Risks is the TUC's weekly newsletter for safety reps and others, sponsored by Thompsons Solicitors.
Meditation lessons ‘not the answer to brutal police cuts’
Record high stress shows bosses need to fix bad jobs
Under-resourced fire crews left to tackle flood dangers
Train track sewage risks ‘could lead to strikes’
RMT steps up strike action over SWR driver only plans
Dismay at ‘bombardment’ of attacks on firefighters
Welsh teachers want aggression tackled
Retail staff facing routine ‘shocking’ violence
Stark warning to employers on the cost of work stress
Unions back Suzy Lamplugh work violence charter
Union calls for safety assurances after theatre ceiling collapse
Drone registration scheme will improve safety, say UK pilots
Manslaughter charges over 2015 mill blast deaths
Dairy farm fined after worker blinded by disinfectant
Australia: Another state to get a safer silica standard
Brazil: Dam owner Vale failed to report deadly danger signs
Japan: Microsoft four-day week shows less works better
USA: Chemical firm fined $1.59m after deadly explosion
A US silicone factory has been fined $1.59 million (£1.23m) for safety violations that were uncovered following a blast on 3 May 2019 that killed four workers. The deadly incident in Waukegan, around 50 miles north of Chicago, happened at AB Specialty Silicones where the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) identified 12 ‘wilful’ federal safety violations. The regulator found AB Specialty Silicones failed to ensure that electrical equipment and installations in the production area of the plant complied with OSHA electrical standards and were approved for hazardous locations. The company also used forklifts powered by liquid propane to transport volatile flammable liquids and operated these forklifts in areas where employees handled and processed volatile flammable liquids and gases, creating the potential for ignition. Nine employees were on the site at the time of the blast. Four workers were found dead in the rubble, three were injured and two escaped unharmed. Loren Sweatt, a Labor Department principal deputy assistant secretary for OSHA, said: “Employers must employ hazard recognition to protect workers from harm, especially in high hazard industries. By ignoring safety and health requirements, this employer created an unsafe work environment with deadly consequences.” OSHA acting regional administrator Nancy Hauter said: “An employer's adherence to safety and health standards, including the proper use of electrical equipment and forklifts when handling flammable liquids, is critical to preventing fire, explosions and other incidents that can seriously or fatally injure workers.” OSHA has now placed the company on its ‘Severe Violator Enforcement Program’. AB Specialty Silicones has not indicated yet whether it intends to contest the penalty.
OSHA news release.
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