OSHA cites Worldwide Oilfield Machine in Houston for exposing workers to amputation and electrical hazards

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HOUSTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Worldwide Oilfield Machine BOP Division Inc. in Houston with eight serious, four repeat and one other-than-serious safety violation for exposing workers to unguarded machinery and electrical hazards at the company’s facility on Cunningham Road in Houston. OSHA’s Houston North Area Office initiated an inspection on Oct. 24 under its national emphasis program on amputations. Proposed penalties total $71,200.

The serious safety violations include failing to provide the required machine guarding on equipment, such as band saws, mills and vertical/horizontal turret lathes, ensure machinery is securely anchored and ensure electrical cords, panels and boxes are not exposed to prevent shocks or electrocution. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Repeat safety violations include failing to properly maintain abrasive wheel machines, ensure that electrical cords are provided with a device that provides strain relief and ensuring that electrical cords are continuous in length without repairs. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited in June 2008.

One other-than-serious violation was cited for failing to keep electrical equipment free and clear of obstacles. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

“Workers operating hazardous equipment, such as band saws and vertical and horizontal lathes without proper protection, are exposed to serious injuries, including amputations,” said David Doucet, OSHA’s area director at its Houston North office.

via 2012 – 12/20/2012 – US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites Worldwide Oilfield Machine in Houston for exposing workers to amputation and electrical hazards.

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Asbestos surveyors, David Harold and Shaun Hodgson in court after workers put at risk

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Two asbestos surveyors have appeared in court after construction workers were exposed to potentially-deadly fibres during the refurbishment of a Trafford pub.

David Harold and Shaun Hodgson were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after they failed to identify the presence of asbestos at 32 different locations in the former Sale Hotel on Marsland Road in Sale.

Trafford Magistrates’ Court was told today (21 December 2012) that Mr Harold, 49, and Mr Hodgson, 32, were hired to carry out a full asbestos survey at the disused pub ahead of a major refurbishment project to bring it back into use.

They produced a report following a visit to the site on 31 May 2011, which was used by the principal contractor to identify which areas were safe to refurbish and which required a licensed company to remove asbestos before any work could take place.

However, the report failed to identify large amounts of asbestos in the basement. As a result, workers were exposed to potentially-deadly fibres as they carried out refurbishment work, installed pipes and fitted cabling.

The company overseeing the project immediately stopped the refurbishment work and brought in a specialist firm when one of its employees raised concerns that additional unidentified asbestos may be present in the basement.

The asbestos insulation material was not hidden, and was easily spotted in the second survey.

David Harold, of Balmoral Drive in Beverley, East Yorkshire, and Shaun Hodgson, of Sherbourne Cottages in Newton upon Derwent, York, each pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 after they put the health of workers at risk.

They were each ordered to carry out 40 hours of community service in the next year and to each pay £1,500 towards the cost of the prosecution.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Matt Greenly said:

“Asbestos consultants and surveyors perform a vitally important role in the construction industry and are relied on to keep workers safe.

“Construction companies trust their expert opinions to help prevent workers from being exposed to asbestos fibres. It’s therefore essential that they do not take their minds off the job when carrying out asbestos surveys.

“Sadly Mr Harold and Mr Hodgson’s work fell way below acceptable standards, despite them being well trained and seemingly experienced asbestos surveyors.

“It is hard to understand how they could have missed so much asbestos material during their survey when it was so plainly obvious to others.”

Asbestos insulation was commonly used up until the 1980s to help insulate pipes and structural steel within buildings. This insulation can become highly dangerous if it is unsealed or disturbed and asbestos fibres are released into the air.

Fibres that are breathed in can become lodged in the lungs or digestive tract, and may lead to lung cancer or other diseases if large numbers of fibres are inhaled. However, symptoms may not appear for several decades.

Around 4,000 people die every year as a result of breathing in asbestos fibres, making it the biggest single cause of work-related deaths in the UK. Information on how to work safely with asbestos is available at www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos.

via RNN media information for journalists and the press – Press Releases – Asbestos surveyors in court after workers put at risk – RNN media information for journalists and the press.

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Worker dies in yard accident – Upstreamonline.com

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Worker dies in yard accident – Upstreamonline.com: A worker was killed while carrying out maintenance work on an installation vessel at the Keppel Verolme yard in Rotterdam on Friday.
A2SEA said in a statement the “serious accident” occurred this morning during work on the Sea Jack vessel at the Dutch yard, part of the Singapore-based Keppel offshore fabrication group.

The 43-year-old victim was a Danish employee of Esbjerg-based Peter Harbo, a subcontractor for A2SEA, it stated, adding that close relatives have been informed.

“We are deeply sorry to have to inform that an employee of our supplier has died,” said A2SEA chief executive Jens Frederik Hansen.

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Formaldehyde in the Air – Uncle Sam claims in Federal Court.

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Courthouse News Service: BOSTON – Solutia and Ineos Melamines are polluting the air with formaldehyde and methanol from the Indian Orchard auto paint plant in Springfield, Mass., Uncle Sam claims in Federal Court.

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Chemistry class ends with school evacuation in Moscow – English pravda.ru

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Chemistry class ends with school evacuation in Moscow – English pravda.ru: About 650 students were evacuated from Moscow school No. 1338 after chemicals were spilled at a chemistry class. Two children suffered due to the rough handling of the phenol indicator.

According to the press service of the Department of Internal Affairs for the Northern District of the capital, at around 10.50 a.m. at school number 1338, located at Klinskaya Street, one of the bulbs burst during a chemistry class, while students were conducting a laboratory experiment.

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Kentucky Utilities Co.’s coal-fired electric plant in Ghent, Ky. pollutes the air with sulfuric acid mist

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Courthouse News Service: FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky Utilities Co.’s coal-fired electric plant in Ghent, Ky. pollutes the air with sulfuric acid mist, the United States claims in Federal Court.

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Man dies following hazardous materials scare / Newbury & Thatcham Chronicle / News / Newbury

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Man dies following hazardous materials scare / Newbury & Thatcham Chronicle / News / Newbury: A MAN has died from a suspected heart attack after firefighters and police were alerted of suspected hazardous materials in a garage in Newbury, which have since turned out to be safe.

Paramedics were called to M & T Motor Co in Kingsbridge Road just after 1pm yesterday (Thursday) after a man had fallen ill with a suspected heart attack.

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Storm brings heavy rain and wind to NYC, A scaffolding collapse shut down a section of Bay Parkway – NYPOST.com

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Storm brings heavy rain and wind to NYC, with regional travel delays expected – NYPOST.com: A storm system brought gusty wind and heavy rain to the northeast this morning, making for a messy New York City commute – and likely causing travel delays across the region.
A scaffolding collapse shut down a section of Bay Parkway in Brooklyn, while flooding is reported on I-278 East.

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Even after workplace deaths, companies avoid OSHA penalties | The Center for Public Integrity

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Even after workplace deaths, companies avoid OSHA penalties | The Center for Public Integrity: SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The temperature outside barely reached double digits on the morning of Jan. 15, 2009, and, inside the Crucible Specialty Metals steel mill here, it was bitterly cold. Ice coated the equipment, forcing employees to use torches to free the machines so they could start their work.

Danger was everywhere, federal records show. Equipment was old and in disrepair. Molten steel snaked through the building, and, at any moment, could snag and twist out of control, burning anything in its path. Shafts driving the machines that compress the steel spun at high speeds with no guards to shield employees working nearby. Sometimes, workers said, the torches backfired and burned them.

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Baroness defeats gardener over lawn-mowing compensation claim | This is Sussex

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Baroness defeats gardener over lawn-mowing compensation claim | This is Sussex: A CROWBOROUGH pensioner has lost his appeal for compensation against the widow of a prominent former MP following claims he was deafened by years of mowing grass at her country home.
Clifford Sayers was branded a “very greedy man” by Baroness Chelwood after judges threw out his bid for £25,000 at The Court Of Appeal.

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