How to Get Out of OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program
OSHA has published criteria for removing employers from the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). SVEP has been in effect since June 18, 2010, and is intended to focus agency resources on employers that demonstrate indifference to their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act with willful, repeat, or failure-to-abate violations.
On August 16, 2012, OSHA issued employer removal criteria from the SVEP program to all federal OSHA offices. Generally, an employer may be considered for removal from the program by an OSHA Regional Administrator after:
- A period of three years from the date of the final disposition of the SVEP inspection citation items including: failure to contest, settlement agreement, Review Commission final order, or court of appeals decision.
- All affirmed violations have been abated, all final penalties have been paid, the employer has abided by and completed all settlement provisions, and has not received any additional serious citations related to the hazards identified in the SVEP inspection at the initial establishment or at any related establishments.
In the event an employer fails to adhere to the terms and provisions of the agreement, the employer will remain in the program for an additional three years and will then be reevaluated.
How to Prepare for OSHA’s Globally Harmonized Hazard Communication Standard (GHS)
OSHA has issued a final rule revising its Hazard Communication Standard, aligning it with the United Nations’ globally harmonized system (GHS) for the classification and labeling of hazardous chemicals. This means that virtually every product label, MSDS (called “safety data sheet” or SDS under the new standard), 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 SDSs.
Environmental Resource Center is offering webcast training for you to learn how the new rule differs from current requirements, how to implement the changes, and when the changes must be implemented. Register for the upcoming webcast on How to Prepare for OSHA’s Globally Harmonized Hazard Communication Standard (GHS) offered on October 2, 2012.
How to Author GHS Safety Data Sheets
OSHA has adopted 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, attend How to Author GHS Safety Data Sheets webcast on October 3, 2012.
How to Label Hazardous Chemicals Using OSHA’s New GHS Hazcom Standard
Workplace and supplier hazard communication labels are being reinvented with OSHA’s adoption of 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.
The How to Label Hazardous Chemicals Using OSHA’s New GHS Hazcom Standard webcast will be offered on October 4, 2012.
Charlotte RCRA and DOT Training
Environmental Resource Center will offer DOT and RCRA Annual Update and Refresher training on September 12 and Storm Water Management: How to Comply with State and Federal Regulations training on September 13, in Charlotte, North Carolina. To register for any of these training courses, click here or call 1-800-537-2372.
Houston RCRA and DOT Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management in Texas and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course, in Houston, Texas, from September 18–20 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 1-800-537-2372.
Columbus RCRA and DOT Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course (RCRA) and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course, in Columbus, Ohio, from September 25–27 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 1-800-537-2372.
2012 Safety Summit: A System that Works
EnPro Industries, Inc., two-time award winner of EHS Today’s America’s Safest Company Award and winner of the Liberty Mutual Safety Excellence Gold Award, in conjunction with Environmental Resource Center, Inc., will be hosting a Safety Summit at the Hilton Columbia Center, Columbia, South Carolina, October 2–3, 2012.
“We have had a lot of success and created a passion with our proven safety practices because our focus has been at cultural level,” says Joe Wheatley, director of risk management and EHS affairs. “Every employee in the company participates in a safety pledge to renew their personal and public commitments toward safety. We spend a tremendous amount of energy across the company recognizing the positive accomplishments and safety ethic of our employees. We constantly look for ways to increase our safety awareness, and every new employee is immediately introduced to our high safety ethic.” Safety, he adds, “makes for a great place to work.”
This conference will help your organization move from a reactive to a proactive organization, preventing injuries and illnesses before they happen. Learn how to drive manufacturing safety systems and build a strong safety culture that builds morale, productivity, and profits.
Attend this conference to gain the tools you need to improve your company’s safety performance, including:
- How to build your organization’s Safety Plan
- Visionary Safety: How to improve on Management Commitment and Accountability
- Importance and impact of Behavior Based Safety
- How to identify and trigger on key injuries related to your organization
- How to engage, involve, and empower employees to take ownership and responsibility
- Motivation and morale of employees in the workforce
- Skill set training needed for safety sustainability
- How to develop a process to capture leading and lagging indicators (Goal Setting and Metrics)
- Tools needed to improve on methodology and continuous improvement with all EHS Standards/Programs:
- Committee-Based Safety Systems, Safety Stand Downs, SafetyFirst Kickoff/Mid-year Events, Family Safety Day, Safety Leadership Training, Recognition/Incentive Programs, Escorting injured employees and 24 Hour Reporting, Job Hazard Analysis (JHA), Personal Protective Equipment Assessment, Risk Assessments, and “Best Practice” Standards.
”Safety is a core value. We recognize that all injuries are preventable and our motivation is our genuine caring about the well-being of others,” says CEO Steve Macadam. “Our ultimate vision is a culture where employees look out for each other in the workplace and carry their safety practices home at the end of every day and we have made great progress in creating this culture. We have developed a comprehensive playbook for our safety practices and our team is relentless in executing these practices.”
You will not want to miss this highly informative and inspirational program.
For more information, visit www.enprosafety.com.
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 5–10 days per month. We are looking for an expert in all of the General Industry standards who is capable of performing audits of industrial facilities, develop computer based training programs, as well as conducting on-site training.
Strong consideration will be given to applicants who also have experience providing Hazwoper, hazard communication, 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 these qualifications, are enthusiastic about safety regulations, have auditing experience, have experience creating CBTs, and have the ability to entertain students, send your resume, references, and salary requirements to Amy Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org. Environmental Resource Center offers a competitive salary, 401(k), medical, dental, and other great benefits.
OSHA, Other Federal Agencies to Discuss Performance-Based Approaches to Protect Oil and Gas Industry Workers
OSHA, along with the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), US Coast Guard (USCG), EPA, and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) invite public participation in a September 20–21 meeting on the use and implementation of performance-based regulatory models for enhanced safety and environmental performance in the US oil and gas industry.
Speakers at the September 20–21 meeting in Texas City, Texas, will address the current regulatory landscape and discuss the challenges and benefits of non-prescriptive, outcome-based approaches to reduce the frequency and severity of harmful events.
Public attendees will have the opportunity to make comments at the meeting and all members of the public may submit comments in writing. Those interested in attending must register online by September 5. The meeting will also be Webcast live for online viewing. For more information, visit the registration website and read the Federal Register notice.
NIOSH: Work-Family Balance Aids Safety
An article exploring the link between employer support for work-family balance and the reduction of safety health risks has been published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) Total Worker Health (TWH) Program. The article in particular recognizes employees’ need for quality and flexible daycare, especially during summer months.
According to TWH, recent surveys have found that decreased work-family stress is related to reduced injury risk, and increased safety compliance and safety participation among workers. The article offers several tips employers can use to help their teams achieve better work-family balance, including training managers and supervisors, increased employee control of work hours, and support of flexible schedules:
- Train managers and supervisors to be more supportive of work and family. Recent evidence shows that employee support from managers and supervisors for family and work balance leads workers to report better health, improved job satisfaction, and lower intentions to leave the company.
- Give workers more control over their work hours. Increased control over when, where, and how work gets done is related to improved health behaviors.
- Create a resource guide for employees and their families. For example, work with your human resources department to pull together a list of day camps for children of various ages.
- Be a role model. Take some time off to be with your own family to show your employees you know this should be a priority for them as well, especially if stress is overwhelming them.
- Encourage and support flexible schedules. Help employees to come up with creative solutions for childcare coverage during the summer, such as working a compressed work week or taking 1–2 days off per week over the summer instead of one large vacation allotment.
OSHA cites Recycler for Exposing Workers to Safety and Health Hazards
World Recycling Inc., in Gainesville, Georgia, has been cited with 24 safety and health violations by OSHA for exposing workers to a variety of hazards. Proposed penalties total $74,400 following an inspection initiated in March due to a complaint OSHA received alleging hazards.
Twenty-three serious violations include failing to create a lockout/tagout program to control the energy sources of equipment during maintenance and repair work, provide an eyewash station for workers exposed to corrosive material, develop and implement a written respiratory protection program, develop and implement a written hazard communication program, and provide the designated exit door with proper signage. Additional violations include exposing workers to welding fumes above the permissible exposure limit; lacking proper equipment guarding on the bench grinder, portable grinder and shearing machine; allowing forklifts to be used despite having damaged tires and inoperable horns or back-up alarms; improperly installing an outlet box; having unused openings in the electrical panel; not covering an electrical panel; and exposing workers to fall, struck-by, crushed-by, and caught-in hazards. 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 carry $74,400 in penalties.
One other-than-serious violation has been cited for failing to evaluate forklift operators. 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. The citation does not carry a monetary penalty.
OSHA Proposes Nearly $68,000 in Fines to Contractors for Fall Hazards at Work Site
Employees at a Haverhill residential construction site in Andover, Massacusetts, were exposed to potentially deadly or disabling falls of up to 16 feet from a roof and a scaffold that lacked fall protection. Conditions found during inspections by OSHA point to falls as the leading cause of death in construction work. As a result, OSHA is calling upon employers in Massachusetts and the Merrimack Valley to take effective action to reduce and minimize fall hazards.
Inspections by OSHA resulted in citations issued to two contractors: Juan Acero, doing business as Speedy 3 Construction of Lowell, Massachusetts, and Edmunds General Contracting of Salem, New Hampshire. Inspectors found that workers were exposed to fall hazards, adequate fall protection training had not been provided, a ladder was being misused to support the scaffolding and a damaged ladder had not been removed from service. Workers also were exposed to laceration hazards from an unguarded air compressor. Finally, Edmunds failed to have the site inspected for hazards by a competent person, that is, one with the knowledge to identify hazards and the authority to have them corrected.
Speedy 3 Construction has been issued citations with $36,960 in fines for five repeat and two serious violations, while Edmunds General Contracting was issued citations with $30,900 in fines for two repeat and six serious violations. OSHA cited Speedy 3 Construction for similar hazards in 2011 and 2012 at sites in Lawrence, Peabody, and West Newton, Massachusetts, and Edmunds was cited in 2011 for similar hazards at sites in Lawrence and Peabody. Proposed fines for both contactors total $67,860.
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.
Die Manufacturer Cited for Serious Workplace Hazards
OSHA has cited Danco Precision Inc., in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, with 14 safety violations found at the company’s manufacturing facility. OSHA’s March investigation, initiated as part of the agency’s Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high injury and illness rates, resulted in $55,500 in proposed penalties.
Thirteen serious violations involve failing to control potentially hazardous energy, have and implement a hazard communication plan that includes employee training, provide barriers to protect employees from falls, conduct a personal protective equipment assessment and provide protective equipment for various operations, provide and certify powered industrial truck training, provide hand tools to clear machine scraps, provide material safety data sheets, implement die-setting procedures, inspect alloy steel slings, address deficiencies with mechanical power presses including a lack of proper guarding, use safety blocks when setting dies, perform inspections of all presses, and properly label containers of chemicals. The citations carry $52,500 in penalties.
One other-than serious violation is failing to create and post an annual summary of injuries and illnesses. The citation carries a $3,000 penalty.
Danco Precision Inc., employs approximately 40 workers who manufacture lamination dies, metal stampings, electrical magnetic cores, carbide dies, specialty tools, and precision machine parts that are sold internationally.
Food Processor Cited after Inspection Finds Unsafe Conditions
Utica, New York, food processing company Delorio Foods Inc., has been cited by the OSHA with 14 alleged serious violations at the company’s Bleecker Street manufacturing facility for exposing workers to unsafe working conditions. Proposed penalties total $54,900 following an inspection initiated by OSHA in May.
The inspection found that working area floors were not kept free from slippery conditions and the exit route from a storage area was obstructed by a pallet of food and a trash can. OSHA inspectors also found that employees who were exposed to corrosive materials lacked adequate stations for quick flushing of the eyes and body if they came in contact with the materials. Additionally, inspectors found that the devices intended to be used for locking and tagging out the energy sources of machinery were being used incorrectly as personal locks in the men’s locker room.
Monro Muffler Brake Agrees to Protect Workers Against Hydraulic Lift Hazards
Monro Muffler Brake Inc., which operates a chain of more than 800 stores that provide automotive repair and tire services throughout the eastern US, has reached an enterprise-wide settlement agreement with the Department of Labor in which it will institute procedures to protect its workers against being crushed or struck by automotive hydraulic lifts.
In September 2011, OSHA cited the company’s Stoughton location for improperly inspecting and maintaining hydraulic lifts, as well as other hazards, following an April 2011 incident in which a lift failure caused a car to fall to the ground. Deficiencies exposed service center employees to being struck or crushed if the lifts failed. Monro initially contested these citations carrying proposed fines of $19,000 but now has agreed to address the issue—and not just at the Stoughton location but companywide.
Under the agreement, which was negotiated by the department’s regional Office of the Solicitor in Boston, Monro will develop and implement an inspection and maintenance program for all automotive lifts at all of its federal OSHA-covered work sites. The program will comply with industry standards and include periodic inspections by qualified inspectors, procedures to remedy any potentially unsafe conditions, mandatory training for lift operators, and the submission of written compliance reports to OSHA. Monro also will pay a fine of $12,500 for the violations identified at the Stoughton location. Trial Attorney Scott Miller negotiated the settlement on behalf of the department.
Waste Management and Labor Ready Northeast Cited After Heat Fatality
OSHA has cited Waste Management of Trenton, New Jersey, and Labor Ready Northeast Inc., of Ewing, New Jersey, for one serious violation each of OSHA’s general duty clause following a heat-related fatality in June. OSHA initiated an inspection after a Labor Ready Northeast temporary employee working for Waste Management as a garbage collection worker died while picking up trash on a collection route in Hopewell Borough.
The violation involves failing to ensure that workers performing trash collection during elevated heat conditions consumed adequate amounts of fluids as well as to train workers on how to recognize and respond to the signs of heat stress.
Labor Ready Northeast provides temporary manual laborers to small- and mid-size businesses in a variety of industries. Waste Management provides residential and commercial trash collection services throughout the country.
OSHA has developed heat illness educational materials in English and Spanish, as well as a curriculum to be used for workplace training. Additional information and resources on heat illness—including how to prevent it and what to do in case of an emergency—can be found at http://www.osha.gov/heat.
OSHA also has released a free application for mobile devices that enables workers and supervisors to monitor the heat index at their work sites. The app displays a risk level for workers based on the heat index, as well as reminders about protective measures that should be taken at that risk level. Available for Android-based platforms and the iPhone, the app can be downloaded in both English and Spanish by visiting http://www.osha.gov/heatapp.
Each company faces a proposed fine of $7,000—the maximum penalty permitted for a serious violation.
Safety News Links
2012 Safety Summit: A System that Works
2012 Emergency Response Guidebook—Now Shipping
2012 Emergency Response Guidebook—Download
David Michaels Comments at Joint EU/US Occupational Safety and Health Conference
OSHA’s Model Workplace Program Needs Reform, Report Finds
Injured Worker Pays for Employer’s Gamble
Kentucky Death Case: Another Black Eye for State Workplace Safety Enforcement
Worker Dead in Industrial Accident at Bacardi Warehouse
OSHA Fines Maine Company in Worker’s Death
California Lawmakers Consider Tougher New Heat Rules to Protect Farmworkers from Injuries, Deaths
Firm Cited for Bridge Injury
Worker Dies After Silo Collapse
Worker Killed in Quarry Accident
Worker Dies After Being Trapped Under 500-Gallon Metal Tank
GAO Report Supports Science Behind Black Lung Rule
Four Times More Public Waste Workers Get Hurt, Sick Than Private
Housing Authority Fined for Asbestos Job
Worker Dies When Pipe Falls On Him
Cargill Plant Worker Dies After Fall
Worker Killed After Fall From Scaffolding
Official Says Plant Workers in Dangerous Territory
OSHA Fines Two Mercer Companies for Heat Wave Death of Sanitation Worker
Construction Company Owner Calls OSHA “Bullies,” Refuses to Pay Fines
Employee Killed at Nissan Plant