OSHA Wants Your Comments on GHS Hazard Communication Revisions

June 05, 2017

OSHA will conduct a public meeting on June 20, 2017, to discuss proposals in preparation for the 33rd session of the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (UNSCEGHS) to be held July 10–12, 2017, in Geneva, Switzerland. OSHA plans to consider the comments and information gathered at this public meeting when developing the U.S. Government positions for the UNSCEGHS meeting. OSHA also will give an update on the Regulatory Cooperation Council. The meeting will be held at the Department of Transportation Headquarters Conference Center in Washington, DC.

Safe + Sound Week

OSHA has designated June 12–18, 2017, as Safe + Sound Week, a new nationwide effort that calls on organizations of all sizes in a wide range of industries to raise awareness of the value and importance of workplace safety and health programs.

Joining OSHA to sponsor the effort are the National Safety Council, American Industrial Hygiene Association, American Society of Safety Engineers, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. In addition, 85 trade associations, industry, and professional groups are partnering with the Safe + Sound Week initiative.

“Our nation has made great strides in raising awareness about the importance of workplace safety, yet more than four million workers suffer serious job-related injuries or illnesses annually. We can do better,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta.

Participating in Safe + Sound Week can help organizations get their safety and health program started or energize an existing one. While approaches vary, effective programs have three core elements:

  • Management leadership that commits to establishing, maintaining, and continually improving the program. Managers must also provide needed resources to support the program.
  • Workers who help identify solutions for improvements. A workforce engaged in safety and health programs result in higher productivity, increased job satisfaction, and strong worker retention, which combine to increase revenues and lower turnover and recruitment costs.
  • A systematic “find and fix” approach that calls upon employers and workers alike to examine their workplaces – proactively and routinely – to identify and address hazards before an injury or illness occurs.

Information on how to participate in Safe + Sound Week, ideas for events and resources, and details of planned events around the country are available at www.osha.gov/safeandsoundweek/index.html.

Let’s help Keep Each Other Safe during National Safety Month

In addition to the new Safe + Sound Week initiative, OSHA joined the National Safety Council (NSC) and thousands of organizations across the country in recognizing June as National Safety Month. According to NSC, preventable deaths are at an all-time high in America. In fact, more than 130,000 people die needlessly every year—one every four minutes. As part of an effort to emphasize the importance of safety both on and off the job, NSC’s Keep Each Other Safe campaign emphasizes the importance of safety and health at work, on the roads, and in our homes and communities. Visit the National Safety Month website to take the SafeAtWork pledge, register for a free webinar on June 22, and access downloadable materials, including a poster, tips sheets, and social media graphics.


Crisis Leadership in Disasters Symposium


The National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (NCDMPH) will be conducting a Crisis Leadership in Disasters Symposium on September 6, 2017 in Bethesda, Maryland. The Symposium will provide an opportunity to explore crisis leadership training needs in the health professions, particularly health emergency and disaster response. During the half-day event, leading experts in crisis leadership will provide examples of how crisis leadership manifests in other professions.

Casino Contractors Face nearly $194,000 in Penalties following OSHA Investigation

Three contractors in Saipan face $193,750 in proposed penalties after investigators from U.S. OSHA found that the companies exposed workers to numerous workplace hazards at the Imperial Pacific Resort Casino under development in Garapan, Saipan, which is part of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

OSHA officials issued safety and health citations for hazards related to inadequate fall protection, unsecured scaffolding, unprotected crane operation areas, unguarded machines, and failure to notify OSHA about a work-related amputation.

“Workplace safety is a critical component for a growing U.S. economy to reach its full potential,” said Barbara Goto, OSHA’s regional administrator in San Francisco. “This case serves as a good reminder for companies large and small to be mindful of workplace hazards and to do what it is necessary and required to protect those on the front lines of growth.”

MCC International Saipan Ltd. Co., the prime contractor for the Imperial Pacific casino project, was cited with 10 violations and $81,484 in proposed penalties. Investigators found workers exposed to uncovered holes and additional hazardous areas around crane operations. In addition, the company failed to notify OSHA of a work-related amputation, and did not report other workers’ injuries as required.

OSHA officials also cited MCC’s subcontractor Nanjing BeiLiDa New Materials System Engineering Co., with $81,483 in proposed penalties for 10 violations, including unsecured compressed gas cylinders, damaged snap hooks on fall protection lanyards, and multiple scaffolding-related hazards.

Gold Mantis Construction Decoration, Saipan LLC, also a subcontractor for MCC, was cited with four safety violations carrying $30,783 in proposed penalties for failure to enforce the use of eye and face protection, for unguarded machinery, and for the use of a fiber sling with frayed fibers to lift large steel beams.

To view the citations, click here.

Keep it Safe on Carnival and Amusement Rides

Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) emphasizes safety on amusement rides, and is urging the more than 40 million people who will travel Michigan to enjoy carnival and amusement rides this summer season to make safety a top priority, especially with the kids.

“Carnival rides in Michigan are held to the highest safety standards to keep riders safe,” said LARA’s Corporations, Securities and Commercial Licensing Director Julia Dale. “We ask all ride patrons to do their part by following ride rules and restrictions and using all the safety equipment provided.”

LARA works to make Michigan a leader in ride safety, inspection, and registration of amusement rides to ensure compliance with Michigan’s rules and regulations that protect citizens of all ages while riding.

Most amusement ride injuries are suffered by children under age 13 according to national data compiled by the Saferparks organization. Kids between the ages of 7 and 12 account for nearly a third of all ride accidents. The speeds, heights, rapid changes in direction, and special effects can overwhelm and panic a child.

Dale emphasized that all amusement rides, including “kiddie rides,” are powerful machines. Although most full-sized rides are designed for adults and teens, there has been an increasing emphasis on the safety and retention of children on adult rides. Many Ferris wheels have had seat belts added to them to help keep kids in their seats. Catastrophic accidents are often the result of rider inexperience, immaturity, and horseplay on such large machines.

“Choose cautiously what rides you and your family can enjoy safely,” said Dale. “Use good judgment when deciding if your child can safely ride alone. Watch the ride with your kids before boarding, or ride along with them.”

Here are a few safety tips on what you and the kids need to know before you go:

  • Know the rules of the ride; listen to verbal or recorded instructions.
  • Observe all age, height, and weight restrictions. Know the safest riding position for the kids.
  • Never seat a child on your lap, unless ride operators indicate it’s safe to do so.
  • Securely latch seat belts, shoulder harness, and lap bars before the ride begins. Hold on to handrails; use grab bars.
  • Keep hands, arms, legs, and feet inside the ride at all times. Do not ride with hands in the air. Secure loose hair, clothing, and belongings. Never stand up on a ride.
  • Stay seated until the ride comes to a complete stop and you are instructed to exit.
  • Patrons with heart conditions, pregnancy, or back/neck injuries should heed any warning signs posted.
  • Report any unsafe behavior or conditions on a ride to a ride supervisor or manager immediately.
  • Report injuries to a ride supervisor. They will assist the injured and report the injury to LARA.

LARA inspects amusement rides annually; however, operators are required to conduct daily inspections before operation according to manufacturer criteria, national standards, and state law. Michigan has one of the oldest amusement ride safety programs in the country, protecting consumers for 50 years; the first inspection was done in 1967.

Ten injuries were reported to LARA last year, compared to the estimated 50 million to 100 million rides taken in Michigan each year. The majority of amusement ride injuries result from the riders themselves and are preventable. Approximately 200 ride injuries have been reported to LARA over a 10-year period; the majority caused by the riders’ actions, and the remainder caused by ride operators, failures of the equipment, or a combination of both.

Be aware that inflatable “bounce houses,” bungee jumps, and climbing walls are not regulated in Michigan. Users of these devices should follow the same recommendations and be especially alert to the conditions of the device and the attentiveness of the operators.

For more information on amusement ride safety for kids and adults go to:

LARA’s Corporations, Securities and Commercial Licensing Bureau (CSCL) licenses more than 900 amusement rides including water slides and go-karts, carnival rides, and roller coasters. If Michigan consumers have questions regarding a ride’s license or inspection, they can contact CSCL at 517-241-9273. Consumers can file a complaint by visiting CSCL’s complaint resource page here.

OSHA and New Jersey Medical Center Reach Agreement on Violence Prevention

OSHA and one of the nation’s largest public hospitals have resolved litigation by reaching an agreement that requires the center to enhance its efforts to prevent violence in the workplace.

In 2014, OSHA notified the Bergen Regional Medical Center L.P., in Paramus, New Jersey, that employees were exposed to hazardous conditions associated with workplace violence and that it had not developed or implemented adequate measures to protect workers from assaults. While OSHA provided BRMC with a framework to better protect employees, a February 2015 agency inspection found BRMC’s workplace violence program to be inadequate in that workplace violence hazards had not been addressed effectively, and in that the workers’ safety and health continued to be jeopardized due to exposure to workplace violence.

“This settlement holds Bergen Regional Medical Center L.P. accountable for ensuring it has an effective workplace violence prevention program that makes employee safety and health paramount,” said Robert Kulick, OSHA regional administrator in New York.

As part of the settlement, BRMC will continue making improvements to its health-care workplace violence prevention program, and OSHA will verify that they are being made. The improvements include maintaining a workplace violence prevention committee that sustains management commitment and union and employee involvement. The effort will include worksite analysis, hazard identification and prevention and/or control, incident reporting and review, safety and health training, and recordkeeping and program evaluation.

Additionally, the employer must consent to and cooperate with OSHA inspections of the BRMC facility, and must continue to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

“BRMC’s settlement will have long-term safety implications for workers at this facility,” said Jeffrey S. Rogoff, regional solicitor in New York. “The settlement also highlights feasible and necessary workplace violence prevention measures for this facility as well as similar hospitals and health-care providers.”

Information about OSHA’s guidelines for preventing workplace violence in the health-care industry is available at https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hospitals/workplace_violence.html.

Safety Failures Identified in Fatal Incident at Florida Electrical Cable Manufacturer

OSHA has issued a dozen citations and proposed $226,431 in fines following its investigation into the November 29, 2016, death of a 26-year-old machine operator at a Pensacola-area electrical cable manufacturer.

Gulf Cable LLC was cited for failing to take measures to protect the worker, who was pulled into a re-spool machine and crushed as he attempted to guide electrical wiring cable into the machine. OSHA found the machine lacked the required guarding to prevent the worker from coming into contact with its moving parts.

“Jonathan Gilmore’s death could have been prevented,” said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA’s area director in Jacksonville. “Employers have a responsibility to provide safe work environments for their workers regardless of production schedules. When employers fail to se equipment properly and safely, they put employees at risk of serious injury or worse.”

OSHA issued 12 violations to Gulf Cable for one willful, one repeat, seven serious, and three other-than-serious safety violations. The willful citation relates to the company’s failure to install guards to prevent machine operators from coming into contact with the cable as it winds onto the spool.

The agency also cited the employer for one repeat violation for failing to develop, document and utilize hazardous energy control procedures to prevent machines from operating while employees performed service and maintenance.

OSHA issued serious citations to Gulf Cable for failing to:

  • Install guardrails on all four sides of machinery in the pit area, exposing workers to trip and fall hazards.
  • Repair or replace cut electrical wiring for the emergency-stop foot pedal, exposing workers to electrical shock and electrocution hazards.

The citations for Gulf Cable can be viewed here.

Gulf Cable employs 110 workers at its facility, often running two separate 12-hour shifts with approximately 50 employees on each shift working seven days per week.

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