Investigation Opens at Battery Plant in Kentucky

Mold reports prompt inspection

  • Officials in Kentucky are investigating reports of workers exposed to mold on the construction site of the BlueOval SK Battery Park near the Glendale area of the state.
  • The site’s mold problem can trigger allergic reactions, as well as asthma attacks in some people, according to federal guidance, and “exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.”
  • Enforcement records from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration show four different inspections currently open at addresses within the site area, including one driven by complaints, since December.
  • Several more inspection cases have been closed since the site broke ground early last year, though the results of those are unclear.
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OSHA mulling more heat regulations

  • A new rule from OSHA could for the first time provide federal protection against heat exposure.
  • It would require companies to invest in employees’ well-being during the hottest parts of the year, nonprofit climate news organization Grist reports.
  • Over the past several months, the agency held dozens of public meetings and collected more than 1,000 comments, many from workers but also a number from businesses and business associations worried about the impact any rule regarding heat exposure might have on their bottom line.
  • The new policy, which OSHA plans to publish later this year, would require education programs to teach workers and managers how to recognize heat-related illnesses
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VPPPA and Roco Rescue develop a safety partnership

  • Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’​ Association Inc. (VPPPA) and Roco Rescue have entered into a strategic partnership agreement, marking a significant milestone for both organizations.
  • Roco Rescue is the first to join VPPPA’s recently launched Strategic Partner Program. This collaboration is rooted in the shared commitment to advance health and safety excellence.
  • Roco Rescue specializes in providing cutting-edge training in confined spaces, high angle, fall protection, trench, structural collapse, and other rescue and rope access disciplines.
  • Since 2013, the company has been recognized as an OSHA VPP Star Worksite.
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Alabama firm faces fines after employee’s death

  • A 33-year-old concrete finisher collapsed at a Huntsville, Alabama, construction site after showing clear signs of heat illness, a tragedy that federal safety investigators found could have been prevented had the employer followed established safety practices for heat hazards.
  • An OSHA investigation found workers of SJ&L General Contractor LLC were hand-forming concrete curbs when – as the heat index neared 107 degrees and humidity climbed to 85 percent – the worker was seen by coworkers stumbling, talking incoherently and eventually vomiting before becoming unresponsive.
  • Though employees provided first aid and paramedics transported the worker to the hospital, the worker died only two hours after being admitted.
  • The employer faces $16,131 in proposed penalties, an amount set by federal statute.
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