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)
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
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
Labels: LOTO, OSHA, OSHA Training Programs, whistleblower