Category Archives: Uncategorized

OSHA Considers Revising Silica Standard for General Industry

OSHA Considers Revising Silica Standard for General Industry Many are calling for an expansion of silica exposure considerations, and an OSHA consideration of change is now underway. Aug 15, 2019 The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is now accepting comments regarding a revisal to the both the Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for Construction and the Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for General Industry. The revision(s) would further limit exposure to silica in two ways: using additional engineering and work practice control methods; equipment; and tasks; and broadening the circumstances under which general industry and maritime employers would be allowed to comply with the silica standard for construction as an alternative to the general standard. As with any revision consideration to industry standards, if submitted information and response indicates these revisions are necessary, the agency will then propose the revisions to the Federal Register for public comment. Comments must be submitted by November 13, 2019. Comments and materials may be submitted electronically at  http://www.regulations.gov , the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal, or by facsimile or mail. See the  Federal Register notice  for submission details. Let's block ads! (Why?)

U.S. Department of Labor Cracks Down On Employee Exposure to Carbon Monoxide

U.S. Department of Labor Cracks Down On Employee Exposure to Carbon Monoxide This silent toxin is both colorless and odorless, and exposure to it is often deadly; that’s why the U.S. Department of Labor does not take carbon monoxide (CO) matters lightly. Aug 13, 2019 This silent toxin is both colorless and odorless, and exposure to it is often deadly; that’s why the U.S. Department of Labor does not take carbon monoxide (CO) matters lightly. One seemingly minor slip-up can have detrimental and hazardous effects. As one case between the U.S. Department of Labor and AJR Landscaping company shows, simply starting a gasoline-fueled machine in confined quarters is a violation of safety protocol and a potential death sentence. A U.S. Department of Labor OSHA news release goes into further detail. The Washington Township New Jersey Police Department was the first to request an OSHA inspection of AJR Landscaping. Two landscaping employees died from CO exposure after a gasoline-fueled lawnmower was started inside an enclosed company trailer that then transported the crew to a jobsite. Not only did the company expose its employees to the deadly gas, but it failed to train employees to recognize the hazard to begin with. Now the company is faced with $17,051 in penalties. As OSHA Area Office Director Lisa Levy explains, “any time there is a gas-powered motor or engine running in an enclosed space, there is risk of exposure to exhaust fumes,” which contain the odorless, toxic carbon monoxide. This tragedy would have been preventable had the employer adhered to basic safety and health practices. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. To help other employers and employees remain educated on carbon monoxide exposure, OSHA provides compliance assistance resources at https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_General_Facts/carbonmonoxide-factsheet.pdf. For other ways in which OSHA is working to enforce these safety and health standards, visit the OSHA website. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Collision in the Singapore Strait: Tips for Safe U.S. Navy Vessel Steering

Collision in the Singapore Strait: Tips for Safe U.S. Navy Vessel Steering While operating large transportation vessels like the USS John S McCain, the following are crucial: sufficient training, adequate bridge operating procedures, and operational oversight. Aug 13, 2019 Two massive ships collided in August of 2017, and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is just now confirming the cause of the crash. An August 2019 NTSB news release relates the accident and the safety lessens gleamed from it. Two years ago, the USS John S McCain and tanker Alnic MC crossed deadly paths in the Middle Channel Passage of the Singapore Strait Traffic Separation Scheme. Ten sailors lost their lives and forty-eight more were injured, and to make matters worse, the property damage totaled to a hefty $1.2 million. Since the Singapore Strait Traffic Separation Scheme is one of the world’s busiest waterways, it’s surprising a collision like this does not happen more often. However, the NTSB confirmed that the case of this ship collision was not only disastrous but also preventable. The collision likely was caused by a lack of effective operational oversight – specifically related to steering – that resulted in both insufficient training and inadequate bridge operating procedures. The crash was also a result of the crew’s inability to follow the loss of steering emergency procedures, the lack of communication between the U.S. Navy destroyer and nearby vessel traffic, and even the fact that the system was being operated in backup manual control, which removed a safeguard against steering control transfers. The ship’s crew lost control of the vessel and was unable to follow emergency procedures to secure control, but the collision was further caused by the crew’s untimely change of critical control systems that resulted in an unbalanced thrust. After this fatal collision and a conclusion of causes, the NTSB issued some key safety recommendations to the US Navy Seeking: Issuance of permanent guidance directing destroyers equipped with computer-assisted steering modes, except during an emergency. Issuance of guidance to crews emphasizing the importance of appropriate use of high frequency radio for safe navigation. Revision of written instructions for bridge watchstanders on destroyers equipped with the Integrated Bridge and Navigation System to include procedures for shifting steering, throttle ganging and unganging, and thrust control. Instituting Seafarer’s Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping Code rest standards for all crewmembers onboard naval vessels. With the implication of these safety recommendations, the NTSB hopes to prevent another fatal and costly collision like this one. Marine Accident Report 19/01 is available at https://go.usa.gov/xyujj. Let's block ads! (Why?)

5 Forklift Safety Tips

Despite their reputation for improving efficiency, forklift-related citations are routinely among OSHA’s top 10 violations each year. Forklifts play an essential role in warehouses, retail outlets, and other business throughout the United States. More than 1,000,000 forklifts are in operation, shuttling inventory while helping employees stay productive, efficient, and organized. Despite their reputation for improving efficiency, forklift-related citations are routinely among OSHA’s top 10 violations each year. The agency estimates 110,000 accidents involving forklifts occur yearly, and those accidents cost businesses an estimated $135 million. What can employers do to keep workers safe? Here are five tips for improving forklift safety in facilities of any size. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Immigration Raid at Mississippi Plants Provokes Concerns About Worker Health and Safety

Immigration Raid at Mississippi Plants Provokes Concerns About Worker Health and Safety Advocates are worried about how the arrests will affect the plants’ remaining workers and scare undocumented employees from reporting safety violations. Aug 12, 2019 A massive immigration raid at agricultural processing plants across Mississippi on Wednesday has some worker safety advocates worried about the potential consequences for the remaining workers at those plants and undocumented workers across the country.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested about 680 people at food processing plants across the state, making it perhaps the largest worksite operation ever carried out by ICE in a single state, Reuters reported.  Dawn M. Lurie, an immigration compliance attorney at Seyfarth Shaw LLP in Washington, D.C., told Bloomberg Lawthat the suddenly short-staffed plants will face a slowdown in production that could lead to missing orders and massive food spoilage. That spoilage could lead to major maintenance issues and health problems for the remaining workers, who will have to take on added job duties with the absence of their colleagues, Lurie said.  “I’m sure this is all being looked at now,” she said.  OSHA has cited the poultry processing industry, which had several plants raided by ICE, 737 times in five years, according to Bloomberg. Some lawyers and advocates worry that the large number of immigration arrests at processing plants makes undocumented workers less likely to report safety concerns to federal agencies.  “These raids will give the green light to companies with already egregious safety records to further cut corners and endanger workers because workers will be too frightened to speak up,” Debbie Berkowitz, the worker health and safety program director at the National Employment Law Project, told Bloomberg.  Let's block ads! (Why?)