Lockout Tagout Violation Results in Crush Death at New York Company

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Metalico Rochester Inc. for alleged repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards following the death of an employee at its 50 Portland Ave. recycling facility in Rochester, N.Y.
 
 
According to an OSHA report, the worker, who operated a large baler, was fatally crushed on June 4 when the machine unexpectedly activated while he was clearing material and he became caught between the baler's pusher block/ram and its return cavity.
 
 
The inspection by OSHA's Buffalo Area Office found that the company had not developed and used procedures to lock out the baler's power source and also did not provide workers with the required training on those procedures. OSHA's hazardous energy control standard requires that machines be shut down and their power sources locked or tagged out to prevent them from activating while workers are cleaning or performing maintenance on them. (WCxKit)
 
 
OSHA had cited Metalico Rochester Inc. in March 2010 for similar hazards at a Pittsburgh, Pa., location. The recurrence of those conditions in this case resulted in citations for two repeat violations. 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. Additionally, one serious violation was cited for not providing safe access to the baler. 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 means by which employers can prevent new and recurring hazards is for them to work proactively and cooperatively with their employees to develop, implement and effectively maintain an illness and injury prevention program," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional director in New York. [WCx]
 
 
Detailed information on controlling hazardous energy, including an interactive E Tool, is available for workers and employers online at: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/controlhazardousenergy/index.html.
 
 
Proposed penalties total $73,300. Metalico Rochester Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply with OSHA's Buffalo area director or contest the findings to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
 
Product liability issues: In cases such as this involving lack of machine guarding and lack of warnings and/or training, adjusters must look carefully for potential to bring in additional parties to cover the loss costs such as machinery manufacturer's with potential responsibility for designing unsafe or defective equipment. If a safer design is available for a machine or it's guarding system, the manufacturer has the responsibility to do so; they must  "design out" the defects not just issue a warning about the defect. Simply slapping a warning on a product with inherent defects will not save the responsible party from being held responsible.
 


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.

 


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OSHA Finds Two Employers Exposed with Hazards

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports it cited American Railcar Industries. Inc., headquartered in Saint Charles, Mo., for 10 serious safety violations after an employee was electrocuted while performing repair work on a tanker-style railcar July 25 at the company's work site near Marmaduke, Ark.


"Exposing workers to electrocution hazards without proper safeguards and training is inexcusable," said Carlos Reynolds, the agency's area director in Little Rock. "It is the employer's responsibility to create a safe and healthful workplace where preventable hazards don't cost workers their lives."(WcxKitz)


Upon receiving a fatality report from the employer, OSHA's Little Rock Area Office initiated an investigation July 26 at the company's facility on Highway 34 East and found that workers were being exposed to electrical shocks from welding equipment.


The violations include failing to provide personal protection for employees conducting cutting and welding operations; properly mark the power supply and control boxes for voltage, current and wattage; use fixed wiring instead of flexible cords and protect the wiring from possible damage; remove defective electrical equipment from service; and inspect and mark web slings. 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. Proposed penalties total $61,400


American Railcar Industries, which employs about 260 workers at the Marmaduke facility and about 1,500 workers nationwide, designs and manufactures railcars.(WcxKitz)


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

 

 

Pennsylvania Employer Fined for Exposing Workers to Hazards 

 

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited QG LLC for eight serious violations of the process safety management standards at its Atglen facility in response to an employee complaint. Proposed penalties total $54,000.

 
"Process safety management prevents the unexpected release of toxic, reactive or flammable liquids and gases in processes involving highly hazardous chemicals," said Albert D'Imperio, OSHA's area director in Philadelphia. "It's vital that QG ensure safeguards are in place to protect the safety of workers at this facility." (WCxKit)
 

The serious citations issued for the process safety management standard violations include failing to provide information pertaining to the equipment being used, establish written operating procedures and safe work practices, conduct employee training, conduct a pre-start up safety review, implement written procedures for ongoing integrity, develop procedures for management of change, certify that compliance was evaluated at least every three years, and ensure that installations of equipment in hazardous locations were intrinsically safe or approved for the hazardous location.

 

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.
 

OSHA's standards contain specific requirements for the management of hazards associated with processes using dangerous chemicals. Additional information is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/processsafetymanagement/index.html.
 

Headquartered in North Haven, Conn., QG LLC is a web offset printing company with approximately 240 employees at its Atglen site. (WCxKit)
 

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

 
 
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.
 
 
 
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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.

Reduction Seen in U.S. Workplace and Illnesses

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses among private industry employers declined in 2010 to a rate of 3.5 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers, down from a total case rate of 3.6 in 2009.
 
 
According to the Department’s report, nearly 3.1 million injuries and illnesses were reported among private sector industry employers in 2010, down from 3.3 million reported in 2009. (WCxKit)
 
 
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis noted, "We are encouraged by the reported decline in incidence rates for workplace injuries and illnesses, which is reflective of the joint effort of government, business, unions, and other organizations. Nevertheless, 3.1 million injuries and illnesses in the workplace are too high. Serious injuries and illnesses can knock a working family out of the middle class. Workers should not have to sacrifice their health and safety to earn a paycheck.
 
 
"We remain concerned that more workers are injured in the health care and social assistance industry sector than in any other, including construction and manufacturing, and this group of workers had one of the highest rates of injuries and illness at 5.2 cases for every 100 workers. The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration will continue to work with employers, workers and unions in this industry to reduce these risks.”
 
 
According to Solis, illness and injury rates for public sector workers also continue to be alarmingly high at 5.7 cases for every 100 workers, which is more than 60 percent higher than the private sector rate. (WCxKit)
 
 
"A report like this also highlights the importance of accurate record keeping,” Solis added. “Employers must know what injuries and illnesses are occurring in their workplaces in order to identify and correct systemic issues that put their workers at risk. We are concerned with poor record-keeping practices and programs that discourage workers from reporting injuries and illnesses. That's why OSHA is working hard to ensure the completeness and accuracy of these data, which are compiled by the nation's employers.”
 
 
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. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 
 
Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Manage Your Workers Compensation: Reduce Costs 20-50% . Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 

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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.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

Georgia Refuse Recycler Investigated Worker Found Dead Inside Machine

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited Georgia-based Marietta Industrial Enterprises Inc., which operates Refuse Recycling in Marietta, for 21 safety violations, including two willful, violations.
 
 
According to OSHA, it opened an inspection after a worker was found dead inside the rotating drum assembly of a machine used to screen recyclables from other refuse. (WCxKit)
 
 
Two willful violations involve failing to implement lockout/tagout procedures to prevent equipment from becoming unexpectedly energized and to train workers in lockout/tagout procedures. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement or plain indifference to employee safety and health.
 
 
Additionally, 14 serious violations involve failing to provide machine guarding, provide adequate guardrails, mark and illuminate emergency and exit signs, evaluate the workplace to determine if there were any confined spaces that would require permits, examine powered industrial trucks prior to each shift, ensure that employees used electrical protective equipment, provide electrically insulated tools develop an exposure control plan for bloodborne pathogens, offer hepatitis B vaccines and label biohazard containers. 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.
 
 
Finally, five other-than-serious violations involve using work areas for storage, as well as failing to record work-related injuries, maintain clean conditions, provide a written respiratory protection program and provide employees with information for voluntary respirator use. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious injury.
 
 
As a result of the investigation, Marietta Industrial Enterprises has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program. (WCxKit)
 

SVEP is intended to focus on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations in one or more of the following circumstances: a fatality or catastrophe, industry operations or processes that expose workers to severe occupational hazards, employee exposure to hazards related to the potential releases of highly hazardous chemicals and all per-instance citation (egregious) enforcement actions.

 
 
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. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

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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.
 
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Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

OSHA Cites Retail Grocery Chain’s Bakery Section for Unhealthy Worker Conditions

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited Wegmans Food Markets Inc. for alleged repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards at the company's corporate bakery and distribution center in Rochester, N.Y.
 
 
According to a report from OSHA, the retail grocery chain faces a total of $195,200 in proposed fines, chiefly for inadequate safeguards, to prevent the unintended startup of machinery during maintenance. (WCxKit)
 
 
OSHA's hazardous energy control, or lockout/tagout, standard mandates that machines be shut down and the power sources locked out before workers perform maintenance. The standard also requires proper procedures, training and equipment to ensure that machines cannot be unintentionally activated and seriously injure workers performing maintenance on machines.
 
 
Inspections by OSHA's Buffalo area office found that Wegmans failed to develop, utilize and follow lockout/tagout procedures and to adequately train workers on hazards and procedures related to lockout/tagout hazards at this facility. OSHA had cited Wegmans in 2007 and 2010 for similar hazards at Wegmans locations in Rochester, so these recurring hazards resulted in citations for four repeat violations with $140,000 in proposed fines. 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. (WCxKit)
 
 
 
OSHA also identified electrical, machine guarding, mechanical and ventilation hazards related to ovens in the bakery, and a fall hazard in the distribution center. These conditions resulted in citations for nine serious violations with $55,200 in 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.
 
 
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. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 
 

Our WORKERS COMP BOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/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.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact

Dangerous Chemicals and Other Hazards Leads to Tenneco Fine

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited Tenneco Automotive Operating Co. for 20 safety and health violations at its manufacturing plant in Hartwell. Several violations involved hexavalent chromium exposure, which can lead to nose, throat and lung damage. Proposed fines total $90,000, according to information from OSHA.
 
 
"There is ample information alerting employers to the hazards posed by hexavalent chromium. OSHA will not tolerate companies that expose employees to this and other well-known workplace hazards," said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. (WCxKit)
 
 
Seventeen serious safety and health violations were cited. Those related to hexavalent chromium include failing to prevent exposure beyond OSHA's authorized limits, not developing a plan to limit exposure, not providing a separate storage area or change area for personal protective equipment used by workers, failing to consult a physician about the chromium exposures, not maintaining an eyewash station, failing to provide clean work surfaces free from chromium accumulations and failing to dispose of waste using a sealed container.
 
 
The remaining serious violations include failing to evaluate and prevent workers entering confined spaces from doing so without required permits, train workers on lockout/tagout procedures, implement a lockout/tagout program for energy sources to prevent machines from accidentally starting up during servicing and maintenance, provide guards on machines and provide a cover to an electrical panel. 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.
 
 
Three other-than-serious violations involved mounting an outlet, switch box on a structural support column, blocking an electrical disconnect, and failing to require employees to practice entering confined spaces since 2009. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm. No monetary penalties were assessed. (WCxKit)
 
 

Tenneco Automotive Operating Co. is a division of Tenneco, a global transportation components manufacturer with more than 80 facilities on six continents with corporate offices in Lake Forest, Ill.

 
 
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. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Our WORKERS COMP BOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/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.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact

New Edition of Employee Whistleblower Manual Unveiled by OSHA

The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released a new edition of its Whistleblower Investigations Manual, one of a series of measures to improve OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program..
 
 
According to a report from OSHA, the new edition of the manual contains updates to case handling procedures, information on the new laws enacted since the manual was last updated in 2003, and other information to guide OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program, which addresses retaliation complaints under the 21 whistleblower statutes delegated to OSHA (see below for a full list of statutes). This new manual will provide further guidance to help ensure the consistency and quality of investigations. The updated manual is available at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=DIRECTIVES&p_id=5061.
 
 
"The ability of workers to speak out and exercise their legal rights without fear of retaliation is crucial to many of the legal protections and safeguards that all Americans value," said OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels when these measures were announced in August. (WCxKit)
 
 
Key changes to the manual include:
 
1.      A requirement that investigators make every attempt to interview the complainant in all cases.
 
2.      Clarification that whistleblower complaints under any statute may be filed orally or in writing, and in any language, and that OSHA will be accepting electronically-filed complaints on its Whistleblower Protection Program website, http://www.whistleblowers.gov.
 
3.      Additional clarifications of the investigative process including method and recording of interviews, and processing of dually-filed 11(c) complaints in state plan states.
 
4.      New chapters for processing complaints filed under Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA), 49 U.S.C. §20109, National Transit Systems Security Act (NTSSA), 6 U.S.C. §1142, and Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), 15 U.S.C. §2087, as well as significant updates to the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) and Sarbanes-Oxley chapters, which incorporate statutory amendments and developments in the law.
 
5.      Expanded guidance on dealing with uncooperative respondents and issuing administrative subpoenas during whistleblower investigations. (WCxKit)
 

 
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. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.


Our WORKERS COMP BOOK:  
www.WCManual.com
 
 

 

WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/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.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

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