Demolition work: Keep it safe

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

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Demolition work involves the dismantling, razing, destroying or wrecking of any building or structure. Hazards of this dangerous work, according to OSHA, may include materials hidden within structural members (e.g., lead, asbestos, silica, and other chemicals or heavy metals requiring special material handling), as well as unknown strengths or weaknesses of construction materials, such as post-tensioned concrete.

To combat these hazards, workers at a demolition site should know the safety precautions they must take to protect themselves. OSHA says to:
PLAN ahead to get the job done safely. Before work begins, a competent person should survey the work. This person should closely check the condition of the structure and the possibility of an unplanned collapse. An assessment of health hazards also should be completed before work begins.
PROVIDE the right protection and equipment. The employer must determine what personal protective equipment will be required and provide it to workers. The employer also will need to educate workers on the proper use, fit, maintenance and storage of the PPE.
TRAIN employees about demo work hazards and how to safely use equipment. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for employees. Employers must train employees – in a language they understand – on recognizing and avoiding or removing hazards that may cause an injury or illness.

OSHA addresses demolition hazards in specific standards for the construction industry. Learn more at osha.gov/demolition/standards.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Michigan OSHA launches emphasis program on silica

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
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Lansing, MI — Michigan OSHA intends to conduct inspections at jobsites where workers are most likely to be exposed to respirable crystalline silica, as part of the agency’s recently launched state emphasis program aimed at reducing exposure to silica and preventing silicosis.

Silica is a carcinogen found in sand, stone and artificial stone. MIOSHA’s 12-month emphasis program, announced in the agency’s Fall 2020 online newsletter, includes outreach to affected industries to consult, educate and train employers and the public about the dangers of silica.

MIOSHA has compiled a list of industries with historically high silica exposures and a prevalence of silicosis cases. Establishments on the list could get an unannounced investigation visit to ensure compliance with federal and MIOSHA standards.

The agency has a goal of completing 88 inspections – 2% of the total number of inspections conducted in fiscal year 2019. This matches the goal set by federal OSHA for each of its regions in its national emphasis program, announced Feb. 4.

The agency is offering consultative audits to help establishments identify silica hazards. The audits will help employers develop and implement a comprehensive safety and health system as well as silica exposure monitoring.

Federal OSHA notes that 2.3 million workers nationwide are exposed to silica. When inhaled, these tiny particles – the product of cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling, and crushing stone, rock, concrete, brick, blocks and mortar – increase the risk of serious silica-related diseases such as silicosis, an incurable lung disease. Workers exposed to silica are also at risk for kidney disease, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

U.S. Department of Labor Reminds Specific Employers to Submit Required 2020 Injury and Illness Data by March 2, 2021

First published by OSHA.

Photo: OSHA

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reminds employers that the agency will begin collecting calendar year 2020 Form 300A data on Jan. 2, 2021. Employers must submit the form electronically by March 2, 2021.

Electronic submissions are required by establishments with 250 or more employees currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, and establishments with 20-249 employees classified in specific industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses.

Visit the Injury Tracking Application Electronic Submission of Injury and Illness Records to OSHA for more information and a link to the Injury Tracking Application.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help 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.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

OSHA issues COVID-19 prevention guidelines for cleaning staff

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

See the source image

Washington — A new guidance document from OSHA is intended to help cleaning staff reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19.

Beyond the standard recommendations of wearing a face covering, staying home when feeling ill, washing hands frequently and maintaining at least 6 feet of distance, OSHA says cleaning staff should:

  • Use Environmental Protection Agency-approved disinfectants or cleaning chemicals.
  • Wear disposable gloves to clean, sanitize and disinfect common surfaces.
  • Wipe equipment before and after use.
  • Use the warmest water level that is safe and dry laundry completely.
  • Avoid dry sweeping, if feasible, and the use of high-pressure streams of water.
  • Wash their clothes as soon as they get home, if possible.
  • OSHA also encourages workers to report any safety and health concerns to their supervisor.

    The document is available in English and Spanish.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Stay safe when using portable generators

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
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Portable generators can be found in many workplaces. Among the risks users face, according to OSHA, are shocks and electrocution from improper use of power or unintentionally energizing other electrical systems, and fires from improperly refueling the generator or not storing fuel correctly.

A major (and potentially deadly) hazard is exposure to carbon monoxide – a colorless, odorless, toxic gas that’s produced from a portable generator’s exhaust. Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, headaches, nausea/vomiting, tiredness, confusion and loss of consciousness. If a worker is showing any of these symptoms, get him or her to fresh air and seek medical attention.

“Do not reenter the area until it is determined to be safe by trained and properly equipped personnel,” OSHA cautions.

Help workers avoid carbon monoxide poisoning while working with portable generators by following these tips:

  • Inspect generators for loose or damaged fuel lines.
  • Keep generators dry.
  • Maintain and operate generators according to manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Don’t use portable generators indoors or in an enclosed space such as a basement or garage.
  • Don’t place generators near doors, windows or ventilation shafts where carbon monoxide can enter and build up.
  • Make sure generators have 3 to 4 feet of clearance on all sides and above to ensure adequate ventilation.

McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Holiday workplace safety: OSHA publishes tips, resources

First published by OSHA.

See the source imageWashington — To help keep safe the workers who play a role in getting “gifts from the warehouse to your home” for the holidays, OSHA has published a series for seasonal workplace safety tips and a video – including COVID-19-related guidance.

The agency’s recommendations cover workers in retail sales, order fulfillment and delivery. For retail employees, OSHA provides COVID-19 control and prevention tips. For delivery workers, the agency has four resources, including advice for the trucking industry, winter weather precautions and safety practices at a destination. Finally, for workers fulfilling orders, OSHA offers a warehousing safety resource along with information on forklift safety and ergonomics.

For all workplaces, the agency provides answers to a series of FAQs on protecting workers from exposure to the coronavirus, as well as videos on COVID-19 and training. It also supplies information on workers’ rights, temporary and seasonal workers, and young workers.

“As the nation enters a very different holiday shopping season, employers must ensure that all workers are trained to recognize and prevent job hazards, and incorporate safe work practices to prevent exposure to the coronavirus,” OSHA says.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

SAFETY FIRST! – Working in the cold

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
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Photo: Missouri Department of Transportation

Lost-time injuries and illnesses resulting from “environmental cold” spiked nearly 142% in 2018 – soaring to 290 cases from 120 the previous year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Those cases, plus the 280 reported in 2019, are a likely indicator of a lack of employer and worker understanding about the dangers of cold stress.

What are the dangers?

Along with air temperature, wind and moisture can create issues for employees working in the cold. Water, including sweat, can displace body heat 25 times faster than dry air, according to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety.

Likewise, wind can blow away the body’s protective external layer of heat. This is why wind chill is an important factor to understand. So, for example, when the temperature is 25° F and the wind is blowing 25 mph, the wind chill is 9° F, resulting in more dangerous conditions.

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists used air temperature and wind speed to develop three thresholds of cold stress hazards:
Little danger: Freezing of exposed skin within one hour
Danger: Freezing of exposed skin within one minute
Extreme danger: Freezing of exposed skin within 30 seconds

With no wind, the temperature can drop to -20° F and still pose little danger to workers. But if the wind speed reaches 20 mph or more, then the danger threshold moves up to 10° F.

ACGIH also developed a work/warm-up schedule for four-hour shifts (available on OSHA’s website at osha.gov/dts/weather/winter_weather). On this sliding scale, no noticeable wind and an air temperature between -25° and -29° F translates to a maximum work period of 75 minutes. However, if the wind reaches 20 mph or more and the temperature is between -15° and -19° F, the maximum work period is 40 minutes. At -25° F or colder and with a wind speed at the same 20 mph or greater, ACGIH recommends that all non-emergency work stop.

Martin Tirado, CEO of the Snow and Ice Management Association, said a good rule of thumb is a 15-minute break for every hour of work. When the temperature dips below zero, workers should have shorter work periods with a break that’s equal in length (i.e., work for five minutes and warm up for five minutes). Continue reading»


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Fall 2020 regulatory agenda: OSHA infectious diseases standard still ‘long-term action’

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
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Photo: OSHA

Washington — A potential infectious diseases standard from OSHA remains on the list of long-term actions in the Department of Labor’s regulatory agenda for Fall 2020 – the last under the Trump administration.

Released Nov. 9, the agenda – issued by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs twice a year – gives the status of and projected dates for all potential regulations listed in three stages: pre-rule, proposed rule and final rule. Listings marked “long term” aren’t expected to be worked on for at least six months.

That could change, however, if President-elect Joe Biden – after taking office Jan. 20 – directs OSHA to issue an emergency temporary standard on infectious diseases related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Such a directive would require the agency to then develop a permanent standard within six months.

Much of the rest of the agenda remains largely unchanged since the previous agenda was released July 1, although five OSHA regulations were finalized:

On July 10, MSHA announced no changes were made to the agency’s training requirements for refuge alternatives in underground coal mines, removing its only final rule from the agenda.

MSHA has one addition to the agenda: a proposed update and clarification to 30 CFR 50 – its rules on “notification, investigation, reports and records of accidents, injuries, employment and coal production in mines.”

The agency is seeking to revise the definition of “occupational injury/illness” to include “work-related.” It also seeks to review incidents that need to be reported within 15 minutes, noting in the agenda item that “the current list includes 12 types of accidents, and may be overly broad.” Also planned by MSHA is an accommodation of electronic reporting and recordkeeping, as well as a proposed attempt to “reduce recordkeeping and reporting burdens, to the extent feasible.”

OSHA’s standard on tree care operations has moved from pre-rule to proposed rule, and a notice of proposed rulemaking could be published in October. Another new item on the agenda is the proposed removal of 1910.217(g) from OSHA’s Mechanical Power Presses Standard, which requires the reporting of injuries resulting from mechanical power presses and the reporting criteria therein.

“There is a lack of evidence that OSHA uses this specific data,” which the agency states is already required under its Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Requirement Standard.

A new final rule listed would change the interpretation of the anti-retaliation provision of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, based on the Supreme Court’s opinion in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar issued in 2013. In the case, the court held that defendants must prove in anti-retaliation cases that retaliation was the sole motivating factor for an adverse action such as a firing, instead of one of multiple motivating factors.

OSHA’s potential rule on workplace violence in health care and social assistance remains in the pre-rule stage, but a Small Business Advocacy Review panel is expected to convene in the near future, one of the next steps in the regulatory process.


McCraren Compliance sees the solution in our people. We are developing each person into a safety leader by recognizing and valuing them as humans and teaching them to do the same with their co-workers. We are creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other.

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U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA Announces $2,856,533 In Coronavirus Violations

First published by OSHA.

WASHINGTON, DC – Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic through Nov. 5, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued 204 citations arising from inspections for violations relating to coronavirus, resulting in proposed penalties totaling $2,856,533.

OSHA inspections have resulted in the agency citing employers for violations, including failures to:

OSHA has withdrawn a citation issued on Oct. 23, 2020, to Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre, New York, (Inspection #1473958 with proposed penalty of $9,639) after the employer provided evidence of a good faith attempt at complying with the standard in question.

OSHA has already announced citations relating to the coronavirus arising out of 178 inspections, which can be found at dol.gov/newsroom. In addition to those inspections, the 26 inspections below have resulted in coronavirus-related citations totaling $369,404 from OSHA relating to one or more of the above violations from Oct. 30 to Nov. 5, 2020. OSHA provides more information about individual citations at its Establishment Search website, which it updates periodically.

Establishment Name Inspection
Number
City State Initial
Penalty
The Cleaning Company Inc. 1483403 East Haven Connecticut $6,940
Lawrence + Memorial Hospital Inc. 1476231 New London Connecticut $15,422
Butterfield Health Care VIII LLC 1474191 Bolingbrook Illinois $12,145
Geneva Nursing and Rehabilitation Center LLC 1474458 Geneva Illinois $13,494
The Edgar P. Benjamin Healthcare Center Inc. 1488985 Boston Massachusetts $16,193
South Shore Medical Investors LLC 1478069 Scituate Massachusetts $13,494
Grand Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center 1474377 Saint Louis Missouri $12,145
Hamilton Operator LLC 1488528 Hamilton Square New Jersey $13,494
Hazlet Garden Group 1486252 Hazlet New Jersey $13,359
Mystic Meadows Rehabilitation & Nursing Center 1486441 Little Egg Harbor Twp. New Jersey $32,965
Elmwood Evesham Associates LLC 1487353 Marlton New Jersey $12,145
Montclair Hospital LLC 1473011 Montclair New Jersey $13,494
Prime Healthcare Services-St. Michael’s LLC 1479171 Newark New Jersey $25,061
Optimize Manpower Solutions Inc. 1470599 South Plainfield New Jersey $5,000
Family of Caring LLC 1473777 Woodcliff Lake New Jersey $12,145
Boro Park Operating Co. LLC 1488796 Brooklyn New York $26,989
Boro Park Operating Co. LLC 1488814 Brooklyn New York $11,567
Buffalo General Medical Center 1474063 Buffalo New York $1,928
Rego Park NHLTD 1488595 Flushing New York $13,494
Forest Manor Inc. 1487472 Glen Cove New York $13,494
Amsterdam Nursing Home Corp. 1475704 New York New York $13,494
Bayada Home Health Care Inc. 1480129 New York New York $8,675
Schnur Operations Associates LLC 1488554 White Plains New York $12,145
Cold Spring Hill Acquisition LLC 1487532 Woodbury New York $25,061
Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital 1474193 Warren Ohio $13,494
Athena Health Care Systems 1487891 Woonsocket Rhode Island 11567

A full list of what standards were cited for each establishment – and the inspection number – are available here. An OSHA standards database can be found here.

Resources are available on the agency’s COVID-19 webpage to help employers comply with these standards.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.OSHA’s role is to help 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.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

DOL OIG releases FY 2021 audit plans for OSHA, MSHA

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

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Photo: oig.dol.gov

Washington — The Department of Labor Office of Inspector General intends to conduct an audit of the number and types of inspections OSHA is using to protect workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as OSHA’s plans to address future pandemics, according to a fiscal year 2021 audit work plan released Nov. 2.

DOL OIG states that “OSHA has reduced its number of inspections and increased its number of non-formal complaint investigations.” OSHA was named in a lawsuit filed by meatpacking employees in July, the document adds.

The audit is among DOL OIG’s seven OSHA-focused discretionary audits – including four related to COVID-19 – planned for FY 2021, which ends Sept. 30. Discretionary audits are conducted with funds left over after mandatory audits – those required by law or regulation – have been completed.

OIG currently is looking into the protection of OSHA inspectors’ health during the pandemic. Other planned audits concern OSHA’s collaboration with other federal agencies that conduct onsite workplace safety and health inspections, and how OSHA uses complainant interviews during inspections.

“Inspectors are not required to interview complainants at any point during the inspection process, which could result in OSHA having little interaction with complainants and witnesses during complaint inspections,” OIG states. “This audit will focus on OSHA’s use of complainant and witness testimony during a complaint inspection to ensure the complaint or referral was addressed adequately.”

Another audit in progress is a review of OSHA’s silica standards, recently amended after 13 years of research and development. The other two planned audits will examine the Severe Violator Enforcement Program and OSHA’s “lookback reviews” on its own standards, which last occurred more than a decade ago. The latter audit will include examinations into OSHA’s nearly 50-year-old ammonium nitrate standard and 30-year-old Process Safety Management Standard (1910.119).

OIG is continuing to look into the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s modification or cancellation of more than 12,300 citations and orders from the beginning of 2013 through September 2019. Two other planned MSHA-focused audits concern the agency’s efforts to address dust sampling manipulation and mine rescue response plans.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.