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OSHA watch

Enforcement on electrical rule delayed

The enforcement of recently revised standards that pertain to electric power generation, transmission and distribution installations will take effect July 10, but compliance will not be enforced until Oct. 31. A June 20, 2014 memorandum addresses the delay.

New regulatory agenda considered "aggressive" by experts

The spring semi-annual regulatory agenda is a blueprint for the issues OSHA is focusing on and when actions are expected. Some experts have termed the agenda "aggressive" and express doubt if deadlines for final rules can be met.

While much remains the same from earlier agendas, there were three significant changes. Surprisingly, the goal of issuing a notice of proposed rule for an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2), which was slated for September 2014, has been moved to "long-term action." Other changes include shifting the combustible dust rulemaking from a proposed rule to a prerule stage and adding a proposal for a rule on communication towers. Final rules on personal protective equipment, confined spaces, and slips, trips and falls are expected by the end of the year.

New bulletin on protecting tree care workers

Noting the serious hazards present in the tree care industry, the bulletin addresses ways to help prevent injuries and deaths from falls and falling objects during tree care work. Local and regional emphasis programs focusing on reducing workplace fatalities in the tree-trimming industry are underway in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Illinois.

New informational resources

MSD-prevention brochure for nursing home workers

A new brochure lays out how to implement a safe patient-handling program to help reduce or prevent musculoskeletal disorders among nursing home and residential care workers.

Lead poisoning quick cards aim to prevent workers from bringing the toxic metal home

"You Work Around Lead, Don't Take it Home! "



Online video game for identifying workplace hazards launched

A new interactive training tool is designed to help small businesses identify safety hazards in the workplace. The hazard-identification program "is an interactive, online, game-based training tool for small-business owners, workers and others interested in learning the core concepts of hazard identification," OSHA explains on its website. "After using this tool, users will better understand the process to identify hazards in their own workplace."

Minnesota OSHA issues hazard alert on power presses

Power press operators should wear proper eye, hand and feet protection to avoid potential hazards created by their work, Minnesota OSHA warns in a recently issued safety hazard alert. Although most power press hazards are associated with point-of-operation guarding and noise, this focuses on ejection because it is a lesser-known hazard. The preferred way to reduce this hazard, the alert recommends, is to have the parts automatically eject into separate containers. This also will reduce the amount of scrap being handled by the operator.

Recent fines and awards

Death of worker at steel fabrication shop leads to $72,450 fine - Massachusetts

A 12,000-pound steel bridge arch beam fell and crushed a worker as he was spray-painting it. Boston Bridge & Steel Inc., faces proposed fines of $72,450 for failure to ensure that the fallen beam and three similar beams were adequately braced or supported to prevent them from falling while workers painted them as well as for fall, electrical, chemical and mechanical violations.

Seafood processor and temporary employment agency cited in worker's death -Massachusetts

A 35-year-old sanitation supervisor at a New Bedford fish processing plant died after he was caught in the rotating parts of the shucking machine he was cleaning. His employer, Sea Watch International Ltd., was cited for seven serious safety violations, including failure to implement basic safety procedures to protect workers who service or maintain machines. Workforce Unlimited Inc., a temporary employment company that supplied temporary workers to the plant, was cited as a joint employer because it had a supervisor on-site with knowledge of the working conditions. Proposed fines against Sea Watch total $35,410, while fines against Workforce Unlimited total $9,000.

Construction company cited after worker severely injured in unprotected trench fall - Missouri

Gershenson Construction Co. Inc. was cited after a worker suffered a broken vertebra when he was struck by a partially suspended load of sewer pipe and knocked to the bottom of an unprotected 13-foot-deep trench. Proposed penalties total $110,400 for failing to protect workers from struck-by and trench cave-in hazards.

Repeat violations relating to machine guarding, hearing conservation and lockout /tagout procedures lead to $82,390 fines - Missouri

Construction Trailer Specialists has been cited for 21-including four repeat-safety and health violations for failing to protect workers from amputation, electrical and other hazards. OSHA has proposed penalties of $82,390 for the company based in Sikeston.

Food supplement plant company fined $101,200 and placed in Severe Violator Enforcement Program - Nebraska

Bioiberica Nebraska was cited for 10-including three willful- safety and health violations for failing to protect workers from moving machine parts during service and maintenance. Due to the serious nature of the violations proposed penalties are $101,200 and the company was placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

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

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 inspection, the company faces an additional $160,280 in proposed fines.

Bronx contractor fined $66,600 for exposing workers to serious fall hazards - New York

Kay Waterproofing Corp., a masonry and waterproofing contractor based in the Bronx, has been cited for 13 serious safety violations, including fall and scaffolding hazards, found at a residential building in Edgewater, N.J. The inspection resulted from an imminent danger complaint and has proposed penalties of $66,600.

Follow-up inspection finds Birdsboro Kosher Farms Corp. still violating safety standards - Pennsylvania

After a follow-up inspection, Birdsboro Kosher Farms Corp. was cited for failing to correct previously cited serious safety violations found at the kosher poultry processing facility in Birdsboro. The company faces $59,400 in proposed penalties.

Pharmaceutical manufacturing facility fined $449,680 for failing to protect workers from dangerous chemicals, other hazards - Wisconsin

Fontarome Chemical Inc. has been cited for 23 safety and health violations-including seven willful, one repeat and 15 serious-many involving the failure to manage highly hazardous chemical processes. The citations carry proposed penalties of $449,680. The company has been placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law.

Worker exposure to amputation hazards and excessive noise leads at lumber company - Wisconsin

A complaint investigation found workers at Buchman Lumber Co. LLC were exposed to excessive noise and amputation hazards at the Springbrook lumber plant. The 17 violations, including four willful, resulted in proposed penalties of $145,200 and the company being placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

Paper mill fails to protect workers from toxic sulfur dioxide - Wisconsin

Flambeau River Papers was cited for failing to protect workers from hazards associated with exposure to sulfur dioxide at the Park Falls paper mill. The eight violations carry proposed penalties of $42,300.

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