Scores of customers in Arizona depend on natural gas for their home appliances. However, many of us may not think about the dangers faced by the workers who are responsible for processing the gas that is so useful in our houses and commercial buildings. These individuals are vulnerable to work accidents because of the high-risk nature of their activities. A recent incident in the Pacific Northwest shows just how dangerous it can be to work at a natural gas processing plant.
Industrial workers in Arizona and other states constantly face hazards that could lead to serious crush or amputation injuries. Sometimes, these accidents may be caused by structures or items that would not automatically spring to mind. For example, one energy company employee suffered a serious work accident when a metal catwalk collapsed beneath his feet. That drill-rig worker lost the tip of his finger in the incident. Now, a federal judge has ruled that the energy company may be liable to provide workers' compensation to that victim.
An industrial accident in Arizona's neighboring state of California has left a man dead during preparations for the World Ag Expo. The man, who was in his 40's, died after he fell from a John Deere tractor. The Feb. 8 work accident shook other employees, who said they tried to save the man, but he died at the scene of the incident, just three days before the expo began.
Combustible dust is a safety concern at many Arizona workplaces. It can come from chemicals, metals, foods or plastic. Combustible dust is hazardous because it can cause explosions. Federal safety experts are investigating an explosion caused by combustible dust in Omaha. That blast killed two workers and injured 17, according to initial reports. Those victims and their relatives may be entitled to workers' compensation after the workplace accident.
When Upton Sinclair discussed the jungle, it seems unlikely that he was talking about the Amazon.
In yet another setback for the embattled 49ers stadium in California, a work-related accident in four months has claimed another life. The fatal injury occurred when the man was crushed to death by rebar that he was unloading. The 60-year-old victim died at a hospital shortly after the accident, which occurred at the beginning of the workday.
Construction companies throughout Arizona and the rest of the nation are still struggling under new crane regulations promulgated several years ago by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. These rules were designed to prevent workplace accidents caused by cranes that had been poorly assembled or operated by unqualified workers. In a follow-up to a case we reported on earlier this year, four individual corporations are facing a collective 26 violations in connection with a crane incident in March at the Arkansas Nuclear One Power Plant. That accident caused a worker to suffer fatal injuries.
Employers throughout Arizona and the nation have a responsibility to keep their workers safe. Part of that charge includes ensuring that workers are properly using the equipment related to their jobs. Many industrial machines feature machine guards that prevent workers' body parts from becoming crushed or entangled, thus lowering the risk of serious injury from workplace accidents. When workplace leaders encourage employees to bypass these protections, though, they are putting their workers in harm's way. One company in South Dakota is now realizing just how costly that decision might have been, after they were fined more than $1.33 million for the death of a worker at a manufacturing plant.
Agricultural operations throughout the nation face a variety of safety problems because of the usage of heavy machinery, storage equipment and other hazardous items. Grain silos are well-known as one of the most dangerous types of agricultural facilities, largely because the unstable crop can shift within its holding facilities. As a result, employers in Arizona and other states are governed by strict safety rules designed to protect grain workers from crush and suffocation injuries. Workers must be secured to life-lines when they enter a grain silo, for example, and they must be properly trained in grain operations. Still, scores of workers perish needlessly because they are uninformed about appropriate safety measures. One Texas man's family may be the recipients of workers' compensation benefits after a man died in a recent grain accident.
Manufacturing firms throughout Arizona and other states struggle with safety challenges, regardless of the materials that are produced. With a wide range of mechanical and electrical activities in the plant, an injury is almost guaranteed to occur at some point. Still, employers are tasked with using protective measures to reduce or eliminate injury risk. One Houston company is facing intense scrutiny after an investigation revealed egregious shortcomings in its safety program.