Kleen Energy cut corners and now faces OSHA’s third highest fine ever

In February, 2010, an explosion at a Kleen Energy construction site in Middletown, CT, killed six workers and injured 50 others.  Three construction companies and fourteen subcontractors were cited for 371 safety violations and are now facing OSHA’s third highest fine ever: $16.6 million.

It was discovered that the company cut corners in order to capitalize on a $19 million incentive if the project was finished ahead of schedule. According to SafetyNewsAlert.com, in the weeks and months leading up to the explosion, employees were working seven-day, 84-hour weeks.

A U.S. Chemical Safety Board investigation reported the explosion was most likely caused during a routine practice of cleaning gas fuel piping by using natural gas. The gas found an ignition source, presumably by sparks caused by welding and other work that was being performed nearby.

The explosion at the construction site was felt 40 miles away.



The importance of glow in the dark material

Above are a series of photos showing a stairwells and an exit door in light and dark conditions. In each of these photos, you can clearly see the use of Emedco’s Glow-In-The-Dark Tapes and a couple Glow-In-The-Dark Signs.  The difference between the photos in the light and in the dark are striking – the Tapes are so bright, no other light is needed in the darkened stairwell.  During an evacuation, every second is crucial -by choosing products that glow in the dark, you’re making your exit routes safer for every person in your building.

NFPA released new edition of NFPA 1600® available for free on nfpa.org

NFPA 1600® Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs

“NFPA 1600 establishes a common, high level set of criteria for disaster and emergency management and business continuity programs to develop, implement, assess, and maintain these programs. The programs address management, planning, prevention, mitigation, implementation, response, recovery, testing and improvement.”

A major difference between the 2010 version and the 2007 version is omission of one chapter: Program Elements, and the creation of new chapters: Planning, Implementation, Testing and Exercise, and Program Improvement.  The contents of 2007’s Program Elements chapter was broken down and added to these new chapters, then expanded upon.

Chapter 4 – Program Management, has been elaborated to create specific guidelines for individuals who are leaders for their company’s disaster and emergency plans. Leadership and commitment has been added to this chapter along with performance objectives, finance and administration, and records management.

Chapter 5 – Planning, includes planning process, risk assessment (carried over from the former chapter 5), business impact analysis, mitigation, and more.

Chapter 6 – Implementation, includes much of what was Chapter 5 in 2007 along with new additions: employee assistance and support, Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs), training and education.

Chapter 7 – Testing and Exercises reminds Emergency Leaders that practice makes perfect when it comes to implementing an evacuation plan.

Chapter 8 – Program Improvement has been added in order to recognize that emergency plans are “working” documents. As regulations and recommendations are updated by NFPA or there are changes in personnel at your facility, your emergency policy must be updated accordingly.   This chapter also calls for reviews after each incident to reevaluate your program and learn from lessons.

2010’s 1600 seems like a more thought-out version than the 2007 1600. Please make your safety officers aware of these updated changes.  Well-practiced emergency procedures keep employees safe from injury or even death – do not take these recommendations lightly.

Source: nfpa.org

Reflective Exit Signs are favored by firefighters

Reflective Exit Signs are a firefighter-favorite when it comes to searching a dark building. Reflective signs light up instantly when struck by a beam of light from a flashlight, making them perfect for dark corridors and basements.  Reflective signs are not a good option for every area of your facility, but they’re perfect for dark rooms and stairwells that don’t get direct sunlight or constant fluorescent lighting. When firefighters enter a dark or smoky building, they rapidly sweep walls with light from their flashlights looking for Exit Signs, Stairwell Markers, Fire Extinguishers or other vital emergency equipment.  Instantly finding a Reflective Exit Sign will help them navigate through the building, search for victims, and ensure all sources of fire have been smothered.