Posts Tagged ‘accidents’

Everyone Should See This: Downed Power Lines

Please watch this short video. This applies to the general public regarding downed power lines and the safety precautions to take if you ever find yourself in this situation. This information is vital and could be the different between life and death.

A big “Thank You” to Dave Grafton of Grafton Consulting Services for sharing this with us.

Behr Iron & Steel Inc. Pleads Guilty to OSHA Violation Causing Death of Employee

A Rockford-based company pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Iain D. Johnston to willfully violating Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations, resulting in the death of an employee at the company’s facility in South Beloit, Ill.

BEHR IRON & STEEL INC., a high volume ferrous and nonferrous scrap processor, admitted in a plea agreement that on March 10, 2014, the company failed to provide lockout/tagout protection and confined space protection as required under OSHA regulations for the company’s employees who were cleaning a shredder discharge pit.  The company admitted that those violations caused the death of an employee who got caught in a moving, unguarded conveyor belt.

The Company faces a maximum sentence of 5 years’ probation, a maximum fine of $500,000, and restitution to the victim employee in an amount determined by the Court.  Sentencing is scheduled for July 12, 2016, at 1:30 p.m.

The guilty plea was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Ken Nishiyama Atha, Regional Administrator of OSHA in Chicago.

“Justice cannot restore life to the victim whose body was crushed because Behr Iron and Steel failed to provide protection from dangerous machinery on the job,” said Mr. Atha.  “Safety training at the plant was woefully insufficient.  Behr must be held responsible by the courts for ignoring safety standards and failing in its obligation to protect its workers on the job.”

Behr’s South Beloit facility recycles metals contained in such things as automobiles and refrigerators.  According to the plea agreement, OSHA regulations require employers to adopt safety procedures to ensure that dangerous machines are properly shut off and unable to start up again prior to the completion of maintenance or servicing work.  The safety procedures include placing a lock on the power source of the machine and a tag on the lock warning that the machine cannot be operated until the warning is removed, and identifying the employee who has the key to the lock.  OSHA also promulgated regulations that address the need to protect employees from entering a confined space without safety precautions.

Metals shredded through a shredding machine in Behr’s South Beloit facility fall onto a conveyor belt located about ten feet underground in a shredder discharge pit, which was approximately six feet long and six feet wide.  The shredded materials were then moved by a conveyor belt out of the discharge pit and through a sorting process.  Some of the shredded metals fall onto the ground of the discharge pit near the conveyor belt.  One or two Behr employees working on the shredding machine were required to clean the discharge pit on a daily basis.  The employees shoveled shredded materials from the floor of the discharge pit onto the running conveyor belt.

On March 10, 2014, a Behr employee was cleaning the discharge pit when the employee’s arm was caught by the unguarded conveyor belt.  The employee was pulled into the machinery and killed.

Behr admitted that there was no lock or operable emergency shut off switch in the discharge pit for the conveyor belt, and the conveyor belt did not have guards designed to protect employees.  Behr also admitted that employees in the discharge pit were not adequately trained to use the shredder or the conveyor belt, and that the company had not developed and implemented confined space protection for employees entering the discharge pit.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott R. Paccagnini.

Man Injured in TriBeCa Crane Collapse Plans To Sue City for $30M

A 73-year-old man who suffered spinal and skull fractures after a 565-foot crane in TriBeCa crashed down on him while he sat in his parked car last month is planning to sue the city for $30 million, claiming the city was negligent and reckless.

Thomas O’Brien filed a notice of claim against the city Friday — the first step in eventually suing the city — saying the city is responsible for the massive Feb. 5 collapse on Worth Street that left one man dead because of its “negligence, recklessness and carelessness” in overseeing the safety of the giant crawler crane.

“[The City] knew perfectly well that there were very high winds in the forecast,” said O’Brien’s lawyer Jonathan Damashek. “They knew this was a potentially dangerous crane and they should have taken down that crane early, and fully closed down the street.”

According to city officials, construction workers were trying to lower the Bay Crane Company crawler crane and secure it as 25 mph winds gusted through the area about 8:24 a.m., when it toppled over, sending its 565-foot-long arm smashing onto Worth Street stretching from West Broadway to Church Street.

tribeca crane collapse

Department of Buildings officials had been at the site the day before the accident,officials said, and approved the work being done at 60 Hudson St. The crane had been extended to replace air conditioners and generators on the roof of the building, the former Western Union headquarters.

In the immediate aftermath of the collapse, Mayor de Blasio issued emergency  crane regulations in the city, calling for cranes to be secured when winds were forecast to consistently exceed 20 mph or when gusts were predicted to exceed 30 mph, while a special task force studied best practices for crane operations.

But less than two months after the change, the task force recommended relaxing the restrictions, allowing for cranes to once again operate at 30 mph winds — the city’s original limit — in what critics reportedly saw as a bow to pressure from construction companies.

The group also recommended that cranes unsafe to operate at 30 mph should not be allowed to be used at all.

In the notice of claim, first reported by the New York Daily News, O’Brien, who lives in Massachusetts, says he suffered spinal cord injuries and skull fractures when the crane crushed his car.

The enormous collapse killed 38-year-old Upper West Side man David Wichs and injured several others.

O’Brien’s lawyer said his client is still being evaluated for brain injuries and he may need surgery for his two spinal fractures.

Damashek said they also plan on suing the crane owner, its operator and the owner of 60 Hudson St.

A spokesman for the city law department said the city is reviewing the claim.

A DOB spokesman told DNAinfo New York in a statement that “the cause of the crane collapse on Worth Street remains under active investigation.”

The spokesman added that even though the city has “the most robust crane and construction regulations and inspection requirements in the country,” a task force investigating the accidents is slated to “propose additional best practices and regulations where necessary.”



Project supervisor jailed in construction accident that killed Mississauga dad, three others

Four workers, including one from Mississauga, died when they fell 14 storeys at an Etobicoke construction site back on Christmas Eve, 2009.

Monday in a Toronto courtroom, the project manager involved the deadly scaffolding collapse, one of the worst workplace accidents in the GTA in recent memory, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison.

Vadim Kazenelson, a former supervisor for Metron Construction, was found guilty last June of four counts of criminal negligence causing death and one count of criminal negligence causing bodily injury for the Dec. 24, 2009 incident at 2757 Kipling Ave.

Vladimir Korostin, 40, of Mississauga, and Toronto residents Aleksey Blumberg, 32, Alexander Bondorev, 25, and Fayzullo Fazilov, 31, were killed when their scaffold collapsed at the Kipling Ave. apartment building under construction.

Then-21-year-old Dilshod Mamurov, who was not secured properly to his lifeline, clung briefly to the broken equipment before falling and suffering broken legs and a broken spine.

A sixth worker, Shohruh Tojiddinov, who was properly connected to his harness, survived unharmed. Tojiddinov previously testified in court that, as project manager, Kazenelson didn’t insist crew members be attached to lifelines. He also testified Kazenelson asked him to lie about the incident afterward.

Metron Construction was ordered to pay a $750,000 fine after pleading guilty to criminal negligence causing death in 2012.

scaffold accident

The company’s owner, Joel Swartz, was also ordered to pay $112,500 after pleading guilty to four violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Evidence showed Metron’s scaffold had a defective design that could not withstand the weight of the workers and their equipment. There were also not enough lifelines to secure the workers.

Korostin, a divorced father of two, always put his girls first, and left Israel in part because he worried about them doing mandatory military service once they completed high school, family members said.

He also thought Canada would be a better fit for his family, who are Orthodox Christian and originally from the tiny community of Guzar, Uzbekistan, which is predominantly Muslim.

The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) meanwhile, launched a “Kill a Worker, Go to Jail” campaign immediately after the tragedy and called the sentencing decision for Kazenelson “historic” and noted that “his conviction and sentencing is the first of its kind in Ontario.”

“This court has the opportunity to make history by throwing Mr. Kazenelson behind bars, but justice won’t be fully served as long as only supervisors go to jail,” OFL President Chris Buckley said in a prepared statement before Monday’s hearing.


Father dead, son critical after crane collapse during photoshoot in Brisbane

A man is dead and his son is in a critical condition after the crane they were in collapsed in Newstead, north of the Brisbane CBD, last night.

The pair were taking photographs from the bucket crane when it fell onto Longland Street about 7.15pm.

Witnesses rushed to help and paramedics and firefighters were called to the scene, where they worked to remove the men from the crane.

“It was a tragic incident, very, very lucky, however, that there weren’t other pedestrians in its way,” witness James Small said.

The older man died and his son was taken to the Royal Brisbane Hospital in a critical condition, the Queensland Ambulance Service said.

The younger man remains in a critical condition in hospital.

Longland Street is closed today, with the crane and debris still strewn across the street.

Queensland Police has asked motorists to avoid the area.