President’s 2019 Budget Represents Strong Commitment to Worker Safety

Seal of the President of the United StatesPresident Donald J. Trump’s fiscal year 2019 budget request for OSHA supports his continued efforts to assure safe and healthful jobs for the American people.

“The President’s budget provides a fiscally responsible framework to advance the Department of Labor’s mission of ensuring all Americans have access to family-sustaining jobs,” said Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “From addressing the skills gap through apprenticeships to prioritizing workplace safety, this budget reflects a strong commitment to the American workforce. It also includes important reforms to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used to maximum effect.”

OSHA’s FY 2019 budget request provides an increase of $6.1 million for 42 new Compliance Safety and Health Officers to continue the agency’s strong commitment to enforcement; and another $5.1 million for 24 Compliance Assistance Specialists and eight Voluntary Protection Programs staff to allow the agency to expand its training, outreach, compliance assistance, and cooperative programs.

New Publications on Tree Care and Silica Offer Worksite Safety Solutions

Solutions for Tree Care HazardsFalling tree limbs, moving vehicles, overhead power lines, and high noise levels are a few of the dangers professional tree care workers may encounter. OSHA’s new resource, Solutions for Tree Care Hazards, highlights common hazards in the tree care industry, and provides safety measures for employers and workers.

OSHA is also publishing a revised fact sheet that summarizes the major requirements of the respirable crystalline silica standard for general industry and maritime.

Colorado Nursing Home Cited for Workplace Violence Hazards

ColoradoOSHA initiated an inspection of Pioneer Health Care Center after receiving two complaints of workplace violence. Inspectors found five documented incidents of employee injuries, and several more unreported incidents. The Rocky Ford-based nursing home was cited for failing to implement adequate measures to protect employees from workplace violence. OSHA proposed penalties of $9,054. For more information, read the news release.

New Jersey Construction Company Cited After Wall Collapse Leads to Workplace Fatality and Injuries

New JerseyOnekey, LLC, was cited for exposing employees to crushing hazards after a concrete retaining wall collapsed at a Poughkeepsie, N.J., worksite. The collapse led to the death of a subcontractor’s employee, and injured another employee. OSHA inspectors determined that the retaining wall was not designed or approved by a registered engineer. The company was cited for failing to train employees to keep a safe distance from the wall and soil pile, and failing to provide adequate fall protection. OSHA proposed penalties totaling $281,583. Read the news release for more information.

Illinois Pallet Manufacturer Cited After Employee Injured by Machine

IllinoisNew Lenox, Ill., pallet manufacturer, Supplyside USA, was cited after an employee was injured while performing equipment maintenance. OSHA inspectors determined that the company, which operates as Prime Woodcraft, Inc., failed to install machine guards, implement energy control procedures to prevent unintentional machine operation, train employees on noise hazards, and prevent dust accumulation on surfaces. Proposed penalties total $91,832. Read the news release for more information.

Georgia Poultry Processor Cited for Exposing Employees to Amputations and Other Serious Hazards

GeorgiaKoch Foods of Gainesville, LLC., was cited for exposing employees to amputation hazards; and failing to provide fall protection, identify which employees were using hazardous energy control locks, and train employees exposed to noise hazards. Proposed penalties total $208,977. OSHA conducted the inspection as part of its Regional Emphasis Program for Poultry Processing Facilities. Read the news release for more information.

Florida Construction Company Cited for Exposing Employees to Fall Hazards and Eye Injuries

FloridaOSHA has cited Action Concrete Construction, Inc., for exposing its employees to fall and eye hazards. Following an investigation of the company’s Panama City Beach, Fla., worksite, inspectors identified one willful violation for failing to install guardrails or use personal fall arrest systems while employees worked at a height of 11 feet. A second citation was issued for allowing employees to use a pneumatic air gun without proper eye protection. Proposed penalties total $59,864. For more information, see the news release.

Hard Hat Stickers

OSHA Interpretation Letter

Standard Number: 1910.132; 1910.132(a); 1910.135

October 27, 2009

Ms. Johanna Cohan
Associate Production Manager
Alley Theatre
615 Texas Avenue
Houston, TX 77002

Dear Ms. Cohan:

Thank you for your August 10, 2009, letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) Region VI Office. Your letter has been referred to OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs (DEP) for clarification of OSHA’s standards for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), 29 CFR 1910.132 and Head Protection, 29 CFR 1910.135. This constitutes OSHA’s interpretation only of the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any question not delineated within your original correspondence.

Your question is paraphrased and our response follows.

Question: Are adhesive stickers or paints allowed on protective helmets?

Reply: OSHA’s general requirements for PPE are set forth in 29 CFR 1910.132. The specific requirements for head protection (protective helmets) are outlined in 29 CFR 1910.135, which incorporates by reference American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z89.1-1986, Z89.1-1997, and Z89.1-2003. Both 29 CFR 1910.132 and 1910.135 do not contain provisions that explicitly prohibit painting or the placement of adhesive stickers on helmet shells. However, the employer’s ability to comply with the existing requirements of these standards may be adversely affected by the painting or placement of adhesive stickers on the helmet’s shell.

For instance, OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.132(a) requires that PPE be “…maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition…” [Emphasis added.] To ensure a helmet is and remains in a “reliable” condition, the helmet must be inspected prior to use for signs of dents, cracks, penetration, and any damage due to impact, rough treatment, or wear that might reduce the degree of protection originally provided and used and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Paints and stickers may eliminate electrical resistance and – depending on the location and quantity – conceal defects, cracks, penetration, and any damage that would be otherwise readily identifiable during the employee’s inspection to ensure reliability. Another concern is that paints, thinners, and solvents, as discussed in Appendix A of ANSI Z89.1-2003 and the appendices of the 1986 and 1997 versions, can also attack or damage the shell of a helmet and reduce protection.

For these reasons, painting or applying stickers must be performed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, unless the employer can demonstrate that the altered protective helmet is equally as effective and protective as those meeting the requirements of Z89.1. Protective helmet manufacturers usually provide very specific instructions regarding paints, stickers, or decals that will not negatively affect the performance of a protective helmet.

OSHA would consider painting or placing adhesive stickers acceptable if the manufacturer authorizes the alteration or the employer can demonstrate that the reliability of the helmet is not affected by the paint or the adhesive on the stickers; and the paint or placement of stickers would not reduce the ability to identify defects (i.e., use of see-through stickers) or other conditions that would indicate a reduced reliability.

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. Please be aware that OSHA’s enforcement guidance is subject to periodic review and clarification, amplification, or correction. Such guidance could also be affected by subsequent rulemaking. In the future, should you wish to verify that the guidance provided herein remains current, you may consult OSHA’s website at http://www.osha.gov. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of General Industry Enforcement at (202) 6934850.

Sincerely,

Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs

Tennessee OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program Helps Oil Manufacturer Significantly Reduce Injuries

Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). Consultation: An OSHA Cooperative ProgramPhillips 66 Spectrum Corp., a maker of automotive and other lubricating oils, contacted the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA) for help developing an exemplary safety and health program at its facility in Selmer. As a result of its 3-year collaboration with TOSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program, the facility has worked more than one million hours with a lost work case rate 87 percent below the national average and a recordable injury rate that is 69 percent below the national average. In recognition of its commitment to protecting workers, the site has been accepted in the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. For more information, see the company’s success story.

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