Safety Needs to Remain Top of Mind

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 02:12 PM gHale

Safety in the workplace always seems to be a given — be it process, functional or occupational –where everyone that comes into work, should be able to leave and go home.

Unfortunately, accidents do occur and it there was a series of fatal incidents in the manufacturing environment over the past few weeks that federal and state Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials are investigating.

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In one case, a worker died in an industrial accident at the Benson Power plant in Benson, MN, December 6.

Jeff Anderson, of Ormsby, MN, died, according to the Benson police. In the incident, life-saving measures were administered at the scene and the man was then transported to the SCBHS emergency room. “Unfortunately, the individual did not survive his injuries and was pronounced dead,” said Police Chief Ian Hodge.

Anderson was a temporary contract worker at the plant.

The federal OSHA is investigating the fatal accident and will release further information, Hodge said.

In another incident, A Bentleyville, PA, man died of blunt force trauma as the result of an accident at ArcelorMittal Code Plant in Monessen, PA, on December 3, according to the Washington County coroner’s office.

Robert Klett, 60, was found unresponsive around 10:45 p.m. at the plant, said Coroner Timothy Warco. Klett was taken to Mon Valley Hospital but pronounced dead at the emergency, Warco said.

The death is now being investigated as accidental, he said, noting that there are no witnesses to what may have occurred.

“In partnership with the United Steelworkers, we are cooperating with appropriate agencies on the investigation into this unfortunate accident,” said ArcelorMittal spokeswoman Mary Beth Holdford.

OSHA is investigating Klett’s death.

Meanwhile, a 50-year-old man died December 1, in an apparent accident at an Irvine, CA, metal tubing and pipe manufacturing company.

The incident happened shortly before 11 a.m. at PCC Rollmet on Deere Avenue. He had been working with heavy machinery when the accident happened, said Capt. Larry Kurtz of the Orange County Fire Authority. Irvine police and Cal-OSHA are conducting investigations.

In another incident, Curtis Groom, 26, of Wauzeka, IA, died Nov. 29, as a result of injuries sustained in an industrial accident Nov. 27, at Dillman Equipment, a division of Astec, in Prairie du Chien.

OSHA opened an inspection/investigation into the incident on Thursday, Nov. 30, after Groom died, according to Rhonda Burke, U.S. Department of Labor Deputy Director of Public Affairs. OSHA’s Madison area office is looking into whether or not there was any violation of safety or health rules at the facility, Burke said.

In addition, a contract worker killed in a construction accident at the Beaumont, TX, Exxon Mobil refinery December 1.

Yesenia Espinoza died in the incident, said Mike Roebuck, president of Echo Maintenance, where she worked.

Exxon Mobil operations manager Ryan Bucholtz said Espinoza was working on a new construction project at the refinery.

“This is a very, very sad day for all of us here,” Bucholtz said. “Safety is the most important value” for the company.

In one more incident, a worker died in an accident at a New Hampshire power plant Nov. 27.

Dakota LaBrecque, 23, of Loudon, NH, died at the Springfield Power plant, state police said.

OSHA opened an investigation to determine if any workplace safety violations occurred. State police say LaBrecque’s death has been ruled accidental.

Springfield Power is a wood-burning energy plant.



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