News Digest 5-16-2019


Concrete pump truck collapse kills Texas worker

A 48-year-old man who was pouring concrete at the hose end of a boom died after the weight apparently shifted, causing the entire apparatus to become unbalanced, striking him in the head, at a Smith County, Texas worksite. KETK [with video]


Fed-OSHA cites Nebraska employer for trench collapse

A Gretna, Nebraska-based contractor has been fined more than $106,000 by Fed-OSHA following a trench collapse in Lincoln that seriously injured two workers. According to the agency, the two employees were injured when a portion of the trench wall caved in as they repaired fiber optic cable. KOLN (Lincoln, Neb.)


Two contractors fined for asbestos hazards at K-State library rehab

Fed-OSHA has cited two Kansas City-based contractors more than $230,000 in combined penalties for cited asbestos exposure-related violations in connection with rehabilitation work at a Kansas State University library. Citations include failing to provide properly dispose of material and waste containing asbestos, and failing to conduct medical surveillance for employees. WIBW (Topeka, Kan.)


Audit finds safety hazards at mail processing facilities

An audit by the Inspector General finds that Postal Service mail processing facilities do not consistently meet prescribed building safety, maintenance, or security standards. Identified problems include maintenance, including severely damaged roofing, ceilings, and infrastructure, rodent problems and unsanitary bathrooms, unsecure vehicles and perimeter fences, and non-functioning security cameras. FEDWeek


Small hot-spot at site of factory explosion does not pose danger, officials say

Fire officials in Waukegan, Illinois say there’s no danger from a small hot spot on the site of the silicone factory that exploded May 3. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board says it has deployed a three-person team to the scene. Four people died as a result of the explosion, three inside the plant and one later at a hospital. Lake County News-Sun


University of Utah lab workers at risk: Audit

Two University of Utah students suffered chemical burns in engineering labs the past two years despite safety inspections that identified major deficiencies just before the incidents, a state legislative audit has found. The audit identified inadequate safety practices in other academic labs where records show some employees working for years without a vaccine they had requested. The two separate incidents within 13 months in the same research group at the engineering lab was not surprising, based on a history of uncorrected safety hazards, auditors wrote. Deseret News


New York: Rochester health center faces $13K in penalties for training, exposure hazards

Fed-OSHA has fined a Rochester, New York health center that handles dental and medical care for lower-income individuals $13,000 for violations identified earlier this year including failure to properly prepare plans and procedures for employees, like dentists and physicians, handling blood and other potentially infectious materials. The original total penalty was over $20,000, but the agency amended the citations and reduced penalties. The center also failed to ensure that employees went through training on occupational exposure, and didn’t maintain a log of all recordable occupational injuries or illnesses. Democrat & Chronicle