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OSHA cites TimkenSteel for worker's death that occured in March, other incidents
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Cleveland Area Office has cited TimkenSteel $113,131 for two repeated and four serious safety violations following two March 2016 investigations at the company's Canton plant. CANTON, Ohio -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Cleveland Area Office has cited TimkenSteel $113,131 for two repeated and four serious safety violations following two March 2016 investigations at the company's Canton plant. On March 20, 2016, OSHA responded to a report that a worker was found dead in the elevator control room while performing monthly fire extinguisher checks. An investigation determined nitrogen leaked into the control room resulting in an oxygen deficient atmosphere causing the worker's death. OSHA cited the company for failing to: Protect workers from potentially hazardous atmospheres created by the introduction of nitrogen into the ventilation system. Train workers using pneumatic tools powered by nitrogen on the hazards, effects and how to detect nitrogen leakage. "As a result of the fatality, the company discontinued the use of nitrogen to power tools and removed all the connections from the ventilation systems," said Howard Eberts, OSHA's area director in Cleveland. In another complaint alleging safety concerns at the facility, OSHA opened an investigation March 18, 2016, which found the company: Exposed workers to fall hazards of up to 20 feet while performing maintenance in the rolling mill. Failed to install guardrails on walkways. "TimkenSteel has made significant strides in fixing safety discrepancies and improving the framework of the safety and health management system in its aging plants in recent months. These two investigations demonstrate that maintaining a safe working environment requires a commitment to continuous improvement." Officials from TimkenSteel could not be reached for comment this morning. However, TimkenSteel signed a settlement agreement in August 2016 to abate hazards cited by OSHA at its Ohio steel plants in 2015, including multiple violations of fall protections standards. Under terms of the agreement, TimkenSteel will implement numerous enhancements such as a STOP work card program, an anonymous safety reporting system, create a United Steel Workers safety position at three facilities, retain an abatement auditor, create an electronic tracking of corrections, and conduct routine safety audits for fall hazards and lockout/tagout procedures.
6 points by The Plain Dealer | 2015 2016 Occupational safety and health
Feds: Steel mill cited for failing to protect, train workers
CANTON, Ohio (AP) - Federal investigators have cited a northeast Ohio steel mill for safety violations, including that workers weren't protected from a dangerous atmosphere caused by chemicals leaking into the ventilation system. WEWS-TV reports ( ) documents released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration say TimkenSteel also failed ...
-1 points by The Washington Times | Occupational safety and health Akron Ohio Ohio English-language films Nitrogen HVAC Water Laborer
Experts: Liberty Bridge fire avoidable if standards followed
The fire that risked bringing down the Liberty Bridge should not have occurred had workers been following long-standing fire safety measures, construction experts said Thursday.
66 points by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Occupational safety and health Fire protection Building National Fire Protection Association Architect Occupational Safety and Health Administration Construction Safety
Michigan plans surprise inspections at demolition sites
Yearlong effort aims to protect workers from asbestos, lead and cadmium at demolition sites in Detroit, elsewhere        
-1 points by Detroit Free Press | Occupational safety and health Detroit Homelessness Detroit Free Press Michigan Asbestos abatement Asbestos Safety
OSHA investigating Liberty Bridge fire
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration today began an investigation into the construction fire that has closed the Liberty Bridge since Friday.
11 points by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | English-language films Occupational safety and health Structural engineering Fire protection The Contractor Construction Closed
OSHA finds BWI chief retaliated against whistle-blower in old job
A federal agency has made a preliminary ruling that the chief executive at BWI Marshall Airport, while in his previous job, retaliated against a whistle-blower who reported runway safety concerns to the Federal Aviation Administration. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration made a preliminary...
-2 points by Baltimore Sun | Runway Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Southwest Airlines Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport Air safety Occupational safety and health United Airlines USA3000 Airlines
Chemicals left in barrels risky for workers, neighborhoods
Regulators repeatedly have cited plants for dumping too much mercury in wastewater, toxic emissions into air. And workers have faced injury,...       
848 points by USA Today | Occupational safety and health Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Journal Communications Chemistry Occupational health psychology Chemical reaction Drum Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Tree surgeon killed by his own chainsaw in south London
A tree surgeon was fatally injured on Wednesday in a chainsaw accident while working in a garden in Bermondsey, south London. Read Full Article at
163 points by Russia Today | Ambulance Paramedic Emergency medical services London Metropolitan Police Service Occupational safety and health Emergency medical technician English-language films
Snyder plans renewed push for stricter lead water limit
Rick Snyder plans a renewed push on his plan 10 months ago to give Michigan the nation’s toughest water quality standard        
-2 points by The Detroit News | Water Public health Lead poisoning Drinking water Occupational safety and health Water supply network Safe Drinking Water Act Water crisis
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's concerns about rental inspections: Displacing poor families, burdening landlords
If Clevelad too quickly or too aggressively inspects rental properties for health hazards and safety violations such as peeling paint, mold and broken toilets, families may be put out of their homes and landlords unable to rent their properties. CLEVELAND, Ohio - Mayor Frank Jackson said that if an ethical or moral standard were applied to inspecting Cleveland's low-income rental homes for safety, about three quarters of it would be "closed up." Jackson made the comment last week when discussing the city's long awaited and soon-to-be implemented plan to start citywide inspections of rental units in response to its ongoing lead poisoning crisis. That crisis was revealed in 2015 by The Plain Dealer's Toxic Neglect series, which brought to light serious failings in how the city responded to cases of childhood lead poisoning. Without enough staff to keep up, less than half of the homes where children were poisoned over a recent five-year period were inspected, the newspaper's analysis found. "One of the reasons why our people are taking so long is because of that-- that decision around that moral dilemma," Jackson said during an annual meeting with reporters and editors. The dilemma, as Jackson explained it: if the city too quickly or too aggressively inspects rental properties for health hazards and safety violations such as peeling paint, mold and broken toilets, families may be put out of their homes and landlords unable to rent their properties. "If you're talking about a very mechanical kind of thing, you know, half of the places would be closed up," Jackson said. "If you're talking about it in terms of the ethical or moral thing, probably three quarters of the places would be closed up. It's the way it is." Reaction to Jackson's sweeping comments were mixed among those closest to the issue, some saying the mayor put a finger on a problem central to improving the safety of city housing; others arguing his off-the-cuff estimates exaggerate the problem and provide an easy excuse for delay or inaction.   The city's first-ever foray into routine rental inspections is scheduled to begin in the summer and will involve a new team of 13 inspectors hired with money from November's income tax increase. (LINK to timeline) In addition to interior and exterior peeling paint which may indicate lead hazards, inspectors will look for mold, excessive extension cord use, and ensure homes have basic necessities like hot and cold water, flushing toilets and working carbon monoxide detectors. A check list of what Cleveland's new rental inspection unit will look for in homes as they begin inspections in July. Jackson, again speaking at the meeting, expressed concern about green-lighting immediate citywide inspection of all rental properties or inspecting for "everything from lead to a leaking faucet, to a roof that's leaking, to a hole, some plaster off the wall, the need for paint." Instead, the city plans to phase in its inspections over a five-year period, focusing on specific safety issues in rental homes that are registered with the city. Listen to Jackson's comments in the audio player below. Jackson deals in unfortunate reality Some say the mayor's concerns and the city's five-year plan reflect an unfortunate reality in Cleveland. "He [Jackson] knows the situation. He's an absolute realist," said Tom Bier, a senior fellow at Cleveland State University's Levin College of Urban Affairs with 40 years of experience studying the city's housing market. Bier said it's more likely that about one-third of city rentals are in bad condition. In 2015, a citywide survey by the non-profit Thriving Communities Institute of residential and commercial properties found less then 5 percent of all structures to be in "D" or "F" condition, though it only examined the exterior of homes. Nobody thinks children should be living in unsafe housing, Bier said, and it makes sense to fix the problems upfront rather than pay steep medical and social costs later. But that's not the ways things work here: "It's brutal. But it's reality," he said. Meredith Greif, a sociologist and assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University said policy makers like Jackson have to consider how their actions will affect access to housing. Greif is part of a project that's conducted interviews with hundreds of low income families, landlords and court and policy makers in Baltimore, Dallas and Cleveland. On one hand, Greif says code enforcement helps ensure homes are livable, especially for poor children and families. But if landlords are hit with hefty fines for violations, what will happen? Some, she said, might get out of the business altogether. "It's a quandary," she said. "It's a terrible situation all around." Profit margins for landlords can be surprisingly thin, Greif said. There are some for whom the business is quite lucrative, but others report they usually break even or make only a small profit. "The vast majority of landlords with whom I spoke are not absentee, fly by night landlords but ones who have been in the business for quite some time, many well over a decade, and who report taking housing code rather seriously," Greif said. Cleveland Councilman Tony Brancatelli supports the phased approach to rolling out the new inspections, with ample time to educate landlords and give them a chance to make repairs before inspectors come knocking. "As much as I go after landlords, I want to make sure we think about and know the cost of this," he said. Some, especially those who want high "healthy housing" standards for mold and across-the-board use of the more stringent dust wipe tests for lead, might not be happy. Brancatelli thinks those standards, while admirable, would fail. The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority only targets peeling paint in its low-income unit inspections and that standard seems to work well, Brancatelli said. Kids in CMHA housing have lower rates of poisoning. "We want to make things safer for kids," he said. "But we need to move the bar slowly." No evidence for widespread displacement, advocates say Child health and housing advocates, though, take issue with several of the Mayor's statements. "We need to strongly resist the notion that a leaky faucet is the same risk (to children) as a neurotoxin," that can immediately and irreparably damage young developing brains like lead can, said Spencer Wells, a longtime housing advocate speaking on behalf of the newly-formed Cleveland Lead Safe Network.   The network hopes to encourage legislation that promotes "lead-safe" housing for kids, a standard that does not require homes to be completely free of lead, only for any known lead hazards to be controlled. It's a standard that protects kids and is affordable, Wells said. Making rental homes lead-free, on the other hand, can be prohibitively expensive for many homeowners without outside help. Still, Wells said, that's not what's required of property owners in most cases. The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires homes to be made lead-safe and then be maintained, for example. "Conflating lead-free and lead-safe leads folks to conclude, well, there's nothing we can do," Wells said. Dr. Aparna Bole, medical director of community integration and a pediatrician at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, was most concerned about Jackson's suggestion that rental inspections would displace families. "That hasn't been true at all in other cities that have implemented a rental inspection program," she said, including Rochester, New York (a city highlighted in The Plain Dealer's Toxic Neglect series which Cleveland used in part as a model for its plan) and Baltimore. "I'm the first to say that availability of affordable and safe housing stock is incredibly important to public health, so no part of me would want to recommend removing that housing. But that just hasn't been true anywhere else." Officials in Rochester said concerns similar to Jackson's were floated a decade ago when the city instituted citywide inspections for lead hazards that have since resulted in a more than 80 percent drop in the number of kids known to be poisoned by lead. The landlords who left the market, a housing official told The Plain Dealer, were ones who shouldn't have been there anyway. The rest adjusted. Yvonka Hall, a landlord and member of the Cleveland Lead Safe Network, agrees that many Cleveland landlords aren't making money hand over fist. They might need help -- zero-interest loans for window replacement, for example--in order to make their properties lead-safe. But children, who are the most vulnerable, deserve the most protection, said Hall, who served as director of the city's office of minority health until 2012. "If your whole campaign has been 'looking out for the least of us' then the children who are being poisoned would be at the top of that list, because they can't control their circumstances."
91 points by The Plain Dealer | Cleveland Frank G. Jackson Cleveland State University Lead Occupational safety and health Renting Lead poisoning The Plain Dealer
Goodyear to pay $1.75M after 4 deaths at Virginia factory
Goodyear will pay $1.75 million to settle workplace health and safety violations at its Danville, Virginia, tire plant where four workers died on the job over the course of a year, officials announced Friday. RICHMOND, Va.  -- Goodyear will pay $1.75 million to settle workplace health and safety violations at its Danville, Virginia, tire plant where four workers died on the job over the course of a year, officials announced Friday. Goodyear, the United Steelworkers and the state Department of Labor and Industry reached a settlement agreement calling for the penalty and laying out a process to fix workplace hazards, the department said in a statement. Between August 2015 and August 2016, four workers died at the plant near the North Carolina border that manufactures aviation and specialty tires. State inspectors conducted 11 inspections that resulted in more than 100 violations. Among the workers killed was 53-year-old Charles "Greg" Cooper, who died of burns and drowning. His body was found in April in a pit of boiling water and oil, 6 feet, 8 inches deep. Investigators found that the floor around the pit was slick with oil, grease and slurry and the opening Cooper fell into had been unguarded for more than five months since a sump pump had been removed. "While nothing will replace our sister and brothers who were fatally injured, the elements of the settlement agreement ... will greatly improve safety at the Danville plant," Danny Barber, the local union chapter president said in a statement. Akron, Ohio-based Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company will pay $1 million to the state, which will go into the general fund, assistant labor and industry Commissioner William Burge said. The remaining $750,000 can be used to fix hazards found in the inspections and to help meet the requirements of a workplace safety training program. The department's Occupational Safety and Health program issued the scores of violations in October, and the company contested them, which led to the settlement talks. Among the more serious violations cited were those in Cooper's death, along with instances in which dangerous machinery hadn't been properly guarded. The department said the lack of proper machine control-devices led to the death of Jeanie Strader, 56. Strader was attempting to straighten part of a machine in August 2015 when the operator turned it on and she became caught. Six months later, 54-year-old Kevin Waid Edmonds was killed when he became pinned between a wall and a pallet containing rubber. The fourth fatality occurred on Aug. 12, 2016, and violations in that death were detailed for the first time in Friday's settlement agreement. William Scheier was adjusting a machine that hadn't been properly turned off or shut down when it activated and a part struck him, according to a citation. With around 2,200 workers, the plant is the largest employer in the city of about 42,000. It's also one of the largest in the whole Southside region -- which has struggled economically as the textile, tobacco and furniture industries have declined, Danville Mayor John Gilstrap said. The plant, which marked its 50th anniversary in Danville in the fall, has "had a tremendous impact on the entire community," he said. The Associated Press couldn't immediately reach relatives of the victims for comment. A judge still must sign off on the settlement agreement. Burge said he expects the court documents to be filed within two weeks.
3 points by The Plain Dealer | Occupational safety and health Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company Tire 2015 2016 Occupational Safety and Health Administration Water Occupational health psychology
Baton Rouge to begin demolishing flood-damaged homes
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Baton Rouge Officials are preparing to tear down abandoned homes that were damaged from flooding in August. The city-parish said in a news release Monday that officials will start to condemn the abandoned units, with demolition expected to begin on some houses in the coming ...
-2 points by The Washington Times | Sun Myung Moon Occupational safety and health Public health The Washington Times English-language films Baton Rouge Louisiana Office Health
George Washington Bridge suicide jump sparks guard fears
The body of a 23-year-old man who jumped from the span landed close to a guard booth — an around-the-clock worry for workers tasked with hel...       
6 points by USA Today | Security guard Port Authority of New York and New Jersey George Washington Bridge Security Little Red Lighthouse Occupational safety and health Guard Washington Heights Manhattan
Contractor pays OSHA fine for Liberty Bridge fire without appeal
Joseph B. Fay Co. of West Deer, the contractor refurbishing the Liberty Bridge, has paid a federal fine for safety violations that led to September’s construction fire that closed the bridge for more than three weeks.
4 points by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Occupational safety and health Liquidated damages Steel Fine Closure Chord The Work
Man dies after becoming caught in machine at Kansas plant
GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) - Federal workplace safety officials say a man killed at a Kansas industrial plan became caught in a molding machine. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said in a news release that the 63-year-old plastics manager was killed Thursday at Fuller Industries LLC in Great Bend. ...
2 points by The Washington Times | Great Bend Kansas Occupational safety and health Fuller Brush Company Management Washington D.C. Occupational health psychology The Washington Times Release
Officials: Man working on WKU project falls, later dies
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) - Officials say a construction worker has died after he fell while working on a new building at Western Kentucky University last week. The Bowling Green Daily News reports ( that Andy Mays, president of Whittenberg Construction, the general contractor for the project, says the incident ...
2 points by The Washington Times | Kentucky Western Kentucky University Bowling Green Kentucky English-language films Occupational safety and health Building Independent films Construction
One dead, 10 sickened in Lake County Legionnaires' disease outbreak
The one person who died as a result of the disease was a 54-year-old Cuyahoga County man, A Lake County health official said Wednesday. EASTLAKE, Ohio -- One person is dead and 10 more people were sickened in a Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Lake County, the county's health commissioner said Wednesday.  Lake County investigators, alongside officials with the Ohio Department of Health and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, believe the Legionella bacteria was likely spouted into the air from cooling towers at Consolidated Precision Products (CPP) in Eastlake, Lake County Health Commissioner Ron Graham said. Three of the people who got the disease very likely contracted the bacteria from the plant, including the 54-year-old Cuyahoga County who died as a result of the disease in August, Graham said. All three patients worked either at CPP or directly-neighboring businesses, and they all contracted the disease during the summer months. CPP fully cooperated with the investigation, thoroughly cleaning their cooling towers on Nov. 9, Graham said. No bacteria was found during the post-cleaning tests, the results of which were released Wednesday. Only two of the other Legionnaires' disease cases can likely be linked to CPP. The additional six cases appear to be unrelated to the business, though a definitive link may never be made to bacteria found at CPP because none of the patients were not given blood tests that would reveal specific bacteria strains, Graham said. All eight patients have since recovered.  Lake County health officials will continue to monitor for new cases, as well as look into local businesses with cooling towers so that further education about Legionella bacteria can be provided, Graham said. Legionella bacteria is transmitted through the air or water, not through person-to-person contact. Not everyone exposed to the bacteria becomes sick, but those who do get Legionnaires' disease experience symptoms similar to a severe form of pneumonia.
222 points by The Plain Dealer | Legionella Epidemiology Legionellosis Lake County Ohio Cooling tower Cuyahoga County Ohio Occupational safety and health Death
'The wall came in,' says survivor of deadly 2013 collapse
It was "out of the blue," recalled Felicia Hill. One moment, Hill testified, she was chatting with Salvation Army coworker Nadine White, complimenting her about the way she did her hair.
9 points by The Philadelphia Inquirer | The Salvation Army Occupational safety and health Philadelphia Demolition The Streets Defamation United States Army Gross negligence
3 roofers hurt when scaffolding gives way at Rochester home
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say a man is in critical condition after he and two co-workers were injured when scaffolding gave way as they worked on a roofing project on a Rochester home. Police say four contractors were standing on scaffolding at a house on the city's northeast side ...
3 points by The Washington Times | New York Washington D.C. Accident English-language films Occupational safety and health The Washington Times Man Ireland
Michigan plans surprise inspections of demolition sites
DETROIT (AP) - Michigan's workplace safety agency plans to step up unannounced inspections of demolition sites around the state to ensure workers are properly protected against hazards such as exposure to asbestos. The Detroit Free Press reports ( ) the Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Administration says the one-year initiative ...
-1 points by The Washington Times | Occupational safety and health Detroit Detroit Free Press Occupational health psychology Newspaper Material safety data sheet Asbestos The Detroit News
Mich. plans surprise inspections at demo sites
Yearlong effort aims to protect workers from asbestos, lead and cadmium at demolition sites in Detroit, elsewhere        
-1 points by Detroit Free Press | Occupational safety and health Detroit Homelessness Detroit Free Press Michigan Asbestos abatement Asbestos Safety
NFL to review Panthers' medical handling of Newton hit
NEW YORK (AP) - The NFL will review how the Panthers' medical team handled a hit to Cam Newton's head during Carolina's loss to Denver in the season opener. The league said Sunday that it wants to ensure the concussion protocol is being "uniformly applied across all 32 teams." So ...
-1 points by The Washington Times | National Hockey League The Players English-language films New York Occupational safety and health
Gov. Cuomo announces $5M grant to train workers on hazards
Studies indicate that as many as three quarters of workers do not take steps to address workplace hazards out of fear of retaliation.
14 points by Daily News | New York City Trade union Occupational safety and health Employment Non-profit organization Occupational health psychology Manhattan Grant
Company in manhole death settled after previous incident

156 points by Atlanta Journal Constitution | Employment Occupational safety and health Gwinnett County Georgia Sugar Hill Georgia Natural gas Zoning The Station nightclub fire Construction