May 22, 2019 • Volume 18, Issue 9 • A twice monthly newsletter with information about workplace safety and health.
OSHA Requests Information on Possible Updates to the Lockout/Tagout Standard
OSHA is requesting comments on a possible update to the Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) standard. The agency is seeking information on how employers have been using control circuit devices and new risks of increased worker contact with robots. Comments must be submitted before August 18. Read the news release for more information.
Revised Safety and Health Standards Will Save $6 Million Annually
OSHA recently issued a final rule as part of the Standards Improvement Project. The rule revises 14 provisions in the recordkeeping, general industry, maritime, and construction standards that may be confusing, outdated, or unnecessary. The revisions are intended to increase understanding and compliance with the provisions, improve worker safety and health, and save employers more than $6 million per year. For more information, read the news release.
OSHA Exhibit Recognized at DOL Tech Day
At the U.S. Department of Labor's second annual Tech Day, held on May 16, OSHA was one of several federal agencies that displayed cutting-edge technology they use to support their missions. OSHA was voted “Best in Show” for interactive demonstrations on how the agency is using technology to identify hazards and improve workplace safety.
Alaska Cites Seafood Company After Workers Suffer Serious Injuries
The Alaska Occupational Safety and Health Division issued 14 citations and $270,723 in penalties to Trident Seafood Corporation after two workers were seriously injured by unguarded machinery. Inspectors found that the company failed to provide machine guarding on augers, conveyors, sprocket wheels, and chains, and did not de-energize and lockout machines before servicing.
California Fines Aircraft Engine Manufacturer Following Worker Injury
California OSHA issued three citations and $51,185 in penalties to Carlton Forge Works when a worker suffered injuries after becoming pinned between a saw table and a work piece. Inspectors concluded that the company failed to identify the boundaries of crane hazard areas and unsafe working conditions created by loads suspended by overhead cranes. The company was also cited for failing to provide training to crane operators on how to recognize struck-by and pinch/crush hazards.
Kansas Aircraft Manufacturer Cited for Exposing Workers to Known Carcinogen
OSHA cited Spirit Aerosystems, Inc., for exposing workers to carcinogen hazards. The company faces penalties of $193,218 for two repeated and four serious violations. Citations included failing to implement feasible engineering controls to limit worker exposure to the known carcinogen hexavalent chromium, conduct periodic monitoring of worker exposure, and establish protocols to ensure that workers remove contaminated personal protective equipment and clothing before leaving the work area. For more information, read the news release.
Commercial Building Contractor Cited for Exposing Workers to Fall Hazards at Missouri Jobsite
DDG Construction Services, Inc., faces $98,693 in penalties for exposing workers to fall hazards. OSHA cited the company for failing to provide workers with personal fall protection, and ensure an aerial lift was equipped with fall safety systems. The company has been cited for numerous fall violations since 2014. Read the news release for more information.
Texas Meat-Packing Plant Cited for Exposing Workers to Hazardous Chemicals
Texas Packing Company was cited for exposing workers to hazardous chemicals. The company faces $615,640 in penalties. Inspectors determined that the facility failed to implement a required Process Safety Management program, provide fall protection, guard machines and equipment, control hazardous energy, and implement a respiratory protection program. For more information, read the news release.
OSHA Hosts Third Meeting on Whistleblower Issues
OSHA held a meeting on May 14 in Washington, D.C., to solicit public comments and suggestions from stakeholders on issues facing OSHA in the administration of the whistleblower protection provisions under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Participants provided OSHA with input on improving whistleblower customer service and enhancing understanding of whistleblower laws the agency enforces. OSHA previously held stakeholder meetings on whistleblower protection in the transportation and financial sectors.
SAFETY AND HEALTH OUTREACH
May 31 is National Heat Awareness Day
OSHA and the National Weather Service will team up on May 31 to encourage employers and workers to recognize the warning signs for heat illness and keep workers safe. Every year, there are dozens of preventable worker deaths and thousands more workers become ill from extreme heat or humid conditions. Visit OSHA’s website for information on the agency’s Heat Illness Prevention Campaign, and the National Weather Service website for heat safety tips and resources.
Oregon OSHA Offers Free Training at Safety Conference
On June 3, the Oregon Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program Alliance will hold a no-cost workshop on how to sustain a strong safety program. The workshop is part of the Blue Mountain Occupational Safety and Health Conference being held the following day. Register online to attend the workshop.
Stand-Down Events Highlight Fall Prevention
The annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction was held May 6-10. Throughout the week, employers hosted more than 1,800 events in all 50 states, raising awareness on how to prevent falls in the workplace. If your worksite participated, please remember to download a certificate.
West Virginia Steel Fabricator Recognized for Excellent Safety Practices
Somerville Fabricators, Inc., a manufacturer of carbon and stainless structural steel, significantly lowered injury and illness rates at its Mineral Wells, West Virginia, headquarters by working with OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program. Somerville’s commitment to safety led to its acceptance into OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program and a 50 percent reduction in workers’ compensation premium rates in just three years. For more information, read Somerville’s success story.
Partnerships Enhance Workplace Safety and Health at Construction Projects
- Skanska USA Building, Inc., signed an agreement to eliminate hazards and establish effective safety and health programs during the expansion of a health care facility in Newark, Delaware. Read the news release for more information.
- Gilbane Building Co. signed an agreement to implement safety and health programs and provide safety and health training during the construction of a student center in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information read the news release.
- Mascaro Barton Malow and the Pittsburgh Building & Construction Trades Council signed an agreement to conduct self-inspections and implement safety and health programs during the construction of a university medical facility in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
SAFETY AND HEALTH RESOURCES
Webpage Provides Information on Protecting Workers from CMV Exposure
A common virus, Cytomegalovirus (CMV) affects thousands of workers in childcare centers and healthcare facilities. These workers are at the greatest risk of exposure because the virus is often spread through saliva and other body fluids of young children. OSHA’s new webpage on CMV, explains how to minimize health risks associated with workers’ exposure to this virus.
New Oil and Gas Exploration Safety Video
A video developed by an OSHA Training Institute Education Center features ways to prevent injuries and fatalities in the oil and gas industry. The video focuses on falls, transportation, struck-by/caught-in/caught between, hydrogen sulfide gas, and heat illness. The free video will be available May 28.