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April 16, 2018 · Volume 17, Issue 8
A twice monthly newsletter with information about workplace safety and health.
Top Story

OSHA Teams with Industry to Kick-Off National Grain Safety Week

The Missouri governor’s proclamation designating April 9-13 Stand-Up for Grain Engulfment Prevention Week. From left: Randall Gordon, president and CEO, National Grain and Feed Association; Anna Hui, director, Missouri Dept. of Labor and Industrial Relations; Loren Sweatt, deputy assistant secretary, OSHA.
The Missouri governor’s proclamation designating April 9-13 Stand-Up for Grain Engulfment Prevention Week. From left: Randall Gordon, president and CEO, National Grain and Feed Association; Anna Hui, director, Missouri Dept. of Labor and Industrial Relations; Loren Sweatt, deputy assistant secretary, OSHA.

A kick-off event for Stand-Up for Grain Engulfment Prevention Week, was held April 9 at a Scoular Company grain facility in Adrian, Mo. The purpose of the campaign is to educate employers and workers about proper grain bin entry, mechanical hazards, and grain engulfment. OSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt explained that it only takes five seconds for flowing grain to engulf and trap a worker, and less than 60 seconds for someone to become submerged and in serious danger of death by suffocation. She encouraged all grain industry stakeholders to join this effort to reduce injuries and prevent fatalities from engulfment.

Anna Hui, director of the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, presented a proclamation from the governor officially recognizing April 9-13 as Stand-Up for Grain Engulfment Prevention Week. Other speakers at the kick-off included representatives from the National Grain and Feed Association and the Grain Elevator and Processing Society, which are partners in this national outreach effort. A similar event was held the same day in Benton, Kan.

Visit the Stand-Up website for more information on the campaign.

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Contractor Cited for Fall Hazards at New Hampshire Worksite

New Hampshire

OSHA cited Luis Guallpa, a Massachusetts roofing contractor doing business as Guallpa Contracting Corp., for exposing workers to fall and other hazards at a Nashua, N.H., worksite. OSHA inspectors observed Guallpa’s employees working on a roof without fall protection, using ladders unsafely, and failing to use head protection. The agency cited the employer for exposing employees to these hazards, and failing to provide effective training. The company was cited for similar hazards in 2014 and 2015. OSHA proposed penalties of $299,324. Read the news release for more information.

DOL Reaches Settlement with Massachusetts Auto Auction Company After Fatal Incident


The U.S. Department of Labor and Lynnway Auto Auction, Inc., have reached a settlement agreement following a May 2017 incident in which five people were fatally struck by a sport utility vehicle during an auto auction. The Billerica, Mass., company agreed to designate and mark walkways and crosswalks, install barriers in the auction area, establish and enforce speed limits, evaluate employees’ driving capabilities and licenses, train employees, and review all vehicle collisions or near-misses. The company will also pay $200,000 in penalties. Read the news release for more information.

Roofing Contractor Cited For Exposing Employees to Fall Hazards in Alabama


OSHA has again cited Jose A. Serrato, an independent roofing contractor based in Marietta, Ga. — this time for exposing employees to fall hazards at a worksite in Birmingham, Ala., and for failing to re-train employees who did not demonstrate that they could recognize fall hazards. The employer, who has been cited seven times in the past five years, faces $133,604 in new penalties. OSHA conducted its latest investigation under the agency’s Regional Emphasis Program for Falls in Construction. For more information, read the news release.

Nebraska Company Cited for Exposing Workers to Trenching Hazards


Omaha-based plumbing contractor Gavrooden Inc., was cited for the second time in less than six months for failing to protect its workers from excavation collapse hazards. OSHA inspectors observed employees working in an unprotected trench while repairing a sewer line. The company was cited in November 2017 for similar hazards at another worksite. Proposed penalties total $38,061. For more information, see the news release.

Communication Tower Contractor Cited Following Three Fatalities at Miami Worksite


OSHA cited Tower King II, Inc., for exposing employees to fall and struck-by hazards. Three employees were fatally injured while installing an antenna on a communications tower in Miami. OSHA found that the device that attaches to a tower to hoist loads failed, causing the employees to fall. OSHA proposed penalties of $12,934, the maximum allowed under law. For more information, read the news release.

California Cites Roofing Company for Safety Violations


California OSHA issued four citations and $77,200 in penalties to California Premier Roofscapes in Escondido for exposing workers to fall hazards. Cal/OSHA inspectors determined that the company failed to: inspect a rope grab fall arrest before use; train workers on fall hazards; and provide required guardrail, safety net, or personal fall arrest systems. The company was cited six times in the past four years for exposing workers to fatal falls. For more information, see the news release.

Virginia Fines Painting Company Following Worker Electrocution


The Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) Program issued four citations and $152,144 in penalties to Johnny Marenco Andasol and Darwin Marenco Andasol in Alexandria after a worker was electrocuted when an unguarded metal extension ladder made contact with a power line. VOSH inspectors concluded that the employers failed to adequately train workers using ladders about hazards from overhead power lines, and provide a ladder with nonconductive side rails.

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Whistleblower Protection

OSHA Orders Reinstatement of Massachusetts Pilot Who Was Fired After Reporting Safety Concern

Federal Aviation Administration emblem

OSHA has ordered Jet Logistics, Inc., and Boston MedFlight to reinstate a pilot who was fired after complaining about workplace schedules that he reasonably believed were violations of Federal Aviation Administration regulations mandating pilot rest time. Reporting airline safety concerns is a protected activity under the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR21). OSHA ordered the two employers to pay the pilot $133,616.09 in back wages and interest; $100,000 in compensatory damages; reasonable attorney fees; to not retaliate against the employee; and clear his personnel file. For details, read the news release.

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Safety and Health Outreach

Regional Construction Safety Campaign Shifts Focus to Struck-By Hazards

Focus Four Hazards: Falls - Electrocution - Struck-by - Caught-in or -between

Last month, OSHA launched a four-month campaign in the Mid-Atlantic states to address the four leading causes of fatal injuries in construction. In March, the campaign focused on electrical hazards. Throughout April, it will emphasize struck-by hazards with outreach events and toolbox talks on equipment, work zone driving, falling objects, securing loads, head protection, and examining a struck-by incident. Falls will be the focus next month and caught-in/-between hazards in June.

The campaign partners include OSHA consultation projects, state occupational safety and health agencies in Maryland and Virginia, the Mid-Atlantic Construction Safety Council, and the General Builders and Contractors Association. For more information, contact OSHA Assistant Regional Administrator Nicholas DeJesse in Philadelphia.

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Cooperative Programs

Feed Company Reduces Injuries and Costs with Help from the Utah On-Site Consultation Program

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

Balchem Corporation, an animal feed manufacturer, worked with the Utah Division of Occupational Safety and Health to improve the safety and health program at its Salt Lake City facility. Besides correcting all of the hazards identified by the state’s On-Site Consultation Program, Balchem implemented a staff committee to conduct regular safety audits and facility inspections. As a result, the Balchem facility has been a participant in OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program for nearly ten years. For the past six years, it has maintained an annual recordable injury and illness case rate of zero, which reduced worker compensation insurance premiums. For more information, see Balchem’s success story.

OSHA Establishes Partnerships to Ensure Worker Safety at Two Georgia Construction Sites

Partnership - An OSHA Cooperative Program

OSHA's Strategic Partnership Program provides opportunities for OSHA to partner with employers, workers, professional or trade associations, labor organizations, and other interested stakeholders. Strategic Partnerships are designed to eliminate serious hazards and enhance workplace safety and health practices in major corporations, government agencies, private sector industries, and at large construction projects.

  • OSHA and Gilbane Residential Construction Company are working together to protect 200 workers during construction of a high-rise building in Buckhead, Ga. The three-year partnership will focus on preventing work-related fatalities, controlling or eliminating serious workplace hazards, and developing an effective safety and health program.
  • OSHA and Holder-Austin-Moody-Bryson have joined to protect 1,200 workers during the construction of a parking garage and new roadway at the Atlanta International Airport. The three-year partnership aims to reduce employee injuries, illnesses, and exposures to health hazards; increase safety and health training; and ensure that employers have appropriate safety and health programs.

US Forest Service and OSHA Form Alliance to Improve Worker Safety and Health

Alliance Program logo - Alliance, An OSHA Cooperative Program

The U.S. Forest Service – North Region signed a two-year agreement with OSHA to focus on safety and health issues in the forest industry, including facility and field hazard identification, and employee safety training. The OSHA Alliance Program fosters collaborative relationships with groups committed to worker safety and health. Alliance partners help OSHA reach targeted audiences, such as employers and workers in high-hazard industries, and give them better access to workplace safety and health tools and information.

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Safety and Health Resources

Safe + Sound Campaign: Learn How to Spot Hazards on the Job

OSHA’s Safe + Sound Campaign offers many resources for employers who want to find and fix hazards in the workplace:

Finding and Fixing Workplace Hazards

For more information, visit the Safe + Sound Campaign webpage.

New Flier Offers Steps to Keep Tractor Trailer Drivers Safe at Destination

Safety Practices Once Tractor Trailer Drivers Arrive at a Destination

Whether at the warehouse, dock, or construction site, drivers can be exposed to struck-by, crushed-between, and other safety hazards. OSHA and the trucking industry developed a new flier that addresses the most common hazards for drivers after they reach their destination; parking, backing up, and coupling (attaching) and uncoupling (detaching) vehicles. Drivers need to be trained to safely couple and uncouple truck trailers from the rig, park vehicles on level ground, set the emergency brakes, and place wheel chocks between the tandem wheels of the trailer to prevent the vehicle from rolling. 

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Employers Must Post 300A Injury/Illness Summary Until April 30

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 2017. Each year, between Feb. 1 and April 30, the summary must be displayed in a common area where notices to employees are usually posted. 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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