Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2011

Brazilian Blowout causes Cancer

Brazilian Blowout, one of the most recent and most popular hair products, has recently been linked to cancer, and these concerns have peaked recently what with more and more stylists complaining about the product. Authorities have begun a thorough investigation into the components of the hair straightening and smoothening product.

The formula which first started in 2005 in Brazil became so popular that it spread to North America as well as Europe. With many celebrities endorsing the product, it quickly turned into a must-have over the years. Apart from the fact that smooth and straight hair is considered to be very glamorous, the product also came as a blessing to those who were struggling to manage frizzy and curly hair on a daily basis. With just $300 in hand and 90 minutes to spare, it could transform any unruly, curly hair into sleek, straight strands!

But the major part of the trouble began when many stylists and users of the product started experiencing a whole range of health iss…

Reduction in Aircraft Cabin Protection leads to Criticism

Flight attendants are among those who are urging senators and other figures of authority to reject the amendment that was passed by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, which states that OSHA protection would be eliminated for those who work in aircraft cabins. This amendment, if successfully passed, would go ahead and eliminate any coverage that flight attendants and other crew members have so desperately been trying to seek from the Federal Aviation Administration’s budget appropriation.

Currently, the FAA has some sort of jurisdiction over airplane cabin safety and health issues. However, FAA has not really created or enforced any set of standards or regulations and this leaves flight attendants and travelers unprotected. Some of the cabin hazards that flight attendants and passengers might face include: biohazards, air quality, noise, temperature and humidity.

Many labor groups like the AFL-CIO claim that with OSHA protection, the number of injuries and illnesses caused due to these hazar…

Cal-OSHA cites Children’s Hospital for Gun Violence Threat

A whole spate of violence, as well as a hostage crisis, has led to Cal-OSHA (California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health) to fine the much esteemed Children’s Hospital of Oakland. What was the violation found? Cal-OSHA fined the hospital for not protecting its employees adequately.

The hospital has a long history of violence, which started in July when a 49 year old man swept into the building and held a ward clerk and nurse at gunpoint. Yes, the police did come before he could hurt anyone, but this episode has caused a lot of apprehension in the hospital, which is located in a rough neighborhood in the North Oakland. It is just a few blocks away from an apartment complex where a man was caught two weeks ago, shooting at police officers!

Tensions mounted once again in October when nurses were called in to treat a gunshot victim who was mysteriously dropped off in front of the hospital. This event happened soon after the registered nurses ended a three day strike over issues …

OSHA focuses on Telecoms

At this week’s National Association of Tower Erectors annual event in Oklahoma City, Kurt Bagwell from SBA Communications Inc. spent considerable time talking about the importance of safety in the tower business and how safety can lead to profitability in the long run.

It’s easy to say that you will follow the rules, but not as easy to put into practice. In the end it all boils down to routine. Most people get involved in their routines and neglect safety at the workplace. However, constantly being alert and looking out for safer ways to do a job is easier said than done. To maintain this attitude can be extremely difficult, especially when you take into consideration the fact that tower builders are always under extreme pressure from the tower owners as well as the wireless carriers to get new towers up and running as fast as possible.

Building towers can be extremely dangerous, but some of the dangers can be prevented. In the past 8 years, there have been 83 tower deaths reported, but…

Cintas joins OSHA’s SHARP Program

Cintas, a 27 employee company in Eugene, has become a member of the Oregon OSHA’s SHARP (Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program) last week.

Oregon OSHA announced that the Cintas Corporation of Eugene is the latest company to join the SHARP program, which helps employers in the state to work with and encourage employees to look for, find and correct hazards, and to develop and implement an effective safety program so as to improve continuously. There are nearly 70 companies in Oregon that actively participate in SHARP and since its inception, more than 90 have graduated.

Cintas is a Cincinnati based center that has about 27 employees in its Eugene branch, who are responsible for providing uniform rental services as well as bathroom and kitchen sanitation services. The company has recently stated that the SHARP program has helped them a great deal by strengthening the employee-customer relationships. The company believes that safety is a responsibility that should be taken seri…

Pizza Shell Company faces hefty OSHA fine

A Rochester company has recently been caught by OSHA for certain violation and may be looking at a very hefty fine. Bona Via Inc. was recently cited by OSHA for failing to follow the safety standards and correct the safety hazards prevalent at its main plant on White Street.

The company is currently facing a total fine of $195,200. This sizable fine basically reflects the fact the company’s employer was given many chances to correct the various health and safety hazards that were having a negative effect on the workers – but failed to do anything about it.

The company was fist cited by OSHA in 2009 for a number of hazards, and the company had agreed at that time to correct the hazards. However, after a follow up inspection was conducted in 2010, OSHA found that many of the hazards remained uncorrected.

Some of the hazards include: failing to install and maintain all the electrical equipment, failing to replace pressure relief devices in the oil separator for the ammonia refrigeration com…

OSHA cites Prologix Distribution Services after workers arm was amputated

Recently, OSHA has cited a certain Prologox Distribution Services company with 14 safety and health violations after an incident in which a worker was found to have gone through an amputation in the company’s Doral, Fla. Facility.

The OSHA safety investigations commenced in August 2010 after it was reported that a worker had his arm amputated at the elbow after it got trapped in a machine. In the following months, the agency began to conduct separate inspections that focused mainly on all the health-related issues at the plant.

OSHA believes that employees at any work site should not be required to risk their lives just to earn their daily bread and butter. The employee’s amputation could have been prevented if the company had diligently followed all the proper safety and equipment maintenance procedures in the first place. The total penalties amounted to $239,000.

Following the inspections, OSHA cited Prologix for 3 willful violations of $210,000. These violations included: exposing wor…

OSHA co-sponsors a workplace safety and health conference for new approaches of protecting workers

In this year’s Illinois Occupational Safety & Health day, new topics will be featured at all the breakout sessions and workshops in the Illinois Occupational Safety and Health Administration Program. The topics range from construction safety to personal protective equipment and green building. This event is all set to be held on March 2nd at Peoria Civic Center.

Sessions will be held on fall protection, lead abatements, confined space training and office safety, which have all been designed to help employers keep their offices and workers safe and healthy, while at the same increase productivity at the workplace. This particular event will also feature a unique mini-health fair with free screenings.

The conference helps by offering safety professionals from Illinois the chance to learn more, gain more information, and learn about all valuable sources and ultimately networks with hundreds of other likeminded individuals. There will also be many exhibitors present to demonstrate vario…

OSHA recently updates its PPE Enforcement Guidelines

The new guidelines documents will certainly help employers across the country, because it helps them by listing the various standards that require them to provide their employees with PPE and linking the list of relevant letters.

If you’re not aware of the latest OSHA news, then you should know that OSHA has recently published a new manual – “Enforcement Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment in General Industry”. This document has become effective since Feb 10th, 2011. It has replaced the 1995 directive and reflects 2 major rules – a 2007 rule that requires employers in the general industry, marine terminal; long-shoring, shipyard employment and construction industry to pay for most of the employees PPE, and a 2009 rule that updated the OSHA PPE standards to make them more consistent.

The new guidelines can be used as reference by safety personnel. The guidance lists the various consensus standards, the types of PPE that an employer must pay for, what PPE complies with OSHA, types …

SeaWorld Requests to Keep OSHA Hearings away from the public

After the tragic death of the SeaWorld trainer last year, OSHA has cited the marine park in Orlando for knowingly placing its employees in risky situations without providing them with adequate protection. Today, SeaWorld seeks closed hearings before a judge.

It has been said that an Orlando judge has been asked to sign a “Protective Order” for the upcoming SeaWorld vs. OSHA hearing, effectively keeping the details of the case away from the public. In the case, SeaWorld will be contesting the OSHA findings, including the citation for a willful act of knowingly endangering its employee’s lives, following the investigation into the death of a killer whale’s trainer last year.

In the past, SeaWorld has managed to successfully keep a secret out of all the cases regarding employee injury, like the crippling of trainer John Sillick. It is expected that they will try to do the same for the death of their lead Orca trainer.

However, if an order is issued by the presiding judge, then it can ban th…

OSHA’s Retribution: 2 Missouri Employers Jailed for not complying with OSHA

OSHA called for the arrest of 2 St. Louis employers for not complying with the court sanctions that help to enforce the OSHA citations. Brian Andre who is now the former owner of Andre Tuckpointing and Brickwork, and Regina Shaw who is the owner of Andre Stone and Mason Work were recently arrested for repeatedly failing to comply with the OSHA citations.

OSHA has also said that Andre and Shaw even failed to comply with citations ordered by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, right after the court’s initial ruling of contempt that went against them. OSHA believes that employers who deliberately expose their employees to hazards and openly ignore the OSHA citations should not be dealt with leniently.

OSHA issued many citations to the original company as well as its successor for repeat, willful and serious violations related to scaffolding erection deficiencies, fall hazards and power tool guarding.

Construction Worker Buried in Trench Collapse

On Tuesday afternoon, a construction worker working on a new home site near Trammel road was buried when a trench collapsed. Sheriff’s Captain, Tim House of Forsyth County, identified the worker as Aaron Banks from Covington. Banks was only 20 years old.

Emergency workers were unable to free Banks from the trench, which took place at about 2:30 p.m. at the Waterstone Falls subdivision, in the south of Cumming. The investigation as to the cause of the trench collapse was turned over to OSHA.

However, a spokesperson for OSHA has revealed that the investigation could possibly take 6 months. OSHA investigations will be conducted to determine whether any of its safety standards have been violated. It is still unknown what company Banks was working for and what kind of work he was doing on the site.

Lack of Trench Cave-in Protection for Workers leads to $60,000 Fine for Chicago Contractor

OSHA has recently cited Doherty, Giannini & Rietz, an underground construction contractor with one willful violation and one repeat citation for failing to protect workers with cave-in equipment during trenching operations in Chicago. The company faces fines of up to $60,000.

Reports have shown that cave-ins are one of the major causes for worker fatalities and accidents in excavation projects. In the past few months, this is probably the 4th case wherein OSHA has had to issue citations to this same contractor for violating the cave-in protection standard. Worker safety should be the most important issue on any job site, and OSHA aims to ensure that employers protect their workers.

The willful citation came about because it was found that the company’s employees were working in trenches that were as deep as 6 feet but were not given any cave-in protection. A trench box was found on the site but was not installed within the trench. A willful violation is given out if an employer demo…

State’s Work Safety efforts fall short of the mark

Off late it has been observed that state-based OSHA worker safety programs conduct fewer inspections and fine less than their federal counterparts. In today’s time, when worker safety has become all the more important, it has been observed that the unit that enforces worker safety laws at the state and municipal levels has been conducting fewer inspections and is not giving out penalties for violations.

The state level OSHA was hit hard due to the untimely death of its Director, Richard Palo, in 2009. Because of this and a number of drop outs, workplace inspections have plummeted. Unlike the Federal OSHA that has jurisdiction in public as well as private sectors, the state-based CONN-OSHA can only inspect public sector agencies.

Federal OSHA was responsible for investigating an explosion at the Kleen Energy power plant in Middletown. This disaster killed 6 workers. The number of violations caught and fines given out has brought a lot of attention to this Federal unit.

OSHA fines New York Manufacturer

OSHA has recently fined a New York manufacturer $220,000 for a number of workplace safety violations. The Syracuse-based manufacturing company, Oberdorfer, manufactures aluminum casings. OSHA found nearly 28 workplace health and safety violations, including failing to correct the hazards that were cited in OSHA’s previous visit to the company.

The company was previously cited for a number of violations as well, ranging from overexposure of the employees to high concentrations of silica to failing to provide employees with adequate personal protective equipment like respirators.

The company was given the opportunity as well as the time to take the right corrective actions, yet in the latest inspections, OSHA found that all the previous citation were either uncorrected or allowed to recur. Being a serious issue, sizable fines were issued to the company. OSHA warns that the violations must be corrected to ensure that the workers in the company remain safe.

Roofing Firm of Illinois Slapped with a Fine of $102,000 for Lack of Fall Protection

McEntire's Roofing Inc., of Lincoln, Ill., has been issued six citations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The company has been cited with violations for failing to provide proper fall protection systems for all the roofers employed for working on residential projects. The sum of the penalties faced by the company is $102,000.

OSHA had carried out two investigations under its Local Emphasis Program on Fall Hazards in the month of July and September, last year. The proposed penalties are a result of this inspection that was carried out at jobsites located in Bloomington and Lincoln, Ill. The inspectors observed roofers being allowed to operate without fall protection at the two storey residential projects and issued two wilful citations with $56,000 in the proposed penalties.

According to the OSHA's area director in Peoria, Ill., Thomas Bielema, “Falls are a leading cause of injury and death in the workplace. McEntire's Roofing repeatedly has been cited fo…

OSHA Reminds Employers to Post their Summary on Work Related Injuries

Cal/OSHA, also known as the Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Occupational Safety and Health or DIR/DOSH, reminds all employers in California to post a summary of work related injuries and accidents that occurred in 2010. This log has to be presented at their place of business.

The log is available on the official website of Department of Industrial Relations and gives a complete overview of the type and severity of injuries and illnesses that take place at the workplace. All the employers are expected to post the summary from 1st of February through 30th of April for employee review. All the employees, including the former ones, along with their representatives have complete right to review the Cal/OSHA Form 300A at any time.

The 300A form requires the employers to fill in each and every detail and report the number of injuries every year. This should be done even if no work related injuries have occurred at the work place. The nature of the accident or illness has to…

DeWitt Manufacturer fined by OSHA

OSHA has recently cited the DeWitt branch of Oberdorfer LLC for 28 alleged violations of workplace safety standards. Oberdorfer is a well known manufacturer of aluminum casings and is currently facing a total of nearly $220,000 in fines after OSHA inspected their work site on July 30th last year. The inspection was held to verify whether the previous hazards that were cited by OSHA, were indeed corrected.

Some of the violations that were involved include overexposure of the employees to airborne hazards like silica, which has been classified as a carcinogen. The latest inspection of the company found that the company had failed to make use of and implement any engineering controls to help reduce the workers’ exposure to these silica concentrations. Furthermore, the inspection also found that the employees who were overexposed to silica were made to do so without a respirator.

OSHA also cited the company on 2 counts of failure to abate notices, which carry $75,000 in fines for all those …