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, May 06, 2013

Safety News Briefs - Tell OSHA To Get A Warrant

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 any safety news tips, send them to: duralabelpro@gmail.com.

Tell OSHA TO Get A Warrant

Two weeks ago we reported on a new letter of interpretation from OSHA that allows an OSHA inspector to bring in a union representative to represent employees in a non-union workplace during an inspection.  An article by Frank Kollman in the National Clothesline provides legal advice on how to respond to an OSHA inspector showing up under these new conditions.

Be sure you have a plan in place covering what will be done should an OSHA inspector show up, and know your rights.  Also, be sure your employees are trained in what they should do.  Mr. Kollman's article includes advice on what should be included in your plan.

Read the article here.

Oregon Department of
Transportation Photo
Voice To Text Apps Do Not Make Driving Safer

A study conducted at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute reports that driving while using a voice to text app for sending text messages is no safer than manual texting. Both are dangerous to do while driving.  The TTI analysis is the first to compare voice-to-text and manual texting on a handheld device in an actual driving environment.

The major findings from the study included:
  • Driver response times were significantly delayed no matter which texting method was used. In each case, drivers took about twice as long to react as they did when they weren’t texting.
  • The amount of time that drivers spent looking at the roadway ahead was significantly less when they were texting, no matter which texting method was used.
  • Drivers felt less safe when they were manually texting, but had a false sense of safety when using a voice-to-text application.
Read about the study on the TTI web site.

OSHA Launches Initiative to Protect Temporary Workers

OSHA has sent out a memorandum directing field inspectors to assess whether employers who use temporary workers are complying with OSHA standards. In addition, they will assess whether temporary workers received required training in a language and vocabulary they could understand.

The OSHA memo can be viewed here.

In recent months, OSHA has received a series of reports about temporary workers suffering fatal injuries – many during their first days on a job. OSHA has issued citations when the employer failed to provide adequate protections, including safety training. Fatal work injuries involving contractors accounted for 542 of the 4,693 fatal work injuries reported last year. Hispanic/Latino contractors accounted for 28% of fatal work injuries among contractors, well above their 16% share of the overall fatal work injury total for the year.

Video produced by California FACE on preventing falls through skylightsEducational Videos On preventing Fatal Falls In Construction

Two short, dramatic worker safety videos presenting the hazard of fatal falls on the job are now available online.

Produced by the California Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program, with support from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the videos illustrate true stories about the death of a worker who fell through a skylight and a solar installer who fell off a roof. The videos explain the events that led up to these deaths and what could have been done to prevent them.

The five-minute videos can be used in worker trainings to prevent similar deaths.

Watch the skylight video and the solar installer video.

BLS Releases Revised Workplace Fatality Numbers

In 2011, 4,693 workers died on the job, according to revised numbers just issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Last September the BLS reported a preliminary count of 4,609 workplace deaths in 2011. The revised figure is virtually the same as the 2010 final figure of 4,690.  The rate of worker deaths per 100,000 full-time workers remained the same from the preliminary report to final report – 3.5. This represents a slight decrease from the 2010 final rate of 3.6.

Changes between the September and April reports are caused by updates to the 2011 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries file that were made after the preliminary results were released, and include identification of new cases and revisions of existing cases

Ruling From Sixth Circuit Court Expands OSHA Citations To Cover "Access Alone."

A recent court ruling states that OSHA may cite employers for hazards that workers have access to, even though no workers were ever actually in the area where the hazard exists.  This ruling means that employers must barricade and post warnings about hazardous areas, even though they believe no one would go near those areas.

Keep in mind that people doing things we don't expect them to do is a major cause of workplace injuries and fatalities.

Read about it in JDSupra.

Related past posts:
Safety News Briefs - Focus On Training
Safety News Briefs - Week Ending April 15th
Safety News Briefs - Week Ending April 6th

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