Archive for the ‘Enforcement’ Category

OSHA Penalty Reduction Audit

Tuesday, 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

Thursday, 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. (more…)

Hexavalent Chromium Notification Mandates for Excess Exposure

Sunday, 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

Thursday, 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

Tuesday, 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

Friday, 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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Severe Violator Enforcement Program Targets Unsafe Employers

Wednesday, 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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OSHA Hearing Protector Labeling

Sunday, 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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California Landfill Wins OSHA Voluntary Protection Programs Star Status

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

The certification by Cal/OSHA and federal OSHA followed a three-year safety project at the Clean Harbors facility.

Clean Harbors, a Norwell, Mass.-based operator of more than 50 waste management facilities in North America and others located in Bulgaria, China, Sweden, Singapore, Thailand, and the United Kingdom, announced that its Buttonwillow, Calif. landfill has achieved OSHA Voluntary Protection Programs Star status. The certification followed a three-year safety project by Clean Harbors that was directed by a committee of employees at the 320-acre facility.

The company said VPP, Cal/OSHA, and Clean Harbors representatives conducted inspections and made additional recommendations during the project. “VPP certification is a rigorous process that was driven by our volunteer employee committee. All of our employees, as well as our contractors, were committed and participated in the process,” said Clean Harbors Buttonwillow General Manager Marianna Buoni. “The certification process was a natural extension to our traditional focus on health and safety in all of our operations. The VPP designation testifies to our safety culture and our commitment to provide a healthy work environment, now and in the future.”

The Buttonwillow Class One landfill accepts hazardous waste, including federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) waste and materials that fall under California hazardous waste regulations.

3M 8000 Respirator Recall From Cal OSHA

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

News report about the recall of 3M 8000 respirators made reference to the “8000 series respirator.” That term has triggered a deluge of questions to Cal/OSHA about whether other 3M respirators are affected by the recall, which was ordered when health-care employers reported an unacceptably high failure rate during fit tests.

Only the 8000 series are affected on the State Respirator Recall. For instance, Craig Brown, senior industrial hygienist for the VHA Center for Engineering & Occupational Safety and Health in Pittsburgh, Pa., notes that there are several sub-series of the 3M 8000 N95 respirators with different face molds, such as 8210, 8211, 8511, 8612, 8670 and more. These are not affected by the recall.

The only respirators that have been recalled are the model 8000, says DOSH Senior Safety Engineer Deborah Gold. “Other 8000 series N95 respirators are not affected by the alert,” she says.