Thursday, November 23, 2017

Construction worker Zachary Blake Brasher, 25, with Wisener Construction, died in a construction accident in Broaddus after a steel I-beam he was painting fell on his head at a work site on County Road 4717 in Broaddus, Texas








BROADDUS, TX (KTRE) -

A 25-year-old Lufkin man died in a construction accident in Broaddus last week after a steel I-beam he had been working on fell on to his head.

According to a press release from the San Augustine County Sheriff’s Office, the accident occurred at a work site on County Road 4717 at about 8:51 a.m. on Nov. 13. The 911 caller told the San Augustine County dispatcher that an I-beam had fallen on a worker, and he wasn’t moving.

When the SACSO deputies arrived on the scene, EMS personnel and first responders were already there. The first responders told the deputies that the man had been identified as Zachary Blake Brasher and that the justice of the peace had been notified.

Justice of the Peace Billy Williams pronounced Brasher dead at the scene at 9:56 a.m. on Nov. 13, the press release story.

“Witnesses were on scene and were very upset,” the press release stated. “One witness told deputies that Zachary was painting the metal I-beams that were propped up by a wooden pole."

A witness said he heard the beam fall, and when he turned around, he realized that it had fallen on Brasher. The witness told a SACSO deputy that he called for another worker to come help him get the beam off of Brasher, the press release stated. The witness said that Brasher had worked for the company off and on for four years.

“It is undetermined if the hose to the paint gun caught the brace or if Zachary himself caught the brace by going under the beam,” the press release stated.

KTRE is reaching out to the sheriff's office and to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for more information.



Funeral services for Zachary Blake Brasher, 25, of Lufkin will be held Friday, November 17, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. in the Carroway Funeral Home Chapel with Brother Lesly Wilkinson and Brother Sherman Hoot officiating. Masonic Graveside Services will follow in the Whitehouse Cemetery under the auspices of the Lufkin Masonic Lodge #669 A.F. & A.M.
     
Zack was born August 12, 1992 in Nacogdoches, Texas to Angie Allen and Henry Gene Brasher, and passed away Monday, November 13, 2017 in Broaddus as a result of a construction accident.
     
Zack had resided in Lufkin all of his life and was a 2011 graduate of Central High School. He was a member of the Corrigan Masonic Lodge #1103 A.F. & A.M. and he coached Little League T-Ball in Lufkin. Zack worked for Wisener Construction and had previously worked at Angelina County Sheriff’s Department for a couple of years. He was a member of Union Springs Missionary Baptist Church.
     
Survivors include his wife Taylor Brasher of Lufkin; daughter, Raegan Brasher of Lufkin; son, Grayson Brasher of Lufkin; mother, Angie Allen of Lufkin; father and stepmother, Henry and Hope Brasher of Diboll; brothers, Karsen Beauchamp of Lufkin and Kaden Brasher of Hudson; maternal grandparents, Bobby and Rebecca Allen of Lufkin; paternal grandparents, Tim and Linda White of Milam; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Leslie and Chris Ricks of Corrigan; brother-in-law, Bryan Ricks of Corrigan; aunts and uncles, Bubba and Hannah Allen of Willis and Shelley and Bryan Fraley of Lufkin; and numerous other relatives and friends.

Drug-addict driver Heather Collins, 30, who had suspended license at the time, is charged with two counts of aggravated vehicular assault for the crash that injured an Ohio Department of Transportation worker who was working along the I-75 highway.

Heather Collins, 30, is now charged with two counts of aggravated vehicular assault for the crash that injured ODOT worker
CINCINNATI, OH —

A northern Kentucky woman is accused of driving high and seriously injuring a man who was removing graffiti along I-75 in Cincinnati.

Heather Collins, 30, is now charged with two counts of aggravated vehicular assault for the crash that happened in August 2017.

Investigators said Collins lost control of her car and hit a concrete barrier before crashing into a guardrail, pinning an Ohio Department of Transportation worker who was working along the highway.

According to officials, the ODOT worker suffered serious injuries in the accident.

In court Wednesday, investigators said tests after Collins' arrest showed she had been using heroin, meth and other drugs.

Prosecutors also say Collins had a suspended license at the time of the crash and gave officers her cousin's license, leading to the false indictment and arrest of her cousin.

Collins bond was set Wednesday at $250,000.

Washing raw poultry, beef, pork, lamb, or veal before cooking it is not recommended. Bacteria in raw meat and poultry juices can be spread to other foods, utensils, and surfaces. We call this cross-contamination.



Washing Food: Does it Promote Food Safety?

Historically, we equate washing to cleanliness. We wash clothes, linens, cars, dishes, and ourselves. So, it is logical that many people believe meat and poultry can be made cleaner and safer by washing it. Is this true? Does washing meat, poultry, eggs, fruits, and vegetables make them safer to eat?

Washing Meat and Poultry
Washing raw poultry, beef, pork, lamb, or veal before cooking it is not recommended. Bacteria in raw meat and poultry juices can be spread to other foods, utensils, and surfaces. We call this cross-contamination.

Some consumers think they are removing bacteria and making their meat or poultry safe. However, some of the bacteria are so tightly attached that you could not remove them no matter how many times you washed. But there are other types of bacteria that can be easily washed off and splashed on the surfaces of your kitchen. Failure to clean these contaminated areas can lead to foodborne illness. Cooking (baking, broiling, boiling, and grilling) to the right temperature kills the bacteria, so washing food is not necessary.

Using a food thermometer is the only sure way of knowing if your food has reached a high enough temperature to destroy foodborne bacteria. Cook all raw beef and veal steaks, roasts, and chops to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook meat to higher temperatures.


Soaking Meat and Poultry
Callers to the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline sometimes ask about soaking poultry in salt water. This is a personal preference and serves no purpose for food safety. If you choose to do this, however, preventing cross-contamination when soaking and removing the poultry from the water is essential. Meat or poultry should be kept in the refrigerator while soaking.

Sometimes consumers wash or soak country ham, bacon, or salt pork because they think it reduces the sodium or salt enough to allow these products to be eaten on a sodium-restricted diet. However, very little salt is removed by washing, rinsing, or soaking a meat product and is not recommended.


Cross-Contamination
Hand washing after handling raw meat or poultry or its packaging is a necessity because anything you touch afterwards could become contaminated. In other words, you could become ill by picking up a piece of fruit and eating it after handling raw meat or poultry.

Wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food, and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, tending to a sick person, blowing your nose, sneezing and coughing, and handling pets.

It is important to prevent cross-contamination from raw meat or poultry juices by washing counter tops and sinks with hot, soapy water. For extra protection, you may sanitize with a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water.

Packaging materials from raw meat or poultry also can cause cross-contamination. Never reuse them with other food items. These and other disposable packaging materials, such as foam meat trays, egg cartons, or plastic wraps, should be discarded.

Washing Eggs
Do not wash eggs before storing them. Washing is a routine part of commercial egg processing and the eggs do not need to be washed again. Federal regulations outline procedures and cleansers that may be used. "Bloom," the natural coating on just-laid eggs that helps prevent bacteria from permeating the shell, is removed by the washing process and is replaced by a light coating of edible mineral oil which restores protection. Extra handling of the eggs, such as washing, could increase the risk of cross-contamination, especially if the shell becomes cracked.


Washing Produce
Before eating or preparing fresh fruits and vegetables, wash the produce under cold running tap water to remove any lingering dirt. This reduces bacteria that may be present. If there is a firm surface, such as on apples or potatoes, the surface can be scrubbed with a brush. Consumers should not wash fruits and vegetables with detergent or soap. These products are not approved or labeled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use on foods. You could ingest residues from soap or detergent absorbed on the produce.

When preparing fruits and vegetables, cut away any damaged or bruised areas because bacteria that cause illness can thrive in those places. Immediately refrigerate any fresh-cut items such as salad or fruit for best quality and food safety.


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7 foods you should be washing and 7 you shouldn't

Jennifer En Debra Kelly @_EllaSaturday

While it may seem somewhat intuitive to wash all your foods before eating them, not all ingredients require that type of care. Sure, washing produce is acceptable to everyone and a given for most, but what about everything else? As you navigate the landscape of grocery shopping, you may not know exactly what the foods have come into contact with, which can be worrisome for a consumer. To help you figure out what you need to wash and what you don't, here's a brief guide that let's you in on the rationale behind both mindsets.

Um, aren't you going to wash that first?


Some foods require washing because they contain impurities that can be cleaned off using water without running the risk of spreading bacteria to other parts of your kitchen. As such, those ingredients or containers should be cleaned. In these cases, there are distinct health benefits that outweigh the risks. Read on to learn what you ought to wash before consuming.

Canned beans


If you're anything like me, you've stocked your pantry with at least a dozen cans of legumes "just in case." The extenuating circumstances could, of course, range from something as mild as forgetting to soak the dried beans the night before, to an end-of-world apocalypse scenario. Always good to be prepared, right? From cannellini and black beans to chickpeas and black-eye peas, I like to have them all as options. While these already-cooked bean varieties are great for time-saving convenience, the liquid they're preserved in can be loaded with sodium. As such, the canned contents ought to be completely drained, then thoroughly rinsed with cold water to remove the salty residue. If you plan to saute or roast, you'll also want to take the extra step of patting dry with a paper towel so they don't steam.

Fruits and vegetables


You probably already know you should wash all fruits and vegetables before using them in your great culinary projects or before eating. Wash them well under cold water in order to remove any bacteria and impurities. However, since fruit and veggie peels may be porous, avoid using soap to wash as the cleaning agent could be absorbed into the produce. For good measure, be sure to pat the washed fruits and vegetables dry with paper towel.

What about fruits with inedible skins? Wash them, too! While it may seem silly at first to wash melons, avocado, and citrus fruits since you're not planning to eat the skin, they actually do require washing as well. When you pierce the skin of a fruit—no matter how thick—with a knife, you run the risk of any bacteria from the peel contaminating the fleshy edible interior. Take the extra step to wash these unlikely fruits so you can feel one hundred percent secure about what you're eating.

Rice


While I accept that there are folks who grew up in households where rice doesn't get washed before cooking, I cannot condone that kind of neglect in good conscience. Until I moved away from my parents' house, I ate rice three times a day, everyday. I've tasted clumpy unwashed rice and I've enjoyed light, clean, washed rice. As such, I can say without a doubt that rice should be rinsed in cold water and drained at least 2 to 3 times prior to any type of cooking preparation. Washing rice removes surface starches from the grains, any bacteria present, and results in fluffy rice that boasts purer flavor.

Canned drinks


When my parents first immigrated to America, they both worked in grocery stores in California where I grew up. As a girl, I sometimes visited them at their respective workplaces and bore witness to just how filthy shipments of canned beverages arrived to the stores. Whether you're getting ready to gulp a can of soda or drink an energy-giving beverage, you owe it to yourself and your general health to wash the can before partaking. The tops of canned beverages are often covered in dust, bacteria, and who knows what else. If you are unable to wash the can, at least wipe down the lid thoroughly using a wet paper towel and pour the contents into a glass.

Canned and jarred foods
Shutterstock


Like canned drinks, canned and jarred foods can get pretty gross from the time they are manufactured to the time they reach you, the consumer. Jams, beans, tomato sauce—these cans should be washed thoroughly and dried before using to prevent the dirty particles from the lids from contaminating the contents. If the cans are not equipped with pull-off tabs, you should be sure to wash your trusty can opener in between uses as well. Better safe than sorry!

Shellfish

While you don't need to wash raw fish before cooking, you do need to rinse shellfish, clams, and mussels. Since they can be filled with sand and grit, you'll need to rinse that out completely — otherwise, you'll be eating it!

Real Simple has some super-easy guidelines on how to make sure you're not getting any sand or silt with your mussels. Before throwing them in the pot, rinse them thoroughly under running water, and that will get rid of a lot of the sediment. Then, put them in a pot of cold water, add a bit of salt, and put them in the fridge for at least half an hour. Stir a few times while you wait, and after you take them out of the fridge don't dump the pot. Scoop the shellfish out with your hands, and check the bottom of the pot. It'll probably be coated with sand that's settled out, and you'll be glad you took the time to wash them! Food 52 says this is the time to give the outside of the shells another wash, and scrub them under running water. This is when you get rid of any beards that are peeking through the shells (don't pull toward the opening of the shell, or you could kill the creature inside), and you'll have perfectly prepped — and clean — shellfish.

Fresh herbs

Whether you pick up a few bunches of fresh herbs at the grocery store, at the farmers' market, or out of your garden, it's important that you give them a good (but careful) wash, not just before you use them, but before you put them in the refrigerator. Herbs can contain dirt and other kinds of grit that you don't want in your fridge — and you definitely don't want in your food.

Small bundles can be washed by rinsing them under cool, running water. Shake them, pat them dry with a paper towel, or use a salad spinner to get rid of the excess water. For larger bundles, fill the sink with cold water, put your herbs in, and carefully swirl your hands through to loosen any dirt that's hidden in the leaves. If there's a lot of dirt, you might have to repeat the process with some clean water before drying them in the same way.

Skip the wash!


Unlike produce or gross can surfaces, some foods do not require washing before they're eaten or cooked. In fact, doing so may be more risky with some things. The following list will help you determine which foods can skip the wash and why.

Raw poultry and meat


While you might think washing raw chicken, other types of poultry, and meat prior to cooking helps to clean off bacteria and stave off foodborne illnesses, the opposite is true. With poultry, the water you would use to rinse it isn't scalding hot enough to actually kill off bacteria, doing so only redistributes any harmful bacteria onto your kitchen surfaces and possibly your body. When you then prepare other foods on those same surfaces, cross-contamination may cause illness.

Similar to the rationale for not washing raw poultry, the USDA advises against washing raw meat such as beef, lamb, and pork. You're better off skipping the meat wash and instead, thoroughly wash and clean your kitchen surfaces in between cooking sessions.

Bagged salads


According to the FDA, many bagged salads, as well as precut and packaged produce like carrots or celery have been pre-washed so you do not need to wash them after buying. These products will be labeled as ready-to-eat if they have indeed been pre-washed. In fact, washing them once you get home can actually increase the chances of contaminating them with bacteria that may already be on your kitchen surfaces. Since commercially packaged produce has often been "triple washed," they are perfect to eat as is. You chose them for the convenience, right?

Raw fish


As with raw poultry and meat, avoid washing raw fish in order to reduce the risk of spreading bacteria all around your kitchen. Instead, buy fish that's been gutted and scaled from a reputable fishmonger. Wash your hands well and clean surfaces in your kitchen work areas as thoroughly as possible. These simple precautions are your best bets for preventing foodborne illnesses.

Eggs


The USDA does not recommend washing eggs you purchase from the store. As a special technique of washing eggs is required as part of the commercialization process, doing so once your eggs are home can increase the risk of cross-contamination. Eggs are washed and cleaned once they've been laid in order to remove any bacteria. They are then coated with mineral oil to give the shells a layer of protection. As such, there's no need for you to re-wash them.

Pasta


Please don't wash pasta before cooking. The natural starches in all varieties of pasta are exactly what you want to keep. Often, you'll want to reserve some of the cooking water because that starchy content is invaluable when it comes to helping you create the silkiest sauce possible. The starch from that water helps the sauce cling to the noodles, resulting in a thick, tasty sauce that coats the pasta perfectly. Why would you want to wash that away before the cooking's even underway?

Hopefully, your cooking experiences will become all the more streamlined and way easier now that you know which foods need a wash and which ones don't. Enjoy your time in the kitchen and relish in your sacred mealtimes worry-free.

Mushrooms

When it comes to mushrooms, you should definitely skip washing them. There are even a couple of different reasons why.

If you give your mushrooms a wash before you put them in your refrigerator, the inevitable dampness will speed up just how quickly your mushrooms start to turn bad, especially if you keep them in a sealed container. Once you wash them, it's also going to be more difficult to get that crispy texture you're looking for when you saute them, and we all know that texture can be just as important as flavor. Dry clean them using a pastry brush (or other similar brush), or just some paper towels, and you'll be all set to add them to your meal.

According to the Mushroom Council, you can give them a quick rinse immediately before cooking them, but they also recommend never, ever soaking your mushrooms. The problem is in their super-absorbent qualities, and if they spend too much time in the water, you'll ruin your meal.

Turkey

A whole turkey can be one of the biggest challenges anyone can face in the kitchen, and that's quite literal. Trying to wrestle with a raw, 20-pound bird might be the hardest part of preparing your fancy meal, and that's just one more reason to skip washing your bird. Turkey can contain salmonella and campylobacter, and while washing it won't just fail to remove bacteria, it'll spread it around — just like with other poultry.

There is a single exception, though, and according to the US government's Food Safety blog, turkeys that have been brined need to be rinsed. They have some recommendations on how to avoid contamination, and that involves first moving everything — including soap dispensers, sponges, and drying racks — away from your sink. Cover the surrounding counters with paper towels, and place the roasting pan next to your sink. Clean the sink completely with hot water, then fill it with a few inches of cold water. Run more cold water through the inside cavity of the turkey, make sure it's running out the opposite end, and transfer it to the pan. You still shouldn't rinse or wash the outside of the bird, and be sure you clean the area completely with hot water and soap when you're done.

Take some basic precautions to ensure your family remains safe and injury-free throughout the holiday season.

Enjoy a Safe Holiday Season

  • Holiday safety is an issue that burns brightest from late November to mid-January, when families gather, parties are scheduled and travel spikes. Take some basic precautions to ensure your family remains safe and injury-free throughout the season.

    Even Angel Hair can Hurt


    Putting up decorations is one of the best ways to get in a holiday mood, but about 15,000 injuries involving holiday decorating were seen in emergency rooms during the 2012 season.
    • "Angel hair," made from spun glass, can irritate your eyes and skin; always wear gloves or substitute non-flammable cotton
    • Spraying artificial snow can irritate your lungs if inhaled; follow directions carefully
    • Decorate the tree with your kids in mind; move ornaments that are breakable or have metal hooks toward the top
    • Always use the proper step ladder; don't stand on chairs or other furniture
    • Lights are among the best parts of holiday decorating; make sure there are no exposed or frayed wires, loose connections or broken sockets
    • Plants can spruce up your holiday decorating, but keep those that may be poisonous (including some Poinsettias) out of reach of children or pets; the national Poison Control Center can be reached at (800) 222-1222
    • Make sure paths are clear so no one trips on wrapping paper, decorations, toys, etc.; NSC provides tips for older adults on slip, trip and fall protection

    It's Better to Give ... Safely

     

    We've all heard it's important when choosing toys for infants or small children to avoid small parts that might prove to be a choking hazard. Here are some additional gift-related safety tips:

    Watch Out for those Fire-starters


    Candles and Fireplaces


    Thousands of deaths are caused by fires, burns and other fire-related injuries every year, and 12% of home candle fires occur in December, the National Fire Protection Association reports. Increased use of candles and fireplaces, combined with an increase in the amount of combustible, seasonal decorations present in many homes means more risk for fire.
    • Never leave burning candles unattended or sleep in a room with a lit candle
    • Keep candles out of reach of children
    • Make sure candles are on stable surfaces
    • Don't burn candles near trees, curtains or any other flammable items
    • Don't burn trees, wreaths or wrapping paper in the fireplace
    • Check and clean the chimney and fireplace area at least once a year

    Turkey Fryers


    While many subscribe to the theory any fried food is good – even if it's not necessarily good for you – there is reason to be on alert if you're thinking of celebrating the holidays by frying a turkey.
    The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports there have been 168 turkey-fryer related fires, burns, explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning incidents since 2002. CPSC says 672 people have been injured and $8 million in property damage losses have resulted from these incidents.
    NSC discourages the use of turkey fryers at home and urges those who prefer fried turkey to seek out professional establishments or consider a new oil-less turkey fryer. But for those who don't heed that advice, please follow these precautions:
    • Set up the fryer more than 10 feet from the house and keep children away
    • Find flat ground; the oil must be even and steady to ensure safety
    • Use a thawed and dry turkey; any water will cause the oil to bubble furiously and spill over (see video at right)
    • Fryer lid and handle can become very hot and cause burns
    • Have a fire extinguisher ready at all times

    Don't Give the Gift of Food Poisoning


    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides some holiday food safety tips. Here are a few:
    • Do not rinse raw meat and poultry before cooking
    • Use a food thermometer to make sure meat is cooked to a safe temperature
    • Refrigerate food within two hours
    • Thanksgiving leftovers are safe for four days in the refrigerator
    • Bring sauces, soups and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating
    • When storing turkey, cut the leftovers in small pieces so they will chill quickly
    • Wash your hands frequently when handling food

    Traveling for the Holidays? Be Prepared


    Many people choose to travel during the holidays by automobile, with the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation. In 2013, 343 people died on New Year's Day, 360 on Thanksgiving Day and 88 on Christmas Day, according to Injury Facts 2015. Alcohol-impaired fatalities represented 31% of the totals.

    Remember, when guests are staying in your home, make sure areas have night lights or easy-to-reach lamps in case they need to get up during the night. And, whether you are visiting someone else's home or you have guests in your home, make sure all medications are kept up and away and out of sight from young children.

Retail Worker Safety and Health during the Holidays: A common cause of fatigue in employees in the retail industry is working extended or irregular shifts

Retail Worker Safety and Health during the Holidays

Posted on  

by Vern Putz Anderson, PhD, CPE; Jeannie A.S. Nigam, MS; Donna Pfirman; Seleen Collins; and Debbie Hornback, MS
The practice of American shoppers looking for a deal on the Friday after Thanksgiving has evolved into a four-day retail event ending with Cyber Monday.  This shopping bonanza leading off the holiday shopping season has implications for workers who may have long workdays and expanded work schedules. The approaching season offers an ideal time for a workplace safety refresher for those retail employers and employees who are on the front lines of the shopping frenzy.

Stress and Fatigue

According to The Toolbox, a loss control newsletter, “A common cause of fatigue in employees in the retail industry is working extended or irregular shifts…that is working longer than 8-hours or anything that limits the opportunity to get adequate sleep between work shifts” [Member Insurance 2016].

While employees do benefit from the extra pay, they earn by working additional hours, lost sleep and lost family time may be high costs that affect employees’ health and well-being. In 2016, 24% of American employees reported that work regularly interferes with their ability to meet personal and family obligations [APA 2017]. See the NIOSH Stress at Work topic page for more information. Workplace stress can lead to increased risk of injury. As employees’ work demands are increased and combined with long work hours, less attention may be paid to safe work practices increasing the risk of injury and back pain from slips, falls and excessive manual lifting [Dall’Ora 2016].

Crowd Management and Violence

Crowds of customers anxiously waiting to be helped add yet another layer of stress. Such workplace job demands, along with a lack of control worker’s may have over their work environment, can increase the risk of frustration and can lead to angry verbal exchanges and even violence in the extreme [Levy, et al. 2017 and Whiting 2017]. The NIOSH Occupational Violence topic page contains research focused on preventing workplace violence.
In 2008, a worker was trampled to death while a mob of shoppers rushed through the doors of a large store to take advantage of a Black Friday sales event. In response to such tragedies, OSHA developed a fact sheet containing recommendations for crowd management measures.
Retailers should be aware of the fact that work stress can negatively affect their employees’ mental and physical health. Being prepared and having plans in place can help reduce anxiety and assure that employees feel safe, supported, confident, and empowered to respond accordingly when needed in situations in which safety is at risk.
For more information about designing programs to support well-being, please see NIOSH Total Worker Health® Essential Elements of Effective Workplace Programs and Policies for Improving Worker Health and Wellbeing. Assuring that employees feel safe, supported, and have access to these beneficial programs can help mitigate the harmful effects of workplace stress, and bolster employee well-being that benefits individuals as well as their employers!
Tell us about the successes and challenges you have had with retail holiday sales and employee safety procedures. Let us know if you need additional references (such as on workplace violence, crowd management, long work hours, or fatigue) to build successful safety plans. Provide feedback below and give any tips or lessons learned on safety planning for large sales or promotion events.
Vern Putz Anderson, PhD, CPE, is NIOSH Coordinator for the Wholesale and Retail Trade Sector program.
Jeannie Nigam, MS, is NIOSH Co-Coordinator of the Healthy Work Design and Well-being Cross Sector program.
Donna Pfirman is NIOSH Co-Assistant Coordinator for the Wholesale and Retail Trade Sector program.
Seleen Collins is a Technical Writer-Editor in the NIOSH Education and Information Division.
Debbie Hornback, MS, is a Health Communication Specialist in the NIOSH Education and Information Division.

References

American Psychological Association [2017]. 2017 Work and Well-Being Survey. Retrieved from http://www.apaexcellence.org/assets/general/2017-work-and-wellbeing-survey-results.pdf. (retrieved November 14, 2017.)
Dall’Ora, C., Ball, J., Recio-Saucedo, A., & Griffiths, P. [2016]. Characteristics of shift work and their impact on employee performance and wellbeing: A literature review. International journal of nursing studies, 57, 12-27.
Euclid [2017]. Evolution of retail: 2017 holiday physical and digital trends. A Euclid commissioned summary survey report—2017 (retrieved October 27, 2017).
Hammer L. B., & Sauter, S. L. [2013]. Total worker health and work-life stress. Journal of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, 55(12), S25-S29.
Levy, B.S., Wegman, D.H., Baron S.L., Sokas, R.K. [2017]. Occupational Environmental Health. Seventh Ed. Oxford University Press. Chapter 14. Occupational Stress, Job Demand and Control Model by Landsbergis, P.A., et al. in press Nov 1, 2017 (retrieved November 17, 2017).
Member Insurance [2016]. Workplace fatigue: what is the ‘real’ cost of workplace fatigue? June 2016, http://memberinsurance.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Workplace-Fatigue.pdf (retrieved November 3, 2017).
NIOSH [2017]. Healthy work design and well-being resources. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/programs/hwd/resources.html (retrieved November 14, 2017).
NIOSH [2017]. Total Worker Health®. Essential elements of effective workplace programs and policies for improving worker health and wellbeing. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/twh/essentials.html (retrieved November 14, 2017).
NRF [2017]. Press release: NRF forecasts holiday sales to increase between 3.6 and 4.0 percent. October 3, 2017. Washington, DC: National Retail Federation, https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/nrf-forecasts-holiday-sales-increase-between-36-and-4-percent?_ga=2.231492439.974562538.1509550942-674662804.1497556871 (retrieved November 1, 2017).
OSHA [2012]. Crowd management safety guidelines for retailers. DTSEM 11/2012. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_General_Facts/Crowd_Control.pdf (retrieved October 30, 2017).
Smith, T. D., & DeJoy, D. M. [2012]. Occupational injury in America: An analysis of risk factors using data from the General Social Survey (GSS). Journal of Safety Research43, 67-74.
Whiting A. [2009]. Push, scream, or leave: how do consumers cope with crowded retail stores? Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 23 Issue: 7, pp.487-495, https://doi.org/10.1108/08876040910995275 (retrieved November 17, 2017)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Five workers working on the high-speed rail project over the San Joaquin River were hurt and trapped under collapsed rebar in Northwest Fresno, CA







By Gene Haagenson
Tuesday, November 21, 2017 12:11AM
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- These are believed to be the first significant injuries on this massive project, which continues to face questions about its financial viability.

The accident occurred Saturday, just north of Fresno at the San Joaquin River crossing next to Highway 99. According to state investigators a tower, made of reinforced steel rods fell over, injuring five workers. Two required hospitalization.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the mishap because it occurred on state property. Cal OSHA is investigating the injury aspect.

In a written statement Cal OSHA Communications Director Jeanne Mairie Duvall told Action News: "Rebar collapsed injuring five employees, two of which were hospitalized. DOSH is currently investigating. Cal/OSHA has six months after opening an investigation to issue any citations, if appropriate. Until that time, the case is open and confidential."

The re-bar tower was the framework for concrete supports that will hold tracks over the San Joaquin River. Just one of 17 locations in the 29-mile section where crews are on the job.

Lee Ann Eager said,"There's about 1500 people working on the construction sites and about half of them are from Fresno County."

Lee Ann Eager of the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation notes the project is having a major financial impact on the Central Valley.

"Already just from High-Speed Rail, and construction and people working here they have put in about 3.5 billion dollars into our valley right now."

But the project's finances remain a question for Assembly Member Jim Patterson. He believes recent revelations about additional cost overruns indicate problems, and he is requesting an emergency audit of the High
Speed Rail Authorities books by the state auditors office.

"The question is whether they are going to really complete it and whether they will have a system that works," said Jim Patterson.

While the projects financing and other issues have created political divides over High-Speed Rail, Patterson says he does not want to politicize the recent accident. Saturday's tower collapse is believed to be the first significant workplace accident during three years of construction on California High-Speed Rail.

We have not been told the condition of the two workers who were hospitalized in Saturday's accident. The highway patrol described their injuries as moderate, one may have suffered a fractured back.

Oilfield worker George Cottingham, 61 of Greeley, who was injured along with two other workers in a gas pipeline fire last week died Tuesday night on a PDC Energy site




Greeley oil field worker dies after gas pipeline fire



November 22, 2017


Davis Bonner/For The Tribune |

A medical helicopter departs the scene of a fire at an oil and gas drilling site where three workers were injured Thursday afternoon. The incident occured just west of the Weld County road 71 and Colo. 392 intersection, 10 miles east of Galeton.


An oil field worker died late Tuesday after sustaining injuries from a gas pipeline fire Thursday afternoon, according to a release from the Weld County Coroner's office.

The worker was identified as 61-year-old George Cottingham of Greeley in the release. Cottingham was transported to North Colorado Medical Center's Burn Center after the fire on a PDC Energy site about 10 miles east of Galeton.

Two others injured in the fire were taken to North Colorado Medical Center, according to Fire Chief James Dilka. No information was released Wednesday about the two others who were injured.

"Preliminary information suggests that this was an industrial accident, and the scene is being turned over to Briggsdale Fire for further investigation," Weld County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Matt Turner said in a news release.

Though the well site belongs to PDC Energy, the injured workers were doing routine maintenance on a DCP Midstream pipeline. One of the workers was a DCP employee and the other two were contract workers, according to a DCP spokeswoman.


Dilka confirmed a flashover injured the workers and damaged two company trucks. Fire crews had the fire contained within about 15 minutes, according to Dilka.


According to the coroner's release, the final manner and cause of Cottingham's death awaits autopsy and lab results.


Agencies are continuing an investigation of the fire's origin.


PDC Energy is an exploration and production company headquartered in Denver, Colorado focused on value-added organic growth through active horizontal drilling programs and bolt-on acquisitions in its core areas. PDC's operations include production, development, exploration and marketing of crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids (“NGLs”). PDC’s portfolio is comprised of the Wattenberg Field in Colorado, the Delaware Basin in West Texas and the Utica Shale in Ohio. The Company’s total 2016 net production increased approximately 44% year-over-year to 22.2 million barrels of oil equivalent ("MMBoe"), which was derived primarily from the Wattenberg Field, and consisted of 61% crude oil and NGLs, and 39% natural gas.

As of year-end 2016, the Company had proved reserves of 341, million barrels of oil equivalent ("MMBoe"), and owned an interest in approximately 2,900 gross productive wells. PDC has a very large inventory of predictable, high-value horizontal locations in the Wattenberg Field (approximately 1,800) that offer significant organic development and long-term growth opportunities. Additionally, the Company has identified 785 horizontal locations in the Delaware Basin through its recent acquisitions.




What Is the Midstream Industry?

Most natural gas in the U.S. must be processed before it reaches the marketplace (companies) and end-users (people like you). Midstream is the link between natural gas being produced at a wellhead and then filling society’s need for energy and by-products.

Where do we fit in? If you take a hot shower, heat your home or use anything made from rubber, plastics or synthetics, we were part of providing it. If you save on heating or cooling costs through home insulation, we help make it possible. If you have cables running through your home or office, you benefit from the energy we provide.

===============



GREELEY, Colo. — An oil field worker who was among three people injured in a gas pipeline fire last week died Tuesday night, the Weld County Coroner’s Office said.

George Cottingham, 61 of Greeley, was taken to North Colorado Medical Center after the fire about 10 miles east of Galeton on Thursday.

The final manner and cause of his death are awaiting autopsy and laboratory results, the coroner’s office said.

One DCP Midstream employee and two contractors were performing routine maintenance when the fire broke out on a PDC Energy site.

The workers were near a DCP pipeline at the time of the fire. Two company trucks also burned.

The names and conditions of the other two workers have not been released. The cause of the fire remains under investigation

========================


Workers burned at oil site were doing routine maintenance
Posted 9:24 am, November 18, 2017, by Associated Press






Three workers were injured at a Weld County oil site on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017.

GREELEY, Colo. — Authorities say three workers were performing routine maintenance when they were injured in a fire at an oil site in northern Colorado.

The Greeley Tribune reports one DCP Midstream employee and two contractors were burned in the fire east of Galeton on Thursday afternoon. Their names and conditions have not been released.

Briggsdale Fire Chief James Dilka says the workers were near a DCP pipeline when the fire broke out. Two company trucks also were burned.

Investigators have not said what caused the fire, which is being classified as an industrial accident.

The well site is owned by PDC Energy Corp.

==================



WELD COUNTY, Colo. -- Three maintenance workers were hurt at an oil site fire in Weld County on Thursday afternoon.

It happened about 3:30 p.m. in the area of Highway 392 and Weld County Road 71 northeast of Greeley, the Weld County Sheriff's Office said.

Two male patients were airlifted to a hospital and another was taken by ambulance to be treated for various levels of burns, the sheriff's office said.

The conditions of the three workers were not released.

The sheriff's office called it an industrial accident and said the Briggsdale Fire Department was leading the investigation.

Careless disposal of a cigarette ignited a three-alarm fire in a North End of Boston apartment building early this morning that killed two men and left 12 other people homeless for Thanksgiving








Careless disposal of a cigarette ignited a three-alarm fire in a North End apartment building early this morning that killed two men and left 12 other people homeless for Thanksgiving, including a baby, according to authorities.

One man died in a desperate attempt to flee the blaze by jumping from a window at the rear of the building. The second victim was later found in a second-floor apartment, where Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said it's believed the fire broke out in a bedroom.

"It's unfortunate and it's very, very tragic, especially in the holiday season. It's just tragic," MacDonald said, noting the men were the first to die in a fire in Boston in 2017.

The deadly blaze was reported at 1 a.m. Firefighters arriving to smoke showing immediately set about "escorting several people down the front stairs," MacDonald said.

"A man and a woman and an infant were rescued by Ladder 18's aerial ladder," he said. "But tragically, one resident jumped from the rear of the building."

MacDonald said it was not immediately clear if the fatally injured man died from the fall or the fire.

"The cause of death in both fatalities will be up to the medical examiner," he said.

Scorched brick, shattered glass and blackened awnings greeted pedestrians as dawn broke on Hanover Street this morning above the Trattoria II Panino restaurant.

Larry Leibowitz, who lived in the apartment next to where the fire started, was allowed to go back in his home this morning to pack a tote bag with clothes.

Leibowitz, his eyes welling with tears, said his unit was unscathed, but because the utilities are shut off it could be days before he can return.

Leibowitz was not home when the fatal fire started.

"It's a holiday. This is something you never expect," he said, his voice breaking. "I just feel bad for the victims."

Dianna Breda said she and her husband, who lived on the third floor, are alive today thanks to working smoke alarms and firefighters who put oxygen masks on their faces and walked them to safety.

"I can't express it. We're very, very lucky," Breda said, tears streaming down her cheeks.

Breda said she was awoken by fire alarms.

"I heard the fire department come and I said to my husband, there's something. I got out of bed. The smoke was coming inside the house and I said, something's wrong. I said just put on a jacket. The firefighters came and out the masks on and walked us down. I couldn't breathe anymore there was so much smoke."

Breda did not know the men who died.

North End business magnate Frank DePasquale, who owns Panino and 11 other eateries, looked stricken as he stood outside his shuttered restaurant, rain beating down on crews still clearing the damage.

DePasquale is providing temporary housing for the displaced families who need it, even though he does not own the residential portion of the building.

He declined comment, but said in a statement: "A fire started in an apartment in the building above where Trattoria Il Panino is located early this morning. The fire did not impact the restaurant and our hearts go out to the victims and the families who had to encounter the tragedy during this holiday season.


"We are grateful that our staff are all safe and accounted for, but we hurt for the two neighbors and friends who perished. This is no way to start the holiday season, and we will be here to help our neighbors who are affected today.

"The North End is a very special place full of very special people and this news saddens us to the core as we are proud to be part of the community."

MacDonald said the property loss is estimated to be $1.5 million. In addition to the eatery there are eight residential units on floors two through five. 





===================




BOSTON (CBS) – Two people are dead and three hurt after a devastating fire in the North End early Wednesday morning.

Flames broke out on the second floor of a 5-story apartment building on Hanover Street around 1 a.m.


A 33-year-old man died after jumping from a top-floor window to escape the fire. Another man was found dead inside a second floor apartment.

“Smoke was coming in my room,” his roommate told reporters. “I got up to ask him why the house was so smoky and he’s like ‘Help me, help me put this out!’ and I started filling up a pan of water and it was just useless, it was fruitless. And I said, ‘Matt we have to go, it’s just too big,’ and I ran out the door and I thought he was coming behind me but he must have still been staying to put the fire out.”


Firefighters rescued a family of three from the apartments on Hanover Street. (WBZ-TV)

The victims names have not been made public.

A mother, father and a three-year-old child were rescued with a ladder truck and rushed to Tufts Medical Center. About 12 residents are now looking for another place to live.


The fire started on the second floor of the building. (WBZ-TV)

Investigators say the fire started because of “careless disposal of smoking material,” later identified as a cigarette, in a second floor bedroom.

The fire department says damage is estimated at $1.5 million.

A restaurant, Trattoria Il Panino, is on the ground floor of the building.

“The fire did not impact the restaurant but our hearts go out to the victims and their families who had to encounter this tragedy during the holiday season,” Maria DeNapoli, a spokesperson for the restaurant, said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

“We are grateful our staff is all safe and accounted for, but we hurt for our neighbors and friends who perished. This is no way to start the holiday season and we will be here to help our neighbors who were affected today. The North End is a special place full of special people and this news saddens us to our core as we are a proud part of this community.”

According to the state fire marshal, smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths in Massachusetts. In the last decade there have been more than 2,000 smoking-related fires, resulting in 68 deaths, 157 injuries, and more than $90 million worth of property damage

The Corinth, NY house fire that killed Tonya L. Slimmer, 39 and her 15-year-old daughter, Briaunna L. Slimmer, and sent other family members to the hospital Monday was caused by smoking










November 21, 2017 12:26 PM

Autopsies were performed on two victims of Monday's deadly fire in Corinth – 39-year-old Tonya Slimmer and her 15-year-old daughter, Briaunna.

The Saratoga County Sheriff's Department says the cause of death was smoke inhalation.


The fire broke out at their home on Main Street.

Two other children, ages 18 months and 3 years, were treated and released from the hospital.

Schools in Corinth are offering bereavement counseling. Brianna was a student there.

NewsChannel 13's media partners at The Post-Star report the fire was caused by smoking.

=================

CORINTH, NY — The fire that killed a mother and her daughter and sent other family members to the hospital Monday was caused by smoking, Corinth Fire Chief Andy Kelley said at the scene Tuesday morning.


Kelley said it is believed the fire was accidentally started by the 15-year-old daughter, Briaunna L. Slimmer, who died in the blaze along with her mother, Tonya L. Slimmer, 39.


According to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office, the cause of death for both victims was linked to smoke inhalation. Autopsies were performed Tuesday at Saratoga Hospital by Dr. Miachel Sikirica.


After the fire broke out, the teen called downstairs to her mother, but the two were overcome with smoke, Kelley said.


Tonya’s 20-year-old son and two of her children, an 18-month-old and a 3-year-old, were home at the time of the fire. Others were in school when the fire broke out.


Two firefighters rescued the young children, Kelley said. They were transported to Saratoga Hospital, then transferred to Albany Medical Center to be treated for smoke inhalation and released Monday.

Tonya’s husband, Jerry, was at work at the time of the fire and returned to the scene.


Two smoke detectors were found to be in operation by firefighters, although one was chirping with a low battery. Firefighters found no smoke detector on the second floor, where the fire started, Kelley said.

Donations for the family are being accepted through the Corinth First United Methodist Church. At least 40 volunteers, including Bonnie Bates, the church’s pastor, have been organizing the overflowing amount of donations at the church.


“It just has been amazing,” Bates said. “People just walked in and handed a $100 bill. Everybody wants to help.”


Items in need include toiletries including diapers sizes 3 and 5, toys, plastic storage totes, food and premade meals. Gift cards to Stewart’s Shops, Market 32, local restaurants and cash will be accepted.


According to Sherry Mann, who has helped lead the volunteer effort, they are accepting money to help the family make a payment for a three- or four-bedroom apartment.


Students at Corinth Central School began their morning with a moment of silence for a classmate, 15-year-old sophomore Briaunna, and her mother. Homeroom teachers read a note to the students, telling them to seek counseling if they needed it.


“We’re doing okay. Obviously, it’s been a difficult day,” said Superintendent Mark Stratton, whose schools have five other members of the Slimmmer family enrolled. “I wouldn’t say we have had a lot of students go for counseling but, of course, we did have some students who were a lot more affected than others. We have the counseling center open, and we also have the meeting room open for the staff members who need to talk.”


In a letter to students’ families, Stratton noted Briaunna had been in Corinth schools since kindergarten and was a member of the Leo Club, the chorus and cross-country team.


“She will always be remembered as a polite, hardworking and respectful young lady,” he wrote. “The loss of a student is a difficult and challenging situation that can generate a high level of anxiety and distress in students.”


Sophomore classmate Isabella Mann, who was volunteering at the church Tuesday, said, “She always had a smile on her face and was a beautiful girl.”


Stratton said the school already had an assembly scheduled for Tuesday, the last day of the school week before Thanksgiving.


“That was good timing because it took the kids’ minds off the tragedy,” she said.

Jennifer Parent said she had been friends with Tonya Slimmer for more than two decades.

“She was an amazing person. She didn’t have much as far as material things, but she had a lot of love and a huge heart. She would help anyone that she could,” Parent said in an email. “She and I volunteered at Code Blue (homeless shelter) one season, and her kids rang the bell for the Salvation Army every holiday season. One son raised money every year and donated it to a local animal shelter. She had a tradition that she carried on from her mother who passed away a few years ago from cancer, which was every Christmas Eve she would make stockings and deliver them to the shelters of Saratoga.


“Tonya had a huge heart and she taught her children the same. She was always trying to find things to do with her children to make a difference in the community,” Parent added. “She would take people in to her house if they had no place to go and treat them like family. She really was amazing and I just wish more people really knew her.”

A GoFundMe fundraiser has raised nearly $7,000 as of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. The goal is set at $10,000 to help cover funeral costs.

An account was established Tuesday at Hudson River Community Credit Union under the name Jerry Slimmer Sr. Those wishing to make a donation may do so at any branch during regular business hours, according to CEO Sue Commanda.

A Corinth auction house will also be open to collect items to help the family.

A Hoops for Holidays event scheduled at 3:30 p.m., Nov. 29, will benefit the family.

Pastor Bates said a wake will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at First United Methodist Church, and funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday.

A prayer vigil for the victims and family is planned at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the corner of Main and Beech streets.

The house was demolished Tuesday morning after being condemned by local officials.

The family was also assisted by The Salvation Army with cots, and the American Red Cross donated money to the family.

Massive gas line explosion from ruptured 22-inch diamter gas pipeline creates flames 200 feet high and leaves 18-foot crater in Orion Township, Michigan









Massive gas line explosion leaves 18-foot crater in Orion Township
Hasan Dudar and John Wisely, Detroit Free Press 


 Novembet 21, 2017


Surveillance camera footage from Checkers on Brown Road of an an explosion from a ruptured gas line in Orion Township near the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets mall on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017.

A ruptured gas line caused a massive explosion and fire in an area of Orion Township near the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets mall on Monday night.





A ruptured gas line caused an explosion and massive fire that left an 18-foot-deep crater in an area of Orion Township near the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets mall on Monday night, authorities say.

A fire was reported shortly after 9:52 p.m., when Consumers Energy noticed a drop in pressure on its gas system, the energy company said in a news release.

Orion Township fire personnel received a 911 call from someone nearby who said there was a gas leak and it sounded like a jet engine, township supervisor Chris Barnett said.

Barnett said that they've had gas main breaks before but nothing of this magnitude. He said the fire — which occurred in an area north of Brown Road near Joslyn Road, near the border with Auburn Hills — had flames 100- to 150-feet wide and up to 200-feet high. The flames could be seen from downtown Detroit, more than 30 miles away.


Emergency personnel work at the site of a ruptured gas line that caused an explosion and fire in Orion Township near the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets mall on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017. (Photo: Romain Blanquart, Detroit Free Press)

"The good news is this is an area that’s soon-to-be developed but not developed yet," Barnett said, adding that the only items near the main break were equipment including flatbed trailers. A Menards store is being developed on the north side of Brown Road, Barnett said.

Residents in the area who were ordered to evacuate their homes were able to return early Tuesday morning, Auburn Hills Police reported on its Twitter account.

Consumers Energy said that the cause of the eruption and fire is under investigation. What officials do know is that a 22-inch diameter steel transmission line ruptured, and that the fire burned itself out after the flow of gas was cut off on either end of a seven-mile section of the transmission line.  The gas was shut off by 11:10 p.m. and the fire was out sometime after midnight or 1 a.m., Consumers Energy spokesperson Roger Morgenstern said.

“We inspected the site of the ruptured gas line and surrounding area and found nothing suspicious or unusual relating to an intentional act,” Captain Mel Maier of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said in an e-mail.


Maier said the sheriff’s office was not aware of any injuries directly related to the fire or explosion. The explosion’s blast area encompassed 30 to 40 yards around the crater and exposed about 30 feet of the natural gas line, Maier said.

The section of the pipeline that was isolated stretched from around the scene of the fire to Dixie Highway and M15, said Morgenstern, who described the incident as "uncommon" and said it typically does not happen with transmission lines, which carry gas at a high pressure–this particular one at 600 pounds per square inch.

"This is like the highway for gas transportation and this line is not directly connected to any customers," Morgenstern said. "So we were able to isolate this 22-inch diameter pipe."

The last time there was a transmission line rupture was in July 2016, when a vehicle struck a line at a DTE site on Greenfield Road in Melvindale, said Michigan Public Service Commission spokesman Nick Assendelt, who also said such a rupture is "not common at all," in an email.


Oakland County Sheriff’s Office “Air One” captures video Orion Township gas line explosion site.

The commission investigates pipeline incidents and will be working with Consumers Energy to determine the cause of Monday's incident but can't speculate, Assendelft said.

"But different gas transmission line ruptures around the state in past have been caused by a number of different factors, including outside force, natural force, material or equipment failure, incorrect operations, excavation damage, or corrosion," Assendelft said.


Ed Holm, owner of Orion Stone Wholesale, said the explosion happened near the back of his property, which is 1,400 feet deep on the north side of Brown Road.

He said he received a call late last night from his daughter, who lives nearby. When he got to his business on Brown Road, west of Joslyn, he saw flames shooting 200 to 300 feet in the air.

“I I knew that the pipeline was there, but it’s never been a problem,” he said.

The fire did not damage the building that houses Holm’s business but it destroyed six trailers that he uses to transport stone and other material.

The heat from the fire caused the tires of the trailers to ignite.

“It was so hot that it melted the aluminum on the deck of the trailers,” Holm said.

Holm estimated that the pipeline was about 20 feet below ground level near the back of his property. The property behind his is undeveloped and covered with woods, which caught fire.

Even after fire crews put out the flames from the gas, the trees still lit up the night with embers on their trunks, Holm said.

Natural gas service was not interrupted because of the incident, Consumers Energy said.

Service has been restored to all 911 and 10-digit non-emergency telephone services at the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and countywide public safety answering points, according to Maier.


================




ORION TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) - 



Schools and roads are open following a massive fire in Orion Township Monday evening. It's almost like nothing ever happened, but the images and sounds will be unforgettable for many.

Witnesses described the explosion and fire near Great Lakes Crossing as sounding like a "jet engine."


The fire near Brown and Joslyn roads could be seen and even heard from miles away.

Consumers Energy says they noticed a drop in the gas pressure about 10 minutes before 10 p.m. A 22-inch diameter steel gas transmission line reportedly ruptured, causing the explosion and fire.

Responders were able to cut off the flow of gas on either end of a 7-mile section of the line, allowing the fire to burn itself out.

Consumers says no customers had service interrupted because of the incident and no injuries were reported.

A spokesperson says what happened was very rare and the cause of the rupture is under investigation.

Lake Orion Schools tweeted that the Oakland County Sheriff's Office says the incident will not affect schools, businesses or other activities.

All 911 and non-emergency 10 digit telephone services at the Oakland County Sheriff's Office and countywide PSAPs were fully restored early this morning following an outage after the fire incident.