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CONN-OSHA Quarterly

Volume No. 40
Winter 2005

  • Work Related Fatalities Decrease in 2003 to 36

  •  Hazard Corner

  • Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program

  • CONN-OSHA Training Update

WORK RELATED FATALITIES DECREASE IN 2003 TO 36
By: Erin Wilkins, Research Analyst 

Work-related injuries cost 36 lives in Connecticut in 2003, according to a report compiled by the Connecticut Department of   Labor’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, reflecting a decrease of three from the previous year.

“As with national work-injury fatalities, transportation accidents and violence claimed the most lives,” explained State Labor Commissioner Shaun B. Cashman.  “In Connecticut, 17 transportation incidents represented 47 percent of the fatalities in 2003.  Assaults and violent acts accounted for 25 percent, which was an additional loss of nine lives.”  Cashman also stated that work injuries involving contact with objects or equipment caused four fatalities (11%) and workplace falls also claimed four lives.

The Connecticut Department of Labor collects data annually on workplace fatalities.  This data is included in the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ census with a goal of identifying and solving safety issues.  Work-related fatal illnesses often occur years after an exposure has occurred and are difficult to link to specific work conditions.  Thus, they are not reported in the census.  Detailed information on Connecticut work-injury fatalities is available in the following tables; data for 2003 include:

  • Men accounted for 34 of the work-injury fatalities.

  • By age, employees in the 35 to 44 year-old category represented the largest number of deaths with ten work-injury fatalities (28%).

  • Fourteen of the work-injury fatalities occurred to transportation and material mover workers.  These 14 deaths accounted for 39% of work-injury fatalities, the highest loss by occupation.

  • By industry sector, the trade, transportation, and utilities sector, with ten fatalities, suffered the most work-injury fatalities.  It was followed by the construction sector with six fatalities and the government sector with five fatalities.

Connecticut began recording work-related deaths in 1992.  Since then, the greatest loss was experienced in 1998 with 57 deaths, followed by 55 deaths in 2000.  The year 2001 saw 41 fatalities, which was followed by 39 fatalities in 2002 and lowered to 36 deaths in 2003.

Nationally, 5,559 people lost their lives to work-injuries in 2003.  Transportation accidents, at 42%, claimed the most lives, which were followed by assaults and violent acts at 16%.  The construction sector recorded the highest number of fatal work injuries at 1,126; 24% of these deaths were to construction laborers.  However, the most dangerous industries were found in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting sector with a rate of 31.2 deaths per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0,000 workers and mining sector with a rate of 26.9 deaths per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0,000 workers.  Industry sectors were classified with the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).  

American work-injury fatalities reached an annual high of 8,801 in 2001; the events of September 11th accounted for 2,886 of these deaths.  In order to accurately compare work-injury fatalities, and thereby identify unsafe working conditions, the deaths from September 11th have not been included in annual comparisons.

For the past two years, the United States maintained the lowest recorded work-injury fatality rate: 4.0 deaths per Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office0,000 workers.  Along with a reduction in the fatality rate, the 2003 total of 5,559 work-injury fatalities reflected a decrease of 1,073 from the 1994 high of 6,632.  Despite the reduction of work-injury deaths, John Henshaw, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, found the data sobering, stating "We have said many times before that even one workplace fatality is one too many, and we will continue to do everything we can to make sure workers are safe through strong, fair and effective enforcement; outreach, education and compliance assistance; and partnerships and cooperative programs." 

Detailed information on the national figures can be found at www.bls.gov/iif.

HAZARD CORNER

PUBLIC WORKS CREW LEADER DIES AFTER MASSIVE HEAD INJURY
Crew leader struck in head by dump body
Article by:  Jeffrey Saltus, Safety Compliance Officer

SUMMARY

On Tuesday, October 3, 2000, four members of a town public works department were engaged in a roadway patching operation. The crew consisted of a foreman (victim – 51 year old male) and three maintainers. The employees were involved in patching a section of roadway over a recent storm drainage excavation.  

At the time of the incident, one crew member was in the cab of the dump truck, raising and lowering the dump body to off load material. Two crew members were at the rear of the truck shoveling and raking asphalt into the patch area as it was dumped from the truck. The victim was also at the rear right side of the truck assisting with the raking of material. The dump body was raised and asphalt was deposited in the patch area. After sufficient asphalt was deposited the dump body was lowered. The truck was moved to the other side of the road where it was parked. The driver heard a hissing sound and decided to raise the dump body and exit the truck to check for a possible mechanical problem. On checking the right side of the truck the driver found the victim lying in the road next to the truck. Crew members called for assistance, and attempted to render aid to the victim. Unfortunately, little could be done due to the severity of the injury. EMS personnel arrived and determined that the victim had expired at the scene. 

INVESTIGATION

During the investigation it was learned that the truck involved had a double walled dump body. This allowed engine exhaust to be directed into the dump body, thus providing some heat to help keep the load of asphalt warm. Engine exhaust passed through a diverter mechanism located on the right side of the truck, just behind the cab. A spring loaded handle on top of the diverter operated this mechanism and caused engine exhaust to pass into a vertical pipe leading to the underside of the dump body. This pipe joined the flange on the underside of the dump body when the dump body was in the down position. It was learned that the diverter mechanism had recently been repaired. The spring on the operating handle had been replaced. On the day of the accident, the crew working with the victim had made comments that the asphalt did not seem warm enough to work properly.  

CONCLUSION

The investigation concluded that the victim apparently moved from the right rear of the truck to the right side of the truck, unobserved by the rest of the crew. Transfer evidence on the victim’s body, the shape and location of the fatal wound, and evidence found on the truck indicated that he was probably leaning over to check the exhaust diverter mechanism when the dump bed was lowered. He may have seen that it was not in the proper position or may have been checking to make sure it was operating correctly. The dump body lowered rapidly enough that the victim was pinned between the dump body and the vertical pipe from the exhaust diverter, causing the fatal injury. As part of the investigation, the truck was inspected and no mechanical defects were found which would have contributed to the incident. 

The constantly changing conditions involved in roadway construction demand that all personnel be aware of the positions of equipment and personnel.  Knowing where everything and everyone is moment to moment is one component of a safe work environment.  

An alert, conscientious attitude and observance of all known safe-operating practices (operator manuals, OSHA standards, applicable ANSI standards, and safe work practices) are the best ways to prevent accidents.

SAFETY AND HEALTH ACHIEVEMENT RECOGNITION PROGRAM 

In October, CONN-OSHA hosted the 2nd annual Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) Luncheon.    Approximately 80 people attended the event which took place at the New England Laborers’ Training Academy in Pomfret, Connecticut.  Hi-Tech Profiles of Pawcatuck, Connecticut was honored as a first time recipient of the SHARP award. Other Connecticut companies that received renewal awards include Nutmeg Container of Putnam, Connecticut and Cooper-Atkins of Middlefield, Connecticut.

CONN-OSHA recognizes Hi-Tech Profiles Inc.

Included in the photo are from left to right: Marthe B. Kent - OSHA Regional Administrator, Hi-Tech Profiles, Raymond Quinlan - President, Timothy Douglas – Safety & Health Coordinator and Lydia Teixeira – V.P. Finance, and Kenneth C. Tucker III – Occupational Safety and Health Manager -CONN-OSHA.

CONN-OSHA TRAINING UPDATE

Breakfast Roundtable Discussion Group* 

February 15, March 15, & April 19, 2005

(The third Tuesday of every month)

The intent of these free 90-minute workshops is to discuss safety and health issues in a supportive and informal environment. These meetings cover subjects ranging from evacuation plans and fire extinguishers to air quality and ergonomics. The roundtable meetings are held from 8:15 am to 9:45 am at the Division’s offices located at 38      Wolcott Hill Road, Wethersfield, CT. Pre-registration is required. 

NOTE: The February 15, 2005 Discussion Group meeting will be held at the American Red Cross, Farmington, CT.  Representatives of the Red Cross will present a summary of resources available to small  business concerning health & safety.  After the meeting, a tour of the Blood Services area will be held. 

Lockout/Tagout*

February 3, 2005

When it’s time for maintenance, repairs or retooling of a machine,  simply turning the machine off or unplugging it while it is being worked on does not give enough protection for workers.  Many serious       accidents have happened when someone thought the machine or all of the energy was safely turned off.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a standard for locking out and tagging out equipment.  It is known as 29 CFR 19Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office.147, and it presents a      minimum performance standard for the control of hazardous energy. 

OSHA 300 Recordkeeping Training—What Does and Does Not Need to be Recorded*

March 3, 2005

The purpose of this workshop is to introduce the requirements and  procedures related to the OSHA 300 log. The class will help develop skills to accurately report occupational injuries and illnesses.   

Work Zone Safety*

April 7, 2005

Building and maintaining roads can be dangerous.  Each year about 7,500 highway construction workers get hurt.  More than 80 highway construction workers are killed on the job.  The dangers can be minimized if you are made more aware of the hazards, and are provided with ways to avoid the hazards.  Basic guidelines for work zone traffic control and the requirements of Part VI of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) with particular emphasis on short term work sites on roads and streets in rural and small urban areas will be presented. 

*Classes are free and will be held at 200 Folly Brook Blvd, Wethersfield, CT in Conference Room A from 9 am to noon unless otherwise noted. 

Pre-registration is required!

To register for any of these sessions, call Jackie Maldonado at (860)263-6919, or send an e-mail to jackie.maldonado@po.state.ct.us.

For a complete listing of our upcoming training sessions, please visit our web site at www.ctdol.state.ct.us/osha/osha.htm 

Have you subscribed to the CONN-OSHA Quarterly yet? 

If you would like to receive the Quarterly via e-mail, contact us: jackie.maldonado@po.state.ct.us 

In the subject line type “subscribe” and in the body include the e-mail address to which you would like the Quarterly sent.  

If you have any questions, contact Catherine Zinsser at (860) 263-6942.

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Last Updated: October 24, 2016


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