California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) proposed to adopt Proposition 65 Maximum Allowable Dose Levels (MADLs) for oral exposure to atrazine, propazine, simazine, 2,4‑diamino‑6‑chloro-s-triazine (DACT), des-ethyl atrazine (DEA), and des-isopropyl atrazine (DIA) that induce reproductive toxicity by amending Section 25805(b) of Title 27 of the California Code of Regulations.
The proposed oral MADLs are 100 micrograms per day for each of the six chemicals. The MADLs are based on data for atrazine, which is representative of all six of the identified chemicals.
The rulemaking for adoption of these MADLs been delayed because the listing of these chemicals under Proposition 65 was challenged in a legal proceeding. This regulatory action will not be finalized until atrazine, propazine, simazine, DACT, DEA, and DIA are listed under Proposition 65 as known to the state to cause reproductive toxicity (developmental and female reproductive endpoints). The listings are based on formal identification of these chemicals by the EPA as causing developmental and female reproductive toxicity. The US EPA is a body recognized as authoritative for the listing of chemicals as known to cause reproductive toxicity under Proposition 65 (Section 25306(l)).
Any written comments concerning these proposed actions, regardless of the form or method of transmission, must be received by OEHHA by 5:00 p.m. on July 25, 2016, the designated close of the written comment period. All comments received will be posted on the OEHHA website at the close of the public comment period.
You may submit written information via e-mail, rather than in paper form. Send e-mail comments to P65Public.Comments@oehha.ca.gov. Include “TRIAZINE MADLs” in the subject line.Deficiencies in Environmental Control Identified in Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ Disease
The number of reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease, a severe pneumonia caused by the bacterium Legionella, is increasing in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigated outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease to identify gaps in building water system maintenance and guide prevention efforts. Multiple common preventable maintenance deficiencies were identified in association with disease outbreaks, highlighting the importance of comprehensive water management programs for water systems in buildings. Properly implemented programs, as described in the new industry standard, could reduce Legionella growth and transmission, preventing Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks and reducing disease.
Aqua Ohio Worker Fatally Injured in Trench Collapse
As he helped widen a road on Station Street in Mentor, Ohio, a 28-year-old water and sewer utility worker suddenly found himself buried beneath thousands of pounds of soil when a trench, more than 5-feet deep in which he worked, collapsed on him. Hours later, his injuries led to the man’s death in a nearby hospital.
One cubic yard of soil can weigh up to 3,000 lb—the weight of a small automobile—giving the man, the father of a newborn and two other children, little chance of survival as he connected water lines beneath the ground. Trenching and excavation work are among the construction industry’s most dangerous jobs and, each year hundreds of workers in unprotected trenches are crushed or suffocated.
An investigation by OSHA found his employer, Aqua Ohio, Inc., did not provide trench cave-in protection for its employees. OSHA cited the company for one repeated and five serious safety violations on June 6, 2016, after the agency completed its investigation into the March 29, 2016, death.
This is second time OSHA has cited the water and sewer utility company for putting its employees at risk in unprotected trenches. In November 2013, the agency cited Aqua Ohio for a similar violation at a job site in Ashtabula and fined the company in January 2014.
“This young man’s death was preventable. It is unacceptable that Aqua Ohio again risked the lives of its employees in an unprotected trench,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland. “The company knows cave-in protection is required in a trench more than 5-feet deep, but their failure to comply cost a man his life.”
While investigating the fatality OSHA found Aqua Ohio:
- Failed to trained workers in recognizing trench hazards
- Did not provide trench cave-in protection
- Failed to protect workers from excavated material failing or rolling into a trench or failing from inside the trench walls
- Did not have a competent person make worksite inspections
Proposed penalties total $44,800.
OSHA has a national emphasis program on trenching and excavations. Trenching standards require protective systems on trenches deeper than 5 feet, and soil and other materials kept at least two feet from the edge of trench.
Ashley Furniture Fined $1.75 Million for Systemic Machine Guarding Violations
OSHA and Ashley Furniture, the nation’s largest retailer of home furnishings, have entered into a corporate wide settlement agreement that provides an effective framework for protecting workers from machine hazards. The agreement also resolves all pending OSHA citations at the company’s plants in Arcadia and Whitehall, Wisconsin; and in Ecru and Ripley, Mississippi.
Among the terms in the agreement, Ashley will demonstrate its corporate commitment to safety by retaining a Vice President for Safety responsible for managing a corporate wide program to identify and evaluate prevention and control of machine hazards. The comprehensive settlement emphasizes employee involvement and management commitment to the implementation of the machine safety program.
“With this settlement, Ashley Furniture is taking important steps to change its culture, invest in its employees and work with OSHA to make significant changes to protect the safety and health of workers,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “We look forward to working with Ashley Furniture to ensure that it fulfills its commitment and focuses on reducing injuries on the job. This settlement is an important reminder that every worker has the right to a safe workplace, and we will continue to use all available tools to protect that right.”
Under the settlement agreement, Ashley will implement a number of safety measures to protect its employees and will submit status reports to OSHA annually during the two-year term of the agreement. The company will conduct periodic audits of facilities to identify machine hazards, as well as an annual review of the effectiveness of the program; develop internal corporate monitoring provisions; and identify a corporate officer or senior managers who will act as a designated official responsible for implementation and oversight of the agreement.
“This settlement will require Ashley Furniture to implement a program to prevent machine hazards, in particular those that lead to amputations. In addition, workers will now have a voice in how to continuously improve working conditions and safety in the covered plants,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.
The settlement agreement with Ashley resolves numerous violations that OSHA issued to several Ashley workplaces. OSHA conducted inspections at several Ashley workplaces after learning of injuries at the Arcadia facility, and realizing that similar hazardous conditions could exist at the other workplaces. To resolve all citations, the company will correct all cited violations and will pay penalties of $1.75 million.
Park Stein Inc. Fined $121,660 for Multiple Safety and Health Violations
On June 3, 2016, OSHA issued citations to Park Stein, Inc., for one willful violation, eight repeat, five serious, and two other-than-serious violations.
OSHA opened in inspection on December 4, 2015, when the City of Clifton reported potential hazards at the facility. Inspectors issued a willful violation after they found the company failed to maintain a front-end loader properly, a condition that exposed employees to struck-by hazards. The agency also cited the commercial scrap and metal recycler for failing to do the following:
- Have an adequate respiratory program, including a written program, respirator assessment, medical evaluation, and training
- Properly store compressed gas cylinders
- Have a proper hearing conservation program
Proposed penalties total $121,660.
Park Stein’s regular use of a front-end loader that was so poorly maintained as to create a hazard to its employees reflects a willful lack of regard for the safety of employees at the facility,” said Lisa Levy, director of OSHA’s Hasbrouck Heights Area Office. “Inspectors documented many repeated violations at Park Stein that meet the requirements for OSHA’s Severe Violator’s Enforcement Program. The agency created the program for recalcitrant employers who demonstrate indifference to the health and safety of their employees through willful, repeated, or failure to-abate violations of the OSH Act.”
OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program concentrates resources on inspecting employers that have demonstrated indifference to their OSH Act obligations. Enforcement actions for severe violator cases include mandatory follow-up inspections, increased company/corporate awareness of OSHA enforcement, corporate-wide agreements, where appropriate, enhanced settlement provisions, and federal court enforcement.
Coastal Building Systems of Amelia Put Workers at Risk, Faces $108,500 in Penalties
Inspectors with OSHA observed employees of Coastal Building Systems, Inc., not properly protected from falls as they did roofing work at a residence in the Flora Parke subdivision. OSHA cited the company with one willful and one repeated safety violation. This inspection fell under OSHA’s Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction.
The willful citation was issued to the employer for not ensuring workers were properly protected from falls up to 8 feet. OSHA requires the use of a guardrail, safety net, or personal fall arrest systems when workers are working at heights of 6 feet or more above a lower level.
The repeat violation was cited for allowing workers to use powered nail guns without eye protection. OSHA cited the employer for this same violation in June 2012 at a work site in Saint Johns.
After its latest violations, OSHA is considering placement of Coastal Building Systems in its Severe Violators Enforcement Program. The program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat, or failure-to-abate violations. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer’s facilities if it has reasonable grounds to believe there are similar violations.
Proposed penalties total $108,500.
The agency has inspected the company 12 times since 2010 and eight of those inspections resulted in willful, repeat and serious citations for a lack of fall protection and other hazards.
“Despite previous citations and penalties, Coast Building Systems continues to willfully and repeatedly ignore worker safety,” said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA’s area director in Jacksonville. “The company’s management corrects hazards while inspectors are at the job site, but allows hazards that put workers at risk of serious injury or death to return once inspectors leave.”
OSHA Cites Two Excavation Contractors for Exposing Workers to Trench Cave-in Hazards
OSHA issued citations to Allen’s Excavation, Inc., for one willful and one other-than-serious safety violation and Capital City Contracting, LLC, received one willful and three serious safety violations.
On November 17, 2015, an OSHA inspector saw workers in an excavation without protection and initiated an inspection as part of the agency’s National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation. Allen’s Excavation is a general contractor that subcontracted Capital City to install concrete casting to upgrade an underground drainage system.
OSHA issued Allen’s Excavation a willful citation for allowing employees to work in an excavation up to 9-feet deep without cave-in protection. The agency requires that all trenches and excavation sites 5-feet or deeper be protected against collapse. Protection may be provided through shoring of trench walls, sloping or benching of the soil at an acceptable angle or by using a protective trench box. The employer was also cited for not having an operating manual for a protective trench box on-site.
Capital City’s willful citation was issued for allowing employees to work in an excavation up to 9-feet deep without cave-in protection.
The serious citations relate to the employer:
- Exposing workers to electrical hazards from frayed electrical cords
- Not ensuring workers in the excavation wore protective helmets
- Not providing a safe means to enter and exit the excavation
Proposed penalties total $108,500.
“Productivity and scheduling cannot ever take priority over worker safety,” said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA’s area director in Jacksonville. “Trenching and excavating is one of the most hazardous occupations in the construction industry. The only way to minimize these hazards is to follow the OSHA standards requiring engineering controls, protective equipment, and safe work practices.”
Storm Recovery Workers and Public Urged to be Vigilant During Storm Cleanup
As they recover from the impacts of Tropical Storm Colin and tornados, Florida’s emergency workers, employers, and the public at-large should be aware of the hazards they may encounter and take necessary steps to stay safe, OSHA urges.
“Recovery work should not send you to the hospital emergency room,” said Kurt Petermeyer, OSHA’s regional administrator in Atlanta. “A range of safety and health hazards exist following storms. You can minimize these dangers with knowledge, safe work practices and personal protective equipment. OSHA wants to make certain that all working men and women—including volunteers—return home at the end of the workday.”
Storm and tornado cleanup may involve hazards related to restoring electricity, communications, and water and sewer services. Other hazards pertain to demolition activities; debris cleanup; tree trimming; and structural, roadway, and bridge repair; hazardous waste operations and emergency response activities. OSHA has a comprehensive website with guidance to keep disaster-site workers safe in tornado and storm cleanup and recovery operations.
Flooded areas have unique cleanup challenges, including dam and levee repair, removal of floodwater from structures, and repairing downed electrical wires in standing water. Workers and residents taking defensive action to protect structures or evacuate severely impacted areas may encounter hazards, such as rapidly rising streams and moving water. OSHA has many resources on flood preparedness and response detailing how to stay safe during floods and subsequent cleanup.
Only workers provided with the proper training, equipment and experience should conduct cleanup activities.
Protective measures should include the following:
- Evaluating all work areas for hazards
- Employing engineering or work practice controls to mitigate hazards
- Using personal protective equipment
- Assuming all power lines are live
- Using portable generators, saws, ladders, vehicles and other equipment properly
- Heeding safety precautions for traffic work zones
Individuals involved in recovery efforts may call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or visit the agency’s website to reach local representatives who can provide on-site assistance.
Barney’s Police Supply Firing Range Workers Exposed to Lead Respiratory Hazards
OSHA began an inspection January 13, 2016, at Barney’s, Inc., firing range in Lafayette, Louisiana, after an employee complained to the agency about lead exposure. As a result, investigators found 16 serious violations for exposing workers to hazardous levels of lead from spent ammunition rounds in violation of the Respiratory Protection and Lead Standards. Investigators found the employer:
- Did not provide medical evaluations
- Failed to fit test and train employees prior to allowing them to use respirators
- Allowed unshaven employees to conduct dry sweeping of dust containing lead that may prevent the respirator from sealing properly and allow particles to reach the individual’s nose
- Exposed employees to airborne lead levels above the permissible exposure level
- Did not provide showers and adequate decontamination units
- Failed to conduct biological monitoring for blood lead levels
- Did not maintain a hazard communication program
Proposed penalties total $78,400.
“Lead exposure can cause many serious health issues including brain damage, kidney disease and harm to the reproductive system,” said Dorinda Folse, OSHA’s Area Director in Baton Rouge. “The company must make immediate changes to its respiratory protection and lead program to ensure workers are not exposed to lead or carrying it home with them from their shift.”
Workers Exposed to Falling Concrete at Indianapolis Mail Processing Center
A follow-up inspection by OSHA found a U.S. Postal Service sorting facility in Indianapolis failed to adequately address hazards from a crumbling parking structure that was falling on its workers.
In August 2014, USPS presented a plan to OSHA outlining measures intended to protect workers on the mail-sorting floor from crumbling concrete from the second-story parking lot. In December 2015, OSHA received a complaint alleging the employer had not corrected the safety hazards adequately. The investigation found:
- Employees unprotected from chunks of concrete debris falling from the ceiling above them as the USPS failed to provide netting or scaffolding, resulting in a willful violation
- The USPS failed to provide hard hats to employees exposed to overhead falling concrete debris, resulting in a serious violation
“Continuing to allow workers to be exposed to the hazards of falling concrete without following through on an actionable plan to eliminate hazards is unacceptable,” said Vanessa Martin, OSHA’s area director in Indianapolis. “The employees of this facility deserve to be protected from injury on the job.”
Proposed penalties total $77,000.
Fall at Paramo Daniela Construction Site Causes Serious Injury
Federal workplace safety and health inspectors have cited a Massachusetts construction company after a worker suffered serious injuries after he fell almost 19 feet from a Portsmouth roof.
Responding to a complaint, OSHA initiated an inspection of Paramo Daniela Construction of Brockton, Rhode Island, and found that the employer had:
- Instructed an employee to disconnect his personal fall-arrest system from its anchor point so the employee could pass roofing tiles to his employer
- Failed to provide a guardrail system, safety net, personal fall arrest system, or alternative fall protection measures
- Did not train employees to recognize the hazards of falling and how to follow safety procedures intended to prevent falling
- Failed to notify OSHA of a work-related in-patient hospitalization within 24 hours
As a result of these conditions, OSHA cited Paramo Daniela Construction for willful, repeat, and other than serious violations, with $68,530 in proposed penalties.
“Considering this employer has been cited five times in the past five years, he should be well-aware that the employee was supposed to have been tied off,” said Patrick Griffin, Providence OSHA area director. “The employer deliberately exposed the employee to a fall hazard instead of ensuring that employees followed safety requirements.”
Falls are a leading cause of death among construction workers. Six workers died in Rhode Island from work-related falls since 2014. OSHA has an ongoing fall prevention campaign to educate and encourage employers to prevent falls by training workers to use safety equipment.
Motor Castings Company Exposed Workers to Silica, Machine Hazards
OSHA issued 10 serious and three other-than-serious safety violations to Motor Castings Company. Inspectors from OSHA’s Milwaukee office opened an inspection after the company reported a 51-year-old worker suffered broken bones and lacerations to both hands requiring medical treatment.
Investigators determined he and other employees were attempting to realign and adjust the drag mold of a closing machine at the West Allis foundry when the cope, an operating machine part, fell unexpectedly and crushed both of the employee’s hands.
The agency’s investigation found the company:
- Overexposed three workers to silica, that causes silicosis and can cause lung cancer. One employee’s exposure was determined to be more than twice the recommended time-weight allowance.
- Failed to require medical evaluations and fit testing for respirator use while employees where in a temporary status
- Lacked an adequate written respiratory protection program
- Allowed machines to operate without safety guards
- Lacked adequate lockout/tagout procedures to prevent unintentional machine startup during service and maintenance
- Failed to maintain adequate records of worker’s injuries and illness
“Each year, thousands of workers suffer occupational injuries from machinery and are exposed to substances like silica which can cause debilitating health conditions,” said Christine Zortman, OSHA’s area director in Milwaukee. “Foundries like Motor Castings Company have a responsibility to protect temporary and permanent workers in their facility from these hazards on the job.”
On March 24, 2016, OSHA announced a final rule to improve protections for workers exposed to respirable silica dust. The rule will curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and kidney disease in America's workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica.
Proposed penalties total $62,370.
Dent Wizard Failed to Protect Workers from Toxic Compounds
OSHA issued 31 serious and nine other-than-serious health and safety citations to Dent Wizard, an auto reconditioning company, on June 1, 2016.
OSHA received a complaint alleging hazards in the company’s spray-painting operations, prompting an inspection on December 14, 2015.
The serious violations included:
- Not training employees on chemical hazards
- Not evaluating the workplace for respiratory hazards and other respiratory protection deficiencies
- Storing combustible waste in unsafe containers and not removing them daily
- Not ensuring that spray painting areas were built with fire resistant materials, sprinklers and dust tight lights, wiring, receptacles, and breaker boxes
- Permitting workers to use spray products containing toxic compounds with potential to cause asthma-like reactions, and with potential cancer risk to humans
- Not providing adequate protective equipment and eye-wash stations
The agency also cited the company for permitting combustible residue accumulations on surfaces; lacking soap, tepid water, or hand towels in portable toilets; and not having signs posted to forbid smoking in areas with flammable and combustible products in use.
“Dent Wizard allowed heat lamps in spray painting booths, which created a serious fire risk and jeopardized worker safety. This and other dangerous safety and health hazards associated with using spray products with toxic compounds highlight the importance of protecting workers through an effective workplace safety and health program,” said Kevin Kilp, OSHA’s area director in Harrisburg. “Dent Wizard should take immediate action to address the cited hazards to ensure the safety and well-being of its employees.”
Proposed penalties total $51,000.
Window Master Inc. Fined $40,400 for Lead and Other Hazards
Federal workplace safety and health inspectors have cited a Dublin window restoration company for exposing workers to unsafe levels of lead, and other hazards.
OSHA conducted a follow-up inspection of Window Master, Inc., and found that the company had:
- Exposed employees to lead beyond permissible limits
- Failed to provide changing and shower areas to employees who worked with lead, significantly increasing the likelihood of contamination outside the immediate work area—such as the lunchroom and break areas—and causing exposure to the chemicals while eating or drinking
- Allowed lead to accumulate on such surfaces as a lunch table, water dispenser, faucet, light switch, and soap dispenser
- Did not measure the effectiveness of the ventilation system to prevent exposure to lead
- Failed to make sure employees wore appropriate protective clothing while exposed to lead above permissible levels
- Did not make sure workers used respirators properly
- Did not develop or implement a hearing conservation program
“Over exposure to lead can cause permanent kidney, blood, and reproductive damage,” said Rosemarie Cole, Concord OSHA area director. “This employer needs to provide effective safeguards to correct hazards and prevent them from happening again.”
OSHA cited Window Master, Inc., for several hazards in May 2015. As a result, OSHA has cited the company for six repeat violations as well as for three serious violations of workplace health and safety standards. Proposed penalties total $40,400. The company can request an informal conference within 15 working days from the time they received the OSHA notice to discuss the violations, and accept or contest the violations.
D.O.M. Construction Worker Hospitalized After Dangerous Fall
As a 54-year-old worker, who fell more than 11 feet as he installed a roof joist, recovered from his injuries, federal inspectors investigating his fall on March 8, 2016, arrived two days later and found a co-worker about 40 feet off the ground without proper fall protection.
OSHA has cited D.O.M. Construction for putting employees at risk by violating fall safety standards and failing to report the injury to OSHA within 24 hours, as required.
OSHA cited the company with one willful, two serious safety violations, and one other-than-serious violation after inspecting the site, a commercial building project on North Paulina Street. The company faces $40,000 in proposed federal fines for these citations. The agency has cited the Mount Prospect-based company in five previous OSHA inspections for fall protection violations.
“One worker’s fall and his potentially life-altering injuries were preventable. D.O.M. Construction must train its workers in fall protection standards and enforce the use of protective equipment on the job,” said Kathy Webb, OSHA’s area director in Calumet City. “This employer’s continued irresponsibility is unacceptable. Preventable falls account for nearly 40% of all deaths in the construction industry. As work accelerates this summer, we are committed to protecting construction workers from unnecessary injuries or worse.”
Federal safety and health officials are determined to reduce the numbers of preventable, fall-related deaths in the construction industry. OSHA offers a Stop Falls online resource with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page provides fact sheets, posters and videos that illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures. OSHA standards require that an effective form of fall protection be in use when workers perform construction activities 6 feet or more above the next lower level.
The ongoing Fall Prevention Campaign was developed in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH’s National Occupational Research Agenda program. Begun in 2012, the campaign provides employers with lifesaving information and educational materials on how to prevent falls, provide the right equipment for workers, and train employees to use gear properly.
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