As a participant in OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls, ladder manufacturer Werner Co. held more than 200 events that provided fall protection and ladder safety training to more than 34,000 workers across the United States and Canada. Recently, two Miami workers who received training were saved from a fatal fall while inspecting a high-rise building. The workers were wearing personal fall arrest systems when the suspended scaffold they were on collapsed. For more information on preventing falls, visit the Fall Prevention webpage.
U.S. Secretary of Labor R. Alexander Acosta recorded Public Service Announcements to address the increase in preventable trenching- related fatalities. Recorded in both English and Spanish, the PSAs highlight effective ways to stay safe when working around trenches or excavations.
Additional information on trenching hazards and solutions is available on OSHA’s trenching and excavation webpage. OSHA’s newly revised “Protect Workers in Trenches” poster provides a quick reminder of the three ways to prevent dangerous trench collapses: SLOPE or bench trench walls, SHORE trench walls with supports, or SHIELD trench walls with trench boxes. The poster is available in English and Spanish.
OSHA issued a memorandum outlining initial enforcement of the standard for respirable crystalline silica in general industry and maritime. Most provisions of the standard become enforceable June 23. The standard establishes a new 8-hour, time-weighted average permissible exposure limit and action level. During the first 30 days of enforcement, OSHA will offer compliance assistance for employers who make good faith efforts to comply with the new standard. OSHA plans to issue interim enforcement guidance until a compliance directive on the new standard is finalized. For more information, read the news release.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ordered Maine roofing contractor Stephen Lessard, to implement a comprehensive safety and training program and pay $389,685 in outstanding OSHA fines for repeatedly exposing workers to falls. His roofing and construction companies were cited for safety violations at 11 different work sites in Maine between 2000 and 2011. The contractor was also ordered to ensure that workers use required safety equipment and fall protection; employ a competent person to ensure that work is performed according to OSHA regulations; and submit certification that cited hazards have been abated. For more information, read the news release.
Minnesota OSHA issued eight citations and $366,150 in penalties to Gateway Building Systems, Inc., after a worker suffered a fatal fall from a grain elevator. Inspectors determined that the company failed to: ensure workers were using correct anchorage points; install proper decking and guarding over an expanded platform; and provide overhead protection for workers.
California OSHA issued six citations and $48,095 in penalties to Tobin Steel Company, Inc., after a worker sustained serious injuries while operating an unguarded press brake machine. Inspectors concluded that the company failed to: conduct and document required inspections; test and maintain power-operated presses; train workers on amputation hazards; and provide adequate machine guarding.
Chemical manufacturer EnviroTech Services, Inc., was fined $64,857 after a worker was fatally injured due to lack of oxygen while cleaning the inside of a railcar. OSHA issued citations for failing to provide respiratory protection, comply with confined space requirements, and develop an emergency rescue plan. Read the news release for more information.
Roofing contractor Hector Hernandez was cited for one repeated violation and two willful violations for failing to provide fall protection, train workers on fall hazards, properly install an extension ladder for safe exit, and provide required ladder jack scaffold components. Proposed penalties are $120,320. For more information, read the news release.
Nevada OSHA issued three citations and $84,000 in penalties to Brady Linen Services, LLC in North Las Vegas for exposing workers to amputation and struck-by hazards from moving machinery. Inspectors discovered that the company had disabled safety switches on automatic towel folding machines. The company also failed to provide machine guarding on conveyor belts, exposing workers to caught-in and amputation hazards.
Iowa OSHA issued Fink Electric, Inc. in Sioux City 15 citations and $159,798 in penalties for exposing workers to lead and asbestos hazards while removing asbestos- insulated piping. Inspectors concluded that the company failed to conduct required exposure assessments for asbestos and lead; train workers on respiratory hazards from lead and asbestos; and provide personal protective equipment for exposure to airborne asbestos fibers.