Monday, April 10, 2017

Marpac Construction, of Seattle, Spartan Concrete of Kirkland and Shaffer Crane & Equipment Inc. cited for several safety violations and fined more than $220,000 after 2 workers were severely injured during the incident when 7,200 volts of electrical current traveled down the crane's hoist line to the men working below the power lines.

Power lines and cranes continue to be a deadly combination on work sites

Tumwater – Two King County contractors face large fines from the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) for safety violations after a crane boom made contact with high-voltage power lines at a construction site in Seattle. Two workers were severely injured during the incident when 7,200 volts of electrical current traveled down the crane's hoist line to the men working below the power lines.

As a result, Marpac Construction, of Seattle, has been cited for six workplace safety violations, including three "willful," and fined $133,500. A subcontractor, Spartan Concrete of Kirkland, faces five violations, including two "willful," and $90,000 in fines. Also, Shaffer Crane & Equipment Inc., another subcontractor, was cited for three serious and one general violations with a total fine of $5,700.

The investigation began last September when news outlets reported that two workers had been taken to Harborview Medical Center after suffering severe electrical burns.

L&I investigators at the site found that a mobile crane and a forklift with a crane-boom attachment had been operating under live high-voltage power lines. The power lines were scheduled to be moved underground, but rather than wait for that work to be done, the companies continued to work under them.

A Shaffer Crane employee was operating the crane and a Spartan foreman was giving signals when the incident happened. Seven workers were put at risk by being exposed to the potentially deadly electrical shock.
Cranes and power lines a known hazard

The danger from a crane contacting overhead power lines is well-known. From 1999-2012, there were nine deaths in Washington from crane contacts with power lines, including a double fatality in 2010.

In 2012, L&I issued an alert ( to warn companies of the deadly hazard after receiving reports of six power line contacts by cranes over six months.

Companies operating cranes must make sure that all power line requirements are implemented. That includes putting protective measures in place to prevent crane booms from contacting energized power lines, designating a qualified "lift director" to ensure the safe operation of the crane, and maintaining a safe radius from power lines.
Willful, serious and general violations

The willful citations are for not ensuring that protective measures were in place and for not prohibiting work below energized power lines. Marpac was cited for an additional willful violation for not designating a qualified "lift director" who was aware of the voltages of the power line and the safety requirements for working around them. The investigation found that Marpac's lift director was not aware of the voltages involved or the specific safety requirements.

Marpac was also cited for three serious violations related to inadequate training and for not ensuring an effective accident prevention plan, with penalties totaling $7,500.

The investigation found that Spartan's employees were not trained or aware of the danger of working under power lines. Consequently, the concrete company was cited for two serious safety violations and fined $6,000 for not ensuring that employees clearly understood the hazards of overhead power lines and for lack of training and supervision. Spartan was also cited for one general violation for not holding and documenting walk-around safety inspections at the beginning of the job and weekly.

A willful violation is one where L&I finds evidence of plain indifference or an intentional disregard to a hazard or rule. A serious violation is one where there is a substantial probability that worker death or serious physical harm could result from a hazardous condition.

As a result of the violations and the severity of the injuries, both Marpac Construction and Spartan Concrete have been identified as severe violators and are subject to follow-up inspections to determine if the conditions still exist.

Marpac and Shaffer have appealed the citation, and the appeals are pending. Spartan has until April 14 to appeal. Penalty money paid in connection with a citation is placed in the workers' compensation supplemental pension fund, helping workers and families of those who have died on the job.

A number of U.S. states are taking steps through their workers compensation systems to stem the overprescribing of the powerful painkillers to workers injured on the job

Meet a victim of the nation's opioid addiction scourge: the American worker.

A number of U.S. states are taking steps through their workers compensation systems to stem the overprescribing of the powerful painkillers to workers injured on the job, while helping those who became hooked to avoid potentially deadly consequences.

Injured workers, like so many others dealing with pain, are often prescribed opioids like OxyContin and Vicodin.

"I was eating them up like they were candy," said Jimmy Duran, of Boston, who was prescribed opioids for years after hurting his neck and fracturing vertebrae in a workplace accident in 2004. A commercial mover, Duran was hit and thrown 30 feet by a moving truck.

"OxyContin, Percocet, morphine. ... It ruined my life," he said. "It brought me to my knees."

Unable to work, broke and desperate to feed his habit, Duran said he eventually began dealing cocaine to bring in cash, a mistake that landed him in jail for two years. Free of addiction now, he has become a licensed counselor at a substance use prevention and treatment program.

In all, about 2.8 million private industry workers and 752,000 public sector employees suffered nonfatal workplace injuries in 2015, more than half resulting in time away from work, according to the most recent figures from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to a survey by CompPharma, an industry group that seeks to control workers compensation spending, more than $1.5 billion was spent on opioids by workers compensation insurers in 2015, with prescriptions for injured workers accounting for 13 percent of total opioid pharmacy costs in the U.S. that year. Survey respondents cited opioids and addiction as their most pressing concern.

A separate study of 337,000 workers compensation claims in 25 states published last year by the independent Workers Compensation Research Institute found that 55 to 85 percent of injured workers who missed seven days or more of work received at least one opioid prescription.

Rates of longer-term opioid use varied widely among states, the study found, including 1 in 6 injured workers in Louisiana, and 1 in 10 in California, New York and Pennsylvania, but only 1 in 30 in New Jersey and Missouri.

States oversee workers compensation insurance systems that employers pay into, and that provide medical care and help offset wage losses from on-the-job injuries.

Omar Hernandez, an administrative judge who resolves workers compensation disputes for the Massachusetts Division of Industrial Accidents, said injured workers belie a common misconception of addicts as people shooting up in back alleys.

"These are people from all walks of life that didn't ask to get injured," he said. "These are hard-working people who unfortunately suffered a work-related injury ... and are now hooked on these drugs."

After he and other judges became alarmed by overdoses and deaths among people in the state's workers compensation system, Hernandez spearheaded a voluntary program for people who had settled claims but were still being treated with opioids. It offers an expedited hearing process to resolve medication disputes with insurers and assigns care coordinators to help guide workers toward alternative treatments for pain.

Other states are changing policies, as well.

Calling opioid abuse a public health crisis that "deeply affects" injured workers in New York, the workers compensation board there announced in October it would allow insurers to request hearings to determine whether a claimant should be weaned off opioids.

Under new rules issued by the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, reimbursement for opioid prescriptions can be denied if it's believed physicians are overprescribing or otherwise failing to follow "best medical practices" in treating injured workers.

The rules also allow the bureau to provide treatment for opioid dependence to workers who got hooked on painkillers after getting hurt.

Those and previous steps taken by Ohio to combat opioid abuse have resulted in 44 percent fewer injured workers receiving opioids in the past five years, saving $46 million in drug costs, said Melissa Vince, a spokeswoman for the bureau.

Duran's advice to other injured workers is to use painkillers sparingly and get off of them as quickly as possible.

"Once you're on these pills, you forget you're hurt," he said. "You're just about getting that high."

Worker crushed to death after a 30,000-pound steel coil fell on him at SteelSummit-Ohio in Forest Park

FOREST PARK, Ohio – A worker was killed in an accident at a construction company Monday morning.

Brian K. Cupp, 46, of Hamilton, was pronounced dead at SteelSummit Ohio on Southland Road, according to a news release from Forest Park police. The Hamilton County Coroner's Office and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were investigating the incident.

A 30,000-pound steel coil fell on a worker at the business, according to a call to 911. It pinned him from the waist down.

“Oh, god,” the caller says repeatedly.

“No, don’t move it. He’ll die. Don't move that coil,” the man shouts at other workers.

“He’s still under it. You better bring everything you’ve got. “It’s very serious,” the caller says to the 911 dispatcher.

"He’s still breathing.”

Another caller said the coil was about 50,000 pounds. He said they had a crane that could lift the coil, but the dispatcher advised them to wait until EMTs arrived.

Co-workers held the injured man hand and rubbed his head while waiting for emergency help to arrive, according to a third caller.

SteelSummit provides steels for the automotive, HVAC and construction industries, as well as other manufacturers, according to its website.A check into the plant safety record showed no previous OSHA investigations listed on the OSHA website and no federal civil lawsuits filed against the company relating to worker safety. 


A Hamilton man was killed Monday working at SteelSummit Ohio Corporation in Forest Park, police said.

Emergency crews responded to the steel processing facility on Southland Road just after 10 a.m.

Brian Cupp, 46, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Forest Park Fire Department Lt. Adam Pope said Cupp died in an industrial accident. He said the incident was not of chemical nature and there was no additional risk to other employees or nearby residents.

Pope said SteelSummit has closed the facility for the day.

The Hamilton County Coroner's Office and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are investigating Cupp's death.

OSHA could not provide any records of their inspections of SteelSummit on Monday.

SteelSummit purchased the Forest Park building in 2011 from Ohio Metal Processing. The business is a subsidiary of the Sumitomo Corporation of Americas and operates a second facility in Nashville. Both facilities produce steel for the automotive, heating and air conditioning and construction industries.

2,000 PG&E customers lost power after a huge tree took out power lines and power poles near Cal's Memorial Stadium

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- PG&E is working to restore power to customers in Berkeley after a huge tree fell near Cal's Memorial Stadium.

The tree took out power lines and power poles on Bancroft Way and Prospect Street just before 8 p.m. Sunday.

Crews are now using chainsaws to slowly take the tree apart.

Nearly 2,000 PG&E customers lost power. They've turned the lights back on for most of those people. But PG&E says the remaining 35 customers won't have their power restored until after 8 p.m. Monday.

With another storm headed our way, there's concern more trees could be falling this week.

Drunk driver Natasha Lynn Taylor killed passenger Myiah N. Andrews in a head-on collison in Durham, NC

The drunk driver Natasha Lynn Taylor.  She was probably drunk because nobody would fuck this face.

It happened Sunday evening

By Heather Waliga
Updated 22 mins ago
DURHAM, North Carolina (WTVD) -- An 18-year-old freshman at North Carolina Central University was killed in a head-on crash in Durham Sunday night that police say was caused by a drunk driver.

It happened around 9:30 p.m. in the 1100 block of East Geer Street, near Cheek Road.

The Durham Police Department said an eastbound vehicle driven by 25-year-old Natasha Lynn Taylor crossed the center line and hit another car driven by 18-year-old Quillon Rendleman of Charlotte.

A passenger in Rendleman's car, - Myiah Andrews of Greenville - died.

Myiah N. Andrews (image courtesy NCCU).  This nice pussy will not be nursing my cock.  What a shame.

NCCU said she was a pre-nursing major who graduated from South Central High School in Winterville last year.

"I would ask that you keep Ms. Andrews family, friends and classmates in your thoughts and prayers during their time of grief. The sudden passing of a promising young person who was just beginning her journey is indeed heartbreaking and causes us to lean on one another for strength as members of a unified Eagle family," said Interim Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye.

Akinleye said counselors are available on campus for students and staff who need them.

Both drivers and two other passengers in Rendleman's car were taken to the hospital. One was still in the hospital Monday.

Taylor is charged with felony death by motor vehicle, driving while impaired, and failing to maintain lane control. She's was placed in the Durham County Jail under a $250,000 bond.

Natasha Lynn Taylor (image courtesy Durham Police Department).  Look at this face!  It is the typical face of druggie or drunk addict. Rings and tatoos and other body paint.

She showed little emotion when she went before a judge for a preliminary hearing Monday where her bond was lowered to $100,000, but her lawyer said the crash has taken a toll on his client.

"She's devastated by what happened and our sympathy goes out to the families involved and that's all I can tell you right now," said attorney Bill Breeze.

Smoke caused from a switch connecting two transformers in a vault on William St. in the basement of Pace University in Manhattan.

Some classes canceled at Pace University after electrical fire in basement

A fire broke out Sunday at Pace University in Manhattan.

Eyewitness News
Monday, April 10, 2017 05:13AM
LOWER MANHATTAN (WABC) -- Some classes are canceled Monday at Pace University in Manhattan after an electrical fire.

The fire tore through the basement of the building at One Pace Plaza in Lower Manhattan Sunday.

The building was evacuated and no one was hurt.

The school says there is limited power in the building for now, which is why classes cannot be held there Monday.

Classes held in other buildings including 163 William Street and the Midtown Center will continue as scheduled.

Con Edison was asked to shut off power for repairs.

The rest of the campus remains open.


An electrical fire sent smoke billowing from Pace University in lower Manhattan on Sunday afternoon, leading to the evacuation of the school’s dorms as a precaution, FDNY officials said.

The blaze broke out at about 3:30 p.m. by the college’s One Pace Plaza building on Spruce St. near William St. The building houses classrooms and administrative offices, officials said.

Con Edison spokesman Bob McGee said the smoke came from a switch connecting two transformers in a vault on William St.

The fire forced students to evacuate their dorms Sunday afternoon.

No one was injured, and Con Ed workers were still working to fix the equipment at 6 p.m., FDNY officials said.

DO NOT PANIC, IT IS ORGANIC: Organic Marketside Spring Mix Salad sold at Walmart recalled after dead bat found inside bag

A salad sold in Walmart has been recalled after a dead bat was found inside the package. (WPVI)

Monday, April 10, 2017 04:49AM

A recall has been issued for a packaged salad after a dead bat was found inside a container.

Fresh Express issued a recall for a limited number of cases of Organic Marketside Spring Mix sold at Walmart.

The recall was issued after a dead bat was found in a package of salad purchased in Florida.

Officials say two people ate the salad before the bat was found in the package.

They have been tested for rabies.

Recalled Product Details:

- Organic Marketside Spring Mix - 5 oz. clear container
- Production Code of G089B19 and best-if-used-by date of APR 14 2017, located on the top label

- UPC Code of 6 8113132897 5 located on the bottom of the container next to the bar code

The company says the salads were sold mainly in southern states.

Fresh Express says consumers who may have already purchased the recalled product should discard and not consume it.

A full refund is available where purchased or by calling the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center toll-free at (800) 242-5472 during the hours of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

Elderly couple (Helen and Jeffrey Ginman) killed in a house fire in Yorktown Heights, NY

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, Westchester County (WABC) --

Two people were killed early Monday in a house fire in Westchester County.

The victims are believed to be an elderly couple. 

The property records show that Helen C Ginman, 70 and Jeffrey Ginman, 74 live on that property.
The fire broke out inside the home on Central Street in Yorktown Heights just before 3 a.m.

The residents were reported to be trapped inside, but firefighters could not reach them due to the heavy flames.

The identities of the victims have not yet been released.


YORKTOWN - A man and woman were killed when fire roared through a house early today. The property records show that Helen C Ginman, 70 and Jeffrey Ginman, 74 live on that property.

Firefighters were alerted to the blaze at 1703 Central St. just before 3 a.m. by a neighbor who reported that people were trapped inside, Yorktown police said.

"It just looked like an explosion, like just brightness and flames. Just a horror," said Marina Veatch, the neighbor, who lives across the street and said she saw flames shooting through the roof of the house.

"Upon initial arrival we had heavy fire through the roof," Yorktown Heights Fire Chief Jason Swart said, adding, "It was visible from almost across the downtown area."

Police said the man and woman, occupants of the home, died in the blaze, but released no other information on the victims. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but authorities said it does not appear to be suspicious.

Another neighbor, Chau Vo, who lives next door to Veatch, said he tried to help police officers break down the door of the burning house, but that it wouldn't open until firefighters arrived. He said could see flames, mostly in the rear of the house.

"I feel bad because that's my neighbor", Veatch said. "I did my best, but..."

Firefighters also made several attempts to enter the house but were driven back by heavy fire, and the roof started collapsing.

One firefighter suffered a minor injury, Swart said.

Aftermath of an early morning house fire that killed two people at 1703 Central St. in Yorktown, Monday, April 10, 2017. (Photo: Matt Spillane/The Journal News)

Flames tore through the roof, leaving a large hole in the ranch style home located just off Moseman Avenue. A car parked in the driveway did not appear to be damaged.

Yorktown firefighters battle an early morning house fire at 1703 Central St. in Yorktown April 10, 2017. Firefighters from Croton, Bedford Hills, Millwood, Buchanan and Mohegan Lake assisted at the scene. (Photo: Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News)

Firefighters stopped putting water on the fire around 6:20 a.m. but remained at the scene until shortly after 8 a.m.

Firefighters from Bedford Hills, Croton, Millwood, Mohegan Lake and Buchanan assisted at the scene, as well as Yorktown Ambulance Corps. Mount Kisco firefighters staffed Yorktown Fire Headquarters during the blaze.