OSHA cites two Fort Worth, Texas, companies for multiple process safety management violations

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FORT WORTH, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Five Star Custom Foods Ltd. for 25 serious safety and health violations. Subcontractor Packers Sanitation Services Inc. has been cited for two serious safety violations concerning exposure to hazardous chemicals at the company’s facility on East First Street. Penalties total $134,000 collectively.

OSHA officials opened an investigation on June 12 under the agency’s national emphasis program on process safety management, known as PSM, for covered chemical facilities. Investigators found that employees, while conducting operations in the facility’s refrigeration system, were exposed to the catastrophic release of toxic and corrosive chemicals.

“Exposing employees to highly hazardous chemicals, such as anhydrous ammonia, can be fatal,” said Jack Rector, the agency’s area director in Fort Worth. “OSHA’s standards must be followed to prevent accidents and illnesses.”

Fourteen serious violations involve failing to ensure that equipment related to the process complied with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices; recommendations in the process hazard analysis were processed; standard operating procedures were annually certified; an ammonia detector system was provided; contract employees were informed of the potential of fire and/or toxic release hazards; and compliance audits were conducted at least every three years.

via 2012 – 12/13/2012 – US Labor Department’s OSHA cites two Fort Worth, Texas, companies for multiple process safety management violations.

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Merseyside roofer caught on camera risking lives

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A Merseyside roofer has been fined after he allowed lives to be put at risk on the roof of a semi-detached house in Maghull.

Phillip McGinn (right) and another worker on the roof of a semi-detached house in Maghull

Phillip McGinn (right) and another worker on the roof of a semi-detached house in Maghull

Phillip McGinn, 38, and two other workers were photographed retiling the roof of a property on Old Race Course Road on 21 August this year without safety measures in place to prevent them falling to the ground below.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) sent an inspector to visit the site after receiving a complaint about the work from a member of the public. The inspector immediately issued a Prohibition Notice ordering the men to come down from the roof until it had been made safe.

South Sefton Magistrates’ Court in Bootle was told today (13 December 2012) that scaffolding had been erected at the front of the house, but there was nothing at the side or back of the roof to stop workers falling off.

Phillip McGinn, who trades at Stormguard Roofing, pleaded guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 after he failed to take measures to prevent workers being injured in a fall.

Mr McGinn, of Wynnstay Avenue in Maghull, was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £1,668 in prosecution costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Jackie Western said:

“There were several ways this work could have been carried out safely, including fitting hand rails and toe boards around the edge of the roof to prevent people falling.

“Mr McGinn put his own life and the lives of two other men at risk by allowing the work to go ahead without suitable safety measures in place. The scaffolding at the front of the building did nothing to prevent them falling off the side or back of the roof.

“I would like to thank the person who alerted us about the work as, if they hadn’t, someone could have been seriously injured or even killed.”

The latest figures show that 38 people died as a result of a fall in a workplace in Great Britain in 2010/11, and more than 4,000 suffered a major injury. Information on preventing falls is available at www.hse.gov.uk/falls.

via Merseyside roofer caught on camera risking lives.

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40,000 Children and Their Families Lifted Out of Poverty – Canada (UK doing the opposite)

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Newsroom : 40,000 Children and Their Families Lifted Out of Poverty: Ontario has helped 40,000 children and their families get out of poverty since 2008, despite a climate of global economic uncertainty.

Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy 2012 Annual Report released today highlights progress made over the last four years in helping children and families emerge from poverty and raise their quality of life. The report contains many encouraging signs of progress, including:

Over one million children in 530,000 families are being helped by the Ontario Child Benefit.

Almost 122,000 kids are getting a stronger start in about 1,700 schools through full-day kindergarten.

Nearly 33,000 children and young people, who may have otherwise gone untreated, are receiving free dental care through Healthy Smiles Ontario.

An additional 13,000 young people are getting help finding jobs and opportunities through the Youth Action Plan.

An estimated 20,000 more children and young people are getting faster and easier access to the right mental health supports with 600 new mental health workers in schools, communities and the courts.

Giving children and young people opportunities to succeed and breaking down barriers for low-income Ontarians are part of the McGuinty government’s Breaking the Cycle: Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.

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OSHA fines Timken Co. $170,500 after complaint inspection finds 12 safety violations at Canton, Ohio, steel mill

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CANTON, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Timken Co. for 12 alleged safety violations, including five repeat, after conducting a complaint inspection in June at the steel mill in Canton which manufactures roller bearings. Proposed penalties total $170,500.”Timken Co. has a responsibility to recognize safety hazards in its facility and to train workers in emergency response,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland.

“When employers knowingly ignore safety and health requirements, they are unduly placing their workers at risk for illnesses and injuries, and that is unacceptable.”Five repeat safety violations involve failing to machine guard ingoing nip points, points of operation and rotating parts. Additionally, the company lacked guardrails on elevated platforms and failed to ensure electrical boxes with unused openings were closed. 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 at other Timken Co. facilities in Canton, including the Harrison steel plant in 2007 and 2011, and the Gambrinus roller bearing plant in 2007 and 2009.

http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=23406

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Chesterfield Borough Council (tax payer) fined after putting a tenant at risk of poisoning

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Chesterfield Borough Council has been fined after carbon monoxide fed back into one of its properties, putting the tenant at risk of poisoning.

A contractor carrying out roof work on the house in Stand Road, Newbold, on behalf of the council advised them the chimney stack was leaning and in danger of collapsing so the council arranged for it to be removed and capped.

However, the stack contained the flue for a gas fire and gas-fired back boiler and the removal and capping of the chimney stack meant there was no direct route for carbon monoxide and combustion products from the fire and boiler to be safely vented to open air. Instead the dangerous gas fed back into the house via the fire into the lounge and attic and outside through the eaves.

This was only discovered around six weeks later, on 8 October 2011, when the council was carrying out the annual gas safety check on the property.

An investigation into the incident by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the council was aware the property contained working gas appliances as they were listed on two separate databases, but the council failed to check them.

At no point was the presence of the live gas appliances mentioned to the roofing contractor. The chimney stack was removed and the subsequent invoice detailing the work was paid by the council without question.

Chesterfield Borough Council, of Rose Hill, Chesterfield, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for failing to maintain its property in such a way that the tenant was not exposed to the risks associated with carbon monoxide. Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court today (13 December) fined the council £18,000 and ordered it to pay costs of £7,534.

After the hearing HSE inspector Scott Wynne said:

“It was pure luck that the tenant did not suffer any serious effects of carbon monoxide poisoning. This was probably due in part to the particularly warm weather at that time of year which meant the tenant often had the windows open and only used the gas boiler for hot water.

“Chesterfield Borough Council was in a position of trust. It had a duty of care to its tenant but because it did not properly consult its own records or do any kind of follow-up checks once the stack had been removed, it failed in that duty.

“It was also extremely fortunate that the annual safety inspection was due at that time. If it had been due later in the year the tenant may not have survived to tell the tale.”

For information on safe use of gas consult www.hse.gov.uk/gas

via RNN media information for journalists and the press – Press Releases – COUNCIL FINED AFTER PUTTING TENANT AT RISK OF CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING – RNN media information for journalists and the press.

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Jian’s Dumplings Ltd in the stew after worker injured in dough mixer

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An Edinburgh food firm has been fined after a worker seriously injured his hand on an unguarded dough mixer.

Joseph Burnett, 22, was working for Jian’s Dumplings Ltd at the company’s former premises in Gracemount Business Pavilions, Captains Road, Edinburgh when the incident happened on 23 June 2010.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard today (13 December) that Mr Burnett had been employed as a factory assistant for almost four months and helped to sort ingredients, make Chinese dumplings to order and package products.

On the day of the incident he was working on an industrial-sized dough mixer, into which ingredients and water are placed. Paddles then rotate to mix the ingredients into dough.

The shutter on top of the machine when in the closed position still left a gap of approximately eight centimetres. There was also no interlocking on the dough mixer machine which would have cut the power to the dangerous rotating parts when the metal shutter was lifted.

Mr Burnett was concerned the dough was too wet and began to add extra flour into the mixer by hand. He suddenly felt his hand and arm being pulled into the drum of the machine, with his arm going in past the elbow of his right arm before he managed to pull himself free and alert others to what had happened.

Mr Burnett suffered two factures in his fingers and ripped tendons in his index and middle fingers. He had to undergo surgery, required 30-40 stitches, his arm was in a plaster cast for eight weeks and he needed physiotherapy to help restore movement in his fingers. He still has limited movement in his index finger.

Following the incident, an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to carry out a risk assessment for the operation.

The investigation also found that the company had failed to provide a safe system of work or sufficient information, instruction, training and supervision in relation to the use of the dough mixer machine.

Jian’s Dumplings Ltd, of Dryden Road, Bilston Glen Industrial Estate, Loanhead, Midlothian, was fined £1,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

After sentencing, HSE inspector Katie Dunlop said:

“This incident could have easily been avoided if a suitable risk assessment had been carried out.

“Such an assessment would have highlighted the danger posed by the dough mixer and an appropriate guard could have been added along with an emergency stop button, which was actually fitted following this incident.

“The markings and instructions on the dough mixer were all in Chinese, with no English translation, and there was no safe system of work or formalised training for employees.

“Had these measures been in place Mr Burnett could have avoided what was a very painful injury.”

via RNN media information for journalists and the press – Press Releases – Edinburgh food firm fined after worker injured – RNN media information for journalists and the press.

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Environmental criminals, Doonin Plant Limited fined £200,000 for dangerous pollution threat to West Lothian communities | Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service

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Doonin Plant Limited were fined £200,000 for the burying of hundreds of tonnes of waste at the former Woodend Colliery, Mill Road, Armadale in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health. The site is within 400 yards/365m of residential properties. Sentence was deferred on Gary Doonin a director of the company until 13 December 2013.

Gary Doonin and his company Doonin Plant Limited were found guilty at Livingston Sheriff Court on 13 September 2012 of four separate offences under Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Hundreds of tonnes of construction and demolition waste were kept under various depths of soil. This waste, degrades to produce leachate, a harmful effluent. Leachate has a strong odour and if it is released or escapes into the water environment it can have a significant detrimental impact on aquatic life and the biodiversity of groundwater and local water courses. It can also be harmful to humans if it contaminates drinking water sources.

The case also involved the keeping of controlled waste on the Woodend Colliery site without any Waste Management Licence.

Craig Harris, Head of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) Wildlife and Environmental Crime Unit said:

“Doonin Plant Ltd and Gary Doonin carried out activities with a total disregard for the environment.

“The conviction was the result of a lengthy investigation by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and prosecution by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. The severity of the crimes against the environment was marked by this case being prosecuted before a jury and today’s outcome.

“Today’s judgment will send out a strong warning to any other unscrupulous businesses who conduct themselves in this illegal manner”.

Commenting on the sentencing, Ian Buchanan, Area Manager of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), said:

“Today, justice has been done for Scotland’s environment. The sentence delivered is a positive result for the public, who care about the environment, and legitimate waste operators who have been undermined by the actions of Mr Doonin and Doonin Plant Limited. By carrying out such activities, the company and its director demonstrated a complete lack of consideration for the environment and we hope the sentence acts as a deterrent to any operators considering breaking the law.

“SEPA has worked closely with our colleagues at the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to see this complex case reach a positive conclusion and will continue to do so to bring those who commit environmental crimes to justice.

“The conviction of Mr Doonin himself should also act as a warning to company directors that SEPA will consider offences committed by individuals when investigating environmental crimes.”

via Environmental criminals fined £200,000 for dangerous pollution threat to West Lothian communities | Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

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Health inspectors found rotting rat corpse inside ‘popular’ patisserie and raw sewage leaking into yard | Mail Online

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Health inspectors found rotting rat corpse inside ‘popular’ patisserie and raw sewage leaking into yard | Mail Online: Health inspectors found raw sewage leaking into the yard of a rat-infested patisserie, a court heard.Bonne Bouche, a ‘popular lunchtime destination’, in Victoria, central London. was raided by Westminster City Council after complaints last year.Rats were nesting in the kitchen, droppings were sprinkled over ready-to-eat food and the body of a decaying rat was found in the ceiling.

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£3k fine for dirty kitchen at takeaway in Norton – Local News – News – Gazette Live

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�3k fine for dirty kitchen at takeaway in Norton – Local News – News – Gazette Live: A NORTON takeaway owner has been ordered to pay nearly �3,000 because of his filthy, mouse dropping-ridden kitchen.
Hai Jun Cao, 31, the owner of the Golden Wok on Holly Street appeared at Teesside Magistrates Court yesterday.

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Judges reject former Perthshire hotelier’s bid for payout over Bunrannoch Hotel fire

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The Courier – Judges reject former Perthshire hotelier’s bid for payout over Bunrannoch Hotel fire: Kathleen Torremar claimed the fire that ripped through the Bunrannoch Hotel in Kinloch Rannoch was an accident but an investigation pointed to the fire having been deliberately started.

The Highland Perthshire hotel was formerly owned by Mrs Torremar and her late husband, Christen, who died in 1996.

It was in May 2000 that the fire broke out in the hotel, which was extensively damaged as a result.

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