Researchers from U.C. Berkeley and West Virginia University conducted surveys and site visits to understand how construction-focused CTE programs prepare students in the areas of safety and health.For more information, see Your Construction Safety Program: Safe Students, Safe Workers.
OSHA’s Seasonal Flu webpage offers information about how to reduce the spread of the flu in workplaces. It provides information on basic precautions that should be used by employers and workers in all workplaces, such as frequent hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue.OSHA provides additional precautions that should be used in healthcare settings, such as strictly following infection control practices; using gloves, gowns, and other protective equipment to reduce exposures; and encouraging sick workers to stay home.
OSHA issued a final rule that sets November 10, 2018, as the date employers in the construction industry must comply with a requirement for crane operator certification. The final rule became effective on November 9, 2017. After issuing the final cranes and derricks rule in August 2010, stakeholders expressed concerns regarding the rule’s certification requirements. In response, the agency published a separate final rule in September 2014, extending by three years the crane operator certification and competency requirements. The additional one-year extension provides more time for OSHA to complete a rulemaking to address stakeholder concerns related to the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard.Read the news release for more information.
OSHA cited Knife River a Billings, Mont., general contractor and Rock Springs, Wyo., subcontractor, Coleman Construction Inc. for exposing workers to numerous safety hazards, causing an employee to suffer severe burns. The subcontractor was issued $189,762 in proposed penalties after an employee suffered third-degree burns when compressed oxygen inside an underground duct caused a fire, and for failing to report the hospitalization of the burned employee in a timely manner, in addition to other violations. OSHA also cited the general contractor and proposed penalties of $59,754 for not ensuring that safety precautions were taken at the worksite.For more information, read the news release.
OSHA cited Lynnway Auto Auction Inc. for electrical, struck-by, and other hazards at its auto auction facility in Billerica, Mass., after five people were struck by a sport utility vehicle and died as a result of their injuries. OSHA issued 16 citations to the company for motor vehicle hazards, blocked exit routes, and other violations. Proposed penalties total $267,081. OSHA also cited the Dover, N.H., staffing agency, PeopleReady, with one serious violation and proposed a $12,675 penalty after the company exposed temporary workers to a struck-by hazard.For more information, read the news release.
The Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division issued 14 citations and $107,800 in penalties to Hawaiian Ice Company in Honolulu for exposing workers to inhalation hazards resulting from an uncontrolled release of anhydrous ammonia. Inspectors concluded that the company lacked procedures to isolate the chemical while workers were servicing refrigeration equipment. The company also failed to conduct in-house inspections, provide portable monitoring devices to detect leaks, and train workers.
The Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Program issued six citations and $100,270 in penalties to Lucas Tree Experts in Chesapeake for safety violations after a worker was electrocuted while trimming a tree near powerlines. Inspectors determined that the company failed to: provide personal protective equipment; follow requirements on line clearance and proximity to energized lines; and ensure workers were properly secured to trees with climbing and position ropes.