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Posted On: March 27, 2009

Construction Accident Causes Gas Leak

According to fire officials, a construction site accident in Oklahoma City resulted in a gas leak on Tuesday. Construction crews were working to widen a road when they hit a 6-inch, medium-pressure gasline between 1 and 1:30pm. Gas spewing from the pipeline forced road closures, but police did not have to evacuate.

Fire officials stated that homes and business in the nearby area were not impacted by the shutdown.

In addition to gas leaks, construction workers face other hazards such as electrical shock accidents, fires, welding accidents, truck accidents, falls, crane accidents, and other dangers. According to the Bureau of Labor, over 5,000 construction workers were killed in construction accidents, while others suffered major injuries such as severed limbs or internal injuries.

Construction Accident Results In Gas Leak, Koco.com, March 24, 2009

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Posted On: March 24, 2009

OSHA Cites Massachusetts Company for 29 Safety Violations

A Massachusetts manufacturing plant has received citations for 29 alleged serious safety violations. OSHA conducted two safety inspections between fall last and last month.

The first inspection was conducted under its Site-Specific Targeting program and identified damaged support frames for large metal dies, slipping and tripping hazards, and missing access stairs, among other workplace hazards.

The section inspection was conducted in response to a manufacturing plant accident on December 23. Two workers sustained injuries when a 700-pound forging shot up in the air and hit them while they tried to free it from a malfunctioning die on a power press.

OSHA cited the company because it did not develop procedures to prevent the build-up and release of hazardous energy generated by the press. The company faces over $100,000 in proposed fines.

OSHA Proposes Fines for Serious Violations, Safety.BLR.com, March 20, 2009

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Posted On: March 19, 2009

Company Receives Record Fine for Workplace Accident

A recycling company in New Zealand has received a record fine for failing to prevent a workplace accident last year that cost an employee both his legs. Ben Hekenui, 37, was trapped in an automatic baler press in April of last year.

Last week a judge fined the company $100,000 on two charges of breaching health and safety regulations. The maximum fine for reach charge is $250,000. In addition, the company is required to $76,900 to reparation to the
injured employee.

According to the Department of Labour counsel, the company’s health and safety policies were “ad hoc.” He claimed the company had inherited a health and safety manual from the company’s previous owner and lacked a process for identifying hazards. The company is about to be voluntarily liquidated but vowed it will make reparation payments to the workplace accident victim.

“I'm not sure how long it will take but it will certainly be made," said a company director.

Record fine after workplace accident, Taranaki Daily News, March 12, 2009

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Posted On: March 16, 2009

OSHA Fines Subcontractor After Somerville Worker Dies

Last September, a demolition worker died at the site of a Walmart in Walpole, Massachusetts. Originally from Brazil, the 47-year-old worker was killed around 1am when the lights went out and the worker touched a live wire.

The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited and fined the worker’s employer for seven serious violations. According to OSHA, the company failed to implement an accident prevention program that included regular inspections by a competent person. It also failed to educate its worker about potentially unsafe conditions.

The electrical company has also been cited for six serious violations of the OSH Act. According to the citations, the company allowed workers to work near electric power circuits but did not ensure the power circuits were properly deenergized and grounded. Fines for both companies total more than $15,000.

The executive director of the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health said of the incident, “any company that employs workers in demolition work in the middle of the night with a comprehensive safety plan is asking for an accident.”

Walmart subcontractor fined $15,000 following Somerville worker's death, WickedLocal.com, March 10, 2009

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Posted On: March 13, 2009

Safety Modifications Could Help Older Workers Prevent Injuries

A recent white paper authored Ken Nogan, Risk Control Consultant at PMA Insurance Group, reports that the number of people ages 65 and older in the workforce has increased over 100 percent since 1977 and more than half of those workers are working full-time.

These workers are at a higher risk for falls and can take two to three times longer to heal from an injury as compared to a younger counterpart. Falls account for over a third all injuries in workers over age 65, according to the white paper.

The author suggests doing an ergonomic evaluation of workstations and workspaces to identify causes of fatigue and strain. He also recommends that safety measures include slip and fall prevention and that companies consider risk control measures to meet the needs of this demographic. The complete white paper is available from PMAGroup.com.

Safety Modifications Important for Aging Workforce, ClaimsJournal.com, March 10, 2009

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Posted On: March 11, 2009

Springfield Hosts Massachusetts Labor Unions Fair

22News reported about the Massachusetts Labor department’s information fair, which was held recently in Springfield. Experts from the department offered information for concerned workers, answering questions about getting injured at work and other issues.

One man told 22News that he suffered injuries on the job but was hesitant to complain for fear that his boss might fire him. A representative from the occupational health division assured the man that he is covered under the law by OSHA.

Many injured workers fail to report injuries for these same reasons; however, they should understand that in many cases they are entitled to workers’ compensation to cover medical costs, disability payments, and 60% of their average income.

Information fair for Mass. Labor unions, WWLP.com, March 4, 2009

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Posted On: March 9, 2009

Framingham Workshop Aimed at Reducing Work Injuries

Allston’s Brazilian Immigrant Center is partnering with the Massachusetts Occupational Safety Health Administration to offer a workplace health and safety training workshop for Brazilian workers next Saturday, March 14. The workshop will take place on Saturday from 8am to 6pm Framingham, but the location is still to be determined.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Occupational Health Surveillance Program, 16 Brazilian workers died on the job between 1999 and 2007. Some Brazilian workers lack adequate work safety training, so this workshop is aimed at teaching those workers to avoid lead poisoning, prevent falls, handle electrical wires, and other tasks. The workshop will be conducted in Portuguese by instructor Rony Jabour.

Jabour said that many immigrant workers are reluctant to work with federal agencies like OSHA because of concerns about deportation, so the workshop will also cover OSHA’s role in protecting workers from workplace hazards. The cost for the workshop is $80 and workers will receive a certificate for having completed a 10-hour OSHA safety course at the end of the day. Contact Jabour at 978-767-0630 or oshaclas AT hotmail DOT com for more information.

Preventing work injuries among immigrants, MetroWest Daily News, March 8, 2009

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Posted On: March 4, 2009

Driver Injures Four Construction Workers

Earlier this week, a driver veered off the road and hit four construction workers. One was listed in critical condition and another was seriously injured. The construction worksite accident occurred around 9pm on Tuesday night when the driver of a white Camara drove through the orange cones and hit a group of workers.

The driver responsible for the accident is in fair condition and reportedly in police custody. The driver’s vehicle sustained severe front end damage and was towed away. At this time it is not known if drugs or alcohol have may played a role in the car crash.

The identities of the injured construction workers and the driver have not been released. Police reopened the roadway two hours after investigating the crash and construction resumed as normal.

Four Construction Workers Hurt By Driver, WOKV, March 4, 2009

4 construction workers hit by car; no fatalities, Associated Press, March 4, 2009

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Posted On: March 2, 2009

Construction Worker Injured in Accident, Condition Unknown

On Tuesday, a construction worker was injured after a crane lowering a concrete wall into place shifted and the wall fell onto the man’s legs. The other workers were able to free the injured worker before firefighters arrived at the scene of the accident. The 23-year-old construction accident victim was taken to a local hospital and is expected to survive.

Construction workers face a number of hazards on the job. In addition to crane accidents, they might also be at risk for on-site explosions, falls, fires, welding accidents, excavation accidents, and machinery accidents. Such hazards can result in permanent physical, emotional, and psychological damage, which can make it difficult for the victim to return to work.

Worker Hurt In Bellevue Construction Accident, KIROTV.com, February 24, 2009

Construction worker injured in Bellevue, Seattle PI, February 24, 2009

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