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[greenyes] For those of you who Bale [or contract for the service!]
NIOSH Publishes Alert on Baler Accidents
         NIOSH Releases Baler Alert

      The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is also focusing on baler accidents. The institute Aug. 25 posted an alert on its World Wide Web site directed at preventing compactor and baler accidents. 
      The alert, Preventing Deaths and Injuries While Compacting or Baling Refuse Material (DHHS Publication No. 2003-124), says that recent NIOSH investigations suggest that injuries and deaths from working with compacting or baling equipment can be avoided by using safe work procedures, appropriate safety devices, and hazardous energy control programs. 

      The alert discusses recommendations for lockout/tagout procedures, machine guarding, work practices, fall protection, training, and age requirements for workers operating compacting or baling equipment. The alert also describes five fatal compacting or baling accidents. 

      The NIOSH compacting and baling alert is available on the Internet at

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined a New York grocery chain $186,500 after an employee's arm was severed in an unguarded cardboard baler, the agency announced Aug. 26.      Eight Manhattan stores of Namdor Inc.--doing business as Gristede's Food Inc.--have been cited, OSHA said, for a total of 73 alleged serious and other violations. The inspections into Gristede's stores were prompted by the Feb. 19 baler accident at the chain's 205 East 96th St. store, the agency added. 

      The baler involved in the accident lacked any machine guarding, OSHA said, and all eight stores lacked an energy control program that would prevent the accidental startup of machinery during maintenance. 

      Other hazards cited included blocked exit access at all eight stores, locked exit doors at five stores, electrical and machine guarding hazards at five stores, failure to post and certify occupational illness and injury logs at six stores, and two instances where walk-in freezers lacked a means to be opened from the inside. 

      "Gristede's prides itself on maintaining a safe workplace," company spokesman Gerald McKelvey told BNA Aug. 27. Gristede's plans to correct any safety deficiencies, he added. 


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