|July 15, 2013 · Volume 12, Issue 14|
|A twice monthly e-news product with information about workplace safety and health.|
Earlier this month, in response to concerns from the British Columbia construction industry about how to better protect its workers from respirable silica and other rock dust, the Canadian province issued a new proposed rule on how to identify and control worker exposure to these hazards. Included in the industry's formal request for a standard were the BC Construction Association, which represents 2,500 companies, and the Council of Construction Associations. In B.C., worker safety regulations are proposed and adopted through their Workers' Compensation Board, part of WorkSafeBC.
Did you know the Department of Labor is on Twitter and Facebook? Get up-to-the-minute OSHA information and resources by visiting the DOL Facebook page and following #OSHA @USDOL on Twitter. Use Twitter’s Saved Search feature to filter the OSHA hashtag and get one-click access.
OSHA is investigating two recent heat fatalities involving workers who were new to the job. In a recent call with meteorologists, Assistant Secretary Michaels emphasized that OSHA has found that, generally, the workers who are most at risk for heat-related illnesses are those who are new to outdoor jobs – especially temporary workers.
Seasonal workers can be considered new even if they have been working every season for several years. Gradually increasing the workload and giving workers time to acclimate allows them to build tolerance to the heat. This is critically important for workers who are new to working outdoors in the heat, who have been away from working in the heat for a week or more, or at the beginning of a heat wave. Once a worker is acclimated to heat, the risk is lower. Employers should take steps to protect workers and help them acclimate.
OSHA's Heat Safety Tool smartphone app can help users monitor dangerous heat levels throughout the summer. The app is available for iPhone and Android and has already been downloaded almost 85,000. Download the app and find additional resources on OSHA's Heat page.
OSHA joined worker, union, industry and community partners in New York and New Jersey to sponsor safety stand-downs June 24-July 3 to raise awareness about the hazards of falls -- the leading cause of jobsite deaths in the construction industry. More than 120 stand-downs were held across the region, involving more than 4,000 workers.
OSHA has cited Hereford, Texas-based Caviness Beef Packing Ltd. for deficiencies in its process safety management program and other workplace hazards. See the news release for the complete list of citations. Visit OSHA's Web page for more information on process safety management.
Midland Davis Corp. was fined $64,680 for 19 safety violations found at its Moline, Ill., scrap metal recycling center. Citations included two repeat violations for failing to conduct periodic inspections on energy control procedures and failing to train and evaluate each power industrial vehicle operator. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Read the news release for more information.
OSHA cited Ardagh Glass Inc. for one willful and one serious safety violation after a worker suffered a finger amputation and crushed hand while removing a glass mold from a bottle-shaping machine at the company's facility in Warner Robins, Ga. OSHA initiated an inspection in response to the incident under its National Emphasis Program on Amputations. Proposed penalties total $77,000.
The willful violation involves failing to develop and utilize lockout/tagout procedures when workers are performing service and setup operations on equipment. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. Read the news release for more information.
OSHA will co-moderate a free webinar with the American Staffing Association at 3 p.m. EST on Thursday, July 18, to discuss best practices for protecting temporary workers.
The webinar is part of OSHA's new initiative to protect temporary workers—many of whom face the most dangerous working conditions and are therefore the most vulnerable in the overall workforce.
OSHA is teaming up with the Society of Chemical Hazard Communication Alliance to present a GHS webinar "Hazard Communication: 1 Year of Implementation" at 1:30 p.m. on July 25The title of the webinar is During the webinar, OSHA will discuss the training needed to meet the first deadline in the implementation phase, Dec. 1, 2013, answer questions regarding implementation, discuss guidance available and give an update on GHS international efforts Register at http://www.schc.org.
Employers must train workers on the new label elements and safety data sheet by Dec. 1, 2013.OSHA has prepared a number of additional materials that explain the new changes to the requirements of the HCS, including QuickCards, a training fact sheet, a list of frequently asked questions and a brief on labels and pictograms. These and other materials are available on OSHA's Hazard Communications page.
OSHA has forged an alliance with the Shipyard Workers Union to promote workplace safety and health, provide guidance and training programs for shipyard workers and raise awareness of hazardous operations onboard ships during building and repair periods.
Through the alliance, OSHA and the Shipyard Workers Union will work jointly to develop effective training and education programs for shipyard workers and OSHA personnel. The alliance will focus on emergency response, confined spaces onboard ships, respirator use and toxic metals. For more information, read the news release.
Nail guns cause tens of thousands of serious injuries each year, hospitalizing more construction workers than any other tool-related injury. OSHA’s new Nail Gun Safety Web page offers resources to help reduce these numbers. The page includes links to regulations, training and compliance assistance materials, including the joint OSHA/NIOSH Nail Gun Safety: A Guide for Construction Contractors. The guide, also available as an e-publication in English and Spanish, can be downloaded to smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, as well as on desktop and laptop computers.
In addition, OSHA's Oil and Gas Extraction Safety and Health Topics Web page has been updated with additional information for employers and workers in the oil and gas industry aimed at identifying, preventing, and controlling workers' exposure to hazards.
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