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March 2014 Archives

Study finds that workers may suffer from sleep loss

Hazleton workers may be interested in a new study that suggests that long-term sleep deprivation can lead to irreversible brain damage. The study is the first to find that prolonged stretches of sleep deficiency can lead to permanent damage and possibly increase the risk of a workplace accident. The study also found that a loss of sleep cannot be made up with extra sleep at a later date. Researchers say that more work needs to be done on humans but that the study provides deep insight into how some workers may suffer from irregular sleep schedules.

Pennsylvania company cited for repeat safety violations

Sources say that a Pennsylvania company was recently cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for repeated safety violations at its Shippensburg location. In August 2013, as the result of a complaint, OSHA initiated an inspection that has led to more than $163,000 in proposed fines for 26 safety violations. The company is facing penalties for seven repeat violations, 16 serious safety violations and three violations listed as other-than-serious.

Company not receiving criminal charges for explosion

A contractor that allegedly caused an explosion when an employee hit a gas line at a residence on March 4 will not be brought up on criminal charges. The accident resulted in one fatality and injuries to seven workers. Investigators have ruled the explosion, which damaged more than 50 homes and completely destroyed one house, as an accident. When a contractor in any part of the country, including Pennsylvania, causes a fire or explosion, investigators often look for fault to determine whether a company or worker violated safety regulations.

Workers test positive for elevated radiation levels 

Pennsylvania workers may have noted news of radiation exposure at a radioactive waste disposal plant. A radiation leak at the underground nuclear waste dump in New Mexico on Feb. 14 has impacted 13 workers who have tested positive for radiation exposure at elevated levels. Increased radioactivity has also been detected just outside the plant, but it is not a threat to public safety, according to officials. The leak is the first such incident since the site began accepting nuclear waste from bomb-building facilities around the country about 15 years ago.

Increase in tower worker deaths prompts OSHA crackdown

Pennsylvania workers may have heard that the increase in the number of deaths among communication tower workers in 2013 prompted an address from the assistant secretary of labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to the National Association of Tower Erectors. The agency is cracking down on its enforcement in the communication tower industry and aims to educate companies and employees on health and safety.