Scrap metal recycler cited by OSHA for exposing Butte, Mont., workers to multiple safety hazards, including amputations

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BILLINGS, Mont. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited A&S Metals with 12 safety violations for exposing workers to multiple hazards at the company’s facility in Butte. OSHA conducted its inspection in July and has proposed $59,000 in penalties.

“It is very fortunate that no employee suffered an amputation or other serious injury as a result of the safety violations identified at this facility,” said Jeff Funke, director of OSHA’s Billings Area Office. “OSHA is addressing machine guarding hazards through a national emphasis program that is focused on preventing amputations and fatalities in selected industries.”

http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=23313

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Minister ‘not assured’ by councils’ action on asbestos in schools – South Wales Argus

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THE Welsh education minister has raised questions over whether local councils are dealing with asbestos properly in the wake of the Cwmcarn High School crisis.

Leighton Andrews said in a written statement to AMs that responses to a call to all local authorities to confirm they were undertaking their duties under law over asbestos, had been “varied”.

Minister ‘not assured’ by councils’ action on asbestos in schools – South Wales Argus

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Volunteer dressed as SpongeBob is banned from Christmas lights switch on … – Daily Mail

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Killjoy council chiefs have been branded scrooges after they banned SpongeBob Squarepants from turning on the Christmas lights – because of health and safety fears.

Hundreds of children were left in tears when officials ruled the yellow costume of the children’s TV favourite was too wide to walk up five steps on to a platform.

Volunteer dressed as SpongeBob is banned from Christmas lights switch on … – Daily Mail

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Two roofers hospitalized after scaffolding hits West End power line – Press Herald

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PORTLAND — Two men were hospitalized after the scaffolding they were on touched a power line Tuesday morning.

Rescue workers were called to 71 Brackett St., in Portland’s West End, just before 11 a.m. Both men, who were part of a roofing crew, were conscious when firefighters arrived. The extent of their injuries was not immediately available.

Two roofers hospitalized after scaffolding hits West End power line – Press Herald

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Stirlingshire man sentenced to community service after illegally keeping and storing over 30,000 waste tyres

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Kenneth Colbecki, DOB 08/04/50, from Stenhousemuir, was today sentenced at Airdrie Sheriff Court to carry out 155 hours of community service after pleading guilty to illegally keeping and storing tens of thousands of waste tyres on his property in Airdrie, contrary to section 33(1)(v)(i) and section 33(1)(a) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Colbecki had pled guilty on 9 August 2012 to depositing controlled waste, specifically waste tyres, on his land, storing them there and baling them all without the authority of a waste management licence.

Colbecki also pled guilty to a contravention of the Environment Protection Act 1990, section 59(5) by failing to remove the tyres from the land when required to do so by SEPA.  Sentence was deferred on that charge to 29 May 2013 for Colbecki to be of good behaviour and for a report on his performance of the community service.

The offences occurred between June 2009 and November 2010.  Colbecki consistently refused to clear the site of around 35,000 tyres or to apply for a waste management licence.

Craig Harris, Head of the COPFS Wildlife and Environmental Unit said:

“Mr Colbecki sought to obtain considerable financial benefit by running a business with complete disregard to our environmental protection laws.

“The courts have made it clear that the laws designed to protect our environment must be taken seriously and that the penalties imposed on those who offend will be large enough to bring that message home.

“We will continue to work closely with SEPA to ensure that anyone who places our environment at risk and breaches the laws we have in place to protect it is brought to justice.”

http://www.crownoffice.gov.uk/News/Releases/2012/11/Stirlingshire-man-sentenced-community-service-after-illegally-keeping-and-storing-over-30000-waste-t

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OSHA cites Jersey City, NJ, warehouse company for fall and other safety hazards

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JERSEY CITY, NJ – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Continental Terminals Inc. for nine serious and two willful safety violations at the company’s Jersey City facility. Inspectors were notified of alleged hazards at the facility while they were inspecting another Continental facility in Kearny. Proposed penalties total $130,900.

The willful violations involve not protecting workers by allowing them to ride on the forks of forklifts, where they were exposed to falls of 10 feet, and permitting them to work on elevated platforms devoid of guardrails. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowledge or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. The citations carry $98,000 in penalties. The serious violations include having exit doors that were sealed shut, allowing damaged powered industrial trucks to be operated, stacking materials insecurely, not having a hazard communication program, using damaged electrical cords and not labeling electrical panels. 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. The citations carry $32,900 in penalties.

http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=23310

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Lessons should have been learned from the first incident – Jas Bowman and Sons Ltd prosecuted

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A global ingredients company has been fined for safety failings after two workers were seriously injured in separate incidents a year apart at its UK manufacturing base near Hitchin. Jas Bowman and Sons Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for not doing enough to protect people working at height at Ickleford Mill in Ickleford. In the first incident, on 7 July 2009, a maintenance engineer fell more than two metres while attempting to clean flour product from inside an elevated conveyor. He stood on the frame of a nearby machine to remove upper guarding on the conveyor but slipped, fracturing his right shoulder blade and a vertebra in his spine when he hit the floor below. A year later, on 15 July 2010, an electrical sub contractor fell down a lift shaft while carrying out maintenance work on a jammed second floor lift door. A panel reading indicated the lift was at second floor level. He manually opened the door by overriding a release mechanism and stepped in but fell into the shaft because the lift car had returned to the ground floor. He was following instructions from two Bowman employees at the time and fractured his skull, developed a cranial blood clot, severed his right ear, which was almost completely detached from his head, and sustained extensive bruising as a result of the fall. He was off work for 18 months as a result of his injuries. Stevenage Magistrates’ Court heard today (27 November) that a HSE investigation into both incidents identified serious failings with the work not being properly planned, supervised or carried out in a safe manner. After the hearing, HSE Inspector Graham Tompkins commented: “These were both serious incidents in their own right, but coupled together they provide a worrying picture. Lessons should have been learned from the first incident, however, the safety of workers continued to be compromised. http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2012/rnn-e-105.htm?eban=rss-

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Patterson v Ministry of Defence – non-freezing cold injury would not be regarded as a disease;

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It was held that as a matter of ordinary everyday language, a non-freezing cold injury would not be regarded as a disease; it was not caused by any virus, bacteria, noxious agent or parasite; it was simply a condition where blood failed to reach the cells in the nerves, skin and muscle as a result of exposure to weather or environmental conditions.

There was no basis for concluding that the term ‘disease’ in CPR 45 was intended to be interpreted by reference to the pre-action protocol for disease and illness claims, the purpose of which was very different from CPR 45.

The Protocol was concerned with the procedure to be followed at and before the commencement of litigation, while the subject matter of CPR 45, namely the success fee payable to a claimant’s lawyers was altogether different. The definition of disease in the Protocol was therefore not a reliable guide to the meaning of disease in CPR 45.

Patterson v Ministry of Defence [2012] EWHC 2767 (QB) – 12/10/12

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Smurfit Kappa, fined for worker’s injuries at Caerphilly factory #flt

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An employee suffered leg injuries when a reversing forklift truck struck him while working at a cardboard factory. Michael Jones, of Abercarn, was inspecting production in an area of the factory at the Prince of Wales Industrial Estate, Abercarn, Caerphilly when the incident happened on 11 April 2011. Mr Jones’ employer, Smurfit Kappa, was fined a total of £8,000 and ordered to pay £14,100 in fines by Caerphilly Magistrates in a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) today (26 November). The court was told that the forklift truck was reversing around a storage area to drop off an empty pallet when it struck Mr Jones, who was carrying out routine work on stock in the area. Although the forklift was travelling at a slow speed, Mr Jones suffered a broken ankle and fractured heel and subsequently developed deep vein thrombosis. An investigation by the HSE revealed that the forklift was fitted with reversing alarms, but these were not audible over the noise in the production area. No other safety measures were used, such as mirrors or flashing lights on the vehicles. Although the company had a transport policy, they had not adequately assessed the risk to all pedestrians and there were inadequate measures in place to separate pedestrians from forklift vehicles in the production area. Despite the transport policy highlighting the need for other safety devices such as mirrors, these were not fitted to the vehicles. http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2012/rnn-w-smurfitkappa.htm?eban=rss-

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