Posts Tagged ‘OSHA’

OSHA Wants to Scale Back Coverage of Beryllium Rules

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

OSHA proposed on June 23 to exclude construction and shipbuilding from a final rule issued on January 9, 2017 reducing workers’ exposure to beryllium. The lightweight metal is used primarily in foundry and smelting, composites manufacturing, dental lab work, among other applications. Under the proposal only general industry workplaces would be subject to the January changes, which reduce exposure from 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter of air, to 0.2 micrograms over an eight-hour period. The rule was signed into law during the last days of the Obama administration. (more…)

Workplace Safety Signs and Tags Prevent Accidents – Select and Place Them With Care

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Your employees should be familiar with the hazards associated with their own work areas. But as they go about the facility, they may come into casual contact with risks they don’t know about.

Outsiders who come into your facility may also be unaware of the hazards they face. This is why safety signs and tags are so important. Another important reason is to remind workers daily of the hazards in their own work areas so that they don’t become complacent about hazards.

Yet another reason for safety signs and tags is to warn of hazards that are out of the ordinary, unexpected, or not readily apparent. (more…)

Identify the 5 Most Common Hazards of MIG Welding

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Whether you’re a large, heavy equipment manufacturer with a stable of experienced welders or a small job shop where welding equipment is used infrequently, odds are you use the same type of equipment: a metal inert gas (MIG) welder.

This kind of welder is by far the most common and most versatile welder, adaptable not only to many different user skill levels but also to many different materials and applications. It’s important to know the hazards MIG welding poses and ensure that you protect workers against them.

Hazards of MIG welding

A MIG welder is a type of shielded metal arc welder that uses high-voltage electricity to melt and form a metal wire that’s fed through the welding torch and applied to the point of the weld. When cool, the metal forms a bond between the two welded objects. (more…)

OSHA Enforcement

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Boston company cited for multiple violations after two die in trench collapse

Two employees died when the 12-foot-deep trench in which they were working collapsed, breaking a nearby fire hydrant supply line and filling the trench with water. OSHA inspectors found that Atlantic Drain Service Co. Inc. and its owner, Kevin Otto, failed to provide basic safeguards to prevent a trench collapse and did not train employees to recognize and avoid cave-in hazards. Other violations included failing to: provide a ladder so employees could exit the trench at any time; support other structures near the trench that posed overhead hazards; and supply hardhats and eye protection. The Boston-based company was cited for 18 safety violations and proposed $1,475,813 in fines. OSHA cited Atlantic Drain trenching worksites for similar hazards in 2007 and 2012. Read the news release for more information.  (more…)

Double Trench Fatality Leads to 7-Figure Fine and Criminal Charges

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

OSHA says the deaths of two employees in a tragic trench accident could have been prevented if a drain cleaning company had provided basic safeguards and training.

The Boston area contractor, which was cited and fined for similar hazards in 2007 and 2012, was recently cited for 18 alleged violations of OSHA standards, with proposed fines of $1.5 million. In February, a county grand jury indicted the company and its owner on two counts of manslaughter and other charges in connection with the deaths.

According to OSHA, the two workers died in October 2016 when the 12-foot-deep trench in which they were working collapsed. As a result, an adjacent fire hydrant supply line broke, filling the trench with water in a matter of seconds. (more…)

OSHA Enforcement

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

OSHA has formed a partnership with the University of Alabama SafeState On-site Consultation Program and general contractor Brasfield & Gorrie LLC to protect approximately 200 workers during the construction of an office building in Birmingham for one of the nation’s largest healthcare services providers. Thepartnership’s goals during the year-long project include reducing injuries and illnesses, and increasing both safety and health training and the number employers with safety and health programs. Through the Strategic Partnership Program, OSHA works with employers, workers, professional or trade associations, labor organizations, and other interested stakeholders to eliminate serious hazards and enhance workplace safety and health practices. (more…)

Federal Railroad Administration Reminds Workers that OSHA Standards Apply to Them

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is not the only agency that makes rules protecting worker safety and health. Nuclear plants, for example, are subject to the rules of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC); airlines are subject to safety rules issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Railroads, too, have their own safety agency: the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). These agencies tend to issue rules covering issues specifically connected to their industry, leaving general safety and health regulation to OSHA. A problem sometimes arises when employers working in those industries don’t realize that they are subject not only to the specific industry regulations but also to OSHA rules.

In 2016, the FRA determined that it had just such a problem: Roadway workers were failing to comply with OSHA health and safety rules, and it was getting them killed. After an incident in April 2016 that resulted in the deaths of two Amtrak employees in Chester, Pennsylvania, the FRA took action to better protect roadway workers. (more…)

Civil Penalty Amounts Increased by OSHA

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

The U.S. Department of Labor published a final rule in the Federal Register that increases penalty amounts to adjust for inflation across its various agencies, including OSHA. The penalty increases are effective as of January 13, 2017.

This most recent increase follows a much larger increase of 78 percent, which took effect in August 2016. That jump represented the first time OSHA had increased its penalties since 1990. The new fines are just over 1 percent higher than the August 2016 levels.

The new penalty levels will apply to all violations occurring after November 2, 2015, with penalties assessed after January 13, 2017.

The following chart compares penalties in effect August 1, 2016, to the new penalties effective January 13, 2017: (more…)

New Final Rule Updates Walking-Working Surfaces Standards and Establishes Personal Fall Protection Requirements

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

OSHA issued a final rule Nov. 17 updating its 44-year old general industry Walking-Working Surfaces standard to protect workers from slip, trip, and fall hazards. The rule also increases consistency in safety and health standards for people working in both general and construction industries. OSHA estimates the final rule will prevent more than 5,800 injuries a year. The rule takes effect Jan. 17, 2017.

“The final rule will increase workplace protection from those hazards, especially fall hazards, which are a leading cause of worker deaths and injuries,” said OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. The rule’s most significant update is allowing employers to select the fall protection system that works best for them, choosing from a range of accepted options. For more information, read the news release.  (more…)

OSHA Enforcement

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

Alabama auto parts supplier, staffing agencies face $2.5M in fines after robot fatally crushes young worker

Two weeks before what was to be her wedding day, 20-year-old Regina Allen Elsea was crushed to death in a robotic machine at a manufacturing facility that stamps metal parts for Hyundai and Kia vehicles in Cusseta, Ala.

Following OSHA’s investigation of Ajin USA, the agency issued citations for 23 willful, serious and other-than-serious violations, including 19 egregious willful violations. OSHA also cited two staffing agencies responsible for placing Elsea at the factory as a temporary worker – Alliance Total Solutions LLC and Joynus Staffing Corp. – for two serious safety violations each. Collectively, the three companies face $2,565,621 in penalties for the federal safety and health violations. (more…)