OSHA’s Top 10 Most Frequent Citations

Ever wonder what companies get cited for the most? Here are OSHA’S top 10 most frequently cited standards violated of 2011 and their link to its page: Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451) Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501) Hazard communication standard, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200) Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134) Control…

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MSHA to display upgrades in training, technology

The Mine Safety and Health Administration is set to unveil improvements in emergency training and rescue technology.

MSHA chief Joe Main plans to discuss the latest advances on Tuesday at the National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beaver, WV.

MSHA will display its new emergency command vehicle, as well as a mobile gas laboratory, seismic location vehicle and mine gas monitoring vehicle.

Several training exercises will take place concurrently, including an outdoor firefighting competition, smoke training in a mine simulation laboratory, and about 50 rescue teams testing their skills in a staged emergency.

For more information on Miner Training, visit https://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/training/osha-msha-courses.

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OSHA Announces a Fall Prevention Awareness Campaign

fall prevention

With over 10,000 construction workers injured and 255 killed in 2010 due to falling, OSHA in partnership with NIOSH, has developed and initiated a new fall prevention campaign. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis rightfully announced its kick off last week emphasizing its goal to raise awareness by providing workers with information and educational materials specialized in their industry to diminish this problem.

fall preventionSome of the types of organizations OSHA and NIOSH have stated they plan to work with are trade associations, labor unions, employers, universities, community and faith-based organizations, and consulates.

“When working at heights, everyone needs to plan ahead to get the job done safely, provide the right equipment and train workers to use the equipment safely,” says Dr. David Michaels, assistant to secretary of labor for occupational safety and health “now is the time to ensure that workers and employers understand what is required to prevent falls.”

OSHA’s new fall prevention website with both English and Spanish versions is available at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls. NIOSH and NORA have also collaborated to provide a fall prevention website at http://www.stopconstructionfalls.com.

To view OSHA’s press release, visit http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=22260

For information on Fall Protection training, visit https://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/training/construction-safety-courses


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World Day for Safety & Health at Work


ILOThe International Labour Organization, the international organization that oversees international labor standards, recognized last Saturday, April 28 as World Day for Safety & Health at Work. The annual event promotes the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally.

Their focus this year is on promoting occupational safety and health in a green economy. “As the green economy develops, it is essential that safety and health at work are integrated into green jobs policies. This implies integrating risk assessment and management measures in the life cycle analysis of all green jobs.” the ILO notes. “This is especially relevant for sectors such as construction, waste recycling, solar energy production and biomass processing.”

The 28th of April is also a day in which the world’s trade union movement holds its International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers to honour the memory of victims of occupational accidents and diseases and organize worldwide mobilizations and campaigns on this date.

For more information, visit http://www.ilo.org/global/lang–en/index.htm.


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Are you familiar with OSHA’s Directive on Workplace Fatalities?

In the case of a tragic accident in the workplace involving death, OSHA has come out with a new directive. This directive explains that OSHA Representatives are to contact the victim’s family after the incident, explain the investigation and offer a timeline with updates on the progress of it. Once finished, they will explain the findings to the family. Any citations given to the place of employment will also be disclosed to the family.

The directive states its “three-phrase approach” to interactions that include:

  1. An initial communication;
  2. Follow-up communication throughout the inspection; and
  3. Post-inspection communications.

According to Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, “OSHA is committed to working with families to explain the circumstances surrounding the deaths of their loved ones” he says. “This directive ensures that OSHA receives the necessary information from the family to assist in the investigation, and keeps the family informed throughout the investigation and settlement processes.”

To view OSHA’s press release on the announcement, visit HERE.


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Safety On The Highways

Did you know that in 2011, 68% of highway contractors experienced motor vehicle crasher in their work zone? According to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), www.agc.org, out of this percentage, 28% workers reported an injury and 18% indicated there was at least one fatality.

As an employer, there are several ways in which you can prevent these kinds of incidents that could prevent your company from temporarily shutting down. Many have opted for stricter enforcement in their training and/or existing safety laws. Others have been forced to require police presence for longer period of time for surveillance. Or what about monitoring fleet safety closer?

Unfortunately, not only is the number of work zone accidents high, they are actually increasing with time. Of course, ease of technology in handheld devices is a strong contributor. Consequently, according to the same source mentioned, 84% of contractors would agree that vehicle motor crashes are indeed greater today than they were a decade ago.

So if your company’s project requires work zone regulations, keep in mind that safety is regularly updated and strictly enforced at all times. Not only will it benefit deadlines and budgets, but more importantly, help save lives.

For more information on general safety training and consulting visit, https://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/training

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Delta Air Lines agrees to OSHA seat belt compliance

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced that Delta Air Lines Inc. signed a corporate-wide settlement agreement with the agency to install seat belts and implement seat belt policies on baggage handling vehicles as part of a compliance plan over the next two years at approximately ninety of its domestic airport locations that fall under federal OSHA’s jurisdiction. The company plans to take the same safety measures at airport locations under state OSHA’s jurisdiction, although not part of the agreement.

The agreement resulted as abatement of alleged violations in the death of a Delta baggage handler in January 2010. The worker suffered a fatal traumatic brain injury when the tug vehicle he operated collided with a food service truck and the impact ejected him out of the vehicle and onto the pavement. OSHA issued a citation to Delta for violating federal regulations requiring employers to provide employees with personal protective equipment, including – in this case – seat belts.

Compliance measures in the plan include:

  • Installing seat belts on all covered vehicles within the first twelve months;
  • Any new covered vehicles the company purchases must come equipped with seat belts;
  • Implement and enforce a program requiring its employees to wear seat belts when operating or riding on any Covered Vehicle;
  • Conduct mandatory employee training on seat belt use and safe operation of covered vehicles;
  • Track and enforce seat belt use through documented observations; conducting random audits of compliance; and periodically setting up checkpoints at Covered Routes to assess seat belt use;
  • Inspect covered vehicles for property functioning seat belts and remove any vehicle from use if they find the seat belt missing or malfunctioning.

When completed, the compliance plan will help protect 16,000 Delta workers from injuries preventable by seat belt use.

“OSHA’s corporate-wide settlement agreements are highly effective tools for ensuring that companies address hazards that can injure or kill their workers,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels in a release. “This kind of widespread change within corporations can go a long way toward keeping workers across the country safe and healthy at the end of every workday.”

OSHA has resources available to assist the airline industry in workplace safety and compliance.

To view the agreement on the settlement, go to http://www.osha.gov/csa/delta041612.html.


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OSHA Publications in Spanish & Other Languages

As minority groups in the country grow, so does the need to expand safety communication to a wider audience. With this in mind, OSHA now offers many of its educational materials in other languages including Spanish.

Two of OSHA’s signal publications are now available for order in Spanish through OSHA’s Spanish Publications page. Derechos de los trabajadores (Workers’ Rights) describes the rights to which workers are legally entitled under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Derechos y responsibilidades patronales al cabo de una inspectión de la OSHA (Employer Rights and Responsibilities Following an OSHA Inspection) is provided during an OSHA inspection and explains to employers what happens after the inspection.

OSHA also has publications available in Portuguese, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Korean, Polish, and Vietnamese. To order copies of these or any other OSHA publications, please call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) or visit OSHA’s Publications page.

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Massey officials must respond by June 18 in shareholder suit

By Andrea Lannom

Massey Energy officials have until June 18 to file a response to a federal class action lawsuit alleging Massey’s stock was artificially inflated because officials misled the market about safety compliance.

Filed in April 2010 by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Trust, the suit charges Alpha Appalachia Holdings Inc. and several Massey officials including former CEO Don Blankenship with violation of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The suit alleges officials inflated stock between February 2008 and July 2010 and lied about the safety of its operations.

“In fact, safety at Massey’s mines was repeatedly sacrificed so that aggressive production goals could be met,” the suit states. “Massey had received numerous undisclosed citations arising from serious uncorrected safety and other regulatory violations at surface and underground coal mines it operates in West Virginia and neighboring states.”

Plaintiffs claim the price of Massey common stock plunged following information revealed after the April 2010 explosion at Upper Big Branch Mine. This decline caused “hundreds of millions of dollars in losses” to investors who purchased shares relying on information regarding safety, the suit states.

“The tragic, and avoidable, explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine on April 5, 2010 shockingly and suddenly revealed the concealed safety risks to investors causing the price of Massey stock to decline $9.47 over the next two days, a two-day drop that reduced the value of Massey’s common stock by more than 17 percent, resulting in an immediate loss of $900 million in market capitalization,” the suit claims.

Massey officials moved to dismiss the lawsuit, but that motion was denied in a March 28 order. Parties will attend a scheduling conference at 1:30 p.m. June 28 in Beckley.

To view press release, go to http://www.statejournal.com/story/17367305/massey-officials-must-respond-by-june-18-in-shareholder-suit


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MSHA Investigators in Refresher Training with FBI

The U.S. Department of Labor’s MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Administration) has about 75 special investigators in refresher training with work conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

MSHA has also been working along with the FBI to improve their skills by developing course work. The classroom instruction is 2 weeks long in Beaver, WV. They cover topics including proper interview techniques for investigations, use of injunctive relief in federal district courts, evaluating evidence, reviewing knowing and willful violations, and processing discrimination complaints.

To view more on this topics, go to http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/msha/MSHA20120651.htm.


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