Thursday, April 20, 2017

3 employees were injured Tuesday morning when equipment malfunctioned at the Keystone Food plants in Camilla.


Keystone Food officials say 3 employees were injured Tuesday morning when equipment malfunctioned at the Keystone Food plants in Camilla.

Keystone officials sent out a media release:

“Earlier this morning, three employees at Keystone Foods’ Camilla facility suffered burns following an equipment malfunction. The employees were taken to hospitals to be treated for their injuries and are now recovering. Our thoughts and prayers are with our affected employees.

At Keystone Foods, employee safety is our top priority. The impacted equipment in the facility was taken offline immediately and we are performing a thorough safety check.

We will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available.” – Clay Banks, Complex General Manager, Keystone Foods’ Camilla Facility"

The family of one employee identified him as Michael Warmuskerken.

They said that he was air lifted to UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville.

The burns may have been caused by hot liquid.

Sullivan said there was no fire or sign of any other apparent damage.

Ipswich DPW Worker Injured By Falling Tree during a fire overhaul operation

 April 16, 2017 2:59 PM
IPSWICH, Mass. (CBS) — An Ipswich Department of Public Works employee was injured by a falling tree during a fire overhaul operation Sunday morning.

Police said the tree fell on the man around 10:20 a.m. in the woods near Pineswamp and Linebrook Roads.

The worker, a 46-year-old Gloucester man, was flown by helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Crews from the DPW and Massachusetts Bureau of Forest Fire Control had been going through the wooded area to put water on hot spots a day after fourteen area fire departments were called there to put out forest fires.

State and Ipswich Police are investigating to find out what caused the incident, and police said OSHA has been notified.

An exotic dancer injured in a nightclub shooting was an employee of the club, rather than an independent contractor, and should receive workers compensation benefits

Injured exotic dancer was employee, not independent contractor 

Kristen Beckman 4/19/2017 2:05:00 PM

An exotic dancer injured in a nightclub shooting was an employee of the club, rather than an independent contractor, and should receive workers compensation benefits, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

Additionally, the state high court ordered the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission to reconsider its award of $75 per week in workers comp disability benefits for the woman because it said the commission failed to show how it reached that figure.

LeAndra Lewis of Charlotte, North Carolina, worked as an exotic dancer in clubs throughout North Carolina and South Carolina in 2008 when she was shot while dancing at the Boom Boom Room Studio 54 in Columbia, South Carolina, operated by L.B. Dynasty Inc. Ms. Lewis performed at various clubs, and the night of the shooting, she showed up at the Boom Boom Room, presented identification to prove her age, paid a required “tip-out” fee and was allowed to perform. She did not fill out an employee application or sign an employment agreement, court records in LeAndra Lewis vs. L.B. Dynasty Inc. show.

While she was performing, an altercation broke out in the club and Ms. Lewis was struck in the abdomen by a stray bullet. She sustained injuries to her intestines, liver, pancreas, kidney and uterus and was left with extensive scarring that rendered her unemployable as an exotic dancer, according to court documents.

Ms. Lewis applied for workers comp temporary total disability and medical benefits from the South Carolina Uninsured Employers’ Fund because the nightclub did not have comp insurance. A single commissioner and the appellate panel of the state’s workers comp commission denied Ms. Lewis’ claim, saying she was not an employee but an independent contractor. A South Carolina appeals court agreed in a decision handed down in September 2012.

The South Carolina Supreme Court, in a 3-1 ruling in 2015, reversed the appeals court decision, finding Ms. Lewis was an employee because the club controlled and directed her work and had the ability to fire her. The high court remanded the case to the appeals court to set a compensation rate for Ms. Lewis’ injuries.

The appeals court affirmed the workers comp commission’s previous determination that Ms. Lewis would have been entitled to compensation of $75 per week if it were determined she was an employee of the club. The state high court reversed that compensation determination.

“The commission summarily concluded Lewis was entitled to an award of $75 per week, without indicating what total it assigned to her average weekly wages, or how it reached that figure,” the ruling said. “Moreover, the commission’s finding that Lewis presented ‘no evidence whatsoever’ as to the amount of money she earned is plainly wrong.”

The high court remanded the case to the workers compensation commission for a de novo hearing to determine the amount of benefits to which Lewis is entitled.

Representatives of L.B. Dynasty were not immediately available to comment.

4 injured in SUV and Volkswagen Beetle on Blue Route (I-476) near I-76 in Lower Merion Twp., Pa.

4 hurt in crash on Blue Route (I-476) near I-76 in Lower Merion Twp., Pa.

A crash involving an overturned SUV jammed traffic and sent four people to area hospitals. (WPVI)

Thursday, April 20, 2017 12:22PM
LOWER MERION TWP., Pa. (WPVI) -- A crash involving an overturned SUV has left four people injured and jammed traffic on the Blue Route (I-476) near I-76.

It happened at 10:55 a.m. Thursday in the southbound lanes just south of I-76 in Lower Merion Township.

Video from Chopper 6 HD showed a dark-colored SUV lying on its roof and a red Volkswagen Beetle with heavy rear-end damage.

Action News is told two of the injured were taken Bryn Mawr Hospital, one was taken to Paoli Hospital, and one was taken to Lankenau Hospital.

There was no immediate word on the extent of injuries to the victims.

Traffic was backed up on I-476 South approaching the scene. A secondary backup was visible on westbound I-76 approaching the Blue Route.

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) was fined $100,000 for having an unsafe work environment at the Heart Lake store on Sandalwood Parkway West

LCBO fined $100,000 after worker injured at Heart Lake store News Apr 19, 2017 04:48 by Pam Douglas Brampton Guardian

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) was fined $100,000 for having an unsafe work environment at the Heart Lake store on Sandalwood Parkway West that resulted in a worker injury, according to the Ministry of Labour. - File/Torstar Network

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) was fined $100,000 for having an unsafe work environment at the Heart Lake store on Sandalwood Parkway West that resulted in a worker's injury, according to the Ministry of Labour.

The worker was operating a forklift on April 24, 2013, attempting to move products on a pallet, according to a Ministry of Labour investigation. A sound was heard, and the worker got out of the forklift to investigate. The pallet fell on him.

The LCBO was found guilty under the Occupational Health and Safety Act following a trial. The fine was imposed during a sentencing hearing on April 11.

The investigation concluded the pallet was moved without precautions being taken to ensure the safety of a worker.

But the justice of the peace who heard the case, Cristina Santos, found there were also systemic problems at the Brampton store, “including multiple safety concerns from workers that were not responded to,” and the injured employee was given forklift duties even though his training was out of date, according to a ministry news release.

Demolition should start within a few weeks on the most contaminated portion of the Hanford Plutonium Finishing Plant

Teardown of highly contaminated Hanford canyon weeks away

By Annette Cary

Demolition should start within a few weeks on the most contaminated portion of the Hanford Plutonium Finishing Plant, the canyon of the Plutonium Reclamation Facility.

The Plutonium Finishing Plant is considered the most hazardous demolition project at the Hanford nuclear reservation.

The Plutonium Reclamation Facility was added to one end of the plant and includes a tall area called a canyon, where skinny tanks were hung for use in a process to remove valuable plutonium from scrap material. Now workers are tearing back the building to get to the canyon.

Because of potential airborne contamination, just a two-foot-wide slice of the building, top to bottom, will be taken down each day, said Tom Teynor, DOE manager for the Plutonium Finishing Plant.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has fed extensive information from sampling in the canyon into a chemical air dispersion model to determine how much work could be done safely daily.

Larger sections of the canyon could be demolished each day, depending on monitoring results for air contamination during initial work.

The Plutonium Reclamation Facility is expected to be demolished before the end of June.

The plant’s main processing facility and the fan house and ventilation stack must also be demolished to meet a legal deadline at the end of September.

DOE Investigation planned after Hanford worker injured during pipe pressure testing

By Annette Cary

The Department of Energy’s Office of Enforcement plans to investigate an accident that injured a Hanford worker in November, according to information made public Wednesday.

Preparations were being made Nov. 4 for pressure testing of a piping system for cooling water at the Hanford nuclear reservation’s vitrification plant.

A segment of 12-inch diameter pipe had been partially installed underground. It slipped from a connection with another segment of piping and unexpectedly sprayed a large volume of water, said Staci West, spokeswoman for DOE contractor Bechtel National.

The water hit a vit plant worker, knocking him to the ground and injuring him. The extent of his injuries was not made public because of medical privacy laws.

The man has returned to work, West said.

“After the injury occurred, we immediately paused similar pipe pressure testing activities and identified corrective actions to prevent reoccurrence,” West said.

Bechtel has declined to release more information about the cause of the accident or what it has done to prevent a similar event.

The contractor reported the incident to DOE and is fully cooperating with the DOE Office of Enforcement, West said.

The Office of Enforcement notified Bechtel on April 13 that it planned an investigation into the facts and circumstances associated with the worker injury.

Documents will be requested and an on site visit and interviews with employees will be scheduled, it said.

Construction of the plant began in 2002. It could begin treating low level radioactive waste as soon as 2022 and is required to be fully operating to treat high level radioactive waste in 2036.

It is planned to turn up to 56 million gallons of radioactive waste left from weapons plutonium production into a stable glass form for disposal.

“We take worker safety seriously,” West said. “The safety of our workforce, the public and environment is a core value.”

Read more here:

Two Laclede Gas workers killed by gunman who then committed suicide in west St. Louis

Laclede Gas workers returning to the Shrewsbury lot. 

 Two Laclede Gas workers and gunman killed in west St. Louis shooting
  by Joe Millitzer, Updated at 03:11PM, April 20, 2017

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Police say that three men are dead after a shooting in west St. Louis at around 11:15am. The shooting happened a a Laclede Gas work site in the 5900 block of Minerva in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood. Investigators are calling the random shooting a murder suicide.

Police say the suspect walked up to one of the workers at a job site and shot and killed him. The other worker came out of the backhoe to see what was happening. The suspect then shot and killed that worker. He then turned the gun on himself. There are no signs of a struggle. A witness says the shooter kept firing at the victims after they were down on the ground.

One of the workers was in his 20s and the other was in his 50s. Police say the suspect was a man in his 30s or 40s.

Police say witnesses called police about the shooting. People in the neighborhood recognized the suspect, but did not know him. The shooter has not yet been identified.

FOX 2 asked St. Louis police if this was a hate crime. Police say the only racial aspect to the shooting is that the suspect was black and the two Laclede Gas workers were white.

One of the shooting victims was initially taken to the hospital in critical condition. The man died as a result of his injuries.

A woman who lives on the block says the workers were digging to connect a meter to a nearby home. She is very pregnant and was joking with them before the shooting. She tells FOX 2 that the workers offered to take her to the hospital if she went into labor.

Viewers tell FOX 2 that Laclede Gas has pulled several crews from other area job sites. Laclede Gas has issued this statement about the shooting:

"We are shocked and grieving today after two of our Laclede Gas employees were shot and killed this morning at one of our job sites. We are connecting with their loved ones now. And, we are working with police to understand more about this crisis. We are heartbroken, as you can imagine, and ask that you hold these employees, their families, their friends, Laclede Gas workers and our communities in your thoughts and prayers."

The motive behind the shooting is not known at this time. Police will be providing an update soon. A FOX 2 crew is headed to the scene. More details will be posted as this story develops. Refresh this page for the latest update.


Police tell the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that a gunman “randomly” fired at two Laclede Gas workers. One of the workers was in his 20’s and the other was in his 50’s. The shooter then turned the gun on himself.


Boston company cited for multiple violations after two die in trench collapse

Two employees died when the 12-foot-deep trench in which they were working collapsed, breaking a nearby fire hydrant supply line and filling the trench with water. OSHA inspectors found that Atlantic Drain Service Co. Inc. and its owner, Kevin Otto, failed to provide basic safeguards to prevent a trench collapse and did not train employees to recognize and avoid cave-in hazards. Other violations included failing to: provide a ladder so employees could exit the trench at any time; support other structures near the trench that posed overhead hazards; and supply hardhats and eye protection. The Boston-based company was cited for 18 safety violations and proposed $1,475,813 in fines. OSHA cited Atlantic Drain trenching worksites for similar hazards in 2007 and 2012. Read the news release for more information.

Washington roofer cited for repeatedly exposing workers to fall hazards

America 1st Roofing & Builders Inc. was cited for multiple violations after four separate safety inspections found workers exposed to falls of more than 30 feet. The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries cited the Mukilteo, Wash., roofing company for 21 violations that include failing to require fall protection equipment, develop a safety program and have someone trained in first-aid at the worksite. The company has been cited for fall protection violations multiple times in the last three years. For more information, read the news release.

Georgia cleaning service cited for slip hazards that led to worker injury

OSHA conducted an inspection of Chestatee Regional Hospital in Dahlonega, Ga., after learning that a worker broke her hip when she slipped and fell while cleaning a room. The worker's employer, cleaning contractor Healthcare Services Group Inc., was cited for eight violations of workplace safety and health standards. Violations included not providing dry standing places or mats for workers cleaning and waxing floors, and not providing personal protective equipment to prevent exposure to hazardous chemicals. For more information, read the citations.

Construction company cited for exposing workers to potentially fatal falls at two Washington, D.C., worksites

OSHA cited Master Carpentry Inc. after inspectors observed the company’s workers exposed to fall hazards at two construction sites in Washington, D.C. In the first incident, two workers on the roof of a large residential structure were seen wearing personal fall arrest equipment that was not tied off to secure anchor points. In a second incident six days later, a worker was seen standing on the flat roof of a three-story row house with no fall protection. Master has been cited for fall hazards multiple times in the past five years.

OSHA to delay for 3 months the enforcement of the crystalline silica standard in the construction industry

OSHA to delay enforcing crystalline silica standard in the construction industry

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced a delay in enforcement of the crystalline silica standard that applies to the construction industry to conduct additional outreach and provide educational materials and guidance for employers.

The agency has determined that additional guidance is necessary due to the unique nature of the requirements in the construction standard. Originally scheduled to begin June 23, 2017, enforcement will now begin Sept. 23, 2017.

OSHA expects employers in the construction industry to continue to take steps either to come into compliance with the new permissible exposure limit, or to implement specific dust controls for certain operations as provided in Table 1 of the standard. Construction employers should also continue to prepare to implement the standard's other requirements, including exposure assessment, medical surveillance and employee training.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:

Amy Louviere, 202-693-9423,
Amanda Kraft, 202-693-4664,

Release Number: 17-415-NAT

Falls remain the leading cause of death in the construction industry and lack of proper fall protection is still OSHA's most frequently cited violation

Events listed for National Fall Prevention Stand-Down, include prominent DC venues

Falls remain the leading cause of death in the construction industry and lack of proper fall protection is still OSHA's most frequently cited violation. To raise awareness of fall hazards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Center for Construction Research and Training will hold the fourth annual National Safety Stand-Down May 8-12. The weeklong event encourages employers to pause during their workday for topic discussions, safety demonstrations, and trainings in hazard recognition and fall prevention. In Washington, D.C., two prominent construction venues – at the mile-long waterfront development known as the Wharf, and the Capitol Riverfront area near Navy Yard – will participate with large-scale stand-downs in the week leading up to the official stand-down. For more information, see the event webpage.

Safety Stand-Down events aim to improve safety for landscape workers, especially in the Southeast

Safety Stand-Down events aim to improve safety for landscape workers
Employers will volunteer to stop work for training to recognize, avoid on-the-job hazards

ATLANTA - Fatalities among workers in the landscaping industry are a growing concern in the Southeast. From 2012 to 2016, 64 people employed in the industry in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi died as a result of workplace injuries. In Florida, industry fatalities have nearly tripled since 2012.

To stem the tide, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, industry associations and employers are banding together to sponsor a one-hour Safety Stand-Down in April to focus and educate workers about industry hazards which most commonly cause injury or death. The events will be held at worksites throughout the region on either April 17 or 18, from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. EDT.
Fatalities in the landscaping industry have workplace safety officials and employers concerned. In Florida, the number of workers who died on the job has nearly tripled since 2012. A collaborative effort is underway to help workers better understand the hazards they face, and how to work more safely.

At the Safety Stand-Downs, employers will stop work voluntarily and conduct safety training on injury prevention with workers at risk of falls and being crushed or hit by objects - two leading causes of industry deaths. They will also focus on electrical hazards, another common injury risk.

"We are confident that, with the proper knowledge, workers can avoid unnecessary injuries or worse, and return home at the end of each work day. Failing to develop, implement and maintain an effective safety and health program puts workers at risk of being injured on the job," said Kurt Petermeyer, OSHA's regional administrator for the Southeast.

The Associated General Contractors of Georgia Inc., OSHA and employers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi are organizing the effort.

Through its Alliance Program, OSHA works with groups committed to worker safety and health to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. Training materials are available in English and Spanish here. For more information, contact Billie Kizer, assistant regional administrator for enforcement programs at (678) 237-0400, or your local OSHA Area Office.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

Widow sues Eastman Chemical Co. after Alton Ray Zeigler died after being scalded by the superheated contents of a pipeline pump at DAK Americas in Gaston

Widow of worker killed in SC plant explosion files suit

Rachael Myers Lowe


Alton Ray Zeigler, a retired master sergeant in the U.S. Army, died after being scalded by the superheated contents of a pipeline pump that he and two co-workers were attempting to repair Dec. 6, 2016.

The widow of the 63-year-old Richland County man filed a wrongful death suit in federal court against Eastman Chemical Co., a Mount Pleasant law firm handling her suit announced on Wednesday.

The former Carolina Eastman plant where the fatal accident occurred is located on the Congaree River near Sandy Run, a few miles northeast of Gaston. It employs 430 people and makes specialty plastics, site manager Mark Leaphardt said in December.

Leaphardt said at the time that the accident occurred during routine annual maintenance on a pipeline that carries polymer products but was not in operation at the time of the explosion.

The suit alleges that a fire during leak repair efforts on the pipeline several days earlier had “altered the chemical makeup of the pipeline’s contents and increased pressure within the pipeline by converting some liquid to gas.”

When Zeigler’s team loosened the pump bolts, the built-up pressure blew the nearly 300-pound pump nine feet into the air and spewed some 500 gallons of pipeline contents, heated to 300 degrees, over the work area, the suit alleges.

Zeigler died “a ghastly death,” the suit states.

The pump removal job assigned to Zeigler and his two co-workers was “a bomb waiting to happen,” said state Rep. Marlon Kimpson, attorney for the Zeigler family.

The suit contends that Carolina Eastman knew or should have known about the danger but failed to warn Zeigler of the “risks associated with the compromised pipeline.” 


A person died and two others were injured in an industrial accident at DAK Americas in Calhoun County, Coroner Donnie Porth said Tuesday.

The person killed in the accident has been identified as 63-year-old Alton Zeigler of Columbia.

The two people who were injured were transported to Palmetto Health Richland hospital.

Calhoun County Administrator Lee Prickett said the news of the accident was a shock.

“While we wait for further details from the company, we want to offer our prayers and condolences to the families of the victims,” Prickett said in a prepared statement. “When one part of our Calhoun County family is hurting, we all hurt together.”

Prickett expressed his thankfulness to employees who were on the scene, including Calhoun County EMS, the Sandy Run Fire Department, Porth and the emergency officials from neighboring Lexington County.

“We will continue to stand with DAK Americas and provide whatever assistance they need to move forward from a horrible day,” Prickett said.

Calhoun County Development Commission Executive Director Pat Black echoed Prickett, noting all the county including “our industrial and economic development community grieves today.

“For now our thoughts prayers and support are with those directly affected by the incident today and we offer consolement to each and every individual and family who must bear this burden, particularly during this season of the year.”

Calhoun County Emergency Manager David Chojnacki said the department got the call about the incident at 12:14 p.m.



An industrial accident at DAK Americas in Calhoun County has claimed the life of one person Tuesday afternoon, according to the county coroner.

Calhoun County Coroner Donnie Porth identified the victim as 63-year old Alton Zeigler.

"Certainly, this is a shocker to all these employees, and again, our thoughts and prayers are with the employees that have been impacted," said DAK Americas Public Affairs Director Ricky Lane.

Coroner Donnie Porth said two others have been taken to Palmetto Health Richland Hospital in Columbia with chemical burns, but he believes they've since been transported to the Augusta Burn Center.

Porth said the incident happened around noon and was confined to one area of the plant.

"It was involving a line that produces polymer, which is the main product that we produce here, which goes into carbonated soft drink and water bottle containers," said Lane.

Porth said there was not an explosion at the plant.

"Something malfunctioned and the polymer escaped from its container and it spilled over three victims," said Porth.

According to the Associated Press, Site Manager Mark Leonhardt told reporters the three workers were doing annual maintenance on a pump that sends the solution used for the plastic through pipes when the accident occurred.

DAK Americas is located in the former Carolina Eastman plant, which is between Interstate 26 and the Congaree River near Old State Road.

The company also produces PET resins and polyester staple fibers, according to its website.

The investigation into the incident by the Calhoun County Coroner's Office is ongoing. Meanwhile, the company has grief counselors on site as it copes with what it calls a rare tragedy.

"Extremely rare," said Lane. "This is the worst incident we've ever had. We've been in operation since 2001 and this particular facility since 2007."


The man killed in Tuesday’s industrial accident at DAK Americas died from asphyxia with a secondary cause being the inhalation of a foreign substance, Calhoun County Coroner Donnie Porth said Wednesday.

Alton Zeigler, 63, of Columbia died Tuesday as he and other members of his maintenance crew were working on a large industrial pump used for transferring liquid, molten polymers. The polymer line was down for annual maintenance.

Porth said the polymers escaped and came in contact with the three victims.

Two others were injured and were transferred to the Augusta Burn Center with serious injuries. Their conditions are unknown.

DAK Americas spokesman Ricky Lane said the facility has an excellent safety rating.

"This is a significantly tragic accident and has really caught this industry off guard. We have never had anything of this nature,” he said.

Lane said DAK's thoughts and prayers are with the employees impacted by the incident.

"We have an excellent workforce here," he said. “These employees are like family members."
Zeigler had worked at the plant for more than 20 years, Lane said.

The polymer line involved in the accident had been down for maintenance. Lane said the line will continue to remain down while the rest of the plant will continue to operate.

DAK purchased Carolina Eastman’s polyethylene terephthalate-manufacturing operations in Calhoun County in 2011. PET is a plastic used in drink bottles and other packaging.

Lane said the operation of the plant and the polymer lines is “highly technical.”

"We produce plastic materials for consumer goods," Lane said. "We don't make any products on-site, but we provide the raw materials."

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control was informed that the incident occurred. The release was contained within a building and there was no environmental impact.

The S.C. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the incident. Investigations generally take about eight weeks to complete.

Lane said DAK Americas is also investigating the incident.

"We hope to have further information available in the future," Lane said.