Saturday, April 8, 2017

Monsanto worker in Soda Springs, ID severely injured after falling 20 feet from suspended platform

By Shelbie Harris

SODA SPRINGS, IDAHO — A worker at Monsanto in Soda Springs was critically injured Friday morning following an industrial accident near the kiln located inside a structure in the main manufacturing building.

The incident occurred around 8 a.m. when the employee fell from a grate suspended 20 feet in the air that gave way unexpectedly.

“The employee fell and EMTs immediately responded,” said Monsanto spokesman Trent Clark.

The employee was transported to Caribou Memorial Hospital via ambulance and after conducting an assessment, medical staff transported the employee to the University of Utah Medical Center trauma unit via helicopter.

“The employee was experiencing pain,” Clark said. “We don’t have an X-ray unit on site, but the employee was awake and alert as they left in the ambulance.”

Clark believes the employee had ascended a stairwell and, upon stepping on the grated-platform, it gave way causing him to plummet to the ground below.

“We don’t know how far he fell,” Clark said. “We just know that when the grate is suspended as it should be it is about 20 feet off the ground.”

The current condition of the employee, who remains unidentified until the family has been notified, also remains unknown at this time.

In addition to conducting a thorough investigation of the accident, which Clark expects could take a few days to complete, Monsanto plans to release an official statement regarding the incident later today.

Further details on how the accident occurred have not yet been released.

Worker with Cecchetto and Sons crushed to death after he was pinned underneath the tires of a dump truck at Vale in Sudbury, Ont.

Worker dies in industrial accident at Vale in Sudbury, Ont.
Worker was an employee of Cecchetto and Sons, a Sudbury-based general contractor

CBC News  Last Updated: Apr 07, 2017 2:18 PM ET

A sign on the Vale tailings near Copper Cliff warns workers to stay safe. (Erik White/CBC )

Ontario's Ministry of Labour has confirmed a contract worker hurt Thursday afternoon on the Vale tailings property has died.

In an email to CBC News, ministry spokesperson Janet Deline said the employee was pinned underneath the tires of a dump truck, causing fatal injuries.

The ministry said it was notified of the incident around 10:15 p.m. Thursday.

Knowing exactly how the worker ended up underneath the equipment may take some time, Deline said in a subsequent interview.

"An investigation can take upwards of about a year to complete, if necessary, because if charges are warranted ... [they] have to be issued within one year of the date of the offense," she said.

Ontario's Ministry of Labour confirmed that a contract worker was killed at Vale's tailings site near Copper Cliff. (Vale)

Earlier Friday morning, officials with Vale, the owner of the property on which the incident occurred, said in a written release that the employee sustained "critical injuries" while disposing of waste materials at a tailings dump as part of Vale's Clean AER project.

The worker is not being named "out of respect for the family."
The worker was an employee of Cecchetto and Sons, a general contractor based in Sudbury.

"Our thoughts are with the family, co-workers and friends of this individual," Dave Stefanuto, Vale's vice-president of north Atlantic projects said in the release.

"We are doing everything we can to support them and to better understand what happened during this incident."

The Ministry of Labour and Sudbury police are investigating, along with Vale and other contractors. The ministry confirmed that, as of Friday morning, no work site orders had been issued.

The Clean AER project involves a number of upgrades to Vale's Sudbury smelter that are required to bring the company in-line with the province's updated air quality standards for sulfur emissions.

Worker with Covanta was killed in an industrial accident at the H-POWER plant in Oahu after he received critical injuries to his lower extremities

(Image: Hawaii News Now/file) 

KAPOLEI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A 41-year-old man was killed in an industrial accident at the H-POWER plant on Thursday.

Authorities say the man died of critical injuries to his lower extremities.

The accident happened at around 12:20 p.m., according to Emergency Medical Services officials. He was pronounced dead at the scene. There were no obvious signs of foul play, according to police investigators.

Covanta, the company that runs the H-POWER plant, issued a statement saying, "All of us at Covanta are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and co-worker. Our deepest sympathies are with his family and friends at this most difficult time."

H-POWER, owned by the City and County of Honolulu, burns garbage to produce steam, which drives a turbine generator. The electricity is then sold to the Hawaiian Electric Company for distribution.


Investigation underway after H-Power worker killed in facility accident

By Web Staff Updated: April 7, 2017, 4:10 pm

The company behind H-POWER says an employee was killed in an accident at the facility.

Covanta says it happened at around noon Thursday.

The Honolulu medical examiner has identified the victim as Gulston Spragling, 41, of Waianae.

The state Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Division is investigating the incident. Inspectors were at the scene Thursday and Friday.

Officials say Covanta has a clean record, and participates in HIOSH’s Hawaii Voluntary Protection Program, which means the company has a good safety record and met high safety standards for several years.

According to Covanta, “the investigation into the accident is ongoing and we are cooperating fully with local authorities as we work diligently to determine exactly what happened.”

In a statement, the company said, “All of us at Covanta are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and co-worker. Our deepest sympathies are with his family and friends at this most difficult time.

“At Covanta, the safety of our employees is our top priority. Tragedies like this remind us how precious life is.”


Covanta Honolulu

Covanta Honolulu, known locally as the H-POWER (Honolulu Program of Waste Energy Recovery) facility, began commercial operation in May 1990 and is owned by the City and County of Honolulu. Covanta acquired the operating contract in 1993. Located in Kapolei, on the island of Oahu, the facility serves the municipal waste disposal needs of more than 850,000 residents and more than six million visitors to the island each year. The facility processes up to 3,000 tons per day of municipal solid waste, generating up to 90 megawatts of energy– enough to meet nearly 8 percent of Oahu's energy needs. H-POWER also recovers thousands of tons of ferrous (steel) and non-ferrous (aluminum alloy) metal for recycling each year. In 2012, Covanta completed an expansion that increased the facility's processing capacity by an additional 900 tons per day. The project was featured in Power Magazine.

Commercial Operation: May 1990
Waste Processing Capacity: 3,000 tons per day

Fatal Explosion in St. Louis, MO: the vessel that launched into the Faultless Linen building was a hot water storage tank also called a semi-closed receiver or SCR

Update on the CSB's Assessment into Fatal Explosion in St. Louis, MO

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board’s three person investigation team arrived onsite at the Loy-Lange Box
View of damaged roof Company to begin its assessment on Thursday April 6th. Since arriving on site the following activities and analysis have been conducted:
  • CSB investigators visited all three sites impacted by the April 3rd incident: 1) Faultless Linen; 2) Pioneer Industrial Corp.; and 3) Loy-Lange Box Company.
  • While early media reports were calling the equipment involved in the incident a “boiler,” the vessel that launched into the Faultless Linen building was a hot water storage tank also called a semi-closed receiver or SCR. This tank was part of a steam generator system that serves the same purpose as a boiler, but is of a different design.
  • The SCR launched out of the Loy-Lange facility and into the Faultless Linen site, crashing into an office area. An initial examination found that the vessel appears to have landed top down into a room where three people were present.
  • The three people in the office room were fatally injured 
  • The structural integrity of the Faultless Linen office area is still being assessed. The failure mode of the SCR is unknown. Currently, it is too dangerous to enter the room to conduct an in-depth examination.  The CSB has begun discussions with the appropriate entities on site to remove the equipment to allow forensic examination.
  • An initial assessment also found that an approximately 12.5 foot long pipe, which had been attached to the SCR, crashed through the roof of the Pioneer facility. It stuck in the roof and punctured an office ceiling, where it remained until the company removed it to temporarily re-roof the hole to protect the building from water damage.
  • Structural engineers retained by the CSB determined that the Loy-Lange site is not safe for CSB entry at this time. CSB investigators have photo-documented the perimeter. 
  • The CSB is coordinating its investigation efforts with local emergency responders and other federal agencies and investigative entities.   
  • CSB investigators are likely to remain on site for the next several days.  Additional updates will be provided as the investigation develops. 
photo_1The CSB is an independent federal agency whose mission is to drive chemical safety change through independent investigations to protect people and the environment. The agency’s board members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical incidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.

Worker with Lapeer Industries Michigan died after he became trapped underneath a steel fixture

LAPEER, MI -- A 47-year-old man died Friday, April 7 after he became trapped underneath a steel fixture inside a Lapeer plant.

Lapeer police and fire were called out shortly after 11 a.m. April 7 to Lapeer Industries Inc., 3140 John Conley Drive, for an entrapment of a worker and found the man seriously injured.

Employees and officers were able to work together and extricate the worker from underneath the steel fixture. Life-saving measures were immediately undertaken on the worker.

He was transported by Medstar ambulance to McLaren-Lapeer and later pronounced dead. A preliminary investigation has revealed the worker's death appears to have been the result of an industrial accident.

His name has not been released by police, pending family notification. 


About Lapeer Industries

Lapeer Industries, Inc has been consistently meeting automotive and military needs since 1974.

As a veteran owned, small business corporation, we take pride in our reputation for manufacturing top-quality parts.

We provide prompt, on-time service, reliable products, and assure complete quality control. Satisfied customers are our highest priority.
Over 40 Years of Dedicated Service

More About Our Company

Founded in 1974 by Carl W. Schreiber, Lapeer Industries, Inc. has been an valuable leader in providing our automotive and defense industries customers with innovation, dedication, and trustworthy relationships that continue today, over 40 years later.

Due to participation and dedication, Lapeer Industries has one of the lowest employee turnover rates in the industry. We run two shifts everyday, to assure that our products are delivered on time and with the highest standard of quality.

As specialists in manufacturing, prototyping, and engineering, our key personnel will work directly with your engineers to assure cost-effective results.

Our program management team ensures top quality customer service and points of contact assistance to all of our customers. Scheduling, material yields, logistics, and cost analysis reports are just some of the daily responsibilities performed by Lapeer Industries program management team.

Lapeer Industries uses state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment to ensure competitive products at competitive prices without sacrificing quality.

At Lapeer Industries, we stand behind everything we manufacture 100%. Products must meet our high standards as well as yours. Our materials come only from approved suppliers; all materials are inspected, tested to appropriate standards, and verified by our Quality Control Department before put into production. We are capable of accommodating strict automotive requirements, as well as precision military steel mill-work.

Due to our extensive military background, Lapeer Industries was selected by Textron Marine and Land Systems / Cadillac Gage to manufacture turrets, fenders and differentials as well as other various assemblies for their ASV vehicle. Lapeer Industries was also chosen to manufacture the Scout Vehicle (including hull fabrication and machining) equipped with 7.62mm machine guns. Because of our knowledge and service, we’ve provided various military components to prime contractors.

In addition to our team of trained professionals, our complete computer-aided design system provides extensive data communication and technical analysis. We will design to your specification, or use existing designs to manufacture your product.

Our headquarters is located in Lapeer, MI. Lapeer Industries is centrally located in a tri-state area, approximately 60 miles from Detroit, and 20 miles from Flint. Access to Interstate 69 is only 5 minutes away, and we are only 20 minutes from Interstate 75. Click here for directions.

After the catastrophic Avalon fire in Edgewater, NJ, two bills have been introduced in the New Jersey State Assembly that are aimed at improving fire safety and building construction codes.

Friday, April 7, 2017
EDGEWATER, New Jersey (WABC) -- Following a devastating apartment complex fire in Edgewater more than two years ago, New Jersey lawmakers are working to make future construction safer.

Two bills have been introduced in the New Jersey State Assembly that are aimed at improving fire safety and building construction codes.

The proposed legislation would increase sprinklers in concealed combustible spaces and limit the use of lightweight wood construction.

"Without this, as you saw here in Edgewater, there is no chance," Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco said. "So that's why it's so important to get this legislation moving quickly."

The January 2015 fire left hundreds of people at the Avalon apartment complex homeless. Officials said the fire spread so quickly and was virtually unstoppable because the building was made of lightweight materials with no firewalls.

However, with a recent six-alarm blaze at another AvalonBay property in Maplewood back in February, some people are still questioning if these changes will be enough.

As reconstruction continues at the Avalon in Edgewater, where they are already implementing some of the proposed changes, lawmakers hope the new bills will receive approval by the end of May.

"It's been a long time coming," Edgewater Mayor Michael McPartland said. "I think it's something that should be done I think it makes common sense."

We believe that even these measures are not enough to prevent similar catastrophes.  The Avalon fire could have been minimized if the firefighters acted early and with massive water force.  But they did not.  Instead, they spend valuable time trying to get people out of the Avalon apartments, while the fire was spreading.  They then decided to fight the fire in the perimeter!  These were amateur firefighters and you could see them siting around and doing nothing.  Not to mention that there was not enough water to go around!  


Two years after a devastating fire ripped through a large Edgewater apartment complex and destroyed the homes of some 500 people, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto has introduced legislation intended to better protect residential buildings from fast moving blazes that can feast on wood construction.

The Democratic lawmaker from Secaucus, who is also a construction code official, appeared at the Edgewater Community Center on Friday alongside Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco and Edgewater Mayor Michael McPartland, who spoke of the urgent need for two bills related to fire safety that Prieto quietly introduced last month.

“While we cannot prevent fires from starting, there are things we can do to prevent the spread of fire,” said Tedesco, a former firefighter who demanded fire safety reforms in his State of the County speech in February. “Together, these changes to the construction code will not only save lives of the residents in the event of a fire, but they’ll also save the lives of our firefighters and other first responders.”

Many NJ residents exposed to risk of Edgewater-style fire

Politicians, fire safety experts and citizen activists have been calling for changes to the state’s building code since Jan. 21, 2015, when an unlicensed maintenance worker using a blowtorch lit a piece of insulation on fire in the wall at the Avalon at Edgewater apartment complex on River Road.

What happened next, they say, proved New Jersey’s building code to be deficient. The flames were able to spread rapidly through the entire 240-unit building and, despite the efforts of first responders from more than 40 agencies, reduced everything but the concrete elevator shafts to rubble.

“We basically had an area the size of a city block engulfed in flames in a very, very, very short period of time,” McPartland recalled Friday. “Even though the apartment complex was equipped with sprinklers, the place literally burned to the ground and the residents lost everything they had.”

Edgewater Mayor Michael McPartland, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Bergen/Hudson) and Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco announce new legislation to improve fire safety at multi-unit dwellings. (Photo: Viorel Florescu/

‘A very small price to pay’

Prieto’s first bill, A-96, which is co-sponsored by assemblymen Tim Eustace, D-Maywood, and Joe Lagana, D-Paramus, responds to a few key concerns that were raised in the wake of the Edgewater fire.

First, it would mandate that all concealed combustible spaces in wood-frame multi-unit residences — the type of buildings that thousands of New Jerseyans call home — be equipped with some sort of automatic fire-suppression system.

Currently, New Jersey’s building code doesn’t require sprinkler heads in such places as attics or the void spaces in floors and ceilings. In the case of the Avalon at Edgewater complex, that meant there was nothing to knock down the fire as it traveled through the building’s attics, walls and floor assemblies.

Second, the bill would tamp down on the use of “pedestal construction” by developers. Typically, those are parking garages on which residential units are built that allow them to construct buildings with more floors than would otherwise be permitted under the code.

Firefighters say pedestals make it harder to reach flames and can put residents on upper levels out of reach of first-responders.

Third, the bill limits the size of wood-frame buildings without a robust fire suppression system to two floors and 10,000 square feet per floor. Any developer who wants more square footage would have to install masonry fire walls between attached buildings.

That provision is intended to constrain how large any one fire can grow.

Flames consume the Avalon at Edgewater apartment complex Jan. 21, 2015. (Photo: Marko Georgiev/

Prieto described the measure as a middle-of-the-road approach that achieves enhanced fire protection while minimizing the impact on construction costs. He estimated that the new sprinkler mandate would cost developers about $1,000 per unit.

“That is a very small price to pay to be able to get this additional protection,” he said. “We have left in place for them to be able to build the right density and be able to keep building affordable housing.”
‘They’re playing the politicians’

But several people in attendance Friday said Prieto’s legislation doesn’t go far enough.

Edgewater Fire Chief Thomas Jacobson said he had hoped the bill would restrict the use of engineered wood — commonly referred to as “lightweight wood” — in residential buildings like the Avalon complex. Developers often prefer engineered wood because it’s cheaper and faster to assemble, but it also burns and collapses faster in the event of a fire.

“I still would rather see noncombustible materials used in buildings of that magnitude, you know, concrete, steel, something that’s not going to burn,” he said. “But at least the ball has started to be pushed in the right direction.”

Alexi Assmus, a citizen activist from Princeton who manages a Facebook groups called Massive Fires Damage Lives, criticized the bill for continuing to permit the construction of “mega-lot buildings” that, in the event of a fire, can result in multiple homes being consumed.

“The bill protects life safety, but it still doesn’t protect the loss of hundreds of homes in a single fire start,” she said. “You could still have a huge conflagration.”

She also dismissed the notion that lawmakers need to be so sensitive toward the building industry when crafting fire safety legislation. A recent state Supreme Court ruling that municipalities have to clear the way for the construction of tens of thousands of affordable housing units for low- and moderate-income residents, she said, is enough of a boon for developers.

“They’re able to build these very high-density apartments with combustible construction,” she said of New Jersey’s developers. “And everyone says, ‘Oh, affordable housing, we can’t do anything.’ They’re playing the public. They’re playing the judges. They’re playing the politicians.”

The second bill Prieto announced Friday, A-97, would require a fire safety expert to monitor any construction site where multi-unit residential buildings like apartments or hotels are being built.

Advocates have called for so-called “fire watches” in light of recent fires at an apartment complex under construction in Maplewood and elsewhere across the country.

June target for passage

Prieto, who works as a construction code official in Secaucus and Guttenberg, took more than two years from the time of the Edgewater fire to propose changes to New Jersey’s building code, saying he has been working for months to earn the buy-in of various interest groups and officials. Nonetheless, one of the bills he announced Friday was nearly identical to a measure, A-1914, that has been pending in the Legislature since December 2015, when it was introduced by Assemblyman John Wisniewski, D-Middlesex.

Prieto said he intended to get both his bills through the Legislature by the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

“This is a bill that I think will have overwhelming support in the Assembly, and the Senate will follow suit,” he said.

We believe that even these measures are not enough to prevent similar catastrophes.  The Avalon fire could have been minimized if the firefighters acted early and with massive water force.  But they did not.  Instead, they spend valuable time trying to get people out of the Avalon apartments, while the fire was spreading.  They then decided to fight the fire in the perimeter!  These were amateur firefighters and you could see them siting around and doing nothing.  Not to mention that there was not enough water to go around!