February 19, 2019
OSHA has issued enforcement guidance
on the requirements for evaluating crane operators that became effective February 7, 2019.
OSHA is enforcing the requirement that employers must evaluate their operators before allowing them to operate cranes independently. However, until April 15, 2019, OSHA intends to offer compliance assistance, in lieu of enforcement, for those employers who have evaluated operators in accordance with the final rule, and are making good faith efforts to comply with the new documentation requirement.
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Annual hazardous waste training is required for anyone who generates, accumulates, stores, transports, or treats hazardous waste. Learn how to manage your hazardous waste in accordance with the latest state and federal regulations. Learn how to complete EPA’s new electronic hazardous waste manifest, and the more than 60 changes in EPA’s new Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule. Environmental Resource Center’s Hazardous Waste Training
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, call 800-537-2372 to find out how can get your course materials on a new Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet at no extra charge.
New York to Delay Enforcement of Chemical Ingredient Information for Cleaning Products
New York State has launched a new initiative to require the public disclosure of chemical ingredients in household cleaning products. Authority for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program derives from Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) Article 35 and New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 659.
The statute and regulations authorize the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation to require manufacturers of domestic and commercial cleaning products distributed, sold, or offered for sale in New York State to furnish information regarding such products in a form prescribed by the Commissioner.
Under the program, manufacturers of cleaning products sold in the State of New York are required to disclose the ingredients of their products on their websites and identify any ingredients that appear on authoritative lists of chemicals of concern.
As announced in the January 9, 2019 issue of the Environmental Notice Bulletin, the DEC will not enforce the July 1, 2019 milestone requirement pursuant to ECL 35-0107 and 6 NYCRR 659.6, for a period running from July 1, 2019 to October 1, 2019. DEC will begin enforcing any violations of the July 1, 2019 milestone as of October 2, 2019.
DEC will continue to work with any manufacturers on the design of their websites, or entertain any questions regarding compliance with website design or safety data sheets. Any company or other entity interested in working with DEC to create an approach to disclosure that meets program requirements is encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org
to set up a consultation.
No Significant Risk Level Adopted for Bromochloroacetic Acid
On February 5, 2019, California’s Office of Administrative Law approved an amendment of Title 27, California Code of Regulations, section 25705, to add a No Significant Risk Level for bromochloroacetic acid
. This regulation establishes a No Significant Risk Level of 0.70 micrograms per day for bromochloroacetic acid for purposes of Proposition 65. The regulation will be effective on April 1, 2019.
CONN-OSHA Roundtable on Reporting Workplace Injuries, Illnesses
The Connecticut Department of Labor’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CONN-OSHA) is offering a February 19 Breakfast Roundtable Discussion group that will outline and review federal OSHA’s process for recording injury and illnesses in the workplace. The morning roundtable will be held 8:15 to 9:45 a.m. at the agency’s Wethersfield office, located at 200 Folly Brook Boulevard.
Leona May, U.S. Department of Labor Compliance Assistance Specialist with OSHA’s Bridgeport Area Office, will be the presenter.
“If you are responsible for filling out the OSHA recordkeeping forms in your company, if you supervise the person completing the required forms or if you are a safety committee member, this session is a must for you,” notes John Able, CONN-OSHA Occupational Safety Training Specialist and roundtable project coordinator.
Admission to the breakfast roundtable is free, but pre-registration is required. Please contact Able at email@example.com
to register or for additional information.
Pipe Installation Contractor Cited for Fatal Trench Collapse
Cal/OSHA has cited Bay Area contractor Platinum Pipeline, Inc. $242,600 for failing to protect employees working in a trench at a construction site. Investigators determined the Livermore company committed willful-serious safety violations by instructing employees to continue grading the bottom of the trench without providing any protection, even after identifying the soil as unstable. As a result, a 14-foot-high excavation wall collapsed and killed one of the workers on July 27, 2018.
“Excavations must be properly shored, sloped or shielded before workers enter,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “The employer overseeing this operation understood the hazards, but did not take the necessary steps to protect its workers.”
Platinum Pipeline, Inc. workers were digging trenches to install two storm drain pipes at a residential construction site in Daly City. Three of the five workers were trained and competent in excavation, and the ends of the trench had been sloped to prevent cave- ins. However, one side was not sloped because of concerns that a nearby utility pole might fall.
One of the operators observed a large crack in the soft dirt of the unprotected wall. Two workers were instructed to be cautious but work was allowed to proceed. When the unprotected wall collapsed, one worker escaped, but the second worker was fatally crushed.
Cal/OSHA cited Platinum Pipeline, Inc. for 10 violations, including two classified as willful-serious accident-related, five serious and three general. The willful-serious accident-related violations were cited for failing to ensure that no employees were in the trench until an adequate protective system was put in place to ensure their safety, and for failing to remove workers from an excavation after a competent person observed cave-in hazards. The serious category violations included the employer’s failure to secure the utility pole and various excavation safety hazards such as placing excavated material too close to the edge of the excavation.
A serious violation is cited when there is a realistic possibility that death or serious harm could result from the actual hazardous condition. A willful violation is cited when the employer is aware of the law and violates it nevertheless, or when the employer is aware of the hazardous condition and takes no reasonable steps to address it.
Cal/OSHA offers extensive information and resources
on working safely in the construction industry, including how to safely perform trench and excavation operations
. Before starting excavation work, the approximate locations of all underground installations that may be encountered during excavation operations must be determined and the proper notification must be made to the appropriate agency in either Northern
from the local Cal/OSHA district office must be obtained before the construction of excavations five feet or deeper into which any person is required to descend.
OSHA Warning for Nebraska Employers about Unreported Amputation Injuries
OSHA is seeking to stop a recent increase in amputation injuries suffered by Nebraska employees, and remind employers of the requirement to report such injuries to OSHA. A review of Nebraska workers' compensation claims found 42 employees suffered amputation injuries in 2018, and employers failed to report more than 65% of those injuries to OSHA within 24 hours, as required.
OSHA's National Emphasis Program for Amputations
targets inspections at workplaces with machinery and equipment that cause, or are capable of causing, amputations. Information and resources are available to help employers identify and eliminate workplace hazards, including:
Contractor Who Put His Workers at Risk of Asbestos Exposure Sentenced in Federal Court
An experienced contractor who purchased and renovated the former Kossuth County, Home without thoroughly inspecting for asbestos was sentenced February 13, 2019, to two years of probation.
Steven A. Weaver, age 61, from Algona, Iowa, received sentence after an October 11, 2018 guilty plea to one count of violating clean air work practice standards.
In a plea agreement, Weaver admitted he was an experienced contractor and building inspector who had worked for various Iowa municipalities since the early 2000s. During this time, Weaver performed work for the municipalities that was financed by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Iowa Finance Authority. Weaver was responsible for conducting initial inspections of residential properties to determine whether it was cost-effective to rehabilitate each home. In conjunction with this work, Weaver gained experience working with lead and asbestos.
In November 2013, Weaver purchased the former Kossuth County Home in the Algona area. Weaver intended to convert the building into apartments to be known as “The Oasis.” Weaver hired workers to renovate the building. None of these workers were licensed to remove asbestos. Prior to beginning the renovation, Weaver failed to thoroughly inspect the building for asbestos to determine whether it was subject to regulation.
In November 2014, the EPA searched Weaver’s property and determined piping in the basement contained regulated asbestos. Weaver’s workers had already removed the piping. An EPA agent asked Weaver whether he had notified the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) before the renovation and, when Weaver indicated he had not, the EPA agent instructed Weaver to report to IDNR. However, Weaver did not notify IDNR. Instead, Weaver continued the renovation operation in late 2014 without properly notifying IDNR.
Weaver was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand. Chief Judge Strand indicated the offense was “aggravating” because Weaver had cut corners on his own renovation project and potentially put his workers at risk of asbestos exposure. Weaver was sentenced to two years of probation, fined $10,000, and ordered to pay costs of prosecution in the amount of $1,573.35.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Tim Vavricek and Matt Cole and investigated by the EPA.
NIOSH Releases Software Tool for Hazard Recognition Training in Mines
Mineworkers can now challenge themselves to identify workplace hazards with a preview release of EXAMiner software from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). This new training tool, developed by NIOSH’s Mining Program, is a PC-based software application that allows both novice and experienced miners to test their examination skills in a simulated, interactive environment with more than 30 panoramic photos from a real surface limestone mine, or with uploaded images taken by smartphones or digital cameras in their own mine in any sector.
EXAMiner is designed to be used by mineworkers and by mine safety trainers during Part 46 annual refresher training, quarterly training meetings, and pre-shift toolbox talks. The preloaded images include scenes from four locations at a stone surface mine: in the pit, at the plant, in the shop, and along the mine roadways. EXAMiner’s customizable functionality also allows miners and trainers to use their own panoramic images to personalize the training.
“EXAMiner serves as a standalone training tool to help mineworkers recognize the safety and health hazards at job sites and find ways to mitigate these hazards,” said Dr. Jessica Kogel, NIOSH associate director for mining. “Miners and trainers can make this tool work in the way that’s best for each situation.”
Mineworkers face real risks to their safety and health at their worksites every day. From October 2013 to January 2015, 37 mineworkers died at metal and nonmetal mine sites in the United States, doubling the number of fatalities that occurred in each of the previous two years.
To address this alarming trend, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) proposed an update to the regulation on workplace examinations, which would require workplace hazard examinations to be conducted before or as the mineworker begins work at a location, with any unsafe conditions identified and corrected. EXAMiner serves as a training tool to ensure mineworkers are prepared and practiced in performing these newly required workplace examinations.
For several years prior to development of the EXAMiner software, NIOSH researchers conducted a lab study with stone, sand, and gravel mines to document how mineworkers visually search for hazards using panoramic photos. The results and methodology from that study were incorporated into the development of EXAMiner. NIOSH consulted with industry subject matter experts to verify that the scenes and the featured hazards in EXAMiner are true-to-life depictions mineworkers might see in a real working environment.
Ohio Musical Instrument Manufacturer Cited for Exposing Employees to Copper Dust and Machine Hazards
OSHA has cited Conn-Selmer Inc. for exposing workers to copper dust and machine hazards at the company's Eastlake, Ohio, musical instrument manufacturing facility. The company faces penalties of $200,230 for two repeated and seven serious safety and health violations.
OSHA inspectors determined that the company exposed workers to copper dust in excess of the recommended permissible exposure levels; failed to provide machine guarding, adequate controls to minimize exposure, and safety procedures to prevent employees from coming into contact with operating parts; and neglected to follow requirements for respiratory protection, electrical safety, and labeling hazardous chemicals.
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