DuraLabel's Weekly Safety News

Blog Author Angelique Sanders

Weekly safety news. Stay in touch with regulations from OSHA, NFPA, and other safety codes. Find out about other companies' best and worst practices. We scour the internet to provide you with helpful training resources and the latest safety information.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Weekly 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 that came out during the week ending January 26th.

OSHA Has Lousy Record of Accrediting Workplace Safety Examiners

An opinion article in "The Foundry" states: "If the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) regulated its own doings in the manner it does private business, the agency’s doors would surely be shuttered. So lousy is its record of accrediting workplace safety examiners that some applicants have waited 10 years for their paperwork to be processed."

Read the article in The Foundry.

 BP contract employees load an oil containment
boom onto a work boat

Woman pleads guilty to impersonating OSHA official

A 46-year-old Mississippi woman pleaded guilty to federal charges that accuse her of posing as a federal worker to make nearly $216,000 giving fraudulent OSHA training classes to fishermen who hoped to get jobs cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The classes lasted as little as two hours, while the legitimate certifications would take at least six days of classroom training and three days of on-site training.

Read more in the Seattle Post Intelligencer

Paper or Plastic? A Reusable Workplace Hazard From The Grocery Store

A recent study has found that re-useable grocery bags have resulted in a major increase in ER visits and deaths when a county bans the use of plastic grocery bags.An article in Worker's Compensation reports:

"Most people have been driven by guilt or cost into thinking about using a reusable shopping bag from the grocery store. A recent report indicates that sometimes the bags, because they are not sanitized by regular cleaning, become killer bacteria farms that may be transported into the workplace in a casual fashion."

Read the story in Worker's Compensation.

Read the scientific paper: Grocery Bag Bans and Foodborne Illness

OSHA Updates Lab Safety Requirements

Occupational Safety and Health magazine reports: "OSHA is issuing a technical amendment to the non-mandatory appendix in its standard on occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals in laboratories, 1910.1450, which is known as the OSHA Laboratory Standard. Published Jan. 22 in the Federal Register, the amendment takes effect upon publication. It was made in order to include contents from a 2011 National Academy of Sciences publication."

The amendment requires that the lab's plan must be readily available and it provides list of topics that must be covered by the safety plan.

Read the OH&S article here.

A Record Number of Whistleblower Cases Filed

Bloomberg BNA reports that whistleblower cases submitted to OSHA increased to 2,787 in fiscal 2012.  In addition complaint determinations made by OSHA were up dramatically (42%) as a result of an emphasis on clearing up the backlog.  The Bloomberg BNA article also reports that OSHA backed up its promise of aggressive enforcement with improved training for whistleblower investigators, a new investigations manual, and a willingness to publicize its efforts.

In addition OSHA is attempting to get more companies to settle by using publicity to raise the possibility of damage to the company's brand or image.

Read the article in Bloomberg BNA

Shipbuilders Council of America and OSHA Settle Lawsuit

In August  2011 new OSHA standards for General Working Conditions in Shipyard Employment (1915, Subpart F) became effective. These standards included requirements covering the following areas:
  • Housekeeping, Lighting, and Working Alone
  • Medical Services/First Aid and Sanitation
  • Lockout/Tags-Plus (control of hazardous energy)
  • Motor Vehicles
In June 2011, the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) filed a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, challenging OSHA’s new standard for General Working Conditions in Shipyard Employment. 

OSHA has now issued an interpretation letter providing clarification, primarily concerning lock out/tag out.

Read the report by the Association of Corporate Council

Related past posts:
Safety News Briefs - Week Ending January 19th
Safety News Briefs - Week Ending January 12th
Safety News Briefs - Week Ending January 5th

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posted by Steve Hudgik
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