- ”It happened around 2:15 p.m. at Blue Ball Avenue and Post Road on the grounds of the refinery.”
NPR’s State Impact Pennsylvania reports:
- “The worker died from multiple blunt force injuries after a 1200 foot pylon fell on him.”
- Mr. Shannon was a contractor at the site and he worked for the engineering firm AECOM.
- The facility is being converted from an oil refinery to a natural gas storage and processing plant. “In addition to Sunoco employees, the project includes about 400 contract workers on site.”
Mr. Shannon’s obituary indicates he worked for AECOM for the last 15 years. In February, the company was named by Fortune magazine as one of the world’s most admired companies. The stock market value is $4.9 Billion.
In September 2013, OSHA issued citations against AECOM for six violations of the agency’s cadmium standard at a worksite in Chambersburg, PA. The violations included cadmium exposures to employees above the permissible exposure limit. Cadmium exposure can cause short- and long-term health effects, including kidney damage and lung cancer.) AECOM contested the violations and the proposed $30,000 penalty, and the case remains open.
AECOM reports that the principles of its “Safety for Life” program will enable it to achieve its goal of zero employee injuries. Those “life-saving principles” include: Demonstrated management commitment; Employee participation; Budgeting and staffing for safety; and Incident investigations. Obviously something went terribly wrong with AECOM’s, Sunoco’s, and/or another contractor’s practices at the worksite.
Each year, about 175 workers in Pennsylvania are fatally injured on-the-job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 178 work-related fatal injuries in Pennsylvania during 2013 (preliminary data, most recent available.) Nationwide, at least 4,405 workers suffered fatal traumatic injuries in 2013.
The AFL-CIO’s annual Death on the Job report notes:
- Federal OSHA has 57 inspectors in Pennsylvania to cover more than 296,000 workplaces.
- The average penalty for a serious OSHA violation in Pennsylvania is $1,916.
Federal OSHA has until the end of September 2015 to issue any citations and penalties related to the incident that stole Jeffrey Shannon’s life. It’s likely they’ll determine that Shannon’s death was preventable. It was no “accident.”