OSHA Compliance

Pasadena Refining Services in Texas Fined by OSHA

http://www.oshacompliancesafetytraining.com/
The United States, Department of Labor's, OSHA or Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has recently cited the Pasadena Refining Services Inc. with 21 serious safety violations, for primarily exposing workers to multiple health and safety hazards at the organization's facility in Pasadena. The proposed penalties have mounted up to a total sum of $115,650.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's, Houston South Area Office in Texas began its investigation on the 30th of June, at the organization's facility, that is located on the Red Bluff Road, which was a part of the company's national emphasis training program on the safety management process of refineries.

Some of the serious safety violations, that were committed by the company are listed below:

1.Failing to provide properly constructed scaffolds,
2.Failing to provide supports to hold piping,
3.Failing to provide controls to prevent valves from closing,
4.Failing to conduct annual confined space audits,
5.Failing to ensure guard rails are adequate
6.Finally, failing to ensure that operating procedures are up-to-date and accurate.

A serious violation, can be defined as, “one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known”.

OSHA's area director for the Houston South Area Office, said that, "OSHA's National Emphasis Program is designed to comprehensively evaluate the petroleum refining industry," he further went on to say that, "An employer's lack of compliance with OSHA's standards will not be tolerated."

"OSHA's National Emphasis Program is designed to comprehensively evaluate the petroleum refining industry," said Mark Briggs, OSHA's area director for the Houston South Area Office. "An employer's lack of compliance with OSHA's standards will not be tolerated."

But, as usual the company has 15 business days to either comply with or contest the findings.

OSHA fines Postal Office for “Repeat and Serious” Violations

OSHA fines Postal Office for “Repeat and Serious” Violations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the U.S. Postal Service's Boggs Road distribution center with repeat and serious safety violations. The penalty proposed is over thousands of dollars.

On Wednesday, $80,000 in penalties against the Duluth facility was announced by OSHA. These penalties detail seven distinct violations. The cited violations also include two grave ones that are issued only “when there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result” from the hazard.

In a statement issued by OSHA's Atlanta area office, director Bill Fulcher said, “This inspection points to the need for employers to develop, implement and maintain programs that ensure hazards such as were noted here are connected, and that employee exposure to these hazards is eliminated”.

OSHA has cited the Postal Agency with five repeat violations with a total of $75,000. These violations are issued when an employer has previously been cited for the same violation within the last five years.

The above mentioned five violations include lack of prevention of accidental start up of machinery; allowing material to be stocked in front of circuit breaker and electrical panels; presence of unused openings on electrical, fire and receptacle boxes; use of flexible cords in the place of fixed wiring; and absence of electrical strain prevention clamp on the dock lights.

The two serious violations include failing to mark the exits in a way that they are visible and housing dock lights that are broken and expose electrical wiring. These citations total up to a proposed fine of $5,000. OSHA has granted 15 business days for the company to comply or contest the findings.

OSHA’s New Standard Clarifies the Key Residential Safety Regulations

safety regulations-fall protection-osha standards-OSHA regulations
Recently, OSHA was commended for its efforts by the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders). OSHA has made a decision of withdrawing the interim fall protection guidelines for all residential construction projects that were issued in 1995 and has now decided to revert back to the previous guidelines.

Safety at the job site should be the number one concern for builders anywhere. This action taken by OSHA will clarify what builders need to do in order to comply with the OSHA standards and regulations, in an effort to keep the work sites safe.

The interim guideline, which was originally intended to be a temporary policy, was first brought about in 1995 in order to allow all employers to use alternative methods of fall protection without having to provide any specific written fall protection plan or to prove that the fall protection systems were not feasible. Before 1995, OSHA had made it compulsory for builders to provide specific fall protection systems for all workers involved in residential construction projects or if they were working 6 feet or more above ground. If an employer thought that using these conventional fall protection systems was not feasible or would pose as a greater hazard, then the employer would have to provide a better plan suggesting better alternatives for fall protection. OSHA’s new standard has now eliminated the interim guideline and has reverted back to the pre-1995 standard.

OSHA has made it Compulsory for Oil Field Workers to wear Flame Resistant Clothing

OSHA has made it Compulsory for Oil Field Workers to wear Flame Resistant Clothing
Safety should never be overlooked when it comes to working in oil fields. OSHA has now made it compulsory for all Oil & Gas companies to follow a certain set of rules and safety standards while sending workers out to the oil fields.

Although rare, flash fires are the most dangerous and most feared hazards that workers can encounter on the oil fields.

Taking all of this into consideration, OSHA has made it compulsory for workers in oil fields to wear flame resistant clothing, in case a flash fire occurs. However, while most people think that flame resistant clothing can make the working conditions for oil field workers safer and better, many other still believe that it can make it worse.

Oil and Gas companies have made it compulsory for everybody working in oil fields to wear FRC’s or Flame Resistant Clothing in an effort to combat flash fires. However, these clothing pieces are hot and extremely uncomfortable. OSHA still maintains that although flash fires are extremely rare, in the case of an occurrence, every worker will be much safer wearing protective clothing instead of cotton. But many experts wonder whether it is worth having every worker don fire proof suits and exposing them to heat-related sicknesses just because there is a small chance that a blowout may occur.

Key Residential Safety Regulations Clarified By OSHA

Key Residential Safety Regulations Clarified By OSHA
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration have withdrawn the interim fall protection guidelines pertaining to residential construction, issued in 1995, and have reverted to the previous guidelines.

The interim guideline was implemented in 1995 as a temporary policy, which allows employers to use alternate measures for fall protection without providing a written, site-specific plan or proving the practicality of the conventional fall-protection systems for a particular project.

Before 1995, builders were required to provide conventional fall protection for workers involved in residential construction working at 6 feet or more above a lower level. If workers felt the conventional fall-protection techniques were not feasible or could create greater risks, they would have to provide a written fall protection plan using alternative fall protection techniques.

Now, OSHA has eliminated the interim guideline and has reverted back to the previous 1995 regulation. The new directive requires employers to comply with 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(13), that eliminates confusion in the residential construction industry as to which methods or systems of fall protection must be used and would comply with OSHA’s requirement for home building industry. It will be also to put the work into practice according to the letter.

This guideline provides more flexibility for employers, which also allows them to execute a written fall protection plan if they feel the conventional systems are not practicable or create a greater hazard.

Spiderman Musical to Meet a Dark Fate

Spiderman Musical to Meet a Dark Fate
The new Broadway musical, Spiderman: Turn off the Dark looks like it is going to meet a dark fate after its matinee and evening performances were canceled due to technical problems. The show, directed by Julie Taymor and music by Bono and Edge of U2, has been plagued with a lot of problems right from the very beginning.

When the show gave its first preview performance in late November, the harnesses and the rigging gave a lot of trouble. The woman, who played spider, was left dangling in air for around eight minutes. Next, Spiderman himself faced trouble while he was climbing down the harness. When the press looked into the matter, it was found that loose wires were left hanging and a whole part of the set was completely missing. After that performance, several injuries were reported in the consecutive performances.

On the 20th of December, Christopher Tierney, the dancer-cum-stuntman for Spiderman, fell from a platform that was approximately 30 feet above the audience. This happened around a full 7 minutes before the show was scheduled to end. The man was rushed immediately to the hospital and the spectators were ushered out.

As per reports, Spiderman is the most expensive and also the most physically intricate show ever played in Broadway. According to the fancy advertisements, the audience was supposed to watch full-fledged aerial fights between Spiderman and his enemies’ right above their heads.

Now, the Actor's Equity and OSHA have stepped into the situation. They will make sure that all the performers are better protected during the show. More safety precautions have to be enforced before the theater doors can be reopened. Also, the producers have agreed to have a stage manager and a second stage help at hand during all the performances. This will help them monitor all the technical aspects of the show in a better manner.

The official opening of the show has been pushed from the 11th of January to the 7th of February 2011. Interestingly, the ticket sales for the show are quite brisk, even after all these reports. Perhaps, the audiences believe that the show will not last very long or they are expecting an accident. As per audience reviews, the music and acting is not very good, but the technical effects deserve a thumbs up, when they work.

OSHA Scanning Food Industry for Health Risks

Do you think the flavors added in most food products are safe? In most cases, the food flavors are harmful to our health, and are even more harmful to the workers who handle them in the first place!

Workers exposed to flavoring substances face major health risks like lung disease, irritation of the eyes, throat and nose. OSHA has stated that even though flavoring substances may be considered safe to eat, it doesn’t mean it is safe to handle or breathe in occupational settings. There are records stating the potential risks to employees from uncontrolled airborne exposures to some flavoring substances.

Till now, the Food and Drug Administration hadn’t really classified the safety of exposure to flavoring substances. Now, investigations have started on certain flavoring substances, including diacetyl, to find out what exact role they have in the development of lung disease bronchiolitis obliterans and fixed airway obstruction.

Some manufacturers have either eliminated or reduced the amount of diacetyl used in their food flavors, but the substitutes used have not been well-researched and there is a growing concern about the potential health risks they are posing to the workers. Again, there is additional concern about the combination of chemicals used that may increase the harm caused.

OSHA has now released a bulletin to protect the employees exposed to these harmful flavoring substances. The primary goal is to control the exposure and train employees to identify the hazards associated.

Mr. David Michaels Appoints New OSHA Director

Mr. David Michaels Appoints New OSHA Director
The United States, OSHA Administrator, Mr. David Michaels, MPH, Ph.D., recently appointed Mr. Jim Maddux as the new director of the regulatory agency's Directorate of Construction.

Mr. Maddux has also served several years in OSHA's Directorate of Guidance and Standards, as the director of the main office of Physical hazards. He even stepped in as an acting director for the office of Engineering Safety. Simply put, over the years he has held many leadership positions. For instance, he has also been the acting deputy director for the Directorate of Standards and Guidance as well as the director of the office of Maritime.

Regarding the new appointment, Mr. Michaels said that, “Jim has been a valuable member of the OSHA team for over 20 years”. He further went on to say that, “I congratulate him on his new position, and I am confident that he will be an effective leader in construction safety working to accomplish the agency's mission of protecting America’s workers.”

In 1990, Mr. Maddux began his career as a statistician in the office of Statistics. Later on in 1998, he joined the Directorate of Standards and Guidance. Furthermore, he has also been an author, a contributor and a project director to numerous OSHA guidance projects, including injury and illness record keeping regulations, payment for personal protective equipment standards and even ergonomics guideline projects.

Brazilian Blowout Maker Ready to fight OSHA in Court

Brazilian Blowout Maker Ready to fight OSHA in Court
The makers of Brazilian Blowout are looking forward to fight the United States regulatory body, OSHA, in court.

A few months ago, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, had strictly warned people that the wildly popular hair straightening treatment, was a reservoir of health hazards.

The Post obtained the lawsuit that basically accuses the Oregon office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, for primarily misleading consumers, with several stringent warnings that the treatments contained dangerously high levels of the toxic chemical, formaldehyde.

Mr. Mike Brady, the Brazilian Blowout CEO, had this to say about the OSHA citations:

“Firstly, the formaldehyde content is many times below the minimum levels."

He further went on to accuse the Oregon regulators, stating that, “they erroneously measured a different substance, methylene glycol, and improperly counted it as formaldehyde.”

Regarding the product itself, he said that, "the data is there that shows this product is perfectly safe.”

Whereas, the spokeswoman for Oregon OSHA, Melanie Mesaros, said that, "We will continue to provide information and guidance to employers and workers to help them create and maintain safe workplaces."

Mr.James Corbett, the owner of a salon named, Union Square, said that most often his customers shrug off these warnings. He even specified that his customers usually, “live fast, die young and leave good-looking corpses."

OSHA Penalizes the FAA's Regional Airport at Mansfield Lahm

OSHA Penalizes the FAA's Regional Airport at Mansfield Lahm
Recently, the United States, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), issued several notices of unhealthful or unsafe working conditions, to the FAA's Regional Airport, at Mansfield Lahm. A total of 13 safety violations were cited. However, one of the violations was considered as 'serious', because the employers basically failed to provide their employees with a diagram of the designated emergency exist routes.

This particular OSHA inspection was conducted on the 15th of June. During the scheduled inspection, the OSHA inspectors found seven other-than-serious, five repeat and one serious safety violation, at the facility.

The FAA spokeswoman for the Great Lakes and central regions, Elizabeth Isham Cory said that, "The FAA corrected several of the items during the June inspection”. She further went on to state that, "Other items were corrected immediately afterward.”

Some of her other statements are mentioned in the list below:

"All items, with the exception of three of the other-than-serious violations, will be corrected within 15 days."

"The FAA views the safety and well-being of its employees as a primary concern."

"The FAA is conducting a system-wide review to ensure all facilities are in compliance with all OSHA regulations."

As you can see, the FAA has taken the necessary steps in order to avoid any future violations.

Did the Railroad retaliate against the Injured Man? OSHA will find out

Did the Railroad retaliate against the Injured Man? OSHA will find out
Recently, a federal safety agency has charged the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railways to pay one of its employees a total sum of $95,096 after conducting an injury investigation.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA has also upheld the employee’s accusation and have stated that he got a 30 day suspension and a whole year’s probation just for reporting a work-related injury. OSHA claims that the employee was in Burlington Northern Santa Fe’s Argentine Yard in Kansas City and was strictly disciplined for not using the proper tool for a particular job, although the tool was not even available at that time! The worker, in retaliation, reported his injury, which resulted in him being disciplined by the company.

OSHA’s regional administrator for Kansas City, said in a statement, “An employer does not have the right to retaliate against employees who report work-related injuries.”

The amount of payment that has been ordered by OSHA includes everything from back wages and compensatory damages to punitive damage and attorney’s fees.

OSHA Investigating Refrigerator Death

OSHA Investigating Refrigerator Death
After the death of a maintenance worker, which resulted after a refrigerator, fell on him from a fourth story apartment, OSHA has begun to investigate the incident. The man died while working on a project and was an employee for the building’s owner, Milwaukee-based Wiegand Enterprises LLC.

The 33 year old man was a part of a renovating crew working on an apartment and was struck by a refrigerator thrown by his co workers from the building.

According to a police officer, four maintenance workers were disposing debris from the building. They were tossing few items over the west end balcony of the building.

The staff called out ‘all clear’ before the refrigerator was tossed over the balcony edge. However, the victim had just walked beneath the falling refrigerator and was crushed to his death. It was a very tragic accident as he died on the spot.

OSHA is investigating the scene and it is still too early to say whether the accident could lead to any citations.

OSHA is quite notorious when it comes to giving citations. They have also given stern warnings to all who violate their regulations that the citations won’t come cheap. The investigation is still on and we are waiting for the latest updates.

OSHA Proposes a $76,000 Fine Against a New Jersey Freight Carrier Company

The United States, Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recently penalized an Elizabeth, N.J.-based freight carrier, for committing 17 serious, other-than-serious and repeat safety violations. The company in question is none other than the, New England Motor Freight Inc.

The OSHA inspectors had found several instances where forklifts were not being operated appropriately. This in turn resulted in serious injuries and collisions. Furthermore, many employees failed to wear their seat belts, while they were operating on the forklifts. Moreover, none of the workers ever received any form of safety training. As a result, the organization is being penalized with a hefty fine of $76,000.

Generally, serious citations are issued by OSHA when there is a substantial probability that serious physical harm or death could result from a hazard. More so, the employer either knew about the hazard or should have known about its presence.

OSHA's area director for Rhode Island, Patrick Griffin, said that, "Employers and workers must understand that lack of operator training and improper operation of forklifts can have severe and lasting consequences for workers”. He further went on to say that, "OSHA standards mandate initial and periodic refresher training for forklift operators to ensure the machines are operated safely."

As usual, the company has 15 days to either comply with or contest the findings in front of an Independent OSH Review Commission.

Construction Company at Alabama cited for Cave-in hazards by OSHA

Construction Company at Alabama cited for Cave-in hazards by OSHA
J & P Construction of Tuscaloosa, Ala., has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The company has been booked for safety violations of exposing employees to cave-in hazards during the installation of storm drains along Highway 98. The proposed penalties sum up to $45,500.

The agency has issued one willful violation on the company with a penalty of $38,500 for not installing an adequate protection system while trenching. A willful violation as defined by OSHA is a violation committed with intentional knowing or disregarding the requirements as laid down by the law or showing indifference to employee safety and well being.

Also, the company has received two other serious violations for allowing employees to work in an 8 foot trench without adequate protective equipment and training and for failing to have ladders or other equipment for means of egress. The proposed penalty for these two citations sums up to $7,000. A serious violation is issued by OSHA whenever there is a substantial probability that death or injury can occur due to a hazard about which the employer should have known.

The OSHA director of Jacksonville, Fla., James Borders, says, “The employer knew there were trench boxes available at a near work site, but chose not to use them and put the lives of its workers at risk. Disregarding the safety of workers is unacceptable and OSHA will not tolerate it”.

The company has been granted 15 business days from the receipt of the citations to either comply, or request for an informal conference or challenge the citations in front of an independent Occupational Safety and Health review Commission.

OSHA Wants to Strengthen Noise Pollution Policies

OSHA Wants to Strengthen Noise Pollution Policies
Currently, the word 'feasible' is what represents the noise standard policy, for the general and construction industries. The United States, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), wants to reinterpret the word, in order to increase and strengthen the noise pollution policies.

As per OSHA's current noise control standards, 'feasible' engineering or administrative controls ought to be used, in order to reduce noise to acceptable levels. Furthermore, the noise policies even promote the use of personal protective equipment, like ear muffs and ear plugs to protect workers and employees from any long term damages, due to constant exposure to loud noises.

But the drawback of the current policy is that it does not penalize organizations who fail to follow these noise control standards if the PPE is ineffective or the hearing conservation programs are too expensive. Thus, OSHA has put forth a proposal that would interpret the word 'feasible' as 'capable of being done'.

The agency has also revealed that nearly 30 million workers and employees are exposed to hazardous noise every year. Hence, many workers tend to suffer from permanent hear loss and high blood pressure. In order to curb the level of damage, OSHA has decided to take such serious measures.

Only time will tell if the proposal will be accepted by the Supreme Court or not.

Company at Illinois Cited for Exposing Workers to Hazardous Dust

Company at Illinois Cited for Exposing Workers to Hazardous Dust
A company in Illinois has been cited by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration for willful violations. The federal government has alleged that the employees at the work site are exposed to perilous levels of hazardous dust without being provided with the right kind of personal protection and breathing equipment.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that it has cited the U.S. Minerals for violations at the company's facility in Coffeen. Coffeen is around 60 miles from the South of Springfield. The headquarters are located at Dyer, Ind. The Vice President of U.S. Minerals, Jakon Vukas, says that the company completely disagrees with the citations. The dust cannot be categorized as hazardous. He also added that U.S. Minerals plans to contest the citations.

U.S. Minerals has been slapped with a heavy fine of $396,000 by the agency. In all, 28 different citations have been issued against it. According to OSHA, the kind of dust that is produced at the company's work site can cause health disorders. It can also be the reason of debilitating lung disease. The company deals with the manufacturing of roofing and abrasive blasting materials. These materials are made out of slag that is produced at coal fired power plants.

OSHA Targets Inspection Program for Federal Workers

OSHA Targets Inspection Program for Federal Workers
OSHA has updated its Federal Agency Targeting Inspection Program directive recently for the year 2011. This directive aims to direct programmed inspections of federal agency establishments, which experienced high level of lost time injuries.

This directive outlines the procedures of how the programmed inspections can be carried out at some of the most hazardous work sites. All establishments who reports 100 or more lost times cases during the year 2010 will be inspected by OSHA. Again 50% of those establishment who reports 50 to 99 lost time cases and 10% of those with 20 to 40 lost time cases.

Some of the changes that you will see in this directives are definition of “lost time case” to mean an employee who loses time from work far beyond the date of the injury. Other changes seen are updated OSHA recordkeeping violation policy and direction for the inspection of federal work site with various operations.

The Federal Agency Targeting Inspection Program began to operate in 2008 while responding to a Government Accountability Office audit report, which recommended that the agency should develop a targeted inspection program for the federal work sites.

OSHA has the authority to conduct an unannounced inspection of agency work sites when the Secretary deems it’s necessary if an organization doesn’t have occupational safety and health committees or respond to the reports of unsafe or unhealthy working environment.

OSHA Fines A Wood Furniture Manufacturer in Tuffin For Committing Serious Safety Violations

OSHA Fines A Wood Furniture Manufacturer in Tuffin For Committing Serious Safety Violations
The United States, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), recently penalized yet another organization with a hefty fine of $60,000. The company in question, was an Ohio based Americanwood Industry.

This wood furniture manufacturer in Tiffin, came under OSHA's wrath, for primarily committing two serious safety violations and two repeat safety violations. The organization failed to train its employees in safe work practices and failed to implement rules with regards to wearing proper safety equipment when working on electrical panels.

Jule Hovi in Toledo, Ohio, OSHA's Area Director said that, "Injuries from electrical shock hazards are very preventable, especially if personal protective equipment is used and workers receive the proper training”. He further went on to state that, "OSHA is committed to ensuring that all workers are provided a safe and healthful workplace."

Back in 2009, the Ameriwood Industries Inc. was penalized by OSHA, for committing 12 serious safety violations. However, the case was settled informally and the company had to pay a hefty fine of $70,725.

In accordance to the OSHA act of 1970, employers are mainly responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees and workers. OSHA's role is to assure that these conditions, standards and rules are followed and enforced.

Currently, this very company has fifteen business days to either comply with or contest the findings in front of an independent OSHA Review Commission.

Huntsman Petrochemical Company Cited for Endangering Employees

Huntsman Petrochemical Company Cited for Endangering Employees
Huntsman Petrochemical LLC has been issued twelve citations by the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The company, headquartered in Houston, has been cited for an inadequate safety management program as well as deficient lockout and tagout procedures for preventing the accidental start up of machines. The above mentioned citations were found at the company's branch in Texas on the Jefferson Chemical road.

The penalties proposed by OSHA total up to $75,600. The area director of OSHA's Houston North Area Office, David Doucet said, “The health and safety of its employees should be a high priority for this company. Failure to implement safe procedures is unacceptable”.

On the 7th of June, OSHA began its investigations following an incident in one of the process units of the company. The agency issues a serious citation when there is a substantial probability of death or some other serious harm that can result from some hazard that the employer should have known about. The company has failed to adequately train its employees in safe operating procedures, correctly shutting down the process equipment, ensuring the lockout and tagout procedures for isolating devices and incorporating procedures for all the safety devices listed in the company's guide.

Fifteen days from the receipt of the violations has been granted to the company. It can either comply, or request an informal conference with the area director of OSHA or challenge the citations before an independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Accident leaves Appleton man dead, co-worker injured at the Howard Paper Company

Accident leaves Appleton man dead, co-worker injured at the Howard Paper Company
Recently, an electrical worker was critically injured whereas his co-worker died after they fell 30 feet from a scaffolding setup at a Howard paper company.

Al Klimek, the Brown County Medical Examiner said that, “Michael M. Leroy, 41, of Appleton, who worked for Faith Technologies, was killed in the accident, while the other worker is in stable condition”.

The Chief Deputy of the Brown County Sheriff’s Department, John Gossage said that, “The accident was reported about 7 a.m. Leroy and his co-worker apparently fell from a “scissors-type”.

On the other hand, the president of Hattiesburg Paper, Greg Santaga, prepared a statement that revealed that, “The men were performing routine electrical maintenance at the facility at the time of the incident.” He went on to say that, “Faith Technologies and Hattiesburg Paper are committed to providing a safe work environment and are deeply saddened by the tragedy of this incident. We are deeply saddened by this incident and our thoughts and prayers go out to the employees and families affected by this incident”.

In accordance to the United States, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “Faith Technologies has been cited for worker safety violations many times in recent years”. Just a few months ago this very company paid a hefty fine of $10,000 for committing two serious safety violations.

Currently, OSHA is investigating the scene of the accident.

Chambersburg Excavation Company Cited By OSHA

Chambersburg Excavation Company Cited By OSHA
A Chambersburg excavation company has been cited for failing to protect its employees by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The employees in question were working in an excavation for installing a water main.

Now, David H. Martin Excavating Inc. has been slapped with a heavy fine of $63,000 by OSHA. The agency has granted 15 business days from the receipt of the citations to comply. The excavation company can arrange a meeting with the area director of OSHA or challenge the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The agency's accusations stem from the investigation of a work site carried out by OSHA near Roxbury. The workers who were installing the water pipe in the trench were not properly protected from a cave in. OSHA was notified that the workers were working in an unprotected trench. The trench was around 6 feet 11 inches deep. The water main to be installed was around 12 inches in diameter.

OSHA has made it mandatory for all excavations that are 5 feet or deeper than that should be properly protected against wall collapse and cave-ins. The director of OSHA's Harrisburg area office said that “When sudden cave-ins occur, unprotected trenches become death traps”. “The company bypassed necessary safeguards, leaving its workers at risk of serious injury and possible death”, he added.

Local Excavating Company Fined By OSHA

Local Excavating Company Fined By OSHA
OSHA doesn’t get tired of citing companies who violate any rules set by them. It’s their job, well not giving citations, but to see whether organizations are complying with the safety standards.

Recently, Mikesell Excavating Inc., an excavating contractor situated in New Paris was cited by OSHA with two serious and one willful violation. They failed to protect their employees from cave-ins during trenching tasks at a work site situated at Ohio. The total proposed penalties, which they got is $49,200.

Cave-in accidents are one of the leading causes of occupational fatalities during excavation. OSHA Area Director Dick Gilgrist in Cincinnati, Ohio said that if employers fail to protect their employees from cave-ins during any trench operation, it is simply unacceptable. Again proper training is required along with work site inspection to reduce the risks.

The willful citation was given for the lack of protection given to the workers from trench cave-ins during an inspection done in October. Two alleged serious violations issued by OSHA were due to the failure of providing proper training on safety regulations and to have the workplace inspected by trained personnel.

Mikesell Excavating Inc. however has filed a notice of contest before the Independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

OSHA is on the Prowl - Two Companies Heavily Penalized

OSHA is on the Prowl - Two Companies Heavily Penalized
Recently, the United States, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, seemed to be on the prowl, for they not only penalized the Findlay-based Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., with nine safety and health violations, but they also fined the Cedar Creek Carpentry Inc. for committing some serious willful violations.

OSHA's area director in Toledo, Ohio, Jule Hovi, said that, "The lack of employee protection from fire, explosions and hazardous chemicals is completely unacceptable", he further went on to say that, "OSHA is committed to ensuring workers have a safe and healthful workplace, and failing to follow proper safety and health procedures puts workers at unnecessary risk."

With regards to the carpentry company, Gary Anderson, OSHA's Area Director said that, “Cedar Creek Carpentry has a history of failing to provide fall protection for workers at a number of previous work sites”.

This Michigan-based carpentry company has been penalized with a fine of $56,000 for allegedly exposing employees to fall hazards. The tire maker on the other hand, failed to provide proper hazardous chemical protection to its employees and hence it is also being fined with a hefty penalty of $206,500.

Both the companies have 15 days to either comply with or contest the findings in front of an independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Kilgore College offers OSHA Safety Classes Free of Cost

Kilgore College offers OSHA Safety Classes Free of Cost
This December, Kilgore College will be offering two free safety classes. The course, “What to Do When OSHA Knocks your Door”, will take place on the 6th and 7th of December between 6 to 10 pm.

This eight hour course aims to prepare businessmen for inspections carried out by OSHA. An instructor will be chosen for role playing and the students will be participating in the mock inspection during class.

Then on the 8th and 9th of December, courses covering the cause of accidents and injuries will be covered. These courses will take place between 8 am to 5 pm. The topics covered would be accident investigation, ladder safety and fall protection.

These 16 hour courses will deal with the how and why of incidents that are both unexpected and dangerous. They will also teach ways to properly conduct an investigation and how to produce information that will be valuable for prevention.

Accidents involving heights are common not only at the workplace but also at home. Therefore, the topics of fall protection and ladder safety have been included in this course.

The KC Workforce Development's Risk Management Institute is offering these courses free of cost. This institute is funded by a grant from Texas Mutual Insurance Company.

OSHA Investigates Harsco Explosion

OSHA Investigates Harsco Explosion
One of the representatives from the United States, Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA, has been sent to investigate a scene at a factory in Gallatin County, Kentucky. It was here that one man died and four others were left seriously injured in an explosion.

This accidental explosion took place at around 3.30 pm, at Harsco Metals on U.S. Highway 42 in Ghent. As per the preliminary investigation that was carried out by the Gallatin County Sheriff's Deputies, it has been revealed that the accident involved a very large tire on a heavy equipment vehicle that exploded while the workers were working on it, inside the facility.

Robin Kelley of Madison was only 48 years old when he died at the Carroll County Memorial hospital. He had been an employee at Harsco for approximately four years. David Davanzati of Lousville, the site manager was in a serious condition and he had to be transported by a medical helicopter to the Cincinnati hospital.

Harsco is only a contractor for Gallatin Steel and it has a total of 40 employees. OSHA is currently checking the company's past safety records and is investigating the cause of the accident and if it could have been avoided. Unfortunately, the finally reports will only be out after several weeks.

OSHA Slaps 24 Citations on a Foam Manufacturing Plant in Denver

OSHA Slaps 24 Citations on a Foam Manufacturing Plant in Denver
In Denver, StyroTech LLC has been heavily slapped with twenty serious and four other than serious violations by the U.S. Department of Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA has fined the foam manufacturing company with a heavy penalty of $66,400 for the lack of a safety program covering the handling and use of flammable material.

The inspection of the foam manufacturing facility was started under a program that focused on employers with high illness and injury rates. “The processing of flammable chemicals involves well known hazards”, says Greg Baxter, the regional administrator of OSHA in Denver. “For the safety of the workers, the employer must ensure that protective measures are taken to prevent the catastrophic release of flammable vapors, which can lead to fires and explosions”, he adds.

OSHA allegedly found out that the company had not structured any safety training for the use of inflammable substances in large quantities. The other reasons for citation were:
  • Absence of guarding for open sided floors.
  • Use of damaged and improper electrical equipment.
  • Presence of ladders that were not fixed properly.
  • Failure to follow the energy control procedures.
  • The lack of machine guarding.
The manufacturing plant has been granted fifteen business days from the receipt of the citations to comply with the proposed penalties.

U.S. Postal Service Fined By OSHA for Hazards at Facility Near LAX

U.S. Postal Service Fined By OSHA for Hazards at Facility Near LAX
The U.S. Postal Service was fined by the Labor regulators with $220,000 for electrical hazards at their Los Angeles International Service Center.

The U.S. Postal Service has 488 employees at the plant, which is near Los Angeles International Airport. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration said that the fine was a reflection of a conspicuous disregard for the worker’s safety as the Postal Service keeps on to neglect vital workplace safety measures. This has put the lives of their employees at definite risk.

The violation came into the light after OSHA conducted an inspection, which began at June 2. They found that the USPS employees failed to de-energize parts of the machine before working on and that exposed them to electrical shocks.

The postal service officials also failed to do flash hazard or shock hazard analysis before they start the work or provide workers with the proper protection. Other violations included failure to provide guardrails on platform, maintain aisles and passageways, properly mark circuit breakers, maintain clean orderly working condition, and provide adequate training.

The USPS has been given 15 business days from receipt of the citations and to proposed penalties to meet and comply with OSHA or contest.

OSHA caught up in Woodburn Murder Trial

OSHA caught up in Woodburn Murder Trial
In accordance to a witness testimony this week, the city of Woodburn had asked a certain state enforcement agency not to conduct an investigation into the bank bombing that occurred on the 12th of December 2008.

Each and every witness called by Mr. Joshua Turnidge’s defense attorneys, told jurors how the Woodburn city officials sent several e-mails, wrote hundreds of letters and made phone calls, requesting and pleading the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration, not to launch an investigation.

Michael Wood, the OSHA Administrator said that, “It became clear that the city of Woodburn had concerns not only about the timing of the opening conference they did not want us to proceed with the inspection.”

Although OSHA normally investigates when serious injuries or fatalities occur, this time the agency decided not to pursue the investigation following the meeting.

Furthermore, Scott Derickson, the Woodburn City Administrator said that, “The city did not have the capacity to respond. It’s very hard to articulate the (impact) of what we were dealing with at the time.”

These testimony's came two days after Joshua Turnidge and his father, Bruce, were put on trial for murder and for orchestrating the event at West Coast Bank that killed Woodburn Police Capt.

OSHA Issues Warnings to Store Owners urging them To Stay Prepared for Black Friday

OSHA has sent a letter to all the major retailers of the city of Phoenix urging them to take all the necessary precautions on Black Friday. It has also suggested that all stores have police officers to manage large crowds. As per the federal agency, a plan should be created in such a way that it gives a specific location to every employee.

Joel Kinjerski of Phoenix says, “It's just chaos”. “You walk in and it's like a cattle stampede. Everyone everywhere is just grabbing stuff, there's fights, it gets ugly”, he adds.

Black Friday officially kick starts the holiday season the day after Thanksgiving every year. Stores give heavy discounts on every sale, typically drawing in hordes of customers.

Chase Eggert of Scottsdale says, “People do die because of Black Friday, why put yourself in that position”. Two years ago, a temporary employee working at a store died in the stampede on Black Friday. The shoppers trampled over him when the doors opened. OSHA is trying to take precautionary measures and prevent similar accidents.

There are people who do not approve of shopping on Black Friday. Says Gina Stinemetz of Phoenix, It's not worth it for me to save $20 to go through the hassle. I can do the same thing online”.

OSHA Investigates the Historic Maples Inn

OSHA Investigates the Historic Maples Inn
Federal inspectors could take up to 6 months to complete an investigation that's related to the collapse of New Cannan's historic Maples Inn. Robert Kowalski, the director of OSHA's Bridgeport area office said that, "We are in fact-finding mode," he went on to say that, "Once we have all the information ... if there are citations warranted, they will be issued. But it's too early in the investigation process."

Currently, the OSHA inspectors have found that high winds were primarily responsible for toppling this historic Inn that dates back to 1876. The Maples Inn is located on the Oenoke Ridge Road.

The owners of the Inn, Tom Kennedy and Andy Glazer, said that they would continue to build luxury apartments on the site. Unfortunately, they will have to start from scratch. When the accidental mishap occurred, work had been underway for 6 months. Nearly 6 workers were on the site at the time but luckily no one was injured.

However, the town's chief building official, Brian Platz, said that the owners of the inn would have to get a demolition permit if they want to raise the fallen structure. He went on to say that the building department will not take any action until John Glover Agency of Norwalk and OSHA have completed their investigations at the site.

OSHA May Penalize Heavily For the Gas Main Rupture

OSHA May Penalize Heavily For the Gas Main Rupture
Six days ago, Lee County faced a disastrous gas main rupture, fire and explosion. TECO gas blamed Posen Construction for the cause of the unfortunate incident. However, the latter has still not issued a comment on the situation stating what happened and why.

At the same time, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, in Tampa has confirmed that the situation is being thoroughly investigated. The fines for willful violations can go up to seventy thousand dollars, says the assistant director of the OSHA office. He also said that the serious violations can draw fines of up to seven thousand. Those who are repeatedly fined for the same violation can be fined up to ten times the original penalty. OSHA is supposed to issue a citation or find a violation well within the first six months of the incident. OSHA has not confirmed how long the investigation might last.

TECO gas says it isn't its liability to pay for the losses of those customers who didn't have natural gas. It has blamed Posen Construction for all the damage. Some restaurants have even claimed the loss of business due to no gas. Patrick Ho of TECO says, “It was an act, beyond our control, so we do not have to pay claims”.

OSHA Fines Fall River, MA, Company

We never fail to hear news about OSHA citing a company almost every day. It has become a routine and it seems it will continue to do so. Yet another citation has been slapped by OSHA and this time it’s Miranda Roofing Inc., a Fall River, MA, roofing and siding contractor.

The firm had committed an alleged willful violation of safety standards. One employee was injured after falling 15ft from a ladder at a Portsmouth work site. The company now faces a maximum proposed fine of $70,000 for their failure to provide fall protection for their employees working atop a roof at 3001 East Main Road in Portsmouth.

OSHA has issued a willful violation as this accident seems to be committed with plain indifference to or an intentional disregard for the employees’ safety and health.

The agency has also found employees at Miranda Roofing performing their task without any form of fall protection at heights up to 15ft and it is a well known fact that these kinds of acts are risky. Any worker working at a height of 6 ft needs to be protected.

We do dread the news of OSHA’s continuous citations, but don’t you think the agency would have taken this step, if the companies would have adopted a safety work environment? We can’t really blame OSHA as they are only doing their job. Instead of whining, companies should really look up to protect their workers and upgrade their safety procedures.

Rochester Company Gets Penalized for Lying To an OSHA Inspector

Rochester Company Gets Penalized for Lying To an OSHA Inspector
A jury in Rochester, recently convicted Mr. Keith Gordon-Smith and his asbestos abatement company, Gordon-Smith Contracting, Inc. (GSCI) for committing eight violations of the Clean Air Act.

The jury found Gordon-Smith guilty for they had made certain false statements to an OSHA inspector who had received complaints from GSCI employees. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspector had visited the site, three times in 2007 and on each and every occasion Gordon-Smith lied.

The Assistant Attorney General for the Natural and Environment Resources Division, Ignacia S. Moreno, said that, “Gordon-Smith knowingly exposed workers and public areas to the toxic air pollutant asbestos,” he further stated that the verdict should send a strong message to those in the asbestos abatement industry”.

Furthermore, Special Agent-in-Charge for EPA Office of Criminal Enforcement, William V. Lometti, said that exposure to asbestos can be fatal and the government will not tolerate illegal activity that puts the public at risk of cancer or other serious respiratory diseases,” he further stated that, “The message is clear that those who endanger human health and the environment will be vigorously prosecuted.”

Currently, Gordon-Smith faces criminal penalties of up to 5 years imprisonment for each count as well as criminal fines up to $250,000 per count. On the other hand, GSCI alone faces a criminal fine of up to $500,000 per count.

OSHA Will Not Investigate the Fallen Smoke Stack

OSHA Will Not Investigate the Fallen Smoke Stack
When the smoke stack collapsed at the old Ohio Edison site, the state safety officials declared that they will not investigate into the situation. The failed detonation is not going to be looked into by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA.

The reason behind this, as given by OSHA, is that nobody was injured in the mishap. The 275 foot smoke stack that came crashing down in the wrong direction did not harm anyone. The aim of OSHA is to look after the health and safety of employees. Since nobody suffered any negative consequences from the whole incident, the agency does not see any point in looking into the matter.

The reason for the detonation has already been determined. Apparently, there was a small crack in the smoke stack. This is believed to be a possible cause for the stack falling in the wrong direction.

The whole situation is being investigated by Ohio Edison. First Energy is also involved in finding out the problem along with Ohio Edison. Both these agencies, together, are looking into what went wrong during the demolition. They plan on removing the tower once the investigation is complete.

Black Friday - OSHA Releases a List of Safety Precautions

Black Friday - OSHA Releases a List of Safety Precautions
Have you heard about Black Friday? Well, it is considered by many to be one of the biggest shopping days. But more importantly, it marks the beginning of the holiday gift season. Unfortunately, it is also considered as one of the most deadly days, for just 2 years ago a Valley Stream Wal-Mart worker was trampled to death by a stampede of shoppers.

An employee of Valley Green Wal-Mart said that, “I think we’re going to beef up the security this year”. He further stated that, “We just want to make sure that everything goes smoothly, and to be prepared in case it doesn’t.”

OSHA has also done its part by releasing a list of safety precautions, for employee’s, retailers and even shoppers, in order to prevent history from repeating itself.

Present below is a list that has been formulated by some of the best OSHA experts that highlight the safety measures that people ought to observe on that faithful day:

1.Firstly, all retail outlets need to have crowd management personnel, trained security or police officers on site.

2.Next, retail owners need to make sure that the outside personnel have radios in order to communicate with personnel inside the store and emergency responders.


3.Lastly, they need to set up rope lines or barricades for crowd management well
before customers start arriving at the stores.


One of the Roosevelt Field employees’ said that, “I’m on the schedule for that day and to be honest, I’m worried.”

Brazilian Blowout to sue Oregon OSHA

Brazilian Blowout to sue Oregon OSHA
Last week, Oregon OSHA had warned hair stylists against the use of a hair product called Brazilian Blowout. This and other hair straighteners were found to contain very high levels of a carcinogen.

Now, the hair straightening company, Brazilian Blowout, says that it has already started legal proceedings against Oregon's Safety and Health Division. Their product allegedly contains high levels of formaldehyde, which is a cancer causing agent. The company is going to sue the agency for punitive damages.

The Health and Safety Division had issued this warning statement after testing almost all the hair straightening products used in salons. These products included Brazilian Blowout which is the most popular hair straightener that is frequently asked in salons. According to Brazilian Blowout, Oregon OSHA has failed to note the difference between methylene glycol and formaldehyde after testing.

The director of Oregon OSHA, Michael Wood, shared his opinion before any legal action was announced. He says that methylene glycol is nothing but formaldehyde in solution. “Our standards are clear. The practice of industrial chemistry is clear. The practice of toxicology is clear. His product contains formaldehyde”, he added.

However, a spokesperson from Oregon OSHA says that the agency has not yet received any legal papers from the Brazilian Blowout company.

Hyatt Hotels Corp. Under Pressure after Workers Complain to OSHA

Hyatt Hotels Corp. Under Pressure after Workers Complain to OSHA
Hyatt housekeepers have filed a repetitive motion and other injury complaints with the federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration. The charges refer to the Hyaat Regency Waikiki as well as eleven other properties in Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco and four other mainland cities.

An OSHA spokesman said that the agency will be making its own determination and if there is any investigation, it would be conducted without giving prior announcement.

Earlier this year, there was a record of high incidence of workplace injury at Hyatt, more so than the other hotel chains. In the record, women in general, particularly Hispanic women are prone to being injured while working.

However, Hyatt defended its workplace safety record and according to them, the employees are apparently making some false charges about their work environment. All these accusations, according to them have been aimed to increase union membership and due. Hyatt has also stated that they care deeply about their workers’ safety and health. They strive to improve these through training, employee recognition programs, room design, worker feedback and other initiatives.

A campaign has been launched against the chain in an effort to reduce the number of rooms the housekeepers are expected to clean. The room attendants are required to clean as many as 30 rooms per day. The housekeepers in Hyatt work so hard and fast that some of them can’t even lift a pen or coffee mug after the day ends.

Now, with these complains, Hyatt has come under the scanner of OSHA and if they are found guilty, let’s see how much penalty fine OSHA will slap them.

Cal/OSHA and the Adult Film Industry - Making it Explicit

Cal/OSHA and the Adult Film Industry - Making it Explicit
Cal/OSHA has received a series of posts regarding its latest meeting that addressed the standard STD safety protocols, of the adult film industry.

Currently, Cal/OSHA seems to be weighing the merits of a petition that was issued by the AIDS Health Care Foundation to alter the state's blood borne pathogen standard. The industry representatives, the state and local public health officials and activists have already discussed how this blood borne pathogens standard can be effectively revised. In fact, this discussion was the fourth in a series of public meetings.

The existing blood borne pathogen safety standard requires "personal protective equipment," which is also defined as "specialized clothing or equipment worn or used by an employee for protection against a hazard."

However, the adult film industry representatives still believe that the AIM testing program is good enough to eliminate the need of using condoms on the sets. AIM (Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation) is a voluntary testing program for a large fraction of porn performers. On a monthly basis these adult performers test themselves for chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV.

It is important to note that despite participating in these testing programs, a female star did get infected, but luckily she didn't infect any of the performers with whom she had unprotected sex. But the reality is that she easily could have.

Diane Duke, a member of the Free Speech Coalition, argued that the definition of "barrier protection" should not only include condoms but other literal barriers.

OSHA fines Amtec Corp. for safety violations

Amtec Corporation, a contractor at the U.S. Army's Space and Missile Defense Command has been cited for safety violations that resulted in an explosion killing two of their employees.

Earlier this year, in May, two workers suffered third degree burns in an explosion that was caused due to n-Butanol and ammonium perchlorate. The workers were trying to purify ammonium perchlorate by separating it from a mixture containing n-Butanol. During this process, an explosion occurred killing both the workers.

OSHA's area director, Roberto Sanchez, said, “Management knew the hazards associated with ammonium perchlorate recovery and failed to ensure the proper equipment was being used, while also allowing the workers to process the material in excess of 10 times the amount of explosives according to the Army's standard operating procedures”.

OSHA has cited the corporation with two willful violations for exposing their employees to explosive hazards and fire and also not testing the suitability of the equipment that was used to purify ammonium chlorate. A willful violation as defined by OSHA is the one committed with indifference or complete disregard for the health and safety of the employees.

Amtec has been slapped with a heavy fine of $134,400 by OSHA. The company has been granted 15 business days to comply with the proposed penalties.

OSHA fines Lowe's Distribution Center

OSHA fines Lowe's Distribution Center
OSHA, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has heavily fined Rockford's Lowe's Distribution Center. They are looking at a penalty of almost 200,000 dollars for failure of documenting and reporting employee injuries. This documentation and reporting is required as per OSHA Safety and Health regulations.

The OSHA Area Director of North Aurora Ill, Kathy Webb says that correct records for injuries and illnesses are extremely important in protecting workers' health and safety. “Accurate records are an important tool that employers and workers can use to identify hazards in the workplace, and they also enable OSHA to better target its resources”, she adds.

The Lowe's Distribution Center has already received two repeat violations with hefty fines of $20,000. Interestingly it has also received two penalties of $2,000 for other not very serious record keeping violations.

After hearing about the proposed fines, Lowe's issued a statement saying, “The safety and well being of our employees and customers is Lowe's highest priority. Lowe's will be discussing the validity of the citations and proposed penalties with OSHA and looks forward to the opportunity to formally respond to the citations issued today”.

A period of 15 days has been granted to Lowe's Distribution Center to meet and discuss the cited penalties with OSHA.

Construction Company Cited by OSHA for exposing workers to trenching hazards

Construction Company Cited by OSHA for exposing workers to trenching hazards
Daisy Construction Co. was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for alleged trenching violations and awarded a total of $67,000 as penalty.

After being notified about imminent danger faced by workers while installing utility lines, OSHA had initiated an inspection and found two willful violations and a serious violation.

Excavation is one of the most dangerous operations in the construction industry. With proper precautions, cave-ins can be easily prevented. The company had left its workers at risks of potential injury and possible death by bypassing the necessary safeguards.

The company failed to provide their workers with adequate protective system that would prevent cave-ins and prevented them to work in an unprotected trench. These acts are done intentionally and OSHA has slapped two willful violations for putting the workers’ lives in danger.

The serious violation was awarded due to the failure to instruct the employees on how the hazards can be recognized and prevented. A serious citation was issued when there is a substantial probability of serious physical harm or death and employer knew or should have known about the hazard.

OSHA Gives Power Resources Limited Star Safety Award

OSHA Gives Power Resources Limited Star Safety Award
The regulatory agency of the United States, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is mostly known for its ferocity, unforgivable nature, hefty penalties and strict workplace safety standards and regulations. But recently, OSHA handed over the Star Safety Award to the Big Spring Company. Indeed! This regulatory body does have a lighter side.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is very familiar with handing out fines and citations to organizations with poor safety records. But, in a shocking turn of events, a Big Spring Company managed to bag the Star Safety Award for having a great safety record.

Power Resources Limited was primarily recognized for having three years of excellence in employee safety and health and for completing OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program.

Jerry Barker, the General Manager, said that they had worked with a mentor in order to help them recognize any potential safety hazards. They then applied to be in the program. Finally, OSHA sent some of its representatives who spent nearly three days prodding and poking, looking out for any violations.

Baker went on to say that, "We've taken our program to the next level. We've increased the focus on safety all because of really the employees make it happen."

Power Resources Limited produces electricity and then sells it to other companies.

Hair Straightening Products are Hazardous says OSHA

Hair Straightening Products are Hazardous says OSHA
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration of Oregon has issued an alert about the presence of formaldehyde in products used for hair straightening.

OSHA has recently tested more than hundred product samples that were taken from over 50 different salons of Oregon. All of these products showed significant levels of formaldehyde. Samples of the hair straightening product called Brazilian Blowout were also included in this testing. What is surprising is that these products are labeled “formaldehyde free”. Studies showed that these results ranged from six percent to almost twelve percent of formaldehyde content.

All solutions that contain more than 0.1 percent of formaldehyde should list formaldehyde as an ingredient. Not only Brazilian Blowout, but even other brands of hair straightening products were shown to have considerable amounts of formaldehyde.

Oregon OSHA administrator, Michael Wood, said, “Although it's not clear whether the regulatory level of airborne exposure would be exceeded based on our results, it is clear that the levels are high enough to cause concern”.

All the salons in Oregon have received the hazard alert. This alert includes all the necessary information on formaldehyde. It also includes the safety precautions for all stylists that work with these hair straightening products.

OSHA Investigates death of a Notre Dame Student

OSHA Investigates death of a Notre Dame Student
The United Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recently descended on the death of a student who was filming the football practice on Wednesday. The boy fell down from a scissor lift that was around 50 feet high in the air with wind gusts of more than 50 mph.

OSHA has sent an investigator to the scene of the unfortunate accident. The Notre Dame student, Declan Sullivan, was around 20 years old. An hour and a half before his death, Sullivan wrote “Gusts of wind up to 60 mph well today will be fun at work... I guess I've lived long enough” on his Twitter account. An hour later, probably when he was still up in the lift, he added, “Holy (expletive) holy (expletive) this is terrifying.”

OSHA will be finding out who exactly instructed Sullivan to get into the lift in the first place. As per the guidelines from one of the manufacturers of the type of the lift the student was on, the scissor lift must not be used in wind gusts greater than 25mph. As we can gather from his second post, Sullivan pretty much realized that he was in a potentially dangerous situation.

The Notre Dame officials are obviously going to face the hard questions in the coming days and weeks. The loss is a completely senseless tragedy and the Sullivan family deserves honest answers.

Texas power plant recognized by OSHA for safety and health excellence

Texas power plant recognized by OSHA for safety and health excellence
Every day, you hear OSHA citing a couple of companies for violating some of their regulations. But, awarding penalties is not the only job they do. OSHA also recognizes those companies who demonstrate excellence in effective safety and health management. For example, Power Resources Ltd. in Big Spring, Texas has earned a place in the Voluntary Protection Programs of the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. They have achieved this recognition for maintaining the highest level of safety and health excellence for three years.

William A. Burke, OSHA's acting regional administrator in Dallas, said that the company's outstanding efforts in maintaining excellence in effective safety and health management has led to zero injuries and illnesses over the past three years.

Power Resources Ltd. is a natural gas fueled facility at Howard County, Texas. There are about 19 employees performing functions that include accounting, operations, purchasing, plant maintenance and compliance. The plant was built in the 1980s and achieved commercial operation 7 years later.

OSHA’s recognition programs included the VVP for both employers and employees, for their outstanding performance in implementing exemplary work safety and health management systems.

OSHA Fines Gun Powder Manufacturer $1.2 million

OSHA Fines Gun Powder Manufacturer $1.2 million
Once again another company has had to face the wrath of OSHA. This time the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the United States issued a staggering 54 citations, with several proposed penalties that have mounted up to a total sum of $1.2 million. These penalties were a result of a deadly explosion that took place in May, at the Black Mag LLC, Colebrook site. At that time two workers were killed. Sadly, both were on the job for less than a month.

In total, the company has received 12 willful, 36 serious, four egregious willful and 2 other-than-serious violations. In accordance to OSHA, a plant supervisor and 2 workers were manufacturing a gun powder substitute, when the unfortunate explosion occurred. Furthermore, OSHA also stated that the company’s employer also failed to implement remote starting procedures to establish safe distancing shields and he also failed to isolate operating stations.

This powerful regulatory agency, issued Black Mag 4 egregious willful citations for primarily failing to train 4 employees involved in the manufacturing of gun powder substitute. Willful citations are only considered egregious when more than 1 employer is exposed to a single hazard.

Black Mag has only fifteen business days from receipt of the citations and proposed fines to either comply with or contest the findings, or meet with the independent OSH Review Commission.

OSHA Investigates into the deadly Trench Collapse

OSHA Investigates into the deadly Trench Collapse
Two plumbers were working in a ditch that was near Allen Homes off Blum Street when the water started rushing in. This resulted in a wall of dirt collapsing on them. OSHA is now investigating into the matter.

The firefighters were able to successfully save one man. Unfortunately, the other, Jimmy Robles, died. The company, Universal Plumbing, is the one that is responsible for the trench collapse. However, it has not yet released a statement about what really happened or if the workers had followed the precautionary measures during the collapse. According to the representative of Universal Plumbing, the company is still preparing a statement.

Mark Bowen, the Richmond County Chief Deputy Coroner, says that the body was recovered from about six feet underground. As per OSHA regulations, it is necessary to use steel boxes and reinforcements on trenches that are deeper than five feet.

“Before you go in there or send someone down, think of sending your child in there. You never put anybody in a position that you wouldn't want to go in”, says Derek Stahlman who has been working in the construction industry for 15 years and strictly believes that this is one rule that should never be broken.

Mike Walden is with the Department of Labor. He says that OSHA investigates into injuries that involve three or more people or a death. He says, “The goal isn't to impose penalties and violations. The goal is to make a safe workplace and make sure employers are doing their jobs by imposing OSHA standards”.

Top Workplace Safety Citations Released By OSHA

Top Workplace Safety Citations Released By OSHA
The failure to communicate hazardous chemicals by employers in a workplace has been found to be the leading safety citation in the general industry by OSHA.

According to the 29 CRF 1910.1200 regulations, workplaces that use hazardous chemicals must develop an extensive hazard communication program which will notify employees about any or all health risks. The program must include all forms of warning, MSDS and employee training.

Chemical importers and manufacturers are also required to evaluate the possible hazards of the chemicals produced or imported by them and information must be provided about the chemicals through labels on packed or shipped containers and more detailed info on material safety data sheets. All employers must prepare and apply a written hazard communication program in the workplace and ensure all employees have easy access to MSDSs and an effective training program must be conducted for all potentially exposed workers.

Again, OSHA has also announced a new penalty policy which will be effective from October 1st. The time period includes the consideration of an employer’s past history of OSHA violations, determining the violations and penalty increases and reductions of 5 years. If the employers have been visited by OSHA for an inspection and have no serious, repeat, willful or failure to abate violations, then they will receive a 10% off in its penalties. But, if they have been cited by OSHA for serious, willful, high gravity, repeat or failure to abate within the last 5 years then, OSHA will increase 10% up in its penalties.

Meanwhile, if an employer has not been inspected or received any citation for serious violation then they will not receive either a reduction or an increase based on the previous inspection history.