News & Events
AES Marine informs safety, health and environmental professionals in the production, manufacturing, construction and service sectors about trends, management strategies, loss prevention, regulatory news and new products that help them provide a safe and healthy workplace.
Another Deepwater Horizon Incident
September 17, 2018
Are we looking at another Deepwater Horizon Incident? The disaster, which resulted in 11 dead offshore drilling workers and left 17 others injured, was recently back in the news. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill(also known as, the BP spill), has been considered to be the largest marine oilspill in the history of the petroleum industry. The BP spill, which was the result of multiple systemic failures, led to enhance and restrictive requirements under the Obama administration.
The investigation determined the systemic failures were shared by all involved, including the U.S. Government:
• The oil company, BP, which accumulated hundreds of safety violations at the time of the explosion, was pushing operations to work faster and ‘do what needed to be done to complete drilling operations.’
• The operator, Transocean, failed to report alert systems and interpret critical data, highlighting poor training.
• State and local communities were ill-prepared for such a spill, resulting in significant economic hardships.
• Government regulators had approved three successive changes to the well’s design, a week before the explosion.
All of which led to new safety rules, accountability standards, and environmental stewardship; “the most aggressive and comprehensive reforms to offshore oil and gas regulation and oversight in U.S. history,” Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management. However, the Trump administration has “rolled back this excessive bureaucracy created by the previous administration” to give more responsibility to states for offshore oil and gas drilling and making it easier for businesses to operate. Leaving many politicians asking, ‘What will happen when another Deepwater Horizon incident occurs?’
Eleven Dead in One Week
September 10, 2018
On Monday, September 3rd, eight workers were killed in an explosion at a Denel munitions depot near Somerset West. The City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Service responded to a heavy plume of smoke and engulfing fire. An emergency services spokesperson stated, “upon arrival four persons were confirmed to have sustained fatal injuries and as fire-fighters conducted search and rescue efforts for six other persons, they discovered three other lives were claimed.”
The Rheinmetall-Denel plant, which is jointly owned by German and South African companies, manufacturers munitions and explosive products for the South African Military, the South African Police, as well as multiple international clients. On Thursday, September 6th, the South African National Civic Organization (SANCO) said it was worried about workplace safety following this latest incident, the first of which claimed eleven lives in one week.
Another incident, later in the week, took the lives of three firefighters who were responding to a fire at a building housing in the Johannesburg Central Business District (CBD). The CBD has the most-dense collection of skyscrapers in Africa. However due to security concerns, many of the buildings are unoccupied and many of the building are poorly maintained. The Citizen, a tabloid-style newspaper distributed nationally in South Africa, is reporting the government has admitted that the building in question did not comply with the stipulations of occupation, health and safety standards.
Manslaughter Charges for Woekplace Fatalities
September 4, 2018
An Australian federal parliamentary inquiry is exploring the proposal of industrial manslaughter laws being introduced in Western Australia to prevent workplace deaths. Worker’s organizations, unions, are pushing to make industrial manslaughter a specific criminal offence under workplace health and safety legislation, saying “financial penalties on their own are not an effective deterrent.”
Last week, the union addressed a public hearing requesting a senate inquiry into an industrial death in Australia and the union requested the offence should encompass circumstances where any person (workers and bystanders) who is killed in a work-related incident. Union representatives sited an incident where three pedestrians were killed when a wall on the edge of a Grocon site collapsed in Melbourne in 2014, stating “this would protect members of the public as well.”
During the public hearing, many other recent workplace fatality incidents where reviewed and discussed. The most common outcome for any company who was found to be negligent of a workplace fatality usually resulted in a monetary fine. Many families and union representatives are requesting laws which would remove industry self-regulation and make industry manslaughter a criminal offense. These same family members are asking, “At what point does the company have criminal liability?”
For further information about this or other Environmental Regulatory, Occupational Safety and Health compliance processes, visit our website www.aesmarine.com or contact our offices (210) 430-3469.
August 27, 2018
Are workers really not showing up to work because of a hangover? The better questions would be, do you want a worker to be on the jobsite while he/she is recovering from the effects of consuming alcohol? Many psychologists have found workers who are hungover, have an inability to pay attention, a lack of accessing complex memories, and have a delayed response or co-ordination.
Hangovers are inescapable for many employers; employers will see an employee suffer from a hangover at one time or another. It becomes a problem when the same employee continually comes to work in this condition, resulting in poor or lost production due to poor performance. A recent study revealed that an estimated £1.9 billion (Euros) is lost by the UK economy every year due to worker hangovers. A strong policy, and an employer’s effectiveness at enforcing this another workplace health and safety policies will dictate how hangovers in the workplace will be prevented.
For further information about this or other Environmental Regulatory, Occupational Safety and Health compliance processes, periodically visit our website www.aesmarine.com or contact our offices (210) 430-3469.
Labor Leaders Express Outrage of Workplace Death
August 20, 2018
Scrapping Last week various labor organizations and federations held a press conference at the National Trade Union Federation Pakistan (NTUFP) in Karachi displaying their concerns against the lack of health and safety measures at workplaces, especially mines. Sevveral representatives expressed concerns over recent deadly blast which occurred at a coal mine in Sanjdi area of Balochistan, where thirteen (13) miners and two (2) rescue workers have already died in this tragic incident.
Labor leaders have stated, “The Sanjdi Coal Incident is not the first incident of its kind.” This comment was in reference to repetitive and increasing incident rate, including a May 2018 cave-in which claim twenty-seven (27) miners who had died due to suffocation. Since May this year, more than 70 workers have died in various industrial and workplace accidents. Labor leaders also stated, “The increasing workplace death rate rests upon the shoulders of the government, owners, related departments and agencies and corrupt official of Inspectorate of Mines, who issue licenses to kill workers after taking heavy bribes and there is nobody to hold them accountable.”
For further information, about this or other Environmental Regulatory, Occupational Safety and Health compliance processes, visit our website www.aesmarine.com or contact our offices (210) 430-3469.
Marijuana In The Workplace
April 16, 2018
Like the United States, Canadian municipalities have been given the authority to legalize and manage the retailing and distribution of marijuana within their provinces. Recently, residents nearby a local construction site complained to authorities last week when workers were observed smoking marijuana near the construction project in Toronto. Crosslinx's Site Supervisor, private consortium constructing the $5.3 billion light rail transit (LRT) project, learned of the accusation and the project was shut down due to safety concerns.
“The 5-man crew were sent home”, announced Crosslinx spokesperson Kristin Jenkins. “We take this very seriously. We have zero tolerance for any kind of consumption of drugs or alcohol on the job”, Jenkins stated, adding the penalty for using drugs or alcohol on the job is “immediate termination”.
Many countries, including several states in the United States, have legalized marijuana use, and more may follow. However, none of the laws which enable users to get high whenever and wherever they want, allows use in the workplace. There are even stipulations regulating where it can be purchased, bans on public use, and limits on how much can be grown at home. Employers need to be prepared for the face that it is now much easier for employees to obtain marijuana. What process does your company have in place to prevent employee drug use?
Repurposing Storage Containers
Repurposing/recycling has been a common practice and an environmentally conscious act to ensure a safe and healthier future for those to come. However, recently WorkSafeBC identified some unseen risks associated with reusing shipping containers for workplace residential storage. The agency released a new video and safety bulletin outlining these identified hazards as well as explaining how to reduce risks.
"Shipping containers are being repurposed all over British Columbia", said Dan Strand, Director of Prevention Field Services at WorkSafeBC. "The containers are designed to be watertight, which means they are well-sealed with little to no ventilation. Ideal for shipping purposes, but potentially dangerous for other uses."
Several other risks are reviewed in the bulletin, including the potential for the floorboards being treated with toxic chemicals to protect cargo during shipping, or chemicals may have spilled during transport, and workers may be exposed to these chemicals. Organization must conduct a risk assessment and include risk controls, as well as train workers to recognize risks and proper storage methods.
HOTEL HOUSEKEEPER SAFETY LEGISLATION
March 19, 2018
Hoping to reduce work-related injuries to housekeepers in the hotel and hospitality industry, California has instituted the first ergonomic standard in the United States. The standard that was designed to specifically protect hotel housekeepers, will be enforced by Cal/OSHA, is due to become effective July 1, 2018.
The new regulation, approved March 9, by the Office of Administrative Law, required employers in the hotel and lodging industry to establish, implement and maintain an effective Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program (MIPP). Standard activities performed by housekeepers include pulling linens, lifting mattresses, and pushing heavy carts, all of which have led to slipping, tripping, or falling while cleaning and resulting in various musculoskeletal injuries.
The regulation requires the program (MIPP) to include:
Death Toll Reaches 108, Largest Outbreak Worldwide
March 5, 2018
South Africa's second largest supermarket chain, Pick n Pay, began a mass recall on Sunday, March 4, of meat products that the Department of Health says is the source of 948 cases of Listeriosis outbreak since January 2017. Since identifying the outbreak, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) has confirmed 108 deaths.
Listeriosis is caused by bacteria found in soil, water, vegetation and animal feces, which can contaminate food, especially meat, dairy, and seafood products. This disorder is normally prevented via safe food handler practices, basic hygiene and thoroughly washing food products. The disease mainly affects children and has a three-week incubation period, making it difficult to track. The most effective preventative method begins with Food Handler Safety and preventing food-borne illnesses.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Listeriosis contamination in humans can result in a flu-like illness and an infection of the brain which can prove fatal. People with compromised immune systems like some of those living with AIDS and pregnant women are at a heightened risk. For more information on Food Handler Safety or other environmental, health, and safety compliance concerns, contact our offices at (210) 430-3469 or visit our Training Services tab at the top of this page.