News Digest 5-7-2019

Deadly explosion at Chicago-area silicone plant

After a silicone plant in Waukegan, Illinois exploded on Friday night, search teams recovered the body of a worker in the rubble Sunday, bringing the death toll to three. As of Monday, a fourth person was unaccounted for and presumed dead. A representative for the company said the three men who did not escape were actively mixing products at the time, and reportedly alerted others that something was wrong and they should evacuate the facility. WLS (Chicago) [with video]


Fed-OSHA fines Texas meatpacking plant $615K for hazardous chemical release

Fed-OSHA has cited a San Antonio meatpacking business for exposing workers to the releases of hazardous chemicals and fined it more than $615,000. The agency determined the plant did not implement a required process safety management program for operating an ammonia refrigeration unit containing more than 10,000 lbs. of anhydrous ammonia. KIDY (San Angelo, Texas)


Nevada has strict regs for crane ops

Construction cranes are a familiar sight in southern Nevada, but experts say strict protections are in place to prevent a crane collapse like the one that recently killed four people in downtown Seattle, that occurred as a crew reportedly was disassembling the crane at the new Google Seattle campus. Las Vegas Review-Journal


Workplace fatalities: When is safety negligence a crime?

In 2017, there were 37 workplace fatalities in Idaho, about half transportation-related, and a count that tied for the highest in the last decade. Some states, including California, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Maine, New York and Washington, have prosecuted employers in homicide cases, following an employee’s death. But such prosecutions have not been pursued in Idaho. Post Register (Idaho Falls, Idaho)


Rhode Island construction worker falls to death at home site

A 46-year-old construction worker died after apparently tripping on boards and falling from scaffolding at a home in Providence, Rhode Island last week. Fed-OSHA is investigating. Houston Chronicle


Amazon settles over citations at Idaho plant

Amazon has reached an informal settlement with Fed-OSHA for four cited violations, including failing to log an injury, at its new modular distribution center in Nampa, Idaho. The agency proposed an initial penalty of just over $1,600 in March; as of Friday, the fine had been lifted. Idaho Statesman


New Mexico construction worker killed in outage incident

A construction worker was killed in an incident that led to a power outage impacting portions of Farmington, New Mexico on Monday. A city official was unable to provide details about the type of work the concrete contractor was conducting or how the worker died. Farmington Daily Times