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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, December 09, 2013

Safety News Briefs - EPA Fine Can Result In OSHA Citation

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.


Man Awarded $10 Million As A Result Of 2007 Workplace Accident

The Buffalo News is reporting on a man who was injured in 2007 and just last week received a $10,048,000 award for a back injury.  The article described the accident this way:

Colling, who was 21 when he was hurt, was delivering documents to be shredded at Frontier for his employer, Hanes Supply, a Buffalo contractor and industrial supplier. At the recycling plant, a Frontier forklift driver rounded a corner and pushed a heavy pallet of shredded materials into Colling, pinning him against a shredder machine.

Kirby Colling had been working towards becoming a police office, but is now permanently disabled.

Read the story in the Buffalo News.


EPA and OSHA Working Together: An EPA Fine For Not Having A RMP Can Also Result In An OSHA Citation

Hershey, Tyson Foods, and other food industry companies have felt the sting of fines from both EPA and OSHA for the same violation.  Food Safety Magazine has an article reporting that:

"The hazardous chemical industry and manufacturing facilities that store and handle hazardous chemicals have especially felt the 'bite' of joint enforcement between U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), EPA and OSHA in recent years. Under federal law, hazardous chemical program compliance is regulated by both the EPA (Risk Management Plan, RMP) and OSHA (Process Safety Management, PSM). In many respects RMP and PSM are the same regulations. To be in violation of PSM likely means a facility is also violating RMP regulations and vice versa."

The article gives three examples of companies fined by both OSHA and the EPA for the same violation.

Read the article here.

A longer, more detailed article in EHS Today appeared on December 6th. You can read that article here.


Pennsylvania Business Owner Taking A Stand Against OSHA

This type of story seems to be becoming more common. A business owner in Bucks County Pennsylvania is refusing to allow OSHA inspectors into his business until they get a warrant. William Marsh, the owner of American Bar Products, Inc, a ten employee small business, denied an OSHA inspector entry to his business on November 21st.  An article in Philly.com reports that:

"A federal workplace inspector showed up unannounced at Marsh's steel manufacturing business in Warminster on Nov. 21 seeking to measure the company's noise level, he said.  When the inspector produced no warrant, Marsh denied him entry.

"The federal government, I do not respect it," Marsh, president of American Bar Products Inc., said Thursday. "They hurt workers."


Read the Philly.com story here.


OSHA Seeks Public Comment On Standards To Improve Chemical Safety

Last week OSHA announced a request for information seeking public comment on potential revisions to its Process Safety Management standard and related standards, as well as other policy options to prevent major chemical incidents.

The RFI is in response to executive order 13650, which seeks to improve chemical facility safety and security, issued in the wake of the April 2013 West, Texas, tragedy that killed 15 in an ammonium nitrate explosion.

In addition to comments on its Process Safety Management standard, OSHA seeks input on potential updates to its Explosives and Blasting Agents, Flammable Liquids and Spray Finishing standards, as well as potential changes to PSM enforcement policies. The agency also asks for information and data on specific rulemaking and policy options, and the workplace hazards they address. OSHA will use the information received in response to this RFI to determine what actions, if any, it may take.

After publication of the RFI in the Federal Register, the public will have 90 days to submit written comments. Once the RFI is published in the Federal Register, interested parties may submit comments at www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Comments may also be submitted by mail or facsimile. To view the RFI visit:
http://www.osha.gov/chemicalexecutiveorder/OSHA_PSM_RFI.pdf

For more information, visit:
www.osha.gov/chemicalexecutiveorder/index.htm


Whistleblowers Can Now File Complaints Online

Whistleblowers covered by one of 22 statutes administered by OSHA can complaints online. The online form provide workers who have been retaliated against an additional way to get OSHA assistance.

Previously, workers can made complaints to OSHA by filing a written complaint or by calling the agency's 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) number or an OSHA regional or area office. Workers now can electronically submit a whistleblower complaint to OSHA by visiting www.osha.gov/whistleblower/WBComplaint.html.

The new online form prompts the worker to include basic whistleblower complaint information so they can be easily contacted for follow-up. Complaints are automatically routed to the appropriate regional whistleblower investigators. In addition, the complaint form can also be downloaded and submitted to the agency in hard-copy format by fax, mail or hand-delivery. The paper version is identical to the electronic version and requests the same information necessary to initiate a whistleblower investigation.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of 22 statutes protecting employees who report violations of various securities laws, trucking, airline, nuclear power, pipeline, environmental, rail, public transportation, workplace safety and health, and consumer protection laws. Detailed information on employee whistleblower rights, including fact sheets and instructions on how to submit the form in hard-copy format, is available online at www.whistleblowers.gov.


Fatalgram Offers Potential Insights Into Mining Accident

MSHA issues fatalgrams to alert the mining industry in a timely manner of a tragic loss of life in the mines. The Watch reports on a fatalgram issued about last month's accident at the Revenue-Virginius Mine. The MSHA fatalgram stated:

“On Nov. 17, 2013, a 33-year old powderman trainee with five weeks of experience and a 59-year old shift supervisor with 36 years of experience were killed at a silver mine. The two miners were in an area of the mine where explosives had been detonated the day before. Other miners working in the area were able to evacuate. Mine rescue teams entered the mine, found the two victims, and brought them to the surface. During the recovery operation, rescue teams detected fatal levels of carbon monoxide. Twenty miners were taken to the hospital and three were kept overnight.”

Read MSHA's recommendations in the article in The Watch.


Related past posts:
CSB Wants Changes At OSHA
General Duty Clause Used To Protect Workers From Chemical Hazards
Court Denies OSHA's Request For Enterprise Wide Relief

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