OSHA Watch

Bulletins on PPE, whistleblower rights for temp workers

Information bulletins on personal protective equipment (PPE) and whistleblower protection rights are available as part of the Temporary Worker Initiative.

The PPE bulletin explains that both the host employer and staffing agency must ensure proper PPE and necessary training are provided to temporary workers.

The whistleblower bulletin states that temporary workers have the same rights and protections as other workers when they raise workplace safety concerns and report injuries to their employers, OSHA and other government agencies.

Hazards in the meatpacking industry

An updated Web page on safety and health hazards in the Meat Packing Industry offers information on protecting workers from the hazards in the meat packing industry, including exposure to high noise levels, dangerous equipment, slippery floors, musculoskeletal disorders, and hazardous chemicals.

New Spanish resources available

Updated shipyard industry digest and revised outreach-training materials

An updated digest of Shipyard Industry Standards contains safety and health standards specific to the industry.

The Directorate of Training and Education has updated its “Introduction to OSHA” training materials for the 10- and 30-hour Outreach Training Program classes. Trainers should review these revised materials prior to conducting any Outreach Training Program classes, and they should incorporate the revised module into classes as soon as possible, but no later than April 1, 2015. The updated training materials, featuring recent changes to the Recordkeeping Standard, are available on the Outreach Training Program web page.

Michigan OSHA targets inspections in wholesaler industry

Michigan OSHA will conduct targeted inspections in the wholesale, non-durable goods industry this year in an effort to lower the business sector’s higher-than-average injury and illness rate. The Local Emphasis Program will feature at least 10 “comprehensive” programmed inspections at randomly selected establishments within the industry. Worksites inspected in the past four years will be excluded.

Recent fines and awards

Serial violator Stephen Lessard faces contempt charges – Maine

A Maine roofing contractor’s continued refusal to obey a federal court order to correct safety hazards and pay more than $400,000 in fines could send him to jail. The U.S. Department of Labor has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit in Boston to hold Stephen Lessard in civil contempt.

Roofing contractor cited for exposing employees to potentially fatal falls – Massachusetts

For the fourth time in 4 years, William Trahant, Jr. Construction, Inc., roofing contractor, of Lynn, Mass. was cited for lack of fall protection for its workers. Willful and repeat citations stem from this employer’s history of fall protection violations and proposed penalties are $43,560.

Shipyard and boat fabricating facility faces $242,940 in fines – Michigan

Basic Marine Inc. was cited for five repeated, three willful and 10 serious safety violations after an inspection found workers were exposed to amputation hazards while operating press brakes capable of cutting large metal pieces of up to 450 tons. This was the third inspection in the past six years for the Escanaba shipyard and boat fabricating facility. Proposed penalties total $242,940.

Fatality led to $272,250 in proposed fines – Missouri

A 58-year-old maintenance worker for Hussmann Corp. was killed after he was pinned between a motorized scrap metal table and a railing at the company’s Bridgeton, Mo., facility. The investigation found that Hussmann failed to prevent the table from starting unintentionally. Hussmann was cited with three willful and 12 serious safety violations and proposed penalties of $272,250.

Second dairy farm fatality since 2012 – Missouri

A 35-year-old worker doing maintenance on an overhead door’s pulleys died after he fell off a 12-foot ladder onto a concrete floor at a dairy farm in La Belle. An investigation identified eight serious safety violations, including failing to de-energize equipment, confined space and chemical hazards.

It was the second fatality reported since 2012 at a business owned by Sharpe Holdings Inc., based in Bethel. Proposed penalties total $54,500.

Auto Parts company exposes workers to asbestos, mold hazards- Missouri

A worker alleging the existence of asbestos, mold and hygiene hazards led to an inspection of an Advance Auto Parts store in Kansas City, which found one repeated and 10 serious safety and health violations with fines of $60,000.

Roofing company cited for 7th time in 10 years for failing to provide fall protection – Nebraska

Affordable Exteriors Inc., of Omaha, Nebraska was inspected under the Local Emphasis Program for falls. The company, which has failed to address previously issued citations, was cited for failing to provide fall protection and faces penalties of $75,240.

Worker fatally pinned by forklift at Menards warehouse – Nebraska

A 54-year-old forklift operator was fatally injured while moving trusses in a warehouse owned by home improvement store, Menards Inc., which operates as Midwest Manufacturing. The fatality inspection led to a citation for one serious safety violation for exposing workers to struck-by hazards in the facility and a fine of $6,300.

Stone and Stucco company faces $181,500 in penalties – Pennsylvania

Tipped off by a passerby, OSHA officials found workers being exposed to fall, scaffolding and other safety hazards by their employer, JC Stucco and Stone, that had been cited in September 2014 for the same violations. In 2011, the company was placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program for multiple instances of repeated, high-gravity violations. Since then, the employer has received 41 citations related to scaffolding. For its latest set of violations, the company received three willful violations with proposed fines of $181,500.

Roofer ignored electrocution hazards that killed worker 72 hours earlier – Pennsylvania

Kolek Woodshop Inc. of Creighton was cited for one alleged willful violation because it exposed a second worker to the same hazard that killed a worker 72 hours earlier. The company also failed to report the fatality. Penalties of $67,900 are proposed.

US Minerals faces fines of more than $113K for repeatedly exposing workers to dangerous machinery, falls and chemical hazards – Wisconsin

Two years after pledging to address health and safety violations in a corporate settlement agreement after workers were exposed to serious machine, fall and respiratory hazards at its facilities around the country, U.S. Minerals Inc. employees in Roberts were faced with the same hazards, a September 2014 inspection found.

The coal slag facility received four repeated, three serious and two other-than-serious violations and faces proposed penalties of $113,300.

Detailed descriptions of the citations above and other OSHA citations can be found here.

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