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Final rule on electrical safety requirements issued

The final rule on electric power generation, transmission and distribution, and electrical protective equipment updates the decades-old construction standard for electric power line work to make it consistent with the similar general industry standard. The rule features new or revised requirements for fall protection, minimum approach distances, arc-flash protection, and electrical protective equipment for both construction and general industry. The revisions also take into account the latest consensus standards and improvements made in electrical safety technology.

The rule becomes effective July 10, 2014. OSHA adopted delayed compliance deadlines for certain requirements. Additional information on the final rule is available at

New educational resources: whistleblowers in auto industry, material hoist collapse

Filing Whistleblower Complaints under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act offers information to employees of motor vehicle manufacturing, part suppliers and dealerships about who is covered, protected activities and the process of filing a complaint.

A new Fatal Fact on a recent material hoist collapse that killed a construction worker is available. The document describes the event, its causes, and best practices employers can use to prevent similar incidents from happening at their worksite.

Recent fines and awards

DISH Network ordered to pay more than $257,000 to whistleblower - Colorado

Colorado-based DISH Network, with offices in New York, was ordered to pay a former employee $157,024 in back wages, $100,000 in compensatory damages and take other corrective action. The investigation determined that the company violated the anti- retaliatory provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act by blacklisting the former employee after he reported a vendor for submitting fraudulent invoices and testifying at a deposition.

Court upholds OSHA's position in SeaWorld case - D.C.

In a two-to-one opinion, the D.C. Circuit denied SeaWorld's appeal of the decision of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission that SeaWorld violated the OSH Act's general duty clause by permitting close contact between killer whales and trainers during shows at the company's Orlando, Florida theme park. SeaWorld was cited for two violations of the general duty clause following an investigation into the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau, who was pulled into a pool by a killer whale named Tilikum in February of 2010. One of the violations concerned close contact between trainers and Tilikum; the other violation concerned close contact between trainers and all other killer whales in SeaWorld's inventory.

Cenex Harvest States cited for 19 violations - Montana

Cenex Harvest States Inc. was cited for 19 violations of workplace safety and health standards, including 14 serious, three repeat and two other-than-serious violations, at its grain-handling facilities. The company faces $211,000 in proposed fines as a result of four inspections at facilities in Cut Bank, Glendive, Denton and Valier.

Union Pacific Railroad ordered to reinstate injured employee - Nebraska

Union Pacific Railroad has been ordered to reinstate an injured employee and pay the worker more than $85,000 in damages. The company, based in Omaha, Neb., was in violation of the whistleblower provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety Act for terminating an employee following the reporting of a workplace injury that occurred at the company's North Platte terminal.

Olivet Management fined more than $2.3M for knowingly exposing workers to asbestos and lead - New York

Olivet Management LLC faces $2,359,000 in proposed fines for exposing its employees and 13 contractors to asbestos and lead hazards during cleanup operations. The Dover Plains real estate development and management company owns the former Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center in the Wingdale section of Dover Plains.

Paper manufacturer exposes workers to serious safety violations at multiple work sites and faces $298,100 in fines - New York

Burrows Paper Corp., based in Little Falls, was cited for repeat and serious safety violations at two of the company's work sites. Burrows faces $298,100 in proposed fines following inspections initiated as part of OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting inspection plan. The inspections were conducted because the company's injury and illness rates exceeded national incident rates for 2009 and 2010.

Violations included stairways that lacked railings; papermaking machines that lacked guarding to prevent employee contact with their moving parts; and an electrical hazard related to the use of electrical equipment not approved for the location. Additionally, there were six repeat violations for safety hazards related to falls, lack of eyewash stations and additional machine guarding and electrical hazards.

Salko Kitchens Inc. faces $51,800 in fines - New York

Workers at Salko Kitchens Inc., a cabinetry and countertop manufacturer were exposed to fire and explosion hazards and a potential occupational carcinogen due to deficient required safeguards. Proposed fines total $51,800.

Follow up inspection leads to 14 violations at previously cited Universal Concrete Products Corp. - Pennsylvania

Universal Concrete Products Corp., a manufacturer of precast concrete faces $58,753 in proposed penalties for 14 health and safety workplace violations, including 10 repeat violations and four serious citations.

Central Limited ordered to pay more than $352,000 in back wages, damages to injured conductor - Wisconsin

Wisconsin Central Limited railway was found in violation of the Federal Railroad Safety Act for terminating a conductor following the reporting of a workplace injury that occurred in Manitowoc. Wisconsin Central, a subsidiary of the Canadian National Railway, was ordered to pay the conductor $352,082.75.

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