Saturday, January 31, 2009

Another Useless Fatality

Safety Stupidity Blamed on Bush!

The article below from The Ledger in Lakeland, Suzie Schottelkotte reports that a worker was killed when the bucket of a back hoe pinned a big concrete box crushed him.

The VERY apparent cause of this useless death was called, "A Pure Accident" by Auburndale police. The REAL incident could have and probably NOT happened if the machine operator had stayed in the cab, at the controls of the machine. Leaving the controls of ANY construction equipment with the engine running is contrary to ALL Safety Regulations as well as is just plain Donkey Sense to do such a thing.

Also, this situation could have been prevented if a piece of lifting equipment, such as a crane with proper rigging was used.

In the comment below the article, was correct in stating that no one is ever to leave the cab of a piece of equipment, but how in Heaven's name could BUSH have had anything to do with this stupid incident? No Horse Sense is made in this part of his/her comment.

city of auburndale project

Worker at Construction Site Dies

Man is killed when he's pinned by machine's bucket.

Published: Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 8:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 8:20 p.m.

AUBURNDALE | A 42-year-old Auburndale construction worker died Thursday at the city's wastewater treatment plant when he was pinned between a concrete wastewater junction box and the bucket of a trackhoe.

Mark Ingram was assisting co-workers in preparations to lower the hollow junction box into the ground about 8:30 a.m. when the trackhoe shifted, crushing him against the concrete box.

Ingram, who was working for Indian River Industrial Contractors, died at the scene, said Auburndale police Lt. Thrasey Tucker. "This was purely an accident," he said. "From a law-enforcement perspective, there is no foul play, nothing of a criminal nature."

Tucker said crews were using a trackhoe, which is similar to a backhoe but with tank-like tracks instead of tires, to lower the junction box into the ground. The box was at ground level next to the hole. A co-worker left the cab of the trackhoe to help Ingram, who was hooking cables connecting the junction box to the trackhoe.

"The trackhoe kept moving," Tucker said, "and the bucket pinned (Ingram,) crushing him."

Investigators with the federal Occupation Safety and Health Administration initiated an independent investigation Thursday to see if the company violated any safety standards. Tucker said no city employees were involved in the construction project at the plant at 890 Braddock Road.

The city is doubling the capacity of its wastewater treatment plant from 2 million gallons per day to 4 million gallons.

[ Suzie Schottelkotte can be reached at or 863-533-9070. ]

This story appeared in print on page B1

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.


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treowe says...
January 30, 2009 9:51:01 am

RE: Link

My deepest sorrow and condolences to his family
it grieves me much to see such as this happen to people when 90% of the time it is preventable,
Auburndale police lt.Thrasey Tucker said This was purely an accident"From a law-enforcement perspective, there is no foul play, nothing of a criminal nature."

with all due respect to lt. Tucker, I'm sure he means well,
(There is no such thing as an accident,) any incident is always caused by someone, negligence,not thinking, distraction, ECT, Lack of training mostly because the George W, Bush adminstration Gutted osha, imsha and all other beneficial programs designed to protect working people in favor of the Induatries making more profit by not having saftey programs to administer,
I know because I was working in heavy industry, We were having saftey meetings daily, Had people assigned to saftey patrols and inspections, They attended saftey classes weekly,
Not long after the 2000 elections we went to 0, On saftey,
In case someone wants to know about lighting strikes and such, That comes under the heading of ACT OF GOD,
An operator should never under any circumstance dismount A machine and leave it running, anything that can happen--- WILL Murphys law. If the current osha finds anything it will suprise me.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

OSHA Wants Changes In Crane Operations

OSHA Recommends Changes

In the article below from, Mary Ann Ford states that OSHA has recommendations some Horse Sense changes in the Inspection of cranes on ALL worksites.

Far too many crane Incidents occur due to the lack of REQUIRED maintenance and inspection to mobile cranes, particular on Construction projects. OSHA standards incorporate some ASME standards in regard to Mobile and Locomotive Cranes. The incident below notes that "boom hoist" wire ropes, as well as all other wire ropes Must be Inspected at specific periods of time, AND, at least, daily inspections of all parts of the cranes, cables, wire ropes and rigging equipment. Obviously these inspections had not been made. This caused not only the expense of new a new boom as well as other parts of the crane in question, but the failure caused the death of a construction worker within the reach of the crane's boom.

OSHA recommends changes to local business after fatal accident

The safety oversight agency recommends replacing wire ropes on a cranes boom, main and auxiliary hoists if there are more than six such breaks.

The report that followed a six-month investigation by OSHA said the crane was inspected by Hills Crane Inspection Service on Feb. 28 but the company “did not include an inspection of the entire length of wire rope as called for in the American Society of Mechanic Engineers, Mobile and Locomotive Cranes.”

Nick Walters, area director of OSHA, said failure to inspect the entire length of the wire rope on hoists “may not identify potential problems which would require the rope to be removed from service and could lead to an accident.”

OSHA recommended Area Erectors ensure annual or periodical inspections of the entire length of the wire ropes used in the hoists.

Barry Salerno, a team leader at OSHA, said Area Erectors was not fined in the accident because there was no evidence that the company knew the wire rope had breaks but simply didn’t replace it.

“They hired the crane inspection service and expected them to do the job as required by OSHA,” said Salerno.

That was part of the consideration in the agency’s findings, he said.

A call to Area Erectors was not immediately returned.

OSHA’s findings can not come into a court of law, said Christopher Doscotch, the Peoria attorney representing Dawe’s family in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed against the project’s general contractors, Johnston Contractors Inc. of Bloomington.

“The report is information for us and incomplete information at that,” said Doscotch. “It didn’t name the manufacturer of the rope or how many of the breaks were related to the stress of the crash.”

However, he said, it did identify another potential party to the lawsuit: Hills Crane Inspection Service.

In court documents filed by attorneys for Johnston Contractors, the company argued that it did not own, operate or maintain the crane or aerial lift.

Crane Investigation

OSHA Completes Investigation of Crane Incident

In the article below from "Injury" by Beth Janicek, she reports that it has been deemed that the cause of the collapse of the crane in Houston last year likely was the fact that the Crane Operator was not adequately trained and that the Supervisor
, also was not trained sufficiently.

In several of my previous posts and in the new OSHA standard on cranes I have stated that not only should the Operator should be certified in the operation of the particular crane that he/she is operating, but there should be a certified Lift Supervisor and certified Riggers present for any lift a crane performs. Much of this is in the new standards.

It is hard to fathom that anyone working with this crane preparing to work in that site could not see that the boom was getting too high to prevent back flipping. ALL construction workers should be aware of all operations surrounding their work area. This is just plain Horse Sense to be aware of activities in their work area, especially huge cranes' boom being hoisted.

Louisiana Crane Company Fined Over Safety Violations After Four Employee Deaths

January 28, 2009 - 01:46 PM

The U.S. government wants to fine Deep South Crane and Rigging due to a crane accident that killed four employees in Houston, Texas. After an investigation that began July 18, OSHA announced that it has issued citations alleging eight violations, six of which are considered serious. These eight violations carry $71,500 in penalties, and the Louisiana based company has 15 business days to either comply, request a conference with OSHA or contest the citations and penalties.

According to a statement released by OSHA, the crane overhauled when the boom reached an unsafe angle, causing the crane to collapse backward striking workers. Mark Briggs, OSHA’s area director for its Houston South Area Office stated that the crane operator was inadequately trained, and the project superintendent did not ensure that the crane did not reach hazardous conditions. This accident is very unfortunate, because if OSHA’s regulations and industry standards had been followed, this tragedy could have been prevented.

OSHA has since responded to the many highly publicized accidents by implementing a Regional Emphasis Program on Crane Safety Standards. Under this program, construction sites are subject to inspection with regards to:

  • Being stuck by objects
  • Electrocution
  • Crane tip-over
  • Being caught in or between machinery
  • Falls

According to Regional Administrator Dean McDaniel, “Past inspection evidence indicates these hazards are the leading causes of accidents where cranes are used in the construction industry. This Regional Emphasis Program (REP) was established as an enforcement initiative for the inspection of cranes used in construction, with the goal of preventing serious and fatal injuries to employees working on and around cranes.” The Regional Emphasis Program applies to construction sites in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and select sites in New Mexico, and require that cranes be inspected prior to each and every use. A complete list of the General Crane Safety requirements (29 C.F.R. 1926.550) can be found here.

Hopefully, these requirements will help restore safety to construction sites, as well as reduce the risk of tragedies, such as this one, from occurring.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bridge Fatality

OSHA Fines Company

The following article from CCH Aspen Publishers, Technical Answer Group describes penalties to the max to American Bridge. This seems to be another construction site where a SAFETY PLAN is written but not enforced by the company's personnel on construction sites.

The "Willful" violation, Failure to be Anchored, that was issued is but a small price to pay for the death of a worker. The other violations could place this company on the Out Of Business list! It just does not show any similance to following the rules set out in a company's safety program not to OSHA Standards. It just simply nor a Horse Sense approach to safe working on a construction site.

SAFETY / OSHA - 01/16/09

OSHA cites American Bridge following fatality at Tennessee River bridge construction site

OSHA has cited American Bridge for six safety violations, including a fine of $70,000 for one willful violation in connection with an employee's death.

The employee died after falling approximately 70 feet from a girder at the site of the Highway 62/641 bridge being built over the Tennessee River below Grand Rivers, Ky. The victim was wearing a harness and lanyard but was not secured to an anchorage point.

"This company has a fall protection plan, but management's failure to enforce their own safety and health policy resulted in this totally avoidable fatality," said William Cochran, OSHA's area director in Nashville.

OSHA has cited the company with one willful violation for failing to eliminate employee exposure to fall hazards and failing to ensure that employees properly used personal protective equipment while working above heights of 6 feet. The agency defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to, or intentional disregard for, employee safety and health. The $70,000 fine is the maximum allowed by OSHA statute for a willful violation.

The agency has issued four serious citations to the company for using pulleys that were not guarded on the winch gear, not barricading the swing radius on the cranes, not securing material against accidental displacement, and not using conforming fall protection systems. Each violation carries a $5,000 fine. The company received one other-than-serious citation, with no monetary penalty, for a recordkeeping violation.

OSHA has proposed a total of $90,000 in fines for the combined violations.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to contest them and the proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Nashville Area Office, 51 Century Blvd., Suite 340; telephone 615-232-3803.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

? Elevator or a Materials Lift?

Was The Worker Riding an Elevator or a Materials Lift?

The article below from WBRZ News by a Staff Reporter, indicates that another FATAL Incident occurred on a Louisiana Construction site.

In the article, it was noted that the worker was riding on "AN ELEVATOR WITH NO DOORS." ALL personnel ELEVATORS must be enclosed and meet OSHA standards and safeguards for PERSONNEL lifts and elevators.

This would indicate that the platform this worker was riding was designed for MATERIALS LIFTING ONLY.

By the worker being able to "lean his head outside of the elevator" this could only mean that it was a Material Lift Only.

From the brief article on this fatality, the contractor did not prevent an incident to happen by keeping workers off the lift.


Construction site accident kills man

  • Advocate staff report
  • Published: Jan 9, 2009 - Page: 5B - UPDATED: 12:05 a.m.
A construction worker was killed in an on-site accident Thursday near LSU’s campus .

The accident happened around 11:15 a.m. on a construction site at 4005 Nicholson Drive, EMS spokesman Mark Olson said.

Robert Wayne Barnett Jr., 21, of Arkansas, was riding on a construction elevator when a co-worker called out to him, said Don Moreau, chief of operations with the coroner’s office.

There were no doors on the elevator, Moreau said. Barnett leaned out of the elevator while it was in motion and struck his head on a metal beam. Moreau said the beam was probably made of iron.

Barnett was transported by EMS to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, where he died.

Barnett was part of a construction crew employed by Buquet-Leblanc Inc., of Baton Rouge. Bill Firesheets, president of the company, said Barnett started working with them in December.

“First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim,” Firesheets said in a statement. “We are also taking steps to help our employees attempting to cope with the tragic loss of their co-worker.”

Firesheets also said OSHA officials and the company’s corporate safety officer were investigating the accident.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Worker Killed

Another Useless Construction Fatality

In the article below posted in The East Hampton Press, by Brenden O'Reilly, a construction worker was digging under a recently, non-reinforced concrete wall that collapsed. Several questions come to mind immediately, such as:

Why was there no reinforcing in the wall? Why was the worker in a position where it was even "possible" the wall could fall on him? Do the contractors have written safety programs that would have prevented accidents like this? Who authorized alterations to the building plans?

There are many, many questions that must be answered and the results taken into consideration that could result in criminal charges. This is one of the most Donkey Sense situations I've heard of in many years of working in the construction industry. Should these contractors be put out of business? Maybe so!!!

Publication: The East Hampton Press

Construction worker killed in job site accident in Southampton Village

By Brendan O'Reilly
Jan 7, 09 11:45 AM
Emergency personnel rush to try and save the man. ALL PHOTOS BY BRENDAN O'REILLY
Emergency personnel rush to try and save the man. ALL PHOTOS BY BRENDAN O'REILLY
Map data ©2009 Tele Atlas - Terms of Use

A construction worker died in Southampton Village on Monday afternoon when a foundation wall at a work site collapsed, pinning him underneath—and a Southampton Village official said the accident may have been the result of shoddy workmanship and attempts to cut corners on the project.

Facundo Gonzalez, 33, of Farmingville was trapped beneath the fallen concrete wall shortly before 3 p.m. while he was working at a construction site at the southeast corner of North Sea Road and Willow Street. Emergency personnel from Southampton Fire Department, Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance and the Village Police attempted to resuscitate him after pulling him free.

Mr. Gonzalez was then taken by ambulance to Southampton Hospital to meet a Medevac helicopter that would have transported him to Stony Brook University Medical Center. But the helicopter was called off when he could not be revived and was pronounced dead on the way.

According to Village Police, emergency dispatchers received a 911 call at 2:58 p.m. from another construction worker, who reported that a concrete wall had collapsed, and Mr. Gonzalez was trapped beneath it.

Jon Foster, senior building inspector for Southampton Village, said that the victim had been digging under the wall before the collapse to install footings, structural supports that should have been in place before the concrete wall was poured and the forms were removed.

“They didn’t do the job right,” Mr. Foster said. The concrete wall also should have been reinforced with steel, but it was not reinforced at all, he added. “As they dug the hole, the concrete snapped.”

The wall, which was built on sand, was about 19 feet long and 8 feet high and weighed an estimated 7 tons, Mr. Foster said. “With 14,000 pounds coming down on him, he didn’t stand a chance, which is tragic.”

Mr. Foster said the architectural plan for the foundation had also been altered. Where there should have been a window well for emergency escape access from the basement, a stairwell was being installed instead. “The stairway wasn’t put in yet, but the wall was,” he said.

Rescuers dug beneath the concrete wall, and after 10 minutes they were able to extricate Mr. Gonzalez, police said. At that time, they began CPR and defibrillated Mr. Gonzalez’s heart, Detective Sergeant Herman Lamison said Tuesday.

With an automated external defibrillator still attached to his chest and a brace securing his neck, firefighters and police officers—uniforms dirtied with mud—carried Mr. Gonzalez on a stretcher out of the excavated area to an ambulance.

Mr. Gonzalez was shortly thereafter pronounced dead upon arrival at Southampton Hospital.

Village Police Chief William Wilson said that, though the death was apparently an accident, it was reported to the Suffolk County Homicide Squad. The Village Police routinely notify county homicide detectives whenever there is a death by unnatural causes, he explained. Det. Sgt. Lamison said Wednesday morning that the body is at the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office, and that the official cause of death will be reported in the coming days.

A sign for Bérube & Son Construction, along with an August 12, 2008, building permit issued to Valerie Revere, who is the property owner, according to town records, were posted at the end of the driveway. Calls to Bérube & Son were not immediately returned.

Det. Sgt. Lamison said Mr. Gonzalez did not work for Bérube & Son, but rather for a concrete company, Saldana’s Concrete Corporation. He said Mr. Gonzalez was working for the concrete company for at least a couple weeks before the accident. Police believe Mr. Gonzalez was from Mexico, but his immigration status is unknown, the detective sergeant said.

Chief Wilson noted that the construction site is being investigated by the village Building Department and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the federal agency charged with enforcing safety and health legislation.

On Tuesday morning, the perimeter of the construction site had been sealed off with police tape, and a stop-work order was posted. Signed by Village Building Inspector Christopher Talbot, the stop work order indicated two violations at the site: “You have failed to comply with the provisions of the New York State building code,” and “A dangerous and unsafe condition exists.”

Behind the police tape, Village Police detectives and OSHA investigators inspected the site.


You Have heard of DUI...Driving Under Influence
This is FUI...Farming Under Influence

I received these photos as an e-mail and thought that I'd take a light moment to show the comedic side of what could have been some serious injury events.

Farm Safety relating to farm equipment is one of the top causes of injuries, not only to adults, but to children and youth working in and around farm equipment.

Enjoy the dumb luck, donkey sense incidents shown in these photos.