Friday, September 25, 2009

Farm Incidents Cause High Fatalities

Farm Accidents One of the Most
Dangerous Occupations

The article below from Indiana Prairie Farmer notes that Farming is one of the most dangerous occupations, especially in incidents caused by Tractor Overturns.

Overturns of farm equipment causes many fatalities, however about any type incident that can be thought possible and many thought to be impossible, or at least impractical, causes numerous serious and dismemberment injuries than any other known occupation.

Farms utilize family members in most farm related tasks, many of whom are family members that are not allowable in off the farm industries due to age.

I posted a couple of photos of actual Farm Equipment incidents that can only show a photo of what the result of an incident, but not show where any Horse Sense should have been used to prevent these incidents.

Tractor Overturns Still Lead Farm Fatality Causes
Fatalities higher again in 2008.
Tom Bechman
Published: Sep 24, 2009
The bad news from Bill field, Purdue University safety specialist, is that farm fatalities in Indiana crept back up again in '08, after bottoming at 8 fatalities in '06. It's the second straight year fatalities have been on the increase. Field released official numbers during a press conference at the Indiana Farm Bureau state headquarters in Indianapolis last week;

Last week marked the official observance of National Farm Safety Week. And the Indiana data shows, however, it's important to practice safety every day, not just during one week of the year.

National fatality statistics are based on estimates. Field says the numbers are a guess at best. The Indiana numbers, however, are firm. Field and his staff compile them based upon reports from clipping services and other information. They also cross-check them with information collected at the state level.

"The latest information at the national level says that fatalities in farming are 10 times more common than in industry as a whole," says Gail Deboy, also of Purdue. "For last year the national report listed agriculture as the number one most dangerous occupation in America, ahead of mining and construction."

The best news, perhaps, is that the 30-year trend is still toward far fewer farm fatalities than in the past, especially amongst children. "In 1977 a third of all deaths were children, many of them young children. Riding with dad on the tractor and becoming involved in some sort of accident was a major cause.

While there was no particular pattern to what caused an increase in fatalities last year, Field says tractor overturns remain the single most deadly action on the farm. About 25% of the deaths were due to overturns. Deboy says many times these were people riding older tractors that did not have Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS) installed.

Combine extra riders on tractors with tractor overturns, other tractor-related deaths and entanglements, and it accounts for about 75% of last year's farm fatalities, Field says. Grain bin entrapments get a lot of publicity because they nearly always result in death, but the number of people who die in grain bins each year is still far fewer than the number who die in tractor or implement-related mishaps.

Tractor roadway crash fatalities are also included in the newly-released data, as long as a tractor or farm implement was involved, Field notes. There was a trend toward increasing numbers of farmers dieing in these types of accidents, but it didn't really show up last year, he notes.

Indiana Farm Bureau stepped to the plate and campaigned hard to raise awareness for farmers traveling on roadways with equipment, and also started campaigns to educate the public about the hazards of traveling rule roads. A video was produced with Purdue, that has been widely shown to all types of audiences.

Through August of this year, the unofficial farm fatality total is 10 in Indiana. Deboy hope that number stays lower than the '08 number, That means people must be very attentive during harvest, An unusually high number of fatalities occurred in the fall last year.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Get Away From Unloading/Loading

Stay Well Away From Truck

The article below from 6 points out some of the dangers that occur during loading and unloading, specifically tractor/trailer loads.

However, it holds true for drivers and any other persons in a Non-essential position to clear themselves away from loading and unloading situations whether it be on a construction job site or, in fact at any location.

Many is the time that I've seen drivers stand beside their rigs while their truck is being loaded by heavy equipment such as dirt/rock hauling operations. Several times I've had to seek medical attention to one of these persons. I've also seen drivers hop up on their rigs and loosen the binding chains without assuring that the loads are secured from falling on the person releasing the bindings. Trained professional riggers should be the ones to handle these operations. The driver can go back and stow their rigging and bindins after the load is removed.

Failure to adhere to this simple and safe practice procedure just plain DOES NOT adhere to Horse Sense methods of Safety.

Man Crushed In Construction Accident

A freak accident took the life of a truck driver. Livingston County officials say falling concrete killed a truck driver in Howell Township on East M-59 near Grand River. Construction of a concrete wall came to a crashing halt. That crash killed Richard Browand, a 61-year-old truck driver for Mack Transport. Livingston County Sheriff Bob Bezotte calls it a tragic accident.

Bob Bezotte, Livingston County Sheriff: "He was in the wrong place at the wrong time when they were unloading the cement blocks. He was on the opposite side of the truck and when they took it off, the truck shifted."

A 3,500 pound slab of concrete fell off the truck and crushed him.

Bob Bezotte: "It crushed him in the chest area. He was alive at the scene, and then we got him to the hospital, the internal bleeding and the crush took his life."

Bezotte says construction accidents happen from time to time, but the saddest thing about this one is that it was avoidable.

Bob Bezotte: "When you're unloading a semi, ya know, people standing around a semi need to be back and the truck drivers and anyone else who's not involved with the unloading of the trucks."

It's advice that's too late for Browand. Bezotte says this accident should serve as a wakeup call for all construction workers to put safety first. The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Million Dollar + Fines

Million Dollar Plus Fines by OSHA

The items below were emailed to me by a friend and fellow Safety Professional. It shows that OSHA CAN issue high enough fines to get some of the larger corporatons' attention.

Nutrition Products Co. Facing $1M Plus in OSHA Fines.

The fines came after the Wisconsin plant was inspected as a result of a complaint alleging numerous hazards. Among other violations, OSHA issued willful citations for failure to comply with confined space and lockout/tagout regulations.

Chem Company Cited Heavily for Exposing Employees to Poison.

The St. Louis–based company was inspected after OSHA learned that employees had been admitted to local hospitals after being contaminated with an unknown powder. Investigators determined that employees were exposed to paranitroaniline (PNA), a chemical that reduces the ability of the blood to transport oxygen. OSHA issued 21 willful citations, 20 of which were cited on a per-instance basis and assessed fines totaling $1.2 million.

Poultry Company Pleads Guilty in Employee Exposure Case.

Following the death of an employee at an Arkansas plant, the company was charged with criminal violations and ordered by a federal court to pay a $500,000 penalty.

Sugar Company Warned Long Before Accident Occurred.

The Georgia refinery was cited and fined following an accident associated with sugar dust that killed 14 people. OSHA assessed fines of $8.7 million, the third largest in OSHA history.