Pennsylvania Employer Pleads Guilty to Violating OSHA Regulation, Causing Worker’s Fatality

PennsylvaniaThe owner of Pittsburgh-based business A Rooter Man pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of willfully violating an OSHA regulation, resulting in the death of a worker. In September 2015, an employee was fatally injured when the trench he was working in collapsed. The worker was replacing a sewer line 11 feet below the surface in unstable soil with no cave-in protection, at the direction of the company owner, Wayne George. George pleaded guilty to not taking protective measures against cave-ins before permitting employees to work in trenches. Sentencing, which could include prison, is scheduled for February 2018.

For details, see the news release.

Wisconsin Corn Milling Facility Fined Over $1.8 Million After Fatal Grain Dust Explosion

OSHA Enforcement: WisconsinDidion Milling Inc. faces $1,837,861 in proposed fines after five workers died and 12 others were injured in an explosion at the corn milling facility in Cambria, Wis. An OSHA investigation found that the company failed to correct an accumulation and leakage of highly combustible grain dust; maintain equipment to control ignition sources; provide employees with adequate personal protective equipment; and correct malfunctioning dust collection systems. Didion was cited for 14 willful and five serious violations, and placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

For more information, read the news release.

OSHA provides news and commentary on DOL Blog

Our website has information on keeping responders safe during wildfire recovery efforts: … #CaliforniOSHA provides news and commentary on workplace safety and health from its senior leadership, staff and guest contributors on the DOL blog.

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Industry Guide Provides Best Practices for High School Construction Programs

Picture of the cover of the document titled Your Construction Safety Program: Safe Students, Safe WorkersA new guide is available to help administrators, instructors, and others involved in Career and Technical Education (CTE) incorporate safety and health into construction training programs. Each year, more than 75,000 students enter two-year post-secondary CTE programs that prepare new and young workers to enter careers in various fields. Researchers from U.C. Berkeley and West Virginia University conducted surveys and site visits to understand how construction-focused CTE programs prepare students in the areas of safety and health.

For more information, see Your Construction Safety Program: Safe Students, Safe Workers.

Prevent the Spread of Seasonal Flu

Picture of a woman sitting at a desk and covering her nose with a tissue. OSHA’s Seasonal Flu webpage offers information about how to reduce the spread of the flu in workplaces. It provides information on basic precautions that should be used by employers and workers in all workplaces, such as frequent hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue.

OSHA provides additional precautions that should be used in healthcare settings, such as strictly following infection control practices; using gloves, gowns, and other protective equipment to reduce exposures; and encouraging sick workers to stay home.

Compliance Date for Crane Operator Certification Requirements Set for November 10, 2018

Crane HoistOSHA issued a final rule that sets November 10, 2018, as the date employers in the construction industry must comply with a requirement for crane operator certification. The final rule became effective on November 9, 2017. After issuing the final cranes and derricks rule in August 2010, stakeholders expressed concerns regarding the rule’s certification requirements. In response, the agency published a separate final rule in September 2014, extending by three years the crane operator certification and competency requirements. The additional one-year extension provides more time for OSHA to complete a rulemaking to address stakeholder concerns related to the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard.

Read the news release for more information.

Contractors in Montana Cited After Worker Suffers Severe Burns

State of MontanaOSHA cited Knife River a Billings, Mont., general contractor and Rock Springs, Wyo., subcontractor, Coleman Construction Inc. for exposing workers to numerous safety hazards, causing an employee to suffer severe burns. The subcontractor was issued $189,762 in proposed penalties after an employee suffered third-degree burns when compressed oxygen inside an underground duct caused a fire, and for failing to report the hospitalization of the burned employee in a timely manner, in addition to other violations. OSHA also cited the general contractor and proposed penalties of $59,754 for not ensuring that safety precautions were taken at the worksite.

For more information, read the news release.

Massachusetts Auto Auction and Staffing Agency Cited After Vehicle Collision Results in Multiple Fatalities

MassachussettsOSHA cited Lynnway Auto Auction Inc. for electrical, struck-by, and other hazards at its auto auction facility in Billerica, Mass., after five people were struck by a sport utility vehicle and died as a result of their injuries. OSHA issued 16 citations to the company for motor vehicle hazards, blocked exit routes, and other violations. Proposed penalties total $267,081. OSHA also cited the Dover, N.H., staffing agency, PeopleReady, with one serious violation and proposed a $12,675 penalty after the company exposed temporary workers to a struck-by hazard.

For more information, read the news release.

Hawaii Cites Company for Safety and Health Violations after Ammonia Release

HawaiiThe Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division issued 14 citations and $107,800 in penalties to Hawaiian Ice Company in Honolulu for exposing workers to inhalation hazards resulting from an uncontrolled release of anhydrous ammonia. Inspectors concluded that the company lacked procedures to isolate the chemical while workers were servicing refrigeration equipment. The company also failed to conduct in-house inspections, provide portable monitoring devices to detect leaks, and train workers.

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