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OSHA Plans for 2014

The Fall 2013 Regulatory Agenda revealed several target dates in 2014 that are relevant for employers. The long promised rules on the injury and illness prevention program (I2P2) are expected in September 2014. It's anticipated that the rules will require employers to identify and fix hazards in the workplace.

In April 2014, OSHA is planning to issue a proposed rule regulating occupational exposure to beryllium. Also in April, the agency will initiate the required small-business review of a combustible dust standard for general industry, a proposal first announced in 2009.

There are a number of record keeping proposals in the works. OSHA plans to update the list of industries that are partially exempt from the requirement to maintain a log of occupational injuries and illnesses. The rule, which is expected by April 2014, would replace the current list of exempt industries. It would also revise employer requirements to report fatalities and certain injuries. The proposed reporting requirement for inpatient hospitalizations would be reduced from three workers to one.

A public meeting is scheduled for early January on the proposal that would expand OSHA's legal authority to collect and make public injury and illness information. (See article, OSHA Form 300A posting date approaching, plus OSHA's plans for recordkeeping changes.

OSHA is also considering the need for regulations to reduce the risk of workers being exposed to infectious diseases, particularly in health care settings. The agency plans to initiate a small-business review in January 2014.

On-line tool makes it easier for whistle blowers to file complaints

Employees protected by the whistleblower provisions in any one of the 22 statutes administered by OSHA, from claims of retaliation under the OSH Act based on workplace safety and health complaints, to financial fraud whistleblower retaliation under the Affordable Care Act or Sarbanes-Oxley, can now file their retaliation complaints with OSHA on-line. Previously, whistleblowers had to file a written complaint or call the agency.

Silica rulemaking fact sheets now available in Spanish

Fact sheets on OSHA's proposed rule for respirable silica are now available in both English and Spanish, including information for the construction industry, general industry and maritime, and small businesses. For more information and to read the proposed rulemaking, visit

New educational video available on preventing electrocutions with cranes

A new animated video about potential hazards in the construction industry is now available. "Prevent Electrocutions: Work Safely with Cranes near Power Lines" is the 14th video in the series. The videos are based on real-life incidents and include detailed depictions of hazards and the safety measures to prevent the injuries and fatalities.

Recent fines and awards

Welding company fails to correct previously cited safety hazards, faces extra $167,500 in proposed fines - Connecticut

Jarosz Welding Company Inc., a Hartford-based contractor, was cited for not correcting specific workplace safety hazards cited during a previous OSHA inspection in August 2012 and faces $167,500 more in fines.

Manufacturer faces more than $105,000 in fines for safety hazards - Connecticut

Gilman Brothers Co. was cited for willful, repeat and serious safety violations at the company's facility in Gilman. The manufacturer of polystyrene foam core board faces a total of $105,490 in proposed penalties following two inspections. These include failure to inspect or test process equipment, lack of written procedures, forklift and other training and safety violations.

Ole Mexican Foods cited for more than $150,000 for exposing workers to amputation and other hazards - Georgia

Ole Mexican Foods Inc. was cited for two repeat, 14 serious and four other-than-serious safety and health violations following an inspection triggered by a complaint at the company's corporate headquarters in Norcross. Proposed penalties total $151,030.

Electric Company cited after worker dies from heat stroke his first day on the job - Illinois

Investigation into the death of the worker revealed that the Aldridge Electric did not implement an adequate and effective heat stress program and failed to ensure a newly employed worker was acclimatized to effects of heat and physical exertion. The worker was carrying heavy electrical conduit piping in non-shaded conditions when he collapsed on the job site. He died from his illness the following day. Proposed penalties total $7,000.

Residential roofing company cited for exposing roofing workers to fall hazards - Illinois

Trenton, Ill.-based Affordable Roofing and Exteriors Inc. faces $158,015 in fines for safety violations following inspections at three job sites where workers were not provided with fall protection during the installation of shingles on residential roofs. Violations also included not providing eye protection to workers who used pneumatic nail guns.

Manufacturing company cited for hazards associated with lead, cadmium and inorganic arsenic - Kansas

Screen It Graphics of Lawrence, which conducts business as Grandstand Sportswear and Glassware, has been cited for 27 safety and health violations at its manufacturing facility. An inspection was prompted by a referral from a local health department and conducted as part of the agency's National Emphasis Program for lead. Proposed fines total $119,000.

OSHA investigation leads to prison sentence for owners of gunpowder plant - New Hampshire

The owner of a New Hampshire gunpowder plant was sentenced by a superior court judge to five to 10 years on two counts of manslaughter, to be served consecutively, for a total of 10 to 20 years, and assessed fines of $10,000, following the 2010 death of two of his workers.

Tyson Foods cited for falls and burn hazards at production plant - New York

Tyson Foods Inc. was cited for repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards following an inspection at its Buffalo manufacturing plant. The processor and marketer of chicken, beef and pork faces a total of $121,720 in proposed fines. The inspection was conducted under OSHA's Site Specific Targeting Program.

More than $460,000 in fines proposed against contractor for fall and scaffolding hazards - New York

Painting & Decorating Inc. was cited for repeat fall and scaffolding hazards following an inspection of a work site in Manhasset, N.Y. The painting and stucco contractor has a long history of fall protection and scaffold safety violations and now faces an additional $460,350 in OSHA fines. The inspection was conducted under the Local Emphasis Program aimed at preventing falls in the construction industry.

Uncorrected and recurring hazards at manufacturing plant increases fines more than eight fold - New York

The failure of Victor-based optical equipment manufacturer, Wordingham Machine Co., to correct six of seven serious safety hazards leads to $131,600 in additional fines. The original inspection in March 2013 found seven violations, totaling $16,100 in fines.

Roofing company cited for exposing workers to excessive heat hazards - Pennsylvania

United States Roofing Corp. of Boothwyn, was cited for a serious violation of OSHA's general duty clause related to exposing workers to heat hazards while they performed hot tar roofing operations. OSHA proposed a $7,000 fine, the maximum penalty permitted for a serious violation, after its July investigation. The investigation was opened in response to a referral from the Boothwyn Fire Department when three workers suffered from heat stress at the work site and were sent to the hospital.

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