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Showing posts from December, 2010

Pasadena Refining Services in Texas Fined by OSHA

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 spa…

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 viola…

OSHA’s New Standard Clarifies the Key Residential Safety 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…

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 …

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 require…

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 ar…

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 …

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…

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 t…

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 e…

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 …

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 …

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 Grif…

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 vi…

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 'cap…

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 th…

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 res…

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 …

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 sh…

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 …

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…

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.…