OSHA Fines to Rise for First Time Since 1990
by Alexander Berzon, Nov.3, 2015
Even after expected increase of up to about 80%, workplace-safety fines to
be tiny compared to those issued by other agencies
Federal penalties for workplace-safety violations were increased this week
for the first time
since 1990, thanks to a little-noticed provision of the budget bill
signed into law by President Barack Obama.
The move would bring the fines in line with inflation over the past 25
future, fines from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration
and state workplace-safety agencies would continue to rise with inflation.
Still, even after an expected increase of as much as roughly 80%, OSHA fines
will remain tiny compared to those issued by many other regulatory agencies,
such as the Environmental Protection Agency.
The new fines are
due to be set some time next year.
OSHA Hot over Heat Stress
OSHA is now focusing on heat related illnesses in the workplace even though it has no Standard which specifically addresses working in a hot environment. It is aggressively pursuing employers and, in a Washington memo to OSHA’s Regional Administrators, it stated that “this memo directs the Field to expedite heat-related inspections and to issue Citations … as soon as possible.” Therefore, employers need to take action now to ensure a workplace free of heat hazards or face costly citations and litigation.
Click here to see more >> OSHA Hot over Heat Stress
Redoubling our efforts to end fall fatalities; new CPWR study analyzes falls from roofs. One year ago, OSHA, NIOSH and CPWR joined together with members of the NORA Construction Sector Council to launch a nationwide campaign targeting fall fatalities in construction. It's not hard to figure out why -- almost every working day somewhere in the United States a workplace fall takes the life of a man or woman in the building industry. Every year more than 10,000 construction workers suffer serious injuries from falls.
Click here to see more >> www.stopconstructionfalls.com
HEADS UP... GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling Chemicals) Scheduled for 2014
Beginning in 2014, under OSHA guidelines, the U.S. and several other countries will transition to GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling Chemicals). It is a standardized system that has already been adopted in the EU and Japan. Without GHS, every country has different systems for communicating chemical-hazard information, with little or no consistency among the systems.
Your workers will need to be trained and all MSDS labeling will need to be changed to SDS labeling. Below are links to information that will get you started in the process. Don't wait until the end of the year. Start the process now by referring to the following information releases:
More on Lessons Learned
Falls, Cuts, Allergic Reactions and more
What is GHS and what might it mean in the near future. This new international standard in classifying hazardous materials will have a major impact across the globe. Review or download materials linked below.
See OSHA communications
See Power Point review
Cell Phones in Safety Zones... Risky Business
"...It has been proven that you cannot successfully divide your attention between the conversation on the phone and safely performing tasks requiring manipulation with your hands. If your job requires you to be within striking distance of a hazard such as: pinch, burn, arc, rotation, etc. you are at risk when distracted..." [see more]
The Difference Between Unfortunate Events and a Tragedies
Organizations that plan, train, communicate, and assess their emergency response are likely to have the best outcomes in terms of damage to people and property. People mistakenly assume that community emergency responders will be available with a plan in the event of such events. This is an incorrect assumption.
That's why some companies encourage that employees become CERT-trained. CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) is a local government program, supported by FEMA, that educates people about disaster preparedness. Training includes fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Emergency action plans are strongly suggested that could include:
"Team + Work = Safety"
The following information is excerpted from an article entitled "Team + Work = Safety" published a while back in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Marine and Aviation Operations Safety and Environmental Management monthly newsletter.
The article quoted several managers about the importance of teamwork:
"It takes everyone working together cooperatively for everyone to be truly safe."
"Teamwork means taking the time to show someone else the safe way to do a job and asking for help if you are not sure what to do."
"Cooperation of this sort is necessary because we’re all in this together—in life itself—and life, like work, is not only safer and more productive but even more fun when we cooperate.
Remember, new employees need to feel they're part of your safety team from their first day on the job. This is especially important since statistics show that the first few weeks on the job are the most dangerous for new workers.
So don't let new members of your team get sidelined by an accident before they have a chance to make their mark. Welcome them personally to your safety team and encourage their participation in making a safe workplace.
Marijuana Use Doubles Risk of Car Crash, Study Says
Cannabis is the most widely used illicit substance globally and recent statistics have shown a significant increase in use across the world. Rates of driving under influence have also increased, the paper said.
Asbestos Rule changes took effect March 2, 2012 and will affect contractors, landfills, and large projects.
Ohio EPA is announcing changes to Ohio’s Asbestos Emission Control regulations took effect as of March 2, 2012. These rules affect contractors, landfills and large projects. The rule changes were implemented to provide clarification and to make the rules consistent with the federal asbestos NESHAP regulations at 40 CFR Part 61, Subpart M. Some of the changes include:
A change to the definition of “small fragments” in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) rule 3745-20-01. OAC Rule 3745-20-01now defines “small fragments” as four (4) square inches or less to be friable or regulated asbestos containing material (RACM). Also, large projects involving the renovation/demolition of multiple residential structures are to be considered a “Facility”.
OAC Rule 3745-20-05has been changed to require that all category two material (Cat ll) to bedisposed at a regulated asbestos landfill.
Two common types of burns in the workplace are electrical and chemical. Customize the training information in this tip to the burn hazards that are present in your workplace.
Regarding electrical safety, explain to your employees that "unqualified workers" are employees such as machine operators, operators of powered industrial trucks, construction workers, and others who are not qualified to perform electrical work, but who need to know important information about the hazards of electricity and how to prevent serious injury. Electrical burns are one of the biggest hazards and can happen in a fraction of a second. Give your workers these facts about electrical burns.
Burns are a common shock-related injury.
Electricity generates heat in the body.
Thermal burns can occur from hot surfaces and fires.
Electricity in the body generates heat because the body produces resistance. The heating of body tissues results in electrical burns. Second-degree and third-degree burns can occur on the skin, or they may be internal, so that the person may not look seriously injured.
Critical Stroke Indicators
A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough. [See more]
Fight back the FLU
It’s that time of year again! Each year the flu accounts for 200,000 hospitalizations, 41,000 deaths and an economic impact in excess of $80 billion. However, the risk of outbreak in your place of employment can be significantly lowered through the implementation of engineering controls, administrative controls and work practices.
A recent safety awareness alert concerns outrigger deployment and cites five steps of responsibility in avoiding accidents. [see more]
Excessive Levels of Lead
You may be interested to learn that a recently filed lawsuit claims that Disney’s park in Anaheim, California is poisoning visiting children with lead. It seems to be a serious, legitimate case.
That is the allegation by the Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation, which has gone to court seeking to force the Disney company to post warning signs about the lead or to cover lead-laced surfaces throughout the 56-year-old theme park in Anaheim, CA.
Environmental groups say the Disneyland theme park, which opened in 1955, is riddled with lead. You can find the article here: http://www.paintsquare.com/news/?fuseaction=view&id=6548&nl_versionid=1417
CDC on Ricin Poison
Ricin fact sheet
CDC on Bombings
CDC offers resources that may help local or state health officials prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the health effects of bombings, and other mass casualty events.
Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable yet annually many people succumb to extreme heat. Historically, from 1979-2003, excessive heat exposure caused 8,015 deaths in the United States. During this period, more people in this country died from extreme heat than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. In 2001, 300 deaths were caused by excessive heat exposure.
Free Report: Compliance Management in Environment, Health & Safety
Companies are looking for ways to reduce the cost of compliance, improve the safety of people, products, and processes, and surpass corporate goals around Sustainability. This research will provide a roadmap for success, based on the best practices adopted by over 175 executives to effectively manage the above challenges.
The ABC's of Safety
Gary W. Hanson, President American Safety & Health Management Consultants.
10 steps to control electrical cabinet problems
Beware of interference when control and power circuits reside in one cabinet.
· Interactions between power and control wiring inside a single electrical cabinet can cause performance anomalies.
· There is a simple 10-step procedure for minimizing those problems.
· One must be aware of the wiring color codes currently in effect before troubleshooting cabinet wiring.
Top Causes of Construction Safety Accidents
FDA Drug Safety
Ladder Safety 101
Isolating procedure for a typical medium-voltage gas switch with Dead-Break elbow.
See all safety links and videos