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

October 20, 2016

October 2016 Workplace Safety News & Notes

Here's a collection of safety-related news this month:

OSHA Top 10 Violations of 2016


OSHA has announced the preliminary Top 10 most-frequently-cited workplace safety violations for fiscal year 2016. If these look familiar, it's because all 10 were on the 2015 OSHA top 10 list, too. The preliminary Top 10 for FY 2016* are:
  1.   Fall Protection, 1926.501 (C) - 6,929
  2.   Hazard Communication, 1910.1200 - 5,677
  3.   Scaffolds, 1926.451 (C) - 3,906
  4.   Respiratory Protection, 1910.134 - 3,585
  5.   Lockout/Tagout, 1910.147 - 3,414
  6.   Powered Industrial Trucks, 1910.178 - 2,860
  7.   Ladders, 1926.1053 (C) - 2,639
  8.   Machine Guarding, 1910.212 - 2,451
  9.   Electrical Wiring, 1910.305 - 1,940
  10.   Electrical, General Requirements, 1910.303 - 1,704
*Preliminary figures as of Sept. 30, 2016.


OSHA Proposes Rule to Improve Standards

Load Limit __ lbs.Federal OSHA is proposing 18 changes to the agency's recordkeeping, general industry, maritime and construction standards as part of an effort to revise provisions that may be confusing, outdated or unnecessary. OSHA says the proposed changes will modernize OSHA standards, help employers better understand their responsibilities, increase compliance and reduce compliance costs. OSHA estimates the revisions would save employers $3.2 million per year. Revision areas range from lockout/tagout to PELs and load limit postings. Review the proposed changes.

Case Study Addresses Temp Worker Safety Issues

October 17, 2016

Grain Bin Safety Tips to Protect Workers

STOP shut off and lock out all moving equipment
It's harvest time, and that means more activity at grain bins and facilities across the country. Sadly, experienced workers have already lost their lives in grain bins incidents this year. Grain handling is a high hazard activity where workers can be exposed to numerous serious and life threatening hazards. These hazards include: fires and explosions from grain dust accumulation, suffocation from engulfment and entrapment in grain bins, falls from heights and crushing injuries and amputations from grain handling equipment.

"Far too many preventable incidents continue to occur in the grain-handling industry," said Kim Stille, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City. "Every employee working in the grain industry must be trained on grain-handling hazards and given the tools to ensure they do not enter a bin or silo without required safety equipment. They must also take all necessary precautions - this includes using lifelines, testing the atmosphere inside a bin and turning off and locking out all powered equipment to prevent restarting before entering grain storage structures."

The control of worker's exposure to hazards in grain handling facilities are addressed in the OSHA standard for grain handling facilities (29 CFR 1910.272), as well as in other general industry standards. These standards reduce the risk to workers by requiring that employers follow established, common sense safety practices when working in grain handling facilities. 


Here are some grain handling safety facts and tips from OSHA and the Grain Handling Safety Coalition to help keep workers safe.

OSHA Issues $4.7 Million of Major Fines in September 2016

Keep guards in place
Federal OSHA investigators issued $4.7 million in 23 major fines in September, up from $3.7 million in August. Fall protection, machine guarding and lockout/tagout citations were common, and Dollar General stores make the list once again. Here are some details of the top citations (over $100,000) reported in September, which may still be pending final decisions:

$704,000 and SVEP for fall, amputation, electrocution and other hazards at a Georgia auto parts plant
Acting on a complaint and as part of the Regional Emphasis Program on Safety Hazards in the Auto Parts Industry, OSHA inspected HP Pelzer Automotive Systems Inc. and cited the company and a staffing agency it employs with 24 safety violations. The staffing agency had approximately 300 temporary employees assigned at the time of the inspection. OSHA issued 12 repeat citations for failure to:
  • Develop, implement and utilize written procedures to prevent machinery from starting-up during maintenance or servicing.
  • Conduct periodic inspections of the energy control procedures at least annually.
  • Train employees performing work on hazardous energy sources.
  • Protect employees from thermal skin burns due to contact with hot metallic surfaces.
  • Ensure the repair or replacement of electrical equipment for safe operational condition.
  • Protect workers from laceration and amputation hazards due to unguarded machine parts.
Inspectors also cited eight serious violations for exposing workers to fall hazards, not providing electrical protective equipment and failing to train workers about electrical hazards related to their activities. Four serious citations were issued for exposing workers to fall hazards, not providing training on hazardous energy sources, exposing employees to amputation, laceration and electrical live parts. Citations for the two companies can be viewed here and here.

October 13, 2016

NIOSH Lists 34 New Drugs That Pose Risks to Health Workers

Biohazard Infectious materials used in this work area
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently released its 2016 list of hazardous drugs in healthcare settings, updating the list to include 34 additional drugs. Health workers who prepare or give these drugs to patients, as well as support staff, may face individual health risks when exposed to the drugs.

NIOSH estimates 8 million U.S. healthcare workers are potentially exposed to hazardous drugs in the workplace. The new document, NIOSH List of Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings, 2016, is the latest version of the hazardous drug list first published by NIOSH in 2004 as an appendix to the document, NIOSH Alert: Preventing Occupational Exposure to Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Health Care Settings.