Posts Tagged ‘OSHA fines’

Workplace Safety News Roundup

March 26, 2015


Manufacturers showing ‘good faith’ on GHS may avoid citations, OSHA says

Some manufacturers of chemical mixtures will not be cited for failing to immediately comply with new Safety Data Sheet and chemical labeling requirements if they exercise “good faith,” a Feb. 9 OSHA enforcement memorandum states. Manufacturers and importers face a June 1 deadline for using SDSs and labels that are compliant with OSHA’s updated Hazard Communication Standard. But because the classification of chemical mixtures depends on SDSs and labels from raw-material providers, some manufacturers or importers may not have the most up-to-date or accurate information.

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2015 Green Cross for Safety® medal is being presented to CB&I.

The 2015 Green Cross for Safety® medal is being presented to CB&I. Since 2000, the National Safety Council has awarded the Green Cross for Safety® medal to an organization and its CEO that “have distinguished themselves through outstanding safety leadership and have showcased their commitment to safety by building successful partnerships to save lives and prevent injuries. Safety+Health recently sat down with CB&I President and CEO Philip Asherman for a Q&A on the importance of safety in his company.

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OSHA Whistleblower Investigator Blows Whistle on Own Agency

The federal government established the Whistleblower Protection Program in the 1970s to shield employees from retaliation when they report wrongdoing or safety hazards in their industry. But insiders say the program is failing the very people it is supposed to protect, and jeopardizing public health and safety in the process.

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OSHA Violations:

Company fined more than $272,000 for willfully ignoring safety hazards following worker death

A 58-year-old maintenance worker was killed after he was pinned between a motorized scrap metal table and a railing at the company’s Bridgeton, Mo., facility. An OSHA investigation found that the company failed to prevent the table from starting unintentionally.

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OSHA cites kitchenware plant for hazards

After receiving complaints from plant employees, inspectors from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration office in Syracuse visited the plant in September. The investigation found that employees faced dangers from fire, laceration, amputation, crushing, electric shock, falling and hearing loss because of absent or deficient safeguards.

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OSHA cites W.Va. company, proposes $109,450 fine

A Martinsburg contractor faces a $109,450 fine for alleged workplace violations at a Morgantown construction site. OSHA said it found three alleged willful violations and one serious violation. The willful violations involved safety precautions for workers exposed to falls of 25 feet or more. OSHA inspectors said workers also were using a pneumatic nail gun while not wearing eye protection.

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What's the best way to reduce workplace injuries?

April 29, 2010

We all agree that reducing workplace injuries and keeping employees safe is important. But there are different schools of thought on how exactly to achieve that. On one hand, some feel that more regulations and stricter fines are the most effective way to ensure employees are protected. On the other, some think that creating a workplace committed to safety is the more effective.

Those who support the idea of stricter fines and more regulations will be happy to know that in the near future OSHA will be introducing a new program to help protect workers in all types of jobs. The program is called the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

This program is designed to concentrate OSHA’s effort more specifically on the repeat offenders – companies that are obstinate and show a lack of concern for safety laws and regulations. The program will  increase the number of OSHA inspections at those companies as well as increase fines for repeat offenders. Hopefully this program pushes companies to comply with safety regulations out of fear of harsher  fines and penalties.

In a recent news release announcing the program OSHA stated that: “For many employers, investing in job safety happens only when they have adequate incentives to comply with OSHA’s requirements. Higher penalties and more aggressive, targeted enforcement will provide a greater deterrent and further encourage these employers to furnish safe and healthy workplaces for their employees.”

This reasoning supports the idea that greater fines and penalties are the way to reduce workplace accidents and injuries.

So, okay. That makes sense. But is there more we need to do? Fines and penalties may serve as motivation to ensure workers are safe, but that is reactionary rather than proactive.  We can’t sit back and assume that inspections and fines are going to fix everything.

This is where the other side of the debate comes into play. Making employees committed to safety is an important part of maintaining an injury free workplace. If employees take ownership of the safety program and feel that they play an integral part in developing and maintaining that program, then they are more likely to follow all safety regulations. It may even cause employees to start suggesting safety improvements that they feel are important.

Overall, I don’t feel that either approach will solve the workplace injury issue. I think a combination of fines and regulations paired with a stronger sense of ownership for safety in one’s workplace will help reduce the number of workplace injuries and accidents.

What do you think?

Posted by got2 love safety


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