ATF’s arson finding challenged in Texas fertilizer plant explosion

The April 2013 fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, that killed 15 people and injured more than 160 may not have been sparked by a deliberately set fire as federal investigators claimed, according to attorneys, arson experts and a former top workplace safety official. That announcement by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives […]

Former Fed-OSHA official criticizes ATF, EPA

Former Fed-OSHA administrator Jordan Barab says findings by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigators “eliminating every other ignition source and then concluding that arson must be the only cause” of the 2013 West, Texas fertilizer plant blast, are faulty. He also criticized the Environmental Protection Agency for further delaying implementation of updated risk […]

Utah mine spill spurs lawsuit

A federal lawsuit filed this week by the Utah attorney general charges that the contractor, subcontractor and mine owner involved in the spill of 3 million gallons of sludge from the Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado in August 2015, failed to take proper precautions to prevent the incident. The suit seeks punitive damages for […]

New reporting guidelines under review

Fed-OSHA’s electronic reporting rule, which prohibits employers from retaliating against workers for reporting an injury or illness, has caused concern for some employers in regard to drug testing policies. Fed-OSHA has taken the position that employers cannot use drug testing to retaliate against employees, because testing could be perceived by employees as invasive, embarrassing, or […]

Complaint prompts investigation of two SW Virginia middle schools

Safety and health investigators visited two middle schools in southwest Virginia last week following anonymous complaints of damaged asbestos, faulty wiring, ceilings falling into classrooms and pulling away from the structure, mouse feces and urine in the locker rooms, and mold. No citations were issue. Southwest Times

Chemical spill ‘quickly contained’ in suburban Chicago

A chemical spill July 24 in an industrial park in Antioch, Illinois, north of Chicago is contained and poses no health hazard to the public, say officials. The initial chemical analysis suggests that the spilled material is ferric chloride, an acid commonly used in circuit-board manufacture. However, village is investigating why the chemical was present […]

Fed-OSHA: ​First-aid programs need periodic formal reviews

First-aid programs should be reviewed periodically to determine if they continue to address the needs of the specific workplace, and outdated training and reference materials should be replaced or removed, according to Fed-OSHA. How often should retraining be conducted? Business Journals