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May 15, 2018 · Volume 17, Issue 10
A twice monthly newsletter with information about workplace safety and health.
Top Stories

OSHA Issues Direct Final Rule Revising Beryllium Standard for General Industry; Delays Enforcement of Certain Provisions

Beryllium products

On May 4, OSHA issued a direct final rule clarifying aspects of the beryllium standard for general industry as it applies to processes, operations, and areas where workers may be exposed to materials containing less than 0.1% beryllium by weight. The direct final rule will go into effect on July 4 unless OSHA receives significant adverse comments by June 4. For details, see the news release.

OSHA also announced that it will begin enforcing certain requirements of the beryllium final rule, including the permissible exposure limits in the general industry, construction, and shipyard standards; and the exposure assessment, respiratory protection, medical surveillance, and medical removal provisions in the general industry standard.

The agency will delay enforcement of other ancillary provisions for general industry until June 25, 2018. The Agency plans to issue a proposal to further extend this compliance date for the ancillary provisions to Dec. 12, 2018.


National Safety Stand-Down Reaches Thousands with Fall Prevention Message

Construction workers stand-down to learn about fall prevention at a May 7 kick-off event held in the new DC United soccer stadium.
Construction workers stand-down to learn about fall prevention at a May 7 kick-off event held in the new DC United soccer stadium.

The fifth annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction held events across the country and internationally from May 7 to 11. Deputy Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella kicked-off the week in Washington, D.C. at the newly constructed DC United soccer stadium.

Thousands of employers held stand-downs during this weeklong event, emphasizing to hundreds of thousands of workers the importance of preventing dangerous on-the-job falls every day.

Employers who participated in this year’s stand-down are encouraged to get their certificate of participation and continue to promote fall prevention safety throughout the year.


The Whistleblower Protection Programs

OSHA Schedules June 12 Meeting to Request Comments on Whistleblower Issues in the Railroad and Trucking Industries

OSHA will hold a meeting June 12 in Washington, D.C., to solicit comments and suggestions from stakeholders in the railroad and trucking industries on whistleblower issues under the agency’s jurisdiction. The meeting is the first in a series requesting public input on OSHA’s whistleblower program. Individuals interested in participating or attending the meeting, either in-person or via telephone, must register by May 29. For more information, read the news release.

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Enforcement

New York U-Haul Facility Cited for Exposing Employees to Asbestos and Silica

New York

U-Haul Moving & Storage at Larkin District was cited for exposing workers to silica and asbestos hazards by failing to provide training, respiratory protection, protective clothing, properly dispose of asbestos-containing materials, and have a competent person oversee renovation work. OSHA proposed penalties totaling $108,095. Read the news release for more information.


Georgia

Georgia Manufacturer Cited for 36 Safety and Health Violations

Oldcastle Lawn & Garden Inc. was cited for exposing workers to amputation, struck-by, caught-in, electrical, fall, fire, and noise hazards. OSHA proposed penalties of $251,108. For more information, read the news release.


Companies Cited for Exposing Employees to Workplace Violence at Florida Health Facility

Florida

Premier Behavioral Health Solutions of Florida Inc. and UHS of Delaware Inc. were cited for failing to protect employees at their Bradenton, Fla., facility from workplace violence. In 2016, OSHA cited another UHS subsidiary for having a deficient workplace violence prevention program. OSHA proposed penalties of $71,137. Read the news release for more information.



Framing Contractor Cited for Exposing Employees to Dangerous Falls at Florida Worksite

OSHA cited Desouza Framing Inc. for exposing employees to dangerous falls at two northwest Florida worksites. In October 2017, inspectors observed without fall protection. Two months later inspectors saw employees at another jobsite without fall protection, resulting in two willful citations. The Jacksonville-based residential framing contractor faces penalties of $199,178. For details, see the news release.


Tennessee Cites Company for Violations That Led to Amputation

Tennessee

Tennessee OSHA issued 12 citations and $57,750 in penalties to Vorteq Coil Finishers LLC in Jackson after an unguarded pinch point resulted in the amputation of a worker’s fingers. Inspectors found that the employer failed to provide machine guarding, train workers on the control of hazardous energy and confined space hazards, and inspect cranes.


California

California Cites Company after Worker Suffers Amputation

California OSHA issued 11 citations and $86,615 in penalties to UMC Acquisition Corp. in Downey after unguarded moving belts and pulleys resulted in the amputation of a worker’s fingers. Inspectors concluded that the company failed to assess the workplace for hazards, ensure that proper lockout/tagout procedures were implemented, and install guards on moving machinery.

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Whistleblower Protection
Department of Labor

Roofing Contractor Settles Whistleblower Lawsuit

Georgia-based Jasper Contractors Inc. agreed to pay $48,000 in back wages and compensatory damages to a former safety director who had cooperated with an OSHA compliance investigation. Under the settlement, the company is forbidden from future retaliation and will expunge the disciplinary actions from the employee’s personnel file. OSHA will train the company’s employees on whistleblower protections under the OSH Act. For more information, read the news release.

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Cooperative Programs

Oregon Company Reduces Injuries with Help from State On-Site Consultation Program

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

Suterra LLC, a provider of pest control products contacted Oregon OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program to help improve its safety and health program. Consultants advised the company on chemical exposure monitoring, safe pesticide application practices, and all-terrain vehicle safety. As a result, the company lowered its rate of serious injuries to nearly 60 percent below the industry average, and gained acceptance into the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. For more information, read Suterra’s success story.


OSHA Establishes Partnerships to Ensure Worker Safety at Construction Sites in Georgia and Texas

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, Brasfield & Gorrie, the Associated General Contractors of Georgia, and Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute are working together to protect 6,000 workers during a hospital construction project in Atlanta. The three-year partnership will focus on preventing work-related fatalities, controlling or eliminating serious workplace hazards, and establishing an effective safety and health program.
  • OSHA, the Beck Group and 24 sub-contractors have formed a similar partnership to prevent fatalities, eliminate hazards, and develop a safety and health program that will protect 800 workers during construction of an arena in Ft. Worth.

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Safety and Health Resources

Safe + Sound Campaign: Communication is Key

Worker Participation

OSHA offers several resources to help employers increase worker participation in their safety and health efforts:

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


Resources Available to Help Protect Workers in the Maritime Industry

Maritime

Shipyard work has traditionally had an injury rate more than twice that of construction and general industry. OSHA has many resources that address hazards within the maritime industry, including an online Shipyard Employment tool and a series of 16 videos that examines shipyard fatalities and shows how similar incidents can be prevented.

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Social Media

Follow Us on Twitter and Visit Us on Facebook

Follow @OSHA_DOL on Twitter (and thanks for retweeting!) and visit the DOL Facebook page for OSHA information and resources. OSHA also provides news and commentary on workplace safety and health from its senior leadership, staff, and guest contributors on the DOL blog.

Featured Facebook Post
Featured Tweet
Employers: Get the most out of safety dialogues with your workers. Get tips from Better Safety Conversations, a new Safe + Sound Campaign product: https://www.osha.gov/safeandsound/docs/SHP_Better-Safety-Conversations.pdf. 
 Learn more about OSHA’s Safe + Sound Campaign at https://www.osha.gov/safeandsound/
Participating in the @OSHA_DOL #StandDown4Safety? Share this video when talking to your workers about fall prevention. #StandDown4Safety

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