Newly formed alliances to promote worker rights, prevent exposures to hazards

WASHINGTON – Five organizations and businesses nationwide have signed and renewed alliance agreements with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and organizations to provide workers with information on their legal and fundamental rights, guidance and access to training resources on workplace safety and health.

By joining with OSHA, these organizations benefit from fostering collaboration and can better focus on hazards in ways that are specific to their industries and workplaces.

The alliances will work together on initiatives and facilitate opportunities to:

“The most effective way to protect workers is for every employer to embrace safety and health as a core value in their workplaces,” said Doug Kalinowski, director of Cooperative and State Programs at OSHA. “These alliances from across the country and in various industries show that these employers have made worker safety and health a core value and are leaders in workplace safety.”

OSHA’s Alliance Program helps the agency develop working relationships with organizations that are committed to workplace safety and health. These groups include trade and professional associations, labor unions, educational institutions, community and faith-based groups, and government agencies.

Alliance participants work with OSHA to provide workers and employers with information, guidance, and resources to promote safety and health in workplaces. Alliances also ensure that workers know their rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Original article published by OSHA

Twelve new OSHA alliances aim to increase workplace safety

WASHINGTON – A dozen companies and organizations from across the country are making the safety of their workers a priority by forming alliances with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in October and November to improve worker safety and health.

Forming an alliance with OSHA allows companies or organizations to focus on hazards to improve worker safety in a specific workplace or industry. During the past two months, alliances were formed and renewed that address:

  • Educating and training Mexican workers in Nebraska and Texas,
  • Training construction workers in western Colorado,
  • Using data to educate Boise high school students about their rights,
  • Informing Dallas workers about their rights,
  • Increasing access to training in the Great Lakes region,
  • Addressing hazards and protective equipment for outdoor advertising,
  • Developing education and training programs in the Northern Mariana Islands,
  • Reducing and preventing exposure to logging industry hazards in Louisiana,
  • Targeting focus four hazards in the crane industry,
  • Protecting South Florida roofers from exposure to falls, struck-by, chemical and electrical hazards, and prevalent industry hazards, and
  • Protecting healthcare workers in Massachusetts from workplace violence, musculoskeletal disorders, and other industry hazards.

“Our vision at OSHA is to see safety and health embraced as core values in every workplace in America,” said Doug Kalinowski, director of Cooperative and State Programs at OSHA. “These strategic alliances cover a wide range of industries and hazards. We look forward to working closely with them to establish specific goals and develop strategies to reach those goals.

OSHA’s Alliance Program helps the agency develop working relationships with organizations that are committed to workplace safety and health. These groups include trade and professional associations, labor unions, educational institutions, community and faith-based groups, and government agencies.

Alliance participants work with OSHA to provide workers and employers with information, guidance, and resources to promote safety and health in workplaces. Alliances also ensure that workers know their rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

Learn more about how employers can keep workers safe through OSHA alliances.


McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by OSHA

Commitment to Electrical Workers

OSHA renews partnership with employers, unions, trade groups to protect electrical transmission, distribution industry workers

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has renewed a national strategic partnership to improve the safety and health of people employed in constructing and maintaining the national electrical grid with an emphasis on preventing life-threatening incidents and fostering safer work environments.

The five-year renewal includes more than a dozen companies, labor organizations and trade associations in the electrical transmission and distribution industry, and seeks to reduce worker injuries and fatalities by developing strategies to address industry hazards during construction, transmission and distribution work activities.

The partnership will collect data and address the causes of serious and potential serious injury and fatality rates, as well as the known drivers of these injuries and fatalities including mental health, megavolt amps, electrical contacts and arc flash events. Participants will also provide safety training on electrical, transmission and distribution and deploy automated external defibrillators to facilities, jobsites and vehicles.

Since 2018, the partnership has helped reduce industry fatality rates among its members by 91 percent, while the industry average rose by 14 percent. One fatal incident was reported in 2022, down from five in 2019. Since 2020, participating partners have trained more than 35,000 workers and developed nine best practices for the electrical transmission and distribution industry.


McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by OSHA

OSHA, Mexican Consulate in Dallas sign alliance to protect safety, health of Spanish-speaking workers

Original article published by OSHA

Promotes employee workplace rights for Spanish-speaking workers

OSHA Dallas Area Director Basil Singh, Fort Worth Area Director Timothy Minor and Mexico’s Consul in Dallas Francisco de la Torre Galindo signing an alliance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On June 14, 2023, OSHA Dallas Area Director Basil Singh, Fort Worth Area Director Timothy Minor and Mexico’s Consul in Dallas Francisco de la Torre Galindo signed an alliance to promote understanding of the workplace safety and health rights and responsibilities and provide resources for North Texas’ Spanish-speaking workers. 

Alliance description: On June 14, 2023, OSHA’s area offices in Dallas and Fort Worth and the Dallas Mexican Consulate entered into a two-year alliance to provide Spanish-speaking employers and workers in North Texas with information, guidance and access to workers’ rights resources.

The alliance provides workplace safety and health outreach and training materials to the area’s Mexican nationals, including construction and general industry employees and employers, providing information, guidance and training resources that will help protect the health and safety of workers. The alliance is also focused on helping employers understand worker rights and their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

Background: OSHA’s Alliance Program works with groups committed to worker safety and health to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. These groups include unions, consulates, trade or professional organizations, businesses, faith- and community-based organizations, and educational institutions. OSHA and the groups work together to develop compliance assistance tools and resources, share information with workers and employers and educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities.

Quote: “OSHA’s alliance with the Mexican Consulate in Dallas will prevent many Spanish-speaking people working in North Texas from needless injuries or worse,” explained OSHA Area Director Basil Singh in Dallas. “Every U.S. worker, regardless of their immigration status, has the right to a safe workplace and to receive information in their own language.”

“Working with the Mexican Consulate in Dallas will help us reach out to many workers who we might not otherwise have access to,” explained OSHA Area Timothy Minor in Fort Worth, Texas. “By breaking down the language barrier, we can help these workers understand the rights to be protected from needless harm.”


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Refusing to Protect Workers

Original article published by OSHA

Federal safety inspectors find Illinois contractor with long history of violations again exposing employees to dangerous workplace hazards

For 7th time since 2015, OSHA cites United Custom Homes for defying safety standards

Illinois silhouette: Exposing Workers to ViolenceORLAND PARK, IL – For the seventh time since 2015, federal workplace safety inspectors have cited an Oswego contractor who refuses to protect carpenters working at elevations, as required by federal law.

Inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration observed six carpenters employed by United Custom Homes LLC framing new townhomes in Orland Park on April 12, 2023, at heights up to 21 feet without fall protection, and opened an investigation.

OSHA learned that, in addition to not providing fall protection equipment, the contractor failed to train workers on the use of fall protection and forklift operations and did not provide workers with eye protection.

After the Orland Park inspection, the company received OSHA citations for one willful violation, one repeat violation and two serious violations with proposed penalties of $151,260. The findings in this inspection are similar to fall protection violations OSHA identified at six other United Custom Homes’ worksites in the Chicago area since 2015. Currently, the company owes more than $81,000 in unpaid OSHA penalties.

“United Custom Homes’ continued defiance toward federal safety regulations is putting their employees at risk of serious and sometimes fatal fall injuries,” said OSHA Chicago South Area Director James Martineck in Tinley Park, Illinois. “Falls are a leading cause of death in the construction industry. By failing to comply with the law yet again, United Custom Homes’ employees face real dangers that federal safety standards can prevent.”

United Custom Homes LLC provides residential and commercial carpentry, remodeling and general contractor services. The Oswego company is owned by Juan Guerrero.

OSHA’s stop falls website offers safety information and video presentations in English and Spanish to teach workers about fall hazards and proper safety procedures.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

OSHA encourages stakeholders to share feedback on effectiveness of leading indicators to improve, develop resource tool

Original article published by OSHA

Using Leading Indicators to Improve Safety and Health OutcomesWASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is asking for stakeholder input on their current use of leading indicators and their impact on managing their safety and health management systems.

Leading indicators are proactive and preventive measures that can provide insight on the effectiveness of safety and health activities and reveal potential problems. They are vital in reducing worker fatalities, injuries, illnesses, and financial impacts.

As OSHA considers developing a Leading Indicators Resource, the agency welcomes stakeholders to share their experience and expertise and provide detailed feedback on how/where they are used at their workplace. OSHA is interested in various perspectives on stakeholders’ answers to questions, such as the following:

  • What leading indicators do you use?
  • What lagging indicators do you use (OSHA incident rates, for example)?
  • What leading indicators are, or could be, commonly used in your industry?
  • What metrics do you share with top management?
  • How do you determine the effectiveness of your leading indicators?
  • Do you link your leading indicators to outcome data, such as OSHA incident rates to evaluate results?
  • How could employers be encouraged to use leading indicators in addition to lagging indicators to improve safety management systems?
  • What barriers and challenges, if any, have you encountered to using leading indicators?

Read the full list of OSHA’s questions. Submit comments through regulations.gov (Docket No. OSHA-2023-0006) by July 17, 2023.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

US Department of Labor seeking public comments on modernizing program that recognizes employers committed to best safety, health practices

Original article published by OSHA

OSHA’s successful Voluntary Protection Program helps provide safe workplaces

Photo: OSHA

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor announced that its Occupational Safety and Health Administration is inviting the public and workplace safety stakeholders to share their comments on how the agency can best honor companies who make exceptional commitments to workplace safety and health, and encourage others to follow.

Established in 1982, OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program recognizes workplaces that demonstrate best practices in safety and health management and serve as industry models. In the last 40 years, the program has attracted a wide variety of organizations in many industries. VPP’s success has stretched OSHA resources and made it more difficult to ensure the quality of program applicants’ safety and health management systems.

By opening the program to public comments, OSHA seek input from all perspectives to assist the agency as it modernizes and enhances the VPP, and continues to promote the use of workplace safety and health management systems. The Voluntary Protection Program’s modernization project is seeking stakeholder input on issues such as:

  • Aligning the program more closely with recent occupational safety and health management practices and system standards.
  • How the program can contribute to expanding the use and effectiveness of safety and health management systems.
  • Whether and how resources and tools such as “special government employees,” consensus standards, third-party auditors and other methods could serve to expand the program’s capacity without compromising effectiveness and oversight.
  • Whether particular categories of hazards need special attention in the VPP certification process.

OSHA is asking a series of questions in 10 sections to elicit useful responses to support the project’s aims. Interested members of the public should submit comments and attachments, identified by Docket No. OSHA-2022-0012, using the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. The deadline for comments is April 14, 2023.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Preventable Fatality

Original article published by OSHA

US Department of Labor finds Texas construction company willfully exposedworkers to deadly hazards after trench collapse kills two workers

WBW Construction LLC allowed workers into 23-foot deep, unprotected trench

AUSTIN, TX – A federal investigation has determined that by failing to follow required workplace safety standards, a Georgetown construction contractor gave two workers installing sewer lines in an underground trench – more than two stories deep – little chance of survival when a large section of the excavation collapsed, crushing them under thousands of pounds of soil and rocks.

U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators responding to the residential construction site in Jarrell on June 28, 2022, found WBW Construction LLC willfully violated federal law when they failed to have a trench protective system in place and did not provide an exit point within 25 feet inside a trench. OSHA also issued four serious citations for not using ladders as designed; failing to inspect the work site as frequently as required; not removing water in the trench; and failing to provide workers with first aid training.

OSHA has proposed penalties of $250,272 and placed WBW Construction LLC in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

“WBW Construction LLC willfully sent these workers into an unprotected trench and ignored federal safety requirements. Now, two workers’ families, friends and co-workers are left to grieve their tragic, and avoidable, deaths,” said OSHA Area Director Casey Perkins in Austin, Texas. “Incidents like this can be prevented by following proven and well-known methods to protect workers from the deadly hazards in trenching and excavation work.”

By most estimates, one cubic yard of soil can weigh as much as 3,000 pounds – about the weight of a subcompact car – and trench collapses happen in seconds, which helps explain why they are among the construction industry’s most fatal hazards.

Through the end of November 2022, OSHA reports 35 workers died in trenching and excavation work, more than double the number in all of 2021. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports trench collapses claimed the lives of 166 workers between 2011 and 2018.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing a sudden increase in the number of workers dying in trench and excavation collapses,” Perkins explained. “OSHA has a National Emphasis Program in place to alert employers and workers of the dangers, and to hold violators accountable. We also encourage anyone who sees workers in an unsafe trench to help us save lives by reporting the hazardous situation.”

Federal trenching safety standards require protective systems for trenches deeper than 5 feet, and that soil and other materials be kept at least 2 feet from the trench’s edge. Trenches must also be inspected by a knowledgeable person, be free of standing water and atmospheric hazards, and have a safe means of entry and exit before a worker may enter.

Based in Georgetown, WBW Construction LLC is affiliated with the WBW Development Group, developer of more than two dozen residential and commercial projects in Texas.

The deceased workers were provided by Sedona Staffing Services, a Moline, Illinois-based company that offers temporary staffing for clerical, industrial and technical positions at 28 branches nationwide. OSHA issued one serious citation to Sedona for not inspecting the job sites. Proposed penalties total $9,324 for Sedona.

WBW Construction LLC and Sedona Staffing Services have 15 business days from receipt of citation and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

OSHA’s trenching and excavation webpage provides additional information on trenching hazards and solutions, including a safety video.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Severe Violator Enforcement Program Updated

Original article published by OSHA

Program focuses on employers who repeatedly disregard workers’ safety, health

WASHINGTON – To strengthen enforcement and improve compliance with workplace safety standards and reduce worker injuries and illnesses, the U.S. Department of Labor is expanding the criteria for placement in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

The new criteria include violations of all hazards and OSHA standards and will continue to focus on repeat offenders in all industries. Previously, an employer could be in the program for failing to meet a limited number of standards. The changes will broaden the program’s scope with the possibility that additional industries will fall within its parameters.

Since 2010, the Severe Violator Enforcement Program has focused on enforcement and inspection resources on employers who either willfully or repeatedly violate federal health and safety laws or demonstrate a refusal to correct previous violations. In addition to being included on a public list of the nation’s severe violators, employers are subject to follow-up inspections.

“The Severe Violator Enforcement Program empowers OSHA to sharpen its focus on employers who – even after receiving citations for exposing workers to hazardous conditions and serious dangers – fail to mitigate these hazards,” said Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker. “Today’s expanded criteria reflect the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to ensuring OSHA has the tools it needs to ensure employers protect their workers or hold them accountable when they fail to provide safe and healthy workplaces.”

Specifically, the updated criteria include the following:

  • Program placement for employers with citations for at least two willful or repeated violations or who receive failure-to-abate notices based on the presence of high-gravity serious violations.
  • Follow-up or referral inspections made one year – but not longer than two years – after the final order.
  • Potential removal from the Severe Violator Enforcement Program three years after the date of receiving verification that the employer has abated all program-related hazards. In the past, removal could occur three years after the final order date.
  • Employers’ ability to reduce time spent in the program to two years, if they consent to an enhanced settlement agreement that includes use of a safety and health management system with seven basic elements in OSHA’s Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs.

The updated program instruction replaces the 2010 instruction, and remains in effect until canceled or superseded.

Read Assistant Secretary Parker’s blog on the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Preventing Workplace Violence

NSC releases report and playbook

Original article published by Safety + Health

wp-violence.jpg

Itasca — New guidance from the National Safety Council is aimed at providing organizations with information and solutions to effectively mitigate and address workplace violence.

Nearly half of U.S. employers report they’re unprepared to prevent and respond to incidents on the job – even as workplace violence becomes more frequent, according to NSC. Recognizing this critical gap in safety preparedness, the nonprofit organization – through its Work to Zero initiative – recently released a report and playbook: Workplace Violence: Using Technology to Reduce Risk.

“Research shows that overt acts of workplace violence rarely occur out of the blue, but too often the catalyst for implementing effective means of prevention comes in the wake of tragedy,” said Paul Vincent, executive vice president of workplace practice at NSC. “This report provides business leaders and safety managers alike with a foundation for understanding the top workplace violence trends and industry-specific risk factors, while offering a playbook to prevent on-the-job assaults and fatalities before they occur.”

In addition to calling for more legislative action to address this national issue, the report details key steps employers can take to reduce workplace violence risk, including:
Creating a workplace violence prevention task force. In addition to bringing a multidisciplinary understanding of risk assessment, this group is likely to have a rapport with employees, making it ideally equipped to perform trainings on sensitive safety topics.
Conducting regular tabletop exercises or simulations to engage key stakeholders, identify gaps in existing prevention plans, and clarify worker responsibilities in emergency situations.
Using technology to help prevent workplace hazards. Notably, the report outlines the benefits and applications of 10 key technologies, such as digital floor plan mapping, virtual reality training and weapon detection systems.
Fostering a workplace culture in which psychological safety is prioritized, and where all workers feel empowered to voice concerns and initiate broader safety conversations.

“Employees serve as the eyes and ears of their organization, and their role in preventing workplace violence cannot be overstated,” said Emily Whitcomb, director of the Work to Zero initiative. “This report not only details how employers can implement the latest safety technology into their workplace, but identifies specific steps leaders can take to enhance employee engagement enterprise wide. Together, these safety solutions can make the difference between a high- and low-risk workplace.”


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.