South Carolina Trying to Overturn OSHA Fine Levels

State takes another shot at reversing OSHA fines

  • South Carolina is once again challenging OSHA’s insistence that state workplace safety agencies must have maximum fine levels that match federal penalties.
  • The decision could lead to reduced fine levels in states with their own worker safety programs if a court rules in South Carolina’s favor.
  • In August, Gov, Henry McMaster filed a lawsuit against OSHA on behalf of South Carolina in regards to the federal agency changing penalty requirements for states.
  • McMaster cites federal action by OSHA that revoked Arizona’s state plan for failing to change and worries that the same actions could be taken against South Carolina.
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OSHA begins investigation into Bruning elevator

  • OSHA is investigating the grain elevator at Bruning Grain and Feed Co. where a man’s body was found last month in Hastings, Nebraska.
  • The body of 43-year-old Jamie Balluch was in one of the grain bins on site.
  • Balluch was an employee of the company and had been reported as a missing person Feb. 2. Authorities had initially said his disappearance was suspicious.
  • An OSHA spokesperson said no further information would be available until the investigation was completed, which by law can take up to six months.
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Amazon loses worker safety lawsuit

  • A lawsuit by Amazon that tried to undermine Washington state’s effort to improve warehouse worker safety has been dismissed by a federal judge.
  • In March 2022, Washington state’s Department of Labor & Industries hit Amazon with a $60,000 fine for a “willful serious violation” of safety rules at the company’s warehouse in Kent.
  • The state also required Amazon to submit a written plan to abate future violations.
  • Amazon has been fined a total of $81,000 by the agency from violations in warehouses in Kent, DuPont, and Sumner, according to L&I records.
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Worker struck and killed by front-end loader

  • An employee of a Kansas City waste disposal site was killed after being hit by a Volvo heavy front-end loader.
  • Initial reports were that a pedestrian was fatally struck by the vehicle, but it was later determined the victim was working at the site.
  • Authorities declared her dead shortly after the crash. The driver was not injured.
  • It’s the 13th vehicle-related fatality reported in Kansas City for 2023 and there had been 26 fatalities reported by this time in 2022, according to reports.
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