Archive for August, 2015

Crane Collapses While Moving Church Steeple

The boom of a crane removing a 150 year old wooden steeple from a church in Milton, Nova Scotia, Canada on Friday, collapsed dropping it the ground and bringing down the local power lines.

The crane, a Link Belt 8690 truck crane, rented from All Erection was working with a full five section boom plus swing-away extension, and had lifted the steeple clear of the building when it appears to have been caught in the wind a little.

steeple crane 1

The crane lifts the steeple from the church with full stick

The crane slewed round and clearly sensing issues with the boom the operator started to lower it as fast as he could, but it was too late for the boom, the fourth section folded close to its base, dropping the load to the ground where it smashed into a large number of pieces. It also brought down a number of overhead lines tripping the power supply to the area.

crane steeple 2

As the operator tried to lower the load the boom gave way

Thankfully no was hurt or injured and the only damage was to the crane, the power lines and the steeple, which was the first stage in moving the old church to a new location in the town. Crowds came along to watch the event and a full video was taken of the lift as it  happened.

Check out the video below.

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Federal court cites Kansas City foundry for contempt

Federal court cites Kansas City foundry for contempt

- Associated Press 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – A federal judge has found the owner of a Kansas City foundry in criminal contempt of court for refusing to allow a federal inspection required after a worker was found to have high blood lead levels, the U.S. Department of Labor said.

Darrell Stone, owner of Martin Foundry, was found in criminal contempt after resisting an April court order to cooperate with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which was responding to a report of an elevated blood lead level in a foundry employee, the Labor Department said Friday.

Stone and representatives from Compliance Professionals, which worked with the foundry on safety compliance issues, were ordered to pay $10,000 together to reimburse the department. They were also fined about $1,000 for failing to cooperate, and three consultants also had to pay $2,000 fines for refusing to comply with the warrant for the inspection.

“We believe it’s really the first time in OSHA history that a company was found in criminal contempt for not allowing OSHA inspectors to inspect after a judge’s order,” Labor Department spokesman Scott Allen said in an email.

OSHA tried to inspect the foundry in March after state health officials notified the agency that a recent test showed that a foundry employee had high levels of lead in his blood. Excessive lead in the blood can cause serious health problems, including anemia and damage to the brain and kidneys, according to the department.

The department said after Stone refused to allow the OSHA inspectors in, inspectors returned with a warrant to complete the inspection and were once again refused entry. Once OSHA initiated court proceedings, the agency inspectors were able to complete the inspection, which Allen said is ongoing.

Stone denied preventing OSHA from inspecting the foundry, and said Friday that it was his blood that had been shown to have excessive lead. He said he told the OSHA inspectors the high level was his own, and that he felt the elevated level was from regularly handling shotgun shells, and not from the foundry, which makes brass and aluminum castings.

“I think they overreacted,” Stone said. He said he was also cited in 2013 for contaminated air at the foundry, but he took steps to fix that problem. Stone said he has also since changed to a no-lead brass at the foundry.

Compliance Professionals could not be reached for comment.

More than 50,000 U.S. workers die from occupational exposure to lead, asbestos and other substances, OSHA said in a release.

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Working at 1,000 feet!

crane world trade center

It’s safe to say that in this industry, workers need to be capable of operating under extreme conditions. This picture was taken from the 93rd floor of One World Trade Center in New York City. AN excerpt from the original article in July 2012 explains the details of this incredible production:

Over 1,000 feet above the streets of New York City, workers dangle precariously from a crane extending from the 93rd floor of One World Trade Center.

With nothing more than safety harnesses protecting them from a deadly fall, the brave workers operate at vertigo-inducing heights as the building approaches its topping out height of 1368 feet. Their awesome view extends across Manhattan island, with the Empire State Building visible in the distance, which One World Trade Center replaced as the tallest skyscraper in New York City in April of this year. A $3.8 billion replacement for the original World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, which were destroyed in the September 11th terrorist attacks of 2001, One World Trade Center’s steel skeleton extends above floor 104 and concrete is being added above the 93rd.

It was estimated that this month construction of the main structure would reach its expected 1,368 feet, leaving only the 408-foot-tall telecommunications spire to be installed, beginning this summer.  The daredevil workers are part of multiple teams working to install the concrete casing around the steel rivets as the building rises to its final height of 1,776 feet. Formerly called the Freedom Tower and located at the northwest corner of the original WTC site, the skyscraper is being constructed according to a revised design that was finalized in June 2005.

crane wtc

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Maine DOL Hosting Workgroup to Study Drug Testing and Impacts of Marijuana in the Workplace

Augusta, ME (WorkersCompensation.com) – The Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Standards will be hosting a workgroup this year to study issues related to the Maine employee drug testing law and medical marijuana in the workplace. The Bureau has scheduled a number of meetings over the summer for presentations and discussions of research and selected topics.

“Both employers and employees need laws with clear standards that are enforceable,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “These laws address substance use and abuse in the workplace. Impaired workers, whether they are using drugs or alcohol, can put co-workers, clients, and property at risk of injury, damage, or worse. Well-informed, common-sense reforms can make our workplaces safer.”

This past Legislative session, the Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development (LCRED) tabled the Department of Labor’s proposed changes to the existing workplace drug-testing statue in LD 1384, “An Act To Improve Workplace Safety by Simplifying and Improving Employers’ Substance Abuse Policy Requirements”, which was based on research and surveys conducted last year by the department. This extra time provides state officials and stakeholders with the opportunity to study additional concerns about marijuana, for both medical and potentially legal personal use, in relation to the workplace.

Meetings and research activities will be scheduled through the summer and early fall to develop recommendations on those policy issues to be brought to the Legislature in January 2016. The following meetings will be held at the Department of Labor offices at 45 Commerce Drive in Augusta:

June 16 – Study group planned activities and assignments, 9 a.m., Frances Perkins Room July 1 – Medical and narcotic properties of marijuana, 9 a.m., SafetyWorks! Training Institute July 14 – Exemption for employers with federal testing programs, 9 a.m., SafetyWorks! Training Institute July 29 – Employers concerns/issues with medical marijuana in the workplace, 9 a.m., SafetyWorks! Training Institute
Aug 11 – How to gauge impairment? Studies and options, 9 a.m., SafetyWorks! Training Institute Aug 18 – EAPs, substance abuse rehab programs, costs and options, 9 a.m., SafetyWorks! Training Institute
Sep 3 – What is a significant first accident to determine probable cause? 9 a.m., SafetyWorks! Training Institute Sep 9 – Catch-up and Wrap-up, 9 a.m., Frances Perkins Room The Bureau plans to complete its informational meetings and discussions by mid-September in order to be able to prepare a draft report by mid-October, allowing a final report to be prepared for the Committee by the end of 2015.

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