Titanium Dioxide Listed as Carcinogen

September 05, 2011

California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has added titanium dioxide (airborne, unbound particles of respirable size) 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 listing does not cover titanium dioxide when it remains bound within a product matrix. The listing of titanium dioxide (airborne, unbound particles of respirable size) became effective on September 2, 2011.

Health and Safety Code section 25249.8(a) incorporates California Labor Code Sections 6382(b)(1) and 6382(d) into Proposition 65. The law requires that certain substances identified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) or the National Toxicology Program (NTP) be listed as known to cause cancer under Proposition 65. Labor Code section 6382(b)(1) refers to substances identified as human or animal carcinogens by IARC. Labor Code section 6382(d) refers to substances identified as carcinogens or potential carcinogens by IARC or NTP.

The basis for the listing of titanium dioxide (airborne, unbound particles of respirable size) was described in a public notice published in the May 27, 2011, issue of the California Regulatory Notice Register (Register 2011, No. 21-Z). The title of the notice was “Notice of Intent to List Titanium Dioxide (Airborne, Unbound Particles of Respirable Size) by the Labor Code Mechanism.” The publication of the notice initiated a 30-day public comment period that closed on June 27, 2011.

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 at http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65.html.

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.

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

OSHA has announced that by September of this year, it will finalize a rule adopting 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 the upcoming webcasts include:

  • September 16
  • September 27

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

Advertising Opportunities Available

Environmental Resource Center is making a limited number of advertising positions available in the Safety Tip of the Week™, the Environmental Tip of the Week™, and the Reg of the Day™. If you have a product or service that would be of interest to over 25,000 weekly readers, contact Amy Knight at aknight@ercweb.com or 919-469-1585 for details.

New OSHA Hazard Alert on Dangers to Workers of Incorrectly Rebuilt Circuit Breakers

OSHA has issued a hazard alert, warning workers and employers of the dangers of using certain Eaton/Cutler-Hammer molded-case circuit breakers that were incorrectly rebuilt. The third-party rebuilder may have altered the circuit breakers—identified by model numbers E²K and E?KM—by using incorrect parts that can cause the breakers to malfunction. The breakers were originally manufactured by Eaton/Cutler-Hammer as part of its E? mining series breakers. At this time, the number of incorrectly rebuilt E?K and E?KM breakers or their locations are not known. The circuit breakers may appear to be new or properly rebuilt, but the third party rebuilder changed them from the manufacturer’s original design. OSHA developed this alert based on a similar notice recently issued by the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

The alert warns that the rebuilt circuit breakers have incorrect voltage ratings on the covers. Because the covers do not meet manufacturer’s specifications, they may lack proper safety features such as grounding and fault protection to prevent electrical shock, burns, and fires. Since the potential for worker injury from breaker failure exists, employers must remove this equipment from service. Instructions for what employers should do if their worksites are using E?K and E?KM breakers are listed in the alert. Employers should have a qualified person shut off power to the breakers, follow proper lockout/tagout procedures, and remove any defective breaker from service and replace it with one that a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) has properly certified. Although the E?K and E?KM circuit breakers are intended for use in mining operations, OSHA recognizes that employers performing tunneling operations may purchase the same breakers. OSHA requires workplaces to use circuit breakers certified by an OSHA-approved NRTL.

Employers that find one of the defective breakers should notify OSHA at 202-693-2300. Workers and employers also may contact the local OSHA office with questions about circuit breakers used in their worksites.

OSHA Cites IEW Construction Group Inc. for Safety Hazards at Bridge Work Site

OSHAs cited Trenton-based IEW Construction Group Inc., for 12 commercial diving and other serious safety violations found while the company was doing repair work on the Alexander Road Bridge in Princeton, New Jersey. OSHA initiated an investigation under its National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation and a Local Emphasis Program on Bridge and Tunnel Construction. Proposed penalties total $83,160.

The violations include employee exposure to “struck-by” and disorientation hazards when umbilical cables, which supply breathing gas and other services from a surface supply to a diver, were not clearly marked. They also include the company’s failure to instruct employees in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions such as, but not limited to, struck-by and diving hazards; provide employees with a safe practice manual for diving; provide employees with decompression tables at a dive location; test air compressor systems every six months; provide depth gauges at the work site; and ensure employees performing modifications and additions on equipment recorded dates and the nature of their work. 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.

“This company failed to meet OSHA’s commercial diving operations standards and put its workers at risk of serious hazards, including drowning, hypothermia, and circulatory and respiratory problems,” said Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of OSHA’s Marlton Area Office. “All employers, especially those engaged in high-hazard activities such as diving, must provide a safe working environment for their employees.”

IEW Construction Group Inc., a heavy highway construction company, employed about five workers at the Princeton bridge site.

2 West Virginia Coal Mines Receive PPOV Notices from MSHA for Unreported Accidents

The US Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has issued notices of a potential pattern of violations (PPOV) to Randolph Mine operated by Inman Energy and Justice No. 1 Mine operated by Independence Coal Co., Inc., both underground coal mines in Boone County, West Virginia, that were formerly owned by Massey Energy.

The two mines did not receive PPOV notices during the last screening round in November 2010, but they, along with three other mines then owned by Massey Energy and two owned by Peabody Energy, were the subject of audits to determine whether they had failed to report injuries that would have affected their selection under the existing criteria.* Both Massey Energy and Peabody Energy refused to turn over accident, injury, and illness data to MSHA.

The matter ended up before the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission. Administrative Law Judge Kenneth R. Andrews found that MSHA’s demand for audit information is a constitutionally, “reasonable exercise of government responsibility over public welfare where it is related to occupational health and safety. MSHA’s authority to conduct audits is necessary to effectively protect miners from the broad range of accidents, injuries and illnesses that are inherent risks in mining.”

Alpha Natural Resources Inc., recently acquired Massey Energy and agreed to provide records for five of its mines, including Randolph and Justice. MSHA’s audit revealed that those two mines failed to report or inaccurately reported a total of 24 injuries, resulting in 1,125 lost days of work.

On June 13, MSHA requested in writing that Peabody Energy provide the required information for its Air Quality No. 1 Mine in Knox County, Indiana, to avoid daily civil penalties. When Peabody failed to comply, MSHA started assessing penalties in the amount of $4,000 per day beginning on June 23. The daily penalties will continue until all of the audit information is provided to MSHA.

“One of the factors the agency considers before issuing a PPOV notice is the mine’s accident and injury history,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “Refusal to provide this information to MSHA prevents the agency from determining whether a mine meets the PPOV screening criteria.”

Section 104(e) of the federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 provides that mine operators with a pattern of significant and substantial violations be subject to closure orders for areas of the mine affected by those violations until the mine receives a clean inspection. Under current regulations, MSHA uses a screening process to determine whether a mine has a potential pattern of violations. A mine operator found to have a potential pattern of violations is given a period of time to reduce violations before MSHA uses its authority under 104(e) to issue closure orders.

* Thirty-nine mines originally were subject to the audit process and, as a result of audit findings that disclosed under-reporting of injuries, Maple Coal Co.’s Maple Eagle No. 1 Mine was moved to PPOV status.

Anchor Hocking Cited for 12 Safety Violations after Maintenance Employee Suffers Amputation

OSHA cited Anchor Hocking LLC, a glass products manufacturer in Lancaster, Ohio, for 12 safety violations. OSHA opened an investigation after a March 18 incident in which a worker’s right index finger became caught in the sleeve of the glass former press stem while he was performing maintenance and was amputated. Workers had not been trained in recommended “lockout/tagout” procedures for isolating the energy sources of machines to prevent their accidental operation. Anchor Hocking LLC faces $113,800 in proposed fines for the violations.

“Failure to implement and train employees in lockout/tagout procedures when performing maintenance on machinery is unacceptable and can have terrible consequences, as in this case,” said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA’s area director in Columbus. “Employers have a responsibility to ensure work environments are healthful and safe, which includes providing appropriate training and implementing safety procedures to protect workers.”

Two repeat violations involve failing to annually inspect lockout/tagout procedures and to protect employees from falls off of an open-sided work platform. 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. In December 2007, Anchor Hocking was cited for the same violations at the Lancaster facility.

Five serious violations involve failing to document and train employees in adequate lockout/tagout procedures, failing to affix locks to hold isolation devices in the safe or “off” position, failing to protect workers from falls due to floor holes, and using flexible cords as a substitute for fixed wiring.

Five other-than-serious violations involve failing to maintain the OSHA 300 log of work-related injuries and illnesses for 2010; adequately record injuries in the OSHA logs for 2008, 2009, and 2011; and record an injury within seven days of notification. 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.

$185,600 Penalty after Worker Suffocates in Grain

OSHA cited DL Cattle Trading LLC Co., for two willful, nine serious, and one other-than-serious alleged safety violation at the company’s cattle feed lot and farming operation in Parks, Nebraska. OSHA opened an inspection following the death of a worker who suffocated when engulfed in grain that he was walking on in a bin that had a running auger.

“OSHA has found that deaths in grain bins and elevators generally occur because of employer negligence, failure to comply with OSHA standards or poor safety and health practices,” said Charles E. Adkins, the agency’s regional administrator in Kansas City, Missouri. “All employers, especially those in high-hazard sectors such as the grain industry, must take the necessary steps to eliminate hazards from the workplace.”

The willful violations were cited for exposing employees to confined space hazards without having emergency rescue or medical care immediately available, as well as for allowing workers to stand on flowing grain without isolating power to the auger. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

The serious violations address electrical hazards as well as those associated with a lack of fall protection, compressed gas cylinder storage, machine and power transmission guarding, confined spaces, and lockout/tagout of energy sources.

The other-than-serious violation was cited for not reporting the fatality within eight hours. The worker died on March 1, but the company did not report the death until March 14.

As a result of the investigation, DL Cattle Trading has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Initiated in June 2010, SVEP is intended to focus on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat, or failure-to-abate violations in one or more of the following circumstances: a fatality or catastrophe, industry operations, or processes that expose workers to severe occupational hazards, employee exposure to hazards related to the potential releases of highly hazardous chemicals, and all per-instance citation (egregious) enforcement actions.

Since 2009, OSHA has fined grain operators in Nebraska, Illinois, Colorado, South Dakota, and Wisconsin following similar preventable fatalities and injuries. In addition to enforcement actions, OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels sent a notification letter to grain elevator operators in the summer of 2010 warning them not to allow workers to enter grain storage facilities without proper equipment, precautions, and training. “OSHA will not tolerate noncompliance with the Grain Handling Facilities standard,” said Michaels in the letter. “We will continue to use our enforcement authority to the fullest extent possible.”

Burris Logistics over $76,000 for Safety Hazards at Harrington, Delaware, Warehouse

OSHA has cited Burris Logistics for 13 alleged serious safety and health violations at its Harrington, Delaware, warehouse following an investigation initiated under the agency’s Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high injury and illness rates. Proposed penalties total $76,005.

Some of the serious violations involve exposing employees to electrical hazards due to the company’s failure to properly mark voltage panel boxes, properly guard voltage junction boxes, and cover live electrical parts. Additionally, Burris Logistics failed to consult employees, including contractors, on the process hazard analysis, and other elements of process safety management. The company also failed to provide appropriate process safety information; provide appropriate operating procedures regarding safe shift changes, shutting down, and starting up; document that the oil drain valve for one of the process pressure vessels complied with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices; address considerations related to fluctuations in ammonia levels; conduct inspections to maintain system mechanical integrity; implement a plan for emergencies involving a potential ammonia release; provide written procedures for employees engaged in maintenance activities; place electrical equipment in an approved location; and ensure that the ammonia machine room complied with ventilation and other safety requirements.

An other-than-serious violation, with no monetary penalty, was cited for not conducting annual hearing tests.

“It is vital that the company take immediate measures to correct these hazards in order to protect the safety and health of its workers,” said Domenick Salvatore, director of OSHA’s Wilmington, Delaware, Area Office.

Burris Logistics, headquartered in Milford, Delaware, provides logistics services for distributing perishable items and frozen foods throughout the eastern US. About 104 workers are employed at the Harrington warehouse.

MSHA to Propose Rule on Proximity Detection Systems

MSHA will published a proposed rule on August 31, requiring that continuous mining machines used in underground coal mines be equipped with proximity detection systems. Proximity detection refers to a technology that can be installed on mining machinery to detect the presence of personnel or other machinery within a certain distance. These systems can be programmed to send warning signals and stop machine movement when the programmed areas are breached.

Consistent with the principles in the president’s Executive Order on Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, MSHA is proposing a rule instead of issuing a scheduled emergency temporary standard to provide opportunity for public participation prior to implementation. During the comment period, which will close on November 14, 2011, MSHA will hold public hearings in Denver, Colorado, on October 18; Charleston, West Virginia, on October 20; and Washington, Pennsylvania, on October 25.

The proposed rule would strengthen the protection of miners working near continuous mining machines by reducing the potential for crushing, pinning, and striking hazards. From 1984 through 2010, 30 miners died and 220 were injured when they became crushed, pinned, or struck by these machines. Two such fatalities occurred in 2010 and one, to date, in 2011. These fatalities and injuries could have been prevented by use of a proximity detection system.

In February 2010, MSHA published a request for information asking for input from the mining community to determine the technological and economic feasibility, training needs, and benefits of any suggested regulatory action.

“In response to the RFI, MSHA received stakeholder input to advance the rulemaking process,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “We know that the technology exists for proximity detection, some underground coal mine operators already are using it, and we know that it saves lives.”

According to the proposed rule, underground coal mine operators would be required to equip existing continuous mining machines with a proximity detection system within 18 months from the publication date of a final rule to allow operators time to have equipment retrofitted and to train miners and supervisors in the new technology. Newly manufactured continuous mining machines would be required to be equipped within three months of the publication date of a final rule. Full-face continuous mining machines, which include integral roof bolting equipment, develop an entry with a single cut and involve less machine movement, would not be included under the proposed rule.

Additionally, proximity detection systems would be required to cause a continuous mining machine to stop at least 3 feet away from a miner unless the machine is remotely cutting coal or rock, in which case it must stop before contacting a miner; provide an audible or visual warning signal when the machine is 5 feet or closer to a miner, except while a continuous mining machine is cutting coal or rock; provide a visual signal on the machine that indicates the system is functioning properly; prevent movement of the machine if the system is not functioning properly; prevent interference with or from other electrical systems; and be installed and maintained by a trained person.

Mines in South Africa already use proximity detection systems on continuous mining machines. To date, MSHA has approved three systems for use in the US, which have been installed on at least 35 continuous mining machines.

Nations Roof Agrees to Enhance Safety and Health for its Employees Nationwide

OSHA reached an enterprise-wide settlement agreement with Nations Roof LLC, and Nations Roof of New England LLC, that resolves litigation stemming from OSHA citations and penalties for hazards at a Hudson, New Hampshire, work site. Lithia Springs, Georgia-based Nations Roof LLC, and its 14 affiliated companies have agreed to completely reinvent a uniform safety and health program, which will include significant improvements to employee training, safety, and health planning; work site inspections; and management structure and accountability.

In addition to Nations Roof of New England, which is based in Connecticut, the affiliates include Nations Roof National Service Center and Nations Roof South, both based in Georgia; Nations Roof East, based in New York; Nations Roof North, based in Wisconsin; Nations Roof of California; Nations Roof West, also based in California; Nations Roof of Carolinas, based in North Carolina; Nations Roof of Florida; Nations Roof South Florida; Nations Roof Central, based in Texas; Nations Roof MidAtlantic, based in Virginia; Nations Roof of Illinois; and Nations Roof of Ohio.

“In this settlement, Nations Roof goes beyond correcting hazards and paying a fine,” said Marthe Kent, OSHA’s New England regional administrator, who is based in Boston. “It commits itself to a proactive safety and health culture that will emphasize training and awareness to minimize roofing and construction hazards companywide, which ultimately will help ensure that all of its workers return home whole and healthy after each day’s labors.”

“The significance of an enterprise-wide settlement agreement is in bringing about enhanced safety and health for the entire workforce of an employer with multiple locations and subsidiaries,” said Michael Felsen, the Labor Department’s regional solicitor in Boston. “Instead of taking a piecemeal approach to safety, Nations Roof LLC and its affiliates will implement and maintain a uniform nationwide program that will enhance safeguards against falls and other construction hazards for hundreds of roofers.”

Under the agreement, Nations Roof will appoint safety/health directors for all of the companies. Each director and a supervisory employee will complete OSHA’s 30-hour construction safety course, the safety/health directors will be required to become certified to teach the 30-hour course, and all other potentially exposed employees will receive at least the OSHA 10-hour safety course plus eight additional hours dedicated to fall protection. In addition, site-specific safety plans will be developed at each work site and reviewed daily with employees, and every active work site will be inspected daily by a foreman and weekly by a project manager. Nations Roof will audit four active work sites of each affiliate per year, institute a safety and health curriculum as part of its management development program, and implement performance reviews for all affiliate presidents and safety/health directors.

The company also will submit compliance reports to OSHA; report jobs, injuries, and illnesses to the agency; and allow OSHA to monitor compliance with the agreement. Finally, Nations Roof will pay $34,750 in fines and verify correction of all hazards cited at the Hudson work site.

The agreement has been filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission and will become final on September 14, 2011. Trial Attorney Scott Miller of the Labor Department’s Regional Solicitor’s Office in Boston litigated the case for OSHA. The inspection at the Hudson work site was conducted in July 2010 by the agency’s area office in Concord, New Hampshire.

OSHA Gets Court Order and Injunction to Require Sousa Contractors to Provide Fall Protection

OSHA has secured a consent order and injunction requiring Sousa Contractors Inc., to comply with OSHA regulations at a West Windsor, New Jersey, construction site by providing fall protection equipment to employees working from heights of 6 feet or greater as well as proper scaffolding for employees who are installing roof trusses.

OSHA cited the Sayreville-based general contractor in June for exposing employees to fall hazards and proposed $107,900 in penalties. Subsequently, inspectors repeatedly observed workers placed in imminent danger—one that could reasonably be expected to cause death or serious physical harm—while installing roof trusses approximately 35 feet above the ground without any fall protection.

“OSHA sought this order and injunction to protect the employees of Sousa Contractors from potentially deadly fall hazards,” said Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of OSHA’s Marlton Area Office. “Falls pose a major threat to construction workers and must be taken seriously by employers.”

Filed in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey, the order and injunction also require the company to retain an independent safety consultant with substantial construction experience throughout the duration of the work at the West Windsor site; have a foreman, manager, or consultant who has completed OSHA’s 30-hour construction safety course supervise work on all of the company’s work sites; provide OSHA’s 10-hour construction safety course to all employees before October 1; and notify OSHA of every construction project that is projected to take more than one week to complete. Sousa Contractors also is required to pay all outstanding penalties imposed by OSHA. In addition to the $107,900, the company must pay $54,250 for two previous unpaid inspections that have become final orders of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Marshfield DoorSystems Cited After Employee Injured by Conveyor Belt Lacking Machine Guards

OSHA cited Marshfield DoorSystems Inc., with one repeat and two alleged serious violations after a worker’s hand became caught in an ingoing nip point on a conveyor belt line in March, resulting in contusions, abrasions, and friction burns. Proposed penalties total $46,200.

“Installing proper machine guarding is a basic safety precaution that Marshfield DoorSystems should have taken for the protection of its workers,” said Kim Stille, OSHA’s area director in Madison, Wisconsin. “We are committed to ensuring that employers adhere to OSHA’s common-sense standards in order to prevent avoidable injuries, such as this one.”

The repeat violation, with a proposed penalty of $33,000, was cited for failing to train workers in lockout/tagout procedures to control energy sources for equipment on conveyor belt line number one. Marshfield DoorSystems was cited for failing to provide training on lockout/tagout procedures in 2009.

The serious violations, with proposed penalties of $13,200, involve failing to inspect energy control procedures within the past year and to install guarding to protect workers from an exposed nip point on the conveyor.

Prior to OSHA’s most recent inspection, which was opened in March following the injury, the Marshfield, Wisconsin-based company had been inspected 13 times since 2001. Those inspections resulted in 27 citations, including some for violations of lockout/tagout and machine guarding standards.

OSHA Cites Ohio Aluminum Industries for 14 Safety Violations

OSHA cited Ohio Aluminum Industries in Garfield Heights, Ohio, with 14 serious safety violations carrying $60,900 in proposed fines.

The violations involve failing to provide machine guards on the bandsaw blade; failing to properly ground equipment; failing to provide personal protective equipment such as aluminized aprons and mesh screen face shields to protect against burns; failing to verify process safety management procedures and practices for sulfur dioxide as well as provide proper training to employees regarding safe operating practices; exposing workers to continuous noise beyond the permissible eight-hour noise exposure limit; failing to implement engineering controls to reduce noise; allowing wood dust to accumulate on the floor and surfaces in the pattern shop; allowing aluminum dust to collect in the shot blast machine, creating the potential for an explosive dust hazard; and failing to implement explosion protection measures for equipment and exhaust ventilation systems in which there is a potential for a combustible dust explosion or fire.

“Providing machine guarding, personal protective equipment and noise reduction for workers are basic safety requirements in the workplace,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland. “Employers have a responsibility to ensure work environments are safe and healthful, which includes providing appropriate equipment and training to protect workers.”

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