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A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ComplianceSigns.com

February 20, 2012

Top Workplace Safety News, February 2012

  • OSHA 300A posting deadline was Feb. 1
  • CSA calls for combustible dust standard

  • OSHA adds new online training resources
  • "Unclassified hazards" debate delays GHS again

  • Excavation Protection tops willful violations in 2011

  • Feb. News: OSHA Deadline; Online Training; GHS Update; more

    We're seven weeks into 2012, and I hope you still have a perfect safety record for the year.

    This month's Connection provides a lot of information that can help you prevent accidents in the months ahead: new training videos and guides, cold stress tips and links to a virtual safety event in early March. So take a look, click some links and see what you can do to keep your workplace safe this year.

    Have a safe month
    Paul Sandefer, President

    OSHA 300A Posting Deadline was Feb. 1 - Are You in Compliance?

    Employers who are required to keep the OSHA Form 300 Injury and Illness log must post OSHA's Form 300A from Feb. 1 to April 30, 2012 in a common area wherever notices to workers are usually posted.
     
    The summary must list the total numbers of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred in 2011. All establishment summaries must be certified by a company executive.

    Top 10 OSHA Willful Violations of 2011


    Willful violations are issued when OSHA believes there has beenTrench safety sign at ComplianceSigns.com intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, OSHA rules. Willful Violations are subject to maximum fines 10 times higher than "serious" violations. The 10 OSHA standards with the most willful violations in 2011 were:
    1. Excavation protective system (1926.652), 84 violations
    2. Fall protection (1926.501), 67 violations
    3. Process safety management (1910.119), 45 violations
    4. Grain handling facilities (1910.272), 42 violations
    5. Asbestos (1926.1101), 37 violations
    6. Lockout / tagout (1910.147), 35 violations
    7. Machine guarding (1910.212), 25 violations
    8. Specific excavation requirements (1926.651), 24 violations
    9. General recording criteria (1904.7), 23 violations, and
    10. General duty clause (5A.0001), 22 violations.

    ComplianceSigns Customer Comments - February 2012

    Here's what our customers are saying about us this month:                                            

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    OSHA Posts 17 Respirator Training Videos

    OSHA Respirator Safety Sign at ComplianceSigns.comOSHA has posted a series of 17 videos to help workers learn proper use of respirators on the job. The short videos, nine in English and eight in Spanish, address workers in general industry and construction. Topics include OSHA's Respiratory Standard, respirator use, training, fit-testing and detecting counterfeit respirators. 

    The videos are available with closed captioning for streaming or download. OSHA's Respiratory Protection page includes additional training materials, information about occupational respiratory hazards in different industries, and details of OSHA's respiratory protection standards.

    GHS Delayed Again Over "Unclassified Hazards"


    OSHA implementation of the GHS Standard (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals) has been delayed once again. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is extending its review of the final rule to revise its hazard communication standard. OSHA had expected to release the GHS in February.

    MSDS safety sign at ComplianceSigns.comThe rule is intended to align OSHA's Hazard Communication standard with that of the United Nations' GHS already adopted by many other countries. The rule would change the OSHA's criteria for classifying physical and health hazards, adopt standardized labeling requirements, and require a standardized order of information on safety data sheets.

    Many U.S. groups have asked for inclusion of a category for "Unclassified Hazards." This would cover substances that may pose risks to workers (based on scientific evidence identified during the employer's classification process), but that do not meet the criteria for any of the current physical or health hazard categories.

    The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) says an Unclassified Hazards category would allow the GHS to provide crucial information on topics such as combustible dust. Over the past eight years, the CSB has conducted five major investigations and one safety study of fatal combustible dust explosions and flash fires. CSB says this hazard is far too common in industry, yet the GHS would be unable to address its presence or prevention without an Unclassified Hazards category.

    Chemical Safety Board Renews Call for Combustible Dust Hazard Standard

    February 7 marked the fourth anniversary of a massive sugar dust explosion that killed 14 workers and injured 38 others at a sugar refinery in Port Wentworth, Ga. In recognition of the event, the Chemical Safety board (CSB) called on OSHA to "proceed expeditiously" on its 2006 recommendation to produce a combustible dust standard for general industry.

    The CSB
    Explosion Hazard safety sign at ComplianceSigns.combelieves such a standard is necessary to reduce or eliminate hazards from fires and explosions from a wide variety of combustible powders and dust. In a statement, CSB said that "Preventing dust explosions is a necessary investment: prevention saves lives and massive property losses."

    The CSB recently reissued its call for an OSHA dust standard following investigation of flash fires that took five lives in an iron powder processing plant in Gallatin, Tenn. In addition, CSB wants to see an Unclassified Hazard category added to OSHA's version of the GHS to address hazards including combustible dust.

    OSHA Authorizes 25 New Online Training Courses

    OSHA has authorized production of 25 online courses as part of its Outreach Training Program. The online courses, which are voluntary and not required by OSHA, teach workers how to identify, prevent, and eliminate workplace hazards - and help employers reduce the high costs of Browse OSHA safety signs at ComplianceSigns.comworker injuries and illnesses. Workers must also receive additional training on hazards specific to their job.

    The online courses will provide a variety of 10- and 30-hour classes designed for Construction, General Industry and Maritime workplaces. The 10-hour classes are intended for entry level workers, while the 30-hour classes are more appropriate for supervisors or workers with some safety responsibility.

    More than 135,000 workers received OSHA-approved online training in 2011 - a five-fold increase from the number of online students trained in 2007.

    OSHA also has revised outreach training program guidelines. New documents include Program Requirements and separate Industry Procedures for Construction, General Industry, Maritime and Disaster Site Worker.

    February Safety News and Notes

    No Texting Label at ComplianceSigns.comPennsylvania to ban texting while driving, starting in March.
    Pennsylvania has become the latest state to ban texting while driving. The new legislation takes effect March 8, and the primary offense will carry a fine of $50.



    Pennsylvania joins 34 other states, as well as the District of Columbia and Guam, in banning texting by all drivers.
    Read the initial Pennsylvania announcement here, or browse cell phone and texting signs here.

    New OSHA Pocket Guide: Noise in Construction.
    OSHA Ear Protection Sign at ComplianceSigns.comOSHA has published a new educational publication for construction workers, Protecting Yourself from Noise in Construction. The booklet provides information on the hazards of loud noise in construction, how noise levels are measured, and how to find out if noise on the job site or from tools is loud enough to cause hearing loss.

    It also gives examples of administrative and engineering controls employers can use to reduce worker exposure to noise, as well as information on the proper selection and use of personal hearing protection.
    Download the guide here, or browse PPE-Hearing safety signs here.

    NIOSH Publishes Dust Control Handbook for Industrial Minerals NIOSH Dust Control Handbook
    Mining and Processing.
    NIOSH has developed a new handbook that provides information on control technologies that lower workers' dust exposures during all stages of minerals processing. Dust Control Handbook for Industrial Minerals Mining and Processing describes dust-generating processes and control strategies.

    The 284-page book contains detailed information on control technologies to address all stages of the minerals handling process.
    Download the new handbook here or
    check out various dust control workshop presentation videos here.


    OSHA Fall Protection sign at ComplianceSigns.comNew OSHA Fact Sheets on Preventing Falls in Residential Roofing.
    OSHA recently issued three new Fact Sheets on reducing falls during residential construction, specifically roofing operations.

    The new sheets target fall prevention during Roof Sheathing, Installing Standing Seam Metal Roofs, and Re-Roofing.
    See them all here, or browse Fall Protection safety signs here.

    Occupational Health & Safety Virtual Event 2012 on March 7.
    Keep up with the latest tools, technologies and information to enhance your workplace safety planning at the OH&S Virtual Event. Topics will include: Workplace Drug Testing Changes; Construction Safety Mobile App; Nanotechnology in Food and Food Packaging; Oil & Gas Operators' Data; Nail Gun Injuries.

    View the latest products, attend educational sessions and share best practices with others in your field - all with no fees.
     Get more information or register for the event here.  

    SAFETY TIP: Prevent Cold Stress Illness and Injury

    It's the time of year when workers may be at risk of cold stress. In regions relatively unaccustomed to winter weather, near freezing temperatures are considered factors for cold stress. Whenever temperatures drop decidedly below normal and wind speed increases, workers can be at risk for cold stress - and serious health problems. NIOSH offers these tips to protect workers from cold stress:
    • Wear appropriate clothing:
      • Several layers of loose clothing provides the best insulation.
      • Tight clothing reduces blood circulation. Warm blood needs to be able to circulate to the extremities.
      • When choosing clothing, be aware that some clothing may restrict movement, resulting in a hazardous situation.
    • Make sure to protect the ears, face, hands and feet in extremely cold weather.
      • Boots should be waterproof and insulated.
      • Wear a hat to help keep your whole body warmer.
    • Move into warm locations during work breaks; limit the amount of time outside on extremely cold days.
    • Carry cold weather gear, such as extra socks, gloves, hats, jacket, blankets, a change of clothes and a thermos of hot liquid.
    • Include a thermometer and chemical hot packs in your first aid kit.
    • Avoid touching cold metal surfaces with bare skin.
    • Monitor your physical condition and that of your coworkers.
    For information on hypothermia, frostbite, trenchfoot, and chilblains, including symptoms and first aid, visit the NIOSH page on Cold Stress.

    There's More to Fall Protection than a Lanyard

    Falls are a particular concern to safety professionals, in part because workers often underestimate the inherent danger, and because elevated work surfaces are quite common in construction and maintenance projects.

    Fall-protection strategies are a critical component of safety programs, but workers don't always understand proper fall protection strategies and the correct use of personal protective equipment such as shock-absorbing lanyards. That creates both a false sense of security and the very real prospect of danger.

    The safety experts at Safety Management Group have prepared an article addressing the many considerations of fall protection, including training. Read more here, or browse Fall Protection safety signs here.

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    Top News Links in January

    These were the most popular articles / links in last month's Connection: