OSHA Compliance

OSHA provides Teleconferences for Small Businesses on Proposed Changes

OSHA provides Teleconferences for Small Businesses on Proposed Changes
OSHA is looking for feedback on its recent plans to alter the 300 Log, a form which contains all the details on various workplace illnesses and injuries that should be completed by most businesses in the United States on a regular basis.

OSHA has been aiming to restore a column of the log that requires employers to fill in details on the various musculoskeletal disorders at the workplace. Many opponents of this decision to restore the column have complained that it is in reality an attempt to actually revive an ergonomics’ standards that was repelled a decade ago.

Before this, OSHA’s injury and illness log consisted on a column that put the MSD’s and hearing together. OSHA had planned to separate these two columns, but the MSD column was removed entirely. Opponents to this have claimed that the new column might come as an unnecessary burden to most businesses. However, OSHA head, Mr. David Michaels has said that most small businesses will not be required to update the log, and only those employers who are already mandated to maintain injury records will be required to track MSD’s in the log. To clarify this, OSHA has also offered 3 teleconferences for small businesses with regards to the MSD proposal.

OSHA Safety Tips to Stay Safe in a Heat Wave

OSHA Safety Tips to Stay Safe in a Heat Wave
A heat wave can bring a nation down with its sweltering temperatures. Heat can be a great health threat for workers, what with conditions remaining oppressive. Employers and workers should take some necessary precautions.

According to OSHA, heat-induced workplace sicknesses and injuries can reduce productivity and generally occurs when workers are exposed to hot working environments. Apart from causing life threatening conditions like heat strokes and heat exhaustion, working in hot conditions can lead to a number of accidents due to sweaty palms, sweating, fogged up glasses and dizziness. Severe burns can also occur when workers come in contact with hot surfaces.

Keep an eye on workers who may show signs of heat stroke and exhaustion, as this can help prevent a fatality. OSHA has come up with a number of products for employers and workers to use when stuck in a heat wave.

OSHA also offers advice on how workers should protect themselves against UV radiation, extreme heat, Lyme disease and the West Nile virus.

OSHA’s findings challenged by Buffalo Recycling

A workplace incident that took place last October resulted in OSHA investigating into the working procedures of Buffalo Recycling Enterprises LLC. The investigations revealed a number of violations and the company was cited by OSHA.

OSHA announced recently that the company was cited with 10 serious violations after an investigation was conducted following an incident where a workers arm was found to be severely lacerated on October 7 last year. The worker’s arm got caught in a conveyor belt, which accidently got activated when he was trying to clear a paper jam.

OSHA has also said that the penalties for these 10 violations amount to $60,000 in fines and an additional $1,000 for 5 other-than-serious violations. The company has decided to contest these findings.

OSHA’s Standards for Laboratory Procedures

OSHA’s Standards for Laboratory Procedures
OSHA maintains a very strict set of guidelines as far as workplace safety is concerned, in any industry type. These guidelines and procedures are regularly updates with the latest information, health concerns and technology releases. OSHA maintains a complete record on all the current federal regulations.

According to OSHA, a laboratory is a facility where the use of hazardous chemicals takes place for laboratory purposes. It is a workplace where small quantities of hazardous chemical are used for non-production purposes. Such chemical usage is done for the purpose of research and development or for testing. Laboratory safety includes a set of guidelines that maintain a safe and hazard-free working environment in a laboratory.

OSHA also defines the use and handling of hazardous chemicals in a laboratory as the usage of chemicals on a laboratory scale. All hazardous chemicals are used in small quantities for non-production purposes. Multiple chemicals are sometimes used on a daily basis. All laboratory personnel should be provided with personal protective equipment that complies with a standard that is suitable for the material that is being handled in order to minimize the exposure of employees to hazardous chemicals.

Launching a Successful Safety Management Program for your Dentistry Practice

Launching a Successful Safety Management Program for your Dentistry Practice
Dentists are trained and educated to solely care for patients. However, Most dentists, hygienists or administrative personnel will tell you that multitasking is the key to any job. Not only are they responsible for patient care but are also responsible for the safety management. Safety management is absolutely essential for any business, and this includes the dentistry field as well. It doesn’t matter whether your safety management program is handled by an experienced safety coordinator or whether it is an OSHA compliance coordinator, what matters is that your safety management program should never be compromised due to your busy schedule or basic lack of knowledge.

Does your dentist practice come with its fair share of unnerving irregularity, like a bunch of dirty needles lying around? A pile of dusty Material Safety Data Sheets just lying around? The weekly spore testing documentation that is just not available? Yes, all of us experience these inconsistencies, which is why having a successful safety management program is of the utmost importance. Every safety management program should start by training employees and developing safety policies for a better, safer and penalty-free future.

  • Review OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard and the CDC infection control guidelines for dental office settings. Not having a safety program can result in many errors and citations. Safety in healthcare is extremely important.

  • Assess and identify what documentation must be regularly updated and kept in place. Go through the OSHA requirements and ensure that all your employees participate in your training program.

  • Examine your office. How can you make it safer and help comply with the OSHA guidelines? Check the sterilization process, the chemical identification labels on containers, the personal protective equipment used while handling instruments, etc. Check whether all your instruments are cleaned well and make logs of cleaning records.

  • Use Instruments and heat sterilization devices that are cleared by FDA.

  • Observe each of your process, instruments and machinery to see where there could be potential hazards and make logs of these while at the same time correct them.

    Domestic Service Employees are Vulnerable to Workplace Safety Hazards

    Domestic Service Employees are Vulnerable to Workplace Safety Hazards
    Domestic service employees who are actively involved in performing tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and caring for children or the elderly are also exposed to a number of occupational health hazards, including musculoskeletal injuries, exposure to harsh chemicals, physical and verbal abuse, and injuries that are caused due to lifting or moving heavy objects etc.

    And although the federal OSH Act does regulate worker health and safety in the United States, it however does not protect domestic workers who come under the self-employed category or who may be employed by a private client. The OSH Act also offers very limited protection to those domestic workers who are employed by public or third party agencies such as a cleaning agency.

    Since domestic workers tend to work in private homes, we usually assume that they are in a safe working environment and don’t require protection. However, the home as a safe haven is a myth, as the home setting can pose several really serious dangers.

    OSHA for Safety Driving!

    OSHA for Safety Driving!
    It is fairly old news that OSHA has partnered with NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) and NETS (Network of Employers for Traffic Safety) to release new guidelines as far as the reduction of motor vehicle crashes involving employees are concerned. This document suggests the various actions that employers can take in order to ensure that vehicles in the workplace and other areas are safe for their employees. These guidelines however are not regulatory but merely advisory. However, OSHA requires employers to comply with the various hazard-specific safety and health standards, and employers can be cited for not taking the necessary preventive measures to avoid motor crashed involving their employees.

    But the document also concentrates on the significant costs of crashes to employers at the workplace, as well as to employee’s private lives. Motor vehicle crashes are estimated to cost an employer $60 billion per year. An average crash would cost an employer nearly $16,500, but an on-the-job crash could amount to $75,000. And a crash that results in the death of an employee can even cost $500,000 or more.

    The document also offers the ten best steps to implement in your motor vehicle safety program at the workplace – right from making regular vehicle inspections to checking motor vehicle records and providing defensive driving trainings.

    OSHA attempts to improve Trainer Reliability by revising its Outreach Training Programs

    OSHA attempts to improve Trainer Reliability by revising its Outreach Training Programs
    OSHA has recently revised its voluntary Outreach Training programs to include trainer verification and other such changes to improve the overall quality of the trainings and to ensure the integrity of its instructors.

    These new requirement now include a code of conduct for trainers and a statement of compliance where each trainer should swear that the training conducted by him or her will be in compliance with the program procedures and requirements. Other changes involve limiting the classroom size to about 40 students and limiting the use of translators and videos as well.

    These program requirements will now apply to all the Outreach Training programs, with separate guidelines and procedures for each program. These changes will tighten the program controls and will ensure that the best training is provided to the participants.

    Business up in flames the same day as OSHA issues 23 citations

    Investigations are being conducted to determine the cause of fire at a South Side chemical processing business on the same day that it received 23 violations from OSHA. A certain mix of chemicals exploded in a duct and caused a fire at the Howard Industries Inc. on Wednesday.

    The company received citation from OSHA for an investigation conducted by the agency in December of last year. According to OSHA, the company faces fines of more than $70,000.

    In less than a year, the company has been cited twice by OSHA for failing to ensure that the electrical conductor boxes were properly closed in order to avoid shock risks. The company has received 4 safety citations in the last five years and has also received an additional fine of $5,000 at its Columbus facility.

    Napa State Hospital Cited for death of worker

    Napa State Hospital Cited for death of worker
    Cal/OSHA’s safety personnel have issued a fine of $100,000 against the Napa State Hospital for slaying a psychiatric technician in October and neglecting to restrict the movements of patients that are violent – including the man charged for the strangling.

    Cal/OSHA issued these citations on Tuesday against the psychiatric hospital, which has experienced a steady increase in the number of patient assaults on staff and peers in spite of going through a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit in 2006.

    The gravest of all citations includes that the hospital has violated its own policies by not restricting its patients’ ground passes. The hospital knew that the patient responsible for Donna Gross’ killing has a past and recent history of aggressive behavior, stalking and illegal drug usage. But in spite of this, they allowed him to walk around the hospital without any supervision. The patient in question, Jess Willard Massey, has pleaded not guilty to all charges of murder and robbery on the grounds of the hospital where patients are held.

    Since the death, employees at the hospital have been pushing for improvements, including: more officers and segregation of violent patients.

    OSHA cites 3 subsidiary companies of Jinny Corp.

    OSHA cites 3 subsidiary companies of Jinny Corp.
    OSHA has cites 3 subsidiary companies that are owned by Jinny Corp. The companies in question are: JBS Beauty Club, Jinny Beauty Supply Co. and JBS Hair Distribution Center. All three companies are based in Doraville and have been given combined safety violations of 22 counts. The proposed penalties total up to $71,000.

    Jinny Corp. is a manufacturer and supplier of beauty and hair care productions, and has operations that cover Miami, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. In response to a complaint made, OSHA conducted several investigations into the 3 subsidiary companies. JBS Beauty Club was cited with 6 serious violations including blocking exits with shelving, locking emergency exits, exposing employees to electrical hazards, not illuminating exit signs and failing to provide employees with trainings on how to operate a fork lift. These penalties amounted to $25,000.

    The JBS Hair Distribution Center was also given 6 serious violations for incorrectly marking an interior exit as an emergency exit, locking all emergency exits, blocking the exit with a storage rack, using a flexible cord as a permanent wiring, allowing the use of flexible cords to power electrical outlets, failing to provide trainings to employees on how to operate a forklift, and allowing materials to block access to an electrical panel. The total penalties amounted to $25,000 as well.

    The Jinny Beauty Supply Co. was given 5 serious violations for exposing workers to live electrical parts, blocking exits with materials, failing to install a light switch face plate, allowing a 120 volt receptacle to hang out from the wall, failing to install terminal screws on electric cords to prevent abrasions and failing to provide training to employees on how to operate a forklift. The penalties amounted to $21,000.

    OSHA issues health warning to Hair Salons

    OSHA - Hair Salon WorkersOSHA has recently issued a health warning to hair salon workers and owners about formaldehyde exposure that is caused due to working with hair smoothening and straightening products. The health warning provides information that OSHA derived from its investigations and shows the health hazards caused due to formaldehyde exposure and how people can protect themselves from hair smoothening and straightening products.

    Responding to various complaints about the possible exposure to formaldehyde, OSHA and many other state and health agencies have begun conducting investigations. Oregon’s OSHA, Connecticut’s Department of Public Health and other such agencies have already issued warnings.

    OSHA has found that formaldehyde is present in the air when hair stylists use hair smoothening products, which even have formaldehyde listed on their labels. During one test, the agencies air tests showed very high levels of formaldehyde, even though the product in question was labeled as formaldehyde-free.

    Formaldehyde poses as a big health hazard when workers are exposed it. It can cause irritation in the nose and eyes, allergic reactions in the lungs, skin and eyes, and has also been linked to nose and lung cancer.

    OSHA documents shows Residential Construction Workers how to prevent injuries and deaths at work

    OSHA documents shows Residential Construction Workers how to prevent injuries and deaths at work
    OSHA has recently issued guidance on Fall Protection for residential construction industry workers. This guidance will help employers in this industry prevent injuries and deaths that are caused by falls amongst residential construction workers. Reports have shown that falls are the biggest causes of worker deaths in the residential construction industry.

    OSHA has issued this compliance guidance for residential construction workers in December of last year. OSHA requires residential construction employers to provide their workers with adequate fall protection systems that comply with OSHA’s fall protection standards. This new document will show the ideal working methods that employers should use in order to comply with the safety standards.

    This document is mainly directed for those working on new construction and describes the various safety methods that employers should ideally implement during each stage of construction. Some of the methods for preventing falls at the workplace include: using anchors for fall restraints and fall arrest systems, using safety net systems, using ladders and scaffolds, using guardrails, etc.

    Injuries and deaths caused from falls are the biggest causes of workplace injuries in the construction industry. Workers should not tolerate getting injured or killed at a construction site when there are plenty of effective means to prevent these injuries and fatalities.

    Work Precautions for handling hazardous drugs

    Work Precautions for handling hazardous drugs
    Healthcare and hospital employers were reminded yesterday hazardous drugs like antineoplastic drugs can be extremely dangerous to works if proper precautions are not taken while handling these drugs. OSHA, NIOSH and the Joint Commission have all highlighted the need for safer work practices that hospitals in the United States should implement.

    Drugs used for antiviral treatments, chemotherapy, hormone regimens and other such applications can pose as potential hazards to workers who come in contact with them. The effects are irreversible even if exposed at low levels, and this is why adequate safety measures should take place. Some of the problems faced include: cancer, allergic reactions, reproductive or developmental problems and many others.

    Some of these drugs are highly potent and can have great benefits for patients if used properly, where the doses are highly controlled and the risks are minimized. But these same drugs can pose as serious hazards to those who handle, apply, mix, dispose or dispense them if proper training is not given. And this is why NIOSH, OSHA and the Joint Commission have collaborated to remind hospital employers that it is very important to protect the health of their employees.

    OSHA cites Nebraska-based Fremont Beef for Safety Violations following an Amputation

    OSHA cites Nebraska-based Fremont Beef for Safety Violations following an Amputation
    OSHA has recently cited the Nebraska-based Fremont Beef Co. after a safety inspection was conducted at the facility. The inspection was conducted in response to a report that an amputation took place at the facility. The citations given out include 1 serious, 1 repeat and 1 other-than-serious violation. Most of the citations are directly related to the amputation.

    It is every employer’s responsibility to ensure that the workplace is safe and healthy for workers. Safety should be the number one priority for employers and they should take all the necessary steps to eliminate any hazards from the workplace.

    The serious violation was for failing to ensure that proper lockout/tagout devices were used by employees to de-energize the machines.

    Hilda L. Solis, Secretary of Labor appoints 15 new members to the Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health

    Hilda L. Solis, Secretary of Labor appoints 15 new members to the Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health
    Hilda L. Solis the Secretary of Labor announced that 15 new members will be appointed to the Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health. An open meeting will be held on the 19th and 20th of April at the Department of Labor’s headquarters in Washington.

    In January, the MACOSH charter was re-established by Secretary Solis, and this will be the first meeting held by the committee. Experts in the issue of maritime safety and health, the members of the committee will all serve two year terms and will represent the best interests of labor, management and the occupational safety and health professions.

    The MACOSH committee in turn will act as advisors to OSHA as far as protecting the safety and health of workers in the maritime industry is concerned. The MACOSH meetings will provide the public with the chance to participate in the committee’s activities on various issues related to safety and health of the shipyard, long-shoring and maritime workers.

    The maritime industry has gained much attention because of the high injury and illness rates and the highly specialized nature of some of the jobs.

    OSHA fines the North Central Farmers Elevator in Ipswich for exposing workers to grain engulfment

    OSHA fines the North Central Farmers Elevator in Ipswich for exposing workers to grain engulfment
    OSHA has recently fined the North Central Farmers Elevator in Ipswich with 6 willful violations for exposing workers to grain engulfment. The proposed fines amount to $378,000.

    The worker who was engulfed was very fortunate to have survived, because under such circumstances, most people would not survive. Grain entrapments are highly dangerous and more often than not, end up killing workers who are engulfed. Grain elevator operators should always implement a number of safety practices to help prevent any injuries or deaths in a grain bin.

    Last year, at least 26 workers were killed due to grain entrapments, and the number of cases keeps increasing each year. OSHA started investigating into the North Central Farmers Elevator facility in October last year after an employee was found engulfed by corn in a grain bin. The violations given out were related to grain and confined spaces, the failure of the employer to ensure proper lockout/tagout procedures, confined space and grain bin entry permits, atmospheric testing, etc.

    OSHA fines Alabama Contractor for Trenching Violations

    OSHA fines Alabama Contractor for Trenching Violations
    OSHA has recently issued 3 safety violation citations to Trax Development LLC of Northport, Alabama for exposing the employees to potential cave-ins and to struck-by hazards while installing sewer lines. The proposed fines amount to $115,000.

    The company was issued 2 willful citations with a proposed penalty of $112,000 for failing to provide its employees with a safe way of entering and exiting a trench that was more than 11 feet deep and 200 feet long, and for also failing to provide its employees with adequate cave-in protection.

    The company also received 1 serious violation worth $3,000 in proposed penalties for exposing its employees to struck-by hazards around loose rocks and equipment and for not wearing proper head protection gear.

    A trench can be a very dangerous place and can turn into a grave in just a matter of seconds. Disregarding your workers’ safety at the work site by leaving them unprotected from the various hazards is absolutely unacceptable. It is the employer’s responsibility to protect their workers.