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10/24/2011

OSHA Publishes New and Revised Materials on Worker Safety and Health

Safety


OSHA has recently published new and revised information that explains workers’ and employers’ rights, as well as how to protect workers from hazards in the construction, general, and maritime industries. To order free copies of these materials online, visit OSHA’s Publications page or call OSHA’s toll free number at 800-321-6742.

OSHA’s Small Entity Compliance Guide for Respiratory Protection Standard provides small businesses with a comprehensive step-by-step guide complete with checklists and commonly asked questions that will aid both employees and workers in small businesses with a better understanding of OSHA’s respiratory protection standard.

It’s the law of the land that workers have a right to a safe workplace. OSHA’s Workers’ Rights booklet describes the rights to which workers are legally entitled to under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The booklet covers many topics, including rights provided under OSHA standards, filing a complaint with OSHA, whistleblower protections, and educational and training resources available.

OSHA provides employers with information on their rights and responsibilities following a federal OSHA inspection. The booklet, Employer Rights and Responsibilities, explains what happens after an inspection, and defines the types of violations for which an employer may be cited as a result of an inspection.

OSHA has also published information to help protect construction, general industry and shipyard workers, and those who work outdoors.

For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

How to Author GHS Safety Data Sheets

OSHA is adopting the new Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for the classification and labeling of hazardous chemicals. A cornerstone of GHS is the adoption of a completely revised Safety Data Sheet (SDS). In Environmental Resource Center’s new, How to Author GHS Safety Data Sheets webcast, you will learn the differences between the MSDS and SDS, how to author SDSs that meet the latest OSHA standards, how to classify your products according to the 28 GHS hazard classes and 88 categories, what must be entered in each section of the SDS, essential references you can use to locate data for each section of the SDS, and how to handle trade secrets.

To learn what you must do to meet the new SDS requirements, register for one of the upcoming How to Author GHS Safety Data Sheets webcasts:

  • November 3, 2011
  • November 18, 2011
  • December 15, 2011

How to Label Hazardous Chemicals Using OSHA’s New GHS Hazcom Standard

Workplace and supplier hazard communication labels are being reinvented as OSHA adopts the new Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for labeling hazardous chemicals. In a new, interactive Environmental Resource Center webcast, How to Label Hazardous Chemicals Using OSHA’s New GHS Hazcom Standard, you will learn the difference between workplace and supplier labels; what signal words, hazard statements, precautionary statements, and pictograms must be on your labels; essential references you can use to locate required label information; and how to label products with existing HMIS, NFPA, DOT, and CPSC labels.

Register for an upcoming How to Label Hazardous Chemicals Using OSHA’s New GHS Hazcom Standard webcast available on:

  • November 4, 2011
  • December 16, 2011

How to Prepare for OSHA Adoption of the GHS for Classification and Labeling of Chemicals

OSHA has announced they will adopt the globally harmonized system (GHS) for the classification and labeling of hazardous chemicals. This means that virtually every product label, material safety data sheet (soon to be called “safety data sheet”), and written hazard communication plan must be revised to meet the new standard. Worker training must be updated so that workers can recognize and understand the symbols and pictograms on the new labels as well as the new hazard statements and precautions on MSDSs.

Environmental Resource Center is offering webcast training courses where you will learn how the new rule differs from current requirements, how to implement the changes, and when the changes must be implemented. Dates for upcoming How to Prepare for OSHA Adoption of the GHS for Classification and Labeling of Chemicals webcasts include:

  • November 2
  • December 12

Register early to ensure your spot in one of the upcoming sessions. You may register online or call 800-537-2372 to register by phone.

Mobile RCRA and DOT Training

Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course (RCRA) and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course, in Mobile, Alabama, from November 1–3 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 1-800-537-2372.

Williamsburg RCRA and DOT Training

Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course (RCRA) and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course, in Williamsburg, Virginia, from November 15–17 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 1-800-537-2372.

Safety Consultant/Trainer

Environmental Resource Center has a new opening for a safety consultant and auditor. We are looking for a former OSHA CSHO, OSHA trainer, or state inspector for this position in our Cary, North Carolina, office. Applicants should have excellent writing and speaking skills and be willing to travel 7–14 days per month. We are looking for an expert in all of the General Industry and Construction standards who is capable of performing audits of industrial facilities as well as conducting on-site training.

Strong consideration will be given to applicants who also have experience providing HAZWOPER, Hazcom, lockout/tagout, confined spaces, and machine guarding training.

The position includes maintenance of training materials (books and presentations), working on consulting projects, development of classes and computer-based training programs, and ensuring customer satisfaction.

If you meet our qualifications, are enthusiastic about safety regulations, have auditing experience, and have the ability to entertain students, send your resume, references, and salary requirements to Amy Knight at aknight@ercweb.com. We offer a competitive salary, 401(k), medical, dental, and other great benefits.

Statement from Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis on Reported Decline in Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has announced that nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses among private industry employers declined in 2010 to a rate of 3.5 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers, down from a total case rate of 3.6 in 2009. Nearly 3.1 million injuries and illnesses were reported among private sector industry employers in 2010, down from 3.3 million reported in 2009. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement:

We are encouraged by the reported decline in incidence rates for workplace injuries and illnesses, which is reflective of the joint effort of government, business, unions and other organizations. Nevertheless, 3.1 million injuries and illnesses in the workplace is too high. Serious injuries and illnesses can knock a working family out of the middle class. Workers should not have to sacrifice their health and safety to earn a paycheck.

We remain concerned that more workers are injured in the health care and social assistance industry sector than in any other, including construction and manufacturing, and this group of workers had one of the highest rates of injuries and illness at 5.2 cases for every 100 workers. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration will continue to work with employers, workers and unions in this industry to reduce these risks.

Illness and injury rates for public sector workers also continue to be alarmingly high at 5.7 cases for every 100 workers, which is more than 60 percent higher than the private sector rate. We must continue to work with state and local governments to ensure the safety of our public employees.

A report like this also highlights the importance of accurate record keeping. Employers must know what injuries and illnesses are occurring in their workplaces in order to identify and correct systemic issues that put their workers at risk. We are concerned with poor record-keeping practices and programs that discourage workers from reporting injuries and illnesses. That’s why OSHA is working hard to ensure the completeness and accuracy of these data, which are compiled by the nation’s employers.

As our economy continues to rebound and grow, we must ensure that safety and health are a part of that growth. Let’s all remember  that no job is a good job unless it is also a safe job.

CSB Releases New Video on Laboratory Safety at Academic Institutions

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released a new safety video on the potential hazards associated with conducting research at chemical laboratories in academic institutions. The 24-minute video focuses on three serious laboratory accidents: the death of a lab research assistant in 2008 in a flash fire at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA); the death, by accidental poisoning, of a highly regarded Dartmouth College professor in 1997; and a 2010 explosion at Texas Tech University (TTU) that severely injured a graduate student, who lost three fingers in the blast and suffered eye damage.

The video, Experimenting with Danger, notes that the CSB has collected preliminary data on 120 explosions, fires, and chemical releases at university laboratories and other research facilities that occurred around the country since 2001, causing deaths, serious injuries, and extensive property damage.

The video provides extensive information on the CSB’s investigation of the TTU accident and the resulting case study. The case study report, issued during a webinar on laboratory safety and now available online at www.csb.gov, includes six key safety lessons the Board believes apply to academia as a whole.

In the video, CSB Chairperson Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso states, “Research conducted at university laboratories is often on the forefront of technology and innovation. It is important that this research continues and thrives. But it must be done within a strong safety culture where preventing hazards is an important value.”

The three laboratory accidents are depicted through the use of illustrations. Dr. Naveen Sangji, the sister of Sheharbano “Sheri” Sangji, who died of injuries from the UCLA accident, says in the video, “A lost life is not just an anonymous loss of life, but real people, and families are profoundly affected. And safety has to be an absolute priority and the first priority for any laboratory.”

TTU vice president for research Dr. Taylor Eighmy, who appears in the video, has stated, “The video is immensely powerful. It tells a compelling and poignant story and should be used all the time in every university that has anything to do with laboratory or workplace safety.”

CSB lead investigator Cheryl MacKenzie and investigator Dr. Mary Beth Mulcahy comment extensively on the results of their team’s investigation of the TTU explosion during an experiment with energetic materials being conducted under a funding agreement with the Department of Homeland Security.

Investigator MacKenzie says, “The CSB is concerned with laboratory safety because it’s an area that appears in comparison to industry pretty unregulated. There is an OSHA laboratory standard but its focus is on exposure hazards and health hazards of the research work being conducted.”

Investigator Mulcahy, who has a doctorate in physical chemistry, notes that at TTU, the injured lab worker had not received any specific, formal training on working with potentially explosive compounds. “When graduate students go into these new endeavors—a new project, a new process—they need to get specific training and they need to have it ensured and have it assessed—do they really understand what it is they’re doing?” she asks.

The video includes remarks from UCLA’s head of environmental health and safety Dr. James Gibson; Dartmouth College chemistry professor Dr. John Winn; TTU chemistry professor Dr. Dominick Casadonte; Dr. Eighmy of TTU; Laboratory Safety Institute president Dr. James Kaufman; and Dr. Jyllian Kemsley, a chemist and reporter for the Chemical and Engineering News, a prominent publication of the American Chemical Society.

In concluding the video, Dr. Moure-Eraso calls on universities to study the key lessons from the Texas Tech case study and, “Do everything possible to provide safe working environments in their laboratories.”

For more information, contact CSB Communications Manager Hillary Cohen at 202-446-8094, or Sandy Gilmour at 202-261-7614 or 202-251-5496.

OSHA Proposes More than $589,000 in Fines to Market Basket Grocery Stores

OSHA has cited DeMoulas Supermarkets Inc., doing business as Market Basket, for 30 alleged willful, repeat, and serious violations of workplace safety standards at its stores in Rindge and Concord, New Hampshire. The Tewksbury, Massachusetts-based grocery chain, which has stores in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, faces a total of $589,200 in proposed fines, chiefly for recurring fall and laceration hazards and also for improperly responding to a worker’s serious injury.

“Employers with multiple locations have a responsibility to ensure safe and healthful working conditions at all of their workplaces,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. “This employer has been cited for similar conditions at numerous other stores. Although those individual hazards were abated, this employer has not taken effective steps to correct these hazards across the board.”

The inspection of the Market Basket store in Rindge on U.S. Route 202 began after an employee sustained broken bones and head trauma on April 17 when he fell 11 feet to a concrete floor from an inadequately guarded storage mezzanine. Instead of calling for emergency help, store management lifted the injured worker from the floor, put him in a wheelchair and pushed him to the store’s receiving dock to wait for a relative to take him to the hospital.

The Concord store inspection began May 16 after an OSHA supervisor observed the same type of fall hazard as the one at the Rindge store while shopping at the Market Basket store on Fort Eddy Road.

OSHA found that employees at both stores were exposed to falls from heights greater than 11 feet while working on top of produce coolers, freezers, and storage lofts that lacked adequate guardrails. OSHA previously had cited DeMoulas for the same hazard at the Concord store as well as stores in Fitchburg, Lawrence, and Tewksbury, Massachusetts.

Employees who worked in the produce, deli, and bakery departments at the Rindge and Concord stores were also exposed to laceration hazards from knives due to the grocery chain’s failure to conduct a hazard assessment and provide hand protection. DeMoulas previously was cited by OSHA for the same types of hazards at its Tewksbury and Westford, Massachusetts, locations.

Due to the company’s knowledge of the fall and laceration hazards and its systemic failure to correct them, OSHA cited four willful violations with $261,000 in proposed penalties. A willful violation exists when an employer has demonstrated either an intentional disregard for the requirements of the law or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Additionally, DeMoulas Supermarkets has been cited for seven repeat violations with $225,500 in fines for hazardous conditions similar to those previously cited at its Ashland, Andover, Fitchburg, Salem, Tewksbury, and Westford, Massachusetts, locations. These citations encompass amputation hazards stemming from a lack of procedures, training, and equipment to ensure that a meat saw and seafood cooler would not be activated while employees were cleaning them, as well as hazards from exposed portions of the saw’s blade; inadequate training of powered industrial truck operators; and a lack of bloodborne pathogen training for an employee required to clean equipment and work in areas contaminated with human blood. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule, or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

Finally, the company has been cited for 19 serious violations with $102,700 in proposed penalties. One violation was cited under OSHA’s general duty clause for failing to contact emergency services and for moving the injured employee. The remaining 18 violations involve obstructed exit routes; a lack of eye and hand protection and an emergency eyewash for employees working with or near battery acid; a lack of chemical hazard communication training for workers; and other hazards related to electrical equipment, machine guarding and bloodborne pathogens. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/DemoulasSuperMarketsIncdbaMarketBasket_63192_1007_11.pdf and http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/DemoulasSuperMarketsIncdbaMarketBasket_29247_1007_11.pdf.

DeMoulas Supermarkets has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA’s Concord Area Office.

OSHA Cites Corpus Christi, Texas-based Grain Elevator Operator Following Bin Entrapment

OSHA has cited Corpus Christi Grain Co., in Corpus Christi, Texas, for six willful and 20 serious violations with total proposed penalties of $258,900. OSHA’s Corpus Christi Area Office initiated its inspection at the company’s facility on Talbert Lane after it was reported that a worker was engulfed while emptying grain from a storage bin. The employee was rescued due to the exceptional efforts of the Corpus Christi Fire Department.

“Employees working in grain storage buildings are exposed to dangerous conditions, and proper safety measures must be taken,” said Michael Rivera, director of OSHA’s Corpus Christi office. “If OSHA’s standards were followed, it is possible this unfortunate incident could have been avoided.”

The willful violations include failing to provide personal protective equipment, such as a body harness and life line, for employees working with stored grain; perform lockout/tagout procedures for the energy sources of equipment, such as augers and conveyors, while workers are inside the grain bins; and have a competent attendant present with rescue equipment when workers enter grain storage bins.

The serious violations include failing to ensure that employees are trained on the hazards associated with grain handling, cover openings with grates in grain bins, ensure that workroom floors are clear of combustible dust and provide a preventive maintenance schedule for machinery.

In addition to the agency’s enforcement actions to promote grain bin safety, OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels sent a notification letter in August 2010 and another in February 2011 to a total of more than 13,000 grain elevator operators warning them of proper safety precautions. These include prohibiting entry in grain storage facilities while grain is being emptied out or flowing in or out of the bin, prohibiting employees from “walking down the grain” and ensuring that employees enter the bin with the proper safety equipment. The February letter is available at http://www.osha.gov/asst-sec/Grain-Letter-2-1-2011.html.

The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/CorpusChristiGrain_315367599_10192011.pdf.

Penalties Total Nearly $170,000 Against America’s Fiberglass Animals

OSHA has cited America’s Fiberglass Animals for eight repeat and seven serious violations of safety and health standards found during an inspection at the company’s manufacturing facility in Minden, Nebraska, which was conducted as a follow-up after the company moved operations from Hastings, Nebraska. Two failure-to-abate notices also were issued because the company had not corrected employee respiratory hazards cited at the Hastings location. Proposed fines total $169,260.

The failure-to-abate notices with $63,000 in fines were issued for failing to provide fit-testing and medical evaluations for employees who were required to wear respirators to be protected from hazardous airborne chemical vapors and dust. A failure-to-abate notice applies to a condition, hazard, or practice found uncorrected upon re-inspection that is the same for which the employer was originally cited.

“America’s Fiberglass Animals was cited last year for exposing employees to serious chemical hazards that can affect the respiratory system, as well as for other dangerous conditions, and failed to correct those hazards,” said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA’s regional administrator in Kansas City, Missouri. “All employers must take the necessary steps to eliminate hazards from the workplace.”

The repeat violations with $73,920 in fines address hazards associated with the use of unrated electrical systems and equipment in a location where combustible dust accumulated, the lack of mechanical ventilation and the presence of ignition sources inside an area where flammable liquids were sprayed, the storage of flammable liquids in the vicinity of a spray area, and the lack of a respirator program for employees who were required to wear respirators to protect them from exposure to hazardous airborne chemicals. The company was cited in July 2010 for the repeat and failure-to-abate violations at its Hastings facility.

The serious violations with $32,340 in fines involve improperly storing flammable chemicals; allowing hazardous materials to accumulate in a spray area; spraying organic peroxides and dual component resins outside of a spray booth; failing to use non-sparking tools in areas where hazardous chemicals were stored, mixed, and applied; allowing employees to consume food and beverages in areas exposed to toxic materials; and failing to train workers on the use of fire extinguishers and how to detect the presence of hazardous chemicals.

The company creates custom Fiberglas forms for public art projects and other uses.

Polar Service Center Fines Total $151,000 for Variety of Hazards

OSHA has cited Polar Service Center in Billings, Montana, for one willful and 13 serious violations of safety and health standards for exposing workers to a variety of hazards. The tank trailer service and repair center faces proposed penalties of $151,000.

“Polar Service Center failed to provide its employees with a safe and healthful workplace,” said Christine Webb, director of OSHA’s Billings Area Office, which conducted the inspection. “The hazards discovered during this inspection are well-recognized and must be addressed immediately to prevent needless injuries or illnesses.”

The willful violation was cited for failing to utilize protective guards on equipment.

The serious violations involve failing to implement a confined space program, hazard communication program, hearing conservation program, and respiratory protection program for voluntary use of respirators; using a modified crane that was not designed by a professional engineer; and failing to provide ventilation in a confined space during welding operations.

The citations for Polar Service Center can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/PolarInc_29160_1007_11.pdf and http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/PolarInc_29206_1007_11.pdf.

Steel Structures of Ohio Fined Over $134,000 for Endangering Employees’ Safety and Health

OSHA has cited Steel Structures of Ohio for 17 safety and health violations, including one willful safety violation for unsafe crane operations at its Akron, Ohio, location. Proposed fines total $134,400.

The willful safety violation was cited for failing to remove a crane from service that required necessary repairs before resuming crane operations.

Four repeat safety violations involve failing to implement specific requirements to test the effectiveness of energy control procedures and to conduct periodic inspections of those procedures, provide refresher training to employees who operate powered industrial trucks, and provide adequate guarding on equipment such as a 250-ton press brake and roller conveyor.

Five repeat health violations involve a lack of fit-testing and medical evaluations for respirator use, failing to provide mandatory respirator training, failing to provide a written hazard communication program, storing 675 gallons of flammable and combustible liquids in the open, transferring flammable or combustible liquids without grounding and bonding, and failing to keep spray paint areas free from the accumulation of combustible residue.

“Employers who are cited for repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to workplace safety and health,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland. “Employers have a responsibility to maintain safe working environments. OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so.”

Seven serious safety and health violations involve failing to evaluate the workplace for hazards that necessitated the use of personal protective equipment; exposing employees to potential burns and smoke inhalation from a dust collector that contained combustible dust; failing to physically separate spray painting activities from electrical boxes; failing to install electrical equipment in accordance with industry standards; and failing to provide an exhaust or ventilation system in a designated spray paint room to remove vapors, mist, or powders from flammable paints.

The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Steel_Structures_of_Ohio_315443663_1013_11.pdf and http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Steel_Structures_of_Ohio_315443689_1013_11.pdf.

This investigation falls under the requirements of OSHA’s Severe Violators Enforcement Program (SVEP). Initiated in 2010, SVEP is intended to focus on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat, or failure-to-abate violations. For more information on the program, visit http://www.osha.gov/dep/svep-directive.pdf.

OSHA Proposes $59,400 in Fines for Mollett Welding and Mine Service Inc.

OSHA has cited Mollett Welding and Mine Service, Inc., after an inspection at its welding and machine shop facility in Stollings, West Virginia, revealed 25 violations of safety and health standards. Proposed penalties total $59,400.

Twenty-two serious violations, carrying $58,800 in penalties, involve failing to provide a written respiratory program; develop a hazard communication program; provide medical evaluations for workers required to wear respirators and ensure they were fit-tested and clean-shaven; evaluate and identify respiratory hazards; provide clean, orderly places of employment; ensure use of approved electrical equipment in a spray area; remove rags and combustible materials from the spray area; post “no smoking” signs; conduct a personal protective equipment hazard assessment; ensure employees wore eye protection when exposed to metal shavings; utilize energy control procedures and conduct periodic inspections; provide training for employees on lockout procedures to prevent machinery from unexpectedly starting up; provide employees with first-aid training and adequate supplies; ensure fire extinguishers were mounted, readily accessible, and fully charged; conduct fire extinguisher training; and ensure stored material was stable and secure.

The violations also include the company’s failure to remove damaged slings, inspect slings daily, properly guard machines and adjust equipment, ensure compressed air used for cleaning was reduced to less than 30 per square inch, ensure valve protection caps were in place when compressed gas cylinders were not in use, store oxygen and acetylene cylinders in separate places, provide functional and legibly marked electrical equipment, ensure access around electrical equipment was clear, close unused openings in electrical boxes, ensure an extension cord had a ground pin, place an outer cover on a junction box, replace a damaged receptacle, and ensure use of permanent wiring in lieu of an extension cord.

Three other-than-serious violations, carrying $600 in penalties, were cited for incomplete OSHA 300A injury and illness forms, not posting a load capacity sign for an overhead storage area, and a lack of hot or tepid running water in a bathroom. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

“Workers at this welding shop are left vulnerable to hazards that could cause serious injuries or even death,” said Prentice Cline, director of OSHA’s Charleston Area Office. “This company should immediately address the cited violations to ensure its employees have a safe and healthful work environment.”

Horizon Milling LLC Fined for 17 Serious Safety Violations

OSHA has cited Minneapolis-based Horizon Milling, LLC, for 17 serious violations for exposing workers to multiple safety hazards at the company’s facility in Saginaw, Texas. Proposed penalties total $57,000.

“Employers are responsible for protecting workers from injuries and illnesses,” said Jack Rector, OSHA’s area director in Fort Worth. “It is very fortunate that no one was hurt at this facility.”

OSHA’s Fort Worth Area Office initiated its inspection as part of OSHA’s emphasis program for grain handling facilities. The investigation found that Horizon Milling exposed workers to unsafe working conditions while involved in shipping and receiving, flour blending, maintenance, and other operations at the company’s facility on East Industrial Boulevard.

The serious violations include failing to enclose or guard sprockets and chains; guard pulleys 7 feet or less from the floor; ensure coverings were provided for panel, electrical pull, and junction boxes; guard or enclose vertical belts and rotating shafts; provide strain relief on electrical circuits; ensure that exit access areas are at least the required 28 inches in width; provide at least two means of escape from galleries or bin decks; and install a mid-rail in the overhead storage location.

OSHA Cites M-Power Chemicals for Respiratory, Combustible Dust, and other Hazards

OSHA has cited M-Power Chemicals, LC, in Brookshire, Texas, for 14 serious and two other-than-serious violations, including exposing employees to respiratory and combustible dust hazards. Proposed penalties total $54,600.

“This company jeopardized the safety and health of its workers by exposing them to respiratory and combustible dust hazards,” said David Doucet, director of OSHA’s Houston North Area Office. “Long-term exposure to dust can lead to disabling illnesses.”

OSHA’s Houston North Area Office conducted its inspection at the company’s facility on Farm to Market 529 where workers handle various powders and liquids in the production of lubricating agents to improve flow in pipelines.

The serious violations involve failing to adequately control combustible dust; failing to use noncombustible ventilation ducts; failing to electrically ground bulk container bags while being emptied; failing to keep work and storage areas clean of combustible dust; failing to develop, implement, and train employees in a respiratory protection program; failing to medically evaluate and fit-test employees for respiratory protection; and failing to provide warning signs to alert employees of the hazards of combustible dust.

The other-than-serious violations involve failing to use the proper filter cartridge on respirators and failing to list hazardous chemicals used in the workplace.

Texas-based Operator of Jiffy Lube in Arlington Heights, Illinois, Cited for Repeated Slip and Fall Hazards, Other Violations

OSHA has cited Heartland Automotive Services, Inc., the operator of a Jiffy Lube oil changing facility in Arlington Heights, Illinois, for failing to keep floors dry to prevent employees from falling and other hazards. Proposed penalties total $52,700.

One repeat violation was cited for failing to maintain dry floors and allowing floors to be slick from oil and water accumulation, which created slip and fall hazards. Heartland Automotive Services was cited for this violation in January 2011 at a Kansas City, Kansas, facility.

“Employers who are cited for repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to workplace safety and health,” said Diane Turek, director of OSHA’s Chicago North Area Office in Des Plaines. “The responsibility to maintain safe working environments belongs to employers, but OSHA is committed to protecting workers when employers fail in that responsibility.”

Serious violations involve failing to evaluate the workplace for hazards that necessitated the use of personal protective equipment, guard exposed electrical components, provide a written hazard communication program, list and label containers of hazardous chemicals, and train workers on hazards and safety precautions.

Other-than-serious violations were cited for improper record keeping and for missing knockouts on electrical boxes.

Heartland Automotive Services has corporate headquarters in Irving, Texas, and operates more than 400 Jiffy Lube franchises around the country.

OSHA Sites Rhode Island Contractor for Serious Safety Violations after Fatal Worker Fall

OSHA has cited Fernandes Construction of Glendale, Rhode Island, for 10 alleged serious violations of workplace safety standards at a construction site located at 167 Blackstone St. in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, after an employee sustained fatal injuries from falling 50 feet through a skylight. Fernandes Construction faces $42,840 in proposed fines.

“One step in the wrong location can have devastating and irreparable consequences,” said Patrick Griffin, OSHA’s Rhode Island area director. “Falls are the leading killer in construction work, but they can be prevented with effective guarding and training. I urge all contractors in Rhode Island to examine their fall protection programs, make any necessary improvements, and ensure that their workers are properly trained to recognize and avoid fall hazards on the job.”

An inspection conducted by OSHA’s Providence Area Office found that the skylight opening lacked a guardrail or equivalent means to prevent workers from stepping on or through the skylight. In addition, open holes on walking/working surfaces at the site were not covered, and employees were not trained to recognize fall hazards.

Inspectors also identified violations involving a hand-fed circular saw that lacked proper guarding to protect employees, electrical components that were not covered to prevent employees from possible contact, unmarked electrical panels, and the lack of ground fault circuit interrupters.

Detailed information on fall and electrical hazards in construction, including means of safeguarding workers, is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/construction.html and http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/electrical/construction.html.

NIOSH and CDC to Sponsor Two-Day Buy Quiet Workshop

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be holding a two-day Buy Quiet Workshop in Cincinnati, Ohio, on November 9–10, 2011, from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time. The Workshop is a National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) activity jointly organized by the NORA Construction Sector and Manufacturing Sector Programs, and the NIOSH Hearing Loss Prevention Cross-sector Program. The purpose of the Workshop is to determine feasibility and functionality of Buy Quiet programs and to explore proactive steps to ensure successful implementation. The Workshop goal is to stimulate the wider adoption of current and future engineering noise controls on machinery and equipment and to motivate the development and implementation of Buy Quiet programs for the Construction and Manufacturing industries.

The meeting is open to the public, limited only by the space available. If you are interested in attending the meeting, contact the NIOSH Docket Office via mail at NIOSH Docket Office, Robert A. Taft Laboratories, MS-C34, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226, via phone at 513-533-8611, via fax at 513-533-8285, or via email at nioshdocket@cdc.gov.

Free registration and information on the workshop can be found at https://www.team-psa.com/BUYQUIET/general.asp.

Recommended attendees include:

  • Purchasing agents and buyers of construction and manufacturing machinery and equipment who believe Buy Quiet programs can be effectively and efficiently woven into existing procurement processes.
  • Construction and manufacturing employers who wish to investigate the cost effectiveness of Buy Quiet and determine how best to use the program to demonstrate best available engineering noise control technology is being deployed at their worksites.
  • Noise control engineers, product designers, and manufacturers wishing to learn how best to gather and present noise level information and to provide necessary information to their customers in support of Buy Quiet programs.
  • Other safety and health professionals and employee representatives who want to assist in bringing Buy Quiet programs into the workplace.

Day one will provide presentations from invited speakers. Day two will combine presentations with break-out sessions and roundtable discussions. The break-outs and roundtable will provide participants the opportunity to share relevant experiences and aspirations on process techniques for implementation, incentives, and barriers for implementation, and research to practice products and partnerships.

For more information contact Charles Hayden, NIOSH, MS-C27, Robert A. Taft Laboratories, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226, or via telephone at 513-533-8152, or via email at chayden@cdc.gov.

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Hawaii’s State OSHA Plan Now Excludes Coverage of Private Sector Employers at Military Installations

Michigan OSHA Relinquishes Coverage of Indian Tribe-owned Establishments on Indian Reservations

UL Warns of Unauthorized UL Mark on AC to DC Power Adapter and Switching Power Supply

OSHA’s Seasonal Flu Webpage Includes Information on How to Reduce Flu Spread

Cell Phones Don’t Raise Brain Cancer Risk

Front-of-Package Nutrition Rating Systems and Symbols: Promoting Healthier Choices

CDC Warns US Diet Still Has Too Much Salt

Hoorah for HDL Cholesterol

Migraine Relief