What’s on OSHA’s Agenda?

December 17, 2007


Moving to an online agenda saves resources and provides users with a more useful, searchable mechanism for accessing regulatory information. It also helps meet e-Government objectives, while saving taxpayers money by significantly reducing printing costs.

Prerule Stage, Occupational Exposure to Crystalline Silica,

Prerule Stage, Occupational Exposure to Beryllium,

Prerule Stage, Emergency Response and Preparedness,

Prerule Stage, Methylene Chloride,

Proposed Rule Stage, Confined Spaces in Construction (Part 1926): Preventing Suffocation/Explosions in Confined Spaces,

Proposed Rule Stage, General Working Conditions for Shipyard Employment,

Proposed Rule Stage, Walking Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems (1910) (Slips, Trips, and Fall Prevention),
Proposed Rule Stage, Cranes and Derricks,

Proposed Rule Stage, Standards Improvement

Proposed Rule Stage, Hazard Communication,

Proposed Rule Stage, Revision and Update of Standards for Power Presses,

Proposed Rule Stage, Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories Fee Schedule—Revised Approach,

Proposed Rule Stage, Abbreviated Bitrix Qualitative Fit-Testing Protocol,

Proposed Rule Stage, Oregon State Plan—Resumption of Concurrent Federal Enforcement of Temporary Labor Camp Standard,

Proposed Rule Stage, Cooperative Agreements,

Proposed Rule Stage, Occupational Exposure to Diacetyl and Food Flavorings Containing Diacetyl,

Final Rule Stage, Longshoring and Marine Terminals (Parts 1917 and 1918)—Reopening of the Record (Vertical Tandem Lifts (VTLs)),

Final Rule Stage, Electric Power Transmission and Distribution; Electrical Protective Equipment,

Final Rule Stage, Employer Payment for Personal Protective Equipment,

Final Rule Stage, Updating OSHA Standards Based on National Consensus Standards,

Final Rule Stage, Explosives,

Final Rule Stage, Procedures for Handling Discrimination Complaints Under Federal Employee Protection Statutes,

Final Rule Stage, South Carolina State Plan—Revision of State Health Compliance Staffing Benchmarks,

Long-Term Actions, Hearing Conservation Program for Construction Workers,

Long-Term Actions, Ionizing Radiation,

Topics included on OSHA’s April 2007 agenda that no longer appear on OSHA’s current agenda include:

  • Hearing conservation for construction workers
  • Emergency response and preparedness
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Power presses
  • Working conditions in shipyards
  • Hazard communication and global harmonization
  • Vertical tandem lifts used in longshoring

Laundry Faces $163,200 in OSHA Fines for Uncorrected and Other Health and Safety Hazards

OSHA has cited an industrial laundry in Watertown, N.Y., for alleged repeat and serious violations of safety and health standards, and for failing to correct hazards cited during previous OSHA inspections. Atlas Health Care Linen Services LLC, 135 Union St., faces a total of $163,200 in proposed fines.

In November 2006, OSHA cited the plant, then known as Northern Health Care Linen Services, for a variety of safety and health hazards. The company agreed to correct all hazards and pay a fine of $39,980. The latest citations and fines result from follow-up inspections begun June 8, 2007, to verify correction of the earlier cited hazards.

"Several conditions that were cited during the 2006 inspections occurred again or were not corrected in the first place," said Christopher R. Adams, OSHA's area director in Syracuse. "It is critical to the health and safety of employees at this facility that all items be addressed and abated promptly, effectively, and permanently."

Three failure-to-abate notices, carrying $112,500 in fines, were issued to the company for its failure to supply the Hepatitis B vaccine to employees within 10 days of exposure to bloodborne pathogens, develop and maintain a log of injuries, and guard a spoke pulley against employee contact. A failure-to-abate notice is issued when an employer has agreed to correct specific hazards cited during an OSHA inspection and then does not do so.

Three repeat citations, accounting for $37,700 in fines, were issued for an unguarded rooftop work area, inadequate guarding of folder machines, and the use of a flexible electric cord in place of permanent wiring. A repeat citation is issued when an employer has been cited for a substantially similar hazard in the past and that citation has become final. In this case, the company had been cited for substantially similar hazards in the 2006 inspections.

Four serious citations, with $13,000 in proposed fines, were issued for an unguarded floor hole, failing to clean contaminated surfaces and a soiled linen conveyor, lack of hazard communication training for employees, and incomplete lockout/tagout procedures to prevent machinery from functioning while employees performed maintenance. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

OSHA Fines Green Bay Packaging Plant $132,000 for Alleged Safety Violations

Alleged failure to protect employees from safety hazards has brought Green Bay Packaging Inc.'s Arkansas Kraft Division in Morrilton $132,000 in proposed OSHA penalties.

Green Bay Packaging is headquartered in Green Bay, Wis. The Arkansas Kraft Division was cited for two willful and two serious violations following an OSHA inspection at the plant on 338 Highway. The facility, which manufactures heavy paper, has 357 employees.

"Every employee has the right to a safe and healthful workplace," said Paul Hansen, OSHA's area director in Little Rock, Ark. "The significant penalty of $132,000 in this case demonstrates OSHA's commitment to assuring the safety and health of employees by aggressively pursuing strong, fair, and effective enforcement."

The two willful violations are for failing to ensure that paper manufacturing equipment was locked out and blocked prior to employee entry (to prevent accidental start-ups during maintenance) and for not adequately protecting employees from exposure to live electrical parts. OSHA issues a willful citation when there is evidence of intentional violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act or plain indifference to the act's requirements.

Serious citations have been issued for failing to guard open-sided floors and platforms and to insulate steam and hot water pipes. A serious violation is one involving a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Green Bay Packaging has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Little Rock or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards may call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742 to report workplace safety and health-related incidents, fatalities, or situations posing imminent danger to employees.

OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 39,000 inspections in fiscal year 2007 and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last eight years. In fiscal year 2007, OSHA found more than 89,000 violations of its standards and regulations.

OSHA Proposes More Than $55,000 in Penalties Against Mississippi Cookie Manufacturer Following Fatality

OSHA has proposed 19 serious and 4 other-than-serious safety violations with $55,100 in penalties against DeBeukelaer Corp., following an investigation prompted by the death of an employee at the company's Gluckstadt, Miss., bakery in June.

"Employers must consider relevant dangers and implement OSHA's recognized safety standards when setting up their production lines so that tragedies such as this will not occur," said Clyde Payne, director of OSHA's Jackson area office.

The employee died after being caught and pulled into a powered conveyor drive roller.

OSHA inspectors found that the company failed to provide appropriate machine guards on the production line and did not install or place the proper number of emergency stops along the powered conveyor system. The company also did not have specific procedures for lockout/tagout to prevent machinery from functioning while employees performed maintenance;  forklift operators were not properly trained; and the required OSHA log of work-related injuries and illnesses was not maintained.

OSHA Cites Four St. Louis Bay Bridge Contractors Following Fatal Collapse of Concrete Formwork

OSHA has proposed penalties totaling $95,725 against four contractors working on the construction of the St. Louis Bay Bridge.

The investigation began in June after two employees from two different companies died and another seven were injured when a concrete column collapsed into St. Louis Bay.

"This collapse was preventable. Better construction engineering and management could have prevented this tragedy," said Clyde Payne, director of OSHA's area office in Jackson.

Granite Archer Western, a joint venture that acted as the lead contractor, has been cited with one willful violation carrying a $70,000 proposed penalty for failing to correctly design, fabricate, erect, brace, and maintain the formwork. Inspectors determined that the formwork was incapable of supporting the lateral load of the wet concrete. The company also has been cited with four serious violations and $8,500 in proposed penalties, as well as for two other-than-serious violations.

The other contractors cited are HNTB Corp., with two serious violations carrying proposed penalties of $8,425; URS Corp., for one serious violation with a $6,300 proposed penalty; and D.T. Reed Steel Co., for two serious violations with proposed penalties totaling $2,500.

OSHA Inspection of Wheelblast Inc. Leads to More Than $139,000 in Proposed Penalties

Wheelblast Inc. is facing $139,500 in proposed penalties following an OSHA inspection. The federal agency uncovered significant safety and health violations at the company's Zephyrhills, Fla., manufacturing plant.

In June, a Wheelblast employee was injured when a flash fire in the paint-mixing area resulted in burns to more than 30% of his body.

"This company's management placed employees in extreme danger when it ignored numerous warning labels and product safety information for toxic and highly flammable substances," said Les Grove, OSHA's area director in Tampa. "OSHA will take forceful action when employers ignore their employees' safety."

OSHA has proposed $109,500 in penalties for 12 serious and 3 willful safety violations, including the transfer of chemicals in an unsafe manner, allowing an accumulation of flammable disposable materials, and not adequately preventing the ignition of flammable vapors during the manufacturing process. Employees also were found to be exposed to fall, electrical, and amputation hazards.

One serious, one willful, and five other-than-serious health violations have been proposed with $30,000 in penalties against the company for allowing employees to work with toxic and flammable chemicals without proper protective equipment and for operating without a written hazard communication program.

OSHA Announces Workplace Safety Violations Against Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corp. in Ohio

OSHA has proposed $210,000 in fines against Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corp. of Steubenville, Ohio, for alleged repeat and serious violations of federal workplace safety standards.

As the result of a recent follow-up to a February 2006 inspection, OSHA has issued citations against Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corp. for 12 repeat violations with proposed penalties of $190,000. Among the violations, the agency alleges that the company failed to: provide adequate electrical safety training and work-related safety practices to employees; de-energize electrical equipment for servicing; provide flashback protection of cutting torch equipment; provide proper eyewash facilities; provide adequate standard railings on floors, runways, and platforms; and provide proper safety signs or ratings for crane lifting devices.

OSHA also issued citations for seven serious violations with proposed penalties of $20,000, alleging that the company failed to: replace missing railings on staircases; keep emergency exits cleared of obstructions; provide annual audiograms for all employees; provide proper personal protective equipment and training; properly inspect electrical parts for hazards before use; and provide proper insulated tools for working on energized electrical parts.

"OSHA will not tolerate employers who continue to willfully ignore safety hazards that have been brought to their attention. This continued disregard for the welfare of working people is inexcusable," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's area director in Columbus. "By following appropriate occupational safety and health standards, thousands of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities that occur each year in workplaces could be prevented."

OSHA Issues Direct Final Rule to Update Its Standards Based on National Consensus Standards



"This rule is part of OSHA's ongoing effort to update its regulatory references to consensus standards," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke Jr. "The revisions will clarify employer obligations and maintain current levels of employee protection."

In the direct final rule, OSHA is deleting several references to consensus standards that have requirements that duplicate or are comparable to other OSHA rules. The direct final rule will become effective 90 days after publication in the Federal Register, unless significant adverse comments are received within 30 days of its publication in Federal Register.

Listed below are the OSHA General Industry standards that will be affected by this ruling:

OSHA Standard


1910.68(b)(4) and (b)(8)(ii)


1910.94(b)(5)(i)(a), (c)(1)(ii), (c)(3)(i), (c)(3)(iii), (c)(3)(iii)(a), (c)(5)(i), (c)(5)(iii)(e)




1910.110 (b)(5)(iii)

Storage and handling of liquefied petroleum gases


Storage and handling of anhydrous ammonia


Safety color code for marking physical hazards


Guarding of portable powered tools


Oxygen-fuel gas welding and cutting

1910.261(c)(15)(ii), (e)(4), (g)(13)(i), (h)(1), (j)(4)(iii), (j)(5)(i), (k)(6), (k)(13)(i), & (k)(15)

Pulp, paper, and paperboard mills

In addition to the actions listed above, OSHA is amending 29 CFR 1910.107(c)(1)(iv) Spray-finishing. The change identifies 29 CFR 1910.107(c)(1)(iv) as the correct citation for identifying the correct provisions for regulating power-coating equipment.

OSHA is also removing the reference to American Welding Society (AWS) standard A3.0-1969 (Terms and Definitions) referenced in 29 CFR 1910.251(c). The purpose of the definitions is to assist employers and employees in understanding the technical terms used in these OSHA standards. Sections 29 CFR 1910.252-255 specify the substantive obligations for employers to follow. Comments to the direct final rule must be submitted to OSHA by Jan. 14, 2008.

Four New OSHA Whistleblower Fact Sheets Available for Employees

Employees who file a complaint against their employer for unsafe or unhealthy workplaces will benefit from four new OSHA whistleblower fact sheets.  Employees will find information on the types of activities protected, personnel actions that may be in violation of the statute, and how to file a complaint.

Prevent Weight Gain During the Holidays

Holiday parties, holiday cookies, and inevitable overeating are unfortunately linked to the holiday season. Year-end indulgences become the precursor for many New Year’s resolutions. The number one resolution each year is to lose weight.

“Instead of letting the effects of the holiday season wreak havoc on you, this year take a proactive step before the new year begins and create your own game plan for health,” suggests Shana Patterson, nutrition coordinator for the Colorado Physical Activity and Nutrition program at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “It’s not just about what you DO eat during this time, but also what you DON’T eat that compounds the problem.”

The U.S. Health and Human Services plan, Healthy People 2010, recommends that people consume two or more daily servings of fruit and three or more daily servings of vegetables, with one-third being dark green or orange vegetables. According to the Department of Public Health and Environment, only about half of Coloradans are consuming the recommended daily amounts of vegetables and fruits—well less than the Healthy People 2010 goal of 75% of Americans consuming the recommended daily amounts.

So what is the solution to fending off holiday weight gain? Patterson suggests, “Whatever plan you create must include both sensible nutrition choices and physical activity.” Patterson provided the following tips to help individuals get started in the right direction.

To prevent overeating:

  • Do not skip breakfast. Include whole grains, fruit, calcium, and protein-containing foods.
  • If attending a party or celebration later in the day or evening, conserve calories by snacking on healthy foods earlier in the day to enjoy, without guilt, more “indulgent” foods offered at the party later.
  • Make certain to eat a minimum of five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Most fruits and vegetables, especially the darker colored ones, are low in calories and fat and are high in fiber, which creates a full stomach affect even though the calorie intake is low.
  • Plan ahead when going to a party. Find out what types of food will be served and decide what items to enjoy and stick to them. Return to the vegetable or fruit platter if still hungry.

Cooking tips to reduce calories and fat:

  • Use two egg whites in place of one whole egg.
  • Use three tablespoons of cocoa powder and one tablespoon of oil in place of baking chocolate. Replace cream or whipping cream with evaporated skim milk.
  • Try substituting an equal amount of applesauce for at least half the oil, margarine, or butter in muffins and quick breads such as banana bread.

Exercise tips:

  • If you don’t have an hour to work out, break it into two 30-minute sessions or three 10-minute sessions. Exercise while watching television by putting exercise equipment in front of the television and doing sit-ups during commercials.
  • If driving to a party, park your vehicle several blocks away to get in some extra steps.
  • If you have a gym membership, make use of it. Ask a friend to join you or choose a favorite class to attend for extra motivation.

“Remember, choose wisely and stick to your game plan,” says Patterson.

New ASTM Standard Developed for Sampling, Preservation, and Mitigating Interferences for Analysis of Cyanide

Cyanide is routinely analyzed in water samples, often to demonstrate regulatory compliance; however, improper sample collection or pretreatment can result in significant positive or negative bias potentially resulting in unnecessary permit violations or undetected cyanide releases into the environment. 

The diverse task group—which consists of representatives from instrument vendors, industry, and government—plans to reference the new standard in all the cyanide test methods under the jurisdiction of Committee D19 to supersede previous guidance in this area.

Prior to proposing this method in a formal rulemaking for adoption into 40 CFR Part 136, Guidelines Establishing Test Procedures for the Analysis of Pollutants, the Clean Water Act methods group at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency expects to reference this standard on their methods webpage as a useful source of information.

ASTM International standards are available for purchase from ASTM at 610-832-9585


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