Mining Inspectors Zero In On Workplace Safety

 

Mining inspectors in Ontario are focusing in on diesel emissions and other hazards that could affect air quality during a blitz in underground mines.
 
As part of the province’s Safe at Work Ontario strategy, which was unveiled four and a half years ago, Ministry of Labor inspectors are making sure that employers are complying with recent changes to emission requirements for diesel-powered equipment under the Regulations for Mines and Mining Plants.
 
Officials believe the changes improve protection for workers from the potentially harmful effects of diesel emissions by:
 
     Setting a lower allowed limit of carbon exposure for workers and
     Requiring equipment be tested under consistent conditions
 
The changes went into effect on Jan. 1, 2012.
 
 
Illness and Death Result from Poor Air Quality
 
Poor air quality in underground mines can lead to occupational illness and death of workers. In particular, workers are at risk in the event they are exposed to carbon monoxide in diesel exhaust.
 
Underground mines can have poor air quality when:
 
     There are too many "particulate particles" (a mixture of various chemical solids and gasses including carbon and nitrous oxide) and other airborne substances such as dust in the air and/or when
     Fumes emitted by diesel-powered equipment are over the prescribed limits
 
To protect workers, the new amendments require employers to:
 
     Perform routine testing to determine the carbon monoxide content of exhaust from diesel-powered equipment under consistent conditions
     Develop and implement testing measures and procedures for diesel-powered equipment, in consultation with the mine's Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) or health and safety representative
     Provide test results, as required, to the JHSC or health and safety representative
     Investigate overexposure by workers to diesel emissions and take remedial action, if possible, to prevent future incidents
 
The mining regulations are part of Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
 
 
Inspectors Focus in on Diesel Equipment
 
Inspectors will target underground mines that use diesel equipment, including:
 
     Mines with large fleets of diesel equipment operating in the underground environment
     Recently reopened or new mines operating diesel equipment
     Mines where previous ventilation concerns were observed, and
     Mines with a poor health and safety compliance history
 
Inspectors will check on two types of equipment:
 
     Diesel equipment used for underground transportation of workers and materials and blasting of rock and
     Ventilation systems used to deliver fresh air to underground mines
 
Lastly, mining inspectors will zero in on the top priorities:
 
Committee Consultation: Inspectors will check that employers have developed and implemented testing measures and procedures for each piece of diesel equipment, in consultation with the JHSC or health and safety representative.
 
Diesel Equipment: Inspectors will check that equipment used for underground transportation of workers and materials is being regularly tested, as required.
 
Workplace Air Sampling: Inspectors will check that employers are regularly testing the air in underground mines to ensure exposure to toxic airborne substances do not exceed the prescribed limits.
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
 
©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

23 Percent of Survey Respondents Always, Often, or Occasionally Bullied At Work

 

Looking for zero tolerance on the job when it comes to bullying, a recent work-stress survey, conducted by UNISON City of Glasgow (Scotland) branch using the HSE Stress Management Standards, discovered some 23 percent of respondents were always, often or on occasion bullied.

 

The survey came to light once concerns were raised by UNISON members regarding the affect spending reductions were having on workloads and workplace stress.

 

Work-Stress Major Concern Requiring Urgent Action

 

According to the branch’s health and safety officer, Scott Donohoe, “We had a 96 percent response rate, which was excellent. Unfortunately, a lot of the members’ responses were in the red, meaning that work-stress was a major concern and that urgent action was required.

 

“After presenting our findings to the employer, we agreed that a couple of focus groups, consisting of employees, members and safety reps, would be setup to discuss the results of the survey and identify stressors.”

 

Donohoe added that “The work-stress campaign has been successful in recruiting new members and activists. Our next step is to review the risk assessment to ensure that the ‘prevent and control’ measures have been implemented and are still relevant, and widen the work-stress campaign to include other employees.”

 

Guide Recommended for All Employers Dealing with Stress

 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guide “Managing the Causes of Work Related Stress: a Step by Step Approach Using the Management Standards” is recommended for use by all employers when looking at how to deal with the problem of stress. The guide places risk assessment at the heart of any plan to lower the risk of work-related stress.

 

However, the HSE makes clear that prior to a risk assessment being undertaken, the employer is best served if they:

 

  • Talk to their staff about work-related stress and explain what they want to identify;
  • Set up a group to help (which includes trade union safety/employee representatives, the unit health and safety officer, one or more supervisors or line managers, an HR representative and, where possible, someone from the occupational health service);
  • Explain that the first step is to undertake a risk assessment;
  • Ask the group to assist in the assessment; and
  • Agree a date when the key findings of the risk assessment will be available.

 

In assessing the risks in your workplace, its is recommended that your employer review the five steps to risk assessment:

 

1     Identify the hazards;

2     Decide who might be harmed and how;

3     Evaluate the risks and decide on precaution;

4     Record your findings and implement them; and

5     Review your assessment and update if necessary.

 

 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

 


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Intensive Inspection Regime Uncovers Construction Safety Hazards

Intensive Inspection Regime for Construction Sites

 

There have been dozens of construction sites across Scotland that have been put under the spotlight as part of an intensive inspection regime by the Health and Safety Executive.

 

According to HSE, a total of 78 sites were inspected across Scotland during the first three weeks of September and while the majority were found to be managing health and safety appropriately, work was stopped immediately on several sites. In all 15 Prohibition Notices were served because the proper precautions were not in place for working at height.

 

 

Campaign Response to Continued Loss of Life

 

The targeted campaign was in response to the continued loss of life and serious injury arising from falls from height. In the 12 months to April 2012, 49 workers lost their lives on construction sites in the UK, with falls from height being the most common cause of fatal injuries.

 

Jeanette Reuben, HSE’s head of Unit (Construction) for Scotland, Yorkshire and the North East, noted,  “Whilst the initiative was primarily to raise awareness of the problem of unsafe working practices, it is of serious concern that such a significant proportion of sites visited were undertaking work at height in a dangerous manner.

 

 

No Excuse for Workers Elevated Risk of Danger

 

“Straightforward practical precautions are well known in the industry. Safe access equipment is readily available for purchase or hire and there is no excuse for workers, and the self employed, to put themselves in a position of danger when working at height. “

 

Reuben added that HSE will continue to maintain a strong enforcement profile where there is blatant disregard to safe working practice.

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Deadly Factor Had Safety Audit Weeks Before Fire

 

Factory Which Killed 300 Workers Had Safety Audit Weeks Before
 
The textile factory in Karachi, Pakistan in which close to 300 workers burned to death on Sept. 12 had only weeks before received the coveted Social Accountability International's SA8000 certificate, indicating that it was in compliance with the standards on working conditions and safety standards, according to a report from the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF).
 
The Italian company which performed the audit had previously issued 540 certifications, including 100 in Pakistan. According to the IUF, bosses will always try to coach workers on how to respond to audits. But the Karachi factory had reportedly registered 250 workers with the public authorities, while employing up to a thousand.
 
 
Safety Violations Somehow Escaped Auditors
 
Locked doors can be opened on inspection day, but the factory reportedly contained no emergency exits. No factory in Karachi has reportedly been visited by an electrical inspector for at least the past 9 years. All this somehow escaped the attention of auditors who spent 4 days at the plant operating to what are said to be the highest international standards, according to the IUF.
 
Like the notorious Foxconn factories in China, where auditors failed to detect toxic workplaces, child labor and massive amounts of overtime, the Karachi factory had been audited previously. The balance sheet of these audits has been hundreds of lives, according to the IUF.
 
 
Fire Evokes References to Triangle Factory That Killed 146 Workers
 
The Karachi fire inevitably evokes references to the notorious fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York, which in 1911 killed 146 garment workers.
 
The doors at the Triangle factory, like the doors at Ali enterprises in Karachi, were locked. The bosses reportedly said it was on account of theft. The workers reportedly knew that it was to keep out union organizers.
Public outrage at the Triangle fire led to the enactment of significant safety legislation. The Karachi horror shows – again – that private 'accountability' schemes cannot be permitted to replace public accountability, regulation and strong unions at the workplace, the IUF added.
 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

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MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

No Excuse For Company to Be Operating Dangerous Machinery

Hazardous Snip Saw Used Unsafely for Seven Years

 

Tangiwai, New Zealand-based Winstone Pulp International has been ordered to pay a fine of $29,000 for a hazardous snip saw that had been used unsafely for more than seven years, according to the New Zealand Labour Group.

 

Winstone Pulp International was charged with one offense under Sections 7 and 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, which states: Being an employer, failed to ensure that there were in place effective methods for systematically identifying existing hazards to employees at work.

 

 

Saw Was An Accident Waiting to Happen

 

The Court recently heard that following an accident the saw was inspected by a Labour Group Health and Safety Inspector who observed that the was no effective guard on the saw – contrary to the general guidance about guarding provided by Ministry.

 

Labour Group General Manager, John Howard, noted “Unguarded machinery is extremely dangerous and an accident waiting to happen. The general guidance around guarding machinery is long-standing, well-understood and easily available from the Labour Group website.

 

 

No Excuse to Be Operating Dangerous Machinery

 

“There is also specific guidance around the required level of guarding for these types of saws. When you consider the time that this machine has been operational and unguarded together with the easy availability of clear guidance, then there is no excuse whatsoever for this company to be operating such an inherently dangerous piece of machinery.

   

“All too often employees are seriously injured at work, when it is their fundamental right to go home safe at the end of their working day,” Howard added.

 

MBIE-Labour has a three-year project under way to reduce the number of serious harm and fatal accidents resulting from the unsafe use of machinery.

 

 

<pAuthor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Two Companies Expose Workers to Deadly Asbestos, Pay Price

 

Workers Exposed to Deadly Fibers at Mill
Two British companies have been prosecuted after workers were exposed to potentially deadly asbestos fibers at a mill in Bolton.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) took legal action against Hazelwise Ltd and RH Property Management Ltd after finding dozens of damaged asbestos boards stacked up at Brownlow Mill during a visit in October of 2010.
 
No Plan to Manage Asbestos
Manchester Crown Court heard that neither company had put a plan in place to manage the asbestos in the mill on Tennyson Street, where several small businesses rent units.
HSE became aware of the issue when a contractor on the site raised concerns that asbestos insulation boards had been stripped out of unoccupied floors at the mill, releasing potentially deadly asbestos fibers into the air.
 
Two Prohibition Notices
Inspectors issued two Prohibition Notices banning the removal of tools and other items from four floors of the mill in case they had become contaminated with asbestos fibers, and preventing access to the floors.
They also found that asbestos was present in other parts of the mill, occupied by tenants, but nothing had been done to protect it and make sure it was safe.
The court was told the letting agent, RH Property Management Ltd, had raised the issue of the lack of an asbestos assessment in 2006 but did not take any further action. The owner of the mill, Hazelwise Ltd, also failed to arrange for an asbestos survey to be carried out.
 
Both Companies Pleaded Guilty
Both companies pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for failing to ensure the health and safety of people at the mill. Hazelwise also admitted a breach of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 by failing to properly assess the risks from asbestos at the site.
Hazelwise Ltd, of Mauldeth Avenue in Chorlton, was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £8,969 in prosecution costs. RH Property Management Ltd, of Greek Street in Stockport, was fined £15,000 and with costs of £11,011.
 
4,000 People Die Every Year From Asbestos
 
Around 4,000 people reportedly die every year as a result of breathing in asbestos fibers, making it the biggest single cause of work-related deaths in the UK. 
 
 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Sloppy Safety Practices Lucky to Only Cost Employer a Fine

Routine Inspection Revealed Safety Failings

 
An Ammanford, Wales construction company has been fined after a routine inspection at one of its sites revealed a number of dangerous failings.
 
T Richard Jones (Betws) Ltd. was operating a site at St Michael's Church, Manselton, Swansea when Health and Safety Executive (HSE)inspectors visited as part of a routine inspection.
 
 
Site Manager on Holiday, Poor Washing Facilities, No Protective Gear
 
Swansea Magistrates' Court heard that on arrival, HSE's inspectors were informed that the site manager was on holiday. Construction sites need a site manager to ensure that risks to health and safety are adequately controlled. Washing facilities were found to be inadequate and workers were found not to be wearing protective glasses or gloves, which was of particular concern as lime mortar was being used. Use of lime mortar creates a serious risk to health and can lead to the loss of sight, skin burns or dermatitis.
 
In addition, there were two employees working at height without measures in place to prevent injury caused by a fall.
 
A subsequent investigation by the HSE concluded the company had failed to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of its employees.
 
 
Pleaded Guilty, Paid Fine
 
T Richard Jones (Betws) Ltd. of Foundry Road, Ammanford, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,658.
 
According to Welsh safety officials, over the last five years, on average, 61 people have died every year from injuries they receive as a result of construction work, and many more have been injured."
 
 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

The Study Results are In, OSHA Saves Lives, Jobs, Workers Comp Costs



Harvard, University of California, Boston University Co-Author Study
 
A new study, co-authored by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Toffel, Professor David Levine of the Haas School of Business at the University of California – Berkeley and Boston University doctoral student Matthew Johnson, concludes workplace inspections do decrease on-the-job injuries and their associated costs, and they could not detect any harm to companies' performance or profits.

The study,“Randomized Government Safety Inspections Reduce Worker Injuries with no Detectable Job Loss,” involved several years of compiling information.

"We spent several years collecting data, not just on injuries, which is very important, but also on other indicators to see whether inspections led to problems they are often accused of causing – like whether they increased costs and led to the elimination of jobs,” said Levine. “We looked at company survival, employment, sales and total payroll to see if inspections were detrimental to the employers.”
 
 
Reduce Injury Claims 9.4% and save 26% on Workers Comp
 

By studying the inspections Cal/OSHA conducted at workplaces selected at random, the researchers were able to overcome this problem to learn the actual impact of inspections. The study found that within high-hazard industries in California, inspected workplaces reduced their injury claims by 9.4 percent and saved 26 percent on workers' compensation costs in the 4 years following the inspection, compared to a similar set of uninspected workplaces. On average, inspected firms saved an estimated $355,000 in injury claims and compensation for paid lost work over that period. What's more, there was no discernible impact on the companies' profits.

"Across the numerous outcomes we looked at, we never saw any evidence of inspections causing harm," Toffel said. "If OSHA inspections conducted in all 50 states are as valuable as the ones we studied, inspections improve safety worth roughly $6 billion to employers and employees, ignoring pain and suffering. The overall message of our research is that these inspections worked pretty much the way one would hope. They improved safety, and they didn't cost firms enough that we could detect it."

 
 
Average Savings of $355,000 per Company
 
 
On average, inspected firms saved an estimated $355,000 in injury claims and compensation for paid lost work over that period. What's more, there was no discernible impact on the companies' profits. The results were true for both large and small companies.

This is not a surprise to me,” remarked OSHA Administrator David Michaels. “I regularly hear from employers, both large and small, that they value OSHA inspections and treat the inspector as an additional, expert set of eyes. The findings should finally put an end to the criticisms that OSHA inspections make running a business more expensive without adding value. The results are in: OSHA saves lives and jobs!”


Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.comContactmstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com


 


 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

80 Foot Fall from Scaffold Earns NY Employer OSHA Citation

OSHA recently cited Navillus Contracting Tile Inc. for alleged repeat and serious violations of safety standards at a work site in Brooklyn, New York.

 
 
The Manhattan-based masonry contractor was cited following an incident in which an employee fell 80 feet to a lower level from the top of a 118-foot-high scaffold.  [WCx]
 

"This employee is fortunate to have escaped death, but what is unfortunate is that this fall occurred in the first place," said Kay Gee, OSHA's area director for Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. "It is effective scaffold maintenance, work practices and fall protection – not luck – that are essential to protecting workers against life-threatening falls."

 

An inspection by OSHA's Manhattan Area Office found that the scaffold platform was not fully planked and lacked guardrails, an aluminum access platform was not secured against displacement, another worker was not tied off to a safe anchorage point, and employees accessed work areas by climbing up and down the scaffold frames. These conditions resulted in citations for six serious violations, with $36,000 in proposed fines. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

 

One repeat violation with a proposed fine of $38,500 involves a lack of guardrails. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. OSHA cited Navillus in 2008 for a similar hazard at a Bronx work site. .[WCx]

 
 


"To prevent hazards such as these, employers should implement effective illness and injury prevention programs in which they work continuously with their employees to identify and eliminate hazards," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  
www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

OSHA Cites New Hampshire Employer for Nail Gun Violation

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports it recently cited Monster Contracting, LLC, for alleged willful and serious violations of safety standards at a residential construction site in Manchester, NH. The Canada-based framing contractor faces a total of $59,200 in proposed fines following an inspection by OSHA's Concord Area Office.
 
 
"Employees at this job site faced the risk of disabling or deadly injuries from falls, crushing injuries or being struck by flying debris or objects while operating nail guns and other tools," said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's area director for New Hampshire. "Compounding the situation was the fact that these employees lacked training that would have taught them how to recognize and avoid such hazards."[WCx]
 
 
OSHA found employees exposed to falls from heights of 6 to 20 feet while performing exterior and interior framing work without fall protection or near unguarded window, floor and stairwell openings, which resulted in a citation for one willful violation with a $28,000 fine. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
 
 
Nine serious violations with $31,200 in fines include a lack of eye protection for employees working with nail guns, power tools and staplers; damaged and misused ladders; a damaged sling used to lift walls; the employer's failure to certify that powered industrial truck operators had been trained; unsafe access to elevated areas of the building; lumber with protruding nails in a work area; not training employees to recognize fall, material handling, electrical and flying object hazards; and not training employees in the safe operation of power tools and the proper use of ladders.
 
 
A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.[WCx]
 
 
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
 

New York State Crackdown on Workers Comp

Fraud Nets 18 Arrests

 
A recent crackdown on workers compensation fraud in New York State led to the arrests of 18 people in 13 counties.
 
 
According to information from the State Department of Financial Services, the arrests include people who continued to be employed after claiming they were disabled, faked injuries to collect payments and one woman who cashed the checks of her deceased husband. [WCx]
 
 
Superintendent of DFS Benjamin Lawsky noted the arrests were the latest attempt to save employers money by reeling in workers comp fraud.
 
 
“Workers compensation fraud is a serious crime that victimizes honest businesses and taxpayers who are forced to shoulder the burden of higher premiums. Strong anti-fraud activities complement the state’s ongoing work to drive down the cost of workers’ compensation insurance,” Lawsky remarked.
 
 
The arrests were the result of a series of joint investigations led by DFS, along with the Office of the Inspector General of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, the New York State Insurance Fund and other insurers. [WCx]
 
 
All of those taken into custody are innocent until proven guilty.
 
 

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

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