News Digest 2-23-2021


White House COVID advisor can’t explain why Florida, California have similar numbers despite strict California restrictions

White House Senior Adviser for COVID Response Andy Slavitt last week said Florida and California having similar coronavirus numbers despite California having strict restrictions is an example of some things about the virus being “a little bit beyond our explanation.” Breitbart


Agencies: Food, food packaging unlikely to spread COVID-19

Highlighting a September 2020 opinion from the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Department of Agriculture last week underscored the international consensus that no credible evidence shows food or food packaging is a source of transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19, according to Keller and Heckman LLP. National Law Review


Fed-OSHA cites railcar company for two deaths at Oklahoma facility

Fed-OSHA has cited a railcar services company in connection with an incident last year that resulted in two fatalities, and proposed more than $419,000 in penalties. The alleged violations include 11 classified as serious and two as willful. According to the agency, the employer failed to require a permit to allow entry into the railcar, ventilate the space, monitor hazards inside a confined space and complete entry permits for work inside a confined space. Freight Waves


Mechanical failure causes crane incident in midtown Atlanta

Crews worked over the weekend to stabilize a tower crane found leaning from a midtown Atlanta high-rise Friday. multiple buildings, restaurants, and parking decks in the area were evacuated. CBS 46


Film showcases farming danger

Entrapment and full engulfment in a grain bin can occur very quickly when an augur is running or grain is flowing for any other reason. According to Fed-OSHA, a person in a bin has only two seconds to react once grain starts flowing. Entrapment can occur in four to five seconds, and full engulfment can result in only 22 seconds. A new film shows what happens during a grain bin entrapment. KPC (Kendallville, Ind.)


Contractor dies in fall at Florida power plant

A contractor who reportedly had been performing work on scaffolding died Monday following a fall at Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Station. In 2017, the operator of the plant was cited by Fed-OSHA after five employees died and another suffered serious burns after molten slag was suddenly released from a tank that was being cleaned. WFLA