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Final rule to protect workers using cranes and derricks in demolition and underground construction

OSHA has issued a final rule that applies the requirements of the August 2010 cranes and derricks in construction standard to demolition work and underground construction. This final rule applies the same crane rules to underground construction and demolition that are already being used by other construction sectors, and streamlines OSHA's standards by eliminating the separate cranes and derricks standard currently used for underground and demolition work. The rule also corrects errors made to the underground construction and demolition standards in the 2010 rulemaking.

The final rule becomes effective May 23, 2013.

Combustible dust resource for emergency responders

A new resource from OSHA outlines safe procedures emergency responders should follow when facing potential combustible dust fires and explosion hazards.

Firefighting Precautions at Facilities with Combustible Dust provides an overview of hazards associated with combustible dust and covers topics such as which firefighting operations can help prevent combustible dust explosions.

OSHA responds to combustible dust, hazcom questions

Providers of Safety Data Sheets and chemical labeling may include additional information on a contained substance if it presents a combustible dust hazard, OSHA said in an interpretation on the recently revised Hazard Communication Standard.

In a March 25 letter to the American Chemistry Council, OSHA administrator David Michaels responded to several questions on how the revised standard applies to combustible dust. Responses include:

It is permissible and encouraged by OSHA to place signs or placards in workplaces advising workers of combustible dust hazards created during the processing of materials, but is not required.

OSHA issues ladder fall prevention booklet

OSHA recently published a bilingual booklet to educate workers about safe ladder use. Falling Off Ladders Can Kill: Use Them Safely describes - in English and Spanish - safe and unsafe ladder behavior.

Recent fines and awards

Tobacco sheet manufacturer faces nearly $60,000 in fines - Connecticut

Nuway Tobacco Co. was cited for 22 alleged serious violations of workplace safety and health standards at its South Windsor manufacturing facility. The tobacco sheet manufacturer faces $59,869 in proposed fines following an inspection that uncovered combustible dust, electrical, mechanical and fall hazards.

Pipe supplier faces $76,230 in fines - Maine

Pipe supplier, Everett J. Prescott Inc., was cited for alleged repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards. The Gardiner supplier of pipe and related equipment faces a total of $76,230 in proposed fines following an inspection of a Scarborough worksite. The inspection was part of OSHA's national emphasis program on excavation safety.

New England candy manufacturer faces $133,000 in fines - Massachusetts

New England Confectionery Company Inc., also known as Necco, was cited for 19 alleged serious violations of workplace health and safety standards at its Revere production plant. The manufacturer of Necco Wafers, Clark Bars and other candies faces proposed penalties of $133,000 in connection with the release of 8,000 pounds of ammonia from the plant's refrigeration system on Oct. 5, 2012.

Ellicott Development Co fined for lead exposure and fall hazards - New York

OSHA issued citations for 10 serious violations of workplace health and safety standards to Ellicott Development Co. for exposing workers to lead and fall hazards at a Buffalo work site. The Buffalo-based real estate development and management company faces a total of $44,000 in fines following an inspection begun in December 2012 in response to a complaint.

Saugerties metal fabricator cited for failing to correct previously cited hazard - New York

Rothe Welding Inc. of Saugerties was cited for alleged failure to abate and repeat and serious workplace health violations, some of which refer to a previous 2012 OSHA inspection. The metal fabricator faces a total of $52,280 in proposed fines following an inspection initiated in September 2012 to verify the correction of hazards cited during a January 2012 inspection. The company was previously cited for seven violations of safety and health standards.

Ball Aerosol and Specialty Container Inc. fined $589,000 for exposing workers to amputation hazards from unguarded machinery - Ohio

Ball Aerosol and Specialty Container was cited with 11 safety violations, including seven willful and three repeat, for exposing workers to machine guarding hazards at its Hubbard metal container manufacturing facility. Proposed fines total $589,000. OSHA initiated an inspection of the facility on Oct. 17, 2012, after receiving a complaint that alleged Ball Aerosol continued to expose machine operators to unguarded hazardous machinery, even though OSHA had cited the employer for lack of machine guarding on the same equipment in 2009. OSHA's inspection found that the company knowingly permitted workers to operate the machines without proper guarding. The inspection revealed that the guarding was not installed or was removed because it slowed material positioning and production output. The company was placed in the Severe Violators Program.

Philadelphia plumbing and heating company fined more than $40,000 for workplace safety hazards - Pennsylvania

DG Barrett Plumbing and Heating was cited for three repeat and four serious violations, including excavation hazards, found while the company was installing a sewer line at a Philadelphia residence. OSHA's October 2012 investigation was initiated in response to a complaint alleging imminent danger and as part of the agency's national emphasis program on trenching and excavation. Proposed penalties total $40,480.

Burlington Coat Factory fined more than $45,000 for safety violations - Pennsylvania

Burlington Coat Factory was cited with five serious, one repeat and two other-than-serious violations found at a Lancaster store. OSHA's October 2012 investigation was initiated under the agency's local emphasis program for the department store industry and resulted in $46,600 in proposed penalties.

Keystone Pain Institute in Altoona cited for blood borne pathogen hazards - Pennsylvania

Keystone Pain Institute was cited with eight serious health violations involving blood borne pathogen hazards at the company's Altoona facility. The February inspection by OSHA's Pittsburgh Area Office was prompted by a complaint and resulted in $46,800 in proposed penalties.

Joy-Mark Inc. cited for repeatedly exposing workers to respiratory hazards at Cudahy ceramics mold plant - Wisconsin

Joy-Mark Inc. was cited for six health violations, including two repeat, for exposing workers to airborne refractory ceramic fiber at the mold manufacturing facility in Cudahy. OSHA has proposed penalties of $50,050, as a result of the October 2012 follow-up inspection.

Detailed descriptions of the citations above and other OSHA citations can be found here.