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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, July 28, 2014

This Week's Safety News



July 28, 2014
Use these links to go directly to each section of this week's safety news:

Recent OSHA Citations

  • United Airlines cited with 16 OSHA violations, hit with fines for repeated citations
  • Shipyard Hazards draw $305K Fine
  • OSHA fines Dollar Tree Stores $177,800 for exposing employees to serious safety hazards

New OSHA rules protect tower workers from falling

OSHA is issuing new safety requirements to protect communication tower employees following what the agency calls an "alarming increase" in "preventable" injuries and deaths. Workplace deaths at communication towers are on the rise, according to OSHA. This year, nine workers have already died, while more deaths occurred in 2013 than in the previous two years combined, the agency said.

National Safety Stand-Down -- Construction Event Reaches One Million

OSHA estimates that one million workers were educated on fall protection, in a June event designed to reduce on-the-job falls. Falls are the top cause of construction fatalities in the U.S.

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Recent OSHA Citations

OSHA previously fined JBS $100,000 - now investigating June 10 employee death

Violations included serious issues involving workers being exposed to “potential fall hazards from elevated work areas, possible amputations due to the lack of proper machine guarding, not properly locking out equipment energy sources prior to performing maintenance work and failing to use safe work practices for electrical elements,” according to an OSHA news release last year.

Read more: http://www.greeleytribune.com/news/ticker/12308139-113/jbs-gibson-violations-osha

United Airlines cited with 16 OSHA violations, hit with fines for repeated citations

Federal occupational health and safety authorities slapped United Airlines with 16 citations and proposed penalties of up to $101,300 Tuesday for repeated violations at Newark Airport. United Airlines workers were faced with 'electrical hazards, falls and being struck by objects and equipment daily'.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/united-airlines-fined-repeated-osha-violations-article-1.1876727#ixzz38XxAxebB

Wyoming OSHA cites Western Sugar for 39 violations - Fines total $194k

The company was cited for having inoperable emergency eyewash stations, fall hazards and inadequate safety signage and not guarding the moving parts of equipment at the Torrington site.

In Lovell, inspections found unmaintained personal protective equipment, insufficient emergency eye wash stations, failures to conduct hazard assessments and employee consumption of beverages near toxic chemicals.

Read more: http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming-osha-cites-western-sugar-for-violations/article_cd79f980-3278-5edb-9775-bee6ac2e39fe.html

Shipyard Hazards Draw $305K Fine

A Texas shipbuilder is facing its second federal safety case in nine months after inspectors recently found a range of hazards uncorrected from last fall.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Sterling Shipyard LP of Port Neches for 16 serious, repeat and failure-to-abate violations related to dangerous machinery, high noise levels without hearing protection, fall protection and other violations. The new fines total $305,100.

Read more: http://www.paintsquare.com/news/?fuseaction=view&id=11723&

Lowe’s could be fined $53K

Lowe’s has been cited for five repeat and one serious safety violation by OSHA.

An investigation into the safety of the premises was initiated in March, after the store reported a higher than average injury rate. Inspectors found several electrical violations, including using cords instead of fixing wiring, failing to guard live parts of electrical equipment adequately against accidental contact and not closing unused openings in electrical panels as well as a failure to provide workers with information on the voluntary use of respiratory protection and improper handling of flammable liquid storage containers.

Read more: http://www.zanesvilletimesrecorder.com/story/news/local/2014/07/21/lowes-could-be-fined-53k-for-safety-violations-/12965893/

OSHA fines Dollar Tree Stores $177,800 for exposing employees to serious safety hazards

"In its December 2013 inspection, OSHA found merchandise in the store’s stockroom was consistently stacked in an unstable and unsecured manner that exposed workers to crushing injuries should the stacks collapse. Emergency exit routes were also consistently blocked by store inventory, shopping carriages, a conveyor and garbage. In addition, the store failed to maintain a means of access to an electrical control panel so that employees could turn off the store’s electrical power in the event of an emergency."

Read more: http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/news/2014/07/02/dollar-tree-fined-after-inspectors-cite-chain-for.html

Miami Seaquarium issued a $7,000 fine

The citation is considered "serious" by the federal agency. OSHA says trainers worked with a killer whale in a pool and from the side of a pool without using physical barriers.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/miami-seaquarium-fined-osha-24694975

OSHA cites Madill plant after deadly explosion

Two workers died due to thermal injuries and smoke inhalation. OSHA has cited the plant for not protecting employees from explosion hazards. The plant now owes penalty fees totaling over $26,000. 

Read more: http://www.kxii.com/home/headlines/OSHA-cites-Madill-plant-after-deadly-explosion-268669692.html

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New OSHA rules protect tower workers from falling

OSHA is issuing new safety requirements to protect communication tower employees following what the agency calls an "alarming increase" in "preventable" injuries and deaths.
"Employers and cell tower owners and operators must make sure workers are properly trained and protected," Assistant Labor Secretary David Michaels said in a statement. 

Workplace deaths at communication towers are on the rise, according to OSHA. This year, nine workers have already died, while more deaths occurred in 2013 than in the previous two years combined, the agency said. 

Read more: http://thehill.com/regulation/213241-new-osha-rules-would-protect-tower-workers-from-falling

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National Safety Stand-Down -- Prevent Falls in Construction

Falls kill – they are the top cause of construction fatalities and account for one-third of on-the-job injury deaths in the industry. Each year in the U.S. more than 200 construction workers are killed and over 10,000 are seriously injured by falls. 

Contractors, workers, and safety professionals across the nation participated in the National Safety Stand-Down to prevent falls, making huge strides in the fight against the leading cause of death for construction workers.  OSHA estimates that one million workers were educated on fall protection, including how to properly inspect and use protective equipment, and many companies took this opportunity to replace old or worn harnesses and lanyards.  The Stand-Down demonstrates the type of success that can come out of a nationally coordinated effort. 


Read some of the Success Stories

See images from this year's National Safety Stand-Down

View map of fatal on-the-job falls



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Monday, June 02, 2014

Safety News Briefs

A regular news feature summarizing workplace safety related news.

We scan newspapers, magazines and the internet for safety news that isn't being reported elsewhere. The following are links to safety-related news and articles that came out during the past week. If you have safety news, or safety tips, send them to: duralabelpro@gmail.com.


Annual OSHA Campaign to Prevent Heat-Related Illnesses

OSHA has announced the launch of its annual Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers. For the fourth consecutive year, OSHA's campaign aims to raise awareness and educate workers and employers about the dangers of working in hot weather and provide resources and guidance to address these hazards. Workers at particular risk are those in outdoor industries, such as agriculture, construction, landscaping and transportation.

"Heat-related illnesses can be fatal, and employers are responsible for keeping workers safe," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "Employers can take a few easy steps to save lives, including scheduling frequent water breaks, providing shade and allowing ample time to rest."

WATER. REST. SHADE. The work can't get done without them.

Thousands of employees become sick each year and many die from working in the heat. In 2012, there were 31 heat-related worker deaths and 4,120 heat-related worker illnesses. Labor-intensive activities in hot weather can raise body temperatures beyond the level that normally can be cooled by sweating. Heat illness initially may manifest as heat rash or heat cramps, but can quickly escalate to heat exhaustion and then heat stroke if simple preventative measures are not followed. Heat illness disproportionately affects those who have not built up a tolerance to heat (acclimatization), and it is especially dangerous for new and temporary workers.

"Acclimatization is a physical change that the body undergoes to build tolerance to heat, and it is a critical part of preventing heat illnesses and fatalities," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "Over the past three years, lack of acclimatization was the cause in 74 percent of heat-related citations issued. Employers have a responsibility to provide workplaces that are safe from recognized hazards, including outdoor heat."

Last year, OSHA issued 11 heat-related citations. In some of these cases, the employer and staffing agency were cited because they involved temporary workers.

In preparation for the summer season, OSHA has developed heat illness educational materials in English and Spanish, as well as a curriculum to be used for workplace training, also available in both English and Spanish. Additionally, a Web page provides information and resources on heat illness - including how to prevent it and what to do in case of an emergency - for workers and employers. The page is available at: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/index.html.

OSHA also has released a free application for mobile devices that enables workers and supervisors to monitor the heat index at their work sites. The app displays a risk level for workers based on the heat index, as well as reminders about protective measures that should be taken at that risk level. Since its 2011 launch, more than 130,000 users have downloaded the app. Available for Android-based platforms and the iPhone, the app can be downloaded in English and Spanish by visiting: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/heat_index/heat_app.html.

In developing its inaugural national campaign in 2011, federal OSHA worked closely with the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration and adapted materials from that state's successful campaign. Additionally, OSHA is partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to incorporate worker safety precautions when heat alerts are issued across the nation. NOAA also will include pertinent worker safety information on its heat watch Web page at http://www.noaawatch.gov/themes/heat.php.


Related past posts:
Safety News Briefs - Old School Inspections
Safety News Briefs - OSHA Jail
Arizona vs. OSHA - The Story Continues

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OSHA Significant Citations

OSHA defines a significant citation as one with more than $100,000 in proposed fines. An OSHA citation is a claim by OSHA that there has been a safety violation. It does not mean a violation has taken place, nor that the violation is as severe as claimed. The company has 15 days to contest OSHA claims. The following are the citations OSHA announced last week that have total fines of $100,000 or more.

OSHA cites Chicago Engineering Company For Trenching Hazards  ($147,000)
Tire Retreader Fined For Failing To Correct Hazards ($160,280)


For the second time this year OSHA has cited Pan-Oceanic Engineering Co. Inc. for failing to protect workers from trenching hazards at a job site at East 93rd Street and South Woodlawn Avenue in Chicago. OSHA cited the company for willful violations for again failing to protect workers from trench cave-ins while installing water and sewer lines in November 2013. Proposed penalties total $147,000..

Kathy Webb, OSHA's area director in Calumet City, said, "Since 2003, this company has been cited multiple times for violations of trenching standards, which result in numerous fatalities and injuries every year."

OSHA opened the inspection under the National Emphasis Program for trenching and excavation, which was implemented in the 1980s. The company was placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program in January 2014 when it was issued four violations for failing to adhere to trenching standards. The company has contested those violations, which carried penalties of $105,600.

For the most recent violations, OSHA was issued two willful citations for failing to ensure workers were protected from cave-in hazards while working in a trench that exceeded 5 feet in depth and failing to support the street pavement above the trench from collapsing on the workers. OSHA standards mandate that all excavations 5 feet or deeper be protected against collapse. Detailed information on trenching and excavation hazards is available.

A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

One serious violation was issued after a competent person found evidence of potential cave-in hazards and failed to remove employees from the hazardous conditions..

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. .

OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law and focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer's facilities or job sites..

To view the citations, visit:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/PanOceanicEngineeringcompany_950363_0521_14.pdf.



American Made Tires, an Elmira Heights, tire retreader, failed to correct 12 hazards cited during a 2013 inspection by OSHA. Because of that inaction, and the discovery of new and recurring hazards during a follow-up OSHA inspection, the company faces an additional $160,280 in proposed fines.

OSHA's Syracuse Area Office initially cited the company for 16 serious violations of workplace safety standards in July 2013, following an inspection conducted between March and July 2013. American Made Tires agreed to correct the cited hazards and pay the required fine of $20,100. When the company failed to submit proof that it had corrected the hazards, OSHA opened a follow-up inspection in November 2013.

The new inspection found ongoing hazards, including improperly constructed flammable adhesive spray booths located within 20 feet of spark-producing equipment; failure to implement lockout/tagout procedures to protect workers who service or maintain machines; lack of machine guarding for a tire buffer machine; and lack of a communications program and training for employees working with hazardous chemicals.

Because of these uncorrected hazards, OSHA issued American Made Tire 12 failure-to-abate notices, carrying $144,000 in fines. A failure-to-abate notice applies to a condition, hazard or practice for which the employer was originally cited, and upon reinspection, was found uncorrected.

Three repeat violations were cited for hazards similar to those cited in the earlier inspection. These included use of hazardous electrical equipment, accumulation of combustible dust and use of a spark-producing grinder in a flammable area. These violations carry $14,080 in fines.

Finally, one serious citation, with a $2,200 fine, was issued for use of a portable electric lamp in a spraying area during operations
. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The failure-to-abate notices and citations can be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/American_Made_Tire_896494_May_21_14.pdf
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/American_Made_Tires_950323_May_21_14.pdf.


Related Past Posts:
Significant Citations Part I - Over $1,075,000 In Fines
Significant Citations - OSHA Fines Cooper Power $166,000
Four Significant Citations Announced Last Week

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Monday, May 26, 2014

This Week's Safety News


May 26, 2014
Use these links to go directly to each section of this week's safety news:

Safety News Briefs

  • Time May Not Reduce Brain Effects of Solvent Exposure
  • Republic Steel's Response To OSHA Citations

OSHA Significant Citations Announced Last Week

  • Fortune Painting Co. Cited For Repeated Lead Exposure ($159,390)
  • Amputation & Other Hazards at Kobelco Stewart Bolling ($139,000)
  • OSHA fines All-Feed Processing and Packaging For Combustible Dust ($254,000)
  • Nicholson Terminal & Dock Co. After Forklift Fatality ($168,700)

Safety Training - Improve Reliability, Improve Safety

  • Ten Nuggets to Make Reliability a Reality at Your Plant

World Safety News

  • U.K. - Occupational Health: Vital for Economic Growth
  • Canada - National Student Workplace Safety Video Contest Winners

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