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December 1, 2017 · Volume 16, Issue 22
A twice monthly newsletter with information about workplace safety and health.
Top Stories
OSHA Accepting Electronically Submitted Injury, Illness Reports Through December 31

OSHA Accepting Electronically Submitted Injury, Illness Reports Through December 31

OSHA will continue accepting 2016 OSHA Form 300A data through the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) until midnight on December 31, 2017. OSHA will not take enforcement action against those employers who submit their reports after the December 15, 2017, deadline but before December 31, 2017, final entry date. Starting January 1, 2018, the ITA will no longer accept the 2016 data.

Employers Are Reminded to Comply With Federal Labor Laws During Holiday Rush

Employers Are Reminded to Comply With Federal Labor Laws During Holiday Rush

As retailers and other businesses temporarily increase staffing levels to accommodate heightened seasonal consumer demand, the U.S. Department of Labor reminds employers of the necessity of complying with federal labor laws related to safety, pay, and benefits.

For more information, read the news release.

Save the Date: Safe + Sound Week 2018 to be held August 13-19

A safe workplace makes a sound business.

The second annual Safe + Sound Week will be held Aug. 13-19, 2018. The event is a nationwide effort to raise awareness of the value of workplace safety and health programs, which can help employers and workers identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause an injury or illness, improving a company’s financial bottom line. Throughout the week, organizations are encouraged to host events and activities that showcase the core elements of an effective safety and health program, including: management leadership, worker participation, and finding and fixing workplace hazards. For the latest news and information, sign up for email updates or follow us on Twitter.

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Texas Pottery Manufacturer Reaches Settlement with OSHA Following Worker Fatality


Marshall Pottery, Inc., has reached a settlement agreement with OSHA after the death of an assistant plant manager who was servicing a kiln and became trapped inside when it activated. The Texas pottery manufacturer was cited for failing to implement lockout/tagout and confined space programs. The company was cited for similar violations in 2008. Proposed penalties total $545,160. For more information, read the news release.

Connecticut Contractor Cited for Mercury and Respirator Hazards at New Hampshire Demolition Site


OSHA cited Plainville, Conn., construction contractor, Manafort Brothers, Inc., for exposing workers to mercury and respirator hazards while they disassembled a mercury boiler. Inspectors determined that the company did not take steps to reduce exposures below permissible levels; failed to evaluate the effectiveness of its respirator program; and did not train workers to identify and correct respirator problems. OSHA proposed penalties totaling $329,548. Read the news release for more information.

Pennsylvania Company Cited For Exposing Workers to Falls and Confined Space Hazards


OSHA has cited US Environmental, Inc., for 12 safety violations, including willfully exposing workers to confined space and fall hazards at its Downingtown, Pa., location. Inspectors found that the company failed to implement rescue procedures for employees in confined spaces; provide protective equipment when working in confined spaces; and provide employees with fall protection training and equipment. The company faces penalties of $333,756. For more information, see the news release.

Alabama Auto Dealership Cited After Fatal Fire


OSHA cited automobile dealership Carl Cannon, Inc., for serious safety violations after three employees died and two were injured at its Jasper facility. Inspectors determined that a flash fire occurred when the employees were using a flammable brake wash to scrub the service pit floor. OSHA issued one willful and two serious safety citations for failing to implement all elements of a chemical hazard communication program; improperly storing flammable liquids; and allowing unapproved electrical receptacles and equipment to be used in a hazardous area. OSHA proposed penalties totaling $152,099. For more information, see the news release.

Georgia Contractor faces $130K in Penalties for Exposing Workers to Trenching Hazards


OSHA cited Dustcom Limited, Inc., for failing to protect its employees from trench collapse hazards. The Garden City construction company faces proposed penalties of $130,552. During the inspection, inspectors observed employees installing water lines in an unprotected trench. The company was cited for exposing employees to cave-in hazards; failing to appoint a competent person to ensure the use of cave-in protection; using a damaged ladder for entering and exiting a trench; and failing to place a soil pile at least 24 inches from the edge of the excavation. For more information, read the news release.

Virginia Cites Tire Company for Safety Violations That Resulted in Amputation


Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) cited Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Virginia, LLC., in Salem for safety violations that led to a worker being severely injured. Inspectors determined that the company failed to provide adequate machine guarding and ensure that proper safety precautions were followed. The company was previously cited for the same violation in 2016. VOSH issued one serious and one repeat-serious citation following this latest inspection, and issued $42,000 in penalties.

Grain Handling Company Cited for Safety Hazards


OSHA issued $73,449 in penalties to Columbia Export Terminal, LLC., in Portland for exposing employees to fall hazards by failing to provide proper guardrail or personal fall arrest systems for walking-working surfaces. The company also failed to guard ladder access areas with fall protection and did not properly control hazardous energy (lockout/tagout) in the grain handling facility. OSHA issued nine serious and three other-than-serious citations to the company.

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Whistleblower Protection

Employee Receives Court-Ordered Restitution After Justified Whistleblowing Action

The Whistleblower Protection Programs

A jury and judge ordered Albany-based Champagne Demolition, LLC., and its owner, Joseph A. Champagne, to pay $173,793.84 to a former employee who was fired after reporting improper asbestos removal practices at a school worksite in Gloversville, N.Y. The judgment supports a U.S. Department of Labor lawsuit that found the company violated the employee’s whistleblower rights. The company must pay $103,000 in back wages, $20,000 in compensatory, and $50,000 in punitive damages. For more information, read the news release.

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OSHA Outreach

Safety Events in Arkansas and Texas Educate Thousands about Amputation and Excavation Hazards

Workers in Little Rock stand-down on the job to learn how to stay safe from amputation hazards.
Workers in Little Rock stand-down on the job to learn how to stay safe from amputation hazards.

OSHA’s Little Rock Area Office hosted stand-down events to raise awareness about amputation hazards. During the two-week Amputation Prevention Stand-Down, companies volunteered to hold individual stand-downs and provide information on the identification, mitigation, and elimination of amputation hazards. The Arkansas Department of Labor’s Consultation Program and OSHA Education Centers in the region also participated in the effort. As a result, more than 4,500 workers were removed from amputation hazards.

OSHA also participated in the West Texas Excavation Safety Day, which provided more than 300 attendees with training for first responders, “call before you dig” requirements, personal protective equipment demonstrations, and excavation safety demonstrations. The event was organized by the West Texas Damage Prevention Council in association with Texas 811 – a nonprofit contact center that helps prevent underground utility damage and promote public safety — and other organizations.

FDA Warns of Risks From Inaccurate Results From Certain Lead Tests

blood testing

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued a warning that certain lead tests manufactured by Magellan Diagnostics may provide inaccurate results, which could affect compliance with OSHA’s workplace health standards for lead. Employers and healthcare providers conducting medical surveillance for lead-exposed workers should refer to the FDA’s warning and recommendations for retesting.

OSHA’s Lead Standards for General Industry and Construction require employers to provide blood lead testing for workers exposed to airborne lead above a specific level. Employees with very high blood lead levels must be removed from exposure. Employers are required to have blood lead samples analyzed by a laboratory that meets OSHA accuracy requirements in blood lead proficiency testing.

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Cooperative Programs

Maine OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program Helps Sawmill Reduce Injuries and Costs

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

By working with the Maine Department of Labor's On-Site Consultation Program, Limington Lumber Company’s facility in East Baldwin gained acceptance into OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. The company’s injury and illness rates have remained below the national average for its industry, resulting in reduced workers compensation insurance premiums and claim-related costs. For more information, see the company’s success story.

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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Safety and Health Resources
New fact sheets available on OSHA’s Silica Standard for Construction

New and Revised Fact Sheets on Silica Now Available

OSHA has released more than a dozen fact sheets that provide guidance on the respirable crystalline silica standard for construction. One fact sheet is an overview of the silica standard. The other fact sheets provide employers with information on how to fully and properly implement controls, work practices, and if needed, respiratory protection for each of the 18 tasks listed in Table 1— Specified Exposure Control Methods under the standard.

OSHA's redesigned training webpage on a mobile phone.

Redesigned Webpages Make It Easier to Find OSHA Training Resources

Employers and employees can get information on job safety classes, trainers, tools, and 10-hour and 30-hour cards more easily using OSHA’s redesigned training webpage. The page offers links to resources on training requirements and resources, outreach training, OSHA Training Institute Education Centers, and Susan Harwood Training Grants.

Winter Is Here: Be Prepared to Protect Workers from Weather-Related Hazards

Winter Weather

As outdoor temperatures drop and winter storms approach, employers should take measures to keep their employees safe. OSHA's Winter Weather webpage provides information on protecting employees from hazards while working outside during severe cold and snow storms. This guidance includes information on staying safe while clearing heavy snow from walkways and rooftops.

Alliance Participants Issue Alert on Use of Multi-Gas Monitors in the Oil and Gas Industry

Alwats turn your multi-gas monitor on in clean fresh air.

A new hazard alert explains how multi-gas monitors can protect workers from atmospheric hazards in oil and gas operations. The monitors alert workers to the presence of toxic, flammable, and oxygen-deficient atmospheres. The hazard alert was developed by participants in OSHA’s Alliance with the National Service, Transmission, Exploration and Production Safety Network and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

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Social Media

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OSHA provides news and commentary on workplace safety and health from its senior leadership, staff, and guest contributors on the DOL blog.

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Happy New Year!
Happy New Year

OSHA wishes you and yours a safe and healthy new year. QuickTakes will not be published on Jan. 1, so please continue to visit the agency's website for news and updates. Look for your next issue of QuickTakes in mid-January 2018.

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