The DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and OSHA have issued a joint guidance memorandum clarifying the applicability of their respective requirements for labeling hazardous chemicals in bulk packaging in transportation and in the workplace.
PHMSA’s labeling requirements are published in the U.S. Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) at 49 CFR 100–180. DOT’s HMR governs hazard communication labeling requirements during transportation—meaning the movement of property and loading, unloading, or storage incidental to the movement.
OSHA’s labeling requirements are published in the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) at 29 CFR 1910.1200. OSHA’s HCS requires labeling of hazardous chemicals in the workplace, both before and after transportation in commerce. Workplace means an establishment, jobsite, or project, at one geographical location containing one or more work areas—which is a room or defined space in a workplace where hazardous chemicals are produced or used, and where employees are present.
The memorandum provides the following clarifying statements:
- OSHA’s HCS labeling is not required on shipping containers in transport, even when DOT’s HMR does not require labeling in transportation.
- OSHA requires labeling on the immediate container of hazardous chemicals. For bulk shipments of hazardous chemicals, the HCS requires either labeling the immediate container with hazard information or transmitting the required label with shipping papers, bills of lading, or by other technological or electronic means so that it is immediately available to workers in printed form on the receiving end of a shipment.
- The OSHA HCS requirements for shipped material apply independently of whether the same material is subject to HMR labeling requirements during transportation.
- The HMR prohibits the display on a package of any marking or label that could be confused or conflict with a label required by the HMR. As such, the display of a marking or label not required by DOT’s HMR, but conforming to OSHA’s HCS is not a violation of the HMR. This includes packages meeting the definition of a “bulk package” as defined by the HMR. In other words, an HCS-compliant OSHA label and a DOT HMR label or marking may both appear on the same package.
- The DOT and OSHA are aware of some examples of pictograms/symbols displayed on bulk packages that are not consistent with the HCS and that are not compliant with hazard communication required by the HMR. Such labeling is prohibited by the HMR.
For the purposes of the memorandum, labeling includes DOT placarding, signs, and other markings.
Los Angeles Hazardous Waste, DOT, and IATA Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management in California and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Los Angeles, CA, on October 11–13 and save $100. Get the training you need to ship dangerous goods by air at Transportation of Dangerous Goods: Compliance with IATA Regulations on October 14. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.
Raleigh 24-Hour HAZWOPER and DOT/IATA Training
Register for Hazardous Operations and Emergency Response 24-Hour Training in Cary, NC on October 17–19 and ensure you are ready to respond. Learn how to prepare hazardous materials/dangerous goods for shipment by ground and air at DOT/IATA: Transportation of Hazardous Materials by Ground and Air on October 20. To register for these courses, click here or call 800-537-2372.
Knoxville RCRA and DOT Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Knoxville, TN, on October 18–20 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 (SDS), 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 live online training for you to learn how the new rule differs from OSHA’s previous requirements, how to implement the changes, and when the changes must be implemented. Bring your questions to the upcoming webcasts on How to Implement OSHA’s Globally Harmonized Hazard Communication Standard (GHS) on November 15.
Stravis Seafoods Fined for 20 Serious Violations Following Fatal Ammonia Leak
Brian Caron died on the job on March 23, 2016, when he was fatally overcome by an ammonia leak caused by a burst pipe in the machine shop of his employer, Boston fish and seafood wholesaler Stavis Seafoods Inc.
An OSHA inspection determined that the deficient design and lack of proper operation and maintenance for the machine shop’s ammonia refrigeration system and equipment exposed Caron and other Stavis employees to a catastrophic release of ammonia.
Specifically, Stavis Seafoods failed to:
- Ensure proper containment of ammonia within the machine room in that there were large floor holes and no door to separate the machine room from a maintenance/storage room and prevent the spread of ammonia vapor.
- Test and calibrate ammonia sensors following the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Establish and implement an adequate inspection schedule for pressure vessels.
- Label ammonia piping properly.
- Provide a ventilation system sufficient to prevent possible combustion or explosion of ammonia vapors resulting from an ammonia release.
In addition, the alarm system for the ammonia machine room was not working and the employer failed to train plant employees adequately in emergency evacuation procedures.
“The company’s failure to follow industry and OSHA standards exposed its employees to the hazards of an ammonia release as well as falls, electric shock, hazardous chemicals and delayed or obstructed exit from the facility during a leak or other emergency. It’s clear that Stavis Seafoods must take effective action to correct these hazards and prevent their recurrence so that no other employees are harmed on the job,” said James Mulligan, OSHA’s acting area director for Boston and southeastern Massachusetts.
OSHA’s inspection identified several other conditions which exposed employees to the hazards of:
- Falls due to insufficiently guarded door openings, lack of roof guardrails, defective ladders and an unmarked door leading to a 17-foot drop.
- Impeded or blocked exit routes stemming from inadequately stored equipment and sheets of plywood and building materials and equipment stored near the exit door.
- An incomplete inventory of hazardous chemicals used in the workplace, unlabeled containers of hazardous chemicals and not providing adequate chemical hazard communication training to employees.
- Several electrical hazards including improper use of electrical wiring and equipment, and the use of extension cords in place of permanent wiring.
Landscaping Company Cited after Worker Dies from Heat Stroke
Federal investigators have cited an Indiana landscaping company in the death of a 23-year-old ground crewman who died after being hospitalized with a core body temperature above 108 degrees. Federal OSHA investigators determined the employee collapsed after working more than nine hours in the direct sun when the heat index soared to 110 degrees near Poplar Bluff, Missouri, on July 22, 2016. His is one of 16 heat-related deaths reported to OSHA since January 2016.
On September 20, 2016, OSHA issued his employer, Townsend Tree Service Company LLC of Muncie, Indiana, one serious citation following its investigation, and has proposed penalties of $12,471.
“Heat-related illnesses and deaths are preventable when employers help workers acclimate to hot environments, allow frequent water breaks, ample time to rest and provide shade,” said Bill McDonald, OSHA’s area director in St. Louis. “Working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Employers must keep this in mind and plan additional precautions for working in these conditions.”
The agency has found a lack of heat prevention and acclimatization programs by employers commonly lead to heat-related deaths and illness among workers.
“A review of heat-related deaths across industries finds most workers were new to the job and not physically used to the constant heat and sun exposure,” said Bonita Winingham, OSHA’s Acting Regional Administrator in Kansas City. “While the fall season may lower outdoor temperatures, employers and employees alike must remember that those working indoors in factories, bakeries and other heated environments are at-risk of heat-related illness.”
In addition to acclimating workers to heat conditions OSHA also recommends employers:
- Train supervisors and other employees in the proper response to employees reporting heat-induced illness symptoms, which includes stopping work, moving to a cool place, and providing help, evaluation and medical assistance.
- Require trained supervisors to go into the field and conduct in-person evaluations of employees complaining of heat-induced symptoms.
- Establish work rules and practices that encourage employees to seek assistance and evaluation when experiencing heat stress symptoms.
Commonly, people believe mistakenly that if they are sweating, they are not in danger of heat stroke. In fact, sweating is no indication that heat stroke is possible. One frequent symptom of heat stroke is mental changes, such as confusion or irritability. Heat stroke is a medical emergency. If there is any suggestion of heat stroke, call 911 and institute the other safety measures as quickly as possible.
See OSHA’s Heat Stress Quick Card to learn more about heat-stress symptoms. OSHA’s Heat Safety Tool App is available to employers, employees, and the public for free download on iPhones and Android phones.
Furfuryl Alcohol Listed as Carcinogen
Effective September 30, 2016, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is adding furfuryl alcohol (CAS No. 98-00-0) to the list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer for purposes of Proposition 65.
The listing of furfuryl alcohol is based on formal identification by the U.S. EPA that the chemical causes cancer. The documentation supporting OEHHA’s determination that the criteria for administrative listing have been satisfied for furfuryl alcohol is included in the “Notice of Intent to List Furfuryl Alcohol” posted on OEHHA’s website and published in the July 31, 2015 issue of the California Regulatory Notice Register (Register 2015, No. 31-Z). The publication of the notice initiated a public comment period that closed on September 30, 2015. OEHHA received public comments on furfuryl alcohol. The comments and OEHHA’s responses are posted with the Notice of Intent to List.
A complete, updated chemical list will be published in the October 14, 2016, issue of the California Regulatory Notice Register and will be available on the OEHHA Proposition 65 website.
Machinery Rebuilder Fined for Continuing to Expose Workers to Amputation, Other Hazards
On August 23, 2016, OSHA conducted a follow-up inspection of Machinery Maintenance Rebuilders Inc. of Houston, Texas, and found the company did not address violations from February 2016. The company was still exposing workers at the machinery repair shop to struck-by and amputation hazards. Inspectors also found workers operating dangerous machinery that was without proper safety guards, was not secured properly and lacked required energy-control devices used to disable potentially hazardous machinery. Two citations were issued one serious, and one failure to abate violation. Proposed penalties total $ 155,139.
“Workers exposed to machinery without proper guarding are in jeopardy of losing a limb or even a life. Failing to adhere to this safety requirement will not be tolerated,” said Joann Figueroa, OSHA’s area director in the Houston North office. “Machinery Maintenance Rebuilders is responsible to find and fix hazards in the workplace.”
Meat-casing Manufacturer Faces $86,225 in Fines for Exposing Workers to Unsafe Conditions
OSHA’s Area Office in Peoria, Illinois, has cited Viscofan USA for one repeated violation and one serious safety violation. When investigating reports of unsafe working conditions, the agency’s May 2016 investigation found Viscofan:
- Exposed workers to slip, trip and fall hazards as they walked in aisles and on top of equipment due to the accumulation of water. OSHA cited the company for this hazard in both September of 2015 and November of 2014 at the same facility.
- Did not mount, locate and identify portable fire extinguishers—leaving them not readily available in an emergency—potentially exposing workers to smoke inhalation, burns and other injuries.
“Viscofan USA is well aware of OSHA’s safety standards and the need to control, slip, trip and fall hazards that put workers at risk for serious injury,” said Thomas Bielema, OSHA’s area director in Peoria. “The company needs to make permanent changes to its safety program and ensure hazards are identified quickly and prompt correction of unsafe working conditions.”
Viscofan USA in based in Lisle. Viscofan is the world’s leading producer and distributor of artificial casings for the meat industry. The company also operates casing manufacturing sites in Brazil, Czech Republic, Germany, Mexico, Serbia and Spain.
Tire Explosion which Severely Injured Employee was Preventable
An OSHA inspection of Crown Equipment Corp., in Woburn, Massachusetts, was prompted when an employee sustained serious head injuries on July 13, 2016, when the rim of a split rim tire struck him when the tire exploded as he attempted to service the tire.
The investigation by the Andover Area OSHA Office found that Crown Equipment—a powered industrial truck sales and repair facility—failed to provide adequate training and safeguards to protect employees while they serviced rim wheels. Specifically, the company did not:
- Develop and implement a training program for employees who service rim wheels to inform them of the hazards associated with the wheels, and safety procedures necessary for this task.
- Evaluate each employee’s ability to service rim wheels safely.
- Ensure that each employee demonstrated the ability to service rim wheels safely.
- Require employees to use or provide an airline assembly with a clip-on chuck and a sufficient length of hose that would allow employees to stand outside the rim’s trajectory should it explode.
- Have manuals with instructions for servicing wheel rims available in the service area.
“This worker’s injury was preventable. Servicing rims such as these is dangerous. The employer must train workers properly and equip them to do this kind of work safely before they do the job. I urge all employers performing this type of work to review their operations and take the required corrective action, so this does not happen again,” said Anthony Covello, OSHA’s area director for Middlesex and Essex counties.
As a result of these conditions, OSHA cited Crown Equipment Corp. for five serious violations of workplace safety standards. Proposed penalties total $62,355.
Construction Worker’s First Day on the Job Leads to Severe Injury
OSHA issued citations for one willful and one repeated safety violation to Fast Carpentry I Inc., on September 20, 2016, following an inspection at a Bay Harbor Island, Florida, inspection site. Proposed penalties total $152,145.
OSHA began an investigation after local authorities reported a Fast Carpentry employee suffered a workplace injury that required hospitalization. On March 23, 2016, an 18-year-old roofer was installing roofing sheathing when a gust of wind caught the plywood he was carrying causing him to fall approximately 14 feet to the ground. The worker was partially impaled through his upper thigh and buttocks when he landed on a metal fence post. It was his first day on the job.
The willful citation was issued for the employer’s failure to provide fall protection when workers are performing residential construction at heights greater than 6 feet. The repeated violation relates to not providing prevention training so that employees can recognize, minimize, and prevent exposure to fall hazards.
“Fast Carpentry continues to put employees’ lives at risk by intentionally and repeatedly ignoring OSHA’s standards, and as a result of the company’s reckless actions, a young worker nearly lost his life on his first day on the job,” said Condell Eastmond, OSHA’s area director in Fort Lauderdale. “The company must take immediate action to cease the practice of putting workers’ lives in jeopardy.”
Fast Carpentry meets the listed criteria for inclusion in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP), which focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat, or failure-to-abate violations. Under the program, the agency may inspect any of the employer’s facilities if it has reasonable grounds to believe there are similar violations. The SVEP allows for an assessment of any new information obtained post-citation issuance that could change the citation and the employer’s proposed inclusion in the program.
Roofing Contractor Faces $212K in Penalties for Exposing Workers to Fall and Other Hazards
On September 22, 2016, OSHA issued four citations to Carlson Enterprises—a contractor that specializes in residential and commercial roofing in Jacksonville, Florida. The citations were issued for two willful, one serious and one other-than-serious violation. OSHA initiated the inspection as part of its Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction. Proposed penalties total $212,629.
The agency issued the willful citations for the company’s failure to provide employees with a fall protection system when working at heights up to 9 feet and not ensuring employees wore eye protection equipment when using powered nail guns.
OSHA also issued a serious citation for not inspecting fall protection equipment for damage or other deterioration prior to using. The company received one other violation for not providing workers with personal protective equipment.
“OSHA has cited Carlson Enterprises six times since 2012. Six of the inspections included repeated and serious citations for a lack of fall protection,” said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA’s area director in Jacksonville. “The employer’s disregard for worker safety is unacceptable. Management must take immediate action to protect employees from a serious injury or death.”
Construction Site Trench Cave-in Leads to $119K in Fines for Willful and Serious Safety Violations
On June 15, 2016, at a construction site in Methuen, Massachusetts, two E.T. & L. Construction Corp. employees were working in a 12-foot deep trench when a concrete duct encasing utility wiring that was suspended above the trench collapsed into the trench, causing a cave-in.
An investigation by OSHA’s Andover Area Office found that the employees were exposed to crushing and struck-by hazards due to their employer’s failure to comply with OSHA’s trenching and excavation safety standards.
Specifically, E.T. & L. Construction failed to adequately protect the trench against collapse and did not provide proper support for the duct bank to prevent it from falling into the trench. In addition, the steel alloy chain used to support the duct bank was not properly labeled to show if it could carry the load and the trench’s protective system was not designed and used according to manufacturer’s specifications.
As a result of these conditions, OSHA cited Crown Equipment Corp. for one willful and three serious violations. Proposed penalties total $119,597.
“This cave-in could have been prevented if the employer had properly protected the trench against collapse and provided effective support for the duct bank. While it’s fortunate that no one was killed or severely injured in this case, this incident should never have happened. Employers must not allow their employees to enter a trench unless it has been properly safeguarded against collapse. The workers’ lives and well-being depend on this,” said Anthony Covello, OSHA’s area director for Middlesex and Essex counties.
OSHA Fines Roofer, Home Service Contractor more than $61K for Ignoring Fall Risk to Workers
Federal OSHA Inspectors observed work crews at a residential roofing project in Colorado Springs without secure ladders or fall protection, and opened an inspection on August 31, 2016. As a result, on September 27, 2016, OSHA issued three citations in total to JD Vigil Home Services Inc. and Big Valle Roofing for their failures to protect workers from fall hazards.
Big Valle, a roofing and siding contractor, received willful and repeat citations. The company received citations for the same violations at another site back in May 2016. Proposed penalties total $61,731.
JD Vigil Home Services, Inc., received one serious citation for not conducting safety inspections at job sites as part of a required safety program. Proposed penalties total $3,563.
“Failing to provide fall protection can have fatal consequences. Falls are a leading cause of death and serious injury in the construction industry,” said David Nelson, OSHA’s area director in Englewood. “We are determined to hold negligent employers accountable when they put their workers needlessly at-risk.”
Cintas Corporation Achieves VPP Star Certification for Safety Efforts
Cintas Corporation Location 529, of Columbus, Indiana, received certification in the Indiana Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) with ‘STAR’ status. The facility joins dozens of Hoosier companies with exceptional occupational safety and health programs to protect their workers.
Cintas Corporation Location 529 employs 40 workers at the facility, which supplies rental uniforms, entrance mats, restroom and hygiene supplies and promotional products for businesses in the Central Indiana area. Rental goods and other products are delivered by a fleet of service vehicles. The Columbus site is one of Cintas’s 160 locations across the U.S.
“Management and employees at the Columbus Cintas location should be proud of their workplace safety and health accomplishments,” said Indiana Department of Labor Commissioner Rick J. Ruble. “This achievement speaks of the company’s dedication to protecting employees from hazards and preventing accidents.”
Cintas employees are known for their enthusiasm about VPP, the ‘STAR’ accomplishment, and knowledge of the requirements to be part of the program. Excellence in workplace safety and health is integrated into the culture at Location 529 in many ways, such as the Safety Improvement Committee, near miss and accident investigations, the Cintas Safety Observation Program and more. Their efforts are reflected by their injury and illness rate, which averages 1.5 per 100 workers for the past three recordable years (73 percent lower than the industry average of 5.6).
The Voluntary Protection Program provides recognition to Hoosier employers that operate exemplary safety and health management systems. Certification in VPP is an achievement of status that will single employers out among their business peers as a model worksite for Hoosier workplace safety and health.