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February 1, 2017 · Volume 16, Issue 3
A twice monthly newsletter with information about workplace safety and health.
Top Stories

OSHA's free On-site Consultation Program helped more than 27,000 employers create safer workplaces in 2016

On-site Consultation Program

Last year, 27,385 small and mid-sized U.S. businesses took advantage of OSHA's free and confidential On-site Consultation Program to remove workplace hazards and better protect their workers. The program primarily benefits small and mid-sized businesses – 57% of those helped last year had fewer than 26 employees. Priority is given to high-hazard industries, with more than half of all visits going to construction or manufacturing sites. In 2016, consultants identified and helped employers eliminate more than 140,000 total hazards, protecting an estimated 3.3 million workers from possible injury, illness or death.


Employers are reminded to post injury and illness summaries now through April

OSHA's Form 300A

OSHA reminds employers of their obligation to post a copy of OSHA's Form 300A, which summarizes job-related injuries and illnesses logged during 2016. The summary must be displayed in a common area where notices to employees are usually posted each year between Feb. 1 and April 30. Businesses with 10 or fewer employees and those in certain low-hazard industries are exempt from OSHA recordkeeping and posting requirements. Visit OSHA's Recordkeeping Rule webpage for more information on recordkeeping requirements.

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Training

OSHA revises requirements for Outreach Training Program instructors

OSHA Outreach Training Program

OSHA has revised the requirements for authorized trainers in its Outreach Training Program, updating and clarifying student contact hours, replacement card procedures, the Trainer Code of Conduct, and more. One new elective was also added to the selection of classes. The outreach program trains workers and supervisors to recognize and prevent safety and health hazards on the job, and to understand worker rights and employer responsibilities.

OSHA does not conduct the classes but establishes requirements and authorizes trainers. Classes—in general industry, construction, maritime, and disaster recovery—are voluntary and do not satisfy any OSHA training requirements. New requirements and procedures are effective April 1. For more information, see the Outreach Training Program webpage.

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Partnerships and Alliances

OSHA and general contractor partner to protect workers at office building construction site

Partnership - An OSHA Cooperative Program

OSHA has formed a partnership with the University of Alabama SafeState On-site Consultation Program and general contractor Brasfield & Gorrie LLC to protect approximately 200 workers during the construction of an office building in Birmingham for one of the nation’s largest healthcare services providers. The partnership’s goals during the year-long project include reducing injuries and illnesses, and increasing both safety and health training and the number employers with safety and health programs. Through the Strategic Partnership Program, OSHA works with employers, workers, professional or trade associations, labor organizations, and other interested stakeholders to eliminate serious hazards and enhance workplace safety and health practices.

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On-site Consultation

North Carolina mattress company maintains safety excellence following OSHA consultation

Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). Consultation: An OSHA Cooperative Program

The Original Mattress Factory in Raleigh, N.C., contacted OSHA's On-site Consultation Program for help protecting the safety of its employees. During the initial visit, the consultant identified electrical, training, and labeling issues that could result in worker injuries. The company immediately corrected the hazards and implemented training and safety programs. An employee safety committee conducted weekly housekeeping and safety walks and monthly safety inspections. As a result of these and other efforts, the company was accepted into OSHA's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program, which recognizes small business employers who worked with OSHA consultants to develop and maintain exemplary safety and health programs. For more information, read the success story.

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Enforcement

Oklahoma truck bed manufacturer cited for safety and health violations

Oklahoma

Big Tex Trailer Manufacturing Inc., a truck bed fabricator in Kingston, Okla., was cited for violations after an OSHA inspection found workers exposed to safety and health hazards. Among the violations cited, the company failed to provide workers with welding protections and allowed workers to operate hydraulic press brakes without machine guards in place. Read the news release for more information.


Wisconsin manufacturer cited for operating machinery without adequate safety guards and procedures

Wisconsin

An employee of Bay Fabrication, a muffler component manufacturer, suffered a serious injury when a molding machine crushed his hand. Another worker at the Green Bay, Wis., facility suffered a partial amputation when a molding machine caught his finger in an unguarded pinch point. OSHA inspectors found that the company failed to guard operating parts on machines, and improperly installed safety guards on machines. For more information, read the news release.


Ohio railroad parts manufacturer cited after follow-up inspection finds machine and fall hazards remain

Ohio

OSHA has found that a casting and foundry facility in Coshocton, Ohio, continued to expose workers to machine and fall hazards. For more information, see the news release.



New York contractor cited for excavation hazards at high school construction site

New York

A safety complaint filed against Landtek Group Inc., a New York-based general contractor, resulted in an OSHA inspection at Verona High School in Verona, N.J., where the company was constructing new tennis courts and turf fields. Inspectors found Landtek exposed workers to cave-in hazards by allowing them to work in an unprotected, 10-foot-deep excavation. Read the news release for more information.


California

California cites moving company following serious amputation injury

California OSHA has cited Ming International LLC in Carson for safety and health violations. Cal/OSHA inspectors determined that the company failed to adequately guard workers from energized parts on electrical equipment—including gears on a carpet shredder that caused a serious amputation injury—and failed to protect workers from foot injury hazards.

Please visit the enforcement news releases page for more on OSHA enforcement activity. For more examples of state and federal enforcement cases, visit OSHA's online enforcement penalties map.

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Whistleblower Protection

Amtrak ordered to reinstate worker, pay damages and lost earnings

Federal Railroad Administration

OSHA found that Amtrak retaliated against a supervisory special agent in Amtrak's inspector general's office. The employee raised concerns about railroad safety, fraud and abuse involving an Amtrak contractor, and also supported a fellow agent's safety concerns during an internal investigation. The terminated agent filed a whistleblower complaint, and OSHA determined that Amtrak violated worker protections under the Federal Railroad Safety Act. OSHA ordered Amtrak to take numerous corrective actions, including reinstating the worker; paying him back wages, interest, damages, and attorney's costs; and posting a notice to all railroad employees about their FRSA rights. For details, read the news release.

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