OSHA Compliance

Post Office cited for safety problems in Maine

Post Office cited for safety problems in Maine
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has cited the U.S. Postal Service and proposed penalty $430,000 in fines for "willful and repeated" electrical safety violations at a processing and distribution center. OSHA had done an investigation on the Southern Maine Processing and Distribution Center in Scarborough after a worker complaint against it and brought the matter to light.

OSHA inspectors found that postal workers were exposed to electric shock, arc flashes and arc blasts from mail-processing equipment, the Labor Department said.

David Michaels, the assistant labor secretary for OSHA, said that their bosses did not prepare the workers "with the necessary knowledge and skills" to work with equipment with live electrical parts. Michaels added, "The Postal Service knew that proper and effective training was needed for the safety of its workers but did not provide it.”

Tom Rizzo, the spokesman for the Postal Service in Northern New England District, tried to defend it by saying,“ it will review OSHA's concerns and make the necessary adjustments to ensure a safe working environment for our employees.”

OSHA does not tolerate any intentional disregard that can raise questions to the safety and the health of the workers. For the total six willful citations, OSHA has proposed $420,000 in fines.

Queens contractor was busted for selling bogus safety certificates

A Queens contractor was found selling dozens of fake safety certificates that are needed by the hardhats on construction projects and so was busted on Thursday. It was shocking to know that Junior Lewis, owner of Jule Builders Group Inc. in Jamaica had sold around 69 workers Labor Department cards that certify 30 hours of safety training course completion; but actually they had not completed the course.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office has disclosed the matter. Now, it has been brought into the light by Daily News investigations that there has developed a widespread black market in the coveted certificates named OSHA-30 cards. These cards are required by the workers to work with the most city construction of buildings of 10 or more stories.

According to the prosecutors, under a program regulated by Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Lewis, 53, has been certified as a construction-safety trainer. And illegally they have started selling the certificates for $200-$400 apiece, leaving the recipient's name blank.

Federal Judge, James Cott, released Lewis on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond pending a court appearance July 26.

The whole thing is a threat to the safety and the health of the workers at the workplace and is a great crime done.

MMS Moving to Mandate Safety Standards for Rig Workers

MMS Moving to Mandate Safety Standards for Rig Workers
Minerals Management Service (MMS) has finally decided to regulate safety standards that are mandatory for rig workers after a long procedure. The Deepwater Horizon blast that took place two months ago has made the authorities more concerned about the safety matters of the workers. According to a senior official at the retooled Minerals Management Service (MMS), the worker-safety standards in place for offshore oil rigs were voluntary developed in consultation with the oil industry two months before the Deepwater Horizon blast.

Doug Slitor, acting chief of offshore regulatory programs at the reorganized MMS, has told the members of the House Education and Labor Committee that his office has now worked to turn the once-recommended worker safety guidelines -- drafted with the American Petroleum Institute -- into a mandatory program.

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the Education and Labor panel said, "Safety process management rules are absolutely critical. It is stunning that we don't have one in place for these rigs. When you're taking advice from the oil industry, you have to balance that off.”

Rear Adm. Kevin Cook told lawmakers said that OSHA has authority regarding the safety of the workers on land and near shore in the Gulf, but the problem is that the agency's jurisdiction stops 3 miles offshore. The Coast Guard acknowledged legal power over offshore rigs in 1979 but later delegated some safety inspection responsibilities to MMS.

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) said, "It's time that we realized cleanup crews are being exposed to unhealthy chemicals and toxins that can have debilitating health effects."

Michaels said, “Narrow focus on worker injuries or illnesses at oil rigs, refineries and chemical plants is unlikely to provide the level of protection required to monitor complex energy facilities.”

O’Donnell parking structure now closed says OSHA

O’Donnell parking structure now closed says OSHA
It seems the O’Donnell parking structure is seeing its last days when OSHA shut it down after a partial wall collapsed killing one person and injured two more. Some of the visitors who have parked their cars prior to the incident will be unable to retrieve their cars for days since it has been completely closed down.

The county officials had received a call shortly after 4 p.m. informing them that a 30-foot slab of concrete collapsed onto a driveway below. The incident happened on the park east facade and the concrete trapped at least one person inside and two others were injured in the collapse.

The cause of the collapse has not been disclosed yet, but the city engineers were being summoned to the scene to determine the integrity of the parking structure.

Some motorists were still allowed to retrieve their vehicles from the south section of the parking structure. When OSHA took over the matter, they gave a nod to close down the whole structure completely. It seems the investigation will be going on but whether they will cite anyone is still unclear. An OSHA violation can be serious if death or serious physical harm results from hazards that seem to have been known or existed.

OSHA in collaboration with AESC renewed alliance to promote safety and health in the oil and gas industry

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has opened yet another door for the importance and enhancement of workplace safety for the oil and gas workers. Now, OSHA in collaboration with the Association of Energy Service Cos. has developed and signed an alliance of workplace safety for oil and gas workers.

William Burke, OSHA's acting regional administrator in Dallas, said "We welcome this opportunity to join with the AESC in emphasizing employer awareness of hazardous working conditions in the oil and gas industry. The joint resources of this continuing relationship will help make this industry as safe and healthy as possible." The members of AESC have agreed to work closely with OSHA for the sake of enhancing and building upon existing training and educational goals, outreach and communication goals, and workplace health, safety and environmental goals.

This alliance will help OSHA work with groups that are committed to the workers safety and health, including businesses, trade and professional organizations, unions and educational institutions, to leverage resources and expertise to develop compliance assistance tools and resources, and share information with employers and employees to help prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the workplace.

OSHA has been working many ways to ensure the safety and health of the workers at the workplace. This is the main federal agency of the US Department of Labor. It is aware of everything regarding the workers and has regulated rules and also provides OSHA safety trainings to them.

OSHA cites Ford Motor Co. for not repairing damaged overhead cranes at Buffalo Stamping Plant in western New York

OSHA cites Ford Motor Co. for not repairing damaged overhead cranes at Buffalo Stamping Plant in western New York
OHSA (U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has found the Ford Motor Co. Buffalo Stamping Plant in Hamburg, N.Y., allegedly violated OSHA safety standards. The company did not repair or remove the unsafe overhead cranes from their service. OSHA inspected the site in January 2010 in response to a complaint from workers at the plant.

OSHA standards require the employers to inspect the cranes or other heavy vehicles that are used in their workplace to identify if there is any unsafe condition. And while find any such condition, the employers need to remove it from operation until the hazards are corrected. OSHA has found five instances of using overhead cranes to lift and set dies or lift coils of steel were allowed to remain in service after defects were identified during inspections conducted in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The citation included worn brake drums, loose or sheared coupling bolts, and worn or damaged gears.

Arthur Dube, OSHA's area director for western New York, said, "Management's ongoing knowledge of and failure to correct these repeatedly recognized defects exposed workers to potential crushing injuries had one or more of these cranes failed. It should not take an OSHA inspection and enforcement action to prompt an employer to complete necessary repairs that should have been made months, even years, ago."

OSHA has proposed a total penalty of $70,000 defining a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for worker safety and health.

Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York, said, "One means of preventing hazards such as these is to establish an effective comprehensive workplace safety and health program, in which workers and employers work together to proactively evaluate, identify and eliminate hazardous conditions."

Iowa Interstate Railroad violated Federal Rail Safety Act

Iowa Interstate Railroad violated Federal Rail Safety Act
OSHA(Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has found that the Iowa Interstate Railroad has violated the Federal Rail Safety Act. The Iowa Interstate Railroad was found to have retaliated against a train conductor because he reported a workplace injury. According to OSHA, Iowa Interstate Railroad will have to make amends for the conductor.

In January 2009, an employee was issued a notification of formal investigation by Iowa Interstate Railroad for reporting a work injury and also retaliated against the employee by disciplining him in the form of a letter of censure. The employee filed a whistleblower complaint alleging that the railroad had retaliated against him for reporting his work injury. After getting the complaint, Whistleblower Protection Program of OSHA conducted an investigation under the Federal Rail Safety Act, and found merit to the complaint and ordered relief.

Michael G. Connors, OSHA regional administrator in Chicago, said, "An employer does not have the right to retaliate against its employees who report work-related injuries. While OSHA is best known for ensuring the safety and health of employees, it is also a federal government whistleblower protection agency."

The case has taken OSHA to order IIR to cease and desist automatic issuance of a notice of investigation for employees who report work injuries without reasonable suspicion that a hearing will uncover evidence of a policy violation or misconduct. IIR has also been ordered to take proper actions by expunging all files and computerized data systems of references to the disciplinary hearing involving the employee, as well as those of references related to the letter of censure.

Moreover, OSHA has ordered the railroad to pay the employee $1,000 in punitive damages, to post and provide its employees with information on their FRSA whistleblower rights and within 30 days inform the OSHA regional administrator in writing of the steps it has taken to comply with the above order.

Within 30 days from receipt of the findings, IIR and the complainant have to file an appeal with the Labor Department's Office of Administrative Law Judges. Railroad carrier employees and its contractors and subcontractors are protected under the FRSA against retaliation for reporting on-the-job injuries and illnesses, as well as reporting certain safety and security violations and cooperating with investigations by OSHA and other regulatory agencies.

Oil Spill taking a Toll on Florida Vacationer

Oil Spill taking a Toll on Florida Vacationer
Oil spill in Mexico has become a threat to the vacationers who usually enjoyed the fun and sun in the lovely Gulf Coast near Destin. Officials fear that this time there may be an economic disaster due to the oil spill accident. But, though people have seen a few tar balls show up, it is disclosed that the world famous sugar sands are largely pristine in Destin and are still open for business.

Dennis McKinnon, the Escambia County Chairman of the Tourism Commission said, "The perception that everybody has is: No way am I going to the beaches of Florida right now because if I get in the water I'm going to get tar all over me. And it just isn't happening today.”

But according to the coast guard, nothing like this will happen at least for the next few days, as they have not found anything significant while they were within three miles offshore with skimmer and cleaning vessels.

Roger Dow of the U.S. Travel Association said, "We have a reality crisis as to what is actually going on with oil, but probably even more damaging potentially is a crisis of perception.”

Tourist visits in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama already have reduced due to the oil spill and for the pro-tourism ads that are run by the state, Florida stands to lose the most.

Oil spill has recently taken a toll on the vacationers who used to come to the beaches in Florida. It is going to effect the economy of Florida to a great extent.

Increasing Roofing Fatalities and OSHA Investigation

Increasing Roofing Fatalities and OSHA Investigation
Roofing fatalities have been on the rise and have doubled in the last few years. Workers involved in this field are at high risk. Last Tuesday, a worker fell from the roof of a commercial building on Stone Castle Road in the Town of Montgomery while repairing it. According to the police, the worker, named Gary Shatlaw, was 26 and fell 40 feet down and died. He was from Beacon and was working for OCS Industries. This fatal accident has caught the eye of OSHA, who in turn has started investigations into the case on the lookout for potential safety violations.

On the other hand, OSHA cited C.A. Franc construction company and a proposed penalty of $539,000 for the company was found following an investigation of a roofing worker who fell 40 feet to his death at a Washington work site. The owner Christopher A. Franc was cited for the willful violation of failure in providing his employees with falling protection gear.

Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, said, “Mr. Franc knowingly and willfully failed to protect his workers from falling to their death. We will not tolerate this type of blatant and egregious disregard for the health and safety of workers.”

OSHA has helped the workers by investigating into the accidents that occur in the workplace. The investigation on fall accidents is done by OSHA to ensure the safety and the health of the workers.

Cleanup Team Working with Risky Safety Nets

Cleanup Team Working with Risky Safety Nets
The safety and the health of the clean up workers at the Gulf of Mexico oil spill areas has become an issue of great concern. Now, 19,000 temporary workers have volunteered to assist in the clean up operation at the BP oil spill sites. But it is not known till now who is responsible for ensuring the safety and health of those workers involved in this dangerous work.

The government finally has woken up and announced that they will make greater contributions towards worker safety in the Gulf. They announced this after more than 50 days of the rig explosion.

According to Labor and environmental advocates, worker safety in the Gulf is insecure. The safety disaster at the rig explosion includes:

  • A massive toxic spill.
  • The rapid deployment of a vast work force over four states.
  • Limited government resources.
  • BP’s dismal safety record.
  • To wear heavy protective gear is extremely uncomfortable in hot temperatures.
  • Non-English speaking workers involved in the effort have problems with communication.
  • The desire among many workers sidelined by the disaster to do any work they can.
The confusion that stems from the government as to who is in charge of the protection of the 24,000 individuals who are engaged in the clean up operations, is a major cause for alarm. 24,000 workers, including 19,000 contract workers who are dispersed offshore all along the coast lines of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, are all at risk.

Former head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Ed Foulke said, “Are people going to fall between the cracks? Unfortunately probably so.”

It is now an open secret that workers are protected by "a hodgepodge of regulations.” But, is this the way things are meant to be?

OSHA cites Linden for Exposing Employees to Chemical Hazards

OSHA cites Linden for Exposing Employees to Chemical Hazards
OSHA has cited Infineum USA L.P. as the company's Linden facility has violated safety rules including the involvement of employees exposed to chemical hazards. The company has proposed penalties of a total of $88,500.

OSHA got a complaint regarding chlorine release at the facility and so on the basis of this tip started inspection on Nov. 24, 2009. The result of the inspection showed the violations that had been done by the company related to a deficient process safety management system. The company failed to establish and implement written procedures required to manage any changes to technology, facilities, equipment and procedures that can potentially impact a chemical process.

Patricia Jones, the director of OSHA's Avenel Area Office said, "Chlorine is a highly hazardous chemical that can have a severe impact on the employees' safety and health. All aspects of the OSHA safety management standard must be followed by employers in order to ensure that workers go home safely at the end of the day."

Infineum USA L.P. has 262 employees at this site and OSHA has given the company 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

This is not the only company that has been cited for OSHA rule violations. OSHA has regulated many rules and regulations that are to be followed by the companies. The aim and objectives of OSHA is to reduce workplace hazards, enhance the safety and the health of the workers as well as the the workplace. OSHA has introduced many training courses including OSHA safety training to ensure the safety of the workers at the work place.

David Michaels: Future of Occupational Safety and Health

David Michaels: Future of Occupational Safety and Health
OSHA Administrator, David Michaels, has expanded on the actions that are taken by OSHA till date in a plenary session at the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Safety 2010 conference on June 14. His speech was quite inspirational and has inspired safety professionals across the globe to get involved and help shape the agency’s future.

Michaels told ASSE attendees, “We want you to hear from us that OSHA is back and we are a strong regulatory agency first and foremost.” Explaining the aim and objective of OSHA, he said that OSHA is working “to make fundamental changes to secure workplaces.” He emphasized on the matter that OSHA's goal is to encourage employers to plan, prevent and protect, but not to punish or react.

Michaels gave a brief idea regarding some of OSHA’s priorities and actions over the past months, including: hiring additional standards writers and inspectors; moving more personnel into enforcement; developing a Severe Violator Enforcement Program; making the agency more accessible; taking the time to listen to stakeholders; conducting expanded evaluations of all state plans and enforcement programs; and more.

Michaels gave major priority to the Injury and Illness Prevention Program standard. This standard will assist the workers in identifying and remedying hazards. He said, “We could change workplace health and safety on levels that we haven’t seen since [the 1970] OSHA Act.”

OSHA has always given first preference to the safety of the workers and to save them from potential hazards at a workplace. OSHA has been working continuously to provide safety trainings for the employees in order to ensure their safety and health while working, thus enhancing the environment of the workplace also.

New OSHA Training for Workers' Rights

New OSHA Training for Workers' Rights
OSHA has introduced a new OSHA training program that emphasizes on workers' rights. The name of the training program is ,"Introduction to OSHA” and it is a required content in every OSHA 10 and 30 hour Outreach Training Program class. The aim of OSHA is to strengthen the voice of workers through this training.

The new training will focus on the importance of workers' rights and advise them of their right to:

  • Safe and healthy workplaces.
  • Know about the presence and effects of hazardous chemicals.
  • Review all the workplaces information about injuries and illnesses
  • Receive training.
  • File for an OSHA inspection in need and participate with it on time.
  • Be free from pay back to exercise safety and health rights.
David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA said, "For too long, workers have avoided making claims of unsafe work conditions out of fear of losing their jobs. We are confident that this new training session will embolden workers to speak up when they find work practices that endanger their lives and the lives of their co-workers."

The workers will be trained during the 10 and 30 hour outreach training program classes, that will cover topics on whistleblower rights and filing a complaint, samples of a weekly fatality and catastrophe report, material data safety sheet and the OSHA Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. Trainers will be given test and answer sheets through their authorizing training organization only.

The OSHA Outreach Training Program teaches workers about their rights including the ways to identify, reduce, avoid and prevent job-related hazards. This training will help a lot of workers in becoming confident and knowledgeable.

Chemical Exposures, Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, Worker's Safety and Health, and OSHA Monitoring

Chemical Exposures, Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, Worker's Safety and Health, and OSHA Monitoring
The potential accidents and other safety concerns for workers working in hazardous environments are immense. Today, with the recent BP oil spill disaster, the workers who are involved in the oil spill clean up operations, inhale chemicals that cause many severe health problems. In an effort to reduce the number of serious injuries, OSHA has been monitoring, assessing and characterizing all the issues related to chemical exposures regarding oil spill areas.

In the clean up operations going on in the oil spill affected areas, workers on ships are exposed to fresh oil as well as weathered oil (where the toxic volatile substances have evaporated), which can cause serious permanent health injuries.

A team of industrial hygienists have been brought by OSHA to conduct its own independent air monitoring, both on shore and on the cleanup vessels after reviewing the data of BP monitoring. OSHA has taken the decision to provide the workers with necessary protection from air contaminants. OSHA has taken steps to analyze the oil by-products, "soup" of crude oil, dispersant, and any other material to know what kind of hazards may occur when workers respond to and cleanup the oil spill.

OSHA wants to ensure that workers are protected from these exposures and so is monitoring all the chemical exposures, such as exposures from chemical solvents used to clean boats.

After examining these various factors, the data that is collected by all the agencies including OSHA and BP, will then be tested. OSHA has come to the conclusion that there is no exposure to toxic chemicals and so there is no necessity to provide respirators to the cleanup workers.

OSHA ACTIVITIES DURING OIL SPILL RESPONSE AND CLEANUP

OSHA ACTIVITIES DURING OIL SPILL RESPONSE AND CLEANUP
More than 13,000 cleanup workers have been employed in the clean up operation for the oil spill affected areas at Gulf of Mexico, and each and every one of these workers are at high safety and health risk. Apart from this figure, there are nearly 1,800 federal employees from four separate states that are also directly involved with the clean up operation.

These workers are subject to such serious hazards like drowning, heat, fatigue, injury through sharp objects, and also there is danger of receiving bites from insects, snakes, and other wild species that are native to the Gulf Coast area. Crude oil, dispersant, oil constituents and byproducts, cleaning products and other chemicals all pose as threats to the workers health and safety. OSHA has provided proactive, vigorous leadership to ensure the safety of the workers at oil spill clean up operations.

OSHA has also been involved in other important activities and has contributed a lot towards the clean up. OSHA's efforts have thus been recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard and other government agencies, as well as BP. To ensure that the workers are protected from all hazards associated with their cleanup work, OSHA has worked round-the-clock to make sure no new cases of illness and further damages occur.

In a nutshell, here are just a few examples of what OSHA has done for the clean up operation at the Gulf of Mexico:

1.OSHA was involved in the Gulf Coast cleanup to ensure the safety and health of the workers.

2.OSHA, in collaboration with NIOSH and NIEHS, has striven to ensure that the workers that BP is hiring for the clean up operation, are all effectively trained. They have gone so far as to train the workers in a language and vocabulary they understand.

3.Since April 26th, OSHA staff has been constantly monitoring the workers safety and health and has also been assessing whether BP is providing appropriate worker safety and health protection gear.

4.About 20 to 25 OSHA compliance officers travel to all staging areas - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to ensure protection and safety of the workers. OSHA's Health Response Team has provided technical support (for worker exposure monitoring) to OSHA response site personnel in Louisiana.

Oil Spill Worker's Health Effects – A Burning Issue

Potential health hazards have been a burning issue at the Gulf of Mexico Oil spill as the spilled oil has spread and has begun to cause life threatening pollution. Workers and the general public residing in the nearby areas have become victims to this large scale destruction. Serious medical problems have been observed that can only be limited by taking certain safety precautions. As we know, the government as well OSHA has taken effective steps to ensure the safety and health of the workers and also that of the common people.

The oil spill needs more and more workers with the passing of time, and that may be the reason for the rapidity of growth in adverse health effects. The workers have been facing problems like headaches and breathing difficulties and many have been hospitalized due to sudden illness. Till date, at Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, 60 exposure-related complaints have been filed.

Dr. David Michaels, the assistant secretary of the labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has said, “What OSHA is doing, along with other agencies, is monitoring exposures on the beaches and on the boats to determine what sort of protection workers should be receiving. At this point we see no evidence of exposure that would require respirators.”

A mobile public health clinic has also opened in the town of Venice to serve those cleanup workers complaining of sickness. The aim of this clinic is to help any worker who needs it. Clean up workers run the highest risk, and hence most of the cases are that of the workers.

Now, the health of the workers at the Gulf of Mexico is a burning issue and to eliminate it, OSHA has been working round-the-clock. It has made a 4 hour safety training mandate for the workers. Other than this, OSHA provides OSHA HAZWOPER courses that ensures the safety and the health of the workers at dangerous workplaces.

OSHA Needs Input on Combustible Dust Worker Hazards

OSHA Needs Input on Combustible Dust  Worker Hazards
OSHA is going to conduct the first-ever stakeholder meeting on June 28, 2010, for the sake of getting more inputs on combustible dust workplace hazards for the safety and the health of the workers. The meeting format is going to provide quick and easy access to a broader audience including all kind of businesses who would otherwise not be able to participate. They need comments from all concerned, which in turn will help the agency develop a proposed standard on combustible dust.

It is not a new thing for workers who are exposed to combustible dust to face problems at the workplace. According to OSHA more than 130 workers have been killed and 780 injured in combustible dust explosions since 1980. This is the fourth meeting addressing combustible dust hazards.

David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, has said, "OSHA is committed to expanding the opportunity for the public to engage in its rule making activities, and this virtual stakeholder meeting will provide a wide range of stakeholders with the opportunity to participate. This is an important rule making, and we want to ensure that all interested stakeholders have an opportunity to send us their comments and suggestions."

Combustible dust can cause life threatening problems as it mainly consists of fine particles, chips, fibers, chunks or flakes. All these elements, under certain conditions, can cause fire or explosions when suspended in air. Moreover, combustible dust includes metal (aluminum and magnesium), wood, plastic, rubber, coal, flour, sugar and paper, among others. So, the chances of meeting with horrible accidents are more in this field. But, if little care is taken and the mandatory OSHA rules for combustible dust is maintained, then it is sure that the unexpected will vanish or reduce to a considerable limit.

This is an opportunity that you should not lose and should register with in order to participate. OSHA has contributed a lot for the safety of the workers at combustible dust sites. They have made many rules for it and also offer OSHA safety training to the workers to limit this problems.

Investigate oil spill clean-up safety – LA speaks to OSHA

Investigate oil spill clean-up safety – LA speaks to OSHA
Taking into account the recent news of a number of oil spill workers being hospitalized and after many other workers experiencing serious problems at various clean-up sites, the Louisiana health and environmental officials have requested the federal safety officials to make sure that the workers operating for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill are thoroughly protected.

Great concerns about the safety of the clean up workers have come up after a few oil-spill workers were hospitalized after complaining of dizziness, nausea and headaches. Alan Levine, Health and Hospitals Secretary, and Peggy Hatch, Environmental Quality Secretary, have said that the daily reports of illness and injuries by the workers are worrying. They have requested the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to investigate into the matter and to find out what protection these clean up workers are getting.

BP is trying to allocate nearly 3,000 more cleanup workers to Louisiana and for their safety, the agencies want all the workers to get proper HAZWOPER safety training, protective equipment and supplies vital for the clean up operation. With all these facilities, the safety of the workers will be guaranteed.

Gulf oil Spill and Safety of Cleanup Workers

Gulf oil Spill and Safety of Cleanup Workers
Safety of the clean up workers in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has become a burning issue. Obama administration has been bombarded with many questions regarding the safety of the workers and have since been called on to ensure that BP has been properly protecting their workers. Two of the congressional Democrats have cited a memo from a Labor Department official calling attention to a "systematic failure on BP’s part to ensure the safety and health of those responding to this disaster."

Reps. James L. Oberstar (D-Minn.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said in a letter to Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, “We cannot allow BP’s oil spill to cause any more damage or claim any more lives than it already has.” David Michaels, assistant secretary of Labor for occupational safety and health, said, “ The problems appear to be indicative of a general systemic failure on BP's part to ensure the safety and health of those responding to this disaster.'' From the very starting of the oil spill, OSHA has enforced BP to implement some effective measures to protect the workers during inclement weather. But still BP has delayed in reporting sickness among workers. The safety and the health of the workers at the Gulf of Mexico oil spill site still remains a matter of serious concern.

The workers have been suffering from chest pains, dizziness and headaches and have been hospitalized. While working on boats near areas where oil was burned off the surface of the water and chemical dispersant were sprayed from airplanes, these kinds of health problems have doubled and tripled. OSHA has taken remarkable steps to reduce such problems by providing all possible assistance to the workers. A four hour safety training is provided for the workers who are involved in clean up operations at oil spill areas. This has since become a mandate for the workers.

A Peep Through BP's Horrible Safety Record

BP seems to be in the limelight these days, but under a negative light. With people becoming more interest in them, some horrible secrets have come ashore. BP has been fined by OSHA 760 times, in complete contrast to the oil giant ExxonMobil (XOM) that has been fined only once.

The question is, with all these citations, how did OSHA allow BP to operate? Before, we were unaware of these skeletons in the closet but now, BP or OSHA has an explanation to give.

Let us take a look back into the past and browse through the track record of BP’s safety violations:

In 2007, 200,000 gallons of crude oil were spilled into the Alaskan wilderness and BP got hit with $16 million in fines.

Approximately $353 million was paid to the Justice Department as part of an agreement to hold prosecution on charges that BP contrived to manipulate the propane gas market.

Prior to Deepwater Horizon, 30 BP workers were killed in two separate disasters and more than 200 were seriously injured.

In the last three years, BP refineries in Texas and Ohio have accounted for 97% of the egregious, willful violation, which was handed by OSHA.

According to OSHA’s statistics, BP ran up to 760 "egregious, willful" safety violations. Some companies like Sunoco and Conoco-Phillips each had only eight, Exxon one and Citgo had two.

After analyzing these facts, one thing is certain that BP probably shouldn't be operating anywhere let alone in USA, considering the horrific safety record they have.

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill And Remarks of BP boss

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill And  Remarks of  BP boss
As the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has effected to a great extent, the clean up operation has also been going for a long time and the most important point is that the catastrophe that is made by this big oil spill has snatching the attention of all the world political leaders, environmentalist and socialist. At this point of time all we hope is to diminish the effect soon. US president Barack Obama has also paid much attention regarding this oil spill. He has said already that BP will have to face criminal charges and also a year-long ban on new offshore deep-water drilling. But it's surprise that the boss of BP has been commenting on all the matters differently.

According to Obama, BP's catastrophe "may prove to be a result of human error – or corporations taking dangerous shortcuts that compromised safety". So, he mentioned that this is the time for the oil industry to pay for green energy. This is count as the world's biggest economy off fossil fuels and he hopes to start communicate with it taking the help of public outrage about the disaster.

Regarding the payments, two American senators wrote to Tony Hayward, chief executive of BP that it would be "unfathomable" to maintain its $10bn (£6.8bn) of dividend payments under the circumstances for the company. But the company boss is of the statement that the company has enough cash to avoid a dividend cut this year.

The BP boss has expressed many such tactless remarks about the crisis and has faced unprecedented criticism. But he said sorry as he gave "a hurtful and thoughtless comment''. He said, "I apologies, especially to the families of the 11 men who lost their lives in this tragic accident."

Amidst all these controversies, OSHA has continuously offering helping hand by providing OSHA safety training to the workers who are involving in the clean up operation of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and in the real sense doing something worth.

OSHA Safety Training Course For Oil Spill Cleanup

OSHA Safety Training Course For Oil Spill Cleanup
For those who are interested in helping with the clean-up team, should the Deepwater Horizon spill reach Sanibel and Captiva islands, they can now take an online OSHA training session that is being offered by various websites.

Oil is considered to be a hazardous material and there are very strict state and federal requirements for volunteers once oil hits the shorelines or even if it occurs in near shore waters. Some of the online OSHA safety course providers have arranged for the courses and are currently offering a 4 hour OSHA training session. The cost is very reasonable and they also offer discounts on bulk admission. An online safety course has its own benefits. Unlike the on-site training course, for online training you need not waste your time, money and energy in traveling to a specific site.

Now, with this online safety training session, you can now complete the course at your own time. For any assistance, you can now get in touch with your trainers anytime, anywhere, as they are available round the clock. Once you complete the course you will be provided with a certificate of completion. So if you are really interested in taking up the course, go ahead and enroll for the online OSHA safety course today.

NH Seafood Plant Faces Fine of $214,500 by OSHA

The federal government has proposed a fine of more than $214,000 against a Canadian seafood processing company for alleged violations at its Portsmouth, N.H., plant. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), inspectors found 17 violations of workplace health and safety standards at High Liner Foods. The problems were mostly involved with the ammonia piping system used for freezing.

The company which is based in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, is accused of failing to do the inspection and test the system, which OSHA says was corroded and encased in ice. It also was fined for failing to correct previously identified problems with the system.

The company has been given a time period of 15 days to comply or contest the findings. No spokesperson was available to comment on this issue.

Job Safety at Theme Parks And Entertainment Venues Criticized by OSHA

Job Safety at Theme Parks And Entertainment Venues Criticized by OSHA
Theme parks and entertainment venues have been put ‘on notice’ by top federal job safety regulators after they found a series of injuries and in death.

David Michaels, assistant secretary for OSHA, said that safety was often not considered the highest priority in the entertainment industry, which even included Walt Disney World and SeaWorld Orlando.

At Disney World, three deaths took placed last summer and a trainer was drowned at SeaWorld by a killer whale in February. All four fatalities propelled OSHA to investigate. Disney was fined $35,200 for one of the deaths. However, they were cleared for a wrongdoing when a stunt performer broke his neck during a rehearsal. The probe for the SeaWorl fatality is still ongoing.

Michaels’ accusations was objected by the representatives from the theme parks. A spokeswoman for Disney World said that safety was their single most important responsibility and the company has a dedicated team whose main task is to measure and enhance safety in the workplace. According to a SeaWorld spokesman, the trainer’s death was an unprecedented and terrible tragedy, but they insist that they are very proud of their workplace safety record.

Michaels said the penalties that can be imposed by OSHA are relatively small and not enough to influence the businesses. He has called on Congress to raise the size of the fines.

More BP Oil Spill Workers Experiencing Health Problem

More BP oil spill clean-up workers are experiencing health problems resulting from the use of dispersant and the effects of the oil spill. Two more workers have been hospitalized after they were experiencing headaches, dizziness and nausea after chemical dispersant was applied within a mile of their operating clean-up vessels.

Earlier, seven workers were complaining of feeling unwell and were sent to a hospital. All of the workers were properly trained and had been using appropriate protective gears.

The workers seem to be in contact with some sort of irritant, but so far, the hospital where they are being admitted doesn’t have the ability to run the test and determine the cause.

It is possible to get sick if volatile compounds are still there in the oil and if a worker comes in direct contact with the concentrated dispersant, the chemicals tend to break the oil before they get mixed with the water and that could affect the health. The smell from the oil throughout the coastal area has been pervasive and that itself indicates volatile compounds from the oil are strong enough.

Safety personal from OSHA, BP and the Coast Guard are investigating this problem. Shrimpers working in the clean up operation are making claims that the air quality has not been monitored by anyone except BP, who has of course reason to defile the results just like the amount of oil coming from the well.

OSHA Finds Ways to Improve Workers' Safety and Health

OSHA Finds Ways to Improve Workers' Safety and Health
Occupational Safety and Health Administration is going to bring a radical change to protect the safety and health of American workers by accepting the membership nominations to the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH).

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, NACOSH was established and it has played a vital role regarding the site-specific targeting, whistle blower protection, and continuing outreach to Latino workers. For 40 years, NACOSH has advised the Secretaries of Labor, and Health and Human Services in this field.

Now, OSHA has sought those as nominees who possess occupational safety and health expertise and are qualified to represent employers, workers, the public, safety and health professionals. The nominees are required to fill one management, two public, one occupational health representative and one occupational safety vacancies.

The point is that people are expecting a lot from this new venture as they recently have seen the terrible effect of the Mexico oil spill and the condition of the workers per as safety and the health are related. The role of OSHA in this area is known to all. OSHA always do research for the better way so that the workers remain intact at workplace. They provide OSHA safety training courses both online and on site. This OSHA safety training courses ensures the safety and the health of the workers at workplace as the courses are specially designed for them by the experienced experts.