News Digest 4-17-2019


Hazmat incident after industrial explosion in Massachusetts

Three employees at a Taunton, Massachusetts industrial plant were injured early Sunday morning in an explosion. Responders were informed at the time that hazardous materials might have been released into the air. Fed-OSHA is investigating. Taunton Gazette


Woman’s quest to change New Hampshire laws about to yield results

Samantha Wooten, whose father died in a job-related accident in 2016 when he was trapped between a tractor and the trailer it was hauling while working for a local highway department, has been trying for three years to get state labor laws changed to better protect public-sector employees. The New Hampshire Senate on Thursday is scheduled to vote on a bill that would require more aggressive action by the state Department of Labor after serious workplace accidents. New Hampshire Union-Leader


Lawsuit claims employer refused to allow shelter during tornado

At least 22 employees have filed a complaint with Fed-OSHA alleging their employer did not allow them to take shelter during a March tornado in Paducah, Kentucky. The state averages 23 tornadoes a year, according to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center. AccuWeather


OSHRC reverses decision in heat stress case

In late February, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission issued a much anticipated decision in a case involving the death of a 60-year-old temporary employee after he suffered a heat stroke on his first day on the job. The case involved two citations, one that Fed-OSHA issued under the general duty clause and another alleging the company failed to provided adequate heat-related training. National Law Review


Opioid usage, aging workers pose a threat to safety in the shop

The opioid epidemic and the aging population are affecting the manufacturing workforce, and fabricators are challenged with trying to take on these issues while maintaining productivity and keeping the workplace safe, attendees at the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association’s Safety Conference in Lexington, Kentucky heard last week. The Fabricator


Top fines in 1Q

Falls played a prominent role in the most recent quarter’s list of cited violations. Another of Fed-OSHA’s “Fatal Four” hazards, those involving electrical injuries, took the top spot. In the first three months of 2019, the largest fine came from a state plan, the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health program. Construction Dive