SafetyNet News and Highlights

OSHA Teams with Industry to Kick-Off National Grain Safety Week

The Missouri governor’s proclamation designating April 9-13 Stand-Up for Grain Engulfment Prevention Week. From left: Randall Gordon, president and CEO, National Grain and Feed Association; Anna Hui, director, Missouri Dept. of Labor and Industrial Relations; Loren Sweatt, deputy assistant secretary, OSHA.

The Missouri governor’s proclamation designating April 9-13 Stand-Up for Grain Engulfment Prevention Week. From left: Randall Gordon, president and CEO, National Grain and Feed Association; Anna Hui, director, Missouri Dept. of Labor and Industrial Relations; Loren Sweatt, deputy assistant secretary, OSHA.

A kick-off event for Stand-Up for Grain Engulfment Prevention Week, was held April 9 at a Scoular Company grain facility in Adrian, Mo. The purpose of the campaign is to educate employers and workers about proper grain bin entry, mechanical hazards, and grain engulfment. OSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt explained that it only takes five seconds for flowing grain to engulf and trap a worker, and less than 60 seconds for someone to become submerged and in serious danger of death by suffocation. She encouraged all grain industry stakeholders to join this effort to reduce injuries and prevent fatalities from engulfment.
Anna Hui, director of the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, presented a proclamation from the governor officially recognizing April 9-13 as Stand-Up for Grain Engulfment Prevention Week. Other speakers at the kick-off included representatives from the National Grain and Feed Association and the Grain Elevator and Processing Society, which are partners in this national outreach effort. A similar event was held the same day in Benton, Kan.
Visit the Stand-Up website for more information on the campaign.


Contractor Cited for Fall Hazards at New Hampshire Worksite
OSHA cited Luis Guallpa, a Massachusetts roofing contractor doing business as Guallpa Contracting Corp., for exposing workers to fall and other hazards at a Nashua, N.H., worksite. OSHA inspectors observed Guallpa’s employees working on a roof without fall protection, using ladders unsafely, and failing to use head protection. The agency cited the employer for exposing employees to these hazards, and failing to provide effective training. The company was cited for similar hazards in 2014 and 2015. OSHA proposed penalties of $299,324. Read the news release for more information.


DOL Reaches Settlement with Massachusetts Auto Auction Company After Fatal Incident
The U.S. Department of Labor and Lynnway Auto Auction, Inc., have reached a settlement agreement following a May 2017 incident in which five people were fatally struck by a sport utility vehicle during an auto auction. The Billerica, Mass., company agreed to designate and mark walkways and crosswalks, install barriers in the auction area, establish and enforce speed limits, evaluate employees’ driving capabilities and licenses, train employees, and review all vehicle collisions or near-misses. The company will also pay $200,000 in penalties. Read the news release for more information.


Roofing Contractor Cited For Exposing Employees to Fall Hazards in Alabama
OSHA has again cited Jose A. Serrato, an independent roofing contractor based in Marietta, Ga. — this time for exposing employees to fall hazards at a worksite in Birmingham, Ala., and for failing to re-train employees who did not demonstrate that they could recognize fall hazards. The employer, who has been cited seven times in the past five years, faces $133,604 in new penalties. OSHA conducted its latest investigation under the agency’s Regional Emphasis Program for Falls in Construction. For more information, read the news release.


Nebraska Company Cited for Exposing Workers to Trenching Hazards
Omaha-based plumbing contractor Gavrooden Inc., was cited for the second time in less than six months for failing to protect its workers from excavation collapse hazards. OSHA inspectors observed employees working in an unprotected trench while repairing a sewer line. The company was cited in November 2017 for similar hazards at another worksite. Proposed penalties total $38,061. For more information, see the news release.


Communication Tower Contractor Cited Following Three Fatalities at Miami Worksite
OSHA cited Tower King II, Inc., for exposing employees to fall and struck-by hazards. Three employees were fatally injured while installing an antenna on a communications tower in Miami. OSHA found that the device that attaches to a tower to hoist loads failed, causing the employees to fall. OSHA proposed penalties of $12,934, the maximum allowed under law. For more information, read the news release.


California Cites Roofing Company for Safety Violations
California OSHA issued four citations and $77,200 in penalties to California Premier Roofscapes in Escondido for exposing workers to fall hazards. Cal/OSHA inspectors determined that the company failed to: inspect a rope grab fall arrest before use; train workers on fall hazards; and provide required guardrail, safety net, or personal fall arrest systems. The company was cited six times in the past four years for exposing workers to fatal falls. For more information, see the news release.


Virginia Fines Painting Company Following Worker Electrocution
The Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) Program issued four citations and $152,144 in penalties to Johnny Marenco Andasol and Darwin Marenco Andasol in Alexandria after a worker was electrocuted when an unguarded metal extension ladder made contact with a power line. VOSH inspectors concluded that the employers failed to adequately train workers using ladders about hazards from overhead power lines, and provide a ladder with nonconductive side rails.


OSHA Orders Reinstatement of Massachusetts Pilot Who Was Fired After Reporting Safety Concern


Federal Aviation Administration emblem

OSHA has ordered Jet Logistics, Inc., and Boston MedFlight to reinstate a pilot who was fired after complaining about workplace schedules that he reasonably believed were violations of Federal Aviation Administration regulations mandating pilot rest time. Reporting airline safety concerns is a protected activity under the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR21). OSHA ordered the two employers to pay the pilot $133,616.09 in back wages and interest; $100,000 in compensatory damages; reasonable attorney fees; to not retaliate against the employee; and clear his personnel file. For details, read the news release.



Feed Company Reduces Injuries and Costs with Help from the Utah On-Site Consultation Program


Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). Consultation: An OSHA Cooperative Program

Balchem Corporation, an animal feed manufacturer, worked with the Utah Division of Occupational Safety and Health to improve the safety and health program at its Salt Lake City facility. Besides correcting all of the hazards identified by the state’s On-Site Consultation Program, Balchem implemented a staff committee to conduct regular safety audits and facility inspections. As a result, the Balchem facility has been a participant in OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program for nearly ten years. For the past six years, it has maintained an annual recordable injury and illness case rate of zero, which reduced worker compensation insurance premiums. For more information, see Balchem’s success story.


 


OSHA Establishes Partnerships to Ensure Worker Safety at Two Georgia Construction Sites


Partnership - An OSHA Cooperative Program

OSHA's Strategic Partnership Program provides opportunities for OSHA to partner with employers, workers, professional or trade associations, labor organizations, and other interested stakeholders. Strategic Partnerships are designed to eliminate serious hazards and enhance workplace safety and health practices in major corporations, government agencies, private sector industries, and at large construction projects.

  • OSHA and Gilbane Residential Construction Company are working together to protect 200 workers during construction of a high-rise building in Buckhead, Ga. The three-year partnership will focus on preventing work-related fatalities, controlling or eliminating serious workplace hazards, and developing an effective safety and health program.
  • OSHA and Holder-Austin-Moody-Bryson have joined to protect 1,200 workers during the construction of a parking garage and new roadway at the Atlanta International Airport. The three-year partnership aims to reduce employee injuries, illnesses, and exposures to health hazards; increase safety and health training; and ensure that employers have appropriate safety and health programs.

Safe + Sound Campaign: Learn How to Spot Hazards on the Job
OSHA’s Safe + Sound Campaign offers many resources for employers who want to find and fix hazards in the workplace:


Finding and Fixing Workplace Hazards

For more information, visit the Safe + Sound Campaign webpage.


 


New Flier Offers Steps to Keep Tractor Trailer Drivers Safe at Destination


Safety Practices Once Tractor Trailer Drivers Arrive at a Destination

Whether at the warehouse, dock, or construction site, drivers can be exposed to struck-by, crushed-between, and other safety hazards. OSHA and the trucking industry developed a new flier that addresses the most common hazards for drivers after they reach their destination; parking, backing up, and coupling (attaching) and uncoupling (detaching) vehicles. Drivers need to be trained to safely couple and uncouple truck trailers from the rig, park vehicles on level ground, set the emergency brakes, and place wheel chocks between the tandem wheels of the trailer to prevent the vehicle from rolling. 


Kraft Heinz Foods Cited After Employee Injured by Machine at Ohio Facility
An employee of Kraft Heinz Foods Co., suffered a partial finger amputation while clearing a jammed machine. The Mason, Ohio, company was cited for failing to: implement energy control procedures to prevent equipment from starting unintentionally; install machine guards and energy isolation devices; and train workers on the use of energy control procedures. OSHA proposed penalties of $109,939. Read the news release for more information.


Nebraska Egg Processing Facility Cited After Employee Fatally Injured
Michael Foods Inc., an egg processing facility based in Wakefield, Neb., was cited for multiple safety violations after an employee was fatally struck by a dock leveler. Investigators found that the company failed to: properly brace equipment during servicing and maintenance; develop effective training and procedures for lockout/tagout; and review the company’s lockout/tagout safety procedures. OSHA proposed penalties of $188,464. For details, read the news release.


New York Dairy Producer Cited for Failing to Correct Hazards
OSHA initiated an inspection of Summit Milk Products LLC, after the company failed to correct hazards that were identified during a previous inspection when workers were seriously burned from heated milk. The Waterloo, N.Y., dairy producer was cited for failing to record injuries, and provide workers with adequate personal protective equipment. OSHA proposed penalties of $143,954. Read the news release for more information.


Florida Roofing Company Cited After Employee Suffers Fatal Heat-Related Injury
OSHA investigated Southeastern Subcontractors Inc., after an employee died from hyperthermia while working at a residential site in Jacksonville, Fla. The company was cited for exposing employees to heat-related injuries, and failing to report a workplace fatality to OSHA within eight hours. OSHA proposed penalties of $22,173. For more information, read the news release.


Colorado Concrete Company Cited after Trench Collapse Injury
OSHA cited Langston Concrete Inc., in Colorado Springs, for failing to protect its workers from trench collapse hazards. Four employees were working in an unprotected trench when it collapsed, burying one worker, who suffered a broken hip and femur. OSHA proposed penalties of $90,535. For more information, see the new release.


Oregon Fines Seafood Processor for Safety and Health Violations
Oregon OSHA issued $45,064 in penalties and 11 citations to Pacific Coast Seafood in Warrenton for exposing workers to fall and electrical contact hazards. Inspectors determined that the company failed to: put a cover plate on a live 110-volt switch; guard rotating fan blades and other moving mechanical parts; lock out machines during servicing; and exposed workers to fall hazards.


Michigan Cites Roofing Company for Fall Protection Violations
Michigan OSHA issued three citations and $147,000 in penalties to RSB Construction Services LLC, in Goodrich, for failing to train workers on fall hazards, and provide required guardrail, safety net, or personal fall arrest systems for workers on a pitched metal roof.


JetBlue Ordered to Reinstate and Pay Back Wages and Damages to Flight Attendant
OSHA has ordered JetBlue Corp. to reinstate and compensate a flight attendant who was fired for raising safety concerns about a flight. After a passenger aboard the plane remarked about a perceived safety violation, the attendant exited the plane onto the jetway to contact a supervisor for guidance on addressing the safety concern. JetBlue fired the attendant in part, for stepping off the plane, and making the call from the jetway. OSHA concluded that the attendant’s protected whistleblower activity was a contributing factor in the termination. The order requires JetBlue Corporation to clear the affected personnel file and pay $143,783.66 in back pay, compensatory damages, and attorneys’ fees, and post a notice informing all employees of their whistleblower protections. For details, read the news release.


Two National Campaigns in April Seek to Protect Workers from Vehicle-Related Injuries and Fatalities
Vehicle collisions are the number-one cause of work-related fatalities. Two public outreach campaigns are taking place this month to help keep employees safe while working on the road or roadside.
The National Safety Council (NSC) designates April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. NSC is offering a free webinar, “Engaging Ways to Address Distracted Driving at Work,” on April 19, 2018. The NSC’s free Safe Driving Kit can also be ordered online.


roadwork stand-down
Objects and vehicles striking workers
are the leading cause of
roadside-related construction deaths.

The annual National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 9-13, features events across the country to bring attention to these hazards and encourage safe driving around work zones. The Georgia Struck-By Alliance, which includes OSHA, will hold stand-downs at highway construction locations throughout Georgia during the week to train workers on the dangers of distracted driving and flying debris. More than 140 workers were fatally injured in crashes at roadway worksites in 2016.



OSHA Consultants in the U.S. Virgin Islands Keep Workers Healthy and Safe During Hurricane Recovery


Safety In Paradise: On-Site Consultation Program of the U.S. Virgin Islands

Following the devastation inflicted on the U.S. Virgin Islands by Hurricanes Irma and Maria last September, the territory’s On-Site Consultation Program, Safety in Paradise (SIP), could not perform normal consultation services for months. SIP consultants went to affected worksites and spoke with employers and their employees, provided safety and health assistance, and helped identify and address hazards. During the recovery period, consultants assisted more than 50 businesses, reached more than 600 employees, and removed approximately 150 employees from hazardous situations. Visit OSHA’s website for more information.



Virginia Ship Repair Facility Receives Star Recognition for Excellence in Workplace Safety


OSHA Voluntary Protection Programs

BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair facility in Virginia earned OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs’ (VPP) Star designation for exemplary commitment to workplace safety and health. VPP recognizes employers and workers who have implemented effective safety and health programs, and maintain injury and illness rates at or below national averages for their respective industries. The facility’s injury and illness rate was 60 percent below the national average, and its rate of incidents resulting in lost work days was 56 percent below the industry average. For more information, read the news release.



OSHA Establishes Partnerships to Ensure Worker Safety at Construction Sites in Texas


Partnership - An OSHA Cooperative Program

OSHA's Strategic Partnership Program provides opportunities for OSHA to partner with employers, workers, professional or trade associations, labor organizations, and other interested stakeholders. Strategic Partnerships are designed to eliminate serious hazards and enhance workplace safety and health practices in major corporations, government agencies, private sector industries, and at large construction projects.

  • OSHA and the J.E. Dunn Construction Company entered into a partnership to protect 400 workers during the construction at a senior living facility in Austin. The two-year partnership will focus on effective safety and health programs, and controlling hazards associated with trenching, cranes, falls, and being struck by moving equipment.
  • OSHA and the McCarthy Building Companies are partnering to help protect employees working on a hospital construction project in Corpus Christi. The three-year partnership will focus on fall, struck-by, caught-in or -between, and electrocution hazards, and will educate employers and employees on best practices, and improving safety and health programs.

Employers Must Post 300A Injury/Illness Summary Until April 30


OSHA's Form 300A

OSHA reminds employers of their obligation to post a copy of OSHA’s Form 300A, which summarizes job-related injuries and illnesses logged during 2017. Each year, between Feb. 1 and April 30, the summary must be displayed in a common area where notices to employees are usually posted. Businesses with 10 or fewer employees and those in certain low-hazard industries are exempt from OSHA recordkeeping and posting requirements. Visit OSHA's Recordkeeping Rule webpage for more information on recordkeeping requirements.



Free Training on Fall Prevention Available to Wisconsin Construction Workers

Free Training on Fall Prevention Available to Wisconsin Construction Workers

The National Framers Council (NFC), is offering free four-hour educational courses from February through August on fall prevention in construction with an emphasis on safety during roof truss installation. The course includes classroom instruction and hands-on training, featuring a fully functional, small-scale roof structure to replicate roof truss installation. Contact NFC staff for more details or register online.



Georgia Safety Stand-Down Focuses on Winter Weather Hazards

OSHA and Associated General Contractors of Georgia are sponsoring a cold weather safety stand-down Jan. 22-26 to emphasize the importance of workplace safety during the winter months. Employers are encouraged to voluntarily stop work for an hour to review best practices and train employees on winter weather-related hazards such as cold stress, slips, and falls. For more details and to register, read the news release. Visit OSHA's webpage for information on protecting workers from hazards while working outside in winter weather.


OSHA Establishes Partnerships to Ensure Worker Safety at Construction Sites in Wisconsin and Connecticut

Partnership - An OSHA Cooperative Program

OSHA's Strategic Partnership Program provides opportunities for OSHA to partner with employers, workers, professional or trade associations, labor organizations, and other interested stakeholders. Strategic Partnerships are designed to eliminate serious hazards and enhance workplace safety and health practices in major corporations, government agencies, private sector industries, and at large construction projects.

  • OSHA signed a strategic partnership with Miron Construction Company Inc., the Wisconsin On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program, 23 contractors and subcontractors, five local trade unions, and an insurance risk consultant. Participants agreed to promote worker safety and health on a dormitory renovation project at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
  • OSHA, along with the Connecticut Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Division, the New Haven Building Trades, and Dimeo Construction Co. signed a strategic partnership to promote workplace safety and health, and educate employees on hazards during construction of a new science building in New Haven.

New Publication Warns of Fatal Confined Space Hazards on Farms

A hole was cut into the side of this whey tank to reach the worker inside.
A hole was cut into the side of this whey
tank to reach the worker inside.

An addition to OSHA's Fatal Facts series emphasizes the hazards of working in confined spaces on farms. These spaces include grain and feed silos, sump pits, and manure storage tanks. Employers should ensure measures are put in place to alert workers to a potential hazardous atmosphere inside confined spaces and prevent workers from entering them without protective controls. The fact sheet examines an incident in which a worker asphyxiated inside a whey storage tank. Each Fatal Facts publication describes a case in which there was a failure to identify and correct hazardous working conditions before a fatality occurred at the worksite.


 


Kansas Grain Company Reaches Settlement to Improve Safety at 20 Facilities
OSHA and Bartlett Grain Company LP have reached a settlement agreement that requires the company to implement safeguards, training, and audit procedures at its 20 grain handling facilities. The company will pay $182,000 in penalties. The settlement resolves contested citations issued after six individuals died and two others were injured in a grain elevator explosion in April 2012. For more information, read the news release.


Ohio Floor Manufacturer Faces More Than $500K in Penalties After 2 Workers Suffer Injuries
Nox US LLC, an Ohio manufacturer of vinyl tile, faces $514,236 in proposed penalties for machine safety violations. OSHA responded to two separate reports of worker injuries in June 2017. One worker required surgery after his hand was crushed. Less than two weeks later, another worker suffered partial amputations of two fingers. OSHA cited the company for failing to use adequate lockout/tagout procedures and devices to prevent unintentional machine movement, not training employees, and exposing employees to fall hazards. The company has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program. For more information, see the news release.


Two Florida Companies Cited After Molten Slag Release Fatally Injures 5 and Burns 1
Tampa Electric Co. and Gaffin Industrial Services Inc. were cited after five employees were fatally injured, and one other seriously burned by molten slag. An OSHA inspection of the Big Bend River Station electrical power plant in Apollo Beach, Fla., resulted in violations that included failing to develop and follow energy control procedures, and provide personal protective equipment. The companies were proposed penalties totaling $160,972. Read the news release for more information.


Motion Picture Company Receives Maximum Fines for Failing to Protect Workers
OSHA has cited Stalwart Films LLC for failing to protect employees from fall hazards while filming the show, “The Walking Dead.” OSHA issued a serious citation and proposed penalties totaling the maximum allowable fine of $12,675. OSHA investigated Stalwart's filming location in Senoia, Ga., after a stuntman was fatally injured after falling more than 20 feet. For more information, see the news release.


Three Chicago Area Companies Cited for Exposing Employees to Lead, Other Hazards During Building Renovation
OSHA cited three companies that worked on the renovation of Chicago's Old Post Office for failing to protect employees from lead and cadmium exposure during sandblasting operations. American Demolition Corp., Valor Technologies Inc., and Tecnica Environmental Services Inc. failed to comply with OSHA's respiratory protection standard; provide training; and properly handle personal protective equipment. The companies were cited for a total of 31 violations and combined proposed penalties of $220,497. For more information, read the news release.


California Cites Company for Safety Violations Following Worker Injury
California OSHA issued $55,650 in penalties to International Polymer Solutions Inc. in Irvine after a worker was seriously injured when a moving machine part flew off and struck them in the chest. Cal/OSHA inspectors determined that the company failed to properly control hazardous energy when employees were cleaning, repairing, servicing, and setting-up or adjusting machinery. Cal/OSHA issued five citations to the company.


Wyoming Fines Saw Mill for Multiple Safety and Health Violations
Wyoming OSHA issued $54,528 penalties to Saratoga Forest Management for failure to provide adequate covers and guarding for open pits, tanks, vats, and ditches; guardrails to separate employees from dangerous machinery; and machine guarding to protect employees from points of operation and rotating parts. Wyoming OSHA issued 14 citations, including one repeat.


Lucky Strike Entertainment Settles Whistleblower Allegations
Lucky Strike Entertainment LLC has been ordered to pay $40,000 in back wages to a mechanic who alleged he was terminated after voicing concerns about unsafe working conditions at a bowling center in Lombard, Ill. Lucky Strike will also expunge the termination and all references to this action from the employee's record, and provide a neutral reference to prospective employers. For more information, see the news release.




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..Last Updated on 4/18/18