OSHA watch

National Emphasis Program (NEP) on amputations updated

The NEP on amputations has been updated to reflect the latest enforcement and injury data. The updated NEP, which went into effect June 30, will focus on worksites in 80 industries, including bakeries, forging and several types of manufacturing sectors such as home products, concrete products, and motor vehicle body. The inspections will focus on employee exposures to machinery or equipment that could cause amputations during operations such as jam clearing, cleaning and greasing.

New website launched to publicly expose top violators

A new webpage highlighting recent fines levied against employers for safety and health violations features an interactive map with a listing of every penalty greater than $40,000 that federal OSHA has issued in each state since Jan. 1. Other details include the name of the employer cited, the city, the penalty amount and the date the penalty was issued. Visitors can click on each case for additional information, including what specific rules were violated. The webpage will be updated weekly.

All-in-one training resource for employers

All of OSHA’s training requirements can be found in a newly updated guidance document. “Training Requirements in OSHA Standards” organizes the requirements into five categories:

  • General industry
  • Maritime
  • Construction
  • Agriculture
  • Federal employee programs

The document outlines rules pertaining to emergency planning, confined spaces, welding, eye and face protection, and occupational safety and health committees.

Proposed tightening of injury recordkeeping rules

A notice of proposed rulemaking to clarify that employers have continuing obligations to keep and maintain accurate injury and illness records has been issued. It emphasizes that just because the employer fails to create the necessary records when first required to do so, its duty does not expire to make and maintain an accurate record of each recordable injury and illness throughout the five-year period during which the employer is required to keep the records.

Written comments to the proposed rule must be submitted by Sept. 27.

Proposed rule on beryllium would dramatically lower worker exposure limits

It isn’t often that a new OSHA standard is heralded by industry, but the proposal to lower workplace exposure to beryllium-containing materials to reduce the risk of lung disease and cancer has industry and labor support.The proposal will dramatically lower the 34-year-old permissible exposure limit for beryllium to one-tenth of its current level. The current PEL for the metal, which is 2.0 micrograms of respirable beryllium per cubic meter of air, would change to 0.2 µg/m3. The rule does not cover maritime or construction workers because there is not sufficient data to promulgate a new PEL in those industries.

New resources: contaminated water in eyewash stations; fact sheet on all-terrain vehicle (ATV) hazards during farm work

The Health Effects from Contaminated Water in Eyewash Stations InfoSheet provides information about the importance of flushing eyewash stations and the organisms that can grow in stagnant water, how to prevent them from growing, and how to recognize infection signs and symptoms.

A new resource explains how employers can help protect agricultural workers who operate all-terrain vehicles. The fact sheet details why ATVs can be dangerous, how employers should train operators and what personal protective equipment they should provide.

Directive explains new process for early resolution of whistleblower complaints

A new directive explains the policies and procedures for applying a new early resolution process for resolving whistleblower disputes that is to be used as part of a regional Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program.

Recent fines and awards

California

Cal/OSHA issued 19 citations to ExxonMobil Refining & Supply Company for workplace safety and health violations following an investigation into the February 18 explosion at the company’s Torrance refinery that injured four workers. The proposed penalties total $566,600.

Georgia

Cox Enterprises Inc. doing business as The Atlanta Journal Constitution was fined more than $65,000 for repeatedly exposing workers to amputation, electrocution and other workplace hazards. The inspection was part of the NEP on amputations.

Wayne Ansley, doing business as Ansley Metal Fabrication and Repair failed to protect workers from dangerous falls and faces $53,900 in penalties.

Kansas

Superior Holding, Inc., operating as Superior Boiler Works Inc., exposed workers to multiple safety and health hazards, including lack of proper machine guarding, falls, struck by overhead objects, electrical hazards, failing to implement a written program for respiratory protection, failing to implement a program for permit required confined spaces and fire hazards. Proposed penalties: $60,060.

Missouri

Clemco Industries Inc., a manufacturer of abrasive blasting equipment, was cited for 11 safety and health violations related to exposing workers to amputation hazards and faces penalties of more than $46,000.

Nebraska

Wanzek Construction was cited for exposing workers to struck-by hazards following an investigation into the death of a 40-year-old crane operator at a wind energy site, who had been on the jobsite for only 10 days. Proposed penalties: $7,000.

Pennsylvania

Peco Pallet, Inc., a pallet repair and rental company, fined nearly $59,000 for failure to protect employees from noise hazards and failure to report a hospitalization as mandated.

Texas

Continental Alloys and Services Inc. is being sued for wrongfully firing an employee under the whistleblower provisions after she complained to management about OSHA 300 log reporting deficiencies.

BWay Corporation was cited for 16 serious violations for failing to control accumulations of combustible dust, provide proper personal protective equipment for corrosive chemical splashes, ensure circuits where machines would not start up during servicing, and repair recognized electrical hazards. A repeat violation involves failing to ensure workers would not be exposed to electrical shock from live electrical parts. Proposed penalties are $84,000.

Southcross Energy Partners GP LLC, energy facility, fined $112,000 for seven safety violations, including releasing highly hazardous chemicals.

Zareena Investments Inc. doing business as Super Cleaners fined $46,200 for failure to provide proof of correcting previous violations.

Wisconsin

FWD/Seagrave Apparatus was fined $77,000 for a willful violation for not having guards in place, exposing workers to the operating parts of press brake and a serious violation for exposing employees to fall hazards of about 12 feet from working on top of trucks.

Warren Industries Inc., inspected as a result of a former employee’s complaint, was fined $66,000 for disabling safety devices.

Kapco, Inc., a metal stamping facility, was issued two egregious willful, one repeated, three serious and two other-than-serious safety violations with proposed penalties of more than $270,000. The two willful violations cited the company for failing to guard points of operation on welding machines, after a worker amputated part of her right index finger on a spot welding machine which she had only operated for nine days.

D.R. Diedrich & Co. Ltd. was cited for one willful and 18 serious safety violations after a steel roller fatally crushed a maintenance worker. The willful violation was failure to prevent unintentional operation of machines during service and maintenance. Proposed penalties: $169,495.

Food distributor, Joseph Campione Inc., faces more than $85K in fines for willful and serious violations related to failing to protect workers from machinery hazards after a temporary employee was injured and required extensive surgery.

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

 

For Cutting-Edge Strategies on slashing Workers’ Compensation Costs visit www.PremiumReductionCenter.com

David Leng, CPCU, CIC, CBWA, CWCA, CRM

Author | Speaker | Certified Risk Manager | Certified Work Comp Advisor

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