Construction protections now match those in manufacturing and general industry

 

DSC00040WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued a final rule to increase protections for construction workers in confined spaces.

Manholes, crawl spaces, tanks and other confined spaces are not intended for continuous occupancy. They are also difficult to exit in an emergency. People working in confined spaces face life-threatening hazards including toxic substances, electrocutions, explosions and asphyxiation.

Last year, two workers were asphyxiated while repairing leaks in a manhole, the second when he went down to save the first – not uncommon in cases of asphyxiation in confined spaces.

“In the construction industry, entering confined spaces is often necessary, but fatalities like these don’t have to happen,” said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “This new rule will significantly improve the safety of construction workers who enter confined spaces. In fact, we estimate that it will prevent about 780 serious injuries every year.”

The rule will provide construction workers with protections similar to those manufacturing and general industry workers have had for more than two decades, with some differences tailored to the construction industry. These include requirements to ensure that multiple employers share vital safety information and to continuously monitor hazards – a safety option made possible by technological advances after the manufacturing and general industry standards were created.

“This rule will save lives of construction workers,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “Unlike most general industry worksites, construction sites are continually evolving, with the number and characteristics of confined spaces changing as work progresses. This rule emphasizes training, continuous worksite evaluation and communication requirements to further protect workers’ safety and health.”

Compliance assistance material and additional information is available on OSHA’s Confined Spaces in Construction Web page.

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Westfarms Mall location receives 3 repeated citations, faces $165K in fines

iStock_000017378933XSmallHARTFORD, Connecticut – Emergency exits blocked by piles of store inventory appears to be a recurring hazard at Forever 21. The fashion retailer’s employees at Westfarms Mall in Farmington were among the chain’s workers put at risk of not being able to exit the store swiftly because of fire or another emergency, OSHA inspectors determined after receiving a complaint.

“Emergency exits and hallways were blocked by store inventory. Boxes were unsafely stacked, which created serious safety threats,” said Warren Simpson, Occupational Safety and Health Administration area director in the Hartford Area Office. “Four stockroom employees were assigned to work in these conditions. At the time of the inspection, they were working around-the-clock before Black Friday, when inventory levels were higher.”

During the November 2014 inspection, boxes were stored in the hallway leading from the retail space to an emergency exit, which reduced the exit to 23 inches of passable space. Required space for exits is a minimum of 28 inches. Additionally, the emergency exit routes were obstructed by piles of boxes as high as 10 feet. Boxes were stored unstably and could fall and injure workers.

Forever 21 employees have been exposed to these dangers previously. OSHA has conducted 37 inspections of company stores in the past five years. It cited the women’s fashion retailer 12 times for similar hazards, including stores in Bridgewater, New Jersey, in 2012 and Burlington, Massachusetts, in 2013. Due to the recurring nature of these hazards, OSHA has cited Forever 21 Retail Inc. for three repeated violations. Proposed fines total $165,000 for the conditions at the Westfarms Mall store.

“The company’s corporate office is responsible for safety and health requirements at retail locations nationwide, yet it allows these hazards to occur repeatedly,” said Simpson. “Forever 21 must take steps to address these types of hazards effectively at its stores.”

The citations can be viewed here.

An OSHA QuickCardTM with emergency exit route information is available online.

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iStock_000007203503XSmall Lab WorkerWASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health today released the Hospital Respiratory Protection Toolkit, a resource for health care employers to use to protect hospital staff from respiratory hazards.

Respirators are used to protect against exposures to airborne transmissible infectious diseases as well as chemicals and certain drugs that may be used in healthcare settings. OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard requires that health care employers establish and maintain a respiratory protection program in workplaces where workers may be exposed to respiratory hazards.

“Hospitals are one of the most hazardous places to work,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “One of the ways that we can protect workers in a health care setting is by providing employers with the resources needed to ensure a safe workplace. This toolkit will help protect those workers who dedicate their lives to caring for others.”

“Appropriate respiratory protection is a vital line of defense against airborne hazards hospital workers might face on the job,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “This toolkit is an important resource to help health care employers ensure their workers are out of harm’s way when it comes to respiratory hazards.”

The toolkit covers respirator use, existing public health guidance on respirator use during exposure to infectious diseases, hazard assessment, the development of a hospital respiratory protection program, and additional resources and references on hospital respiratory protection programs. Appendix D is an editable document that each hospital can customize to meet its specific needs.

To supplement the toolkit, The Joint Commission, an accrediting body for more than 20,500 health care organizations and programs in the United States, developed an educational monograph, Implementing Hospital Respiratory Protection Programs: Strategies from the Field, to assist hospitals in implementing respiratory protection programs. The monograph, produced in collaboration with NIOSH’s National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, identifies common implementation challenges, provides specific examples of innovative strategies from healthcare organizations and examines the role of leadership, quality improvement, fit testing and training challenges, and program evaluation.

“Respiratory protection programs enhance safety for both workers and patients, but there are many common challenges associated with their implementation,” said Ana McKee, M.D., executive vice president and chief medical officer, The Joint Commission. “We hope that by showcasing the innovative and effective strategies used by health care organizations across the country to overcome some of these challenges, hospitals can learn from one another as they implement and improve their own respiratory protection programs.”

NIOSH is the Federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries and illnesses. It was created under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and is part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More information about NIOSH can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh.

OSHA has a suite of resources on protecting workers from safe patient handling hazards on its Worker Safety in Hospitals Web page.

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OSHA proposes more than $102K in penalties

SONY DSCNASHPORT, Ohio –Workers at Hanby Farms in Nashport were exposed to being buried in grain or overcome by noxious fumes because the company did not verify that conditions were safe before allowing employees to enter bins at the grain elevator and feed mill.  OSHA inspectors visited the facility in November 2014, under the Local Emphasis Program for grain handling.  After identifying 29 serious safety violations, OSHA proposed penalties of $102,900.

“Grain bins can become lethal in seconds,” said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA’s area director in Columbus. “Hanby Farms needs to take immediate action to eliminate its facility’s safety and health hazards.”

Inspectors found Hanby Farms failed to train employees on grain bin and confined space hazards and neglected to provide adequate rescue equipment for employees who entered the bin.  Workers were also exposed to combustible grain dust hazards; moving machinery parts without guards, multiple electrical hazards; and falls from unguarded railings, climbing on lift trucks and improper use of ladders. Investigators also noted powered industrial vehicles not approved for conditions were combustible grain dust may be present and improper storage of flammable materials.

To view current citations, see:

http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/HanbyFarmsSafety_1006716_0429_15.pdf
and http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/HanbyFarmsHealth_1006734_0429_15.pdf

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Lloyd Industries Inc. Defies Federal Safety Inspectors

iStock_000023698673XSmallMONTGOMERYVILLE, Pennsylvania – After an inspection prompted by an injury in which the die on a press brake machine dropped on a worker’s right hand resulting in the amputation of three fingers, OSHA levied $822,000 in fines against Lloyd Industries Inc.  The machine lacked required safety guards and had not worked properly before the incident which occurred in July 2014.

The company has also been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

Despite numerous federal inspections, warnings, fines, and assurances to stop putting workers at risk, the company’s repeated failure to keep its employees safe has resulted in approximately 40 serious injuries since 2000. These injuries include serious lacerations as well as crushed, fractured, dislocated and amputated fingers.

“William Lloyd and Lloyd Industries are serial violators of OSHA safety standards, and their workers have paid the price,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “No employer is above the law. For 15 years, they have repeatedly put their employees at risk of serious injuries. This must stop now.”

Since 2000, William Lloyd has shown a pattern of defiance toward OSHA safety standards: Inspectors find violations, including the absence of safety guards to prevent serious injuries from moving machine parts. Lloyd then agrees to correct the hazardous conditions and accepts OSHA penalties, but similar violations are found when the inspectors return. In one instance, OSHA officials were forced to summon U.S. federal marshals to gain entrance to the plant when Lloyd refused to admit them, even after they obtained a warrant. Since 2000, the company’s total OSHA fines exceed $1 million.

During one inspection, Lloyd complained to OSHA inspectors that the machine guards that protected his employees slowed production. He also made a conscious decision in 2013 to stop an audiometric testing program required to prevent employee hearing loss, OSHA found. The testing only resumed in December 2014, after OSHA’s investigation.

In its latest inspection OSHA issued 10 willful violations based on the company’s repeated failure to guard machines, and to provide annual audiometric tests. Additionally, the company was cited for three willful, four serious, and seven other-than-serious violations for electrical hazards, noise protection, and recordkeeping violations. Read the citations, here and here.

Incorporated in 1981, Lloyd Industries Inc. manufactures fire and smoke dampers. It employs approximately 70 workers at its Montgomeryville site and 25 employees at a second location in Orange Park, Florida.

 

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Steel manufacturer faces $147K in fines

Safety ProgramBUFFALO, New York – An electric technician at the Republic Steel Corporation steel manufacturing plant in Blasdell was removing wiring from a fan motor in an overhead crane in October 2014 when an ungrounded electrical conductor touched a grounded surface causing an arc flash. The electric technician sustained third degree burns on her hand and first degree burns on her face.

An investigation by the Buffalo Area Office of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that Republic Steel failed to provide and ensure the use of effective face and hand protection by its employees.

“These injuries were avoidable. Republic Steel has a responsibility to make sure that its electric technicians are properly trained, equipped with and using personal protective equipment to protect from arc flash. In this case, that would include a face shield and rubber insulating gloves. The company should be especially aware of this, since OSHA cited Republic Steel earlier in 2014 for similar hazards at its Lorain, Ohio, facility,” said Michael Scime, OSHA’s area director in Buffalo.

As a result of these conditions, OSHA cited Republic Steel for two repeat violations, with proposed penalties of $70,000 each for the lack of hand and face protection. The steel manufacturer was also cited for one serious violation, with a $7,000 fine, for failing to protect employees against contact with energized electrical equipment. Total proposed penalties are $147,000.

The citations can be viewed here.

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Poster is free and downloadable

 

poster_largeWASHINGTON – To help ensure that workers have a voice in their workplaces and the protection they deserve, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration today unveiled a new version of its “Job Safety and Health – It’s The Law!” poster. The poster informs workers of their rights, and employers of their responsibilities.

“This poster emphasizes a very important principle when it comes to prevention – that every worker has a voice,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “Workers need to know their rights and be able to use their rights, without fear of retaliation, when they believe that their safety or health is at risk.”

The newly designed poster informs workers of their right to request an OSHA inspection of their workplaces, receive information and training on job hazards, report a work-related injury or illness, and raise safety and health concerns with their employer or OSHA without being retaliated against.

The poster informs employers of their legal obligation to provide a safe workplace. In addition, it has been updated to include the new reporting obligations for employers, who must now report every fatality and every hospitalization, amputation and loss of an eye. It also informs employers of their responsibilities to train all workers in a language and vocabulary they can understand, comply with OSHA standards, and post citations at or near the place of an alleged violation.

Over the agency’s 44-year history, there have been several versions of the official OSHA poster, with the last update published in 2007.

OSHA’s “It’s the Law” poster is free and can be downloaded. Employers must display the poster in a conspicuous place where workers can see it. Previous versions of the poster do not need to be replaced.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

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Rapidly growing occupational safety consulting company has an immediate need for a quick starter degreed and experienced in the safety field. 

iStock_000013114436 ASH Hiring ManSafety Consultant
Advanced Safety & Health, LLC is a growing Occupational Safety Consulting company based in Louisville, Kentucky.  We are dedicated to providing high quality professional safety consulting and training services to our vastly diverse client base. We provide onsite safety support services, training and consulting for large- and small-scale operations, conduct OSHA-related audits, injury prevention programs, safety program management support, develop written programs and procedures, provide incident investigations and trending, provide customized training, job safety analysis, risk assessments, and many other related services for both short-term and ongoing contract engagements.

We are currently searching for an individual who is passionate about safety management and training practices, and is able to work with a wide array of organizations and people, including manufacturing, utilities, municipalities, distribution, construction, maritime, and service sectors.

What You’ll Do
The ideal Safety Consultant for Advanced Safety & Health will be located in the Louisville, Kentucky area and be willing to travel as the job requires.  You must be able to conduct onsite safety management support, risk assessments, and training for our growing client base throughout the United States, but primarily focused in Kentucky, Southern Indiana, and Ohio areas.

Additionally, you will need to be able to:

  • Conduct full day training sessions that may involve multiple consecutive days
  • Conduct intense multi-day onsite risk evaluation surveys and compile detailed reports and recommendations
  • Assist clients with the development and implementation of safety polices, programs, and procedures specific to each account and loss exposure
  • Provide advanced risk management and consultative services to assigned clients
  • Maintain and demonstrate safety management and expertise in areas such as OSHA, MSHA, injury prevention, workers’ compensation,  and fleet safety
  • Develop, coordinate, and conduct safety/risk management seminars and training programs for accounts to promote OSHA compliance awareness and reduce work-related injury frequency and severity
  • Develop and execute service proposals and plans to large accounts

What It Takes

  • Bachelor’s Degree required, Master’s Degree preferred
  • Degree must have emphasis in Occupational Safety & Health, Engineering, Management, or Loss Control
  • At least five plus years of safety consulting or safety management work experience
  • High level of independence, organization, and self-motivation
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to effectively interact with a diverse customer base
  • Experience in coordinating and servicing large or multi-location accounts preferred
  • Intimate knowledge, understanding, and implementation of OSHA, ANSI, NFPA Standards, and DOT Regulations
  • High level of verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to provide effective training in a variety of hands-on and classroom type settings
  • Proficiency in basic Microsoft computer programs such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
  • Valid driver’s license, acceptable motor vehicle record, and dependable transportation for travel, including overnight travel
  • Safety designations such as CSP preferred, or willingness to pursue professional designation(s)
  • A proficiency in Mine Safety and Health or Fleet Safety could be an added plus, but not required.

What You’ll Receive

Advanced Safety & Health offers all full-time employees a benefit package that includes:

  • Competitive Compensation with potential for pay bonuses
  • Group Medical, Dental, and Vision
  • SIMPLE retirement plan with employer contribution
  • Paid Vacation and Holidays

What You Need To Do

Submit your resume, with a cover letter explaining why you should be part of our growing team, your special qualities, and salary expectations to info@advancedsafetyhealth.com.  Please put Louisville Safety Consultant in the email heading.

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Workplace falls kill an average of six Kentuckians each year, seriously injure 4,000

 

ky_fiFRANKFORT, Kentucky – The Kentucky Labor Cabinet will join the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, which is designed to raise awareness among employers and workers about the hazards of falls. The stand-down runs May 4-15, and is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about protection against falls. Some of the companies that are participating include Aristeo; Dürr; Gray; Scott, Murphy & Daniel; and Walbridge.

“When you look at the statistics, you see the numbers but you don’t see the pain and suffering from all the friends and family members of each of these working people,” said Labor Cabinet Secretary Larry Roberts. “Thousands of Kentuckians are getting seriously hurt in falls every year, and that’s why every worker should be aware of the importance of fall prevention.”

Combining all industries, about six Kentucky workers die each year from workplace falls. On average, 4,085 workers are injured each year in workplace falls that result in days away from work.

Falls are the most common fatal hazard in the construction industry, accounting for approximately half the construction deaths in Kentucky. Of the 26 construction workers who died on the job in Kentucky from 2012-2014, 15 were because of falls.

To learn how to partner with the Labor Cabinet in this stand-down, visit www.labor.ky.gov and see the 2015 Fall Prevention banner. The page provides details on how to conduct a stand-down, be acknowledged for participation, and access free education and training resources, fact sheets and other outreach materials in English and Spanish. Companies that are participating in the stand-down are encouraged to click on the “Stand Up and Be Recognized” icon to register.

The Labor Cabinet’s Division of Education and Training will hold training sessions at various stand-down events in Kentucky during the next two weeks. Two of the sites include 3414 Collins Lane in Louisville on May 4 and the Champion Petfoods Kitchen Project at 12871 Bowling Green Road in Auburn on May 13. Safety consultants will be conducting hands-on presentations regarding personal fall protection. Free brochures and handouts will be available, and participants will be able to ask questions regarding fall protection.

The Labor Cabinet is working in conjunction with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s efforts to raise awareness for fall prevention. Each year in the United States, falls kill more than 200 construction workers and seriously injure 10,000 more.

For information on the national initiative, visit www.osha.gov/stopfalls. For more details on fall prevention, please visit www.stopconstructionfalls.com.

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Nearly $180K in penalties proposed

iStock Sawmill SawHomerville, Georgia – OSHA initiated an investigation of the Dupont Yard Inc. facilities in October 2014, after receiving a complaint alleging safety hazards. As a result of the investigation, OSHA issued 14 citations, including eight repeated violations, to the employer for not keeping the floors and walkways free of debris, exposing workers to falls due to missing guardrails, as well as shock and burn hazards from uncovered wiring in junction boxes and electrical panels, and not providing workers with forklift training. Additionally, the employer was cited for not training employees to operate fire extinguishers and exposing workers to unguarded machine parts while the machines were in operation. Proposed penalties of $179,388 were levied against the company.

Dupont Yard manufactures posts for agricultural projects and highway construction and also produces timber and wood chips.

Since 2010, Dupont has received 47 citations for safety hazards at its Homerville, Georgia facility. The company has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer’s facilities or job sites.

“Every day, Dupont Yard employees are being put at risk of serious injury, including amputations, burns or blindness, and in some cases even death,” said Robert Vazzi, director of OSHA’s Savannah Area Office. “Management’s continual disregard for safety standards is endangering workers, and as long as this is happening, OSHA will hold employers’ accountable for providing a safe and healthful workplace.”

View the citations here: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/DupontYardInc_1002675_0417_15.pdf

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