Roundup: OSHA cites firm in worker's death; human error cause of Dollar Bank online crash; more
By The Tribune-Review
Published: Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
OSHA cites Export Fuel in worker's death
Export Fuel Co. was cited Wednesday for 18 serious federal safety violations that carry $41,300 in penalties for the Aug. 28 death of a worker who was crushed by a pavement roller at the company's Salem location. The company “failed to train its workers on the operation and maintenance of the pavement roller,” said Christopher Robinson, director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's regional office. Mechanic Robert Edward Buskey Jr., 55, of Loyalhanna, was working on the roller's engine when it unexpectedly started and drove over him, authorities said. The OSHA violations include fall and electrical hazards, and lack of machine and equipment guarding. The company has 15 days to comply with the citations and proposed penalties, request a conference or contest them, OSHA said.
Dollar Bank online system crash blamed on human error
Dollar Bank said its online banking systems went down Wednesday afternoon because of human error. Spokesman Joe Smith said the bank's online consumer banking website and business banking website, as well as telephone banking, were affected. No customer data were compromised, Smith said, and the systems were expected to be up and running by Thursday. Customers are asked to call 800-242-1616 for assistance. The bank has 62 branches, making it the Pittsburgh region's third-largest retail bank.
Czech nuclear project takes another step forward
Westinghouse Electric Co. and parent Toshiba Corp., along with construction firm Metrostav, said Wednesday they signed agreements with three Czech-owned engineering companies in preparation for the potential construction of two Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear power plants in the Czech Republic. A team of engineers from Energoprojekt Praha, a division of one of the engineering companies, visited Westinghouse's Cranberry headquarters last week to begin working on design matters as part of the bidding process. The state-run utility CEZ wants to have two nuclear reactors in place at its Temelin power plants by 2025, a project that could be worth $10 billion.
Sales of foreclosed homes increase 5% in region
The number of sales of foreclosed homes in the seven-county Pittsburgh region rose 5 percent to 2,963 last year from 2,823 in 2011, according to a report from RealtyTrac Inc., a real estate research firm in Irvine, Calif. The average price of a foreclosed home edged up 1 percent to $78,817. Nationally, foreclosed home sales declined 6 percent to 947,995 from 1,005,711, and the average price rose 2 percent to $167,146. Rising prices of the distressed properties in many markets signaled “strong demand and limited inventory” of available homes, said RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist in a statement. Last year, 10 percent of all home sales in the Pittsburgh region involved foreclosed homes, roughly half the distressed rate of 21 percent nationally.
Pending home sales nationwide highest since 2010
A measure of the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose in January from December to the highest level in more than 2½ years. The increase suggests sales of previously occupied homes will continue rising in the coming months. The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its seasonally adjusted index for pending home sales rose 4.5 percent last month to 105.9. That's the highest since April 2010, when a homebuyer's tax credit was about to expire. There is generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale. Pending home sales rose in all regions but just barely ticked up in the West, where a limited supply of available homes is holding back sales.
PTI breaks ground on energy technology center
Pittsburgh Technical Institute started construction for its Energy Technology Center, a $3.5 million classroom and laboratory building that will house two new programs when it opens in the fall. The Oakdale school is enrolling initial students in an oil and gas electronics degree program that will begin in July, as well as a welding technology program that starts in October. The center will have three laboratories with $1 million in industry-specific equipment — one each for oil and gas electronics, welding and the school's longstanding heating, ventilation and air conditioning program. PTI has about 2,000 students in its two-year degree programs and shorter certificate programs.
Hyundai nearing settlement of fuel economy cases
Hyundai Motor Co. is close to settling 38 federal lawsuits filed for overstating the fuel economy of its cars. In a U.S. District Court filing, Hyundai said it will make lump-sum payments to nearly 1 million owners of cars and SUVs from the 2011 through 2013 model years, including the Elantra sedan. The amount of the payments wasn't given. They will vary based on the vehicle and how much its mileage was overstated. Hyundai's sister company, Kia Motors, is still deciding whether to participate in the settlement. The Environmental Protection Agency found inflated numbers on 13 Hyundai and Kia vehicles in November. Since then, Hyundai has been compensating owners with payments of around $88 annually. Some buyers refused to settle and sued in federal court.
— Staff and wire reports
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Analysis: Steelers could fill needs with free agents while not spending big bucks
- Steelers to release LaMarr Woodley; Taylor restructures contract
- Crosby lifts Penguins over Capitals in last game of road trip
- Job cuts at AGH part of ‘strategic’ process
- Hunt for missing jet widens to distant waters
- Missing hikers found in McConnells Mill State Park
- Stage volunteer dies following collapse at Pine-Richland High School
- Profit falls at American Eagle Outfitters on sales decline, charges
- Hempfield couple charged in thefts
- Minorities crucial to filling Marcellus shale gas drilling jobs
- Marcellus shale driller Noble Energy Inc. sinks roots into Pittsburgh