|February 15, 2013 · Volume 12, Issue 4|
|A twice monthly e-news product with information about workplace safety and health.|
In this issue
OSHA has cited Bacardi Bottling Corp. with 12 alleged safety violations following the death of a 21-year-old temporary worker his first day on the job. Lawrence Daquan "Day" Davis was crushed to death by a palletizer machine at the Jacksonville facility in August 2012. The company uses Remedy Intelligent Staffing as a temporary staffing service to provide laborers for certain types of jobs.
"We are seeing untrained workers – many of them temporary workers – killed very soon after starting a new job. This must stop," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "Employers must train all employees, including temporary workers, on the hazards specific to that workplace – before they start working. Had Bacardi done so, this tragic loss of life could have been prevented."
OSHA requires that employers protect the health and safety of all workers under their supervision and control. Twelve total citations have been issued and proposed penalties for the willful and serious violations total $192,000. For more information, read the press release.
In two separate cases, the U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against employers for terminating an employee who reported workplace violence, in violation of Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The Labor Department filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Fort Myers Division, against Duane Thomas Marine Construction LLC and owner Duane Thomas. In Montana, the Labor Department filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana alleging that Helena-based Kbec Inc., a Dairy Queen franchisee, illegally terminated an employee for making complaints regarding workplace violence at the company's facility.
In Florida, an OSHA investigation revealed that a worker at the company's custom marine dock installation services site on Marco Island was fired after filing a complaint alleging that the owner committed workplace violence and created hostile working conditions. For more information, read the press release.
In Montana, OSHA opened an investigation after the worker filed a whistleblower complaint. The investigation revealed that the employee was fired shortly after raising concerns about workplace violence. Kbec Inc. operates two Dairy Queen franchises in Helena. For more information, read the press release.
OSHA has cited A-Treat Bottling Co. with 16 safety and health violations, including 14 repeat, at its Allentown facility. OSHA's August 2012 inspection was conducted as a follow-up from an earlier inspection in January 2011. Proposed fines total $129,745.
The repeat violations, with a penalty of $125,895, are due to electrical hazards, and failing to conduct baseline and annual worker hearing tests; establish noise engineering controls; provide noise training; provide machine guarding, establish machine-specific hazardous energy control procedures and training; ensure exits were unobstructed; and ensure proper use of flexible cable. Similar violations were cited at the Allentown facility in 2008, 2010 and 2011. For more information see the news release.
OSHA is reminding employers to post OSHA's Form 300A, which summarizes the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred during 2012 and were logged on OSHA Form 300, Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. The summary must be posted between Feb. 1 and April 30, 2013, and should be displayed in a common area where notices to employees are usually posted.
Employers with 10 or fewer employees and employers in certain industries are normally exempt from federal OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping and posting requirements. A complete list of exempt industries in the retail, services, finance, insurance and real estate sectors can be found at https://s.dol.gov/YP. Read the news release for more information on recordkeeping requirements.
OSHA and the Montana Department of Labor and Industry have established an alliance with the Montana Grain Elevators Association to identify, reduce and prevent workers' exposure to hazards in the grain handling industries throughout Montana. The alliance will focus on hazards such as suffocation and falls, two leading causes of fatalities at grain handling facilities, along with fires, explosions from combustible dust, electrocutions and injuries from improperly guarded machinery. For more information on this alliance, read the news release.
Through its Alliance Program, OSHA works with businesses, trade associations, unions, consulates, professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations and educational institutions to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. For more information, visit www.osha.gov/dcsp/alliances/index.html.
OSHA has published interim final rules that establish procedures for handling whistleblower complaints filed under the Seaman's Protection Act. The Act protects seamen from retaliation for engaging in protected activity such as providing information to the government about violations of maritime safety laws or regulations. The interim final rule establishes procedures and time frames for filing complaints with OSHA, investigations, appeals of OSHA determinations to an administrative law judge for a hearing, review of ALJ decisions by the Administrative Review Board, and judicial review of the secretary of labor's final decision. OSHA is accepting public comment on the interim final rules until April 8, 2013. See the Federal Register notice for more information about the rules and how to submit comments.
OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various workplace, commercial motor vehicle, airline, nuclear, pipeline, environmental, railroad, public transportation, maritime, consumer product, motor vehicle safety, health care reform, corporate securities, food safety and consumer financial reform regulations. Additional information is available at https://www.whistleblowers.gov.
OSHA will hold a public forum to discuss proposed interim policies for the Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory Program on March 6 in Washington, D.C., The meeting will solicit input from stakeholders on proposed interim policies regarding NRTL independence, the initial application process and timeline, and renewal process. NRTLs are third-party laboratories that meet OSHA's requirements for performing safety testing and certification of products used in the workplace.
The forum will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the U.S. Department of Labor. Individuals interested in participating must register by Feb. 22. See the Federal Register notice for registration details.
OSHA's latest Safety and Health Information Bulletin warns landscaping employers and workers of the hazards involved in using stone-cutting machines and explains methods to eliminate or reduce the risk of injury when operating these types of machines.
The SHIB is based on an investigation by OSHA's Englewood, Colo., Area Office of a landscaping products company that found that many of the available stone cutters pose amputation hazards because these machines are not typically designed with adequate machine guarding to prevent the operator from reaching into the point of operation.
OSHA worked with the stone splitter manufacturer and the landscaping company to retrofit the machine with two-handed controls, which prevents worker access to the point of operation. If the operator removes either hand from either of the controls, the blades will stop immediately. The modification was easily engineered, relatively inexpensive, and readily accepted by the operators.
OSHA's Andover Area Office and the Massachusetts On-site Consultation Program teamed up to host a series of seminars aimed at preventing fall hazards and fatalities in the construction industry. Nearly 350 workers and employers attended five seminars that included demonstrations on fall protection devices and techniques, presentations on OSHA's fall protection requirements and sessions for participants to ask specific questions of OSHA's experts. Given the success of the initial seminars, plans are in the works to make the series an annual event.
OSHA's On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. As part of OSHA's On-site Consultation Program, highly qualified safety and health professionals from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs.
OSHA has recently revised requirements that authorized trainers must follow when conducting and reporting Outreach Training Program classes. Under the revised requirements, trainers cannot advertise that outreach training is OSHA compliant and pre-printed language on course completion cards cannot be obscured or covered, a provision intended to further protect the integrity of the OSHA course completion card. The revised requirements also clarify how requests for make-up training are handled, restrictions on webinar, video conferencing and training outside of OSHA jurisdiction, length of a training day and procedures for adding 20 more hours to a 10-hour training course to receive a 30-hour course completion card.
The Outreach Training Program is voluntary and promotes workplace safety and health by training workers about their rights and workplace hazards. Visit OSHA's Outreach Training Program Web page for more information.
OSHA's Aurora Area Office and the Sauk Valley Community College will cohost a one-day "OSHA Safety Day" training conference March 12 in Dixon, Ill. Workers and managers are invited to attend the event representing manufacturing, hospitals, construction and grain industries. Seminar sessions will cover safety issues on machine guarding, fall protection, electrical work, recordkeeping and grain bin entry. See the news release for registration information.
In keeping with its commitment to raise awareness among Spanish-speaking workers and employers, OSHA recently released nine residential construction fact sheets in Spanish. The fact sheets address fall hazards while working in attics, installing roofs and more.
See DOL's weekly electronic newsletter for more DOL news.
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