Safety Vigilance Urged after NE Fatalities

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 @ 12:03 PM gHale


After four preventable work-related deaths since March 9 in Nebraska, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is urging employers throughout the state to review safety and health programs, and their procedures to stem the tragic tide.

While investigators in the agency’s Omaha Area Office prepare their findings, the office is also offering compliance assistance, tips and other information to employers and workers on common workplace safety hazards and how to prevent illness and injury.

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“Employers and workers alike can prevent job-related injury and death with simple, common sense safety procedures,” said Jeff Funke, OSHA’s area director in Omaha. “With spring now upon us, construction and other seasonable work will soon be in full swing. Once again, workers will be exposed to some of the most frequently cited OSHA hazards such as falls, struck-by, and trenching — three of the hazards suspected in the most recent fatalities.”

OSHA’s Omaha office is currently investigating the following workplace deaths:
March 9: A 62-year-old worker in Sutherland died after falling more than 38-feet while installing a platform in preparation for work on a grain leg.
March 16: A 42-year-old superintendent at Cooperative Producers Inc. grain handling site in Hayland suffered fatal injuries caused by an operating auger as he drew grain from a bin.
March 20: A 42-year-old Lincoln resident died after a vehicle struck him at a road construction site on the southwest corner of Highway 94 and County Road 31 in Walthill.
March 21: A trench collapse killed a 61-year-old plumber employed by Clau-Chin Construction Inc., of Alliance and injured another worker as they installed residential sewer lines in the 2800 block of Toluca Street in Alliance.

So far in 2016, four work-related deaths have been reported in Nebraska. In 2015, 12 workers died on the job in the state.

Additionally, OSHA has also opened 41 investigations since Jan. 1, 32 incidents were hospitalizations and nine were due to amputations. Last year, 162 severe Nebraska worker injuries were reported to OSHA, 113 of those required hospitalization and 52 involved amputation injuries.