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“Samsung Recalls 2.8 Million Top-Load Washing Machines Due to Risk of Impact Injuries”

washer1 washer3

Recall date: November 4, 2016

Name of product:
Samsung top-load washing machines
Hazard:

The washing machine top can unexpectedly detach from the washing machine chassis during use, posing a risk of injury from impact.

Consumer Contact:

Samsung toll-free at 866-264-5636 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, or online at www.Samsung.com and click on the recall notice at the top of the page for more information.

Recall Details
Units:
About 2.8 million
Description:

This recall involves 34 models of Samsung top-load washing machines.  The washing machines have mid-controls or rear-controls. Model numbers and serial information can be found on two labels affixed to the back of the machine. The following model numbers are included in the recall depending on the serial number. Consumers should check with Samsung to see if their washer is recalled.

Incidents/Injuries:

Samsung has received 733 reports of washing machines experiencing excessive vibration or the top detaching from the washing machine chassis.  There are nine related reports of injuries, including a broken jaw, injured shoulder, and other impact or fall-related injuries.

Remedy:

Consumers should contact Samsung immediately to receive one of the following remedy options. Consumers can choose (1) a free in-home repair that includes reinforcement of the washer’s top and a free one-year extension of the manufacturer’s warranty; (2) a rebate to be applied towards the purchase of a new Samsung or other brand washing machine, along with free installation of the new unit and removal of old unit; or (3) a full refund for consumers who purchased their washing machine within the past 30 days of the recall announcement.

All known consumers will also receive a Home Label Kit that includes a control panel guide and additional safety instructions in the mail.

Until they have received and installed a Home Label Kit, consumers should only use the delicate or waterproof cycles when washing bedding, water-resistant and bulky items.  The lower spin speed in the delicate or waterproof cycles lessens the risk of the washing machine top unexpectedly detaching from the washing machine chassis.

Sold At:

Best Buy, The Home Depot, Lowes, Sears and other home appliance stores nationwide from March 2011 to November 2016 for between $450 and $1,500.

Importer(s):

Samsung Electronics America Inc., of Ridgefield Park, N.J.

Distributor(s):

Samsung Electronics America Inc., of Ridgefield Park, N.J.

Manufactured In:
South Korea, China, and Thailand
Model Numbers Recalled  (Click on picture below for larger view)
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“U.S. Chemical Safety Board Releases New Safety Video, “Dangerously Close: Explosion in West, Texas,” Detailing Report Findings and Recommendations on 2013 Fatal West Fertilizer Company Explosion and Fire “

January 29, 2016, Washington, DC – Today the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released a safety video into the fatal April 17, 2013, fire and explosion at the West Fertilizer Company in West, Texas, which resulted in 15 fatalities, more than 260 injuries, and widespread community damage. The deadly fire and explosion occurred when about thirty tons of fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate (FGAN) exploded after being heated by a fire at the storage and distribution facility.

The CSB’s newly released 12-minute safety video entitled, “Dangerously Close: Explosion in West, Texas,” includes a 3D animation of the fire and explosion as well as interviews with CSB investigators and Chairperson Vanessa Allen Sutherland. The video can be viewed above or on the CSB’s website and YouTube.

Chairperson Sutherland said, “This tragic accident should not have happened. We hope that this video, by sharing lessons learned from our West Fertilizer Company investigation, will help raise awareness of the hazards of fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate so that a similar accident can be avoided in the future.”

The CSB’s investigation found that several factors contributed to the severity of the explosion, including poor hazard awareness and fact that nearby homes and business were built in close proximity to the West Fertilizer Company over the years prior to the accident. The video explains that there was a stockpile of 40 to 60 tons of ammonium nitrate stored at the facility in plywood bins on the night of the explosion. And although FGAN is stable under normal conditions, it can violently detonate when exposed to contaminants in a fire.

In the video, Team Lead Johnnie Banks says, “We found that as the city of West crept closer and closer to the facility, the surrounding community was not made aware of the serious explosion hazard in their midst. And the West Fertilizer Company underestimated the danger of storing fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate in ordinary combustible structures.”

The CSB investigation concludes that this lack of awareness was due to several factors, including gaps in federal regulatory coverage of ammonium nitrate storage facilities. The video details safety recommendations made to OSHA and the EPA to strengthen their regulations to protect the public from hazards posed by FGAN.

Finally, the video explains how inadequate emergency planning contributed to the tragic accident. The CSB found that the West Volunteer Fire Department was not required to perform pre-incident planning for an ammonium nitrate-related emergency, nor were the volunteer firefighters required to attend training on responding to fires involving hazardous chemicals. As a result, the CSB made several safety recommendations to various stakeholders, including the EPA, to better inform and train emergency responders on the hazards of FGAN and other hazardous chemicals.

Chairperson Vanessa Allen Sutherland said, “The CSB’s goal is to ensure that no one else be killed or injured due to a lack of awareness of hazardous chemicals in their communities. If adopted, the Board’s recommendations can help prevent disasters like the one in West, Texas.”

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical accidents. The agency’s board members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems. The Board does not issue citations or fines but makes safety recommendations to companies, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA. Please visit our website, www.csb.gov

For more information, contact Communications Manager Hillary Cohen at public@csb.gov or by phone at 202.446.8095.

 

OSHA NEP Conflicting With Fire Service Combustible Dust Fire Response

Wheel Alignment or New Tire?

Earlier this year a combustible dust fire and explosion at a North Carolina fiber recovery facility resulting in four injuries has safety professionals scratching their heads and wondering why OSHA continues to ignore the multitude of manufacturing sub-sectors (NAICS) in the OSHA Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program ((NEP). For instance, the fiber recovery facility is classified as NAICS: 322299, All Other Converted Paper Product Mfg. (515 establishments in 2007) which is not recognized in Appendix D-1 nor D-2 of the OSHA NEP as an industry that may have potential for combustible dust explosions or fires.

There are many more NAICS not recognized in Appendix D-1 or D-2 where combustible dust fires and explosions have occurred since the NEP was reissued in 2008. Continuing on the misguided approach of targeted inspections for a select few of NAICS while not recognizing a multitude of others is a path wrought with undesirable consequences. There is a commonality of process equipment, effective ignition sources, and potentially explosive atmospheres amongst all global manufacturing sub-sectors processing and handling combustible dust. Its not a matter of if, but when a combustible dust related incident will occur. Solely relying on a NAICS conflicts with reality in conjunction with fire service response to the multitude of repeatable combustible dust fires and explosions regardless of whether a NAICS is listed in the NEP or not.

Deputy Chief Greg Blackburn of the Ronda Fire Department put it more succinctly following the March 2012 fiber recovery facility incident, “It’s happened before. It’s not uncommon, this kind of situation,” he said. On a larger scale the same can be said as we observe continually from nationwide news accounts similar views following fire service response to combustible dust related fires and explosions of NAICS not recognized in the OSHA ComDust NEP.

For how much longer will the ComDust NEP continue to be a static document? Its already been over a half a decade since initially issued October 17, 2007. Will stakeholders have to wait for another tragic combustible dust catastrophe where the U.S. Chemical Safety Board will investigate providing key recommendations for root and contributing cause that we already know about? Continuing to ignore the fire service as a welcome partner in the combustible dust rule-making process fails to acknowledge the root of all catastrophic events. This would be in the form of all the prior non-consequential combustible dust events the fire service is responding to repeatedly.

We have it all backwards right now with all the focus on catastrophic dust explosions while ignoring the multitude of non-consequential combustible dust related fires. For instance, say your car is traveling down the freeway and you get a tire blowout due to a worn out tire treads. So you go to the tire shop for a new tire and the repair person notices your wheel alignment is off. Not having correct wheel alignment will cause your tires to wear improperly resulting in tires rapidly wearing down at the treads.

New Tire or Wheel Alignment?

So what you going to do purchase a new tire and continue your highway travel or get a wheel alignment before purchasing a new tire? Having a tire blowout on the highway at high speed is analogous to a potential catastrophic event. A wheel alignment is just like addressing the fires in minimizing the probability of a tire blowout while traveling on the highway. So is it time for a realignment? What do you think?

About Author:

John Astad, Director, Combustible Dust Policy Institute, Santa Fe,Texas, is dedicated to educating stakeholders on the prevention and mitigation of combustible dust fires and explosions in the workplace. John also conducts site evaluations and hazard awareness training. He is currently researching the prevalence of non-consequential combustible dust fires, which are precursors to secondary catastrophic dust explosions.  John attended University of Houston-Clear Lake with a BS Business and Public Administration, majoring in Environmental Management. You can reach him at john@combustibledust.com  or  Twitter: @comdust  T:  409-210-1181
Combustible Dust Policy Institute site http://www.combustibledust.com

 

1 Person Killed & 10 Injured at Arens Controls, Arlington Heights, Illinois Plant

By Jamie Sotonoff and Melissa Silverberg, Daily Herald

Police confirmed that the one person killed in an explosion at Arens Controls in Arlington Heights is an Itasca man.

Investigators will be back Wednesday to try to determine what caused the explosion in the company’s electronics testing area Tuesday that also injured 12 other people, including three police officers and two firefighters who responded.

Neil Nicholson of Itasca suffered serious injuries in the explosion and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police. None of the other injuries were life-threatening, Arlington Heights Fire Chief Glenn Eriksen said.

The blast happened around 8:30 a.m. inside the two-story building at 3602 N. Kennicott Ave., just north of Dundee Road and east of Route 53.

So far, authorities say the explosion appears to be accidental, but investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal, and the Arlington Heights Police Forensics Unit have not made any final ruling.

“There’s a lot of damage inside, so it’s hard to tell right now if it was the chemical itself or the machine,” Arlington Heights Police Cmdr. Ken Galinski said. “There’s a lot of destruction and devastation in there from the equipment that exploded.”

OSHA spokesman Scott Allen said agency investigators will be interviewing employees and witnesses, and their investigation could take up to sx months.

“We’ll try to figure out if there are any OSHA standards that may have been violated and try to figure out what caused this so we can help avoid having something like this happening again,” Allen said.

One thing investigators are looking at is whether potassium hydroxide — a potentially explosive and toxic chemical — was a factor in the explosion.

For the rest of the article, click on the link below.

http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120522/news/705229865/

Daily Herald staff writers Paul Biasco, Deborah Donovan and Kimberly Pohl contributed to this report.

Off Topic News – Amateur Footage of 1986 Challenger Explosion Found

Twenty-six years after the devastating explosion of the space shuttle Challenger during launch, new amateur footage of the event has surfaced, offering a new perspective of that tragic day.

The January 28, 1986 disaster was captured by then-19-year-old Jeffrey Ault with a Super 8mm camera while visiting Florida, and has now been made available to The Huffington Post.

It had been stored in a box at Ault’s home.

Ault was with his parents and a friend for the launch. “I was hoping to see an event that I would remember for the rest of my life,” Ault said in an email to The Huffington Post. “I did. Just not the way I would have liked to.”

At the beginning of the footage, one can hear the sound of awe and excitement from the crowd as the Challenger lifts off leaving a straight trail of smoke. However, about 73 seconds into the launch, there’s an explosion and the smoke – trails from the shuttle’s rocket boosters – diverges in two directions.

On the video is Steve Nesbitt’s voice from the Mission Control Center: “Obviously a major malfunction.” Then later he announces that the shuttle has exploded.

The Challenger shuttle explosion killed seven crew members. According to NASA, the cause was an O-ring problem in a rocket booster.

 

 

OSHA Fines Gun Powder Manufacturer $1.2 million After Deadly Explosion Two workers killed; 54 citations issued.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued 54 citations with proposed penalties reaching $1.2 million to Black Mag LLC, following a deadly explosion in May at the company’s site in Colebrook, N.H. Two workers were killed. Both were on the job for less than a month.

The company received four egregious willful, 12 willful, 36 serious and two other-than-serious violations.

According to OSHA, two workers and a plant supervisor were manufacturing a gun power substitute when the May 14 explosion occurred. The government agency alleges the workers had been required to hand feed powder into operating equipment due to the employer’s failure to implement essential protective controls. OSHA also says the employer elected not to implement remote starting procedures, isolate operating stations, establish safe distancing and erect barriers or shielding – all of which are needed to safely make explosive powder.

OSHA claims the employer failed to implement safety measures despite a prior incident in which a worker was injured and multiple warnings from business partners and a former employee.

OSHA issued Black Mag four egregious willful citations for failing to train four workers involved in the manufacturing of gun powder substitute. Willful citations are considered egregious when more than one worker is exposed to a single hazard.

Other willful violations were issued for alleged failure to locate operators at safe locations while equipment was operating; separate workstations by distance or barriers and ensure that each worker was properly trained; provide adequate personal protective equipment; safely store gun powder; and identify explosion hazards in the firm’s operating procedures.

Black Mag has 15 days from receipt of the citations and proposed fines to comply, contest the findings, or meet with OSHA.

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