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

February 20, 2018

Top OSHA Fines Reach $1.77 Million in First 6 Weeks of 2018

OSHA has released information on nine significant fines (over $100,000) so far this year, with five fines at or over $200,000. Common violations include fall, confined space and machine guard violations. Here are details on the top fines to date. Many are still pending final decisions.

$281,583 after fatal wall collapse at a New Jersey construction company
A New Jersey construction management and development company faces $281,583 in fines for exposing employees to crushing hazards after a concrete block retaining wall collapsed at a Poughkeepsie worksite. The retaining wall was not designed or approved by a registered engineer, and its collapse led to an employee death and injuries to another employee. The company was also cited for failing to train employees to keep a safe distance from the wall and soil pile, and failing to provide proper fall protection. See details here.

$256,088 for fall and confined space violations at a Georgia manufacturer
DANGER confined space permit required sign
Following inspection of a facility in Dalton, OSHA issued willful citations for failing to install a fall protection system, and develop and implement a written permit-required confined-space program. The company was also cited for several other violations, including failing to develop safety procedures when performing equipment maintenance and servicing; failing to train and evaluate forklift operators; failing to ensure employees have proper personal protective equipment; and failing to install machine guards on equipment. See details.

$212,396 for crush hazards at Massachusetts foundation company
A foundation company was cited for failing to protect employees against crushing hazards while they installed permanent foundation supports beneath a public library. This resulted in an employee death when a 2,600-pound rock dislodged from the building’s foundation and struck the worker. The contractor was also cited for failing to instruct employees to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions while working beneath the foundation. OSHA cited the company for similar hazards in 2015 when an employee was pinned by a granite block that came loose. The company faces $212,396 in proposed penalties. See details.

208,997 for amputation and other hazards at a Georgia poultry processing company

yellow sign, danger amputation hazard
The company was cited with a repeat violation for exposing employees to amputation hazards by failing to provide machine guarding. Fourteen serious citations were issued for failing to provide fall protection, not identifying which employees were using hazardous energy control locks, and failing to train employees exposed to noise hazards. The inspection was part of the Agency’s Regional Emphasis Program for Poultry Processing Facilities. Get details.

$199,996 for continued violations at a South Jersey manufacturer
A chain-link fencing manufacturer was cited for multiple safety violations at its Pennsauken facility and faces $199,996 in proposed penalties. Inspectors identified violations including inadequate lighting; lack of machine guards; failing to keep the workroom clean and dry; failing to inspect and ensure proper use of fall protection; and failing to provide effective training on hazardous chemicals. A prior investigation found similar violations. See details.

$194,006 for carcinogen exposure at a Kansas aircraft manufacturer

OSHA investigators found the defense contractor exposed employees to airborne concentrations of hexavalent chromium nearly two times the permissible exposure limit. The company failed to implement sufficient feasible engineering and work practice controls to prevent exposure, conduct monitoring or sampling, provide training, and require employees to properly remove potentially contaminated personal protective equipment and clothing before leaving the sanding area. See details.

$175,000 settlement in case against New York paperboard company

OSHA fall protection required sign OSHA cited the Carthage-based paper milling company for 62 safety and health violations in June 2017. The agreement requires the company to enhance efforts to prevent hazards associated with machine guarding; lack of fall protection; hazardous energy control; confined space entry; emergency response; and electrical and structural safety issues. The company will also train employees to recognize hazards; make safety and health evaluations a part of management performance appraisals; hire two full-time safety and health staff; perform weekly safety audits; submit periodic abatement progress reports to OSHA; and consent to monitoring inspections for two years. See details.

$129,336 for violations following amputation at a Georgia auto parts manufacturer
Investigators determined that an employee was removing a gear box motor from an energized scissor lift when it rotated, severing the tip of the employee’s finger. OSHA cited the employer for one repeat citation for failing to train employees on energy control procedures to prevent machines from unintentionally starting during maintenance and service. The investigation was initiated as a result of the amputation and under the Agency’s Regional Emphasis Program on Safety Hazards in the Auto Parts Industry. Get details.

$113,073 for fall protection and other hazards by an Alabama framing company
OSHA initiated an inspection after observing employees performing residential framing work without fall protection. The Agency issued one willful citation for failing to require employees to use fall protection, and one serious citation for allowing employees to use automatic nail guns without proper eye protection. The inspection was part of OSHA’s Regional Emphasis Program for Falls in Construction. The contractor has been cited five times since 2015 for failing to provide fall protection. See details.


February 19, 2018

Why and How You Need to Take Care of Your Company Cars

As a business owner who has invested in a company-owned cars, maintaining the safety of these vehicles is ultimately your responsibility. And it's pretty important, too. Case in point: More than 44,000 vehicle accidents each year are attributed to issues with brakes, tires, steering and engine components, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Indeed, many of these accidents could have been prevented with proper vehicle maintenance and routine inspections. With that in mind, here are a few key considerations to help keep your vehicle fleet in top condition:

It's Good for Company Morale


Heed the advice of Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson: If you want your employees to take good care of your business, then you must take care of them. The same can be said for maintaining your company vehicles. The way you manage your fleet of vehicles is another opportunity to illustrate your appreciation for your team.

Smoke free vehicle label with heart shape
After consulting your team's schedules, make sure to schedule regular maintenance to make these services convenient for everyone. You might also look into having a mobile car wash service visit your company regularly to keep your fleet looking great. And consider a no-smoking policy to keep them smelling clean. Vehicle no-smoking labels will help protect your investment and keep employees happy.

Not only will this keep your vehicles in top condition, but it will also show your team you value their comfort and safety.

Maintenance is Your Responsibility


Whether you do it yourself or rely on the professionals, vehicle maintenance is your responsibility as the company owner. Don't leave this task to your employees; instead, you can designate a fleet specialist to keep everything running in top form.

February 14, 2018

March is National Ladder Safety Month

climb ladders carefully use both hands
Falls from ladders are preventable, yet they account for 300 deaths and some 20,000 injuries each year. The American Ladder Institute (ALI) has announced March as  National Ladder Safety Month, designed to raise awareness of ladder safety and to decrease the number of ladder-related injuries and fatalities.

ALI believes ladder accidents are preventable, but without better safety planning and training and continuous innovation in product design, we will continue to see far too many fatalities. 


National Ladder Safety Month goals include:
  • Increase the number of ladder safety training certificates issued by ALI
  • Lower the rankings of ladder-related safety citations on OSHA’s yearly “Top 10 Citations List”
  • Decrease ladder-related injuries and fatalities
  • Increase the number of competent ladder inspector training sessions
  • Increase the number of companies and individuals that inspect and properly dispose of old, damaged or obsolete ladders

February 5, 2018

Workplace Foot Injuries: Causes, Costs and Prevention

Foot injuries are among the most common workers' compensation injuries, including breaks, fractures and heel injuries. A study of over 250,000 worker's comp claims found the average final settlement for a foot injury is more than $17,000. The human foot and ankle contain 26 bones, 33 joints and more than a hundred muscles, tendons and ligaments, so it's no wonder injuries to the foot can be especially painful - and slow to heal. Clearly, prevention of workplace foot injuries makes good sense for workers and employers. But safety shoes and foot PPE reminder signs aren't enough. This article will explain the causes, costs and prevention steps you can take to reduce foot injuries in your workplace.

Causes of Workplace Foot Injuries

There are two major categories of work-related foot injuries. The first includes foot injuries from punctures, crushing, sprains and lacerations. The second includes injuries resulting from slips, trips and falls. Slips and falls do not always result in a foot injury but lack of attention to foot safety plays an important role in their occurrence.

OSHA has identified six common work-related foot injuries and causes:

    Safety shoes required when using pallet jack sign
  • Crushed or broken feet, amputation of toes or feet - Falling objects, moving vehicles, feet trapped between objects or caught in a crack, conveyor belts
  • Punctures of the sole of the foot - Loose nails, sharp metal or glass objects
  • Cuts or severed feet or toes - Chain saws, rotary mowers, unguarded machinery
  • Burns - Molten metal splashes, chemical splashes, contact with fire, flammable or explosive atmospheres
  • Electric shocks - Static electricity, contact with sources of electricity
  • Sprained or twisted ankles, fractured or broken bones during slips, trips or falls - Slippery floors, littered walkways, incorrect footwear, poor lighting
Additional foot injury hazards exist in many outdoor jobs such as logging, hydro linework and fishing.

January 30, 2018

Workplace Safety News & Notes - January 2018

Caution Respirators must be worn in this area
OSHA Respirator Sign
Here's a collection of workplace safety news from around the web this month:

Court Rejects Appeals to Silica Rule

In 2016, OSHA published a final rule regulating workplace exposure to silica, Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica (29 CFR 1910, 1915 and 1926). Industry groups petitioned for review of the rule, but the U.S. Court of Appeals recently rejected all five of their challenges, leaving the rule in effect. Read more.

CDC Study Finds High Asthma Deaths in Construction, Healthcare

A new CDC study of asthma mortality shows that up to 700 asthma deaths in 2015 might have resulted from occupational exposures - and could have been prevented. The study found significantly elevated asthma mortality ratios for men in the food, beverage and tobacco products manufacturing industry, and for females in the social assistance industry and community and social services occupations. By industry, the highest number of asthma deaths occurred among men in the construction industry and among women in the healthcare industry. Learn more.

OSHA Penalties Increased This Month

January 9, 2018

3 Ways to Stay OSHA Compliant at All Times

Safety inspector with hard hat, safety glasses and clipboard
Keeping your employees safe at work involves much more than posting a few safety signs and cleaning up spills as they happen. For most business owners, it also requires complying with the rules set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

While you want to keep your valued team as safe as possible while on the job, you might be uncertain how to stay OSHA compliant at all times. Fortunately, with a combination of vigilance and being pro-active, it is possible to make sure your company remains fully OSHA compliant. Here's how.

Research which OSHA requirements pertain to you


January 8, 2018

2018 State / Federal Labor Law Posters Now Available at ComplianceSigns.com

Labor Law Posters for all 50 states
Across the U.S., employers are required to display state and federal labor / employment notices in a conspicuous location to help maintain compliance with state and federal labor posting requirements. Now employers and Human Resources professionals can order U.S.-made labor law posters from the same source they trust for top-quality safety and office signs: ComplianceSigns.com.

These 2018 employment posters combine state and federal notices into one easy-to-hang poster that displays up-to-date mandatory federal and state labor / employment notices for private industry or non-government entities. We've researched and developed posters for all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, and all have been reviewed by a licensed attorney. We've done the research so employers can use them with confidence.

January 5, 2018

New App Helps Employers Understand Cost of Collisions

motorcycle in traffic
U.S. traffic crashes cost employers $47.4 billion in direct crash-related expenses (including medical care, liability, lost productivity and property damage), according to data from 2013. A single non-fatal injury crash had an average cost of nearly $65,000. Driver behaviors on and off the job contribute significantly to these costs. Now a new tool is now available to let employers measure the cost of crashes.

The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) has released a free Cost of Collisions Calculator, developed through a cooperative agreement with NHTSA, to assist employers' vehicle safety efforts. You can use it to help improve vehicle safety and reduce costs in your operation.

How am I driving? Call ___

The crash cost calculator includes three components:

  • On-the-Job Crash Costs
  • Off-the-Job Crash Costs
  • Return on Investment (ROI) Guidance Calculator
The application is intended for employers who want to understand the cost of crashes incurred by their fleets, in addition to the on- and off-the-job costs of crashes for all their employees and their employees’ dependents. Knowing a fleet’s costs can help management develop a business case to supports investments in fleet safety. Knowing the on- and off-the-job crash costs for all employees and their dependents provides employers with justification to invest in employee-wide safe driving programs.