Effective May 20, 2016, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has added tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, and malathion to the list of chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer for purposes of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65).
The basis for the listing of tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, and malathion was described in a public notice published in the September 4, 2015, issue of the California Regulatory Notice Register (Register 2015, No. 36-Z). The title of the notice was “Notice of Intent to List Chemicals by the Labor Code Mechanism: Tetrachlorvinphos, Parathion, Malathion, and Glyphosate.” The publication of the notice initiated a public comment period. The agency received 230 comments on tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, and malathion. The comments relevant to these three pesticides and OEHHA’s responses are posted with the Notice of Intent to List.
OEHHA intends to propose a safe harbor level (no significant risk level or NSRL) for malathion prior to the effective date of the warning requirement for exposures to that chemical. A decision concerning the proposed listing of glyphosate will be published at a later date.
A complete, updated Proposition 65 list is published elsewhere in this issue of the California Regulatory Notice Register and is available on the OEHHA website.
Two Pennsylvania Contractors Fined More Than $236K for Exposing Employees to Serious Workplace Dangers
General contractor Westrum Development Co., hired Penn Stucco Systems, Inc., to complete stucco work on a building at the site location. Penn then contracted BC Stucco and Stone to provide labor for the job.
OSHA opened its investigations after it received a complaint alleging employees from both companies were working approximately 20 feet on a scaffold with major safety deficiencies, such as lack of planking, bracing, safe access, and stability.
The agency found repeat violations when Penn Stucco:
- Allowed workers on scaffolds approximately 39-feet high that were not fully planked or decked
- Had employees doing stucco work on a fabricated frame scaffold not restrained from tipping
- Used a scaffold without ladders, stair towers, or other safe means of access
- Failed to provide fall prevention or guardrails to address fall hazards
OSHA previously cited the company for similar violations in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Penn's serious citation was due to failure to ensure that each walkway used by employees was protected by a guardrail.
In its inspection of BC Stucco, the agency found the company:
- Maintained scaffolds approximately 39-feet high that were not fully planked or decked
- Exposed employees to falls of 15 to 39 feet from walkways without guardrails
- Did not willfully provide fall arrest or guardrail systems to prevent falls
OSHA also found repeat violations by BC Stucco when it:
- Allowed employees to work on a fabricated frame scaffold without restraints to avoid tipping
- Failed to provide ladders, stair towers or other safe means of access to the scaffold
The agency previously cited BC Stucco for similar violations in 2013 and 2014.
In addition, OSHA issued serious citations to the company for not installing protection on the fabricated frame scaffold to avoid falling materials, and for providing or requiring workers to wear hard hats.
"OSHA determined the general contractor shortened the schedule in the middle of the project. Both employers pushed to rush completion and bypassed safety," Nicholas DeJesse, director of OSHA's Philadelphia Area Office. "Penn Stucco Systems and BC Stucco and Stone jeopardized their workers' safety knowingly by failing to provide basic scaffolding safeguards intended to prevent serious injuries and save lives. Both of these companies have a history of ignoring safety standards and putting their workers at risk. Such behavior is unacceptable and it must stop before someone is seriously hurt or worse."
- $119,790 for Penn Stucco Systems, Inc.
- $116,600 for BC Stucco and Stone
Baltimore RCRA, DOT, and IATA Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Baltimore, MD, on June 7–9 and save $100. Ensure you have the training you need to ship dangerous goods by air at Transportation of Dangerous Goods: Compliance with IATA Regulations on June 10. To register for these courses click here or call 800-537-2372.
Baton Rouge RCRA and DOT Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Baton Rouge, LA, on June 7–9 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.
Chattanooga RCRA and DOT Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Chattanooga, TN, on June 14–16 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.
How to Implement 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, safety data sheet (formerly called “material safety data sheet” or MSDS), 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 safety data sheets.
Environmental Resource Center is offering live online 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. Bring your questions to the upcoming webcast on How to Implement OSHA’s Globally Harmonized Hazard Communication Standard (GHS) on July 13.
Worker Loses Fingertips at Nature's Path USA II
A rotating airlock blade severed a 30-year-old worker's three fingertips as he cleaned the machine at a Sussex subsidiary of organic food manufacturer Nature's Path Foods, Inc., an incident federal safety investigators found could have been prevented if the machine had been powered down fully.
OSHA cited the subsidiary, Nature's Path USA II, LLC, for the same violation in 2012.
On May 17, OSHA cited the cereal manufacturer facility for two repeated, 14 serious, and one other-than-serious safety violations after its investigation into the November 24, 2015, injury. The agency has proposed $118,320 in penalties.
"Training workers to isolate energy, as required by OSHA standards, would have prevented this young man's hands from coming in contact with the operating parts of the machine," said Christine Zortman, OSHA's area director in Milwaukee. "Employers are required to ensure equipment is properly guarded or locked out to prevent workers from getting into danger zones of equipment."
The agency also found Nature's Path USA II failed to:
- Develop confined space entry procedures to issue permits, test atmospheric conditions, monitor and train workers
- Power down or lockout equipment to prevent unintentional operation
- Conduct periodic inspections of energy-control procedures
- Develop procedures to summon rescue and emergency services and train workers on bloodborne pathogen exposure procedures
- Install adequate machine guarding
- Correct electrical safety violations
- Train workers about chemical hazards used in the workplace
- Provide information on noise limits and provide proper fitting of, and ensure use of hearing protection
Since January 1, 2015, OSHA requires all employers to report any severe work-related injury—defined as a hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye—within 24 hours. The requirement that an employer report a workplace fatality within eight hours remains in force. In the first full year of the program, Wisconsin employers reported 157 amputations. Amputation hazards remain among the most frequently cited OSHA violations.
Clemson Needs You!
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Pier 1 Imports Endangered Workers with Blocked Exits, Stacked Boxes
Pier 1 Imports’ workers in Glendale, Wisconsin are the latest group of employees to be put at risk by the national home decor retailer’s failure to prevent boxes from blocking aisles and being piled at dangerous heights. Federal workplace safety inspectors have found similar safety hazards at several other U.S. store locations.
After the inspection, OSHA proposed penalties of $101,420 for Pier 1 Imports, Inc., for five repeated, two serious, and one other-than-serious violation at the store. OSHA initiated the Glendale inspection in November 2015 based on an employee complaint.
“Haphazardly stacked boxes can fall and injure workers, or block exit routes in an emergency,” said Christine Zortman, OSHA’s area director in Milwaukee. “Pier 1 must take responsibility to ensure the safety of its workers in all of its stores before someone is hurt or worse.”
In addition to unstable boxes and blocked aisles, inspectors cited the Glendale location for:
- Improperly using ladders
- Exposing employees to fall hazards as stair and storage areas lacked railings
- Blocking electrical panels
- Allowing electrical junction boxes to lack covers
Polar Service Centers Ordered to Pay $190K in Back Wages, Damages to Safety Manager Demoted for Reporting Potential DOT Violation
OSHA has ordered Polar Service Centers to reinstate and pay $190,547 in back wages and damages to a safety manager at its Lansing facility. The action comes after a federal investigation found the commercial tank trailer company violated the whistleblower provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.
The department found the company demoted, censured and ultimately forced the manager to resign after he reported to the U.S. Department of Transportation that he suspected a Polar customer was improperly certifying trailers to haul hazardous waste, a potential and dangerous safety violation.
"Censuring a worker for complying with the law clearly violates the whistleblower provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act. This act is designed to protect the safety of the motoring public," said Ken Nishiyama Atha, OSHA's regional administrator in Chicago. "This employee did the right thing to protect others and was punished for it. OSHA is committed to protecting the rights of America's workers to refuse unsafe and unlawful orders from their employer."
On September 12, 2013, Polar Service Centers suspended the service manager indefinitely, and later demoted and barred him from talking to customers or the Department of Transportation in reprisal for reporting a potential safety violation of a Polar customer's suspected improper certification of tank trailers to haul hazardous waste. The manager had also requested that a driver of the Polar customer provide information concerning the potential safety violation to DOT. After the suspension, demotion, and censure, he was forced to resign from his employment.
OSHA has ordered Polar Service Centers to reinstate the manager to his position, pay $88,847 in back wages minus applicable employment taxes, $100,000 in punitive damages and $1,700 in compensatory damages as well as reasonable attorney fees.
OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of 22 statutes protecting employees who report violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, motor vehicle safety, health care reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime and securities laws.
Both parties have 30 days from the receipt of OSHA's findings to file objections and request a hearing before an administrative law judge.
Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who raise various protected concerns or provide protected information to the employer or the government. Employees who believe that they have been retaliated against for engaging in protected conduct may file a complaint with the secretary of labor for an investigation by OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program.
Oaxaca Mexican Products Fined $112,700 for More Than 20 Safety Violations
OSHA opened an inspection on May 3, 2016, in response to a complaint alleging that there were unsafe conditions in the facility, including blocked fire exits. Inspectors issued a willful citation after finding an exit door and route obstructed by locking devices that require special knowledge and tools to open in case of emergency. OSHA cited the company previously for the same type of condition on the same door.
Serious citations were issued for the following:
- Fall hazards
- Inadequate and improper exit signage
- Lack of machine guarding
- Improper spliced electrical cable
- Failure to have a written hazard assessment and a hazard communication program
- Lack of eye-wash facilities where employees use corrosive chemicals
- Lack of Safety Data Sheets
- Lack of training regarding hazardous chemicals used in the workplace
"The fact that Oaxaca has again put its employees' lives at risk by not making sure a fire safety door was easily opened is completely unacceptable," said Lisa Levy, director of OSHA's Hasbrouck Heights Area Office. "In this day and age, providing employees with proper emergency exits is safety 101."
Proposed penalties total $112,700.
Southeast Pallet & Box Co. Fined $49,974 for Machinery, Electrical, and Other Hazards
OSHA issued citations to Southeast Pallet & Box Co., for one repeated and 10 serious safety violations. OSHA initiated the inspection as part of its National Emphasis Program on Amputations to identify and reduce workplace amputation hazards.
The repeated citation was issued to the employer for not closing numerous openings located in the cabinet, exposing employees to potential electric shock hazards. OSHA cited the company for the same violation at this facility in November 2013.
The serious citations relate to the employer's failure to:
- Evaluate confined space areas where permits are required
- Protect workers from the hazards of unguarded machinery
- Provide a guardrail system around open pits and tanks
- Keep floors clean and dry in the facility
Proposed penalties total $49,974.
"Although Southeast Pallet & Box Co., was inspected and cited previously, we again found numerous safety hazards that put employees at risk of serious injury or death," said Joseph Roesler, OSHA's area director in Mobile. "Employers cannot wait for an OSHA inspection or an incident to occur before they evaluate and correct workplace hazards."
Falls Creek Powdered Metals Inc. Exposed Workers to Dangerous Machine Hazards
OSHA issued 27 serious citations to Falls Creek Powdered Metals, Inc., on May 17, 2016.
OSHA opened an inspection on November 23, 2015, in response to a complaint alleging hazards at the facility. Inspectors cited the company for exposing workers to unguarded or improperly guarded machines, and for the lack of a lockout/tagout program to control hazardous energy.
"The lack of machine guarding, coupled with a deficient system to prevent unexpected machine starts, represents a danger to workers at the plant," said Theresa A. Naim, director of OSHA's Erie area office. "Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their employees. Anything less is unacceptable."
Proposed penalties total $47,000.