Cyber attacks that led to burning food facilities. Amazon, Dollar General and Starbucks on the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health’s Dirty Dozen list. An injured worker who received workers’ comp despite being intoxicated on beer and cocaine.
These are just a few of the stories that made Safety News Alert’s top 10 for 2022.
- What’s behind the string of food facilities burning to the ground? FBI warns of trouble to come: Five major food distributors in four states were destroyed by explosions and fires within a span of a few weeks. The FBI’s cyber division warned that these incidents may have been the result of cyber attacks on the U.S. food supply chain.
- Amazon, Dollar General, Starbucks make Dirty Dozen: Large, well-known companies such as Amazon, Dollar General and Starbucks made the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health’s 2022 Dirty Dozen list. Amazon was included for the high injury rates in its warehouses, along with worker deaths from COVID-19. Dollar General made the list after news reports revealed the stores had become “magnets for crime” along with numerous OSHA citations for storage and fire safety violations. Starbucks was included because of its failure to protect workers from COVID-19.
- Fatal crash in mine shows importance of pre-op inspections: A West Virginia mine operator’s lack of procedures for pre-operation inspections and removing unsafe equipment from service led to the death of an assistant maintenance shift supervisor.
- Report: Loose bolt caused fire, almost $4M in damage: A single loose bolt caused a major fire in a ship’s engine room. Thankfully, there were no injuries, but the fire caused almost $4 million in damages.
- Off-hour crashes aren’t comp claims: Think again: The Kentucky Supreme Court granted workers’ compensation benefits to a worker who was injured in a car crash on his way home from work. The traveling employee exception applied in this case since the worker’s travel was more beneficial for his employer than it was for him. This case demonstrated that there are some limitations to the going-and-coming rule.
- Fatality shows need to address situational awareness: The National Transportation Safety Board issued an investigation report on a Housatonic Railroad Company employee who was struck and killed by a rail-mounted track excavator traveling on an out-of-service track in Connecticut. The employee was walking next to the excavator and a switch panel when he got crushed between them.
- He was intoxicated on beer, cocaine when he fell: Can he collect workers’ compensation?: A construction worker did some cocaine and drank some beer before falling off a ladder and getting injured. He still received workers’ compensation, though. Why? Because the court found he would still have gotten injured even if he’d been sober.
- OSHA’s proposed injury reporting rule set to cause big changes for smaller companies: OSHA is planning on expanding reporting requirements for high-hazard employers with at least 100 employees having to submit injury and illness forms electronically to the agency, down from the current 250 employees. This revised rule is supposed to be published some time in December 2022.
- Confined space fatality shows why just having a safety procedure isn’t enough: MSHA investigators were called to a mine in Greenlee County, Arizona, to investigate a fatality involving a contract welder who died while working with argon gas in a confined space. The contract company had a confined space safety procedure created jointly with the mine operator, but much of it had been ignored, leading to the welder’s death.
- Truck in fatal crash was noted as unsafe: Why did it remain in service?: One worker was killed and another severely injured when the cement mixer truck they were operating crashed while traveling down a ramp at an Arizona mine. The brakes were defective, which was noted on pre-operational inspections. Despite the fact that employees and management knew the vehicle had defective brakes, it remained in service and eventually caused the fatality.