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, March 03, 2014

Safety News Briefs - Company Supervisors To Pay $450,000

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.

New OSHA Rule For Food Safety Makes Whistleblower Complaints Easier

Under a new rule issued by OSHA, a whistleblower in the food industry is protected by the whistleblower if they can show that they thought they were complaining about an actual violation of safety standards or rules. There does not need to actually have been a safety violation.

An article in JDSupra Business Advisor states:

"Under the new FSMA rule, complaining employees are protected from retaliatory actions as long as they have a reasonable belief — defined in the regulation as a subjective, good-faith belief and an objectively reasonable belief — that the complained-of conduct violates the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). However, the whistleblower need not show that the conduct complained of constituted an actual violation of law."

The article includes suggestions for what employers can do to protect themselves. Read the article here.

Company Supervisors To Pay $450,000 As A Result Of Explosion That Killed 2 Workers

In March 2009 two employees of Solus Industrial Innovations were killed when a water heater, used as a part of the manufacturing process, exploded. Two other employees were injured. The water heater was a residential water heater from Lowe’s, was being used instead of a commercial grade boiler, and was not being maintained properly.

The Orange County Register reports that:

"Carl E. Richardson, who was the plant manager, and Roy Faulkinbury, who was the maintenance supervisor, agreed to pay a total of $450,000 to the families of the victims and do 250 hours of community service. If they do that and comply with probation, they won’t serve jail time."

Read the complete story here.

CSB Responds To Tesoro Denying Access To Refinery

Last week I reported that Tesoro had bared the Chemical Safety Board from their refinery near Martinez, California.  The CSB has responded by alleging that the management of the refinery has violated federal law. The question centers on whether the injuries to two workers were minor or could be classified as "serious." Federal law gives the CSB the authority to investigate "any accidental release resulting in a fatality, serious injury or substantial property damages."

An article in the Contra Costa Times reports that:

"Three U.S. Chemical Safety Board investigators showed up a day after the Feb. 12 incident and initially gained access, but Tesoro's lawyers raised 'jurisdictional challenges' and forced the investigators to leave, said Dan Horowitz, the CSB's managing director."

"In the letter sent Wednesday,the agency's three-member board alleged several violations of the federal statute governing the safety board, including 'refusing to permit the CSB to return to the site, refusing to preserve the site, prohibiting the conduct of certain interviews and indicating that you will not comply with a duly issued document subpoena and other document requests.'" 

Read the Contra Costa Times article here.

OSHA Proposes Changes To The Process Safety Management Standard

JDSupra Business Advisor is reporting that:

"Last year, President Obama issued Executive Order 13650 which requires the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ('OSHA') to publish a Request for Information (“RFI”) to identify issues related to modernizing the Process Safety Management ('PSM') standard and related standards to prevent major chemical accidents."

"In response to the Executive Order, OSHA initiated a rulemaking effort by publishing the RFI in the Federal Register on December 9, 2013. OSHA is considering significant changes to the PSM standard that would expand the obligation to comply with the PSM standard."

The article reports that OSHA is proposing 17 changes that will significantly increase the number of workplaces that must comply with the PSM standard, and will also make compliance more difficult.

Read the list of 17 proposed changes on JDSupra.

Related past posts:
Safety News Briefs - Employers Worry About MMJ Workers
Safety News Briefs - Part 1
Safety News Briefs - OSHA Increases Fine

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posted by Steve Hudgik
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