February 08, 2019 • Volume 18, Issue 2 • A twice monthly newsletter with information about workplace safety and health.
OSHA Forms Alliance with Agribusiness Organizations to Protect Workers
OSHA recently signed a two-year alliance agreement with The Fertilizer Institute and Agricultural Retailers Association to provide training resources and information on protecting the safety, health, and security of industry workers, emergency responders, and communities. The alliance will focus on helping agricultural retail facilities comply with safety and health standards for safe storage and handling of ammonium nitrate and anhydrous ammonia. The first product developed as part of the agreement is a video describing the inspection process under the Agency's regional emphasis program on ammonium nitrate and anhydrous ammonia. Read the news release for more information.
OSHA Issues Final Rule to Protect Privacy of Workers
OSHA has issued a final rule that eliminates the requirement for establishments with 250 or more employees to submit information electronically from OSHA forms 300 and 301 to OSHA each year. These establishments are still required to submit information electronically from OSHA Form 300A. The final rule helps avoid the risk of publicly disclosing sensitive employee information. The rule does not alter an employer's duty to maintain the OSHA forms and employee records. The deadline for electronic submissions of 2018 data from the OSHA Form 300A is March 2, 2019. For more information, read the news release.
OSHA Provides Compliance Assistance Resources to Protect Workers from Falls
Falls remain the leading cause of worker fatalities in the construction industry. Working with industry stakeholders, OSHA developed a collection of compliance assistance resources to raise awareness of common fall hazards in construction, educate employers and workers on fall prevention, and reduce the number of fall-related injuries and fatalities. These resources include the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction to be held May 6-10; a series of fall safety videos; a Fall Prevention Training Guide; fact sheets on ladders and scaffolding; and a brief video, 5 Ways to Prevent Workplace Falls. For more information, read the news release and visit OSHA's Fall Prevention webpage.
New FAQs Available on Controlling Silica in General Industry
OSHA posted new frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the standard for respirable crystalline silica in general industry. OSHA developed the FAQs in consultation with industry and union stakeholders to provide guidance to employers and workers on the standard's requirements, including exposure assessments, regulated areas, methods of compliance, and communicating silica hazards to workers. Visit OSHA's silica standard for general industry webpage for more information and additional compliance assistance resources.
OSHA Signs Charter for Working Group to Improve Chemical Facility Security and Safety
The Department of Labor, Department of Homeland Security, and the Environmental Protection Agency recently created and signed the Chemical Facility Security and Safety Working Group Charter. The working group, which includes other federal agency representatives, was established by an Executive Order in response to several chemical facility catastrophes. The charter reaffirms the group's commitment to work with stakeholders to address safety and security at chemical facilities, and reduce risks associated with hazardous chemicals to workers and communities. For more information, visit OSHA's Chemical Facility and Security webpage.
Bulletin Addresses Safety for Workers Wearing Devices Containing Lithium Batteries
A new OSHA bulletin addresses hazards associated with small, wearable devices powered by lithium batteries, such as body cameras. If these devices are damaged or defective, they may catch fire or explode. Employers should ensure that workers are trained to properly use, store, and charge these devices; identify, remove, and properly dispose of damaged or defective devices and batteries; and provide information on their health and physical hazards.
U.S. Postal Service Cited after Heat-Related Worker Fatality in Southern California
An employee of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) suffered hyperthermia while delivering mail in high heat conditions. OSHA cited the postal service for failing to establish work practices to protect mail carriers from heat hazards, and keep records of heat stress incidents. USPS faces $149,664 in penalties. Read the news release for more information.
Florida Roofing Contractor Cited for Exposing Workers to Dangerous Falls
OSHA cited Ad-Ler Roofing, Inc., for exposing workers to dangerous falls at a residential worksite, just one month after similar violations were found at another worksite. The contractor faces penalties of $91,466. OSHA initiated the inspection as part of its Regional Emphasis Program for Falls in Construction after inspectors observed the company's workers performing roofing activities without fall protection. For more information, read the news release.
Florida Cafeteria Cited for Burn and Chemical Hazards
Chartwells Dining was cited and fined $134,880 for exposing workers to burn and chemical hazards. OSHA cited the company for failing to ensure adequate egress through exit doors, provide suitable quick-drenching facilities for workers who work with cleaning chemicals, and effectively train workers. Read the news release for more information.
Hawaii Cites Food Distributor Following Forklift Incident
The Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division issued five citations and $70,625 in penalties to Sysco Hawaii, Inc., after two forklifts collided near an obstructed-view area of a dry dock, resulting in one worker sustaining serious injuries. Inspectors determined that the company allowed forklift operators to drive at unsafe speeds, and failed to develop an effective safety and health program for operating forklifts.
Solar Contractor Cited after Worker Fatality in Kansas
Power Factor, LLC, was cited for exposing workers to electrical hazards after a worker was fatally electrocuted while installing solar panels. The company allowed employees to work close to electrical power circuits without de-energizing, grounding, or guarding the circuits. Power Factor was cited for four serious violations, totaling $39,836 in penalties. For more information, read the news release.
Nebraska Beef Processing Plant Cited after Worker Severely Burned by Ammonia
OSHA cited Noah's Ark Processors, LLC, for failing to control the use and release of highly hazardous chemicals after a worker suffered severe burns by anhydrous ammonia. The company was also cited for failing to protect workers from fall and electrical hazards. OSHA proposed penalties totaling $182,926. For more information, read the news release.
Pennsylvania Excavation Company Cited for Exposing Workers to Trenching Hazards
Spear Excavating, LLC, faces $106,057 in penalties for exposing workers to trenching hazards. OSHA cited the company after inspectors found employees working in an excavation that was not properly protected from cave-ins, and was accumulating water. Read the news release for more information.
Tennessee Cites Tire Company for Exposing Workers to Hazards
Tennessee OSHA issued 11 citations and $85,200 in penalties to Hankook Tire Company for multiple safety and health violations. Inspectors concluded that the company failed to conduct periodic crane inspections, provide adequate personal protective equipment for workers handling hazardous chemicals, ensure that proper lockout/tagout procedures were followed, and guard machinery.
Dallas Utilities Contractor Cited after Worker Suffers Fatal Gas Exposure
OSHA cited RKM Utility Services, Inc., after a worker died from exposure to dangerous levels of hydrogen sulfide while working in a trench. The company was cited for exposing workers to a hazardous atmosphere, failing to train workers on the health hazards of hydrogen sulfide, and failing to drain water from the trench. Proposed penalties total $422,006. For more information, read the news release.
Utility Contractors Cited Following Fatal Explosion in Wisconsin
OSHA cited Bear Communications, LLC, and V C Tech, Inc., for excavation safety hazards after a volunteer firefighter was fatally injured while responding to an explosion and fire caused by an excavator striking a gas line. Inspectors determined that the companies failed to contact utility companies for the location of underground utilities before starting excavation work. Both companies were issued the maximum allowable penalty of $12,934. Read the news release for more information.
Employers Must Post Injury/Illness Summary Until April 30
Employers are reminded of their obligation to post a copy of OSHA Form 300A, which summarizes job-related injuries and illnesses logged during 2018. Each year, from Feb. 1 through 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.
SAFETY AND HEALTH OUTREACH
National Stand-Up for Grain Safety Week: March 25-29
The OSHA and National Grain and Feed Association Alliance are partnering with key industry groups to hold the third annual "Stand-Up for Grain Safety Week," March 25-29. During this week, employers will focus on various safety topics and conduct site activities, such as worker safety training and engulfment prevention procedures. Industry employers and workers are encouraged to host or participate in local stand-up events. Visit the campaign website for more information and registration details.
On-Site Consultation Program Helps South Dakota Company Reduce Injuries and Costs
Signage company ESCO Manufacturing, Inc., contacted OSHA's free On-Site Consultation Program for help identifying hazards and improving the safety and health program at its facility in Watertown, S.D. Working with the consultants, the company corrected hazards, instituted monthly safety training and inspections, and implemented an investigation process to be used on all first reports of hazardous situations. ESCO was accepted into OSHA's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. Its commitment to safety resulted in zero lost-time incidents in three years and a nearly 50 percent drop in workers' compensation premiums. For more information, read the success story.
OSHA Partnerships Aim to Protect Workers at Construction Projects in Georgia and Pennsylvania
- OSHA recently established a Strategic Partnership to promote worker safety and health during the construction of the airport terminal in Atlanta, Ga. The partnership will encourage construction companies to implement safety and health programs, provide safety and health training, and identify areas where workers might be exposed to health hazards. Partners include the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute; Skanska, New South Construction, FS 360, and Synergy Construction (a joint venture); and the City of Atlanta's Department of Aviation. For more information, read the news release.
- OSHA is partnering with Turner Construction Company to promote workplace safety during a hospital building project in Erie, Pa. The partnership seeks to educate workers, control or eliminate serious hazards, and establish effective safety and health programs for the project. Read the news release for more information.
OSHA Alliance Partners Commit to Improving Worker Safety and Health
- The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Eastern Division and Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards renewed a two-year alliance to provide information and training resources to help raise awareness of mental health issues related to occupational deaths by suicide.
- Keene State College Workwise NH and the New Hampshire Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health renewed a five-year alliance to provide information to help protect workers and reduce exposure to workplace hazards.
- The Associated General Contractors of Oklahoma Building Chapter and the Oklahoma Department of Labor signed a two-year agreement to provide information to help protect workers from hazards associated with excavation, confined spaces, silica, heat, and cold.
- North Texas Exploration and Production Safety Network signed a two-year agreement to provide information and training resources to help protect workers from exposure to oil and gas exploration and production hazards.
SAFETY AND HEALTH RESOURCES
Working Safely with Portable Generators
Portable generators are internal combustion engines used to generate electricity when temporary or remote power is needed. OSHA's portable generator fact sheet focuses on how to protect workers from hazards associated with the use of this equipment. These hazards include exposure to carbon monoxide from a generator's exhaust, shocks and electrocution, and fires from ignited generator fuel.
Recorded Webinar Available on OSHA Compliance for Small Businesses
OSHA teamed up with SCORE, a nonprofit association that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, to create a free webinar to educate small businesses on how to comply with OSHA requirements. A recording of the webinar is available online. It provides an overview of the Agency, key safety and health requirements for small businesses, and resources available to help small businesses comply with OSHA standards and keep workers safe.