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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, September 29, 2014

Workplace Violence -- How to Identify it and Prevent it

This has been a disturbing week for workplace violence.

An Oklahoma food plant worker who had just been fired beheaded a woman and stabbed another before being shot by a coworker.  >> Video report

A UPS worker in Birmingham Alabama was fired and shot two of his managers.  >> Video report

A recently-fired man opened fire in his former workplace, a Minnesota sign shop, killing 4 and wounding 4, then killing himself.  >> Video report

Homicide is the fourth leading cause of workplace deaths and the leading cause of death for women in the workplace, according to OSHA. Who is at risk and how can workplace violence hazards be reduced?  >> Read OSHA's recommendations

OSHA's workplace violence site, including stats by sector -- is your workplace at risk?

Workplace Violence -- PowerPoint safety training presentations for download

OSHA's "ABCs for Preventing Workplace Violence" -- contains some helpful information on developing a training program on workplace violence

National Crime Prevention Council's Training on Workplace Violence -- contains some valuable information on how to identify it while it's brewing and stop it from getting out of control

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Last Week's Significant OSHA Citations



https://www.osha.gov/index.html


Aluminum Plant Willfully Exposing Workers to Serious Hazards

CANTON, Ohio, $130,200 in fines Employees at Matalco US Inc. in Canton were exposed to amputation, fall hazards and unsafe crane operations. OSHA issued two willful, one repeat and two serious safety violations. The inspection at the manufacturing facility that produces aluminum material for use in automotive rims and other parts was initiated following a complaint. The company has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
 
During the inspection, workers were found standing on aluminum blocks elevated by a forklift to perform tasks on the furnace. This was an inappropriate use of the forklifts, and it exposed workers to falls of at least 8 feet. OSHA found that live electric equipment operating at high voltages was not guarded against human contact. These hazards resulted in the issuance of two serious violations >> Full story

Worker reports respiratory inflammation after welding in rail car

OMAHA, Nebraska, $133,900 in fines A worker at Watco Investments LLC reported suffering from respiratory inflammation after performing welding work inside a rail car. OSHA has cited the company for three repeat and three serious safety violations, many involving OSHA's confined space safety regulations. 
 
The inspection found that Watco Companies allowed employees to enter rail cars to perform repair tasks, including welding, without implementing procedures required under OSHA's permit-required confined space regulations. >>  Find out more

Tower collapse results in deaths of 2 cell tower workers

BLAINE, Kansas, $134,400 in fines –  Following the death of two workers from the collapse of a cell tower they were dismantling, OSHA has cited Wireless Horizon Inc. for two willful and four serious safety violations. OSHA placed the company in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program following the incident. So far in 2014, 11 workers have lost their lives nationwide in the communication tower industry; 13 deaths occurred in 2013.
 
The tower technicians, ages 25 and 38, were using a load-lifting gin pole attached to the side of the tower with a wire rope sling. The sling failed, causing the gin pole to fall and bring the tower down with it. One of the employees was above the gin pole near the top of the tower, and the second employee was approximately 20 feet below the pole. Both workers fell to the ground during the collapse. As the tower fell, it also struck an adjacent tower, causing it to crumble as well. One of the employees had been with the company two months, while the other employee had only been working there for five months when the incident occurred. OSHA's inspection found that the equipment the company provided the workers was in poor repair. >> Read more

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Last Week's Significant OSHA Citations




https://www.osha.gov/index.htmlWorker Dies when Engulfed by Grain

South Dakota, $120,120 in fines – A 51-year-old worker was fatally injured when he became engulfed in flowing grain in a railcar load-out elevator at Prairie Ag Partners. The incident occurred when the worker attempted to remove a jam from a chute while the auger operated. OSHA cited the company for one willful, two repeat and eight serious safety violations, many involving OSHA's grain handling, permit-required confined space and fall protection safety regulations.

Prairie Ag Partners was placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.  >> Read full story

Cut Stone Manufacturer Exposes Workers to Amputation Hazards, Hearing Loss – Cited for 27 Violations

AUSTIN, $234,900 in fines – Mezger Enterprises Ltd. has been cited for 27 safety and health violations, including two willful. The company exposed workers to unguarded machines, unsafe electrical equipment, infrequent crane inspections and noise levels that could cause hearing loss.  >> Read more


JC Stucco And Stone Inc., 'Severe Violator', Willfully Exposed Workers to Fall Hazards 

Pennsylvania, $235, 700 in fines – Masonry contractor JC Stucco and Stone Inc. has been cited for three willful and three repeat safety violations. OSHA's March 2014 inspection was initiated in response to a referral by the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections due to an imminent threat to worker health and safety at the site. The investigation found workers were exposed to fall hazards while applying stucco to the exterior of a residential construction site.

"This employer was placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program in 2011 after multiple instances of repeated, high-gravity violations," said Nicholas DeJesse, director of OSHA's Philadelphia Area Office.  >> Find out full story

Workers Exposed to Dangerous Machine Hazards - 1 Willful, 17 Serious Violations

CLEVELAND, $126,700 in fines – After an inspection found workers were exposed to amputation hazards from improperly guarded mechanical power presses, MCM Industries Co. has been cited for 1 willful and 17 serious safety and health violations.

OSHA's March 27, 2014 inspection of the Cleveland manufacturing plant was initiated after a complaint. They determined that workers were exposed to amputation injuries because presses did not have required guards. >> Read more

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On-Demand Safety Presentations

Video Library on Top Safety Concerns

Choose from topics such as 5S, OSHA compliant signs and labels, floor marking and wayfinding, GHS, arc flash, pipe marking and more. All videos are available on-demand and some include downloadable safety training handouts. Every few weeks a live safety webinar is announced, with an interactive Q&A chat session after the event.  >> Download them here

US Labor Department seeks damages for wrongly terminated Sandpoint, Idaho, employee

The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court against Sandpoint Gas ‘n' Go & Lube Center Inc. and its owner for violating the whistleblower protection provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The investigation determined that Sandpoint and its owner terminated a mechanic for raising safety and health concerns in the workplace.

OSHA investigated a complaint and cited the employer for safety and health violations. Upon receipt of the citations and proposed penalties, the employer fired the employee. The department determined that the employee was fired for filing a safety complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Boise Area Office.

The employer is expected to pay to the fired employee back wages with interest, benefits and punitive damages. The suit also requests an order from the court permanently enjoining Sandpoint and its owner from violating the anti-retaliation provisions of the OSH Act and requires that a notice be posted for employees regarding their rights.



OSHA compliance and how to work with OSHA: Read this interesting interview with a former OSHA director

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Master the Basics of Pipe Marking


Pipe Marking 101 - free webinar


Learn how to implement or update a pipe marking system with a minimum of hassle.



Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

1:00-1:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time - Find event time in your time zone



Presenter: Jim Bocci, Product Manager

Mr. Bocci will host a pipe marking Q&A session after the webinar.



Who should attend?

This webinar provides valuable information for anyone involved with visual communication, compliance and safety.


Identification of the materials contained in a pipe and the direction of flow can prevent accidents, personal injury and costly equipment repairs. Pipe identification is also vital for emergency personnel responding to on-site incidents.



Space is limited, register now >>



We look forward to having you in the Graphic Products Virtual Classroom on Wednesday, September 24th!

If you’re unable to attend, register now and we'll send you the on-demand version after the event.

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Last Week's Significant OSHA Citations

It was another big week of big violations.

Significant OSHA violations:
Alabama, $234,960 in fines - Supreme Oil Co.-South was cited by OSHA for 14 safety and health violations. OSHA initiated the inspection due to a complaint and to follow-up a previous inspection when the Alabama facility received citations for eight safety violations.

OSHA issued the repeat citations for the employer's failure to provide guardrails for staircases and open-sided platforms, maintain dry floors in areas where oil and water were mixed, and train workers to turn off machinery to prevent accidental startup while performing maintenance and services. Additionally, the employer exposed workers to being struck-by falling stock from damaged metal shelves, amputation and electrical hazards. >> Full story

Illinios, $108,020 in fines - Central Transport LLC has been cited for five, including three repeat, one willful and one serious safety violation following a formal complaint.

OSHA issued one willful violation for failing to remove from service a forklift that needed repair. Three repeat violations were issued, including failure to provide adequate fall protection at dock door openings because guardrails were not in place, which exposed workers to falls of more than 4 feet. The company was cited for failure to inspect forklifts before use and for not grounding electrical equipment properly.

Similar violations were cited in 2009, 2010 and 2013 at locations in Georgia, Ohio and Mississippi. >> Find out more

Connecticut, $294,000 in fines - Gleason Roofing Co. deliberately and repeatedly failed to use legally required fall protection for its employees at two New Britain work sites and exposed workers to potentially fatal falls, OSHA determined. The Enfield roofing contractor faces four willful and two serious violations of safety standards.

Responding to a complaint, an OSHA inspector found employees exposed to 16-foot falls while ripping shingles from a roof. On April 19, an OSHA inspector returning from another inspection observed employees exposed to 10-foot falls while ripping shingles from a roof. Additional fall hazards at both sites occurred because ladders did not extend at least 3 feet above landings to ensure proper stability.

Workers were exposed to falls while improperly ascending ladders and faced possible electrocution from working without protection close to a working power line. >> Read the full story

New York, $274,700 in fines - Inadequate safeguards to protect workers against potential ammonia releases at its Brooklyn, N.Y., ice plant have resulted in fines for Arctic Glacier U.S.A., Inc., a nationwide ice manufacturer and distributor. OSHA cited the company for 19 violations of workplace safety standards following a comprehensive inspection that began in March.

Several of the violations involve deficiencies in the plant's process safety management, or PSM, program. OSHA's PSM standard mandates a detailed set of requirements and procedures employers must follow to proactively assess and address hazards associated with processes involving the use of more than 10,000 pounds of a hazardous chemical. In this case, it is 14,757 pounds of ammonia used in the plant's refrigeration system. This inspection was conducted under OSHA's PSM Covered Chemical Facilities National Emphasis Program.

Among the hazards found at the Brooklyn plant were incomplete operating procedures, undocumented inspections and testing, failing to provide employees with process safety information, failing to document that process equipment complied with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices and inadequate work space in front of electrical equipment. >> Full story


Veteran's Hospital, Michigan - Aleda E. Lutz Veterans Administration Medical Center employees in Saginaw were exposed to asbestos, bloodborne pathogens and unsafe operation of powered industrial vehicles. OSHA issued six notices of unsafe or unhealthful working conditions following the inspection.

OSHA's inspection found that officials failed to remove a broken, powered industrial vehicle from service, resulting in one repeat violation. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' facility in Battle Creek was cited for the same safety violation in 2013.

In addition, OSHA found five serious violations for failure to ensure employees wore masks and eye protection whenever they could expect exposure to splashes, spray, spatter or droplets of blood or other infectious material, and to ensure that work surfaces were properly decontaminated. Facility officials did not ensure that powered industrial truck operators completed training successfully or that employees who performed housekeeping duties were provided asbestos awareness training. Additionally, the facility used a power strip that exceeded acceptable voltage levels. >> Read more

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OSHA Instructor Sold Fraudulent Certifications

New Jersey OSHA Instructor admits fraud

A South Jersey instructor for OSHA admitted to selling fraudulent safety certifications to carpenters who didn't complete the required training.

Frederick Prinz, 38, was certified by OSHA's outreach training program to give workers the certificates, known as "OSHA 30" cards, after they passed a 30-hour course. But he sold false certifications, prosecutors said. >> Read full story

Q&A with Mark Moran, author of The OSHA Answer Book

OSHA Revises Reporting Rule for Worker Injuries

OSHA has issued a final rule requiring employers to notify OSHA when an employee is killed on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye.

Under the revised severe injury rule, employers will be required to notify OSHA of work-related fatalities within eight hours, and work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye within 24 hours. >> Full story

Feds Tighten Rules on Workplace Death Reporting

Tightening its standards, the government issued new regulations Thursday that will require managers to file a detailed report within eight hours on fatal workplace accidents. Such reports must be filed regardless of the size of the business.

Severe on-the-job injuries that do not result in deaths but require hospitalization must be reported within 24 hours, under the new rules which take effect Jan. 1. Previously, OSHA’s regulations required such reports only if three or more workers were killed or hospitalized as a result of a workplace accident. >> Find out details

OSHA Awards $10.6M in Safety and Health Grants

OSHA awarded $10,687,000 to 78 nonprofit organizations, including community- and faith-based groups, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor-management associations, and colleges and universities. The program provides grants to fund education and training for workers and employers to help them recognize workplace safety and health hazards, implement injury and illness prevention measures, and inform them of their rights and responsibilities.

The Susan Harwood Training Grant Program supports safety and health training programs that educate workers and employers in industries with high injury, illness and fatality rates; underserved youth; limited English proficiency and other vulnerable workers; and small businesses. >> Find out more about the grant program

OSHA Returns Health, Safety Regulations to Hawaii

The Hawaii State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced on Thursday that continued improvements in Hawaii's workplace safety and health regulation will result in DLIR's Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division reassuming responsibility for regulating Hawaii's General Industry.

OSHA and HIOSH have shared regulatory responsibility for Hawaii per an Operational Status Agreement that went into effect in September 2012.  The procedural agreement provides a roadmap for the agencies to work together as federal and state partners to jointly rebuild and strengthen the safety and health regulatory environment in Hawaii. >> Find out more

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