Author Archives: David E. Leach

OSHA Tasked by Congress to Protect Whistleblowers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been tasked by Congress to enforce the whistleblower provisions of 22 different statutes. These laws protect workers in many industries throughout the country from retaliation when they report unsafe working conditions, fraud or something that would endanger the public. The Department of Labor is reporting that since 2009 the number of new whistleblower cases has grown by 37 percent. The Federal government has responded to this increase by providing additional resources in the fiscal 2015 budget. With these…

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OSHA to Pay Special Attention to Accidents Involving Communication Tower Workers

A recent communications tower collapse in West Virginia resulted in the deaths of two tower workers, as well as a firefighter who died while responding to the incident. These deaths are part of a sharp rise in fatalities in this industry. In fact, more communication tower workers were killed in 2013 than in the previous two years combined. According to Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels, OSHA is very concerned about the sharp rise in deaths and is going to increase…

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OSHA Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements

Under the OSHA record keeping regulation, covered employers are required to prepare and maintain records of serious occupational injuries and illnesses. Such events must be recorded on the OSHA 300 Log. This type of information is important for employers, workers and OSHA in evaluating the safety of a workplace, understanding industry hazards, and implementing worker protections to reduce and eliminate hazards. What Employers are Required to Report: All employers covered by the Act must orally report to OSHA the death of any employee from a…

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OSHA Releases New Resources to Protect Hospital Workers and Enhance Patient Safety

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently launched a new educational Web resource which has extensive materials to help hospitals prevent worker injuries, assess workplace safety needs, enhance safe patient handling programs, and implement safety and health management systems.  The materials include fact books, self-assessments and best practice guides.  The website’s materials on safe patient handling are designed to address the most common type of injuries hospital workers face, and hospitals can use these resources to protect their workers, improve patient…

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U.S. Department of Labor Announces Rule Change That Will Decrease Burden on Employer’s Utilizing Mechanical Power Presses

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced a rule change which updates and streamlines the standards for the use of mechanical power presses which punch, form or assemble metal or other materials. Workers can be exposed to hand, finger or arm injuries if parts of a press are worn, damaged or not operating properly. The new rule will eliminate a requirement for employers to document mandatory weekly inspections of these presses while clarifying the responsibility of employers to perform and document any maintenance or…

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Employer Sentenced to Prison and Fined $1.2 Million for Deaths of Two Employees

On May 14, 2010, two employees of Black Mag, LLC were killed in an explosion at the plant while manufacturing a gun powder substitute. The employees, who had been employed for just one month, were hand feeding powder into operating equipment due to the employer’s failure to implement essential protective controls. OSHA’s investigation into the cause of the explosion led to the issuance of 54 workplace safety and health citations with penalties totaling $1.2 million. Craig Sanborn, who was the company’s president, managing member and…

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OSHA Proposes New Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries

OSHA recently announced that it was issuing a proposed rule to improve workplace safety and health through improved tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. Under the proposed rule, establishments with more than 250 employees will be required to submit injury and illness information to OSHA electronically on a quarterly basis.  OSHA is also proposing that establishments with 20 or more employees, in certain industries with high injury and illness rates, be required to submit electronically only their summary of work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA…

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Falls Prevented, Lives Saved With Three Steps

OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign offers fact sheets, posters, and videos that vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventative measures.  This website is part of OHSA’s nationwide outreach campaign to raise awareness  among workers and employers about the hazards of falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs. According to OHSA, falls can be prevented and lives can be saved through three simple steps:

  1.  Plan ahead to get the job done safely;
  2.  Provide the right equipment, and
  3. Train everyone to use the equipment safely.
OSHA can provide…

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OSHA Issues $270K in Fines to Four Contractors For Hazards Related to Fall Protection

OSHA recently issued citations totaling $272,720 to four contractors following an inspection of a project involving the construction of a mid-town Manhattan hotel.  Notably, the fines were issued even though no one was hurt.  The inspection was conducted as the result of a complaint that workers were being exposed to fall hazards. The contractor receiving the heaviest of the fines, Flintlock Construction Services, LLC, is a general contractor and it was cited  for seven violations of OSHA’s fall protection and scaffolding standards for workers being…

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