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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Never Bypass Lockout/Tagout During Repairs

August 5, 2013 8:02 am | by Judie Smithers, Editor — Workplace Safety, J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. | Articles | Comments

A sudden chemical release or unexpected machine movement can injure or kill an employee who is servicing, maintaining or repairing process equipment. OSHA’s lockout/tagout standard (1910.147) requires employers to authorize the employees who do this work and provide them with the instructions and equipment they need to completely deenergize the machinery.

Court: Tyson Workers Must Be Paid For Donning Gear

August 1, 2013 3:08 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Workers at a Wisconsin meat processing plant must be paid for time spent putting on and taking off protective clothing, an appeals court ruled. The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by six workers at the Tyson Prepared Foods plant in Jefferson. It is one of several filed nationwide by meat and poultry workers, who say they spend significant time putting on and taking off gear.

Ford Pays Gov't $17.35M Fine To Settle Recall Spat

August 1, 2013 1:00 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Ford says it has paid the government $17.35 million to settle a dispute over allegations that Ford delayed a safety recall. The company says it paid the fine to avoid a lengthy dispute with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Obama Orders Review Of Chemical Plant Rules

August 1, 2013 12:58 pm | by Julie Pace, AP White House Correspondent | News | Comments

President Barack Obama is ordering federal agencies to review safety rules at chemical facilities in response to the deadly April explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant. In an executive order announced Thursday, Obama tasks agencies with identifying new ways to safely store and secure ammonium nitrate, the explosive chemical investigators say caused the blast.

Blowout May Tip Regulator Focus To Shallow-Water

July 31, 2013 2:14 pm | by Jeff Amy, Associated Press | News | Comments

Last week's blowout on a natural gas rig off the Louisiana coast could shift regulators' focus to shallow-water drilling and make an overhaul of safety equipment regulations more likely. The rig, owned by Hercules Offshore and operated under contract to Walter Gas & Oil, spewed gas July 23 that eventually ignited. The fire damaged the Hercules 265, which was within days of wrapping up its drilling contract.

Explosion Fuels Protests Of China Chemical Plants

July 31, 2013 2:12 pm | by Louise Watt, Associated Press | News | Comments

An explosion at a plant that produces the toxic chemical paraxylene has added to the growing opposition to such plants in China, on the same day a state-run newspaper prominently urged the public to accept the industry as safe. Tuesday's blast at the plant caused no chemical leaks, officials said, but environmental activists seized on the accident as a warning of potential problems at factories.

Chain Of Explosions At Propane Gas Plant

July 31, 2013 11:57 am | by ABC News | Videos | Comments

At least eight people were injured in a blast at a Blue Rhino plant with 53,000 propane tanks on site. Tavares Fire Chief Richard Keith identified the possible causes Tuesday, but said sabotage was not suspected. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched an investigation into the Monday night incident at the Blue Rhino propane plant, as did the Florida State Fire Marshal's office.

Explosions Rock FL Gas Plant

July 31, 2013 10:16 am | by Mike Schneider, Tamara Lush, Associated Press | News | Comments

Equipment malfunction and human error are among the possible causes of a series of explosions that spawned a 20-by-20 foot fireball at a central Florida propane plant and left eight injured, authorities said. Tavares Fire Chief Richard Keith identified the possible causes Tuesday, but said sabotage was not suspected.

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Nissan Recalls Versa Note Hatchbacks

July 30, 2013 2:42 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The company says the recall affects cars from the 2014 model year that were built in Mexico before July 5 and distributed mainly in North America. Nissan says bolts holding the rear seat back latches may not be strong enough. This could increase the injury risk for back-seat passengers in a crash.

Massive Explosions Rock Fla. Gas Plant

July 30, 2013 10:39 am | by Mike Schneider and Tamara Lush, Associated Press | News | Comments

A series of explosions rocked a central Florida propane gas plant and sent "boom after boom after boom" through the neighborhood around it. Eight people were injured, with at least three in critical condition. Tavares Fire Chief Richard Keith said possible causes of the explosion may be either equipment malfunction or possibly human error. Sabotage was not suspected.

China Explosion Fuels Environmental Concerns

July 30, 2013 10:27 am | by Louise Watt, Associated Press | News | Comments

An explosion Tuesday at a Chinese plant that produces the toxic chemical paraxylene has added fuel to a growing movement opposing such plants, on the same day that a state-run newspaper prominently urged the public to accept the industry as safe.

Ford Recalls Some 2013 C-Max Hybrids Over Roofs

July 29, 2013 9:59 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Ford Motor Co. is recalling 33,021 C-Max hybrid cars because they may not adequately protect occupants' heads in a crash. Vehicles involved were made between Jan. 19, 2012, and June 25, 2013 and don't have panoramic roofs. C-Max hybrids with panoramic glass roofs aren't involved in the recall.

Japan's All Nippon Finds Damaged 787 Beacons

July 26, 2013 10:07 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Japan's All Nippon Airways has found damage to wiring on two Boeing 787 locator beacons, a device suspected as the cause of a fire on an Ethiopian Airlines 787. ANA spokesman Ryosei Nomura said Friday that Boeing Co., the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Japanese regulators had ordered checks of the beacons.

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Pneumatic Conveying Systems Health & Safety: Exploring ROI, Part 2

July 26, 2013 8:02 am | by Doan Pendleton, VP of VAC-U-MAX | Articles | Comments

In the manufacturing arena, four out of five materials handling injuries affect the back and require a median of ten days for workers to recuperate. A strain can have indirect costs in excess of $33K and requires an additional $672K in sales to recoup those costs. Anytime organizations can eliminate the possibility of back injuries, injury costs should be taken into consideration when determining ROI.

New Impala Tops Sedans In Consumer Reports Tests

July 25, 2013 2:09 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

The Chevrolet Impala, long the standard-bearer for mediocre cars from Detroit, has made an amazing turnaround. Consumer Reports magazine has ranked the completely reworked 2014 version of the full-size car as its top U.S. sedan. It's the first time in at least 20 years that a domestic brand has beaten out cars from Germany and Japan.

Probe Links Lithium Battery To Dubai UPS Crash

July 24, 2013 10:20 am | by Brian Murphy, Associated Press | News | Comments

A fast-moving fire that began in cargo containing lithium batteries turned the inside of a United Parcel Service plane into a "catastrophic" chain reaction of flames and smoke before a crash three years ago in the desert outside Dubai, according to a report released Wednesday.

Gas Well In The Gulf Continues To Burn

July 24, 2013 10:18 am | by Kevin McGill, Associated Press | News | Comments

An out-of-control natural gas well off the Louisiana coast continued to burn Wednesday after it caught fire following a blowout that prompted the evacuation of 44 workers, authorities said. No injuries were reported as a result of Tuesday night's fire, Eileen Angelico, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, told The Associated Press.

GA Company Receives 8 Federal Labor Citations

July 24, 2013 10:12 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal labor officials say a Georgia company has been cited for eight safety and health violations. U.S. Department of Labor officials said Tuesday that Quality Industries LLC was cited after a February inspection at its facility in Hartwell. The company manufactures boat seats, electrical equipment coverings and molds for municipal transportation services.

Pneumatic Conveying Systems Health & Safety: Exploring ROI, Part 1

July 24, 2013 8:02 am | by Doan Pendleton, VP of VAC-U-MAX | Articles | Comments

Workplace injuries in any organization take a bite out of profits. The statistics regarding the number of injuries and illnesses that occur on the job and purported annual costs of $250B is astronomical. In the goods producing industry, which accounts for account for 35 percent of all occupational illness and injury cases, “manual materials handling is the principal source of compensable injuries,” according to OSHA.

47 Rescued From Gulf Rig After Gas Blowout

July 23, 2013 2:34 pm | by Kevin McGill, Associated Press | News | Comments

Natural gas flowed uncontrolled from a well off the Louisiana coast on Tuesday after a blowout that forced the evacuation of 47 workers aboard a drilling rig, authorities said. No injuries or fires were reported. The federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said inspectors flying over the site Tuesday saw a light sheen covering an area about a half-mile by 50 feet. However, it was dissipating quickly.

Toyota Sudden Acceleration Case Begins In CA

July 23, 2013 10:20 am | by Greg Risling, Associated Press | News | Comments

The first so-called "bellwether" case could determine whether Toyota Motor Corp. should be held liable for sudden unintended acceleration in its vehicles — a claim made by motorists that plagued the Japanese automaker and led to lawsuits, settlements and recalls of millions of its cars and SUVs.

Convenient, Efficient, Green Maintenance Chemicals

July 22, 2013 2:55 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Industrial manufacturers across the world need to stay efficient, productive, and safe in an ever-increasing competitive global market. They turn to industrial cleaners and degreasers to quickly and effectively sanitize and disinfect, improve the appearance of their facility, prepare surfaces for plating or adhesive bonding, eliminate the potential for contamination, and more.

FAA Wants Dreamliner Transmitters Inspected

July 22, 2013 1:58 pm | by Joan Lowy, Joshua Freed, Associated Press | News | Comments

Airlines should inspect the emergency locator transmitters of all Boeing 787 "Dreamliners," the Federal Aviation Administration urged Friday following a fire earlier in the week aboard one of the airliners while parked at London's Heathrow Airport.

Feds Probe Worker Safety At GA Auto Parts Maker

July 22, 2013 10:13 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal authorities are questioning working conditions at a Georgia auto parts plant for the eighth time in four years, this time in connection with a worker's death. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched an inquiry of Sewon American in LaGrange after someone submitted a complaint of excessive heat same the same day Teresa Pickard died, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Fire Damages PA Chemical Plant; No Injuries

July 22, 2013 10:11 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A fire has damaged a chemical plant in central Pennsylvania, but officials say the blaze posed no risk to the nearby community. The Williamsport Sun-Gazette reports the fire broke out Sunday morning at the Lonza Inc. plant in Williamsport. The company says the fire started in a part of the facility that's a non-hazardous manufacturing area.

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