March 20, 2019 • Volume 18, Issue 5 • A twice monthly newsletter with information about workplace safety and health.
Cintas Becomes First Company to Achieve 100 VPP Star Sites
Cintas, a leading supplier of corporate identity uniform programs, is the first company in the country to achieve 100 Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) worksites approved as Star participants. Cintas has been involved in VPP since 2010 and, with the approval of their Dayton, OH location, they now have the most VPP worksites. VPP is OSHA’s highest recognition for employers and employees who demonstrate exemplary achievement in the prevention and control of occupational safety and health hazards through the implementation and continuous improvement of their safety and health programs.
OSHA Team Receives Federal Government Performance Award
The Office of Management and Budget recently presented a Gears of Government Award to OSHA’s Continuous Process Improvement Team. The award recognizes individuals and teams across the federal workforce whose dedication supports the exceptional delivery of key outcomes for the American people. OSHA was recognized for streamlining the approval process for the Voluntary Protection Programs, the premier recognition program for worksites that show excellence in the use of safety and health programs.
OSHA Requests Information on Powered Industrial Truck Standard
OSHA is requesting information as the agency considers rulemaking to update the powered industrial trucks standards. OSHA will use the information received to determine what action, if any, it may take to reduce regulatory burdens and create jobs while improving worker safety. Powered industrial trucks include forklifts, fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks, and specialized industrial trucks powered by an electrical motor or internal combustion engines. Comments must be submitted by June 9. For details, see the news release.
OSHA Recognized for Contributions to Worker Safety
The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) recently presented OSHA with an award of appreciation for the agency’s effort to promote safe crane operation in the construction industry. The award was presented to OSHA Acting Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt to commemorate the 20th anniversary of OSHA’s formal recognition of the crane operator certification programs developed by NCCCO.
OSHA Assists Tornado Recovery Efforts in Alabama and Georgia
In response to a March 3 tornado that caused severe damage in Alabama and Georgia, OSHA dispatched staff to help protect workers involved in recovery and cleanup efforts in the most affected communities. OSHA staff performed interventions, participated in safety briefings, distributed OSHA publications, and addressed key hazards including falls, struck-by injuries, and lack of personal protective equipment. OSHA’s Emergency Preparedness and Response page offers more information on hazards and resources.
California Construction Company Fined Following Worker Fatality
California OSHA issued four citations and $65,300 in penalties to Shimmick Construction Co., Inc., and Con-Quest Contractors, Inc., after a worker was fatally struck by a falling beam. Inspectors determined that the companies failed to identify hazards from moving flat rail cars and ensure the safe travel of a rail crane. Read the news release for more information.
Florida Pet Food Manufacturer Cited for Amputation, Fall, and Other Hazards
The Higgins Group Corp. was cited for exposing workers to multiple hazards, including crushed-by, chemical, unguarded machinery, and falls through floor openings. The company faces $95,472 in penalties. For more information, read the news release.
Contractors Cited for Safety Violations Following Two Fatalities at Florida Worksite
OSHA cited two contractors – PCL Construction Services, Inc., and Universal Engineering Sciences – for safety violations after two workers suffered fatal injuries at a worksite. OSHA found that the contractors failed to properly inspect formwork, shoring, working decks, and scaffolds prior to construction. The contractors collectively received three violations totaling $157,792 in proposed penalties. Read the news release for more information.
Georgia Battery Manufacturer Cited for Lead and Other Safety Hazards
U.S. Battery Manufacturing Co. was cited for exposing workers to multiple hazards, including lead, arsenic, and unguarded machinery. The company was also cited for failing to conduct training, implement a medical surveillance program, and properly document that workers were medically removed due to exposure. OSHA proposed penalties totaling $115,594. Read the news release for more information.
Iowa OSHA Cites Manufacturing Company for Amputation Hazard
Iowa OSHA issued one repeat serious citation and $64,670 in penalties to O’Neal Manufacturing Services after a worker, who was operating an unguarded press brake, suffered an amputation. Inspectors found that the company failed to adequately guard press brakes to protect workers from contact with the machine’s points of operation. The company was cited for the same violation in 2018.
Pennsylvania Construction Company Cited for Exposing Workers to Trenching Hazards
OSHA cited Etna Construction, Inc., for exposing workers to excavation hazards at a worksite. The company was cited for failing to install protective systems inside a trench, provide a safe means of exit from the trench, ensure that workers wore hardhats, and properly guard protruding steel. The company faces penalties of $208,560. Read the news release for more information.
Texas Canned Food Company Cited after Worker Suffers Amputation
Bruce Foods Corporation faces $194,350 in penalties after a worker suffered an amputation. OSHA cited the company for 24 serious safety violations including failing to train workers in lockout/tagout procedures, inadequate machine guarding, lack of fall protection, and exposing workers to live electrical parts. For more information, read the news release.
Wisconsin Manufacturer Cited after Workers Develop Lung Disease
Nemak USA, Inc., was cited for serious health violations after three workers were diagnosed with a debilitating lung disease. The aluminum casting manufacturer failed to protect workers from exposure to airborne metalworking fluids used during machining operations and failed to evaluate respiratory hazards. Read the news release for more information.
DOL Sues Massachusetts Construction Company for Retaliation for Facilitating Arrest of Injured Worker
The U.S. Department of Labor filed a lawsuit against Boston-based contractor Tara Construction, Inc., and its chief executive officer, Pedro Pirez, alleging retaliation against an injured worker by facilitating his arrest. The Department alleges that shortly after the employee reported sustaining a serious injury the defendants initiated a law enforcement investigation and facilitated the worker’s detainment by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Department’s suit asks the court to order the defendants to comply with the OSH Act’s anti-retaliation provisions, and pay the employee’s back wages, interest, and compensatory and punitive damages. For details, 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
Safe + Sound Kicks Off 2019 with Focus on Management Leadership
Join Safe + Sound during March and April to focus on management leadership, a core element of a workplace safety and health program. Management leadership means there is a commitment from the top to implement a program and use it to drive continuous improvement in safety and health. Register for a webinar on March 21 to learn best practices and put them into action during a 30-day challenge in April to build an effective program. Safe + Sound is a year-round campaign to encourage every workplace to have a safety and health program. Sign up on the Safe + Sound website.
Idaho Rebar Manufacturer Reduces Injuries with Help from OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program
Harris Rebar, a manufacturer of custom bent reinforcing steel, contacted OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program for help identifying workplace hazards and improving safety at its facility in Meridian, Idaho. After correcting the hazards identified during the initial consultation, the company improved worker training on proper machine guarding, fall protection, and other safety procedures. Through its commitment to improving workplace safety culture, the company was accepted into OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program and maintained zero recordable injuries for three consecutive years. For more information, read the success story.
OSHA Alliance Partners Commit to Improving Worker Safety and Health
- The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, state of North Dakota, and Bakken Basin Safety Consortium signed an agreement to promote safety and health in the oil and gas industry. The two-year alliance, which was signed by North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, will use hazard alerts, effective training, and education programs to prevent workplace hazards. For more information, read the news release.
- The Teksolv-American Allied Safety Council, Southwestern Illinois Building Trades Council, and Council of Owners and Construction Associates Inc. signed a five-year alliance to help prevent worker exposures to electrical, fall, struck-by, caught-in/between, fire, explosion, lockout/tagout, and confined space hazards in southwestern Illinois.
- Toledo Electrical Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee signed a three-year agreement to address hazards that apprentice and journeyperson electricians may encounter in the construction and general industries. The alliance focuses on wind tower safety, photo-voltaic cell installation and maintenance safety, DC electrical systems, and electrical safe work practices.
- The West Texas Safety Training Center signed a three-year alliance to help protect the safety and health of oil and gas workers involved in service, transmission, exploration, and production throughout West Texas. The alliance focuses on preventing fall, struck-by, caught-in/between, electrocution, and heat illness hazards by implementing best practices, improving safety and health programs, and increasing training.
SAFETY AND HEALTH RESOURCES
New Webpage Available on Radiation Emergencies
OSHA’s new webpage on radiation emergency preparedness is intended to help protect the health and safety of workers during situations ranging from small, isolated incidents in laboratories to potentially catastrophic radiation releases at nuclear facilities. The webpage also provides resources on health and safety planning, medical monitoring and dosimetry, and other relevant topics.
Featured Video: Trenching Soil Classification
Classifying soil is one of the steps that employers must follow to ensure that trenching work can be done safely. OSHA requires that employers have a competent person to determine the soil type and likelihood of a cave-in. This determines how to properly slope, bench, or shore the trench to prevent a collapse. OSHA’s soil classification video demonstrates how a visual inspection of a construction site's soil is performed. It also shows the three most common methods for testing soil stability: plasticity, thumb penetration, and pocket penetrometer.
QuickTakes Becomes Crossword Puzzle Clue
The Baltimore Sun’s March 9 crossword puzzle included the clue, “Org. with a QuickTakes online newsletter.” An OSHA tweet acknowledging this recognition provided an opportunity to let more people know about the agency’s most prominent outreach resource for the latest information on workplace safety and health.