California OSHA issued $80,620 in penalties to A-1 Roof Management and Construction, Inc., in Novato for exposing workers to fall hazards from unprotected floor openings, and failing to install barriers near skylights. A worker suffered serious injuries after he fell 23 feet through a skylight. Inspectors issued three citations to the company.
Onekey, 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.
New 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.
Koch 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.
OSHA 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.
OSHA Interpretation Letter
October 27, 2009
Ms. Johanna Cohan
Associate Production Manager
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.
Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs
Phillips 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.
An addition to OSHA’s Fatal Facts series emphasizes the hazards of working in confined spaces on farms. These spaces include grain and feed silos, sump pits, and manure storage tanks. Employers should ensure measures are put in place to alert workers to a potential hazardous atmosphere inside confined spaces and prevent workers from entering them without protective controls. The fact sheet examines an incident in which a worker asphyxiated inside a whey storage tank. Each Fatal Facts publication describes a case in which there was a failure to identify and correct hazardous working conditions before a fatality occurred at the worksite.
The National Framers Council (NFC), is offering free four-hour educational courses from February through August on fall prevention in construction with an emphasis on safety during roof truss installation. The course includes classroom instruction and hands-on training, featuring a fully functional, small-scale roof structure to replicate roof truss installation. Contact NFC staff for more details or register online.
Lucky Strike Entertainment LLC has been ordered to pay $40,000 in back wages to a mechanic who alleged he was terminated after voicing concerns about unsafe working conditions at a bowling center in Lombard, Ill. Lucky Strike will also expunge the termination and all references to this action from the employee’s record, and provide a neutral reference to prospective employers. For more information, see the news release.