News Digest 1-14-2020


Subcontractor dies in North Carolina warehouse chemical leak

An anhydrous ammonia leak at an Iredell County, North Carolina cold storage warehouse last week resulted in the death of a subcontractor and injuries to three other people, including two first responders, who also were exposed. WSOC [with video]


Nebraska man dies after tire explosion

Fed-OSHA is investigating after a 49-year-old man was killed by a large commercial vehicle wheel that had been connected to an air hose at a rural Nebraska business. As the tire was inflating, the steel wheel blew away from the tire and struck him. Nebraska City News-Press


Indiana farmer dies in grain bin accident

Despite the efforts of dozens of neighbors and first responders to rescue him, a 66-year-old Indiana farmer died last week after being smothered in a bin of soybeans at a farm near Evansville, Indiana. The man was emptying the bin with his son when the beans became stuck. UPI


Wisconsin manufacturer fined $171K for lead, copper dust exposures

Following an inspection last July, Fed-OSHA has fined a Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin manufacturing company more than $171,000 after charging that it exposed employees to unacceptable levels of lead and copper dust. The company also was cited for violations related to respiratory protection and walking and working surfaces. WKOW


Fed-OSHA investigating fumes at delivery facility in New Hampshire

Fed-OSHA is investigating after three workers reportedly were made ill by chemical fumes from cleaning products early Thursday morning at the Amazon delivery station in Nashua, New Hampshire. No abnormal readings were discovered inside the building, the company’s first delivery station in the state. New Hampshire Union-Leader


Winter weather work-related risks

Winter weather poses significant dangers to those who work outdoors. The extreme cold of January 2019 left 21 people dead; those who work outside are highly susceptible to cold, ice and snow. There are no OSHA-specific standards concerning work in cold environments, but the agency provides information about possible hazards that workers may face during and after a winter storm. Forbes


MSHA to focus on contractor safety and compliance

During the final months of 2019, the Mine Safety and Health Administration advised the mining community that it would pay attention to issues involving contractors working at mine sites, noting a disproportionate number of accidents involving contractor employees. Under MSHA’s recently announced Contractor Training Assistance Initiative, mine inspectors and personnel from MSHA’s Educational Field and Small Mine Services (EFSMS) will visit mines where contractors are likely to be present to address “the effectiveness of contractors’ training programs and the safety of contractors,” writes Arthur M. Wolfson of law firm Fisher Phillips. Lexology