OSHA files petition against SeaWorld of Florida to comply with subpoenas during follow-up inspection

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ORLANDO, Fla. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has filed a petition against SeaWorld of Florida LLC to comply with administrative subpoenas that require SeaWorld to provide three managers to be interviewed during OSHA’s follow-up abatement inspection. SeaWorld has declined to provide personnel to answer questions regarding abatement or correction of a prior violation related to trainers’ exposure to struck-by and drowning hazards when engaged in performances with killer whales.

“The employee testimony for the follow-up abatement inspection, required by a subpoena, allows OSHA inspectors to determine if SeaWorld employees continue to be exposed to unsafe and unhealthy working conditions,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “Abating safety and health hazards in the workplace needs to be as important to an employer as recognizing the hazards in the first place.”

The follow-up inspection is being conducted as a result of previous violations that OSHA identified after a February 2010 drowning of a trainer who was grabbed and pulled under the water by a six-ton killer whale during what SeaWorld described as a “relationship session.” In August 2010, OSHA issued SeaWorld citations related to the incident. SeaWorld contested OSHA’s proposed violations and penalties.

via 2012 – 12/18/2012 – US Department of Labor’s OSHA files petition against SeaWorld of Florida to comply with subpoenas during follow-up inspection.

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Rimo Construction Ltd – “less than 24 hours later the company ignored the risks and the terms of the notice”

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A Cardiff building company has been fined for ignoring a safety notice and exposing workers and members of the public to serious risk of injury.

Cardiff Magistrates’ Court heard today (18 December) that Rimo Construction Ltd, of St Mellons, allowed unsafe work at height at a house in Rumney in June 2012.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that employees were working from scaffolding around the property, and on the roof, without adequate protection to prevent them from falling.

Part of the scaffolding was removed on 28 June, but they continued working without guard rails until a HSE inspector visited the site the following day after a local resident raised concerns about safety.

Rimo Construction was immediately served with a Prohibition Notice preventing any further work on the scaffold or the roof of the property. However, on 30 June, the following day, neighbours on both sides of the property saw the men continuing to work in exactly the same way.

Adequate edge protection or other precautions should have been in place to prevent workers from falling and injuring themselves or others.

Rimo Construction Ltd, of Vaindre Road, St Mellons, Cardiff, was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Sections 2(1), 3(1) and 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

After the hearing HSE Inspector Simon Breen said:

“The dangers of working at height without adequate edge protection are very clear, yet companies and individuals continue to take risks and cut corners.

“Rimo Construction was well aware of the precautions it should have been taking, particularly after being served with a Prohibition Notice to stop work on the scaffolds and on the roof. Yet less than 24 hours later the company ignored the risks and the terms of the notice.

“Whilst there were no injuries, the workers could have fallen from the scaffolding or roof into the grounds of the neighbouring houses on either side.

“I hope today’s prosecution serves to remind all companies who expect employees to work at height of their legal duties to properly manage safety, and to provide the necessary protection required to safeguard them and others from falls.”

via Cardiff building company fined for ignoring safety risks.

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Filipino sailor air-lifted to safety – The Malta Independent

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Filipino sailor air-lifted to safety – The Malta Independent: his morning the Operations Centre of the Armed Forces of Malta was involved in the coordination and rescue of a Filipino sailor. The master of a Singapore registered vessel named, “Maersk Hirado” contacted the Operations Centre of the AFM and requested medical evacuation of one of his sailors as he was feeling ill.

An Italian Air force carrying an Italo-Maltese crew was scrambled to the area to render assistance. At the time, the vessel was some 40 nautical miles away from Malta.

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Herdsman died after falling through dairy skylight ” The use of a telehandler bucket was also an inappropriate way to gain access to the roof itself”

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A herdsman died after carrying out unplanned and unsupervised repair work on a dairy roof and falling through a plastic skylight, a court heard today (18 December).

William Luscombe (65) of Whitstone, near Holsworthy was carrying out the work for his employer, TRD Griffin and Son Partnership at Willsworthy Farm, North Tamerton on 14 October, 2010 when the incident happened.

Exeter Crown Court fined Roy Griffin, a partner in TRD Griffin and Son Partnership, a total of £5,000 and ordered him to pay £8,800 in costs, in the case brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The court was told Mr Luscombe had been lifted onto the roof in the bucket of a telehandler to carry out repairs. Plastic skylights are widely known to be fragile and liable to fail if someone stands on them.

As he was working, Mr Luscombe fell three metres onto the concrete floor below, sustaining serious head injuries. He was airlifted to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth but later died of his injuries.

The HSE investigation found that no plans had been made for the work, as required under law, despite a sign at the site which warned of a fragile roof on the dairy.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector, Georgina Speake, said:

“Mr Luscombe, although an experienced herdsman, did not have any training for working on roofs and was working without supervision. No equipment was provided which could have prevented or mitigated the effects of a fall, such as safety nets or suitable boarding.

“Although crawling boards were present on the farm, they had not been used and were too narrow to provide effective safe access on the roof. The use of a telehandler bucket was also an inappropriate way to gain access to the roof itself.

“Falls through roofs are all too common and can result in serious or even fatal injuries. Work must be properly planned and appropriate safety equipment provided to minimise the risks involved.”

via Herdsman died after falling through dairy skylight.

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“Both defendants were criminally negligent in dealing with an obvious and potentially lethal risk.”

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A man with a severe learning disability, who is unable to talk, suffered scalding so severe his skin was left hanging from his body when his landlord and the agency providing his care failed to control the temperature of his bath water.

Paul Cundy, 64, lived in a rented home for people with severe learning difficulties in Eddystone Road, St Austell, at the time of incident on 27 December 2008.

The home owners, Comhome Ltd, and Solor Care Group Ltd, a domiciliary care agency, admitted safety failings after being prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

In an earlier hearing, Truro Crown Court was told that Comhome provided housing for vulnerable people while Solor Care Group – then Robinia Care – provided care staff from another agency to work at the home.

Mr Cundy suffers with cerebral palsy and epilepsy in addition to his learning difficulties, is unable to talk and needs physical help with all aspects of daily life. He was unable to say that his bath water was too hot or get out unaided.

On the day of the incident, Mr Cundy was put into the bath using a hoist by a care worker. As he entered the water he immediately recoiled, prompting the worker to raise him out because she thought he was suffering a seizure.

Another member of staff checked the water by hand and added some cold before Mr Cundy was again lowered into the bath. He again reacted and began thrashing and moaning in pain. He was raised for a second time and staff noticed his skin was severely scalded and was hanging off on his feet, buttocks and elbow.

He was hospitalised for four weeks to receive treatment for 10% (second degree) burns.

An HSE investigation revealed there was no thermostatic mixing valve (TMV) fitted to the bath, which would have regulated the water temperature to below 44 degrees C – as recommended in national guidelines. A TMV had been fitted but was disconnected in 2002.

Four internal maintenance reports highlighted that the TMV for the bath wasn’t working and identified it as “high risk” because water from the tap was coming out at just under 60 degrees C.

There was no thermometer or formal control system for checking water temperature. Instead staff used a variety of unsatisfactory measures, such as checking by hand and elbow. HSE also found evidence of inconsistent and limited staff training.

Mr Cundy’s care plan, drawn up by Solor Care Group, contained no reference to risks of water scalding and there was no system to ensure carers had read or understood it.

Comhome Ltd of Edward Street, Truro, pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Solor Care Group Ltd of Circus Mews, Bath, also pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3 (1) of the same Act.

HSE Inspector Jo Fitzgerald said:

“This appalling incident could and should have been avoided. It resulted in agonising pain for Mr Cundy, a vulnerable member of our society who was deserving of the very highest standards of care and protection.

“Comhome’s failures included failing to ensure bath water temperatures were properly regulated via an operating TMV, failing to work with Solor to resolve the issue with the TMV, and failing to act on repeated warnings by maintenance staff about the dangers of hot water where no TMV was fitted.

“Solor, in turn, also failed to ensure the TMV was working or to have proper systems in place to check bath water temperatures. They failed to provide proper training for staff, failed to provide a thermometer for the care workers, failed to properly assess scalding risks, and failed to follow its own company policies.

“Both defendants were criminally negligent in dealing with an obvious and potentially lethal risk.”

via Landlord and agency plead guilty to bath scalding.

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Chainsaw drama at De Burgh’s home as tree surgeon injured – Herald.ie

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Chainsaw drama at De Burgh’s home as tree surgeon injured – News, Frontpage – Herald.ie: The injury was deemed serious enough that Mr O’Toole needed to be airlifted to Tallaght Hospital — some 24km away.
A MAN had to be airlifted from singer Chris de Burgh’s home after being injured by a chainsaw.

Emergency crews were called to his Wicklow estate after a tree surgeon suffered a deep gash in his leg.

Richie O’Toole was airlifted from the home of De Burgh and his wife Diane after the accident

He was kept in for a number of hours where he received stitches to his leg and was also treated for shock.

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Man killed in workplace accident at Pepsi plant – New Brunswick – CBC News

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Man killed in workplace accident at Pepsi plant – New Brunswick – CBC News: A 37-year-old man is dead following a workplace accident at the Pepsi bottling plant in Moncton on Monday morning.
The man, who worked for an outside contractor, was struck in the head with a piece of metal, said Paul Bourque, WorkSafe NB’s assistant director of the southeast region

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Fire put out at Burning the Clocks – (H&S was a factor, but no incidents) (From The Argus)

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Fire put out at Burning the Clocks (From The Argus): Candles will be replaced with electric lights at this year’s Burning the Clocks festival over health and safety concerns.

For the first time every lantern in the event’s main parade, celebrating the winter solstice in Brighton, will be lit with LED lights rather than naked flames.

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Carcinogens found in local cooking oil . RTHK

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Four samples of cooking oil from two local companies that have been accused of selling gutter oil, have been found to contain excessively high levels of a substance linked with cancer.
Health authorities say while the health risk of consuming this oil is not high, it’s asked the supplier to recall the product.
Officials say more tests will be conducted, but they cannot say at this point whether the affected product contains gutter oil or not.
Officials had taken 39 samples from the unlicensed Wing Hing Oil Plant, their suppliers, Beidahuang Rice Industry Group, and 13 restaurants that reportedly bought oil from them, following a newspaper report that accused the firms of mixing in gutter oil — or recycled oil — with normal cooking oil.

RTHK English News

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What did Capita ITS staff get for Xmas? Elf ‘n’ safety training • The Channel

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What did Capita ITS staff get for Xmas? Elf ‘n’ safety training • The Channel: Capita IT Services boss Peter Hands has handed his staff a joyful end-of-year gift: an order to complete about a dozen mandatory training courses by 31 December.The big cheese’s memo caps off a year in which Capita froze bonuses and pay rises, threatened to outsource jobs to India, and went head to head with Unite over redundancies. Some workers at the integrator were more than a little jaded.

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