SCOTT HUD Quick Disconnect Hoses on SCBA Units Must be Replaced

December 22, 2008

A safety notice has been issued to all users of SCOTT® AIR-PAK? 50, AIR-PAK 75, NxG2, and NxG7 Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) equipped with Heads-up Display (HUD).

The safety notice warns that the length and configuration of the electrical fitting on certain new model regulator hose quick disconnects may not allow the regulator hose to properly and completely engage the air connector on some auxiliary air sources. A user with an SCBA equipped with these quick disconnects may not be able to use some Scott auxiliary air sources in an emergency.

The safety notice directs the user in obtaining replacement low pressure hoses. Failure to follow the instruction in the safety notice may result in a problem connecting to an air source in an emergency, which could result in injury or death.


OSHA Announces Final Rule on Vertical Tandem Lifts

OSHA has announced a final rule on improving the safety of longshoring employees who work with vertical tandem lifts (VTLs). The final rule will reduce hazards related to lifting two containers at a time using cranes by ensuring that safe work practices are followed.

“Port employees who lift and transport containers in an unsafe manner face significant risk of injury or death,” Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Thomas M. Stohler said. “This rule on the proper use of VTLs specifies requirements that employers and employees must follow to protect the safety and health of those working in terminal areas. Allowing the safe use of VTLs will also help stevedores and shippers improve productivity and reduce congestion at the nation’s ports.”

The final rule states that VTLs limited to two empty containers can be performed safely with the use of semi-automatic twistlocks (SATLs) that are specially designed for lifting. OSHA determined that an inspection of the containers and SATLs immediately prior to the operation of VTLs is needed to assure that the equipment is in good condition. The rule also sets requirements for a ground transport plan and safe work zones.

OSHA Looks Toward 2009

As we move into 2009, OSHA is encouraging everyone to make safety and health a top priority.

The agency offers many resources that employers can use to help employees stay safe and healthy at work and prevent workplace injuries and illnesses. The following links highlight information that is available through OSHA’s website:


Ajay Glass & Mirror Co. Faces $89,000 in Proposed Fines for Fall Hazards

OSHA has proposed $89,000 in fines against Ajay Glass & Mirror Co. Inc., a Manchester, N.Y., contractor, for allegedly exposing employees to falls of up to 50 feet at a Buffalo, N.Y., worksite.

OSHA began its inspection after an OSHA official observed Ajay Glass & Mirror employees working without fall protection on the unprotected edge of the fifth floor level. The inspection found employees working without the use of a personal fall arrest system or working with their safety lifelines tied off to an anchorage point that was inadequate to restrict falls to 6 feet or less.

“These employees were just one misstep or tumble away from a fatal or disabling plunge,” said Arthur Dube, OSHA’s area director in Buffalo. “While they’re lucky they didn’t fall, worker safety must not and can never be a matter of luck. Basic and effective fall protection safeguards must be in place and in use at all times.”

 OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

Nine serious citations, with $26,000 in fines, have been issued for the inadequate anchorage; lack of fall protection training; failure to have the anchorage points designed, installed, or overseen by a competent person; unsecured and unmarked coverings for floor holes on the fourth floor level; slack and unmarked perimeter cables; and not barricading the area beneath a scaffold. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.

“One means of preventing hazards such as these is to establish an effective safety and health management system through which employers and employees can systematically evaluate, identify, and eliminate hazardous conditions,” Dube said.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the failure to abate notices to meet with OSHA or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. This inspection was conducted by OSHA’s Buffalo Area Office.

Cintas to Pay $3 Million to Settle Lockout Tagout Violations

OSHA has reached an agreement with Cintas Inc. that the company will pay almost $3 million in penalties to resolve six cases currently pending before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. All of the cases involve citations OSHA issued to Cintas for failing to lock out hazardous energy sources on industrial laundry equipment while employees were servicing the equipment. One case arose from OSHA's investigation of a fatal accident in which an employee fell into a dryer while attempting to correct a jammed conveyor.

"This agreement ensures that Cintas employees in federal OSHA states nationwide will receive the protections mandated by OSHA's standards," Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Thomas M. Stohler said. "Cintas also has agreed to a number of other measures that will help create a more safety-conscious corporate culture. This settlement agreement makes such measures binding on the company."

Under the agreement, Cintas will pay 90% of the amount originally proposed and make substantial safety and health enhancements at all of its commercial laundry facilities regulated by federal OSHA. The agreement also requires Cintas to certify that it has implemented immediate interim measures to protect employees working in the wash areas at these Cintas facilities.

The company will retain a team of independent experts, including an auditor who will ensure that the interim controls are effective; an expert in hazard analysis and controls who will review Cintas facilities and recommend permanent controls; and additional experts who will review Cintas' safety and health management systems to recommend improvements to those systems. Those improvements will include hiring additional professional safety and health staff, conducting more frequent internal safety inspections, establishing new systems to examine safety and health complaints and accident trends, and providing increased training to Cintas management and employees. OSHA will continue to inspect Cintas facilities and will enforce the terms of this settlement agreement.

MSHA’s New Inspection Program Achieves 100 Percent Completion

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) recently announced that in the first year of the agency’s 100 Percent Plan, the agency achieved its goal of completing every mandated regular inspection for the year. This success marks the first time in the agency’s 31-year history that every mandated regular inspection was completed within the year.

The Mine Act requires MSHA to inspect every underground mine four times a year and every surface mine twice a year. “Miners are safer today due to the success of this program. Reaching this milestone is an outstanding and significant achievement,” said Richard E. Stickler, acting assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health.

In October 2007, MSHA formally launched the 100 Percent Plan to address completion rates and, one year later, marked the successful completion of quarterly and twice-yearly inspections at more than 14,800 active mining operations around the country.

Stickler attributed the success of the 100 Percent Plan to several factors, including the willingness and work ethic of dedicated career MSHA employees, the temporary reassignment of MSHA inspectors to areas where they were most needed, the provision for increased overtime for additional hours needed to complete inspections, and better oversight and tracking of inspections by the agency’s district offices and headquarters. Nearly 190,000 hours of inspector overtime were logged during FY 2008. More than 172,000 citations and orders were written in that same time period.

Since July 2006, MSHA has hired more than 360 new coal enforcement personnel, and the fiscal year 2008 budget allocated funding for the hiring of 55 additional metal/nonmetal enforcement personnel. However, it can take up to 18 months for a new hire to become fully trained as a mine inspector. Once these new enforcement personnel receive their certifications, MSHA’s enforcement ranks will be at their highest level since 1994.

OSHA Quick Cards Provide Information in a Summarized and Easy-to-Understand Form

Copies of the Quick Cards can be ordered and sent to your facility or you can print copies for yourself.

Quick Cards are available on the following topics:

  • Aerial Lifts QuickCard? (OSHA 3267–2005)
  • Amputations QuickCard?
  • Avian Flu Animal Handlers (Not Poultry Employees) QuickCard? (OSHA 3309–2006)
  • Avian Flu Food Handlers QuickCard? (OSHA 3310–2006)
  • Avian Flu General Precautions QuickCard? (OSHA 3306)
  • Avian Flu Healthcare Workers QuickCard?? (OSHA 3308–2006)
  • Avian Flu Laboratory Employees QuickCard? (OSHA 3311–2006)
  • Avian Flu Poultry Employees QuickCard? (OSHA 3307–2006)
  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning QuickCard? (OSHA 3282–2005)
  • Chain Saw Safety Tips QuickCard? (OSHA 3269–2006)
  • Chipper Machine QuickCard? (OSHA 3279–2005)
  • Cold Stress QuickCard? (OSHA 3156–1999)
  • Construction PPE QuickCard? (OSHA 3289)
  • Crane Safety QuickCard? (OSHA 3268–2005)
  • Demolition Safety Tips QuickCard? (OSHA 3290–2005)
  • Electrical Safety QuickCard? (OSHA 3294)
  • Fall Protection Tips QuickCard? (OSHA 3257–2005)
  • Fireworks Safety Tips Pocket Card (OSHA 3248–2005)
  • General Decontamination QuickCard? (OSHA 3264–2005)
  • Hand Hygiene QuickCard? (OSHA 3262–2005)
  • Heat Stress QuickCard? (OSHA 3154–2004)
  • Hydrogen Sulfide QuickCard? (OSHA 3300–2005)
  • Lead in Construction QuickCard? (OSHA 3291–2005)
  • Mold QuickCard? (OSHA 3263–2005)
  • Motor Vehicle Safe Driving Practices QuickCard? (OSHA 3314–2006)
  • Permit-Required Confined Spaces QuickCard? (OSHA 3214–2006)
  • Pest Control Pyrotechnics QuickCard? (OSHA 3313–2007)
  • Portable Generator Safety QuickCard? (OSHA 3277–2005)
  • Portable Ladder Safety QuickCard? (OSHA 3246)
  • Protecting Worker Safety and Health Under the National Response Framework
  • Rescuers of Animals QuickCard? (OSHA 3321–2007)
  • Respirators QuickCard? (OSHA 3280–2005)
  • Rodent, Snakes & Insects QuickCard? (OSHA 3274)
  • Silicosis QuickCard? (OSHA 3266–2005)
  • Supported Scaffold Inspection Tips QuickCard? (OSHA 3318–2005)
  • Supported Scaffold Safety Tips QuickCard? (OSHA 3242–2005)
  • Top Four Construction Hazards QuickCard? (OSHA 3216–1999)
  • Tree Trimming & Removal QuickCard? (OSHA 3301–2005)
  • West Nile Virus QuickCard? (OSHA 3278–2005)
  • Work Zone Traffic Safety QuickCard? (OSHA 3284–2007)
  • Working Safely in Trenches Safety Tips QuickCard? (OSHA 3243–2005)


As an example of the type of information available on an OSHA Quick Card, OSHA’s Construction PPE Quick Card includes the following information:

Eye and Face Protection

  • Safety glasses or face shields are worn any time work operations can cause foreign objects to get in the eye. For example, during welding, cutting, grinding, nailing (or when working with concrete and/or harmful chemicals or when exposed to flying particles). Wear when exposed to any electrical hazards, including working on energized electrical systems.
  • Eye and face protectors—select based on anticipated hazards.

Foot Protection

  • Construction workers should wear work shoes or boots with slip-resistant and puncture-resistant soles.
  • Safety-toed footwear is worn to prevent crushed toes when working around heavy equipment or falling objects.

Hand Protection

  • Gloves should fit snugly.
  • Workers should wear the right gloves for the job (examples: heavy-duty rubber gloves for concrete work; welding gloves for welding; insulated gloves and sleeves when exposed to electrical hazards).

Head Protection

  • Wear hard hats where there is a potential for objects falling from above, bumps to the head from fixed objects, or of accidental head contact with electrical hazards.
  • Hard hats—routinely inspect them for dents, cracks, or deterioration; replace after a heavy blow or electrical shock; maintain in good condition.

Hearing Protection

  • Use earplugs/earmuffs in high noise work areas where chainsaws or heavy equipment are used; clean or replace earplugs regularly.

FAA Makes Special Flight Rules Around Washington, D.C, Permanent

Under a final rule issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), airspace restrictions and procedures implemented around Washington, D.C., after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in order to make the region safer and more secure are now permanent.

The secure airspace is comprised of two concentric rings. The interior ring, called the Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ), describes a 15-nautical-mile radius around Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). The outer ring, called the Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA), describes a 30-nautical-mile radius around DCA.

Flight operations within the FRZ are restricted to flights authorized by the FAA and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Within the SFRA, pilots must file a flight plan, establish two-way radio communications with air traffic control and operate the aircraft transponder on the transponder code assigned by air traffic.

The permanent SFRA is smaller than the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) that initially went into effect in February 2003. At that time, it was comprised of airspace that extended 23 miles out from each of the three major Washington metropolitan area airports—DCA, Dulles, and Baltimore/Washington International. The FAA reduced the dimensions of the ADIZ in August 2007, freeing up approximately 1,800 square miles of airspace that included 33 airports and helipads. This significantly reduced the economic impact to the general aviation community. This area formed the foundation of the FAA’s proposal for a permanent SFRA.

The move to a smaller, more uniform SFRA area addressed many of the issues identified in the more than 22,000 public comments on the agency’s proposal to make the airspace and operating procedures permanent. The changes were coordinated with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, which are responsible for ensuring security in the Washington area. This rule will help air traffic controllers and security agencies monitor air traffic by identifying, distinguishing, and responding appropriately if an aircraft deviates from its expected flight path or is not complying with instructions from controllers.

CPSC Issues Recommendations for “Do’s and Don’ts” of Holiday Decorating

The holiday season is here and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging consumers to keep safety in mind as they decorate for the holidays. Flickering candles, blinking holiday lights, and fragrant evergreens are beautiful staples of the holiday season, but when used improperly, these holiday decorating “must haves” can pose deadly dangers.

Each year, during the 60 days surrounding the winter holiday season, about 11,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms due to decoration-related injuries with falls, cuts, shocks, and burns topping the list. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that each year an average of 240 fires involving dried-out Christmas trees result in 16 deaths and $13 million in property damage. An average of 13,000 candle-related fires are estimated by CPSC staff to occur annually, resulting in 170 deaths and $390 million in property damage.

“Deaths, injuries, and the millions of dollars in property damage related to holiday-decorating hazards are preventable,” CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord said. “Keep the holidays festive, by keeping your family and friends safe from harm.”

Use the following safety tips when decorating this year.

Trees and Decorations:

  • When purchasing an artificial tree, DO look for the label “Fire Resistant.” Although this label does not mean the tree won’t catch fire, it does indicate the tree is more resistant to burning.
  • When purchasing a live tree, DO check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and do not break when bent between your fingers. The bottom of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.
  • When setting up a tree at home, DO place it away from fireplaces, vents, and radiators. Because heated rooms dry out live trees rapidly, be sure to keep the stand filled with water. Place the tree out of the way of traffic, and do not block doorways.
  • When trimming a tree, DO use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials.
  • In homes with small children, DO take special care to avoid sharp or breakable decorations, keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children who could swallow or inhale small pieces, and avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to eat them.
  • To avoid lung irritation, follow container directions carefully while decorating with artificial snow sprays.


  • Indoors or outside, DO use only lights that have been tested for safety by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as UL or ETL/ITSNA. Use only newer lights that have thicker wiring and safety fuses to prevent the wires from overheating.
  • Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Throw out damaged sets.
  • If using an extension cord, DO make sure it is rated for the intended use.
  • DON’T use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted.
  • When using lights outdoors, DO check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use and only plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protected receptacle or a portable GFCI.
  • DO turn off all holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.


  • Keep burning candles within sight.
  • Keep lighted candles away from items that can catch fire and burn easily, such as trees, other evergreens, decorations, curtains, and furniture.
  • Always use non-flammable holders and keep away from children and pets.
  • Extinguish all candles before you go to bed, leave the room or leave the house.


  • Use care with “fire salts,” which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals that, if eaten, can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting. Keep them away from children.
  • DON’T burn wrapping paper or plastic items in the fireplace. These materials can ignite suddenly and burn intensely, resulting in a flash fire.
  • Place a screen around your fireplace to prevent sparks from igniting nearby flammable materials.


Watch Out for Signs of Christmas Stress

Great Britain’s Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has said the credit crunch is putting extra pressure on people in both their personal and professional lives. This could lead to dangerous levels of stress at a time of year that is already stressful due to the Christmas build-up.

“The last few weeks before Christmas are traditionally busy times as people go out to buy last-minute presents,” IOSH President Nattasha Freeman said. “This rush places extra demands on employees who are already likely to be working at capacity, so employers need to watch out for signs that their employees are unable to cope.”

Freeman also said that excess pressure can lead to employers losing workers through ill health.

IOSH said common signs of stress include:

  • Increased susceptibility to colds and other infections
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness and sleep difficulties
  • Back and neckache
  • Digestive problems
  • Wanting to cry
  • Short temperedness
  • Eating when you’re not hungry
  • Smoking and drinking excessively
  • Loss of motivation and commitment


“To help relieve the situation, employers should look at what minor adjustments they can make,” Freeman said. “These could include ensuring staff take proper breaks and have someone they can talk to.”

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