July 17, 2019 • Volume 18, Issue 12 • A twice monthly newsletter with information about workplace safety and health.
U.S. Department of Labor Redesigns OSHA’s Whistleblower Website
OSHA recently redesigned the Whistleblower Protection Program’s website. The streamlined design highlights important information for employers and employees on more than 20 statutes enforced by the agency. The new whistleblower homepage utilizes video to showcase the covered industries, which include the railroad, airline, and securities industries. The improved navigational structure allows visitors to easily access information on protected activities, filing deadlines, and resources.
Hurricane Preparedness and Response
Hurricanes and tropical storms can create a variety of hazards for workers. Preparing for weather-related emergencies plays a vital role in ensuring that employers and workers have the necessary equipment to stay safe when severe weather strikes. OSHA’s Hurricane Preparedness and Response page provides information on creating evacuation plans and supply kits and reducing hazards for hurricane response and recovery work.
Alaska Cites Seafood Company for Exposing Workers to Hazards
The Alaska Occupational Safety and Health Division issued five citations and $91,852 in penalties to Westward Seafoods, Inc., for exposing workers to machine guarding and struck-by hazards. Inspectors concluded that the company failed to inspect slings, fastenings, and attachments prior to being used for material handling; display load rating information on equipment; and protect workers from electrical shock and ladder fall hazards. The company was previously cited for these violations in 2015.
California Cites Construction Contractor Following Worker Fatality
California OSHA issued four citations and $49,500 in penalties to Resource Environmental, Inc., after an unstable, unsupported wall collapsed during a building demolition, resulting in fatal injuries to a worker. Inspectors found that the company failed to inspect the wall while work progressed and provide neither adequate shoring nor bracing.
Two Florida Contractors Cited After Fatal Fall at Construction Site
After a worker was fatally injured in a fall from a work platform, OSHA cited GA&L Construction Corp., Inc., and the Rinaldi Group of Florida, LLC, for exposing workers to fall, struck-by, and impalement hazards. The two companies face $87,327 in penalties. For more information, read the news release.
Florida Zoo Cited after Rhinoceros Injures Zookeeper
OSHA cited the Jacksonville Zoological Society, Inc., for failing to protect workers from recognized hazards when training and feeding rhinos and for failing to notify OSHA within 24 hours of the worker's hospitalization. The zoo faces $14,661 in proposed penalties. For more information, read the news release and visit OSHA’s Employer Responsibilities webpage.
Georgia Distributor Cited for Chemical and Forklift Hazards
Woodgrain Distribution, Inc., was cited and fined $125,466 for exposing workers to chemical and struck-by hazards. OSHA found that the company failed to provide functioning eyewash stations and eye, face and hand protection. The company also exposed workers to struck-by hazards from forklifts. Read the news release for more information. OSHA’s Chemical Hazards and Toxic Substances webpage contains information on chemical safety.
Illinois Metal Treating Facility Cited for 21 Serious Health and Safety Violations
Hudapack Metal Treating of Illinois, Inc., faces $181,662 in penalties after a worker was electrocuted while using a damaged lamp during the cleaning of the inside of a metal tank. The company failed to use electrical safety work practices; provide appropriate personal protective equipment, train workers about electrical hazards; repair damaged electrical outlets; and implement lockout/tagout procedures and a permit-required confined space program. For more information, read the news release and visit OSHA’s webpage on electrical safety.
Citations, Penalties Upheld Against New Jersey Medical Center
A judge affirmed all OSHA citations and $174,593 in penalties against Jersey City Medical Center. OSHA cited the medical center for electrical hazards after a maintenance worker received a shock that resulted in a fatal fall. The judge found that the employer willfully failed to train the worker for hazardous electrical work. For more information, read the news release.
New York Construction Company Cited for Fall Hazards Following Fatal Structure Collapse
Northridge Construction Corp. faces $224,620 in penalties after a worker was fatally injured following a structure collapsed during the installation of roof panels on a shed. OSHA cited the company for willful and serious violations that include failing to provide fall protection and protective helmets, confirm the structural integrity of the roof, and ensure the proper use of a ladder. Read the news release for more information.
Kentucky Trucking Company Ordered to Reinstate Driver Who Refused to Operate Vehicle During Hazardous Weather
OSHA ordered Freight Rite, Inc., to reinstate a truck driver who was terminated for refusing to operate a commercial motor vehicle in hazardous road conditions caused by inclement weather. The termination violated worker protections of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act. The company was also ordered to pay $31,569 in back wages and interest, $100,000 in punitive damages, $50,000 in compensatory damages, reasonable attorney fees, and to refrain from retaliating against the worker. For more information, see the news release.
Montana Steel Company Eliminates Injuries with Help from On-Site Consultation Program
After representatives of OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program worked with Teton Steel of Montana to identify fall and electrical hazards at its facility in Billings, the company took steps to improve safety throughout the workplace. Teton now trains workers to recognize and report hazards and encourages management and workers to collaborate on developing safe practices. Their commitment to safety has resulted in more than seven years without a worker injury and acceptance in OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. For more information, read the success story.
OSHA Alliance Partners Commit to Improving Worker Safety and Health
- The Electric Cooperative of Mississippi renewed a two-year agreement to continue protecting workers by preventing exposure to hazards in the electric power transmission and distribution and construction industries.
- The Associated General Contractors of America, San Antonio Chapter renewed a two-year agreement to prevent construction injuries from fall, electrical, struck-by, and caught-in or between hazards.
- The Hispanic Contractors Association de San Antonio signed a two-year renewal agreement to protect construction workers from electrical, struck-by, and caught-in or between hazards.
SAFETY AND HEALTH TRAINING
OSHA Grantees Offer Online Training Programs on Fall Prevention
The University of Tennessee training program offers three modules on OSHA’s role in workplace safety, health and safety standards affecting construction workers, and preventing common types of falls at construction sites. The University of Florida training program uses software to present 360-degree panoramas of construction scenarios to test trainees’ skills at identifying fall hazards. The training software is available in English and Spanish.
SAFETY AND HEALTH RESOURCES
New OSHA Alert Focuses on Working Safely in Hot Weather
A new OSHA Alert offers information and resources to protect workers from heat-related illness when performing activities in high temperatures and humid conditions. The latest in a series of alerts addresses safety hazards and solutions that are associated with specific equipment, events, or activities.