Beginning February 1, employers must post a summary of the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred during 2006. Employers are required to post only OSHA Form 300A (summary), not the OSHA 300 log. The summary must be posted from Feb. 1 to April 30, 2007.
"This is an excellent time for employers to review their 300 logs and determine where injuries and illnesses are occurring and determine a strategy to reduce, and hopefully eliminate, these safety and health hazards," said OSHA Administrator Ed Foulke.
The summary must list the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred in 2006 and were logged on the OSHA 300 form. Information about the annual average number of employees and the total hours worked during the calendar year also is required to assist in calculating incident rates. Companies with no recordable injuries or illnesses in 2006 must post the form with zeroes on the total line. All summaries must be certified by a company executive.
The form is to be displayed in a common area wherever notices to employees are usually posted. A copy of the summary must be made available to employees who move from worksite to worksite, such as construction employees and employees who do not report to any fixed establishment on a regular basis.
Employers with ten or fewer employees and employers in certain industry groups are normally exempt from federal OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping and posting requirements. A complete list of exempt industries in the retail, services, finance, and real estate sectors is posted on the OSHA Web site.
Exempted employers may still be selected by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics to participate in an annual statistical survey. All employers covered by OSHA need to comply with safety and health standards and must report verbally within eight hours to the nearest OSHA office all accidents that result in one or more fatalities or in the hospitalization of three or more employees.
Maryland Adopts Latest Editions of NFPA 1, Uniform Fire and Life Safety Codes
The latest edition of NFPA 70, National Electrical Code and several other NFPA documents also were adopted by the state and all became effective Jan. 1, 2007.
“Maryland’s implementation of the latest editions of NFPA 1, NFPA 101, and several other documents provides us with the tools necessary to continue providing the highest level of protection for the people of our state,” said William E. Barnard, Maryland state fire marshal.
Recognized worldwide and adopted statewide in 20 states, NFPA 1, Uniform Fire Code provides the requirements necessary to establish a reasonable level of fire safety and property protection from hazards created by fire and explosion. Its primary purposes are to address basic fire prevention requirements and to reference or extract the fire prevention and protection aspects of many other NFPA codes and standards.
NFPA’s Life Safety Code, used in every U.S. state and adopted statewide in 39 states, sets the minimum building design, construction, operation, and maintenance requirements necessary to protect building occupants from dangers caused by fire, smoke, and toxic fumes. The Life Safety Code also provides prompt escape requirements for new and existing buildings.
$64,700 in OSHA Fines for Cave-In Hazards
Powershot Utility Construction Services LLC of Nashua, N.H., faces $64,700 in proposed fines from OSHA for alleged cave-in hazards at a North Conway worksite. The contractor was cited for four alleged willful, repeat, and serious violations of safety standards following a September inspection at a water main installation site on the White Mountain Highway.
OSHA's inspection found employees working in a 9-foot-deep trench that lacked protection against a collapse of its sidewalls. This resulted in one willful citation, carrying $56,000 in proposed fines. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.
"This employer knows that all excavations five feet or deeper must be protected against collapse, yet failed to do so despite having been cited for the same hazard one month before this latest inspection," said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's New Hampshire area director. "Failure to provide cave-in protection exposed employees to imminent and potentially fatal crushing and suffocation hazards."
One repeat citation, with a proposed $6,000 fine, was issued for locating the trench's access ladder in an unprotected area of the trench. OSHA cited the company for a similar hazard in August 2006. Powershot also received two serious citations, with $2,700 in proposed fines, for employees working in the trench beneath undermined asphalt and an unsupported concrete slab and for not using a trench box according to its manufacturer's specifications.
A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm are likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. A repeat citation is issued when an employer has previously been cited for a similar hazard and that citation has become final.
Cave-In Hazards Lead to $50,000 in Fines
A Bow, N.H., contractor faces a total of $50,000 in proposed OSHA fines for alleged cave-in hazards at worksites in North Conway and Pembroke.
R.S. Audley Inc. was cited for a total of seven alleged repeat and serious violations of safety standards following OSHA inspections conducted in July and September 2006. Both investigations were opened when OSHA inspectors passing by the worksites observed employees working in unprotected trenches from 5.8 to 9.9 feet in depth.
As a result, OSHA issued two repeat citations, carrying $38,000 in proposed fines, for the lack of cave-in protection at each worksite. The citations were classified as repeat because OSHA had cited R.S. Audley in August 2005 and September 2003 for similar hazards at worksites in Swanzey and Bedford.
"A cave-in can crush and bury workers within seconds, leaving them no chance to escape," said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's area director for New Hampshire. "The hazard is so severe that OSHA inspectors will stop and open an inspection on the spot any time they observe employees working in unprotected trenches."
The latest inspections also found that employees at the Pembroke jobsite were not provided an adequate means to exit the trench and employees working in the roadway next to the trench lacked protective vests. The trench box at the North Conway location was not used according to manufacturer's specifications. The ladder used to enter and exit the trench was also of insufficient height and located in an unprotected area of the trench. These conditions resulted in the issuance of five serious citations, carrying $12,000 in proposed fines.
OSHA Proposes More than $191,000 in Penalties Failure to Report Injuries at TVA Plants
OSHA has cited Stoughton, Massachusetts-based Stone and Webster Construction's maintenance division, and proposed penalties totaling $191,700, for failing to properly record injuries and illnesses at Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) nuclear plants in Tennessee and Alabama.
"OSHA's investigation revealed that Stone and Webster failed to record a total of 84 incidents involving company maintenance worker injuries at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, Athens, Ala.; Sequoyah Nuclear Plant, Soddy Daisy, Tenn.; and Watts Bar Nuclear Plant, Spring City, Tenn.," said Cindy Coe Laseter, OSHA's regional administrator in Atlanta.
Officials from TVA, which operates the three facilities, contacted OSHA when they noticed discrepancies on the OSHA 300 Log used to record work-related injuries and illnesses. OSHA regulations require employers, with few exemptions, to maintain accurate records of fatalities, injuries, and illnesses and post a summary of these incidents each year at job sites.
The company received one willful citation, with a proposed penalty of $63,000, for failing to record injuries and illnesses in 2004, 2005, and 2006 at the Browns Ferry site and $1,800 in proposed penalties for failing to accurately record injuries that resulted in days away from work and restricted work activity at the facility.
OSHA also proposed a $63,000 penalty for similar willful recordkeeping violations for the years 2004, 2005, and 2006 at Sequoyah and 2004 and 2006 at Watts Bar. In addition, the Watts Bar plant received a proposed $900 penalty for failing to record an injury that resulted in restricted work activity.
Data from the OSHA 300 Log is used to identify workplace safety and health problems and helps the agency to implement programs to abate the associated hazards. The information is also used for the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics' Annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, the nation's primary source of occupational injury and illness data.
Wayne Dalton Corp. Cited for Violating Workplace Safety and Health Standards
OSHA has proposed $140,000 in fines against Wayne Dalton Corp., an international distributor of overhead and entry doors, for alleged willful violations of federal workplace safety and health standards.
OSHA opened an inspection in August 2006 after receiving a complaint alleging that one of the employees had his left arm amputated while operating a mandrel winder. Three willful citations with proposed penalties totaling $140,000 were issued against Wayne Dalton Corp. for exposing employees to potential harm due to lack of proper machine guarding.
"The health and safety of workers is OSHA's number one concern and should be for all employers," said OSHA Area Director Deborah Zubaty. "As in this case, any safety violation has the potential to cause serious harm or death to employees. We're here to identify serious hazards and ensure quick correction."
Wayne Dalton Corp. was inspected by OSHA three times in the past three years and received citations for inadequate machine guarding in all of those inspections.
OSHA Cites U.S. Forest Service in Alaska for Alleged Safety Violations
OSHA has issued willful, serious, and repeat citations against the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) for alleged safety violations found during a fatality inspection involving the USFS's Integrated Services Organization in Ketchikan, Ala.
The inspection was initiated after a USFS employee was fatality injured on Aug. 30, 2006, while performing maintenance at the USFS Awke Mountain telecommunications site near Yakutat, Alaska. The employee slipped and fell approximately 225 feet while attempting an emergency egress down the treacherous mountain terrain.
The willful citation addresses failure by the employer to provide adequate shelter or protection from the elements leading to employees attempting emergency egress.
The serious citation states the employees were exposed to environmental and fall hazards due to lack of personal protective equipment for the inclement weather conditions and lack of training in emergency equipment and preparedness for emergency egress situations.
The repeat citation noted the USFS's failure to inspect workplace operations on an annual basis or more often for work areas with high-risk operations.
USFS was also cited for not maintaining a log or summary of work-related injuries and illnesses for the establishment that had been in operation for more than one year.
Entergy Operations Port Allen Service Center Gets OSHA Star
The Entergy Operations Port Allen Service Center has earned membership in OSHA’s prestigious "Star" Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). A recognition ceremony was held January 17 at the company's facility on Rosedale Road in Port Allen, La.
"The Entergy Operations Port Allen Service Center has demonstrated excellence in effective safety and health management," said OSHA Regional Administrator Frank Strasheim in Dallas. "Their outstanding efforts include achieving an injury and illness rate that is 77 percent below the national average for their industry."
The Entergy Port Allen Service Center operates and maintains power lines that provide electricity to both residential and commercial customers in Iberville, Point Coupee, St. Martin, and West Baton Rouge parishes. The company employs 24 workers in Port Allen who construct and repair power lines, provide meter service, and install street lights in the surrounding area.
OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs are open to deserving employers in any industry, from construction and agriculture to food manufacturing. More than 1,600 worksites in more than 270 different industries have earned entry into VPP.
Requirements include a high degree of management support and employee involvement; a high-quality worksite hazard analysis; prevention and control programs; and comprehensive safety and health training for all employees. Each of these elements must be effective, in place, and in operation for at least one year before a company can apply to join the program. Companies in the VPP achieve average injury rates 50 percent lower than other companies in their industry.
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