Middlesex County and New Jersey Trial Lawyers BLOG

Coke Plant’s Negligent Safety Measures Lead to Explosion

Posted on August 15, 2014 by Spevack Law Firm

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspected a Tonawanda Coke Corp. facility after an explosion in January 2014. OSHA’s findings led to more than $160,000 in fines for a multitude of serious and repeat safety violations. Two permanent workers were injured in the accident, along with one temporary worker. Tonawanda was cited after the incident along with Kirchner LLC, a staffing company that helped provide temporary workers for the facility. Tonawanda produces coke, a fuel made from coal with high levels of carbon. Investigators determined that excessive pressure in a coke oven manifold caused the explosion, after a flare stack failed. A flare stack helps a coke oven burn off excess gas. When it malfunctioned, coke oven gas leaked into a small area and ignited. What Are the Dangers of Coke Gas Exposure? OSHA inspectors determined that Tonawanda had failed to inspect and maintain safety…
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What Are the Dangers of Chromium Exposure?

Posted on August 8, 2014 by Spevack Law Firm

Hexavalent chromium is a known carcinogen that can be produced by industrial processes. In addition to causing cancer, the harmful chemical can damage the kidneys, liver, skin, eyes and respiratory system. Employees in charge of welding and other types of “hot work” are at the highest risk for chromium exposure due to high levels of chromium in certain metals. For that reason, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) tries to protect workers by enforcing several regulations governing chromium use. OSHA inspectors found unacceptable levels of chromium exposure at an aluminum extruding plant owned by Keymark Corp. Management at the plant failed to keep track of workers’ chromium exposure, and the harmful chemical was allowed to accumulate on surfaces in the facility. Workers who were regularly exposed to chromium had no appropriate changing areas, and management failed to make sure that chromium-contaminated clothing was sealed, stored and transported properly. These…
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United Facility Deemed Serious Fire Hazard at Newark Airport

Posted on August 1, 2014 by Spevack Law Firm

Too often, our nation’s workplaces become jumbled messes, and some of the worst offenses can quickly turn into fire hazards. Unmarked fire exits, extension cords used in place of permanent wiring and haphazardly stacked materials can all lead to dangerous, and potentially lethal, situations. All of these offenses and more were discovered during a recent inspection of United Airlines facilities by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Sixteen safety violations were noted at the Newark airport, three of which were repeat offenses that had been discovered during inspections in both 2011 and 2013. The inspections were part of an OSHA campaign to improve workplaces with high rates of injuries and illness. OSHA has proposed that United pay penalties of over $100,000. The air travel behemoth was hit with nine serious infractions, reaching a total of $46,300 in fines, plus another $55,000 in repeat offenses. The violations included: Exposing mechanics to…
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