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June 4, 2018 · Volume 17, Issue 11
A twice monthly newsletter with information about workplace safety and health.
Top Stories
Crane

OSHA Proposes Rule to Ensure That Crane Operators Are Qualified to Safely Operate Equipment

OSHA has proposed a rule to increase the safety of America’s construction sites. The proposal clarifies crane operator certification requirements and reinstates the employer duty to ensure that a crane operator is qualified to safely operate equipment. Comments must be submitted by June 20. For details, read the news release.


Proposed Rule Clarifies Some Beryllium Standard Compliance Dates

Beryllium products

OSHA issued a proposed rule to extend the compliance date for certain ancillary requirements of the general industry beryllium standard to Dec. 12, 2018. OSHA’s Proposal would not extend the compliance date for permissible exposure limits, exposure assessment, respiratory protection, medical surveillance, or medical removal protection provisions, or for any provisions for which the standard already establishes compliance dates in 2019 and 2020. This limited extension applies to all processes, operations, or areas where workers may be exposed to materials containing beryllium that fall under the scope of the general industry standard. The public may participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments during the 30-day comment period. Read the Federal Register notice for information on submitting comments on the proposed rule.


General Industry and Maritime Silica Standard Effective June 23

General Industry and Maritime Silica Standard Effective June 23

General industry and maritime employers must comply with OSHA’s silica standard by June 23, except for phase-in dates for medical surveillance and for engineering controls in the oil and gas industry. Visit the silica webpage for guidance on complying with the standard, as well as information on silica sampling and analysis, health effects of silica exposure, and answers to frequently asked questions.

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Enforcement

Montana Trucking Company Convicted on Criminal Charges Following Explosion that Injured Three Workers

Montana

Woody’s Trucking, LLC and Donald E. Wood Jr. were convicted on criminal charges including conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, and obstruction of justice stemming from a 2012 explosion at an oil and gas processing facility in Wibaux, Mont., that seriously injured three workers. Criminal charges were upheld against the defendants for making false statements to OSHA inspectors in an effort to conceal that flammable natural gas condensate being transported by truck was deliberately misidentified as a nonhazardous material. Testimony provided by OSHA inspectors and scientists during the trial played an important role in securing convictions on 13 of 14 felony charges. The Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency also participated in the investigation. For more information, read the Department of Justice news release.


New York Cosmetics Manufacturer Cited for Safety and Health Hazards Following Fire

New York

OSHA cited Verla International, LTD for failing to protect its employees from dangerous chemicals and other hazards. OSHA investigated the cosmetics manufacturer in November after an employee was fatally injured in a fire. The company was cited for 11 violations, including exposing workers to fall and compressed air hazards, and for failing to ensure proper conditions to prevent flammable vapors from igniting. For more information, read the news release.


Contractor and Staffing Agency Cited Following Fatal Trench Collapse at Alabama Work Site

Alabama

All Power Construction Corp. and staffing agency Labor Finders of Tennessee, Inc. were cited following a fatal injury in a Huntsville, Ala., trench collapse. OSHA cited the construction company for lack of cave-in protection, and the staffing agency received citations for failing to properly train employees. Proposed penalties total $152,618. Read the news release for more information.



South Florida Utility Company Cited After Employee Sustains Fatal Injuries

Florida

Utility company Douglas N. Higgins, Inc. was fined $162,596 after an employee was fatally injured when a steel plate fell on him. OSHA issued citations for multiple trenching violations, failing to perform atmospheric testing, and allowing employees to use defective equipment to hoist a compactor. The company was cited for a similar violation in January after three employees succumbed to toxic gases while working in a manhole. For more information, read the news release.


Wisconsin Battery Company Cited for Exposing Employees to Lead, Other Hazards

Wisconsin

C&D Technologies, Inc. was cited for repeated and serious violations for exposing workers to airborne lead at levels 11 times the permissible exposure limit. Violations included failure to; prevent exposure to lead, implement an effective lead management program, monitor ventilation for the presence of lead, provide respiratory protection, and install machine guarding. OSHA proposed penalties totaling $147,822. Read the news release for more information.


Iowa Fines Electric Company for Exposing Workers to Asbestos and Lead Hazards

Iowa

Iowa OSHA issued Fink Electric, Inc. in Sioux City 15 citations and $159,798 in penalties for exposing workers to lead and asbestos hazards while removing asbestos- insulated piping. Inspectors concluded that the company failed to conduct required exposure assessments for asbestos and lead; train workers on respiratory hazards from lead and asbestos; and provide personal protective equipment for exposure to airborne asbestos fibers.


Nevada

Nevada Cites Linen Company for Amputation and Other Machinery Hazards

Nevada OSHA issued three citations and $84,000 in penalties to Brady Linen Services, LLC in North Las Vegas for exposing workers to amputation and struck-by hazards from moving machinery. Inspectors discovered that the company had disabled safety switches on automatic towel folding machines. The company also failed to provide machine guarding on conveyor belts, exposing workers to caught-in and amputation hazards.

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Whistleblower Protection

Florida Flight Training Company Ordered to Reinstate Instructor Terminated After Raising Safety Concerns

Federal Aviation Administration emblem

OSHA ordered Orlando-based SIMCOM Training Centers to reinstate a flight instructor who was terminated for repeatedly raising safety concerns. In addition to reinstating the employee and clearing the personnel file, OSHA ordered the company to pay at least $301,882 in back wages, compensatory damages, and attorney fees, and to refrain from retaliating against the employee. For more information, read the news release.

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Safety and Health Outreach

OSHA’s National Focus on Preventing Trenching Fatalities Includes Workshop and Safety Stand-Down

As a result of a rise in preventable trench-related fatalities, such as the tragic incident in Alabama described in this issue, OSHA has made trench safety an agency priority. Outreach efforts include Alliances with industry groups and other activities:

TRENCH SAFETY STAND-DOWN JUNE 18-23, 2018 Plan a toolbox talk or other safety activity. Take a break and talk about trench safety. Provide training for all workers.
  • OSHA is joining the National Utility Contractor Association in a Trench Safety Stand-Down June 18-23. The week-long event will focus on trench and excavation hazards and reinforce the importance of using trench protective systems to keep workers safe.
  • OSHA also recently partnered with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, Allied Construction Industries, and Turner Construction to host a trench safety workshop in Cincinnati. The workshop followed a recent fatal trench injury in Ohio, and aimed to help prevent future fatalities, particularly in smaller residential construction operations.

For more on protecting workers in trenches, see OSHA’s Trenching and Excavation webpage.


June 12 is National Forklift Safety Day

National Forklift Safety Day - Industrial Truck Association

National Forklift Safety Day, sponsored by the Industrial Truck Association (ITA), will be recognized on June 12 in Washington, D.C., and workplaces nationwide. Throughout the day, forklift manufacturers will highlight the safe use of forklifts, the importance of operator training, and the need for daily equipment checks. ITA works with OSHA through an Alliance to provide training seminars for OSHA inspectors, and develop safety materials. For these and other resources to share on National Forklift Safety Day, visit OSHA’s forklift webpage.


Safe + Sound Campaign: Register + Participate

Save the Date: Safe + Sound Week August 13-19 - Show your commitment to safety.

Safe + Sound Week 2018, a nationwide event to raise awareness and understanding of the value of workplace safety and health programs, will be held August 13-19. It is an opportunity for employers to show commitment to health and safety by launching or renewing efforts to identify and manage hazards before they cause injuries or illnesses.

  • Visit the Safe + Sound Week webpage to register your organization as a participant and get ideas on how to recognize the week in your workplace.
  • Join the June 26 webinar to learn more about Safe + Sound Week, the tools and resources available, and how to participate.

OSHA Participates in National Committee to Improve Safety Culture in Healthcare

OSHA Participates in National Committee to Improve Safety Culture in Healthcare

OSHA was one of 24 organizations to participate in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s efforts to develop a national strategy for reducing hazards for healthcare workers. The agency joined the National Steering Committee for Patient Safety, which includes members from the healthcare, policy, regulatory, and advocacy communities. See OSHA’s healthcare page for resources on keeping workers safe.

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Cooperative Programs

Alliance Program Forum Shares Ideas on Resources That Help Protect Workers

Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt, USDOL-OSHA, (seated, center), and members of the OSHA Alliance Program Forum pose for a picture on May 3 in Washington, DC.

Representatives from more than 20 national alliances met at the May 3 Alliance Program Forum in Washington, D.C., to share resources that help employers protect workers. Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt (seated, center) participated in the event and commended participants for helping OSHA reach nearly six million people on the agency’s enforcement, regulatory, and outreach initiatives.


New York Beverage Company Reduces Injuries and Costs with Help from OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program

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

A beverage distributor in Mechanicville, N.Y., contacted OSHA’s free On-Site Consultation Program after experiencing high injury rates. DeCrescente Distributing Company immediately corrected hazards pointed out by the consultants, and instituted an inspection process for employees to regularly check equipment and report defects for prompt corrections. Employees were authorized to shut down operations to prevent exposure to serious hazards. These and other improvements in the company’s safety culture led to DeCrescente’s acceptance into OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. Since then, the company has lowered its recordable injury rate to half the industry average, which in turn lowered its workers’ compensation costs. For more information, read DeCrescente’s success story.


OSHA Voluntary Protection Programs

New Hampshire Worksite Recognized for Excellence in Safety and Health

OSHA has re-approved the Aclara worksite in Somersworth, N.H., for the agency’s Voluntary Protection Programs at the Star level. The facility, which manufactures commercial and residential smart meters that measure electricity usage, has demonstrated management commitment to reducing injuries and illnesses from musculoskeletal hazards.


Strategic Partnership Will Promote Safety During Kansas City Demolition Project

Partnership - An OSHA Cooperative Program

OSHA and Brandenburg Industrial Service Company entered a partnership agreement to protect workers during the demolition of a former federal complex in Kansas City, Mo. The partnership will identify common construction hazards such as falls, struck-by, caught-in, and electrocution; and encourage worker participation in safety and health programs.


OSHA Alliance Partners Commit to Improving Worker Safety and Health

Alliance Program logo - Alliance, An OSHA Cooperative Program

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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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 Posts

Facebook post: Communication is the key to engaging workers in your safety and health efforts. Learn more with two free webinars hosted by these #SafeAndSound2018 participants: May 16: The National Safety Council will host a webinar on Employee Perception Surveys. Register at http://eventcallregistration.com/reg/index.jsp?cid=76648t11 On-demand through May 31: Access the American Industrial Hygiene Association webinar on Selling Safety to the Front Line Employee at https://online-ams.aiha.org/…/ecssashop.show_product_detail…
Twitter post: #YoungWorkers beginning summer jobs: Know your workplace rights.

  U.S. Department of Labor Blog: OSHA Leads National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls

LinkedIn post: Employers: Want to improve the safety of your workplace? Click to learn about OSHA's free consultation services for small businesses: https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/smallbusiness/consult.html

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