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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 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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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

What if Safety Managers had to Personally Fork out for Violations?

That's how it works in China, and fines can equal 30-80% of their annual income

Revisions to workplace safety laws in China have now quadrupled the cap on fines, to over $3 million US dollars. But that's not the really shocking bit…managers in charge of ensuring safety can be fined 30-80 percent of their income. >> Read the full story



And Now the Good News…

Companies can also be honored for safe behavior

The Department of Labor recognized Arkansas Lighting Wednesday (9/3) for putting in 500,000 man hours over the course of four years without a workplace accident. CEO Bob Null said employees go through extensive training to stay safe. The company primarily makes lighting fixtures for the hotel industry. >> Find out more

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Last Week's Significant OSHA Citations

It was a big week for OSHA violations.

Significant citations:

Illinois, $497,000 in fines - A worker was killed when his arm got caught in a conveyor belt. This conveyor was not guarded and the shredder was not locked out prior to the workers entering the pit. OSHA's investigation determined that management was aware of this. OSHA has placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program. The worker is survived by a wife and two little girls. >> Read full story

Jacksonville, FL, $186,340 in fines - Justin Construction Co. LLC has been cited with six safety violations after OSHA inspectors observed employees at three work sites performing residential construction without using a fall protection system. Three willful violations were cited for the employer's failure to provide a fall protection system where employees were conducting decking work at heights of 6 feet or more, and for allowing workers to use the top step of a stepladder. Two repeat violations were issued for permitting workers to use pressurized nail guns without providing proper eye protection and failing to provide fall protection systems for employees working on steep roofs at elevations between 10 and 16 feet. >> Full story

Oklahoma, $341,550 in fines - For exposing workers to cancer-causing health hazards by inhaling, absorbing and ingesting cancer-causing hexavalent chromium, Pride Plating Inc. received 38 violations. Nine repeat violations were mainly cited for chromium violations, including failure to provide safe PPE for workers exposed to chromium; demarcate regulated areas where chromium was sprayed; prevent ingestion of food and drinks and absorption of cigarettes in chromium-regulated areas; and properly train workers exposed to the facility's chromium, caustics and corrosives. Similar violations were cited in 2009.

The remaining 29 violations-including 28 serious-were cited for failure to provide adequate walking and working surfaces; separate locker space and storage for street clothing and protective clothing; perform personal protective equipment hazard assessments; and guard power transmission belts. Respirator violations included failing to implement a respiratory program and fit test and ensure respirators were stored in a sanitary location. Chromium violations included failure to inform workers of their exposure records, provide adequate washing facilities and label chemical containers. >> Full story


Other OSHA citations last week:

Nebraska, $84,000 in fines - Following the death of a 73-year-old worker who sustained fatal injuries from falling while loading a tanker truck, Farmers Cooperative has been cited for one repeat and two serious safety violations at its fertilizer plant. >> Full story

Kansas City, $12,000 in fines - BNSF Railway ordered to pay $12K to worker disciplined for taking doctor-ordered leave. OSHA's investigation upheld the allegation that the railroad company disciplined the conductor, who has been employed there since 2004, in retaliation for taking leave in line with a doctor's treatment plan. The employee was ill and notified a supervisor that he was seeing a doctor. Following his doctor's appointment, the conductor immediately notified a supervisor that the doctor had ordered him to stay out of work for the remainder of the day, due to a personal illness. The company then accused the employee of violating its attendance policy and subsequently disciplined the employee. >> Full story

Chicago, $76,340 in fines - B & T Underground fined $76,340 for exposing workers to trench cave-ins, OSHA issues repeat, willful and serious violations >> Full story

Georgia, $92, 581 in fines - Georgia parts manufacturer failed to establish a training program for workers exposed to high noise levels, develop and implement a hazard communication program, and identify pedestrian walkways in areas where industrial trucks operated. Additionally, the employer exposed workers to fire and explosion hazards due to combustible wood dust accumulation. >> Full story

Wisconsin, $32,890 in fines - Procedures for handling liquid chlorine, a highly hazardous chemical, at Beck Aluminum Alloys Ltd., were lacking according to an investigation by OSHA. The company recycles aluminum and produces alloys used in various applications. >> Full story

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Fines, payouts, lawsuits

Last week safe workplace news includes some really massive potential payouts.
Site of the deadly pipeline explosion near San Francisco airport

Pipeline Blast Results in $1.4 Billion in Fines

A 2010 natural gas pipeline blast that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes in San Bruno, California, near the San Francisco airport, could carry a massive price tag for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. The California Public Utilities Commission earlier this week ruled that the utility company should pay a $1.4 billion fine, the commission’s largest-ever safety-related penalty. >> Find out more

Halliburton Settles for $1.1 Billion for Oil Spill

Halliburton, the cement contractor responsible for the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history when a drilling rig exploded, has agreed to pay $1.1 billion in settlement. The 2010 Gulf rig explosion killed 11 and was deemed preventable.

Halliburton pleaded guilty last year for destroying evidence related to the spill. A spokesman for the company says it is not an admission of liability. 

BP, who shared responsibility for the spill, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and could still face up to $18 billion in penalties. >> Read full story

Worker killed when pole fell and crushed him

Ontario Power Company Fined $325K for Worksite Death

Evan Horkoff, 25, was killed when the transmission pole he was harnessed to fell down and crushed him. Rokstad Power Corporation pleaded guilty to one count for failing to ensure that modifications to equipment that could affect structural stability are performed properly.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

LA Pays Workers $26 Million in a Right-to-Nap Lawsuit

Sanitation workers sued when prohibited from napping at lunch

Putting the "rest" in "restitution"...

Los Angeles' sanitation workers hit the news recently by winning a $26 million dollar lawsuit against the city for having overly restrictive--and illegal--rules about how and where a lunch break may be taken.

The law mandates that an employee be relieved of all duties during the unpaid lunch break. But 1,100 sanitation workers in LA were not allowed to nap, stray outside their designated pick-up routes or gather in large groups.

The lawsuit was settled for $26 million, which is roughly $15,000 per employee, with nearly $8.7 million going to legal fees. >> Read the full story


Killed by a bug

Did you know that dogs are considered a workplace hazard? Of course you did if you're a mail carrier, but dogs were responsible for 8 workplace deaths and nearly 14,000 workplace injuries during a five-year study period, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Cats, cattle, fish, even bugs are a hazard in many occupations. >> Find out why

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