OSHA Quick Takes – June 2, 2014

OSHA QuickTakes



Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez launches unprecedented partnership for safety: More than 1 million workers across the country expected to “Stand-Down” to prevent falls in construction

National Safety Stand-down poster

Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez and Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels today announced the kick-off for the national fall safety stand-down, reaching more than 1 million workers and bringing together tens of thousands of businesses across the country. Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. In 2012, 279 construction workers lost their lives in falls from heights and more than 8,800 construction workers were seriously injured by falls. From June 2 to 6, employers and workers are voluntarily stopping work to talk about saving lives and preventing fatal falls, reaching more workers, businesses and workplaces than ever before.

“This is an unprecedented effort with a record number of participants coming together for worker safety,” said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “The economy is on the rebound, housing starts are on the rise, and the summer construction season is getting underway. Now is the time to focus on this vital safety issue and make sure all construction workers get to come home at the end of every workday.”

“Our message is ‘safety pays and falls cost,'” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “We emphasize planning ahead, providing the right equipment—such as guard rails or safety harnesses, lines and anchors—and training all employees, three simple steps can save lives.”

During this week OSHA is partnering with the Associated General Contracts, the Associated Builders and Contractors, the National Association of Home Builders, the National Roofing Contractors Association, the Steel Erection Association, more than ten international unions including the Carpenters, the Laborers Union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Ironworkers Union, CPWR, community organizations, faith-based organizations and universities nationwide.

The national stand-down is part of OSHA’s third annual Fall Prevention Campaign, launched in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, National Occupational Research Agenda, and CPWR, the Center for Construction Research and Training. For more information on the national stand-down, read the press release and statements from Secretary Perez and Assistant Secretary Michaels, or visit OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down page and read OSHA’s blog.

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Stand-Down safety events scheduled at more than 25,000 workplaces nationwide

Safety Stand-Down for Fall prevention billboard
One of six billboards posted in well-traveled areas of Arizona promotes OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction. Dozens of billboards are going up in more than ten states across the country to support the campaign.

In hundreds of stand-down events happening across the country, employers and workers will pause their workday to talk about fall prevention in construction, and discuss topics like ladder safety, scaffolding safety and roofing work safety. Businesses, universities, faith-based groups, the U.S. Air Force and many others are joining together in record numbers for the week-long stand-down.

The University of Texas at Arlington is joining with OSHA’s Dallas staff and Balfour Beatty to kick off events across the state of Texas. In Palo Alto, Calif., Clark Construction will be hosting a stand-down at the Stanford University Medical Center with OSHA staff in the Oakland area. OSHA officials will join racecar driver Greg Biffle at the Daytona Speedway in Jacksonville, Fla., to do a fall protection harness demonstration and discuss fall safety with construction workers. In Nebraska, OSHA Omaha staff is teaming with the Heartland Workers Center to host a free fall prevention event for the public at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.

For a complete list of stand-downs open to the public, visit OSHA’s National Safety Fall-Down calendar of events.

Materials to use in stand-downs, including posters, factsheets, safety videos, stickers and tool box talks, can be found on OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign Web page.

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OSHA launches annual summer campaign to prevent heat-related illnesses

Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers

OSHA announced May 22 the launch of its annual Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers. For the fourth consecutive year, OSHA’s campaign aims to raise awareness and educate workers and employers about the serious hazards of working in hot weather and provide resources and guidance to address these hazards.

“Heat-related illnesses can be fatal, and employers are responsible for keeping workers safe,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “Employers can take a few easy steps to save lives, including scheduling frequent water breaks, providing shade and allowing ample time to rest.”

In 2012, there were 31 heat-related worker deaths and 4,120 heat-related worker illnesses. Heat illness disproportionately affects those who have not built up a tolerance to heat, and it is especially important for employers to allow new and temporary workers time to acclimate. Workers at particular risk include those in outdoor industries, such as agriculture, construction, landscaping and transportation.

Visit OSHA’s heat campaign Web page for free educational materials in English and Spanish, as well as a free heat app for mobile devices. See the news release and the recent blog by Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels for more on OSHA’s heat illness campaign and resources.

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Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway ordered to pay more than $526,000 to terminated workers who were retaliated against for reporting injuries

Whistleblower Protection Programs

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway has been ordered to pay more than $526,000 in back wages and other damages to two workers following an investigation by OSHA. The agency found that the company, based in Fort Worth, Texas, violated the whistleblower provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety Act by terminating the employees in 2010 and 2011 for reporting injuries that occurred at the company’s Havre, Mont., terminal.

“An employer cannot retaliate against employees who report an injury,” said Gregory Baxter, OSHA’s regional administrator in Denver. “OSHA recognizes that employers can legitimately have, and apply, policies to require prompt injury reporting; however, that is not what happened here. When employers mask their retaliatory intent through application of a policy or rule, they violate the law.”

Burlington Northern has been ordered to pay back wages with interest, compensatory damages and attorney’s fees, while reinstating and expunging the two employees’ work records. Read the news release for additional details. OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of 22 statutes protecting employees who report violations of laws in various industries. For more information, visit www.whistleblowers.gov.

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Chicago engineering company cited again for failing to protect construction workers from trenching hazards

For the second time this year, OSHA has cited Pan-Oceanic Engineering Co. Inc. for exposing workers to trenching hazards at a job site at East 93rd Street and South Woodlawn Avenue in Chicago, Ill. OSHA cited the company for willful violations for again failing to protect workers from trench cave-ins while installing water and sewer lines. Proposed penalties total $147,000.

“It is completely unacceptable that Pan-Oceanic Engineering continues to put workers at such great risk,” said Kathy Webb, OSHA’s area director in Calumet City. “Since 2003, this company has been cited multiple times for violations of trenching standards, which result in numerous fatalities and injuries every year. Pan-Oceanic Engineering’s repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to the safety of its workers.”

OSHA opened the inspection under the National Emphasis Program for trenching and excavation. The company was issued two willful violations for failing to ensure workers were protected from cave-in hazards while working in a trench deeper than 5 feet and failing to support the street pavement above the trench from collapsing on the workers. See the news release for more information.

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New York tire retreader faces $160,280 in OSHA fines for failing to correct fire, mechanical and electrical hazards

American Made Tires, an Elmira Heights, N.Y., tire retreader, failed to correct 12 hazards cited during a 2013 inspection. Because of that inaction, and the discovery of new and recurring hazards during a follow-up OSHA inspection, the company faces an additional $160,280 in proposed fines.

“The company’s inaction exposed employees to ongoing hazards of fire, falls, chemicals and to being caught in or crushed by unguarded or unexpectedly activated machinery,” said Christopher Adams, OSHA’s area director in Syracuse. “The sizable penalties proposed reflect the severity of these conditions and the employer’s failure to follow through on its obligation and commitment to correct hazards that never should have existed.”

OSHA’s follow-up inspection in November 2013 found violations including improperly constructed flammable adhesive spray booths, failure to implement lockout/tagout procedures and lack of machine guarding. Read the news release for more information.

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Semiannual regulatory agenda published

The Office of Management and Budget has published the Spring 2014 unified agenda. The agenda lists regulatory actions now in development and under consideration by each federal agency, providing information about each rule and its stage of development. OSHA’s updated agenda includes projected timelines for several safety and health standards. For more information, view the DOL Spring 2014 Agency Rule List from www.reginfo.gov.

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OSHA and the American Staffing Association form alliance to protect temporary workers

Protecting Temporary Workers

OSHA signed an alliance with the American Staffing Association May 21 to work together to further protect temporary employees from workplace hazards.

“We want to make sure that at the end of every work shift, all temporary workers in the United States are able to go home safely to their families,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “Through this alliance with the ASA, we will increase outreach to staffing agencies and host employers and provide information and education that is vital to protecting temporary workers.”

Through the alliance, OSHA and ASA will conduct outreach to workers about their rights, and work to educate staffing firms and their clients that all workers have the right to be safe, regardless of how long they have been on the job. The partners will work together to distribute OSHA guidance and additional information on the recognition and prevention of workplace hazards, and to further develop ways of communicating such information to staffing firms, host employers and temporary workers. See the news release and read about OSHA’s Alliance Program for more information.

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Assistant Secretary Michaels addresses oil and gas industry leaders at annual onshore drilling conference

Dr. David Michaels addresses the International Association of Drilling Contractors.
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels addresses worker safety and OSHA’s outreach to the oil and gas industry at the International Association of Drilling Contractors’ annual onshore drilling conference.

On May 15, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels traveled to Houston to discuss workplace safety with stakeholders attending the International Association of Drilling Contractors’ annual onshore drilling conference. Michaels joined an industry panel to speak about OSHA’s extensive outreach to the oil and gas industry, which included numerous safety stand-downs, conferences and consultations through OSHA’s free on-site consultation program. Michaels also expressed concern about the increase in the number of fatalities in oil and gas production in 2013 and asked industry employers to make worker safety a priority.

Dr. Michaels observes a demonstration of an oil rig drilling operations simulator.
OSHA’s Dr. David Michaels observes a demonstration of an oil rig drilling operations simulator used by BP to train workers in workplace problem solving.

Dr. Michaels also met with BP senior officials to encourage their continued support of the National Service, Transmission, Exploration & Production Safety Network; OSHA’s silica workgroup; and industry safety stand-downs. He also thanked BP leaders for the corporation’s efforts to protect workers, including cleanup workers, following the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion and oil spill in 2010.

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NIOSH seeks help to characterize risks during chemical flowback in oil and gas extraction

Flowback Tanks
Flowback Tanks (NIOSH photo)

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is requesting assistance from oil and gas stakeholders to better characterize the types and magnitude of risks for exposing workers to volatile chemicals during oil and gas extraction. NIOSH is also seeking recommendations for developing and implementing exposure controls.

A new blog on NIOSH’s website summarizes flowback operations, addresses related reports of recent worker deaths, and identifies preliminary recommendations to reduce the potential for hazardous exposures. NIOSH is focusing interest on this subject after learning about several worker deaths associated with flowback operations through media reports, OSHA officials and members of the academic community.

For safety and health resources and information about the oil and gas industry, visit OSHA’s Oil and Gas Extraction Web page.

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“Deadly Dust” video wins award for getting out the message on silicosis

Deadly Dust video

“Deadly Dust,” an OSHA educational video on the hazards of silica exposure, won first place in the safety category in an international competition to find the best business communications videos.

OSHA’s nine-minute documentary-style video puts a face on the debilitating and fatal effects of silicosis through images of construction workers on the job. Interviews with doctors, OSHA officials, safety consultants, stone carvers and others provide additional information on the disease and safety measures to prevent it. Visit OSHA’s silica rulemaking Web page for more information and the Department of Labor’s YouTube channel to watch this and other videos on protecting the safety and health of America’s workers.

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New educational resources available to protect workers from heat illness and falls

Fall prevention booklet

New and updated materials for OSHA’s Fall Prevention and Heat Illness campaigns are now available. OSHA’s Fall Prevention Training Guide includes lesson plans, or “toolbox talks” in English or Spanish to help employers protect workers from fall hazards on the job. Resources for OSHA’s 2014 campaign to prevent heat-related illnesses in outdoor workers include fact sheets, posters, wallet cards and a training guide.

To order quantities of these or any other OSHA materials, visit OSHA’s Publications Web page or call the Office of Communications at (202) 693-1999.

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OSHA Announces $7 million Available for Grants

Susan Harwood Training Grant Program 2014-05-16 16-30-27


The Susan Harwood Training Grant Program awards grants to nonprofit organizations on a competitive basis. Awards are issued annually based on Congressional appropriation.

The focus of the program is to provide training and education for workers and employers on the recognition, avoidance, and prevention of safety and health hazards in their workplaces, and to inform workers of their rights and employers of their responsibilities under the OSH Act. Target audiences include under-served, low-literacy, and workers in high-hazard industries. Since 1978, over 1.8 million workers have been trained through this program.


In Focus


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Trade News Release Banner Image

Release: 14-832-NAT
Date: May 14, 2014
Contact: Lauren North    Jesse Lawder
Phone: 202-693-4655    202-693-4659
Email: : north.lauren.a@dol.gov    lawder.jesse@dol.gov

$7M for Susan Harwood safety and health training grants
now available from US Labor Department’s OSHA

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is soliciting applications under the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program through two separate and distinct announcements. A total of $7 million is available for nonprofit organizations, including community and faith-based organizations, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor/management associations, and colleges and universities.

The Susan Harwood Training Grant Program supports the creation of in-person, hands-on training and educational programs and the development of materials for workers and employers in small businesses; industries with high injury, illness and fatality rates; and workers who are underserved, have limited English proficiency or are temporary workers. The grants will fund training and education for workers and employers to identify and prevent workplace safety and health hazards. Two types of safety and health training grants will be awarded: Targeted Topic Training and Capacity Building; approximately $3.5 million will be available in each grant fund.

“These grants play an important role in ensuring worker safety and health. By providing training to employees on their rights and employers on their responsibilities, the Susan Harwood grants are making sure that workplace safety is the number one priority on any job site,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez.

Targeted Topic Training grants support the development of quality training materials and programs for addressing workplace hazards and prevention strategies. The Targeted Topic Training grants require applicants to address occupational safety and health topics designated by OSHA. Targeted Topic Training grants may be eligible for one additional follow-on grant, based on satisfactory performance.

Capacity Building grants focus on developing and expanding the capacity of an organization to provide safety and health training, education, and related assistance to target audiences. Grantees are expected to increase occupational safety and health competence and improve organizational capacity to assist workers and employers on an ongoing basis by ensuring that services continue beyond federal financial support. Capacity Building Developmental grant recipients may be eligible for additional 12-month follow-on grants, based on satisfactory performance.

The solicitation for grant applications is available at http://www.grants.gov/, where new applicants must register and returning applicants must ensure registration is accurate and up-to-date prior to completing the application. The registration process generally takes between three to five business days, but may be as long as four weeks if all steps are not completed in a timely manner. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to begin the process as soon as possible. Applications for Capacity Building grants (SHTG-FY-14-02) must be submitted by Thursday, June 26, 2014, and Targeted Topic grants (SHTG-FY-14-01) must be submitted by Monday, June 30, 2014. All applications must be submitted electronically and are due no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on each grant’s due date. No extensions of the deadline will be granted.

OSHA has developed a proposal webinar to assist prospective applicants in understanding the application process. The webinar will be available at http://www.osha.gov/dte/sharwood/index.html all day, every day during the solicitation period.

More information on the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program is available on OSHA’s website at http://www.osha.gov/dte/sharwood/index.html. Questions from the public should be directed to Heather Wanderski or Jim Barnes by emailing harwoodgrants@dol.gov or calling 847-759-7700. Please note that this is not a toll-free number.

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 http://www.osha.gov/.

OSHA QuickTakes – December 3, 2012

OSHA QuickTakes

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis visits Staten Island, NY, to highlight efforts to protect workers engaged in Sandy recovery operations

Secretary Solis traveled to some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods of New York City with OSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary Jordan Barab on Thursday, Nov. 29, to meet with worker groups and others involved in rebuilding communities in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy and observe some of the recovery efforts that are currently underway. The massive response to the devastation has brought together government, worker advocates, unions, public and private employers, and community and faith-based organizations, and OSHA continues to conduct comprehensive monitoring and training to ensure that workers are protected from the serious health and safety hazards involved in the operations.

Secretary Solis surveys recovery operations with workers from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Nov. 29, 2012
Secretary Solis surveys recovery operations with workers from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Nov. 29, 2012. Click here to view the slideshow of Secretary Solis’ visit.


OSHA distributes safety information at locations where workers typically gather to prepare recovery efforts, such as this big-box retail store
OSHA distributes safety information at locations where workers typically gather to prepare recovery efforts, such as this big-box retail store.

With workers still at risk of serious safety and health hazards, these efforts remain extremely urgent. OSHA is focused on high hazard operations such as debris removal, utility restoration, and clearing trees, conducting interventions that have reached more than 15,000 workers, with an emphasis on limited-English-proficiency and vulnerable workers. OSHA is distributing information on some of the most common safety and health hazards workers face, including (PDFs*) downed electrical wires*, chain saws*, chipper machines*, portable generators*, mold* and falls*.

All of these materials are collected at a single site: Keeping Workers Safe during Hurricane Sandy Cleanup and Recovery, which is also available in Spanish. Two new fact sheets have been recently added to the website and are being distributed to workers and employers: Keeping Workers Safe during Hurricane Sandy Cleanup and Recovery Fact Sheet (PDF*, available in Spanish*) and the Hurricane Sandy Cleanup PPE Matrix Fact Sheet (PDF*). The site also includes OSHA’s Hazard Exposure and Risk Assessment Matrix, which provides information on many of the tasks and operations associated with disaster response and recovery and the most common and significant hazards that response and recovery workers might encounter. The matrix is designed to help employers make decisions during their risk assessments that will protect their workers doing work in hurricane–impacted areas. To order fact sheets and other hurricane recovery safety and health publications, call OSHA’s Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 or visit OSHA’s Publications page.

New director of Office of Whistleblower Protection Program announced

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels has announced Beth Slavet as the new director of the agency’s Office of Whistleblower Protection Programs. Slavet is an experienced administrator and manager with more than 30 years of experience with the enforcement of federal whistleblower statutes. She is the former chairman of the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, where she also served as vice chairman and a member from 1995-2003. She has spent the last decade in private practice where she had a special focus on whistleblower protection. For more information, read the news release.

Cast your vote today for the Department of Labor’s Workplace Safety and Health Challenge People’s Choice Award

The submissions are in for the Department of Labor’s Worker Safety and Health Challenge, and now it’s your turn to help us select a winner. The challenge, which closed Nov. 30, sought tools that demonstrate the importance of recognizing and preventing workplace safety and health hazards and help young people understand their rights in the workplace. The People’s Choice Award, a $3,000 prize, will be awarded to the submission that receives the most public support during the open public voting period. Just browse the entries at the challenge’s Submissions Gallery between now and Jan. 4 and vote for the tool that you think does the best job of teaching young people about workplace safety and health. Then check back on Jan. 8 for the announcement of all the challenge winners.

Federal Aviation Administration proposes policy to improve flight attendant workplace safety

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration, working with OSHA, proposed a new policy for addressing flight attendant workplace safety. While the FAA’s aviation safety regulations take precedence, the agency is proposing that OSHA be able to enforce certain occupational safety and health standards currently not covered by FAA oversight.

“The policy announced today with the FAA will not only enhance the health and safety of flight attendants by connecting them directly with OSHA but will, by extension, improve the flying experience of millions of airline passengers,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. Flight attendant workplace issues could include things such as exposure to noise and bloodborne pathogens and access to information on hazardous chemicals. The policy notice has been sent to the Federal Register and is currently available at www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/ashp. The 30-day comment period begins when the policy notice is published. For more information, see the news release.

New OSHA website provides information on preventing backover incidents in construction

New OSHA website provides information on preventing backover incidents in construction

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 70 workers died from backover incidents in 2011. A backover incident occurs when a backing vehicle strikes a worker who is standing, walking, or kneeling behind the vehicle. These incidents can be prevented. OSHA has published a new Preventing Backovers webpage that provides information about the hazards of backovers; solutions that can reduce the risk or frequency of these incidents; articles and resources; and references to existing regulations and letters of interpretation.

Dover Chemical Co. placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program following chemical release at Ohio plant

After an unexpected release of hazardous materials that led to the temporary shut-down of Dover Chemical Co. and an adjacent highway in Ohio in May, OSHA has cited the company for 47 health and safety violations. Although no injuries were reported as a result of the incident, OSHA opened an investigation focused on the agency’s standards for process safety management, known as PSM, at facilities that use highly hazardous chemicals. Proposed fines total $545,000.

The release of materials resulted from a breach of a polyvinyl chloride piping system. Due to the nature of the hazards and four willful violations cited, Dover Chemical has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. Willful violations include failing to correct deficiencies found in compliance audits, not resolving recommendations identified during a process hazard analysis, having operating procedures that do not include the consequences for deviation or the steps required to correct or avoid deviation from operating limits, and process safety information that does not detail the construction materials used for piping and piping system components. For more information, see the press release.

OSHA cites Dallas company for safety violations following robbery, death of worker at Garland, Texas, convenience store

OSHA has cited TMT Inc. for four serious safety violations following an aggravated robbery that resulted in the death of an employee at the company’s Whip In convenience store in Garland. OSHA’s Dallas Area Office opened an investigation at the Garland store in May after an employee working at the checkout counter was seriously assaulted during a robbery and later died from second- and third-degree burns. OSHA also investigated the company’s three other stores in Dallas and Mesquite, and found that workers at those locations were exposed to the same or similar workplace violence hazards. Each store was cited with violating OSHA’s “general duty clause” for failing to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause serious injury or death. Read the press release for details.

Workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation or other threatening and disruptive behavior that occurs at a work site. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide. It can affect and involve employees, clients, customers and visitors. More information on workplace violence is available at OSHA’s website at www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence.

OSHA cites Cargill Meat Solutions for exposing workers to hazardous energy at Illinois plant, proposes $114,000 in fines

OSHA has cited Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. with three safety violations for failing to protect workers from unexpected start-up of machines at its Beardstown pork processing facility. Proposed penalties total $114,000. OSHA initiated an inspection upon receiving a complaint alleging hazards.

OSHA cited Cargill for one willful violation for exposing employees to hazardous energy when performing servicing and maintenance tasks because the energy control procedures did not outline specific procedural steps for shutting down and securing machinery, placing and removing lockout or tagout devices, and providing a specific means to verify that the equipment was isolated from all energy sources prior to work on the equipment. The company was also cited for one repeat violation for failing to train workers who operate equipment on procedures to properly control hazardous energy. A similar violation was cited in May 2009 at the company’s Nebraska City, Neb., facility. See the press release for more information.

Harrison Hoist, Inc. cited by OSHA following crane collapse at UT Dallas that killed two workers

OSHA has cited Harrison Hoist Inc. of Grand Prairie with six serious safety violations following a tower crane collapse at the University of Texas at Dallas’ Richardson campus that killed two workers. The workers were trying to remove the top portion of the crane’s mast when it collapsed, causing them to fall more than 150 feet.

The violations include the company’s failure to address the hazards associated with the effects of wind speed and weather on the equipment, ensure that procedures for disassembling the tower crane prevented the collapse of any part of the equipment, adequately support and stabilize all parts of the equipment, ensure that disassembly procedures positioned workers to minimize their exposure to unintended movement or collapse, ensure that disassembly procedures were developed by a qualified person, and train each competent person and each qualified person regarding the requirements of 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1926 Subpart CC “Cranes and Derricks in Construction” that are applicable to their respective roles. For details, read the news release. More information on crane safety is available at www.osha.gov/SLTC/cranehoistsafety/index.html.

NACOSH and ACCSH meet in Washington, D.C., to provide recommendations on OSHA policies and procedures

On Thursday, Nov. 29, Dr. Michaels addressed the full committee of OSHA’s Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health, highlighting current safety and health trends in the construction industry and recent OSHA initiatives, including OSHA’s ongoing fall prevention campaign. In conjunction with the full committee meeting, ACCSH workgroups met Nov. 27-28 to discuss Health Hazards, Emerging Issues, Prevention through Design, Diversity/Multilingual/Women in Construction, Training and Outreach, Injury and Illness Prevention Programs, and Backing Operations. OSHA’s Director of Construction Jim Maddux also provided an update to committee members on current regulatory initiatives.

OSHA's Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health
Committee members at the Nov. 29, 2012, meeting of OSHA’s Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health.


The National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health also met in November. The committee meets twice annually to advise the secretaries of labor and health and human services on worker safety. During the two-day meeting, the committee’s Effectiveness Measures Work Group furnished recommendations on measuring the efficacy of OSHA strategies, programs and actions and sent a report to the full committee membership. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Jordan Barab spoke on the meeting’s second day, including agency initiatives and a new project with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services agreement intended to enhance patient and worker safety.

Labor Department officials visit Beijing for landmark dialogue on worker safety and health

On Nov. 14, Chinese workplace safety and health officials hosted the First U.S.-China Workplace Safety and Health Dialogue in Beijing. The historic conference brought together officials from China’s State Administration of Work Safety to exchange ideas and information about protecting workers on both sides of the Pacific. Dr. Michaels presented an overview of workplace safety and health standards and compliance assistance in the United States. He spoke about the importance of understanding and shaping modern worker safety and health programs and their added benefits to trade and economic growth. Bill Perry of OSHA’s Directorate of Standards and Guidance also presented; he addressed current OSHA strategies to reduce or eliminate toxic and hazardous substance hazards.

The dialogue was co-chaired by SAWS Vice Minister Sun Huashan and Mark Mittlehauser, Associate Deputy Undersecretary of Labor for the Bureau of International Labor Affairs. The conference celebrated ten years of previous cooperation on coal mine safety and health, with Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Joseph Main delivering remarks. This year’s conference marked the beginning of efforts to move beyond mining and forge a way forward on collaborating to protect workers in other industries.

Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels addresses 2012 Susan Harwood Training Program grantees

Susan Harwood Training Grant Program recipients
Susan Harwood Training Grant Program recipients attend a session of the 2012 program orientation. For more photos of the event, visit the Department of Labor’s Flickr page.

At an orientation for all Susan Harwood Training Grant recipients held in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 29, Dr. Michaels thanked representatives of the nonprofit organizations who have received grants to conduct worker safety and health training, adding “we’re counting on you.” Dr. Henry Payne, OSHA’s Director of Training and Education, welcomed the grantees to the event and introduced Dr. Michaels, and Irasema Garza, Senior Counselor to the Secretary of Labor and Acting Assistant Secretary of Policy, paid a visit to greet the attendees. In the morning session of the orientation, representatives from four grantees shared success stories of delivering effective training to vulnerable workers. Later, the attendees attended breakout sessions on program, financial and monitoring requirements.

The Susan Harwood Training Grant Program awards grants to nonprofit organizations on a competitive basis. The focus of the program is to provide training and education for workers and employers on the recognition, avoidance, and prevention of safety and health hazards in their workplaces, and to inform workers of their rights and employers of their responsibilities under the OSH Act. Target audiences include underserved, low-literacy, and workers in high-hazard industries. Since 1978, over 1.8 million workers have been trained through this program.

Injury and illness rates substantially reduced at Kan. grain handling operation after working with OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program

After experiencing injury and illnesses rates that were higher than the national average, Farmway Cooperative, Inc. of Beloit, Kan., contacted the Kansas On-site Consultation Program, a division of the Kansas Department of Labor, to help the grain handling company implement an effective safety and health management system. During the initial On-site Consultation visit, the KDOL consultant identified hazards regarding fall protection, inadequate machine guarding and improper documentation within their written safety and health procedures. Farmway immediately took action to address these hazards by placing machine guards on equipment and correcting railing issues to prevent falls. Additionally, Farmway created a safety committee, which included management and employees, to review and discuss safety issues on a monthly basis.


After these changes were implemented, Farmway achieved a nearly 50 percent reduction in the number of injuries and illnesses at its 19 worksites, earning it recognition in OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program, which recognizes small employers who operate an exemplary safety and health management system. “Working with KDOL consultants helped bring our company to the next level of safety awareness, which in turn changed our safety culture within Farmway,” said David Edwards, Farmway’s Safety Director this fall. “Our dollar value of workman’s compensation has been reduced.” To learn more, visit Farmway’s Small Business Success Stories page.

OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. As part of OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program, highly qualified safety and health professionals from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs.

OSHA releases fact sheet on internal combustion engines as ignition sources

Investigations by OSHA and the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) have documented a history of fires and explosions at workplaces (oilfields, refineries, chemical plants, and other facilities) where an internal combustion engine was identified as or suspected to be the source of ignition. Internal combustion engines present an ignition hazard when used in facilities processing flammable liquids and gases. If flammable vapors or gases are released in these facilities, an internal combustion engine could ignite the flammable materials with catastrophic consequences. OSHA’s new Internal Combustion Engines as Ignition Sources Fact Sheet (PDF*) helps employers and workers understand the risks involved in the use of internal combustion engines, as well as some of the control strategies that should be used to prevent such catastrophic events.

Three workers were killed and four injured in a fire resulting from a runaway diesel engine (Source: Chemical Safety Board)
Three workers were killed and four injured in a fire resulting from a runaway diesel engine (Source: Chemical Safety Board).


New educational resource on healthcare worker, patient safety

On November 20, the Joint Commission released a new, free educational resource, “Improving Patient and Worker Safety: Opportunities for Synergy, Collaboration and Innovation.” The purpose of this resource is to raise awareness and educate health care managers, employers and employees on the need for a healthcare culture focused on the safety of both patients and the workers who care for them.

The monograph contends that high rates of injuries and illnesses among health care workers serve as a warning that the health care environment as a whole must be transformed in order to improve safety. The monograph highlights examples of health care organization practices that address patient and worker safety simultaneously and the benefits and potential cost savings attained through collaboration between employee and patient safety departments. The monograph also identifies functional management systems and processes, strategies and tools that have been used to successfully integrate health and safety activities. For more information, read the monograph in full and visit OSHA’s Safety and Health Topics page on Healthcare.

Center for Construction Research and Training launches online resource to help workers and employers identify and control silica dust

A new online resource from the Center for Construction Research and Training provides information and tools to help identify silica hazards, understand the health risk, and easily find equipment and methods to control the dust. The site also features a “Create a Plan” tool that generates job-specific silica control plans based on user responses to a series of questions about the tasks that will be performed and the materials that will be used. The new resource is available at www.silica-safe.org.

Common workplace operations involving cutting, sawing, drilling, and crushing of concrete, brick, block, rock, and stone products (such as in construction operations), and operations using sand products (such as in glass manufacturing, foundries, and sand blasting), can result in worker inhalation of small silica particles in the air. Inhalation of these particles has long been known to cause silicosis, a disabling and sometimes fatal lung disease. More information is available at OSHA’s Crystalline Silica Safety and Health Topics page.

A call to Action: Statement by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis on tragic fire in Bangladesh

Secretary Solis issued the following statement regarding the tragic Nov. 24 fire in Bangladesh:

“This past Saturday, Bangladesh suffered one of the worst industrial accidents in its history. A devastating fire swept through the Tazreen Fashion garment factory, killing more than 100 and injuring many more. I join U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan Mozena in extending heartfelt condolences to the people of Bangladesh and the many families who lost their loved ones.

“Just over a century ago, in March 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York City burned to the ground, killing 146 people, mainly young women. That fire was our call to action. It galvanized support for stronger worker protections and institutions to enforce them, from workplace health and safety to workers’ right to organize and bargain collectively.

“The Tazreen Fashion factory fire is a similar call to action for Bangladesh and also for the many international buyers supplied by the country’s garment factories. Investigations should be conducted and the perpetrators punished, but things cannot then return to business as usual. I know that change is not easy. The U.S. Department of Labor stands ready to help, with technical assistance and expertise, to work with the government of Bangladesh to ensure that this horrific tragedy becomes a watershed moment for Bangladeshi workers’ rights.”

OSHA QuickTakes – August 31, 2012


August 31, 2012 · Volume 11, Issue 19
OSHA QuickTakes logo
A twice monthly e-news product with information about workplace safety and health.
In this issue

OSHA cites company after June heat fatality in New Jersey

OSHA has cited Waste Management of Trenton and Labor Ready Northeast Inc. of Ewing for one serious violation each of OSHA’s general duty clause following a heat-related fatality in June. OSHA initiated an inspection after a Labor Ready Northeast temporary employee working for Waste Management as a garbage collection worker died while picking up trash on a collection route in Hopewell Borough.

OSHA found that neither Labor Ready nor Waste Management trained their employees to recognize and respond to heat related illness, nor did they provide sufficient training or implement procedures to minimize or mitigate the risk of developing heat related illness. Read the press release for more details.

Monro Muffler Brake reaches agreement with OSHA to protect workers against hydraulic lift hazards at multiple company locations

Monro Muffler Brake Inc., which operates a chain of more than 800 stores that provide automotive repair and tire services throughout the eastern United States, has reached an enterprise-wide settlement agreement with OSHA in which it will institute procedures to protect its workers against being crushed or struck by automotive hydraulic lifts.

In September 2011, OSHA cited the company’s Stoughton location for improperly inspecting and maintaining hydraulic lifts, as well as other hazards, following an April 2011 incident in which a lift failure caused a car to fall to the ground. Monro initially contested these citations but has now agreed to address the issue – and not just at the Stoughton location, but companywide. Under the agreement, Monro will develop and implement an inspection and maintenance program for all automotive lifts at all of its federal OSHA-covered work sites. The program will comply with industry standards and include periodic inspections by qualified inspectors, procedures to remedy any potentially unsafe conditions, mandatory training for lift operators and the submission of written compliance reports to OSHA. Monro also will pay a fine of $12,500 for the violations identified at the Stoughton location. For more information, read the press release.

North Carolina OSHA cites Smithfield Packing Co. for exposing workers to hydrogen sulfide gas following death of employee

The North Carolina Department of Labor (NCDOL) has cited Smithfield Packing Co. in Clinton for 17 safety and health violations, including failing to provide workers with personal protective equipment and training to protect themselves from exposure to hazardous chemicals. North Carolina DOL initiated safety and health inspections February 18, 2012, after a worker died from exposure to hydrogen sulfide gas as he filled a tanker with liquid sludge. Proposed penalties from both inspections total $251,250.

Willful violations include not providing respirators when equipment was necessary to protect workers and employee training to detect the presence or release of a hazardous chemical. Serious violations cited include failing to provide personal protection equipment, exposing workers to struck-by hazards and falls from height. For more information, visit the North Carolina State Plan page.

Temporary enforcement measures extended in residential construction

OSHA will extend for three months its temporary enforcement measures in residential construction. The temporary enforcement measures, now extended through December 15, 2012, include priority free on-site compliance assistance, penalty reductions, extended abatement dates, measures to ensure consistency, and increased outreach. Fatalities from falls are the number one cause of workplace death in construction.

OSHA has been working closely with the industry to assist employers in complying with the new directive. Since October 1, 2011, OSHA’s On-site Consultation Projects performed more than 2,500 on-site visits, conducted 925 training sessions, and delivered 438 presentations related to fall protection in residential construction. OSHA’s regional and area offices also conducted more than 800 outreach activities on the directive. The agency will continue to work with employers to ensure a clear understanding of, and to facilitate compliance with, the new policy.

OSHA will continue to develop materials to assist the industry, including a wide variety of educational and training materials to assist employers with compliance, which are available on the Web pages for residential construction and the Fall Prevention Campaign.

OSHA publishes removal criteria for employers from the Severe Violator Enforcement Program

OSHA has published criteria for removing employers from the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). SVEP has been in effect since June 18, 2010, and focuses agency resources on employers who demonstrate indifference to their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act with willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations.

An employer may be considered for removal from the program by an OSHA Regional Administrator after a period of three years from the date of the final disposition of the SVEP inspection citation items to include: failure to contest, settlement agreement, Review Commission final order, or court of appeals decision. Employers must also affirm all violations have been abated, all final penalties have been paid, all settlement provisions have been completed and abided by, and no additional serious citations have been incurred related to the hazards identified in the SVEP inspection at the initial establishment or at any related establishments. Read the news release and the memorandum for further details regarding these removal criteria.

REMINDER: Take the Worker Safety & Health App Challenge before the September 16 deadline!

Time is running out to submit entries for the Worker Safety & Health App Challenge at www.challenge.gov. The challenge is to use publicly available government information (i.e., DOL/OSHA data, NIOSH data, and other online government resources) to educate young workers on the safety and health risks and their rights in real work scenarios. The deadline to enter your app is September 16.

A panel of judges that includes Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, co-hosts of the popular Discovery Channel show “Myth Busters,” will award $15,000 for the “Safety in the Workplace Innovator Award,” $6,000 for the “Safety and Health Data Award” and $6,000 for the “Workers’ Rights Award.” There is also a “People’s Choice Award” of $3,000 for the developer of the app that receives the most public votes on the website. For more information about the prizes and the competition guidelines, , visit the challenge page, and read Dr. Michaels’ most recent blog.

Fall Prevention Campaign spreads the word: OSHA staff across the country teach how to save lives

Since launching the Preventing Falls in Construction campaign in April, OSHA’s Regional and Area Offices have been getting the message of “Safety Pays, Falls Cost” out to tens of thousands of employers, workers and other stakeholders.

Across the country, OSHA’s Free On-site Consultation Program and compliance assistance specialists have conducted more than one thousand workshops, presentations, site visits, and radio and TV interviews. OSHA’s specialists have participated in phone banks, staffed information booths at community events, visited with foreign consulates, distributed educational materials, and conducted many other outreach activities to explain that falls can be prevented when employers follow a three-step process — Plan, Provide and Train.


Falls are the leading cause of death in construction, but these deaths are preventable. Learn more about OSHA’s Fall Prevention campaign, and watch Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis’ public service announcement at www.osha.gov/stopfalls. OSHA also has numerous educational resources available in multiple languages, including (PDF*) stickers, wallet cards, fact sheets, and posters. To order these or any of OSHA’s outreach materials, call OSHA’s Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 or visit OSHA’s Publications page.

Heat Safety Tool mobile app approaches 52,000 downloads as hotter-than-average temperatures hang on in much of the U.S.

The National Weather Service is forecasting hotter-than-average temperatures to continue in much of the country over the next week, possibly putting outdoor workers at risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. A useful tool for getting vital safety information about working outdoors in extreme temperatures is OSHA’s free Heat Safety Tool mobile app, already downloaded by nearly 52,000 mobile phone users. The app is available in both English and Spanish and is compatible with iPhone, Blackberry, and Android phones.

Meanwhile, throughout the country, OSHA staff are on hand to provide expert guidance to workers and employers about the hazards of working outdoors in hot weather. In Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, Texas, OSHA compliance officers operated three phone banks in Spanish on local Univision stations, taking questions from the public and providing information on the campaign. Learn more about staying safe while working in the heat with OSHA’s heat illness prevention materials. Order copies in English or Spanish by calling OSHA’s Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 or by visiting OSHA’s Publications page.

Direct Final Rule to apply worker safety and health requirements for cranes and derricks to demolition and underground construction

OSHA has issued a direct final rule and notice of proposed rulemaking that applies the requirements of the August 2010 cranes and derricks in construction standard to demolition work and underground construction. The application of this rule will protect workers from hazards associated with hoisting equipment used during construction activities.

The direct final rule will apply the same crane rules to underground construction and demolition that are already being used by other construction sectors, and will streamline OSHA’s standards by eliminating the separate cranes and derricks standard currently used for underground and demolition work. The rulemaking also corrects several errors introduced in the 2010 rulemaking to make it easier for workers and employers to understand and implement these standards.

The direct final rule will become effective November 15, 2012, unless OSHA receives a significant adverse comment by September 17. Individuals may submit comments electronically, by fax or by mail. See the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register and read the news release for further details.

Updated “Tool Shed” directive gives procedures for eliminating workplace hazards in the marine cargo handling industry

On August 10, OSHA issued a revised directive (PDF*) providing enforcement guidance for inspections of longshoring operations and at marine terminals, also known as the marine cargo handling industry.

The new “Tool Shed” directive clarifies what kinds of personal protect equipment (PPE) employers must provide at no cost to their workers, as well as the circumstances when employers must pay for replacing PPE. The directive also provides information and guidance on regulations for Vertical Tandem Lifts (VTLs). For more information, read the news release and visit OSHA’s Maritime Industry Safety and Health Topics page.

Labor Secretary applauds programs to educate migrant workers during Labor Rights Week

For this year’s Labor Rights Week, U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis selected the theme “Promoting Labor Rights is Everyone’s Responsibility.” Held August 27-31, this year’s events included regional activities designed to educate migrant workers and employers about U.S. labor laws.

“When employers follow our labor laws, workers are more productive and businesses can grow. When the rights of workers are respected, it helps our economy,” said Secretary Solis in her video message.

During Labor Rights Week, the Labor Department and consulates representing ten countries worked together to educate migrant workers and their employers about laws administered by OSHA and the department’s Wage and Hour Division. A series of training events, workshops and information-sharing programs were held to distribute information about U.S. health, safety and wage laws and resources available to workers and employers.

laborrightsweek-500x322.pngOSHA Regional Administrator Robert Kulick delivers remarks at a Region II Labor Rights Week event.

In one such event, OSHA’s Region II office signed agreements to protect the rights of migrant workers with Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Chile, and Honduras, and welcomed representatives from Argentina, Brazil and Nicaragua. To learn more about programs that protect migrant workers, visit the Labor Department’s website.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Barab addresses Voluntary Protection Program Participants’ Association


Workplace safety and health was front and center on August 20 at the 28th Annual National Conference of the Voluntary Protection Program Participants’ Association (VPPPA) meeting in Anaheim, Calif. The VPPPA welcomed Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Jordan Barab as their keynote speaker. In his speech, Barab praised OSHA’s VPP worksites for their dedication to workplace safety, and the pride many companies take in their health and safety achievements.

OSHA Voluntary Protection Program

“It is chiefly because of the example you set for all American workplaces that the VPP can continue to rely on the full support of OSHA and the Department of Labor,” Barab said. He praised outgoing Executive Director Davis Layne and presented the VPPPA’s 8th Annual Special Government Employee of the year award to Jon Alexander, the contractor/guest safety lead for Monsanto World Headquarters in St. Louis.

Barab also addressed the recent assessment of the program by OSHA’s VPP Review Team, which recommends a number of changes to maintain the integrity of the program. Created in April, 2011, by Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels and Deputy Assistant Secretary Richard Fairfax, the VPP Review Team is comprised of representatives from OSHA’s Regional and National Offices. The VPP Review Team was directed to conduct a review of the VPP operations and to make recommendations to the Assistant Secretary to enhance the program. Their report recommends improvements to the consistency and efficiency of VPP review operations, while maintaining the integrity of the VPP. For more information about VPP, visit OSHA’s VPP page, see the VPP review team’s report, and read Assistant Secretary Barab’s speech for the 2012 VPPPA Conference.

Maritime Industry Outreach Trainers: OSHA announces new workplace safety training requirement

Individuals seeking authorization to become OSHA Maritime Industry Outreach Trainers must complete a new workplace safety and health course. Effective October 1, 2012, prospective maritime industry trainers must complete OSHA Course #5410 Occupational Safety and Health Standards for the Maritime Industry.

OTI Education Center Logo

The OSHA Maritime courses focus on eliminating needless injuries and deaths by sharing methods of finding and fixing deadly industry hazards like falls, confined spaces, electrical hazards, machine guarding and welding/hot work. The new required course, developed by the OSHA Directorate of Training and Education and offered through authorized OSHA Training Institute Education Centers, focuses on maritime industry standards related to longshoring, marine terminals, and shipyard employment. Prospective trainers can access the course, training locations, registration and other information on OSHA’s searchable course schedule Web page or visit the Outreach Training Program for the Maritime Industry Web page.

National Safety Council renews Alliance with OSHA to address fall prevention, injury and illness prevention programs

OSHA has renewed its Alliance with the National Safety Council (NSC) to continue enhancing worker safety and health by addressing construction hazards, injury and illness prevention programs and motor vehicle safety.

During the two-year agreement, the Alliance will develop fact sheets on injury and illness prevention programs, hazard identification, worker training, fall prevention and best practices for reporting near misses. The Alliance will also develop a case study on preventing falls from heights in construction, focusing on the causes of fall protection failures and how employers can assure an effective and reliable fall prevention program. More information about this and other OSHA Alliances is available in the news release and on OSHA’s Alliance Program page.

Thousands of workers and employers attend free OSHA webinar on the revised Hazard Communication Standard

On August 13, OSHA and the Society of Chemical Hazard Communication (SCHC) welcomed more than 5,600 participants to a free webinar on implementing OSHA’s revised Hazard Communication Standard in the United States.

The webinar, developed as part of OSHA’s alliance with SCHC, explained changes to the Hazard Communication Standard to align with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS). During the webinar, OSHA staff provided information and answered questions from chemical manufacturers, downstream users, and other interested parties. Topics included changes expected in training, labeling, and safety data sheets and compliance assistance opportunities. To learn more about the revised Hazard Communication and the Globally Harmonized System, see OSHA’s Hazard Communication page and read the QuickTakes special issue on GHS.

Healthcare and Social Assistance workers suffer workplace violence injuries: Maine Department of Labor issues new report

A new Maine Department of Labor report indicates that more than 13 percent of healthcare workplace injuries result from patient aggression. The aggressive acts resulting in worker injuries included hitting, biting and kicking. Workers frequently sustained injuries while trying to restrain their patients and clients.

The research on violent or aggressive actions by mental health patients, nursing home and residential care clients, general hospital patients, adults and children with disabilities and individuals being treated for substance abuse target workers in the Healthcare and Social Assistance industry. The Research and Statistics Unit of Maine’s Department of Labor compiled this data from the First Reports of Injury of the Workers’ Compensation Board 2011 database. Their study (PDF*) found that in 2011, more than 1,300 workers in healthcare or rehabilitation settings were hurt on the job by a patient or client.

OSHA’s Safety and Health Topics page on Workplace Violence explains risk factors, provides training materials, and offers additional information about preventing violence in the workplace. OSHA’s Healthcare page can provide further resources about workplace hazards and preventative measures for the healthcare industry.


Staying safe in adverse weather: Important flood and hurricane safety resources

As Tropical Storm Isaac continues its path from the Gulf Coast into the Southeast and Midwest, OSHA has educational materials for those in affected parts of the country. Visit OSHA’s Safety and Health Topics pages to learn about Flood and Hurricane Preparedness and Response.

West Nile Virus: Protecting outdoor workers from infection

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported an increase in West Nile virus infections in the United States, including more than 1,500 cases in people and at least 65 deaths. West Nile virus is a potentially serious illness transmitted to humans through mosquito bites. Workers at risk include farmers, foresters, landscapers, gardeners, painters, construction workers, mechanics, and other outdoor workers. Preventing mosquito bites reduces risk to outdoor workers. Learn about preventing infection with OSHA’s West Nile Virus Fact Sheet (PDF*) and QuickCard (PDF*) and visit the CDC’s Fight the Bite! website for additional resources and frequent updates.

Explore the DOL Labor Day website

OSHA and the Department of Labor invite you to explore the special Labor Day website, a collection of labor-related news and resources in recognition of the strength, prosperity, and well-being that workers bring to our nation.



What Grain Handlers Should Do to Prepare for and Manage OSHA Inspections

By Eric J. Conn, Head of the OSHA Practice Group

We recently authored an article for Feed & Grain magazine entitled “When OSHA Comes Knockin’.” The article explains why employers in the grain industry need to be prepared for an OSHA inspection, and outlines steps they should take to prepare for and manage a visit from an OSHA inspector.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

As Alexander Graham Bell famously said, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” No truer words could be said to employers in the grain industry today about OSHA inspections. Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, summed up OSHA’s enforcement philosophy during her swearing in, when she stated: “There is a new sheriff in town. Make no mistake about it, the Department of Labor is back in the enforcement business. We’re serious. We’re very serious.” OSHA has certainly lived up to that tough talk.

Through increased penalties, inconsistent and confusing interpretations of grain-related regulations, aggressive special emphasis enforcement programs, inflammatory press releases, and criminal referrals to the Department of Justice, OSHA has hit the grain industry particularly hard. Accordingly, OSHA’s current enforcement philosophy makes the consequences of being unprepared for an OSHA inspection direr than ever before.

Read the full article at FeedandGrain.com, and be sure to download our OSHA Inspection Checklist, a desk reference guide explaining the OSHA inspection process.

Source: OSHA Law Update

OSHA Daily Headlines – August 30, 2012


Families sue over Kansas grain elevator blast
Kansas City Star
“Bartlett Grain’s disregard for the law led to a catastrophic accident and heartbreaking tragedy for the workers who were injured or killed, their families and the agricultural community,” U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said in April in response to
See all stories on this topic »
Brick company fined $75K over work at Secaucus site, OSHA says
The Star-Ledger – NJ.com
A Brick-based construction company has been fined nearly $75,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for alleged safety and health violations at a Secaucus work site, U.S. Department of Labor officials said. An OSHA
See all stories on this topic »

The Star-Ledger – NJ.com
OSHA 101 for rural builders
Even companies with the best safety practices ‘fear’ a visit from OSHA. With thousands of pages of regulations developed for the protection of workers, the concerns are justifiable. Yet, knowledge is power and knowing something about this federal
See all stories on this topic »

OSHA Cites Montana Sawmill Company
Occupational Health and Safety
OSHA announced it has cited Tricon Timber LLC in St. Regis, Mont., for 25 serious and two repeat safety violations based on an inspection that followed a complaint alleging workers had been injured at the sawmill. The proposed penalties total $128,700.
See all stories on this topic »
Explosives Truck Driver Who Was Fired for Refusing to Ride With a Smoker Wins
OSHA said the driver, who was not identified, was dismissed in February, 2010 — two days after refusing to take a shipment of explosives to Canada with a co-driver whose ashtray was overflowing with cigarette butts. The driver noted that smoking while
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OSHA investigating worker death in Williston
Jamestown Sun
The Bismarck Area Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating a work-related fatality in the Williston area. Eric Brooks with the Bismarck Area office tells The Dickinson Press (http://bit.ly/NCuwqY) that the agency is in the initial
See all stories on this topic »
: Norfolk Southern Railway Co. ordered by US Labor Department’s OSHA to pay
The investigations were completed by OSHA’s office in Chicago and revealed reasonable cause to believe that the employees’ reporting of their workplace injuries led to internal investigations and, ultimately, dismissals from the company. “Firing
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Brick Contractor Fined $74K for Safety Violations
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited La Conti Concrete & Masonry Inc., located on Mantoloking Road, for nine safety and health, including two repeat, violations at a Secaucus work site stemming from an investigation that
See all stories on this topic »


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