THE SAFETY NET CO N SU LTA N T S
IT’S ALWAYS SAFETY FIRST. ▪
VOLUME 14 ISSUE 3
Safe Practices in the Office BizX: Advice from Experts | 02.17.2020
It is in companies’ best interests to ensure a comfortable and safe work environment for their office workers. That’s because safer offices not only help to reduce workplace injuries and insurance costs, they also make employees happier. Technology has created many conveniences that help us to be productive employees – like high-powered computers, email and video conferencing – but those conveniences also mean that workers can spend virtually their whole workday seated at their desks. Without thoughtful planning of workspaces, these repetitive activities can cause injuries or health-related problems over time.
Here are simple tips to make an office safer: • Ergonomics: An ergonomic workspace can help employees feel and perform their best, which can also help to reduce insurance claims. Design or modify the workspace to allow for good posture, less exertion, fewer motions and better heights and reaches.
SAFETY FIRST. Austin employees have worked 3,309,945 hours without a Lost Time Accident through 01/2020.
support the spinal curve. Chairs should
Bathroom Hand-Washing and Flu 2020: What You Could be Doing
be adjustable so both feet can rest flat
OS&H Occupational Safety and Health | 01.24.2020
• Invest in office chairs with armrests that
on the floor or on a footrest with thighs parallel to the floor. • The computer mouse should be within easy reach and on the same surface as the keyboard. When typing, wrists should be straight with one line from the fingertips to the elbows. • The computer monitor should be about arm’s length in front of the user with the top of the screen at or slightly below the user’s eye level. • Air Quality: The federal Environmental Protection Agency ranks indoor air quality as one of the top five potential hazards to public health. The regular maintenance and cleaning of air conditioning and air filtration systems is important to
Washing your hands is more important than you might think--especially during flu season. It’s flu season, and this year’s flu virus is causing rising concerns, especially given its severity. With the flu virus comes shared germs, coughing and sneezing, and an overall higher likelihood of contracting the sickness from someone else. Washing your hands is more important than you might think. Public bathrooms are one of the most common places you can contract an unwanted germ or virus. However, spots like door knobs, keyboards, and even office kitchens breed germs, too. One survey was particularly interested in learning about the nature of hand-washing in public restrooms and which generations are better at it than others. We’ve been told to do this since we were little: wash your hands after you use the bathroom. Plain and simple. However, the sanitary value of that idea is often overlooked, scientists say. First of all, germs hang out in the bathroom for a long time, and you never know what kinds of germs you might come into contact with. Second, there’s no telling where these germs reside. They
preventing respiratory disorders, allergies
can be on toilet seats, door handles, sinks, or even the stall door.
and chemical sensitivities. The EPA also
It’s also important to remember that water alone does not wash off all
recommends that building air ducts be
bacteria. While it might help fight off some infectious bacteria, you need
serviced every three to five years.
soap and water to disinfect your hands fully—and this goes for hand sanitizer,
• Lighting: Proper office lighting is another
too, which is not as effective as soap and water.
critical factor in reducing eye strain and fatigue. There should be enough lighting to read printed materials, yet not so much that it casts a glare on computer screens. • Safety Plan: Companies – whether operating in an office or an industrial facility – should have safety plans and a management culture that encourage a wide range of healthy workplace behaviors and practices. In an office environment, for example, these plans would aim to reduce employee eye strain by incorporating recommendations from the American Optometric Association,
And yes, you should wash your hands if you go number one, number two, or
such as taking 20-second breaks to view
anything else—men and women alike.
something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.
Industrial safety equipment and commercial plumbing manufacturer Bradley
Creating a safety culture not only benefits employees, it can also have a positive impact on a company’s bottom line.
Corp. released results on hand-washing that might make you question the sanitation of your peers’ hands. The study’s results from the Healthy Hand Washing Survey found that between Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millenials, and Gen Zers, commitment to hand washing decreased the younger you were. Baby Boomers washed their hands nearly 91 percent of the time after using the bathroom whereas Gen Zers did so only 82 percent of the time.
With flu season in full swing, and an increasing concern
microorganisms when caring for sick family members,”
for this year’s aggressive strain, hand washing should be a
says medical microbiologist Michael P. McCann, Ph.D.,
top priority for everyone who uses a public restroom. The
professor of biology, Saint Joseph’s University. “Soap and
study also provides other bathroom behavior tips to avoid
water, used as per the evidence-based recommendations
germs, flus, colds, and sickness.
of the Centers for Disease Control and other government agencies, will help reduce the spread of flu and other illnesses in the home and work place.” Overall, germ avoidance is top of mind. At home, if someone is sick or if a cold or flu virus is going around, Americans kick into action. 65% wipe down bathroom and kitchen surfaces and 47% wipe door knobs and handles. And, when they’re sick, respondents say they change the way they greet people. 54% wave hello, 48% avoid shaking hands and 18% use a fist or elbow bump to avoid hand-tohand contact.
See the below news release from Bradley Corp.
CONCERN ABOUT CONTRACTING FLU HITS ALL-TIME HIGH Survey Reveals Americans Rely on Hand Washing as Top Defense
In a public restroom, 93% of Americans try to avoid coming in contact with germs by employing evasive measures. 65% use a paper towel when touching door handles, faucets or toilet flushers and 44% operate the toilet flusher with their foot. “Americans are increasingly employing defense mechanisms against sickness,” says Jon Dommisse, director of strategy and corporate development for Bradley
Menomonee Falls, WI (January 23, 2020) – This year,
Corp. “During the cold and flu season – and year round –
concern about contracting the flu is rampant. According
everyday preventive measures like hand washing with soap
to the Healthy Hand Washing Survey, 60% of Americans
and water can help stop germs in their tracks.”
are extremely or quite concerned about catching the flu, compared to just 32% who felt that way four years ago. Among all age groups, Millennials expressed the most trepidation about getting sick.
While 97% believe it’s important to wash up after using a public restroom, hand washing doesn’t happen all the time. Respondents said they washed their hands 86% of the time after using a public restroom. Gen Z was the least diligent,
The survey also found that, in response to flu outbreaks,
clocking in at a consistency rate of 82%. At the other end of
Americans become more conscientious about hand
the spectrum, Boomers were the most consistent since they
washing when they’re out and about. Nearly 80% say they
lather up 91% of the time after using a public restroom.
wash their hands more frequently, more thoroughly or longer after using a public restroom.
Unfortunately, there is also a rinse-and-run phenomenon. 67% admit they’ve skipped the soap and simply rinsed their
The findings are part of an annual survey conducted by
hands with water after using a public restroom. Of all the
Bradley Corporation that queried 1,005 adults and youth
age groups, Gen X is mostly likely to short cut hand washing
throughout the United States about germs, the flu, colds
with 73% admitting they’ve only rinsed their hands.
and hand washing habits. The respondents represented four generations – Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers.
The 11th annual Healthy Hand Washing Survey by Bradley Corp. queried American adults and youth online Dec. 11-
With flu concerns prevalent, the national survey revealed
16, 2019. Participants were from around the country, were
that nearly two-thirds of Americans correctly believe that
14 years and older, and were fairly evenly split between
hand washing is more effective in removing germs than
men and women (47% and 53%).
hand sanitizer – a fact supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Thorough hand washing with soap and water remains the best way to reduce the spread of disease-causing
Bradley is a leading manufacturer of commercial plumbing fixtures, washroom accessories, restroom partitions, emergency fixtures and solid plastic lockers. More info, visit www.bradleycorp.com/handwashing.
Tips to Winterize Your Workplace Safety Plan OH&S Occupational Safety and Health | 02.06.2020 By Raul Chacon
While safety prep should begin well before the first frost covers
Clothing is the first line of defense against the most common
the ground, it’s never too late to make sure safety precautions
cold weather injuries – trench foot, hypothermia and frostbite.
are set for whatever winter brings.
Trench foot is a foot injury caused by prolonged exposure to
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent
wet and cold conditions, according to the Centers for Disease
data, ice-, sleet- and snow-related occupational injuries and
Control (CDC). But it can occur in temperatures as warm as
illnesses resulting in at least one day away from work occurred
60 degrees if feet stay wet for too long. Symptoms typically
at a rate of 1.8 cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2017.
include reddening skin, tingling, pain swelling, numbness,
Cold weather safety should be top of mind for the nation’s
cramping and blisters.
nearly 31 million small businesses and their 60 million workers.
Hypothermia occurs during prolonged exposure to cool or
While safety prep should begin well before the first frost covers
cold temperatures that cause the body to lose heat quicker
the ground, it’s never too late to make sure safety precautions
than it can produce it and make body temperatures drop
are set for whatever winter brings.
below 95 degrees, according to the CDC. It can happen
While outdoor workers are most at-risk for winter weather-
even in temperatures above 40 degrees. If the body’s
related injuries due to their exposure to the elements, indoor workers also face cold-weather hazards. As part of a winterweather safety plan, small business owners should identify and assess potential hazards for workers in both outdoor
temperature stays too low for too long, it affects the brain and renders a victim unable to think clearly or move well. Symptoms include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness. The
and indoor environments, then determine how to mitigate
condition can lead to death.
Frostbite happens when the body is exposed to the cold for so
Here are some considerations small business owners should
long that layers of skin freeze and the body loses feeling and
keep in mind to protect their workers during the colder
color in affected areas. It can cause permanent damage
and sometimes even requires amputation. The most common
toes. Early symptoms include redness or pain in any skin area
First and foremost, those who primarily work outside during
spots for frostbite are the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers and followed by white or grayish-yellow discoloration, skin that
cold-weather months must be dressed appropriately to stay
feels unusually firm or waxy, and numbness.
warm. This includes water-resistant coats and boots, mittens
Outdoor workers should try to stay as dry as possible and take
and gloves, several layers of loose-fitting clothing, and
regular breaks to warm up either inside or in sheltered, dry
hats, scarves or balaclava that cover the face and mouth.
spaces. Small business owners should try to schedule outdoor
work in cold areas for warmer months or warmer times of the
Even though indoor workers aren’t out in the elements, snow,
day; cut back on workers’ physical demands; bring in relief
ice and slush can impact the office or other indoor work
workers or extra workers for tough and time-consuming jobs;
environment. Snowy boots and muddy shoes can track
and provide plenty of warm liquids to workers.
on floors and create slippery surfaces inside, especially on
Outdoor workers also face slipping hazards. Wet and icy
marble or tile floors. That means managers should plan for
patches can cause slips, trips and falls. Small business owners or managers must clean up and de-ice entry ways, parking lots and other areas where injuries could occur. They should re-route workers around pools of standing or frozen water until those areas can be mopped up or de-iced. What’s most important is for small business owners to have a rapid response plan in place. They should make sure employees know how to recognize the signs of cold-stress illnesses and what to do to help themselves or their co-workers.
more clean-up duty than usual and make sure water or condensation are promptly wiped up. Managers should make sure workers have a place to stow wet boots or umbrellas near the office entrance to help contain any water-based messes. Businesses should also use “wet surface” signs and/or safety cones to warn people of potential areas where they could slip, trip or fall. Utilizing carpet runners at the front entrance can help employees remove excess water from their shoes or boots and thus reduce the potential of slipping on the floor.
In the event of an actual or suspected medical emergency,
the first call should always be to 911, but employees also
Indoor and outdoor worksites can both be hampered by
need basic first aid training so they can be active and helpful before the professionals arrive.
areas where snow impedes entries and exits. However, business owners and managers should refrain from asking workers to perform tasks for which they may not have the
INDOOR WORKERS Workers that are lucky enough to be inside on frigid days also face potential cold-weather hazards. Even with the heat on, some workers may feel chilly and opt to use personal space heaters to keep themselves warm.
proper training or physical condition, such as shoveling snow or operating tools like snow blowers. If clearing paths to the workplace is part of an employee’s job description, it is critical he or she receives training on how to safely do these tasks. In some cases it may be best to hire an outside company that
Small business owners who allow space heaters must make sure they are used properly. Space heaters should be placed on flat surfaces and kept at least three feet away from flammable materials, such as clothing or paper. They should never be left on while unattended. Workers should only use space heaters that turn off if tipped over and that carry a safety certification label
specializes in performing this type of work. Fostering a safe and comfortable work environment requires commitment every day of the year, but especially when winter weather is a factor. By following the tips above, small business owners can help keep their employees safe when temperatures plunge.
from an independent testing organization, such as the UL mark from Underwriters Laboratories.
Julio Partida, Greg Dildine, Chuck Beck, Jody Rice, Eric Greer and Alex Gibson for completing OSHA 30 & Blood Borne, First Aid and CPR/AED.
Features to Look for in a Temporary Construction Site Fire Alarm System Occupational Safety & Health (OSH)| 02.01.2020 By John Newbury
It makes good sense to have an adaptable, durable,
under construction; 2,560 fires in structures undergoing
highly functional alert system in place from the first phase of
major renovation; and 2,130 fires in structures being
construction to the last.
demolished in the U.S. These fires led to $310 million in direct
When 6.5 million construction workers report to work on
property damage, claimed 13 lives, and injured 132 people
252,000 jobsites each day in the United States, they do so under the assumption that certain safeguards are in place
during that time period. Most are attributed to heaters, welding, cutting, grinding, soldering, and/or accumulated
in order to protect them. Their families are counting on it,
construction materials and cardboard.
too. The expectation is that no matter where a worker is
There’s no doubt that construction is an inherently high-
onsite or what job they may be carrying out that day, they’ll
risk industry, but in many cases the impact of emergency
be alerted and have the ability to alert others when—not
incidents can be minimized or, better yet, prevented
if—an emergency occurs. With the rate of injuries, illnesses,
from happening in the first place. The simple fact is that
and fatalities higher in the construction industry than most
technology can help, and construction companies who are
other industries, emergencies are an inevitable part of the
willing to explore new technologies and implement them
regular routine. It makes good sense to have an adaptable,
into their projects are already seeing the benefits—both
durable, highly functional alert system in place from the first
in terms of improved safety procedures onsite and the
phase of construction to the last.
financial return. While there will inevitably be an initial cost of
The statistics for construction fires are harsh; the National
investment in the technology itself, the potential savings in
Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that for each year between 2010 and 2014 there were 3,750 fires in structures
terms of improved efficiencies, reduced lost-time injuries, and elimination of paperwork means a return on the investment is rapidly achieved for companies willing to adapt.
Reimagining CPR Training to Enable More Real-World Applications OS&H Occupational Safety & Health | 02.01.2020 By Richard Lazar Relatively few people get formal training, while the public
Now, imagine a map of the United States—all 3.8 million
generally perceives that only formally trained people can
square miles—with a dot on every office building and
campus, shopping mall, retail store, hotel, manufacturing
Looked at objectively, the current emphasis on formal
plant, airport, amusement park, gambling establishment,
CPR training—go to a class, get a card—isn’t succeeding very well according to some key measures. Relatively few people get formal training, while the public generally perceives that only formally trained people can do CPR. As a result, the vast majority of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) victims don’t get CPR. This misconception is one reason for the low SCA survival rates in this country. Alternative approaches, however, have the potential to educate massive numbers of people and dramatically in- crease the number of SCA victims who get CPR. That, in turn, could give us the much-needed
government building, health club, school, church, sports arena, public park, side- walk, and every other similar workplace and community setting (that’s a lot of dots!). These are the public locations where one of the 120,000 SCA events per year might happen at any given moment. But, of course, it is impossible to predict precisely who, when or where SCA may strike. At any one of these given locations, SCA can only be expected roughly once every 10 to 40 years. We know that quickly delivering CPR can help keep an SCA victim’s heart “defibrillation-ready” for a time and,
power to finally improve survival rates.
along with AED use, can contribute to saving the lives of
ANATOMY OF SUDDEN CARDIAC ARREST
nearby at the time SCA strikes who is equipped and willing
The sheer magnitude of SCA as a public health threat is easy to describe. Nearly 400,000 people experience SCA outside of hospitals in the United States every year. Approximately 120,000 of these—roughly 30 percent— are
many more SCA victims. This means there must be someone to do CPR. But today, only about six in 100 SCA victims are likely to survive, in part because there are too few volunteer bystanders allowed, willing and able to quickly start CPR (and because of the AED shortage).
stricken in public places outside of the home. ...continued on next page
CPR TRAINING, EFFECTIVENESS AND SUCCESS BARRIERS TODAY
REIMAGINING CPR TRAINING FOR MEANINGFUL IMPACT
The dominant training model today harkens back to the
So, how do we create a large-scale SCA responder squad
1960s, the dawn of CPR education for the general public.
that gets more people to learn and do CPR?
It emphasizes (or requires) formal, in-person, fee-based,
Let’s break things down into bite-size pieces to help us
instructor-led, card-issuing CPR training and is widely touted as the best way to educate and get volunteer laybystanders to do CPR. Is this model working? Arguably not. Logistically, a very large volunteer “SCA responder squad” is needed to ensure someone is almost always nearby who is willing to help.2 But less than five per- cent of the U.S. public is formally trained in CPR due to time and cost barriers, among other reasons. And only about one-quarter of SCA victims receive bystander CPR in public. There are many reasons for this persistently low CPR rate, but here are
reimagine new models for success. Measure the right things. In a reimagined SCA responder model, the most important measures are the number of general public members who learn CPR skills from any source and the number of SCA victims who get early CPR. It is not the number of course completion cards issued. Clearly define the limited skills expected of the general public for effective hands-only CPR. We want SCA responder squad members to:
some of the biggest barriers:
• Know how to recognize SCA
Widespread public perception that only formally trained
• Call 9-1-1
people, with a valid course completion card, are permitted
• Quickly volunteer to try and help
to try CPR. This perception is created by AED laws (see below), training organizations, lawsuits, social media, etc., and dramatically reduces the number of people who might otherwise try to help. Difficulty recognizing SCA. Upwards of 50 percent of trained and untrained bystanders fail to accurately identify SCA and start CPR. This is not surprising since a SCA situation is
• Put his/her hands in the right place • Do two-inch deep chest compressions 100 to 120 times per minute, while allowing the chest to come all the way up each time • Not stop until an AED is applied, or professional emergency medical services resources arrive to take over
one they may encounter perhaps once in a lifetime.
Expressly allow and encourage lots of different ways to
Persistent concerns about legal liability. As an expert
communicate CPR skills. Deem members of the general
witness in SCA lawsuits where CPR is not started, I see first-
public as “trained” regardless of where they learn CPR
hand how real the liability risk is and why many bystanders
skills. Leverage on- line-only learning platforms, augmented
remain fearful of helping, a sentiment that is not likely to
reality (AR) technologies, social media, video platforms,
wane in our highly litigious society.
stadium video screens, kiosks, and every other medium that
Another giant barrier is created by AED laws in 30+ states that require formal CPR training for volunteer lay-bystanders in public access AED programs. While these requirements have little impact on AED program preparation or performance, they dramatically increase the cost of having AEDs and contribute to the perception that current training
can communicate CPR content. Studies show that good CPR effectiveness can be achieved using online training only—even without skills practice—and ultra-brief videos. These technologies are the only way to scalably “train” large numbers of people. We should not hesitate to put them to good use.
is a precondition to being allowed to perform CPR. This is
Don’t let perfection be the enemy of the good. Good CPR
particularly true when the training requirement is linked to
is hard to do for both volunteer bystanders and professional
the availability of Good Samaritan legal protections.
health- care workers alike. Simply put, CPR is a difficult skill
Bottom line: The current emphasis on formal, instructorled, course completion card-based training, coupled with other barriers to success, leaves most SCA victims without a potentially life-saving intervention they desperately need.
for anyone, at any skill level, to perform well, particularly for people who may first be called upon to perform the task unexpectedly at one highly stressful and emotional point in time. CPR quality under a mass- training model admittedly won’t be perfect, but for the three out of four SCA victims who don’t get CPR now, less-than-perfect CPR is much better than none.
Recognize the limitations of formal training. Formal CPR training does not result in “certification” from any regulatory body. Trainees simply receive a course completion card saying they successfully completed a class as determined by a course instructor. Importantly, such training is not evidence of competence nor a
DOL Adjusts Civil Penalty Amounts For Inflation National Safety Council | 01.17.2020
predictor of how lay bystanders will act when faced with an actual emergency. Given these limitations, it is better to scalably train masses of people in lots of different ways than limit the pool of potential rescuers willing to help by requiring formal training. Change the laws. There is certainly a role for formal CPR training for those types of jobs that should require it, and many organizations will continue to formally train employees even under a reimagined model. For laybystanders working in places with AED programs, formal training should not, however, be a legal requirement. AED laws should be changed to reflect this and to
Washington — The Department of Labor has increased civil penalty amounts for violations to adjust for inflation, effective Jan. 15. The increase is 1.01764% for DOL agencies, including OSHA
encourage everyone to learn CPR skills in whatever way
and the Mine Safety and Health
works best for them. Good Samaritan laws should also
Administration, according to a
be strengthened to provide real legal protections for
final rule published in the Jan. 15
everyone who steps in to try and help SCA victims. Let the market evolve a wide variety of CPR training business models. Fee-based, formal CPR (and AED) training is big business with revenues of about $500 million annually. But, because of time and cost barriers, it necessarily limits the number of people trained and willing to help. If allowed to emerge and thrive, one
Federal Register. For OSHA, the maximum penalty for “willful” or “repeat” violations is $134,937 – up from $132,598. The minimum fine for a willful violation is $9,639. The maximum
can imagine a wide range of new business models
fines for serious, other-than-serious,
supporting alternative training methods. Examples might
failure-to-correct and posting-
include free, advertising- based, subscription-based,
requirement violations increase to
traditional fee-based and many others. The training
$13,494 from $13,260
market will find its own path, orders-of-magnitude more members of the general public will be trained, and more SCA victims will get early CPR. Win-win-win.
MSHA’s maximum penalty for a “flagrant” violation increases to $270,972 from $266,275.
WRAPPING THINGS UP
Under the Federal Civil Penalties
Arming massive numbers of the general public with CPR
Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990,
skills and allowing and encouraging everyone to try CPR
DOL is required to adjust civil
when faced with a person believed to be in SCA are
penalty levels for inflation by Jan.
critical steps if we truly want to meaningfully increase
15 each year. DOL determines
SCA survival rates. Reimagining and implementing a new CPR training model can realistically help us achieve that goal. We simply can’t ignore that change is needed in order to make it happen. This matters too
yearly adjustment rates via the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers.
much. Lives are in the balance, just waiting for us to act.
U.S. Department of Labor Cites New Hampshire Stone Products Manufacturer for Hazards Following Employee Fatality OSHA.gov CONCORD, NH – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Quartz and Stone Creations of New Hampshire LLC for crushing and other hazards following an employee fatality on July 19, 2019. OSHA cited the Northwood, New Hampshire, stone products manufacturer for 12 serious and six other-than-serious violations, which faces a total of $87,516 in penalties. The inspection took place after a stone slab fell off a storage rack and crushed the employee. OSHA inspectors cited the company for using improperly modified forklifts, which adversely affected their lifting capacity and safe operation. The agency also cited the company for failing to remove defective forklifts from service, inadequate inspections of the forklifts, failing to train employees, and allowing employees to work and pass beneath elevated forklift booms. OSHA issued additional citations for an inadequate lockout/tagout program, lack of eye protection, electric shock hazards, unguarded machinery, inaccessible emergency exit ladder, unmarked or obscured exit signs, uninspected fire extinguisher, lack of silica exposure monitoring and deficient monitoring records. “Complying with OSHA regulations and manufacturers’ recommendations for forklift equipment could have prevented this tragedy,” said Rosemarie O. Cole, OSHA’s New Hampshire Area Director. “Employers are legally obligated to ensure that the equipment workers use is safe to operate and that hazards within the workplace have been identified and corrected to prevent potentially fatal or disabling injuries.”
Nonprofits Receive $870,000 in MIOSHA Training Grant for Worker Safety and Health
The 1st reported Michigan worker death of 2020 occurred on Feb. 13. Employers and employees are urged to use extreme
MIOSHA has awarded $870,000 in CET grants to 20 nonprofit organizations — employer groups, labor organizations and others — for FY 2020. The CET grants are awarded annually on an open, competitive basis for the development and implementation of innovative and diverse safety and health training services, specifically to help support small and medium-sized business. The training grants have a strong track record of increasing safety awareness in the workplace and continues to further
care and safety diligence in all work activities. The information below shares preliminary details about the most recent fatalities reported to the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) which is believed to be covered by the MIOSH Act. The description reflects information provided to MIOSHA at the initial report of the incident and is not the result of the official MIOSHA investigation. Preliminary summary of incident: On Feb. 13, at approximately 9 a.m., a 59-year-old sawmill laborer was putting salt onto a debarker conveyor to help prevent the belt from slipping. As he was placing salt onto the conveyor system, a rotating sprocket snagged his coat and entangled him.
MIOSHA’s commitment to enhancing safety and health training and work practices that result in fewer injuries, illnesses and fatalities on worksites. 20,000 employees attended training sessions
Kentucky governor restores state’s OSHA Standards Board
funded by these MIOSHA training grants.
National Safety Council | 01.21.2020
During the FY 2019 grant period, more than
• AFL-CIO of Michigan • Alpena Community College • Associated General Contractors of Michigan • Baker College • Bay De Noc Community College • Center for Workplace
Frankfort, KY — Newly elected Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) on Jan. 10 issued an Executive Order reestablishing the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board.
Violence Prevention, Inc. • Eastern Michigan
Abolished by former Gov. Matt Bevin (R) via Executive Order in July
University Organization for Risk Reduction
2018, the 12-member board is responsible for adopting, amending
• Emergency Services Rescue Training
or revoking occupational safety and health rules, regulations and
• Great Lakes Safety Training Center •
Incompass Michigan • Michigan Association
“Every Kentuckian should be safe at their place of employment,”
of Chiropractors • Michigan Green Industry Association • Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association • Michigan State University • North Central Michigan College • Parents for Student Safety Employment Standards • Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union • United Auto
Beshear said in a Jan. 10 press release. “We have worked with industry leaders to reestablish the board and ensure we have professionals from across the commonwealth who are committed to helping strengthen our workplace safety standards.” The board members will serve three-year terms that expire Jan. 8, 2023.
Workers • University of Michigan Center for
After the board was eliminated, its authority was transferred to the
Ergonomics • Wayne State University
state’s secretary of labor, who served as its chair. Beshear, who took over as governor Dec. 10, was the state’s attorney general at the time and “urged that the board be reinstated,” the release states.
Winter weather presents hazards including slippery roads/surfaces, strong winds and environmental cold. Employers must prevent illnesses, injuries, or fatalities, by controlling these hazards in workplaces impacted by winter weather. OSHA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are working together on a public education effort aimed at improving the way people prepare for and respond to severe weather. This page is designed to help businesses and their workers prepare for winter weather, and to provide information about hazards that workers may face during and after winter storms.
OSHA News Release - Region 1
OSHA News Release - Region 3
Forklift Violations | A Stone Products Manufacturer
A Company was Fined $280,874 for Overexposing
faces $87,516 in penalties following workers fatality
Workers to Toxic Hexavlent Chromium Fumes.
U.S. Department of Labor | January 31, 2020
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Department of Labor Cites New Hampshire
February 4, 2020
Stone Products Manufacturer for Hazards
Following Employee Fatality
of Labor Fines
CONCORD, NH – The U.S. Department
of Labor’s Occupational Safety and
Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Quartz and Stone Creations of New Hampshire LLC for crushing and other hazards following an employee fatality on July 19, 2019. OSHA cited the Northwood, New Hampshire, stone products manufacturer for 12 serious and six other-thanserious violations, which faces a total of $87,516 in penalties. The inspection took place after a stone slab fell off a storage rack and crushed the employee. OSHA inspectors cited the company for using improperly modified forklifts, which adversely affected their lifting capacity and safe operation. The agency also cited the company for failing to remove defective forklifts from service, inadequate inspections of the forklifts, failing to train employees, and allowing employees to
For Overexposing Employees to Toxic Hexavalent Chromium Fumes CAMP HILL, PA – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Cleveland Brothers Inc. – doing business as CB HYMAC – for exposing workers to hexavalent chromium fumes and other safety hazards at the company’s shop in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. OSHA cited the company, which provides hydraulic service and repair, machining and chroming services, for one willful violation and 18 serious and two other-than-serious citations. The company faces $280,874 in penalties. OSHA initiated an investigation in July 2019 after receiving a complaint of overexposure to the toxic chemical. OSHA also cited the company for failing to train employees on the hazards of hexavalent chromium, and maintain a respiratory protection program.
work and pass beneath elevated forklift booms. OSHA
“Occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium
issued additional citations for an inadequate lockout/
can result in significant adverse health effects for
tagout program, lack of eye protection, electric
employees,” said OSHA Harrisburg Area Director David
shock hazards, unguarded machinery, inaccessible
Olah. “Engineering controls must be implemented and
emergency exit ladder, unmarked or obscured exit
affected employees must be trained to recognize the
signs, uninspected fire extinguisher, lack of silica
hazards of this toxic chemical.”
exposure monitoring and deficient monitoring records.
“Employers must continually evaluate their facilities
“Complying with OSHA regulations and manufacturers’
for hazards, and use proper safety controls and
recommendations for forklift equipment could have
equipment to protect workers’ safety,” said Principal
prevented this tragedy,” said Rosemarie O. Cole,
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational
OSHA’s New Hampshire Area Director. “Employers
Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. “OSHA provides free
are legally obligated to ensure that the equipment
resources to help employers comply with hexavalent
workers use is safe to operate and that hazards within
the workplace have been identified and corrected to prevent potentially fatal or disabling injuries.”
FactSheet Working Safely Around Downed Electrical Wires Electrical hazards multiply for workers involved in cleanup and recovery efforts following major disasters and weather emergencies. Life-threatening danger exists around downed and low-hanging electrical wires which can still be energized following a storm. Safety First Always consider all electrical equipment, lines and conductors to be energized. If you notice downed wires or damaged electrical equipment, contact appropriate utility personnel if you can. Circuits do not always turn off when a power line falls into a tree or onto the ground. Reloaders automatically try to reset circuits and restore power when it is interrupted. Even if electric lines are not sparking or humming, fallen electric lines can electrocute you if you touch them or the ground nearby. Energy Downed wires can energize other nearby objects, such as fences, water pipes, bushes and trees, buildings, and telephone/CATV/ fiber optic cables. Even manhole castings and reinforcement bars (rebar) in pavement can become energized by downed wires. During storms, wind-blown objects such as canopies, aluminum roofs, siding, and sheds can also be energized by downed wires. Backfeed The improper connection of portable generators to a building’s electrical system is one way hazardous backfeed conditions are created! Backfeed is a hazardous condition created when temporary sources of electricity (such as a generator) are connected to the damaged permanent system causing electricity to flow inside and outside a structure through connected lines and equipment. In emergency conditions, portable generators should only be used as standalone sources of power, and (except for properly wired by-pass or isolation connections) not connected to a building’s electrical system. If a generator is connected to a building’s electrical
system, it must be done with a properly installed main breaker bypass to prevent electricity from flowing out of the building and into downed power lines. Some other sources of backfeed include: • Circuit ties/switch points • Lightning • Downstream events Always ensure that proper lockout/tagout procedures are followed to avoid connecting two electrical sources to the same circuit.
Rules to Live By • Do not assume that a downed power line is safe simply because it is on the ground or it is not sparking. • Do not assume that any wire is a harmless telephone, television, or fiber-optic cable, and does not carry lethal current. • Treat everything electrical as energized until tested and proven to be de-energized. • Never go near a downed or fallen electric power line. • Electricity can spread outward through the ground in a circular shape from the point of contact. As you move away from the center, large differences in voltages can be created. • Never drive over downed power lines. Assume that they are energized. • If contact is made with an energized power line while you are in a vehicle, remain calm and do not get out unless the vehicle is on fire. If possible, call for help. • If you must exit any equipment because of fire or other safety reasons, try to jump completely clear, making sure that you do not
touch the equipment and the ground at the same time. Land with both feet together and shuffle away in small steps to minimize the path of electric current and avoid electrical shock. Be careful to maintain your balance.
Workers’ Rights Workers have the right to: touch the equipment and the ground at the time. Land with both together and • same Working conditions that dofeet not pose a risk of shuffle away in small steps to minimize the serious harm. of electric current and avoid (in electrical • path Receive information and training a shock. Be careful to maintain your balance. language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, Workers’ Rights methods to prevent them, and the OSHA Workers have the right to: standards that apply to their workplace. Review records of work-related injuries • Working conditions that do not pose a risk of and illnesses. serious harm. • Receive File a complaint asking to inspect their information andOSHA training (in a workplaceand if they believe there is a serious language vocabulary the worker hazard or thatabout their employer not following understands) workplaceishazards, OSHA’s rules. OSHAthem, will keep methods to prevent and all theidentities OSHA confidential. standards that apply to their workplace. • Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses. • File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA’s rules. OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
• Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days. • Exercise their rights under the law without For additional information, see OSHA’s retaliation, including reporting an injury or Workers page (www.osha.gov/workers). raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been How to Contact OSHA retaliated against for their Under the Occupationalusing Safety andrights, Healththey must file a complaint with OSHA as Act of 1970, employers are responsiblesoon for as possible, but no later than 30 days. providing safe and healthful workplaces for theiradditional employees. OSHA’s role to ensure these For information, seeisOSHA’s conditions for America’s working men and Workers page (www.osha.gov/workers). women by setting and enforcing standards, and How to Contact providing training,OSHA education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov or call Under the Occupational Safety and Health OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA TTY 1-877Act of 1970, employers are(6742), responsible for 889-5627. safe and healthful workplaces for providing their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov or call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), TTY 1-877889-5627.
This is one in a series of informational fact sheets highlighting OSHA programs, policies or standards. It does not impose any new compliance requirements. For a comprehensive list of compliance requirements of OSHA standards or regulations, refer to Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This information will be made available to sensory-impaired individuals upon request. The voice phone is (202) 693-1999; teletypewriter (TTY) number: (877) 889-5627.
This is one in a series of informational fact sheets highlighting OSHA programs, policies or standards. It does not impose any new compliance requirements. For a comprehensive list of compliance requirements of OSHA standards or regulations, refer to Title 29 of the Code of Federal DOC FS-3941 Regulations. This information will be made available to 02/2018 sensory-impaired individuals upon request. The voice phone is (202) 693-1999; teletypewriter (TTY) number: (877) 889-5627. 15