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, April 15, 2013

Safety News Briefs - OSHA Ruling Opens Door To Unions

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 week ending April 13th.

New OSHA Ruling Opens The Door For Unions To Represent Workers During Inspections At Non-Union Workplaces

Lexology reports that "On April 5, 2013, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) released an interpretation letter stating that during its inspections of nonunion workplaces, employees can be represented by anyone authorized by the site’s workers."

The article goes on to explain that "OSHA has gone beyond the literal language of the standard to assert that Section 1903.8(c) allows walkaround participation by an employee representative who is not an employee of the employer based on the judgment of the OSHA compliance officer. OSHA also takes the view that representatives are 'reasonably necessary' when they will make a positive contribution to a thorough and effective inspection." This allows unions to represent workers at a non-union workplace and use the walk around portion of an OSHA inspection as an organizing tool.

Obama's OSHA Budget Request Increases Whistleblower Enforcement, Reduces Funding For Compliance Assistance

Bloomberg BNA is reporting that the Obama administration's budget request includes a budget for OSHA that overall remains at the same level as current funding, but reduces staffing by 33 full-time employees.

The proposed budget includes a a reduction of $2.8 million in OSHA's compliance assistance program and an increase of  $5.9 million for OSHA's whistleblower enforcement program.

Read the Bloomberg BNA article here.

The article quotes OSHA chief David Michaels assaying the budget request would result in 33 fewer full-time employees, due to “reduced federal compliance activity from the consolidation of compliance assistance personnel in geographically dense regions and a decreased need for the development of outreach and training materials due to [the] completion of several recent initiatives.”

OSHA Photo
Strengthening Management of Safety Barriers

Norwegian safety regulations stress that "Barriers shall be identified, and it shall be known in the organization what barriers have been established and what function these have."

This requirement may seem to be idealistic and hard to comply with. However, understanding barriers in all their variations is essential. After all, how can you manage something you don’t know about?

A series of articles on the Safety Cary blog talk about safety barriers, with this concluding article focusing on incident investigation as a means of getting needed information.

Read the article here.

Photo by: Brian Robert Marshall

Rail Spur Safety

Does your company have an on-site rail spur? Then you need to be aware of rail safety issues. For example, if rail car king brakes are not set, a strong wind can set them in motion and result in serious injuries.

This month's Ethanol Producer magazine has a short article covering the basics of rail car safety.  It notes that rail cars can move silently and become a serious hazard if they are not properly secured.

Read the article here.

When it comes to safety, do you trust your city engineer?

A dispute over safety between a city engineer and contractors has resulted in the city engineer being pulled from the job of inspecting two major road construction projects. The city engineer has contacted OSHA and an OSHA inspection was recently conducted.

Take a look at the photos yourself to see if you notice safety violations in these trenches.

City of Niagra Falls vs The City Engineer Photos

LaGuardia Airport - Photo by Redlegsfan21
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have reached a $3,500,000 settlement agreement about aircraft rescue and firefighting  violations at four New York area airports — John F. Kennedy, Teterboro, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty International. The safety violations center on a lack of training.

The FAA became aware of the aircraft rescue and firefighting violations as a result of an annual airport certification safety inspection of JFK in December 2011. The FAA also discovered similar violations at Teterboro, which prompted a full review of training at LaGuardia, Newark Liberty International, and Stewart International Airports. The review of ARFF training revealed violations at LaGuardia and Newark, with no violations at Stewart.

Read the story in the Washington Post

Electrical tape binds man's severe neck wound

When you are in a remote location you sometimes need to use whatever is at hand to treat an injury. I once used plastic grocery bags to bandage a serious leg wound and stop the bleeding. The emergency room staff said it was the most unusual bandage they had seen... but it worked.

In this story electrical tape is used to successfully bandage a severe neck injury. Read the story in NJ.com

Related past posts:
Safety News Briefs - Week Ending April 6th
Safety News Briefs - Week Ending March 30th
Safety News Briefs - Week Ending March 25th

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