888.326.9244

DuraLabel's Weekly Safety News

Blog Author Angelique Sanders

Weekly safety news. Stay in touch with what is happening at OSHA as well as other workplace safety news. Includes a report on the significant OSHA citations announced the previous week. Plus we scan national and local (and world) publications for workplace safety news. This is your source for the latest safety news.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Workplace Safety Lies: Two cases in which money won out

California giant PG&E was recently charged with lying to federal investigators during the investigation of a pipeline explosion that resulted in eight deaths and leveled a neighborhood. PG&E is accused of trying to mislead National Transportation Safety Board investigators, and keeping shoddy records, not keeping track of safety threats and failing to act on them. 

The charges could result in over $1 billion in fines. The power utility also faces $2.5 billion in civil fines from regulators such as the PUC.

Find out more
>> http://www.isssource.com/more-charges-for-pge-for-pipeline-blast

GM admits: We put dollars before consumer safety

Remember the faulty ignition switch that resulted in General Motors' recall of 1.6 million vehicles? The vehicle could suddenly lose power and cause the airbag to crash. GM linked 13 deaths to the defect. The CEO later appeared before Congress and apologized, later admitting that GM's safety culture prioritized dollars over consumer safety.

Apparently true to the CEO's promise for change, GM has improved its safety team and issued already 66 vehicle recalls this year, which affects a total of 29 million vehicles.

Now it has begun to accept claims for those impacting by the ignition issue. As of a week ago 135 claims had been filed, of which about half involved fatalities.

The U.S. Transportation Department has fined GM $35 million in safety violations for this issue.


Find out about the compensation fund >> http://www.cbsnews.com/news/gm-victim-fund-receives-65-death-claims

Find out more about GM's safety history
>> http://www.fairwarning.org/2014/07/reality-check-impact-general-motors-safety-scandal

Labels: , ,

posted by Angelique Sanders
View This Post - (0 Comments)
| Add Your Comments | links



OSHA: Tracking workplace injuries

Comment period extended for proposed new rule

OSHA announced it will extend the comment period on the proposed rule to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses to Oct. 14, 2014. The proposal, published on Nov. 8, 2013, would amend the agency's recordkeeping regulation to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information that employers are already required to keep.

During the public meeting held on the proposal, many participants expressed concern that the proposal may create motivation for employers to under-record injuries and illnesses, since each covered establishment's injury and illness data would become publicly available on OSHA's website. Participants also expressed concern that the proposal would lead to an increase in the number of employers who adopt practices that discourage employees from reporting recordable injuries and illnesses. OSHA is concerned that the accuracy of the data collected under the new proposal could be compromised if employers adopt these practices.
"OSHA wants to make sure that employers, employees and the public have access to the most accurate data about injuries and illnesses in their workplaces so that they can take the most appropriate steps to protect worker safety and health," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, Dr. David Michaels.

Therefore, OSHA is soliciting comments on whether to amend the proposed rule to: 
1) Require that employers inform their employees of their right to report injuries and illnesses
2) More clearly communicate the requirement that any injury and illness reporting requirements established by the employer be reasonable and not unduly burdensome
3) Provide OSHA an additional remedy to prohibit employers from taking adverse action against employees for reporting injuries and illnesses.

Individuals interested in submitting comments may do so electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Comments may also be submitted via mail or facsimile.

Labels: , ,

posted by Angelique Sanders
View This Post - (0 Comments)
| Add Your Comments | links



OSHA orders trucking company to rehire driver, compensate with back pay

An Oregon trucker wrongly fired for refusing to drive an unsafe vehicle will get her job back, plus reimbursement for back wages and compensation for fees associated with the case, after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

OSHA has ordered Terry Unrein, an independent trucking contractor in Gresham, Oregon, to reinstate a driver fired in late 2011 for refusing to drive a 10,000-pound truck with inadequate tire tread on public highways. Driving under these conditions violated federal transportation regulations enforced by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Unrein fired the driver eight days after she had the truck's tire replaced before driving on the highway.


The driver filed a whistleblower complaint, and OSHA cited that the driver's termination violated the Surface Transportation Assistance Act's employee protection provisions. 

Labels: , ,

posted by Angelique Sanders
View This Post - (0 Comments)
| Add Your Comments | links



Recent Major OSHA Citations

Chemical Company willfully violates training procedures, fined $134,000

OSHA inspected Illinois chemical distributor Seeler Industries, unearthing 19 safety and health violations. The company, which stores and packages liquid and dry chemicals, was also cited with a willful violation for not providing employees with effective training, including appropriate handling of hazardous chemicals. They also failed to label containers with chemical contents. Workers at the Joliet, Illinois company were exposed to chemicals exceeding the permissible limits, and may be at health risk.

Find out more >> http://www.isssource.com/chemical-facility-hazards-cited
What are the new GHS labeling requirements? >> http://www.duralabel.com/articles/ghs-employers-guide.php

Camera Asst. killed in a safety violation

Camera Assistant struck and killed by train during filming

The Film Allman LLC crew was filming a scene for the movie "Midnight Rider". The set was on and around train tracks in Georgia, over a trestle spanning the Altahama River. An oncoming train killed the camera assistant, and eight others were injured; some were struck by the train itself and others by shrapnel from a hospital bed prop that the train struck. Proposed OSHA fines total just under $75,000.

According to the Wall Street Journal, sheriff's investigators state that the production company had been denied permission to film there by CSX railroad and chose to do so anyway. OSHA charges the company with a willful citation, citing disregard for worker safety and health.

Movie production has been halted after the crash. Gregg Allman--whom the movie was about--filed a civil lawsuit against the director and his wife, and a grand jury indicted both of them and the executive producer for involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespassing.

Read the full story >> http://www.thewrap.com/midnight-rider-producers-cited-for-willful-and-serious-safety-violations-by-osha



View previous week's major OSHA violations

Labels: , ,

posted by Angelique Sanders
View This Post - (0 Comments)
| Add Your Comments | links



Monday, August 11, 2014

It's not just OSHA...

Singapore's OSHA-like entity, MOM (Ministry of Manpower) spent a month investigating workplace safety violations, targeting 250 sites for surprise inspections. The result? 174 companies were found in violation, cited for more than 350 safety violations, and 4 companies were issued orders to shut down operations. Top violation? Working from heights without taking proper safety measures.

Get the full story >>

http://sbr.com.sg/source/humanresources-magazine/174-singapore-firms-guilty-flouting-workplace-safety-rules


And now, for something completely different...

Labels: , ,

posted by Angelique Sanders
View This Post - (0 Comments)
| Add Your Comments | links



Recent OSHA Major Citations


OSHA fines Anheuser-Busch for ammonia hazards

Although not a major citation, Anheuser-Busch was fined $92,400 for eight serious and two repeat safety violations. The violations cited were for safety violations with anhydrous ammonia, commonly used as a refrigerant in breweries. The inspection deemed the plant as lacking proper procedures for emergency shutdown of refrigeration systems. The plant also lacks ammonia detection systems and an continuous emergency ventilation system.

Anheuser-Busch was cited for similar violations in 2010 at their plant in Cartersville, Georgia.


Find out more >> http://www.beveragedaily.com/Regulation-Safety/ABI-faces-92-400-fine-after-OSHA-alleges-serious-safety-violations

Plastic Systems cited for 21 violations

Plastic Systems LLC, a Michigan manufacturer of plastic-molded products, was slapped with fines totaling $174,240. Six repeat violations--for failure to properly address lockout/tackout--totaled $112,860. The remaining 15 violations were related to machine guarding, equipment maintenance and more, totaling $61,380.

Find out more >> http://www.workplace-weekly.com/2014/08/08/plastic-systems-llc-fined-174240-for-exposing-workers-to-unexpected-machine-startups

Holly Refining faces $184,800 in fines

The Oklahoma-based crude oil processor neglected to provide protection from hot surfaces and fall hazards, among others. Three of the five violations were serious. The company was cited for similar violations in 2009.

Find out more >> http://news.industrysafe.com/inspections/oklahoma-company-cited-for-repeat-and-serious-violations/

Rust-Oleum Corp. cited for exposing workers to silica dust, amputation and electrical hazards

Rust-Oleum Corp. was cited for 33 serious safety and health violations for exposing workers to crystalline silica dust, amputation and electrical hazards. OSHA initiated its inspection following a complaint alleging improper storage of material and inadequate forklift training. Proposed penalties total $188,500.

Find out more >> https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=26508

Labels: , ,

posted by Angelique Sanders
View This Post - (0 Comments)
| Add Your Comments | links



New Obama "Fair and Safe Workplaces" law: All hail the new safe workplace?

Controversy reigns over the "Fair and Safe Workplaces" Executive Order that Obama signed into law on August 5th

Those with labor law violations may be forced to disclose them publicly in order to secure big contracts. This can be a bit of a game-changer when it comes to deciding whether to bother contesting smaller OSHA citations. Whereas companies may've previously decided sometimes that it wasn't worth the bother--just pay the fine and be done with it--in light of this new law it may be worth it to contest them in hopes of wiping the record clean.

The other faction argues that this scores another Obama coup for the common worker, that it may help create a safer workplace.

“This is one of the most important positive steps for civil rights in the last 20 years,” says Paul Bland, executive director of Public Justice, a public-interest law group.

That may be a reference to the second part of the new law, which states that companies with federal contracts exceeding a cool million cannot force employees into arbitration and out of the limelight of court. But not everyone with a voice uses it for just purposes.

Listen to both sides of this interesting debate:
"Got an OSHA Citation? Watch Out!" >> http://www.environmentalsafetyupdate.com/osha-compliance/eo-legislates-fair-pay-and-safe-workplaces

"Obama Is on a Pro-Labor Roll" >> http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2014/08/obama_executive_order_on_mandatory_arbitration_huge_news_for_workers_rights.html

Labels: , ,

posted by Angelique Sanders
View This Post - (0 Comments)
| Add Your Comments | links



To receive a once a week
email with safety news
Enter Your Email Address Here:



Example Email
You can unsubscribe at any time
Powered by FeedBlitz
Safe Workplace Blog Home

To receive a once a week
email with safety news
Enter Your Email Address Here:



Example Email
You can unsubscribe at any time
Powered by FeedBlitz

Archives