Hazards Exposed: Photos Taken by OSHA Inspectors

January 22, 2007

 An imminent danger is any condition or practice that presents a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could occur immediately or before the danger can be eliminated through normal enforcement procedures.

If an OSHA inspector were to show up at your site today, what would they find?

OSHA Updates Fire Protection Standards for Shipyards

 The rule adds 10 updated NFPA standards and requires employers to use the more recent versions. The updated standards also incorporate some newer technologies for fire protection equipment so that employees may receive greater protection from shipyard fire hazards.

Michigan OSHA Walkthrough CD

A complimentary copy of the “Michigan OSHA Walkthrough for Manufacturers” CD is available from Michigan OSHA. 

The "Michigan OSHA Walkthrough for Manufacturers" features 22 modules of safety and health training. A few of the topics include:

  • Preparing for a MIOSHA Inspection
  • Hazard Communication
  • Machinery Safety & Health
  • Lockout/Tagout
  • MIOSHA Recordkeeping
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Confined Spaces
  • Ergonomics

New OSHA Whistleblower-Related Fact Sheet Available

The act prohibits employers from firing, demoting, harassing, or taking other adverse action against employees for providing information to their supervisors or the government regarding securities fraud.

All About OSHA is Now Available in Spanish

. The guide is designed in a brochure format rather than the standard magazine-style design and provides a broad overview of OSHA and its operation. OSHA's mission, who is covered by OSHA, state programs, enforcement activities, standards setting, reporting requirements, cooperative programs, and whistleblower procedures, are just some of the topics covered within the brochure's pages. 

OSHA Fines Penny Curtiss Baking Co. $120,600 for Safety and Health Hazards at Syracuse Bakery

A wide range of safety and health hazards at a Syracuse bakery has resulted in $120,600 in proposed fines from OSHA. Penny Curtiss Baking Co. Inc., which manufactures bread and other bakery products, was cited for a total of 42 alleged serious safety and health hazards at its 1810 Lemoyne Ave. production plant following an OSHA inspection in July in response to an employee complaint.

OSHA's inspection found blocked exit routes; deficiencies in the facility's emergency response plan; fall and tripping hazards; lack of procedures, training, and equipment to lock out the power sources of machines before performing maintenance; unguarded moving machine parts; unsafe operation of forklifts; and numerous electrical hazards.

Also identified were hazards associated with the lack of personal protective equipment; work in confined spaces; welding; chemical hazard communication; lack of an emergency eyewash station; unsecured gas cylinders; failure to provide medical exams, surveillance, and respirator-fit testing to members of the bakery's hazardous materials response team; and failing to provide hearing tests for employees as well as failing to retrain and refit them with appropriate hearing protection. OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

"Left uncorrected, these conditions expose employees to the hazards of falls, electrocution, being caught in moving machine parts, or in the accidental startup of machinery, burns, hearing loss, exposure to hazardous substances, or being struck by forklifts," said Chris R. Adams, OSHA's area director in Syracuse. "It's imperative for this employer to correct these hazards before employees are injured or killed."


OSHA Launches Statewide Alliance with University of Pittsburgh to Protect Rural Responders

OSHA has joined forces with the University of Pittsburgh Center for Public Health Preparedness (UPCPHP) and the Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP) to promote workplace safety and health for rural responders, particularly in preventing exposure to pandemic influenza hazards.

UPCPHP, which is located in the CPHP, trains public health professionals to respond to bioterrorism, infectious disease outbreaks, and other public health threats and emergencies. A major goal of the alliance with OSHA is to address occupational hazards specific to rural emergency responders and to communicate that information to employers and employees.

"Rural emergency responders provide a critical service," said Marie Cassady, OSHA’s acting regional administrator in Philadelphia. "This alliance is designed to equip them with the tools they need to protect themselves against hazards they face every day."

Through the alliance, OSHA, UPCPHP, and CPHP will deliver training to responders in Pennsylvania's rural counties that addresses public health emergencies, specifically focused on pandemic influenza, common hazards, biological hazards, personal protection, and OSHA's role in disaster response.

The alliance was developed primarily through the efforts of OSHA's area office in Erie and the University of Pittsburgh's branch campus in Bradford. It will cover all of OSHA's area offices in Pennsylvania, including Allentown, Erie, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Wilkes-Barre.

Watch Out for Carbon Monoxide as Temperatures Drop

Every year, winter storms leave carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning deaths in their path. As winter's coldest months arrive, with temperatures in some parts of the United States dipping below freezing, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) are sounding the CO alarm.

"January and February are prime months for winter weather-related power outages," said Acting CPSC Chairman Nancy Nord. "Tragically, people are dying from carbon monoxide poisoning while trying to keep warm. Don't let this invisible killer into your home."

"The U.S. Fire Administration is pleased to join with the CPSC in sounding a national carbon monoxide alarm," said Acting U.S. Fire Administrator Charlie Dickinson. "There is no group of men and women in this nation that are as keenly aware of the deadliness of carbon monoxide than firefighters. During times of lost power, it is our nation's firefighters who respond to the sad results of carbon monoxide poisoning when people use gas generators, camp stoves, and charcoal grills in confined spaces. The USFA joins with all firefighters in reminding all residents of this nation to follow the CPSC recommendations below to protect themselves against exposure to carbon monoxide."

Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless poisonous gas. CPSC estimates about 140 people die each year from unintentional exposure to carbon monoxide associated with consumer products. You could die if you improperly use gas generators, charcoal grills, and fuel-burning camping heaters and stoves inside your homes or in other enclosed or partially enclosed spaces during power outages. You and your family could be in danger if your furnace is not professionally and annually inspected for CO leaks. CPSC staff is aware through police, medical examiner and news reports of at least 32 CO deaths related to portable generators from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2006.

Reducing CO poisonings and deaths is a priority at CPSC. In an effort to stop consumers from using gasoline generators indoors, the commission voted to require manufacturers to place a prominent "danger" label on all new generators and their packaging. CPSC and USFA urge consumers to take these important steps to protect themselves against CO poisoning this winter:

  • Never use portable generators inside homes or garages, even if doors and windows are open. Use generators outside only, far away from the home.
  • Never bring a charcoal grill into the house for heating or cooking. Do not barbeque in the garage.
  • Never use a gas range or oven for heating.
  • Open the fireplace damper before lighting a fire and keep it open until the ashes are cool. An open damper may help prevent build-up of poisonous gases inside the home.
  • Have home heating systems (including chimneys and vents) inspected and serviced annually by a trained service technician.
  • Install battery-operated CO alarms or CO alarms with battery backup in your home outside separate sleeping areas.
  • Know the symptoms of CO poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, and confusion. If you suspect CO poisoning, get outside to fresh air immediately, and then call 911.