News Archive


OSHA's Final Rule Updating Walking-Working Surfaces Standards

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued a final rule updating its general industry Walking-Working Surfaces standards specific to slip, trip, and fall hazards. The rule also includes a new section under the general industry Personal Protective Equipment standards that establishes employer requirements for using personal fall protection systems... [ more ]


OSHA's Final Rule to Protect Workers from Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America's workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The rule is comprised of two standards, one for Construction and one for General Industry and Maritime. OSHA estimates that the rule will save over 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis each year, once its effects are fully realized. The Final Rule is projected to provide net benefits of about ... [ more ]


Final Rule: Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements

The EPA Administrator signed the final Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule on October 28, 2016 and it was published in the Federal Register (FR) on November 28, 2016. This rule finalizes a much-needed update to the hazardous waste generator regulations to make the rules easier to understand, facilitate better compliance, provide greater flexibility in how hazardous waste is managed, and close important gaps in the regulations ... [ more ]


Lithium Battery Shipment by Air Updates

Lithium batteries have become the preferred energy source to power a wide variety of consumer goods ranging from mobile phones to children toys to cars and e-bikes. Though widely used, most people are not aware that lithium batteries are dangerous goods that can pose a safety risk if not prepared in accordance with the transport regulations. To help with compliance, IATA has developed guidance for shippers, freight forwarders, ground handlers, airlines and passengers. [ more ]


OSHA's Heat Stress Prevention Website


WATER. REST. SHADE.

HEAT ILLNESS CAN BE DEADLY.

The body normally cools itself by sweating. During hot weather, especially with high humidity, sweating isn't enough. Body temperature can rise to dangerous levels if you don't drink enough water and rest in the shade. You can suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

In 2014 alone, 2,630 workers suffered from heat illness and 18 died from heat stroke and related causes on the job. Heat illnesses and deaths are preventable. [ more ]


PHMSA increases minimum and maxium fines for HAZMAT violations

PHMSA Adjusts Maximum and Minimum Civil Penalties for Inflation. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a Final Rule to revise its regulations and increase the maximum civil penalty amount for violations of the Federal hazardous materials safety law. Under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, which further amended the Federal Civil Penalties, Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, federal agencies are required to adjust their civil monetary penalties each year to account for changes in inflation. [ more ]


IATA Dangerous Goods Documentation Page

Looking for the latest updates to IATA's Dangerous Goods regulations? This is thier update website.

[IATA DG Documentation]


Clarification of the Employer's Continuing Obligation to Record Injuries

Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress has passed, and the President has signed, Public Law 115-21, a resolution of disapproval of OSHA's final rule titled, "Clarification of Employer'sContinuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of eachRecordable Injury and Illness." OSHA published the rule, which contained v arious amendments to OSHA's recordkeeping regulations, on December 19, 2016. The amendments became effective on January 18, 2017. Because Public Law 115-21 invalidates the amendments to OSHA'srecordkeeping regulations contained in the rule promulgated on December 19, 2016, OSHA is hereby removing those amendments from the Code of Federal Regulations.

[View the Notice]


$54,000 Settlement for Hazardous Waste Violations

PHILADELPHIA (May 8, 2017) Potomac Electric Power Company has agreed to pay a $54,000 penalty to settle alleged violations of hazardous waste regulations at its maintenance facility in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today.

The settlement addresses compliance with environmental regulations that help protect communities and the environment from potential exposure to hazardous waste. [ more ]


$279K Proposed Penalty for Machine Guarding, Lead Exposure

CANTON, Ohio – Republic Steel, an automotive steel manufacturer, faces $279,578 in proposed penalties from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration after agency investigators found workers at its Canton plant exposed to machine hazards and lead.

OSHA found one maintenance worker suffered severe injuries after being struck by an unguarded machine, and at least seven workers were exposed to excessive levels of lead, which can cause serious health issues.

"Companies must continuously monitor their facilities to ensure health and safety procedures are adequate and effective in protecting workers from injuries and illness on the job," said Dorothy Dougherty, deputy assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.

On Dec. 5, 2016, a 64-year-old maintenance worker suffered a fractured pelvis after being struck by a sail ­– a large clamp that holds the steel billet – because lock-out devices were not affixed to the machine's operating parts to stop movement during maintenance. [ more ]


OSHA and NIOSH's Updated Heat Safety Tool App

The OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool is a useful resource for planning outdoor work activities based on how hot it feels throughout the day. Featuring real-time heat index and hourly forecasts, specific to your location, as well as occupational safety and health recommendations from OSHA and NIOSH. [ more ]


OSHA issues $714,000 in citations for trenching violations

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. – A month after a 33-year-old worker died while working in an unprotected trench, U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors found another employee of the same Missouri plumbing contractor working in a similarly unprotected trench at another job site.

OSHA determined that, in both cases, Arrow Plumbing LLC of Blue Springs failed to provide basic safeguards to prevent trench collapse and did not train its employees to recognize and avoid cave-in and other hazards. Trench collapses are among the most dangerous hazards in the construction industry. In 2016, OSHA received reports of 23 deaths and 12 injuries nationwide in trench and excavation operations. In the first five months of 2017, 15 deaths and 19 injuries have been reported nationwide. [ more ]


OSHA investigation finds safety failures led to the death of 3 workers who entered a manhole containing lethal gases

KEY LARGO, Fla. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a South Florida utility company and related contracting company after the agency's investigation into the deaths of three workers who succumbed to toxic gases in a manhole on Jan. 16, 2017.

A 34-year-old pipe layer entered the manhole – a confined space – and quickly became unresponsive. A 49-year-old laborer entered the hole and attempted to rescue the first employee. After the second employee also became unresponsive, a 24-year-old equipment operator followed to help his fallen coworkers. All three men died. Post-incident atmospheric testing in the manhole revealed lethal levels of hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide. Two other employees and a volunteer firefighter were also exposed to the toxic gases in the manhole during rescue attempts but survived. [ more ]


OSHA Investigation Finds Psychiatric Hospital Workers Remain Exposed to Serious Workplace Hazards

A Massachusetts behavioral health facility faces $207,690 in proposed penalties from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for violations found while conducting a follow-up inspection.

On June 29, 2017, OSHA issued UHS of Westwood Pembroke, Inc. – doing business as Lowell Treatment Center – a notification for failure to abate violation involving workplace violence. This follows a serious violation related to the same hazards that federal safety and health inspectors found on May 19, 2015. As a result of the 2015 inspection, the employer and OSHA entered into a Formal Settlement Agreement on April 12, 2016, which outlined specific provisions of a workplace violence prevention program. [ more ]


D.C. Circuit Vacates Portions of EPA's Definition of Solid Waste Rule

On July 7, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (the D.C. Circuit) vacated portions of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 2015 rule on the Definition of Solid Waste (the 2015 Rule). See American Petroleum Institute v. EPA, No. 09-1038 (D.C. Cir. 2017) (API Opinion). Both industry and environmental groups challenged the 2015 Rule. The 2015 Rule revised a Definition of Solid Waste Rule promulgated by EPA in 2008 (the 2008 Rule). See 80 Fed. Reg. 1694 (Jan. 13, 2015) (the 2015 Rule) and 73 Fed. Reg. 64668 (Oct. 30, 2008) (the 2008 Rule). [ more ]


OSHA Cites New York Paperboard Mill for 61 Safety, Health Hazards

NEW YORK, NY – A New York paperboard mill faces $357,445 in proposed penalties for exposing workers to 61 safety and health hazards.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in Syracuse opened an inspection of Carthage Specialty Paperboard Inc., on Dec. 27, 2016, in response to a complaint alleging unsafe working conditions. Inspectors discovered employees exposed to serious safety hazards, including more than 20 instances of machinery lacking safety guards to prevent employees from the risk of amputation. [ more ]


EPA's Preparedness Resouce Center

Each September, National Preparedness Month encourages and reminds Americans to be prepared for disasters or emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities.

Use this opportunity to find ways or help others understand more about preparing for disasters that reduce risks to health and the environment from contamination, leaks, spills, hazardous materials, and other dangers. This page doesn't include all possible ways of preparing but provides many ideas and links to more information. [ more ]


OSHA Cites Chicago Container Manufacturer After 4 Workers Suffer Injuries

CHICAGO, IL – A Chicago manufacturer of rigid metal, plastic, and hybrid containers faces $503,380 in proposed penalties after inspectors from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) responded to four separate reports of workers suffering injuries at the facility.

As a result of its investigations, OSHA cited BWAY Corporation for five repeated and five serious safety violations of machine safety procedures, and placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program. In the past five years, 15 workers suffered amputations at the Chicago plant.

"Lack of machine safety guards and procedures contribute to multiple employee injuries nationwide each year," said OSHA Area Director Kathy Webb, in Chicago. "Companies must continuously monitor their facilities, and review procedures and training to ensure employees are protected from machine hazards." [ more ]


EPA settles with Big State Logistics for three separate spills on Alaska’s Richardson Highway

Seattle – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached settlement with Big State Logistics, Inc. ("BSL"), a fuel hauler and trucking firm based in Fairbanks and Valdez, Alaska, over three separate spills on Alaska's Richardson Highway. The spills took place in 2016, between Fairbanks and Valdez and ranged from 339 gallons to 3,571 gallons of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.

One spill was caused by equipment failure and the other two spills involved ice and snow packed road conditions. In each incident, BSL and its contractors responded quickly and conducted fuel recovery and clean-up actions. Following these events, the company also halted transportation of double trailers during the harshest weather months and gave BSL drivers the discretion to not haul double trailers if the roads were judged to be in poor condition. The company will pay a total of $43,000 in penalties as part of this settlement. [ more ]


$43,458 in Fines for Spill Response and Hazard Communication

GIBSONTON, FL – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Tampa Electric Co. and Critical Intervention Services, a security services provider, for $43,458 in total proposed penalties, following a release of anhydrous ammonia – a chemical refrigerant – at its Gibsonton facility.

On May 23, 2017, OSHA responded to the incident and determined that the ammonia release occurred when a relief valve activated after a pipeline became over pressurized. As a result, four workers were taken to the hospital for observation and released.

OSHA issued Tampa Electric two serious citations for failing to include all the minimum requirements in their emergency response plan and not ensuring employees exposed to hazardous substances wore appropriate respiratory protection. The Agency also issued the power company a Hazard Alert Letter with recommendations to mitigate asphyxiation hazards. [ more ]


$333,756 Proposed Penalty for Confined Space and Fall Protection

DOWNINGTOWN, PA – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited US Environmental Inc. for 12 safety violations, including willfully exposing workers to confined space and fall hazards at its Downingtown location. The company faces proposed penalties of $333,756.

Investigators inspected the facility on May 31, 2017, and found that the company failed to implement rescue procedures for employees in confined spaces; provide protective equipment when working in confined spaces; and provide employees with fall protection training and equipment. OSHA cited the company for one other-than-serious, four willful, and seven serious violations. [ more ]


Latest Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Shows 7% Increase

WASHINGTON, DC – The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Census of 2016 Fatal Occupational Injuries reports there were 5,190 workplace fatalities in 2016, a 7-percent increase from 2015. The fatal injury rate also increased from 3.4 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers in 2015 to 3.6 in 2016.

More workers lost their lives in transportation incidents than any other event in 2016, accounting for about one out of every four fatal injuries. Workplace violence injuries increased by 23 percent, making it the second most common cause of workplace fatality. Today's report also shows the number of overdoses on the job increased by 32 percent in 2016, and the number of fatalities has increased by at least 25 percent annually since 2012. [ more ]


OSHA's Winter Weather Website

Winter weather presents hazards including slippery roads/surfaces, strong winds and environmental cold. Employers must prevent illnesses, injuries, or fatalities, by controlling these hazards in workplaces impacted by winter weather.

OSHA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are working together on a public education effort aimed at improving the way people prepare for and respond to severe weather. This page is designed to help businesses and their workers prepare for winter weather, and to provide information about hazards that workers may face during and after winter storms. [ more ]


U.S. Department of Labor Imposes Maximum Fines on Motion Picture Company for Failing to Adequately Protect From Fall Hazards

SENOIA, GA – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Stalwart Films LLC for failing to protect employees from fall hazards while filming the television show, "The Walking Dead."

OSHA issued a serious citation and proposed penalties totaling the maximum allowable fine of $12,675, for the company's failure to provide adequate protection from fall hazards. OSHA investigated Stalwart's filming location in Senoia after a stuntman was fatally injured after falling more than 20 feet. [ more ]


Preventing the Spread of Flu in the Workplace

This page includes information for workers and employers about reducing the spread of seasonal flu in workplaces. It provides information on the basic precautions to be used in all workplaces and the additional precautions that should be used in healthcare settings. Healthcare workers in contact with flu exposed patients are at higher risk for exposure to the flu virus and additional precautions are needed. [ more ]


$175,000 in Penalties for Confined Space, LOTO and HAZWOPER Violations

NEW YORK, NY – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Carthage Specialty Paperboard Inc., have a reached a settlement agreement to improve efforts to prevent safety and health hazards in their Carthage, New York, facility. The company will pay $175,000 in penalties.

OSHA cited the Carthage-based paper milling company for 62 safety and health violations in June 2017. The agreement requires the company to enhance efforts to prevent hazards associated with machine guarding; lack of fall protection; hazardous energy control; confined space entry; emergency response; and electrical and structural safety issues.

The company will also train employees to recognize hazards; make safety and health evaluations a part of management performance appraisals; hire two full-time safety and health staff; perform weekly safety audits; submit periodic abatement progress reports to OSHA; and consent to monitoring inspections for two years. [ more ]


$299,324 in proposed penalaties for Fall Hazards

CONCORD, NH – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Luis Guallpa - doing business as Guallpa Contracting Corp. – for exposing workers to fall and other hazards at a Nashua work site. The Milford, Massachusetts, roofing contractor faces $299,324 in proposed penalties.

OSHA inspectors observed six of Guallpa's employees working on a roof without fall protection, and also observed workers using ladders unsafely, and failing to use head protection. The Agency cited the employer for exposing employees to fall hazards of up to 25 feet, for ladder and head protection violations, and for failing to provide effective training. OSHA cited Guallpa for similar hazards in 2014 and 2015. [ more ]


Employee Exposure to Fall, Machinery and Electrical Hazards Results in $261,000 in Proposed Penalties

BELLEVUE, OH ‒ The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Bellevue-based plastics company Wilbert Inc. for multiple safety violations after an inspection found employees exposed to fall, machine, and electrical hazards. OSHA proposed penalties of $261,454.

OSHA investigators determined that Wilbert Inc., which operates as Wilbert Plastic Services, exposed its employees to crush injuries, burns, and fall hazards while they conducted maintenance on plastic injection molding presses. Inspectors cited the employer for failing to ensure employees had adequate personal protective equipment and clothing, and for permitting the use of damaged electrical devices. [ more ]


OSHA Announces Delayed Enforcement of Certain Provisions of the Beryllium Standard

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) confirmed in a memorandum today that it will begin enforcing certain requirements of the final rule on occupational exposure to beryllium in general industry, construction, and shipyards on May 11, 2018. Those requirements include the permissible exposure limits in the general industry, construction, and shipyard standards; and the exposure assessment, respiratory protection, medical surveillance, and medical removal provisions in the general industry standard.

Aside from these requirements, other ancillary provisions included in the beryllium standard for general industry will not be enforced until June 25, 2018. However, under the terms of settlement agreements with petitioners who challenged the rule, the Agency plans to issue a proposal to further extend this compliance date for the ancillary provisions to Dec. 12, 2018. [ more ]


$191,000 in proposed fines for Kansas roofer

WICHITA, KS ‒ The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Wichita roofing contractor Jose Barrientos for exposing employees to falls and other safety hazards. Barrientos faces proposed penalties totaling $191,071 for two willful and six serious violations.

OSHA inspectors observed roofers at a Derby, Kansas, residential site working without appropriate fall protection. OSHA cited the employer for failing to provide adequate fall, eye, and face protection; train workers on fall hazards, ladder usage, and hazardous materials; and clear debris from the work area. OSHA has cited the employer for fall hazards five times in the past decade. [ more ]


$182,000 in Prposed Penalties for Forklift, Lock-Out and Hazard Communication Violations

SYRACUSE, NY – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Timberline Hardwood Floors LLC for willful and serious violations of workplace safety and health standards. The Fulton, New York, custom hardwood-flooring manufacturer faces proposed penalties totaling $182,917.

OSHA cited the company for failing to implement lockout-tagout procedures to prevent machines from unintentionally starting; adequately train forklift operators; repair exposed electrical circuits; and develop hearing conservation and chemical hazard communication programs. OSHA also cited the company for allowing locked emergency exits, unguarded machines, and unlabeled hazardous materials and chemicals. [ more ]


$250,000 in Penalties following a Fatal Fall

DALLAS, TX – U.S. District Court Judge Ed Kinkeade has ordered Design Plastering West LLC to pay criminal and civil penalties for criminal violations of occupational safety and health standards after an employee suffered a fatal fall at an apartment complex in Dallas. The court ordered the company to pay a $150,000 criminal fine, $100,000 civil penalty, admit to eight willful violations, and to undergo monitoring by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for four years. [ more ]


Over $175,000 in proposed penalties for confined space and fall hazards

MILLPORT, AL – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Thorpe Specialty Services Corp. - operating as Thorpe Plant Services Inc. - and Steel Dust Recycling LLC for fall and confined space hazards after an employee was hospitalized following a 30-foot fall at Steel Dust's Millport, Alabama, facility. Thorpe Plant Services faces $175,528 in proposed penalties; Steel Dust's penalties total $28,270. [ more ]





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