OSHA watch

Eye and face protection standard updated

A final rule that updates requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers in general industry, shipyards, longshoring, marine terminals and construction became effective April 25, 2016. The rule reflects current national consensus standards on up-to-date eye and face protection.

New webpage on aerial lifts features hazard recognition simulator

NIOSH has developed a webpage about aerial lifts and their risks to workers. The webpage refers to related publications as well as videos that show laboratory tests of an aerial lift responding to different events – such as tilting, wind speed and curb impact – under OSHA and ANSI standards and manufacturer recommendations. In addition, an aerial lift Hazard Recognition Simulator allows users to operate a virtual aerial lift and identify hazards such as potholes.

NIOSH updates document on working in hot environments

NIOSH recently updated its 30-year-old document on hot work environments to better reflect the latest research and knowledge. Published Feb. 29, the revised “Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Heat and Hot Environments” incorporates data from the latest studies on the understanding of heat on the human body; new knowledge on factors that can increase a worker’s risk of heat-related illness, including one’s age, weight and sex; and the updated definition of heat stress.

Regional Emphasis Program (REP) on poultry processing launched in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska

With more than 1 in 14 poultry-processing workers suffering recordable injuries or illnesses on the job, a REP focusing on musculoskeletal disorders and ergonomic problems among at-risk poultry-processing workers was launched in the three states. The REP that will run through Sept. 30, 2016 unless extended, will start with education, but will also redirect resources and increase the probability of inspections at establishments in the poultry processing industry.

Local Emphasis Program (LEP) on meat processing industry launched in Nebraska

The higher-than-average rate of injury in the meat processing industry in Nebraska has led to the launch of the LEP, which focuses education and enforcement on musculoskeletal and repetitive motion injuries, machine guarding, control of hazardous energy and process safety management. The program begins with a three-month period of education and prevention outreach activities when employers should bring their facilities into compliance with federal safety and health standards, if they are not already. This emphasis program ends Sept. 30, 2016, unless extended.

REP on protecting workers from struck-by vehicle hazards renewed in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska

Since 2012, of all fatalities investigated in Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri, 20 percent have involved struck-by vehicle hazards. Employers are encouraged to visit the Construction Struck-by eTool and obtain educational materials in both English and Spanish from local OSHA offices. The program ends Sept. 30, 2016, unless extended.

Public comment period on guidance for determining potential health hazards of chemicals extended

To allow stakeholders more time to review and comment, the public comment period is extended to May 2, 2016, for the draft Guidance on Data Evaluation for Weight of Evidence Determination.

 

Recent fines and awards

California

  • Cal/OSHA inspectors on the Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF) have ordered three cabinet-making companies in San Diego County to stop using unguarded saws that put employees at risk for serious injury, including amputation and lacerations. Work stop orders were also issued to two of the businesses that didn’t have workers’ compensation insurance. E&A Cabinets, Custom Carpentry Solutions, and M. Stanton Company must correct the hazardous conditions in order to put the machinery back into operation.

Georgia

  • CS Truck & Trailer Repair Services Inc. of Lithonia was cited for 19 serious violations, including exposing workers to falls and blocked exits, no written hazards communication program, and failing to provide written energy-control procedures. Proposed penalties are $70,000.
  • Dollar General store in Bowdon continues to ignore entrapment and fire hazards despite recent citations and penalties and faces $69,000 in penalties.
  • A worker’s severe saw injury prompted an investigation that uncovered more than a dozen safety hazards at Augusta meat processing plant, FPL Food LLC. Proposed penalties are $67,270.

Indiana

  • Marine Builders, Inc. of Jefferson was inspected in response to a complaint and was cited for one repeat, eight serious, and three other-than-serious safety violations, including exposing workers to high fall hazards. Proposed penalties are $43,995.

Massachusetts

  • Continental Construction Group, a Lynn roofing contractor, exposed employees to fall and electrical hazards and faces penalties of $55,400. The company was previously cited in 2012.

Missouri

  • For the third time since 2012, Sharpe Holdings, a dairy farm in La Belle, was cited in the death of an employee. A 51-year-old equipment operator suffered fatal head injuries after he was ejected from the rear of a van. The inspection found the company did not provide safety belts, secure passenger seats or latch the rear doors of the van. Receiving one repeat and 17 serious safety violations, the company was placed in the SVEP and faces $189,000 in penalties.
  • Following a complaint, BCS Manufacturing LLC, a St. Louis cabinetmaker, was cited for 23 violations, including exposing workers to amputation, respiratory, chemical, electrical and other safety hazards. Proposed penalties are $53,200.
  • A machine that sizes and cuts rubber hose severed a 52-year-old woman’s right arm just nine days after she started a new job as a machine operator at Parker Hannifin Corporation in Kennett, a global manufacturer in the mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. The company was fined $44,000 for inadequate safety guards.

Nebraska

  • Falls City-based Jake Rieger Farms L.L.C. has been ordered to pay $25,000 in punitive damages and $30,000 in compensatory damages, including back wages and compensation for distress, to a truck driver who was wrongfully terminated and stranded in another state. The driver had refused to drive a company truck, which the Iowa Department of Transportation said was unsafe and lacked proper registration.

New York

  • Arctic Glacier USA of Westbury exposed employees to serious chemical, electrical, and exit hazards at the Hicksville, Long Island ice plant. The ice manufacturer faces $67,000 in penalties.
  • Syracuse-based wire manufacturer, Tecnofil Chenango SAC., was cited for exposing employees to hazards from unguarded machines at the Sherburne plant. The manufacturer faces $124,000 in fines.

Pennsylvania

  • Alton Industries Inc., a water, sewer line contractor from Canonsburg, was fined nearly $42,000 for willfully exposing workers to trench hazards at an excavation worksite. The inspection was opened under the National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation.
  • J. Walter Miller Co., a Lancaster foundry, exposed workers to excessively high levels of lead, cadmium and associated health risks and faces fines of $42,700.
  • A worker at Lloyd Industries’ Montgomeryville plant suffered the amputation of three fingers after a machine without safety guards crushed his hand. The company, a leading manufacturer of fire dampers and HVAC products, fired him immediately after the incident as well as another employee suspected of helping the injured employee file a complaint. When the company received citations with total penalties of $822,000, the owner fired the plant’s manager because he believed the manager had provided damaging information during the inspection. In response, the U.S. Department of Labor filed suit against Lloyd Industries Inc., and owner William P. Lloyd seeking to have the employees reinstated and compensated for lost wages and damages.
  • An inspection initiated in response to a complaint, and under the agency’s National Emphasis Program on amputations found P/M National Inc., a St. Marys’ manufacturer, willfully exposed employees to dangerous machine hazards. Proposed penalties are $60,200.

Texas

  • Lineage Logistics LLC of McAllen was cited for nine serious violations, six for process safety management standards violations, two for not fit testing or providing a medical evaluation of employees before they could wear respirators, and one for not having a functioning emergency safety eyewash station. Proposed fines total $58,000.
  • Houston employer, Machinery Maintenance Rebuilder, Inc., a full service machine shop, was cited for exposing workers to amputation and fire hazards.The fines total $57,820.

Wisconsin

  • Duffy Grain’s Columbus facility exposed employees to engulfment dangers and the company faces more than $122,000 in fines. The grain handling facility was cited for two willful and six serious safety violations and placed in the SVEP.
  • Diaz Roofing of Edgerton violated fall safety rules in 13 inspections in 10 years. The company received two willful, two serious and one other-than-serious safety citations and proposed fines of $104,390, for lack of fall protection, using nail guns without eye protection, and failure to keep injury and illness logs.
  • Lunda Construction, a repeat violator that is in the SVEP, was cited again after the death of an 18-year-old apprentice at the Bong Bridge resurfacing project and faces $105,000 in fines.
  • A 20-year-old window washer, employed by Serwas Window Cleaning Services, fell more than 58 feet to his death because his safety lines were not properly tied off. The company was cited for one willful and eight serious safety violations following three separate investigations of company worksites in Appleton, Green Bay, and Oshkosh. Proposed penalties for all three inspections total $69,800.

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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