OSHA Penalty Reduction Audit

May 2nd, 2017

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Inspector General has announced its audit targets for 2010. On the list, “Impact of OSHA’s Penalty Reductions.”

OSHA’s penalty structure is designed to provide companies with an incentive to correct violations. Reductions in fines can come from several sources. An inspector can recommend discounts to the original fine amount. OSHA supervisors, including area directors, regional administrators and Department of Labor attorneys can further reduce the size of a penalty, which are often significantly less than statutory maximums.
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Details About OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program

April 6th, 2017

OSHA announced a Severe Violator Enforcement Program today that will be in effect in 45 days and also said it is administratively raising the dollar value of its penalties, suggesting it would raise them higher still if it could.

“The current maximum penalty for a serious violation, one capable of causing death or serious physical harm, is only $7,000 and the maximum penalty for a willful violation is $70,000. The average penalty for a serious violation will increase from about $1,000 to an average $3,000 to $4,000,” OSHA’s news release stated. “Monetary penalties for violations of the OSHA Act have been increased only once in 40 years despite inflation. Read the rest of this entry »

Hexavalent Chromium Notification Mandates for Excess Exposure

March 5th, 2017

hexavalent chromium In response to a court order, OSHA has amended its February 28, 2006, final rule on occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) by requiring that employers notify employees of the results of all Cr(VI) exposure determinations.

As originally promulgated, the Cr(VI) rule required employers to notify affected employees of any determinations indicating exposures in excess of the permissible exposure limit (PEL). The employer could satisfy this requirement either by posting the determination results in a location accessible to all affected employees or by notifying each affected employee in writing of the results.

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Unethical Employers Hiding Workplace Injury Records To Avoid OSHA Fines

March 2nd, 2017

Dubious data clouds job safety gains

Executives at Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. were jubilant. The big packaging company, a self-proclaimed leader in workplace safety, had smashed its own record for lowest injury rates in its industry.

It was another milestone in Smurfit’s “incredible tradition of safety achievement,” said a February 2008 press release.

Yet the month before, Monterey County authorities filed criminal charges against two officials of a local Smurfit plant and a medical provider, accusing them of conspiring over several years to cover up injuries and discourage workers from filing workers compensation claims. The men pleaded not guilty, and the case is pending.
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Cal OSHA Fines Bimbo Bakery Where Workers Lost Limbs

October 18th, 2016

Bimbo Bakery logo
California occupational safety officials have issued one of their agency’s largest group of fines ever, $230,535 to Bimbo Bakeries for failing to fix safety violations that led to amputation of workers’ limbs.

Cal OSHA officials said that 20 alleged violations were documented at three factories belonging to the company, which produces brands that include Oroweat and Entenmann’s baked goods.

The food factories are in South San Francisco, Escondido and Montebello.
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Aerosol Transmissible Diseases Citations at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center

September 23rd, 2016

The handling of a patient with bacterial meningitis landed an Alta Bates Summit Medical Center employee and an Oakland police officer in intensive care and prompted California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) to issue citations to three employers, including willful allegations against Alta Bates.

The citations, issued April 19, were the first issued under Cal/OSHA’s Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) standard, which took effect last summer. DOSH issued citations to Alta Bates, and the Oakland Police and Fire departments, and is investigating possible meningitis exposure to ambulance drivers employed by American Medical Response.
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The Code of Federal Regulations Quarterly Update

August 9th, 2016

code of federal regulations The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation.

Each volume of the CFR is updated once each calendar year and is issued on a quarterly basis.

Titles 1-16 are updated as of January 1st
Titles 17-27 are updated as of April 1st
Titles 28-41 are updated as of July 1st
Titles 42-50 are updated as of October 1st

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Severe Violator Enforcement Program Targets Unsafe Employers

August 3rd, 2016

OSHA to zero in on repeat violators

To reduce on-the-job fatalities, the government is launching an enforcement program to target repeat safety offenders and increase penalties.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that beginning this summer it will focus its enforcement efforts on employers with previous violations, including those that fail to fix identified problems. It will also conduct follow-up investigations and inspect the other work sites of violators to find similar hazards.

OSHA has dubbed the move the “Severe Violator Enforcement Program.”
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Employee Loses Fingertips in Perris CA Industrial Accident

July 26th, 2016

A worker lost two fingertips in an industrial accident Thursday morning in Perris, authorities said.

An injury involving a machine was reported about 8:15 a.m. at Four Slide Engineering, 4635 Wade Ave., said Capt. Scott Lane of the Riverside County Fire Department.

Sgt. Lisa McConnell of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said Cal OSHA will investigate the incident, which involved a man doing machinist work.
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OSHA Hearing Protector Labeling

March 6th, 2016

National Hearing Conservation Association logo 40CFR211 Subpart B, Hearing Protector Labeling

40CFR211 Subpart B, Hearing Protector Labeling Exposure to high levels of noise is one of the most prevalent occupational hazards faced by American workers, with an estimated 22 million noise‐exposed workers in the U.S. Consequently, noise‐induced hearing loss (NIHL) resulting from excessive noise exposure is one of the most common occupational diseases in the U.S.

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