Tag Archives: OSHA

[NEWS] OSHA: Inadequate Training Contributed to Biomass Worker Death

– by John Lippman, August 4, 2018, Valley News

6d696027d4a245adb817f74c9e320e47Biomass power plants, a warren of hazardous machinery, can be dangerous places to work, especially if care is not taken to ensure a safe working environment. This was made tragically clear when a young man was killed while working at Springfield Power last year.

And it could have been prevented had the biomass plant followed proper training procedures for employees and ensured that the plant’s equipment was properly safeguarded, according to a recent finding by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Read more

[NEWS] South Dakota Ethanol Refinery Cited for Safety Violations After Worker’s Death

– November 3, 2016, CBS Minnesota

poet_biorefining_poet

POET biorefining (Photo: POET)

Federal investigators have found multiple safety violations at a South Dakota ethanol refinery expansion project following the death of a worker in May.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says it cited the worker’s employer, North Dakota-based Bilfinger-Westcon, with five major safety violations.

Investigators found the 38-year-old pipefitter was removing a vent line May 6 when 190-proof ethanol spilled onto him, flowed through a grated floor and was ignited by welding operations on a lower floor. The fire engulfed the man.

Read more

[NEWS] OSHA Investigates Worker Death at Ethanol Refinery

– by Katie Nelson, May 13, 2016, Argus Leader

635986722674091275-OshaFederal workplace safety officials are investigating a fatal fire last week at a Lincoln County ethanol plant.

One person was killed and another injured in the fire, which started about 6 a.m. May 6 at a Poet Biorefining plant about two miles south of Hudson.

The worker who died was working inside a distillation unit at the time of the fire, which was sparked by a welding incident, according to Sheila Stanley, the Sioux Falls area director for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The first worker was flown to a burn unit in St. Paul where he died. The other worker was treated and released.

Read more

[EXCLUSIVE] Bioenergy Industry Fires and Explosions

– by Josh Schlossberg, The Biomass Monitor

Fires and/or explosions have occurred at over 75 industrial bioenergy facilities and storage areas over the last fifteen years, resulting in multiple injuries and nine deaths, based on research from The Biomass Monitor.

Fires at bioenergy facilities typically start from boiler fires, spontaneous combustion of fermenting woodchip or sawdust piles, or wood dust explosions, according to the Institution of Fire Engineers and F.E. Moran Plant Services.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) calls dust fires a “major industrial hazard.” An October 2009 OSHA report notes 280 dust fires and explosions at industrial sites—the largest percentage being wood, but also including “food products, metal products, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, rubber and plastic products, paper products, furniture, electric and sanitary services, transportation equipment, durable goods, and textile mills”—over the past 25 years, which have killed 119 people and injured 700. OSHA conducted 1,000 inspections, with 25% of inspections of wood related facilities and found 3,786 federal (74% serious) violations and 1,140 state (34% serious).

Dust explosions throughout industry—not just the bioenergy industry—are tracked on a website by GreCon.

The most recent bioenergy-related accident occurred on August 8, 2018 when recycled wood ignited in an industrial hopper at E.ON’s Blackburn Meadows biomass power facility in Tinsley, UK.

Read more