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Teen Killed in Propane Blast

A 17 year old employee of a farm supply store near Minneapolis-St.Paul was killed yesterday when a propane tank exploded in front of the store. Another teen was injured.

An OSHA inspection of the business on Feb. 17 found two violations related to the handling and storage of compressed gases. One violation was classified as serious.

Read more here.

Jail Time for Employer in Teen Worker’s Death

The owner of a New Hampshire farm was sentenced to ten months in jail for negligent homicide following the death of a 17 year old worker, who was crushed in her barn. Travis DeSimone, 17, died July 3, 2007, when a concrete wall at the farm collapsed, crushing him. OSHA’s inspection found that DeSimone and other employees were assigned to work within the wall’s collapse zone, even though the fractured and leaning wall presented a clearly recognized hazard.

UCLA Appeals OSHA Fine–Victims’ Friends Outraged

UCLA has appealed the CAL-OSHA citation for serious workplace safety violations that resulted in the death of 23 year old Sheri Sangji. CAL-OSHA found that Ms. Sangji had not received proper training and was not wearing appropriate personal protective equipment.

Friends and family of Ms. Sangji are outraged at the university’s appeal. They have argued that the local District Attorney’s office should take up the case and have circulated a petition to urge a thorough investigation. The petition can be found here .

Dangerous Lab Conditions: Not only at UCLA

An article today in the respected academic journal Science suggests that the conditions that led to the death of an employee in a laboratory fire at UCLA were not an anomaly. One senior professor at a top research university who also had long experience in industry told Science that a “culture of safety” is seriously lacking in university labs, which often present conditions worse than those in private industry.

"Man Dies In Freak Accident" –Really?

“A freak accident Sunday night claimed an out of town mans life in Elkton” (TN), is how of Pulaski, TN reported a fatality that appears to have been caused by unsafe conditions inside a water tank. The news report continued:

17 Year Old Killed in Grain Bin

Seventeen year old Cody Rigsby of Kiowa County Colorado was killed when he was buried under several feet of grain in a grain elevator facility. As usual, news reports describe the incident as a “mishap” or “accident” but none question whether the employer, Temple Grain Elevator, had followed proper safety procedures to ensure that its employees, including a teenager, were protected from the well-known hazards associated with this work.

A Worker’s Life: Worth 47 cents a day

Following yesterday’s story of the $7,000 fine proposed for Wal-Mart’s failure to provide adequate safety precautions to its staff which resulted in the trampling death of a worker, a number of readers pointed out the absurdity of such a small fine for the loss of a human life. One reader suggested we consider what this sum equates to in terms of the value per day of life lost for Mr. Jdimytai Damour.

OSHA cites Wal-Mart in trampling death

OSHA cited Wal-Mart with a serious violation yesterday for inadequate crowd management which resulted in the death of Jdimytai Damour in a “Black Friday” incident in Valley Stream, Long Island last November.

“This was an unusual citation but not an unforeseen one,” said Anthony Ciuffo, OSHA’s acting area director for Long Island.

“The store should have recognized, based on prior ‘Blitz Friday’ experiences, the need to implement effective crowd management to protect its employees.”

Victory for LA Carwash Workers in Cal/OSHA Appeals Case

Operators of two Los Angeles area carwash facilities agreed Tuesday to pay $20,000 in fines for a series of OSHA citations. Carwash workers were represented at the hearing by the Southern California COSH and other members of the CLEAN Carwash Campaign, a coalition supporting the efforts of workers to improve conditions in the carwash industry.

Cal/OSHA Adopts Landmark Communicable Disease Protections

(From the CAL-OSHA Reporter, 05/21/09)

SAN DIEGO — In a move universally supported by stakeholders in a packed meeting this morning, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board adopted two first-in-the-nation standards to protect workers in health care and an array of other workplace settings from diseases that can be spread by coughing and sneezing, and from animals.


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