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.

Labor Leaders Express Outrage of Workplace Death
August 20, 2018

Labor Leaders Express Outrage of Workplace Deaths

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”.

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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

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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.

Metro North Workers Hospitalized

This past weekend, MTA workers were injured when an iron beam fell off of a boom truck and pinned two workers on the tracks in East Harlem this past Saturday morning. The workers were installing a metal walkway along the tracks when a two foot, by three foot beam fell from the truck, landing on two of the workers and injuring the leg of a third employee.

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Metro-North was quick to tweet closure/delay warnings Saturday evening, "At this time, trains traveling inbound and outbound from the Grand Central Station Terminal are experiencing residual delays of 20-25 minutes due to fire department activity. Please listen for announcements at your stations."

A week earlier, St. Clair Richards-Stephens, an MTA worker, fell to his death when a wooden safety rail gave way inside an East Harlem subway station, sending him plunging about 20 feet to the lower-level tracks. The investigation is ongoing.

HOTEL HOUSEKEEPER SAFETY LEGISLATION
March 19, 2018

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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:

  • Procedures to identify and evaluate housekeeping hazards through worksite evaluations that include housekeeper input,
  • Procedures to investigate musculoskeletal injuries to housekeepers
  • Methods to correct identified hazards, and
  • Training of employees and supervisors on safe practices and controls, and a process for early reporting of injuries to the employer.

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.

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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.

Three Year Transition Period
February 19, 2018

ISO

Expected to be published next month, and set up to replace OSHAS 18001, the ISO 45001 Occupational Safety and Health Management Systems, is the first global standard for occupational health and safety management systems. ISO 45001 will give organizations in the United States and around the world, a structured plan to support, implement, and evaluate their efforts to eliminate and reduce worker risks.

"ISO 45001 is one of the most significant developments in workplace safety over the past 50 years, presenting an opportunity to move the needle on reducing occupational safety and health risks. The goal was to create a widely accepted standard that can produce a highly effective safety and health management system for an increasingly interconnected world, regardless of an organization's size, location, supply chain, or nature of work. It becomes a minimum standard of practice, and a good one at that", stated Vic Toy, Chairman of the United States Technical Advisory Group for ISO 45001.

For the past five years, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), has been developing and collaborating with more than 75 countries. More than two-thirds majority, nearly 95 percent of the ISO members voted in favor of the standard. Registrants who have a three year transition period, are eagerly waiting to view publication.

Crane Accident, Fatal Victims Identified
February 5, 2018

Although details surrounding the incident are still being investigated, Pennsylvania State Police have released the identity of the two men who were tragically killed in a crane accident last week. The Pennsylvania crane manufacturer, Manitowoc Cranes in Shady Grove, is cooperating with the police investigation.

Jeffrey Conner, Franklin County's Coroner released the identities of 49 year old Chris Robison of Marion, and 66 year old John Marcoux of Chambersburg. The coroner stated that both men were fatally wounded due to blunt force trauma. Also, three other workers sustained injuries as well, including a man who required helicopter medical flight to a local hospital for critical injuries. There is still no update on this worker's condition.

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The cause of the crane accident is still to be investigated, and no speculation as to what may have contributed to this tragic end has proposed. Representatives from the United States Department of Justice and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) have contacted the crane manufacturer. OSHA will be conducting an independent investigation.

Halt of Oil & Gas Study Program
January 31, 2018

A stop-work order was issued by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement for a program for the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Study to review the BSEE's offshore oil & gas operations inspection program was announced on December 21, 2017.

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In 2013, BSEE formed an Independent Ocean Energy Safety Institute with a response for a recommendation from the OESAC, which was established after April 2010 explosion and fire that killed 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

In late 2015, BSEE launched a pilot program that was aimed toward analyzing data from audits, as well as all annual inspections in an effort to improve safety standards for all offshore oil and gas operations.

A release from the National Academies stated that all future meetings that were set to be held in the Gulf of Mexico region, are now on hold until further notice.

Are You Prepared, Will You Take It Seriously?
January 15, 2018

An Emergency Action Plan (EAP) is a written document required by particular OSHA standards [29 CFT 1910.38(a)]. The purpose of an EAP is to facilitate and organize employer and employee actions during workplace emergencies. This is the character statement provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration when it comes to standards and requirements established for organization managing emergency response. However, this past weekend, the EAP, more importantly the early warning notification system established by the state of Hawaii during it's emergency drill did not work as planned.

A push alert-text message, that warned of a ballistic missile heading straight for Hawaii was sent to more than 1.6 million residents who were sent into full-blown panic mode. State emergency officials stated that this was a "mistake" and the text message, "Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.", was a false alarm and the agency is trying to determine what happened. Another text was distributed more than 35 minutes later, informing the residents of the false alarm, with further information to follow.

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This false alarm has come under significant criticism from community leaders, government officials, the FCC, and many others in Hawaii. Governor David Ige apologized for the error, which was blamed on an emergency worker hitting the wrong template during a routine drill. The mistake, along with the identification of many alert sirens flailing, have raised questions as to whether the preparations are having unintended effects. A huge concern after the false alarm is how people would react to the next emergency alert. As one Senator asks, "How seriously are people going to take this or any emergency alert system?"