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Middletown, OH Confined Space Incident – FF’s Down

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Friday, May 7, 2010 A 32-year-old city worker is dead after being overcome by fumes this morning while checking a sewer outside of a business on Yankee Road, according to police.

Meanwhile, two firefighters who attempted to rescue the public works employee were hospitalized after the accident about 8 a.m. today, May 7, in front of Air Products and Chemicals Inc., 2500 Yankee Road, according to police.

Jabin Lakes died after falling into a manhole during an inspection, according to Police Maj. Mark Hoffman. [More...]

Firefighters went into rescue Lakes and were overcome with something in the shaft, he said. It is not clear what the substance is, according to Hoffman.

Fire Marshal Bob Hess was taken to Atrium Medical Center in Middletown and Capt. Todd Wissemier was taken to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, according to Hoffman.

The manhole is estimated to be about 20 to 30 feet deep and 20 to 22 inches wide, Hoffman said.

Mayor Larry Mulligan could not discuss details of the incident but said the city will hold a press conference today at 2 p.m. in council chambers, One Donham Plaza.

A coroner’s investigator is at the scene as well as fire rescue units from West Chester Twp., Fairfield and Franklin. The deceased man is still in the hole at 9:55 a.m.

Shortly before 10 a.m., crews were performing air quality tests on the manhole, Hoffman said. He said there does not appear to be any hazard to the general public in the area. At 10:12 a.m., crews on scene were requesting a chemist from AK Steel be sent to the manhole.

Air Products officials were in a meeting regarding the incident and couldn’t be reached for comment. The Allentown, Pa.-based company provides oxygen to AK Steel’s Middletown Works.

Hoffman said Lakes and two other city workers were inspecting the sewer about 8 a.m. because Air Products was interested in tapping into a main line. When the manhole cover was opened, Lakes was overcome by fumes and fell into the hole, he said.

The workers called 911 and fire crews arrived shortly thereafter, Hoffman said.
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South Dakota Wheat Growers Assoc. Fined $1.6M After Fatality

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined the South Dakota Wheat Growers Association of Aberdeen, S.D., more than $1.6 million following the Dec. 22, 2009, death of a worker at the company’s McLaughlin, S.D., grain handling operation.

The worker suffocated after being engulfed by grain in one of the facility’s bins. OSHA’s investigation found that five additional workers were also at risk of being engulfed when they were sent into the bin to dig the victim out.

OSHA proposed $1,610,000 in fines for 23 alleged willful violations of the grain handling and confined space standards, including:     
    - Failing to prohibit workers from walking on top of clumped grain;
    - Failing to prohibit entry into the grain bins where the buildup of grain existed;
    - Failing to shut off and lock out equipment to prevent grain from moving through the bin while workers were inside;
    - Failing to equip workers with grain engulfment protection;
    - Failing to provide observers equipped to provide assistance;
    - Failing to train workers;
    - Failing to issue permits to control entry into grain bins;
    - Failing to test the atmosphere;
    - A lack of rescue equipment;
    - And failing to implement an emergency action plan prior to entry.

The death in South Dakota follows a similar May 2009 death of a 17-year old employee of Tempel Grain LLP in Haswell, CO. That worker also suffocated after being engulfed by grain. OSHA issued $1,592,500 in fines for 22 alleged willful and 13 alleged serious violations in that case.

OSHA has implemented a regional emphasis inspection program in the grain handling industry to address the serious hazards associated with grain bins and confined spaces, and operators and industry associations have been sent letters announcing the program. OSHA’s area offices covering Colorado, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota are also providing assistance to help grain storage facilities comply with safety standards.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of all OSHA citations to pay the penalties, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Source: OSHA
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Obama issues increase budget request for compliance officers

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

According to the latest “OSHA Up To Date” newsletter from the National Safety Council, OSHA plans to step up enforcement by increasing the number of inspections for 2011. President Obama has issued a budget request of $573 million which is a 14% increase over FY 2010. 100 more compliance officers will be hired in order to reach OSHA’s goal of conducting 42,250 inspections next year.

The Department of Labor is also instituting “high-priority performance goals” among them is reducing deaths from common causes such as falls or trench collapses by 2 percent. The President’s budget still has to go through Congress which could change the budget before being sent back to the White House. According to Hilda L. Solis, Secretary of Labor more enforcement and regulations “are sending a strong message throughout industry that we will not tolerate the endangerment of workers”.

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Red Stick Ready

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Roco participated in Red Stick Ready June 19th  at the Mall of Louisiana in Baton Rouge.  Red Stick Ready is an awareness program sponsored by the Baton Rouge Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. The program is designed to provide critical information to the citizens of East Baton Rouge Parish to help them prepare for, respond to and recover from all emergency situations. The agency is also releasing a series of television shows in an effort to enhance community outreach about preparedness.

The Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness has achieved the highest national certification from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP). Baton Rouge is one of only two cities in Louisiana to be certified as a “Storm Ready Community” by the National Weather Service.

According to JoAnne Moreau, Driector of the EBR Office of Homeland Secruity, pictured here with Roco’s John Voinche’,  says this event was a chance for citizens to interact with public agencies vital to the response effort during an emergency and how citizens of Baton Rouge can actually play a vital role during a parish city or parish wide emergency.

Agencies and companies participating in Red Stick Ready were Roco, The BR Fire Department, Department of Public Works, American Red Cross, Entergy, Council on Aging, MMRS, Office of Public Health, St. George Fire Department, EBR Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Medical Services, BR Police Department, Exxon, North Baton Rouge Chemical Industry Task Force and EBRP Public Schools.

To find out more about how you can be better prepared for emergencies go to www.brgov.com/dept/oep/.
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Field Work Essential in Trench and Structural Collapse Rescue

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Extensive field exercises are considered necessary to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to conduct basic trench rescue operations. An overview of OSHA regulations for Excavations/Trenching should always include: shoring systems; hazard recognition and control methods; soil classification and mechanics; types of collapses; and patient care considerations.

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OSHA Steps Up Enforcement

Monday, May 10, 2010

To address urgent safety and health problems facing Americans in the workplace, OSHA is implementing a new Severe Violator Enforcement Program and increasing civil penalty amounts. Announced in an April 22 news release, the SVEP, which will go into effect by the beginning of June, is intended to focus OSHA enforcement resources on employers who endanger workers by repeatedly demonstrating indifference to their responsibilities under the law.

This supplemental enforcement tool includes increased OSHA inspections in these worksites, mandatory OSHA follow-up inspections, and inspections of other worksites of the same employer where similar hazards and deficiencies may be present.

For more information, see the SVEP Directive. Several administrative changes to the penalty calculation system in OSHA’s Field Operations Manual will also become effective in the next several months. The penalty changes will increase the overall dollar amount of all penalties while maintaining OSHA’s policy of reducing penalties for small employers and those acting in good faith.
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Study Proves Four-person Fire Crews Faster

Monday, May 10, 2010

The first study to quantify the effects of crew sizes and arrival times on lifesaving and firefighting operations…

The International Association of Fire Chiefs and the International Association of Fire Fighters hailed a major study released April 28 that showed four-person firefighting crews completed 22 key tasks at a single-family residential fire 30 percent faster than two-person crews and 25 percent faster than three-person crews.

The study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a Commerce Department agency, indicated four-person crews put water on the fire faster, completed laddering and ventilation faster, and finished a primary search and rescue of a non-ambulatory person from an upstairs bedroom faster. “The results from this rigorous scientific study on the most common and deadly fires in the country –- those in single-family residences -– provide quantitative data to fire chiefs and public officials responsible for determining safe staffing levels, station locations, and appropriate funding for community and fire fighter safety,” Harold A. Schaitberger, IAFF’s general president, wrote on the union’s Frontline blog. “This study comes at a crucial time for the fire service. Public officials considering resource cuts cannot ignore the results of this unbiased study,” he added.

“Fire risks grow exponentially. Each minute of delay is critical to the safety of the occupants and firefighters and is directly related to property damage,” said Jason Averill, a principal investigator on the study who leads NIST’s Engineered Fire Safety Group within its Building and Fire Research Laboratory.

Reprinted from: Occupational Health & Safety
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Dennis O’Connell, Director of Training/Chief Instructor

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Since 1989, Dennis O’Connell has been a technical rescue consultant and professional instructor for Roco. In 2002, he joined the company full-time and is now the Director of Training and a Chief Instructor.

As Director of Training, O’Connell heads up Roco’s technical rescue programs and is responsible for curriculum development, instructor training and much more. As a Chief Instructor, he teaches Confined Space, High Angle, Trench, Structural Collapse, and Instructor Development courses. “Training-the-trainer” is one of the many skills O’Connell cultivated during his 20-year tenure with the New York Police Department (NYPD).

Sgt. O’Connell received 14 commendations and citations as a career officer and was selected to serve on the NYPD Emergency Services Unit (ESU) for 17 years. Besides responding to over 100,000 assignments each year, this elite group served as a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit for America’s iconic city–responding to high-risk situations and providing rescue operations for transportation accidents, building collapses, hazardous materials incidents, water rescue, confined space and high-angle incidents, helicopter operations (high-rise Medevac), and disorder control.

As a member of ESU, he was extensively involved in rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center from Day One. As a hand-selected member of FEMA’s New York Task Force #1, Sgt. O’Connell responded to major disasters in Oklahoma City, Atlanta, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. With his broad teaching experience and expertise in real-world rescue, O’Connell is a man others want to learn from.

His inspiration for becoming a rescue professional?
As a young man, O’Connell was involved in an automobile crash with fatal injuries to one of his best friends. At that moment, he vowed to learn the proper techniques of lifesaving, rescue, and emergency response. Mission accomplished.

His best advice for the novice?
Know your equipment like the back of your hand… literally. You have to protect yourself before you can help others.

What does he do for fun?
Almost anything that presents a challenge! Here we see him sporting ‘Cajun Reeboks’ for a little recreational trip down the bayou. Only the best equipment for the job will do for Dennis!
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McKenney’s Fan

Monday, May 03, 2010
Thank you for the well organized class that was packed with information. I say packed, but the instructors (Mike A., Tim R. & Chris ) presented the material in “small bites’ so that it was easily digested. As I have already told the instructors, I started the course not knowing what to expect and ended the week realizing that my “rope rescuing” journey has just begun and I have a lot of work to do.

Thanks,
Jeff Schnaak
Safety Coordinator 
McKenney’s Inc. one of Atlanta’s “Best Places to Work” in 2009.

(published from email to Roco)

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