Dollar Tree gets hit with a new set of the same old violations, Exxon loses a legal bid to keep refinery blast info from the CSB and nominations open for National Safety Council awards for safety professionals. These were among the top stories featured on this week.

It’s not too late to get your flu vaccine

December 13, 2019

Although the CDC recommends that people get vaccinated for the flu early in the fall, getting vaccinated now can still be beneficial in protecting you from the flu virus. Furthermore, vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later.


Tree trimmer killed in incident at Mass. home

December 12, 2019

An employee of a tree trimming company died in a workplace accident Tuesday morning in Wakefield, Massachusetts. The 34-year-old man, whose name has not yet been released, suffered traumatic injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, according a statement issued by Wakefield Police Chief Steven Skory, Wakefield Fire Chief Michael Sullivan, and Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.


Bipartisan deal could help protect people from surprise medical bills

December 12, 2019

A Congressional agreement reached with bipartisan support would hold patients and individuals harmless from surprise medical bills, which can have a devastating financial impact on patients and which go hand-in-hand with the health care industry’s lack of pricing transparency. The agreement is also bicameral.


CSB proposes rule on accidental release reporting

December 12, 2019

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board's (CSB) is inviting comment on its just-issued Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding accidental release reporting. The proposed rule describes when an owner or operator is required to file a report of an accidental release and the required content of such a report and is intended to ensure that the CSB receives rapid, accurate reports of any accidental release that meets established statutory criteria.


Company earns fourth round of citations for fall protection violations

December 12, 2019

OSHA has again cited Chanell Roofing and Home Improvement LLC – based in Cleveland, Ohio – for exposing employees to fall hazards. The company faces penalties totaling $200,451 for violations of OSHA’s fall protection standards at two separate jobsites in Avon, Ohio. OSHA inspectors cited the company for two willful violations for failing to install and require the use of a guardrail, safety net, or personal fall arrest system while employees worked on residential roofs.


NTSB wants halt on doors-off sightseeing helicopter rides

December 11, 2019

In the wake of a fatal 2018 crash of an Airbus AS350 helicopter into New York City’s East River, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is calling for a halt to doors-off helicopter flights that place passengers in supplemental passenger restraints - until federal regulators can better evaluate the safety of the restraints, which could interfere with the aircraft and hamper escape.


Electrical arc turns night sky blue in NYC

"There's no truth to the alien invasion or alien UFO landing"

December 11, 2019

Con Edison says an electrical fault at a substation in Astoria, Queens caused an electrical arc lighting up the sky over New York City while causing some flight delays and scattered power outages. It happened shortly after 9 p.m. at the Astoria East and North Queens Con Edison plant on 20th Avenue and 32nd Street in Astoria.


A FairWarning Report

Boxed in: Dollar Tree, the giant discount chain, cited for job safety violations at dozens of stores

Amy Martyn

December 11, 2019

There are so many boxes at Dollar Tree stores that workers are always running out of room. The boxes form unstable piles that block aisles, reach precarious heights and, most seriously, block emergency exits. At one store, inspectors found that an employee was injured and needed help when boxes fell on them. Another time, an OSHA inspector was videotaping conditions in a store when a tower of boxes tumbled and nearly hit another worker.

Dollar Tree Stores continues to endanger employees

December 11, 2019

The OSHA citations Dollar Tree Stores just received for exposing employees at its stores in Alabama and Connecticut to workplace hazards should feel familiar to the national retailer. The company “has an extensive history of similar violations and continues to show a disregard for safety measures designed to keep employees safe on the job,” said OSHA Mobile Area Director Jose Gonzalez.


Court rules Exxon must turn over refinery blast info to CSB

Investigation stalled due to litigation

December 11, 2019

In a unanimous decision, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that Exxon Mobil Oil Corp. must produce information to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) related to a tank filled with hydrofluoric acid at the site of a 2015 oil refinery explosion in Torrance, California. The decision reverses a lower Court ruling that the information was not sufficiently relevant to the CSB’s investigation.


What is “Vision Zero” & should other cities follow Denver’s lead?

December 10, 2019

An initiative underway in Denver, Colorado may provide a blueprint for other U.S. cities who want to improve safety on their roadways for “vulnerable” road users - bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists. Denver Vision Zero is a five-year plan crafted by city agencies and State and community partners that includes improved street design, safe speeds, a culture of safety, and improved data.


Nominate that exemplary safety leader you know for an NSC award

December 10, 2019

The National Safety Council (NSC) is accepting nominations for five of its prestigious safety awards and designations: the Distinguished Service to Safety Award, the Marion Martin Award, the Community Advancement Award, the Teen Safety Award and Rising Stars of Safety. Winners will have advanced safety in the workplace, in the community or on the road, and will have demonstrated improvement and the effectiveness of their actions, as well as the impact their actions have had to reduce injuries and deaths.


Pa. company cited after confined space death

December 10, 2019

OSHA has cited Dana Railcare – based in Wilmington, Delaware – for confined space hazards after an employee fatality in Pittston, Pennsylvania. The railcar service provider faces $551,226 in proposed penalties. An employee was asphyxiated in May 2019, while servicing a rail car containing crude oil sludge. OSHA cited the company for four willful and three serious violations for failing to protect employees from the hazards of entering permit-required confined spaces, and inadequate respiratory protection procedures.


Oil industry group updates EHS standard for offshore ops

December 10, 2019

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has published a significantly updated version of a safety standard that provides guidance for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving a safety and environmental management system (SEMS) for offshore operations.


Keep those holiday laser lights earthbound

December 9, 2019

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…unless you're an airline pilot, flying over a home bedazzled with holiday laser lighting that's pointing up at the sky. If that happens, you and your passengers could be in serious danger, because you could be distracted or temporarily blinded by the residential laser-light display. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which says it receives reports of such incidents each year from pilots.


NTSB delves into bicyclist safety on U.S. roads

December 9, 2019

More bicyclists die on U.S. roadways in crashes with motor vehicles than the deaths resulting in railroad, marine or aviation accidents1, according the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which has taken up the subject of bicycle safety for the first time in 47 years. The 806 bicyclists who died in crashes in 2017 got the NTSB’s attention; so did the fact that bikes are increasingly being used a means of transportation.


Steel worker injured at Indiana plant

December 9, 2019

A steelworker in Gary, Indiana is recovering from injuries sustained last week in a workplace incident at Gary Works, a sprawling steel mill along Lake Michigan. News sources say the man, a maintenance technician, was working on a blast furnace when the incident occurred, leaving him with multiple serious injuries


1 in 5 teens, 1 in 4 young adults have prediabetes

Prediabetes: An emerging health threat can lead to type 2 diabetes

December 9, 2019

Nearly 1 in 5 adolescents aged 12-18 years, and 1 in 4 young adults aged 19-34 years, are living with prediabetes, according to a new CDC studyexternal icon published in JAMAexternal icon Pediatrics. Prediabetes is a health condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.