November 01, 2018 • Volume 17, Issue 21 • A twice monthly newsletter with information about workplace safety and health.
OSHA Launches Program to Target High Injury and Illness Rates
OSHA is initiating the Site-Specific Targeting Program to target workplaces with high injury rates for inspection. Using injury and illness information electronically submitted by employers for calendar year 2016, OSHA will inspect establishments that should have provided 300A data, but did not. This program helps OSHA ensure that employers provide safe and healthful workplaces by directing enforcement resources to those workplaces with the highest rates of injuries and illnesses. For details on the program, and recordkeeping and reporting requirements, read the news release.
Protect Hurricane Recovery Workers Installing Blue Roof Tarps
Reinforced plastic tarps, commonly called "Blue Roofs," provide temporary protection for the roofs of homes and other buildings damaged by hurricanes, tornadoes or other severe weather. When employees access roofs to install these tarps, they are at risk of falls, electrocutions and other hazards. OSHA has recommendations to help keep workers safe, such as to look for downed power lines, assess the roof condition, and never walk on the tarp.
OSHA Renews Partnership with Electrical Contractors and Associations to Protect Worker Safety and Health
OSHA, the Electrical Transmission and Distribution Construction Contractors (ET&D); International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); and related trade associations renewed a national partnership to protect the safety and health of line workers, and other electrical transmission and distribution industry workers. Since the original 2004 agreement, the partnership has expanded and achieved several goals, including reducing the number of fatalities; providing an ET&D industry-specific OSHA training course for line workers, industry supervisors, and leadership; developing 14 best practices to reduce the frequency of hazardous incidents; creating a safety video and a mobile app; and establishing a national Electrical Safety Stand Down. For more information, read the news release.
OSHA Seeks Members to Serve on Committee for Protecting Maritime Workers' Safety and Health
OSHA is accepting nominations from individuals to serve on the Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health. The committee advises the Secretary of Labor on occupational safety and health programs and initiatives, enforcement, and standards for the maritime industries. OSHA is seeking employee, employer, safety and health professional, and government representatives to fill 15 vacancies. Nominations must be submitted to www.regulations.gov, or by mail or facsimile by Dec. 10. For more information, read the Federal Register notice.
Florida Roofing Contractor Cited After Worker Fatally Injured in Fall
Kasper Roofing & Construction Inc., was cited for exposing employees to fall hazards after an employee was fatally injured when he fell from a roof without fall protection. The company faces $134,510 in penalties for failing to train employees on fall protection, and conduct frequent inspections to ensure employees were using fall protection. Read the news release for more information.
Pennsylvania Contractor Cited After Employee's Electrocution
Insight Pipe Contracting, LLC, was cited after a worker was electrocuted, and two others were hospitalized for electric shock. OSHA cited the company for failing to ensure that employees were properly trained to operate forklifts, and permitting employees to work near electric power circuits without protection. In a subsequent investigation, OSHA cited the company for violations related to work in confined spaces. The company faces $331,101 in penalties, and was placed into OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program. For more information, see the news release.
Iowa Cites Pipe Manufacturer after Worker Seriously Injured
Iowa OSHA issued two citations and $55,434 in penalties to Prinsco Inc., after a worker was hospitalized for a serious hand injury caused by a moving saw blade. Inspectors found that the company failed to adequately guard a band saw and provide workers with special hand tools to remove scrap from the saw danger zone. The company was previously cited for a machine guarding violation earlier this year.
California Fines Landscaping Company after Worker Fatality
California OSHA issued six citations and $54,750 in penalties to Amazon's Landscaping Co., after a worker was fatally injured when a rope he had around his body became entangled in the stump grinder and he was pulled into the cutting wheel. Inspectors concluded that the company did not follow the manufacturer's safety recommendations and failed to train workers on the safe operation of the grinder.
Massachusetts Railway to Pay $85,000 for Retaliating against Employee for Reporting Injury
OSHA ordered Springfield Terminal Railway Inc., to compensate an employee who was threatened with disciplinary action, including termination, for reporting an on-the-job injury. OSHA determined that the company violated the whistleblower provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety Act and ordered it to pay the employee $10,000 in compensatory damages, $75,000 in punitive damages, and reasonable attorney's fees. The company was also ordered to train managers and employees on proper reporting of injuries and illness; inform employees of their whistleblower rights, and expunge any references to reporting an injury from the employee's record. For more information, read the news release.
SAFETY AND HEALTH OUTREACH
Utility Contractors Association Holds Trench Safety Training in Texas
OSHA and the North Texas National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) recently co-hosted a trench training event in Texas for underground utility contractors and excavators on preventing trench-related hazards. The event provided more than 200 English- and Spanish-speaking attendees with information on work procedures, industry practices, incident trends and lessons learned, and compliance resources to reduce hazards. Topics included utility location, sloping and benching, trench boxes, shore systems, trenchless technology, confined space and retrieval gear, and emergency preparedness. This was the fourth event on trench safety training sponsored by OSHA and North Texas NUCA.
OSHA and ISEA Distribute PPE to People Recovering from Hurricane Florence
OSHA and the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA), an Alliance Program participant, teamed up to distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) to workers, residents, and businesses affected by Hurricane Florence in North and South Carolina. "OSHA's goal is to keep workers and volunteers safe while they perform cleanup and recovery operations, and the ISEA is an important partner in these efforts," said OSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt. Information on specific safety equipment and how to stay safe during storm cleanup and recovery can be found on OSHA's Hurricane Preparedness and Response page, and on the ISEA Storm Cleanup: Safety Equipment Resource Center page.
Kansas City Council Recognized for Promoting Federal Worker Safety and Health
The Greater Kansas City Field Federal Safety and Health Council recently received an OSHA Meritorious Achievement award for the Missouri organization's leadership and commitment to promoting ways to protect the safety and health of federal government workers. OSHA praised the council for its meetings in 2017 that focused on such important topics as emergency planning, heat stress hazards, winter driving safety, and accident investigation. Field Federal Health and Safety Councils are forums designed for sharing ideas, expertise, and technology among participating member agencies to reduce the incidence, severity, and cost of injuries and illnesses at federal facilities.
Minnesota On-Site Consultation Program Helps Steel Manufacturer Reduce Injuries
K&K Fabrication Inc. a manufacturer of structural steel, contacted Minnesota's On-Site Consultation Program to strengthen the company's existing safety and health program. The consultation identified several shortcomings in the company's safety program. In addition to abating hazards, the company instituted a safety committee, regular safety walkthroughs, incident investigations, job hazard analysis, and a new preventive maintenance program. K&K is now a part of the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. For details, see the success story.
OSHA Strategic Partnerships Promote Workplace Safety
Jordan Foster Construction entered a partnership with OSHA to help protect workers during construction of a hotel and parking garage in El Paso, Texas. The partnership will focus on reducing and preventing fall, electrical, trenching and excavation, struck-by, and caught-between hazards. OSHA and Jordan Foster Construction will also encourage contractors and subcontractors to share information about identified hazards. For more information, see the news release.
Montana Energy Association Commits to Improving Worker Safety and Health
The Montana Renewable Energy Association signed a two-year agreement with OSHA to provide information and training resources that will help protect the health and safety of workers performing renewable energy installation and maintenance. Attention will be given to reducing and preventing exposure to the hazards associated with falls from heights, electric shock and arc flash, inclement weather, and remote worksites where healthcare facilities are not immediately accessible.
SAFETY AND HEALTH RESOURCES
Free Webinar on Predicting Worker Exposure to Jobsite Construction Hazards
CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training, an OSHA Alliance program participant, will host a free webinar on Nov. 14 to provide an overview of a new database that can be used to predict exposure to hazards and implement effective controls to protect workers. The system calculates exposure to four major hazards in construction, including silica, welding fumes, noise, and lead. For more information and to register, visit the webinar website.
Safety Conversations with Workers Can Help Prevent Workplace Injuries
Every day, safety conversations take place at all levels of a company, from executives and managers to front-line supervisors and workers. These conversations have great potential for improving workplace safety and health. OSHA's Safe + Sound Campaign resource, Better Safety Conversations, provides tips for making safety conversations more effective, and the importance of leading by example.
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