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6/8/2009

State Mandates OSHA-10 and OSHA-30 Training for All Construction Workers and Site Supervisors

Safety


One year after the construction worker walkout at City Center, Nevada’s Governor has signed Assembly Bill 148, making Nevada the first state in the nation to mandate OSHA-10 and OSHA-30 training for all construction workers and site supervisors. The bill, a collaboration between Assembly Majority Leader John Oceguera, Perini Building Company, and the Southern Nevada Building and Construction Trades Council, sets Nevada on a course to become a leader in construction worker safety.

“I want to thank Perini Building Company for their cooperation on this bill, as well as the support of Majority Leader John Oceguera, who spent countless hours making sure this bill made it through the legislative process. This is important legislation that will have a meaningful impact in changing the culture on construction sites, and making workers safer,” stated Steve Ross, Executive Secretary/Treasurer of the Southern Nevada Building and Construction Trades Council.

AB 148 was the by-product of a program established on the City Center job-site in an agreement between Perini Building Company and Building Trades, where all workers on the job-site were mandated to obtain OSHA-10 completion cards. After a string of worker deaths early on in City Center’s construction, there have been zero additional fatalities since the institution of the OSHA-10 program at City Center.

The Southern Nevada Building and Construction Trades Council, and its 22,000 members, made passing a worker training bill its cornerstone legislative priority at the 2009 Nevada Legislature. The bill passed both houses of the legislature with broad bipartisan majorities, and was signed by the Governor on Wednesday, June 3, 2009.

OSHA Proposes $52,500 in Penalties Against Atlas Roofing for Repeat Energy Control Violations

OSHA is proposing $52,500 in penalties against Atlas Roofing Corp. for safety violations at its Hampton, Georgia, manufacturing facility. Atlas Roofing employs more than 1,200 workers nationwide.

A serious violation with a $50,000 penalty is being proposed against the company for its second repeat failure to conduct periodic and at least annual inspections of the company’s energy control procedure in its roof and felt mills. OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Employers are required to establish a program consisting of energy control procedures, employee training and periodic inspections to ensure that before any employee performs any servicing or maintenance on a machine or equipment where the unexpected energizing, startup or release of stored energy could occur and cause injury, the machine or equipment shall be isolated from the energy source and rendered inoperative.

OSHA is proposing one serious violation carrying a $2,500 fine against the company for failing to label electric equipment. In addition, three other-than-serious violations are being issued against the company for failing to meet OSHA recordkeeping requirements. Because these three violations are not likely to result in immediate death or serious physical harm of workers, no monetary penalties are being assessed, but the company is required to make the necessary changes that will bring it into compliance with all OSHA standards.

“This location should not wait until a serious injury or death occurs to any of its more than 100 workers before making needed changes in its safety procedures,” said Gei-Thae Breezley, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-East Area Office. “When a company persists in ignoring its responsibilities, OSHA must step in to protect workers’ safety.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA’s Atlanta-East Area Office.

Mattel, Fisher-Price to Pay $2.3 Million Civil Penalty for Violating Federal Lead Paint Ban

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced that Mattel Inc., of El Segundo, California and its wholly owned subsidiary, Fisher-Price Inc., of East Aurora, New York, have agreed to pay a $2.3 million civil penalty for violating the federal lead paint ban.

The penalty settlement, which has been provisionally accepted by the Commission, resolves CPSC staff allegations that Mattel and Fisher-Price knowingly (as defined in the Consumer Product Safety Act) imported and sold children’s toys with paints or other surface coatings that contained lead levels that violated a 30-year-old federal law. In 1978, a federal ban was put in place which prohibited toys and other children’s articles from having more than 0.06% lead (by weight) in paints or surface coatings. In 2007, about 95 Mattel and Fisher-Price toy models were determined to have exceeded this limit. Lead can be toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health affects.

This civil penalty, which is the highest for violations involving importation or distribution in commerce of a regulated product and is the third highest of any kind in CPSC history, settles the following allegations:

  • Mattel imported up to 900,000 non-compliant toys between September 2006 and August 2007, including the Sarge toy car and numerous Barbie accessory toys, and distributed most of them to its retail customers for sale to U.S. consumers. The Sarge car was recalled in August 2007 and the Barbie toys were recalled in September 2007.
  • Fisher-Price imported up to 1.1 million non-compliant toys between July 2006 and August 2007, including certain licensed character toys and the Bongo Band, GEOTRAX locomotive, and Go Diego Go Rescue Boat toys. Most of these toys were distributed to retail stores for sale to consumers. The licensed character toys were recalled in August 2007, the Bongo Band and GEO TRAX toys were recalled in September 2007, and the Go Diego Go Boat toys were recalled in October 2007.

“These highly publicized toy recalls helped spur Congressional action last year to strengthen CPSC and make even stricter the ban on lead paint on toys,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Thomas Moore. “This penalty should serve notice to toy makers that CPSC is committed to the safety of children, to reducing their exposure to lead, and to the implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.”

This settlement also resolves other potential matters. In agreeing to the settlement, Mattel and Fisher-Price deny that they knowingly violated federal law, as alleged by CPSC staff.

Entergy Transmission and Substations in Destrehan, Louisiana Earn VPP Status

Entergy Transmission and Substations, Louisiana Grid, in Destrehan has earned membership in OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) at the star, or highest, level for achieving three years of excellence in employee health and safety.

“The Entergy Transmission and Substation in Destrehan has demonstrated excellence in effective safety and health management,” said Dean W. McDaniel, OSHA’s regional administrator in Dallas. “The company’s outstanding efforts at this site include maintaining an injury and illness rate that is 75 percent below the national average for its industry.”

Bruce Stark, VPP coordinator in OSHA’s Baton Rouge, Louisiana, area office, attended a recognition ceremony at the company’s facility on Alpha Boulevard in Destrehan.

Entergy Transmission and Substations workers at the Destrehan Office Site strive to ensure that the local transmission and distribution system for electricity delivers safe, reliable power to its customers. The site has about 25 skilled workers that repair and maintain about 99 electrical substations located throughout the facility’s network.

More than 2,160 worksites representing about 270 industries nationwide have earned entry into OSHA’s VPP. Requirements include a high degree of management commitment and employee involvement; a high-quality worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control program; and comprehensive safety and health training for all employees. Each of these elements must be effective, in place and in operation for at least one year before a company can apply to join the VPP. Companies in the VPP achieve average injury and illness rates 50% below the Bureau of Labor Statistics average for other companies in their respective industries.

OSHA Recognizes Dal-Tile Corp. for Safety and Health Achievement

Dal-Tile Corp. in El Paso has earned membership in the OSHA’s VPP program at the star level for achieving three years of excellence in employee health and safety.

“Dal-Tile has demonstrated excellence in effective safety and health management,” said Dean W. McDaniel, OSHA’s regional administrator in Dallas. “The company’s outstanding efforts at this site include maintaining an injury and illness rate that is 71 percent below the national average for its industry.”

Dal-Tile manufactures ceramic tile and is one of eight production facilities nationwide. The El Paso plant, which began operating in 1995, is the company’s largest producer of ceramic tile in North America. Products manufactured in El Paso are shipped to Dal-Tile regional distribution centers and sales and service centers across the United States and Canada.

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