March 06, 2019 • Volume 18, Issue 4 • A twice monthly newsletter with information about workplace safety and health.
Get Ready for Safe + Sound 2019
Safe + Sound, OSHA’s year-round campaign to encourage every workplace to have a safety and health program, includes both employers and workers. Participate in quarterly events on building an effective safety and health program in your workplace. Learn about best practices during webinars and put them into action during the 30-day challenges. These events also focus on management leadership, worker participation, and finding and fixing hazards. Share your safety successes during Safe + Sound Week, August 12-18, 2019. Sign up on the Safe + Sound website.
OSHA Promotes Trenching Safety in Missouri
OSHA Area Director Karena Lorek spoke on trenching hazards and solutions at the Damage Prevention and Excavation Safety Summit held recently in Springfield, Missouri. The summit, hosted by the Missouri Common Ground Alliance, was attended by 1,200 participants that included employers, workers, and representatives of trade schools, local unions, fire departments, and other organizations from more than 20 states. Lorek shared OSHA’s requirements for trenching and excavation, associated hazards, and ways to prevent injuries and fatalities. For more information, visit OSHA’s trenching and excavation webpage.
California Fines Construction Company Following Worker Fatality
California OSHA issued 10 citations and $242,600 in penalties to Platinum Pipeline, Inc., after a worker died in a trench collapse. Inspectors concluded that the company failed to train workers on excavation hazards; protect workers from excavated materials; and adequately slope, shore, or shield an excavation wall. Read the news release for more information.
Florida Roofing Contractor Cited for Repeatedly Exposing Workers to Fall Hazards
OSHA has cited Crown Roofing, LLC, for exposing workers to fall hazards at two residential worksites. The contractor faces penalties of $265,196. OSHA initiated the inspections as part of the Regional Emphasis Program for Falls in Construction after inspectors observed the workers on roofs without fall protection. For more information, see the news release.
Wholesaler Cited Following Worker Injury at Georgia Distribution Center
Hilti, Inc., was cited for exposing workers to safety and health hazards after a worker was injured while operating a forklift. The hardware merchant wholesaler faces $164,802 in penalties for failing to provide forklift operator training and ensure that workers performed daily forklift inspections. Read the news release for more information.
Motion Picture Company Cited for Failing to Protect Stuntmen from On-Set Hazards
OSHA cited Eye Productions, Inc., after a stuntman was injured on a film set in Georgia while performing a stunt from a moving vehicle. The company was cited for failing to provide adequate head protection. Proposed penalties total $9,472. Read the news release for more information.
Ohio Musical Instrument Manufacturer Cited for Exposing Workers to Copper Dust and Machine Hazards
Conn-Selmer, Inc., is facing penalties of $200,230 for two repeated and seven serious safety and health violations. OSHA inspectors determined that the company exposed workers to copper dust in excess of the recommended permissible exposure levels and machine hazards that included failure to provide machine guarding and adequate controls to minimize exposure. For more information, see the news release.
Mississippi Paper Manufacturer Cited for Exposing Workers to Serious Risk of Injury or Death
Drehle Corp. was cited for exposing workers to multiple hazards, including electrical and arc-flash; lack of machine guarding; and combustible dust accumulation on surfaces. The company faces $303,657 in penalties. For more information, read the news release.
Virginia Cites Contractor for Safety and Health Violations
Virginia Occupational Safety and Health issued 12 citations and $528,692 in penalties to T.D. Fraley & Sons, Inc., after a worker who was removing scaffolding sections received an electric shock from contact with a power line. Inspectors concluded that the company failed to protect workers from the energized power line, and ensure that scaffolding was properly supported.
Pennsylvania Hair Salon Ordered to Pay $40,000 to Stylist Fired after Reporting Health and Safety Hazards
Blown Away Dry Bar and Salon was ordered to pay a $40,000 settlement to a hair stylist who was fired when her husband reported workplace safety and health hazards to OSHA. “Employees have the right to report workplace safety or health hazards without fear of retaliation from their employer,” said Philadelphia Regional Administrator Richard Mendelson. “This settlement goes a long way in making this employee whole after she was fired for engaging in an activity that is protected by law.” For more information, read the news release.
Employers Must Post Injury/Illness Summary Through April 30
Each year, employers are required to post a copy of OSHA Form 300A from Feb. 1 through April 30. The summary must be displayed in a common area where notices to workers are usually posted. Businesses with 10 or fewer workers and those in certain low-hazard industries are exempt from OSHA recordkeeping and posting requirements. Visit OSHA's Recordkeeping Rule webpage for more information.
SAFETY AND HEALTH OUTREACH
Safety Fest of the Great Northwest Offers Free Training March 19-21
The College of Eastern Idaho is hosting a Safety Fest of the Great Northwest March 19-21 in Idaho Falls to provide free occupational safety and health training. Classes include commercial and residential construction, general industry management, public safety, OSHA 8- and 10-hour safety courses, traffic safety flagging, electrical safety, and first aid/CPR training. Visit the Safety Fest website to register for classes.
OSHA Addresses Increased Amputation Incidents in Nebraska
In response to an increase in and underreporting of amputations in Nebraska, OSHA is calling on employers to ensure that machinery is properly guarded to prevent injuries. The agency also reminds employers of the requirement to report an amputation within 24 hours. OSHA has resources to help employers find and fix workplace hazards, including compliance assistance, On-Site Consultation Program, and Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs. Read the news release for more details.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Just one second of distraction behind the wheel is all takes to change a life forever. During the month of April, the National Safety Council is leading an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving in workplaces, homes and communities. OSHA encourages employers and workers to make safe driving a priority. Visit the campaign website for public education materials to help eliminate fatalities caused by distracted driving
On-Site Consultation Program Helps Texas Concrete Company Reduce Injuries and Costs
Cement supplier Lauren Concrete, LP, has 13 facilities across Texas participating in OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. SHARP recognizes small business employers who have used OSHA's On-Site Consultation Program services and operate exemplary safety and health programs. Lauren Concrete has a full-time safety director who performs monthly inspections. Supervisors and workers also perform specific daily, weekly, monthly, and semi-annual inspections to identify and eliminate hazards. The company’s safety program is reviewed monthly, with special attention given to safety-related changes in the plants and equipment. With 819,316 hours worked without a recordable injury, Lauren Concrete has maintained lower workers’ compensation premiums. From 2014-2016, the company’s total recordable case rate was more than 80 percent lower than the national average for its industry. For more information, read the success story.
Montana Contractor Signs Partnership with OSHA to Protect Workers on School Construction Project
OSHA and general contractor Langlas & Associates, Inc., established a strategic partnership to protect workers at a high school construction project in Billings. During the two-year partnership, OSHA and the contractor will provide training and outreach on hazards, including falls, struck-by, electrical, amputations, and trenching and excavations. The partnership will also raise awareness of OSHA’s rulemaking and enforcement initiatives to prevent workplace hazards in the construction industry. For more information, read the news release.
OSHA Alliance Partners Commit to Improving Worker Safety and Health
- The Joint Commission and Joint Commission Resources signed a five-year agreement with OSHA renewing their alliance to help protect healthcare workers. Industry hazards include musculoskeletal disorders from patient handling; workplace violence; bloodborne pathogens; tuberculosis; and slips, trips, and falls. Read the 2018 annual report for more on the alliance’s efforts.
- The Mechanical & Service Contractors’ Association of Eastern Pennsylvania, UA Local 420 Steamfitters, and the Plumbers Union Local 690 signed a two-year agreement renewing their alliance to help protect workers by reducing and preventing exposure to: fall, trenching, silica, and other industry hazards.
- The Safety Council of Northwest Ohio signed a two-year agreement renewing their alliance to help protect workers from safety and health hazards in the agriculture, construction, and general industries.
SAFETY AND HEALTH RESOURCES
Revised Webpages Address Safety in the Agriculture and Maritime Industries
OSHA’s revised Agricultural Operations webpage makes it easier for users to find safety information on agriculture-related hazards, such as grain bins and silos, heat, machinery, pesticides, and other chemicals. The revised Maritime Industry webpage offers compliance materials, training information, and other resources to eliminate hazards in longshoring and marine terminals, commercial fishing, and shipyards.
Guidance: Limit Heavy Lifting During and Immediately After Pregnancy
Workers can safely perform manual handling tasks during most of their pregnancy, but they need to consult with their doctors to set appropriate weight limits. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has guidance on appropriate limitations throughout pregnancy and immediately after giving birth. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has additional resources on pregnancy and the workplace including an infographic on provisional weight limits for lifting on the job.
National Safety Council Report: Improve Safety by Reducing Workplace Fatigue
A report from the National Safety Council reviews how employers can increase productivity and safety by reducing workplace fatigue. A single worker suffering from sleep deprivation can cost an employer thousands of dollars in lost productivity, absenteeism, and more. With 97 percent of workers reporting at least one risk factor for fatigue, most employers are affected by this issue. The report discusses the effects of fatigue on the workplace and gives employers specific, actionable guidance on implementing a fatigue risk management system.
Featured Video: Carbon Monoxide Exposure from Portable Gas-Powered Equipment
Every year, workers die from carbon monoxide poisoning, usually while using fuel-burning equipment, tools, compressors and pumps, gas-powered forklifts, and other devices in buildings or semi-enclosed spaces without adequate ventilation. OSHA’s videos on carbon monoxide in construction (in English and Spanish) use computer generated reenactments of actual incidents to demonstrate how to protect workers lives.