OSHA watch

Eye and face protection rule updated

The final rule revising the eye and face protection standards became effective on April 25. It revises the requirements for general industry, shipyard employment, marine terminals, longshoring, and construction by updating the references to national consensus standards approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

According to a notice “This new rule will allow employers to continue to follow the existing ANSI standards referenced or allow employers to follow the latest version of the same ANSI/ISEA standard… Employers are not required to update or replace protection devices solely as a result of this rule and may continue to follow their current and usual practices for their eye and face protection. Therefore, this rule has no compliance or economic burdens associated with it.”

Guidance on Zika virus

Newly released interim guidance from OSHA and NIOSH urges employers to train employees on the risks of exposure to the Zika virus and outlines protective measure.

Injury suffered while drunk on job is likely recordable

A new letter of interpretation states an on-the-job injury suffered by a drunk employee is likely a recordable case.

Final rule issued for handling retaliation complaints under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act

A final rule establishing procedures for handling retaliation complaints under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act explains the burdens of proof, remedies and statute of limitations similar to other whistleblower protection statutes that OSHA administers.

Recent fines and awards

California

  • ExxonMobil Refining and Supply Company in Torrance was fined $72,120 when inspectors discovered a temporary clamp installed in 2011 to prevent chemical leaks was not replaced until January 2016. Previously Cal/OSHA issued ExxonMobil 19 citations with proposed fines totaling $566,600 after a February 2015 explosion that injured four workers.
  • Wright Tree Service of the West, Inc. was cited for serious safety violations following an investigation into a fatal tree-trimming accident in Humboldt County near Weitchpec. The proposed penalties total $31,750.
  • Taylor Farms Pacific, Inc., and two temporary employment agencies, Abel Mendoza Inc. and RSJ Admin Services Inc. were cited following the October 15, 2015 release of chlorine gas at the company’s food production facility in Tracy that hospitalized 20 workers. Taylor Farms faces proposed penalties of $56,985.
  • DP Investments was cited after the employer violated a stop-work order that was placed on scaffolding at a Santa Barbara construction site. DP Investments was also cited for failure to report a workplace injury as required by law and proposed penalties exceed $100,000.

Georgia

  • Automotive parts manufacturer, Nakanishi Manufacturing Corp. faces $145K in fines after a flash fire severely burned a maintenance technician who was operating a dust collector when an explosion occurred.
  • Atlanta-based Jasper Contractors Inc. was cited for fall hazards twice in the same month and faces fines of $280,000.
  • Athens-based Martin Mechanical Contractors Inc. has been cited and is facing $54,000 in proposed fines after a 39-year-old worker fell to his death through an unguarded skylight while trying to unjam a saw stuck in the building’s metal roof.

Kansas

  • While investigating unsafe working conditions at Exide Technologies, a Salina battery manufacturer, inspectors initiated a second safety inspection after the company reported an unguarded machine partially amputated a 32-year-old worker’s left middle finger. The investigation found workers exposed to electrical and machine hazards and that the company had failed to implement a heat-stress program. Proposed total penalties are $127,300.
  • After an inspection initiated by a complaint, Harcros Chemicals Inc. of Kansas City, was cited for violations of process safety management procedures. Proposed penalties are $80,000.

Michigan

  • Painting contractor, V&T Painting of Farmington Hills, was cited for willfully exposing workers to lead on a Danville worksite. Proposed penalties of $121,880 also include scaffold deficiencies and a lack of fall protection.

Missouri

  • Well-known candy manufacturer, Russell Stover, was placed in the Severe Violators Program (SVEP) and is facing $193,600 in proposed fines after an ammonia release shut down one of its manufacturing facilities. While no one was hurt, the citations involve process safety management standards, an inspection priority.
  • Abec Inc., a Pennsylvania-based engineering and equipment manufacturer, was cited for two repeated and four serious safety violations after a follow-up inspection related to exposing workers to hazardous levels of hexavalent chromium and potentially deafening noise as they welded and grinded stainless steel and other alloy steels at the Springfield facility. Proposed penalties total $95,000.

Nebraska

  • After two workers suffered partial amputations of their index fingers in separate incidents, inspectors found numerous machines lacked safety guards at the Holdrege facility of Becton, Dickinson and Company, a global medical technology company. Proposed penalties are $112,700.

New York

  • Following the hospitalization of a worker who was overcome by vinegar fumes, The Rob Salamida Co. in Johnson City, which makes Spiedie’s Sauce and Southern Tier BBQ Sauce, among other rubs and marinades, was cited for one willful violation (confined spaces) and 11 serious violations for fines totaling $79,600.
  • Wingdale-based Olivet Management L.L.C., now known as Dover Greens L.L.C. has agreed to a settlement of $700,000 related to citations for exposure to lead and asbestos hazards. The settlement commits the real estate development and management company to provide and maintain enhanced safeguards for workers renovating the former Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center in Dover Plains and subjects them immediately to additional penalties if they violate the agreement.
  • Plank Construction Co. Inc., a construction general contractor in Schenectady, faces penalties of $59,000 following a trench collapse that sent an employee to the hospital.

Pennsylvania

  • Berlin Builders, a residential construction contractor with projects in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, was cited for exposing its workers to dangerous falls on job sites. In Limerick, the company faces fines of $121,176 related to the Springford Estates worksite and in Perkasie, $112,860 for the American House Building work site.
  • A twenty-one-year-old, who had worked for A Rooter Man of Pittsburgh LLC for just three weeks, was crushed and buried when the excavation in which he worked collapsed. The company faces citations of $174,000.
  • Allentown manufacturer, Lynar Corp. was cited for willfully exposing workers to amputation hazards and faces $54,000 in penalties.

Texas

  • Quality Christmas Tree Ltd., doing business as Houston Garden Center, was inspected following a complaint about an unreported hospitalization. An employee fell from a container hoisted aloft by a forklift and the company failed to report the in-patient hospitalization within 24 hours. The inspection resulted in 13 serious violations, two repeat violations and one other-than-serious violation and $117,000 in penalties.
  • Quick Roofing faces $80,000 in fines for repeatedly exposing Conroe workers to falls, ladder hazards, and eye injuries. The employer has been cited six times in three years for the same or similar violations.
  • Humanitarian relief company, Breedlove Foods in Lubbock was cited for 12 serious safety violations after a feed auger accident led to an amputation. Proposed penalties are $50,400.
  • Responding to a complaint, inspectors found struck-by, amputation hazards at Houston-based, Alfa Laval Inc., a global manufacturer of technologies in heat transfer, separation and fluid handling. Proposed penalties are $172,700.

Utah

  • John Kuhni Sons Inc. was cited for $76,250 in fines after a worker was caught in an uncovered rotating augur and suffered amputation of his lower legs. The animal rendering plant was cited for knowingly allowing workers to operate hazardous machinery without the proper machine guarding.

Wisconsin

  • An employee of the World’s largest sauerkraut company, GLK Foods LLC of Bear Creek, fell into an empty sauerkraut vat and suffered serious injuries. An inspection found multiple violations with proposed fines totaling $143,550.
  • Cellu Tissue-City Forest L.L.C. faces proposed penalties of $119,000 after a machine operator died as he serviced a high-speed conveyor belt in a Ladysmith-based paper mill.

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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