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OSHA to Enhance Pursuit of Criminal Liability

OSHA currently has the ability to pursue criminal liability against companies and managers who are involved with a work-related fatality resulting in a “Willful” violation. The maximum penalty if convicted would be up to $500K for the company, $250K for executives, and 6-months in prison. Such convictions are currently classified as “Misdemeanors”. On December 17, 2015 the Department of Labor announced an initiative to partner with the Department of Justice to seek additional criminal liability for lying during OSHA inspections, making false statements in government documents, obstructing justice, and tampering with witnesses. Convictions under any of these charges would result in elevated penalty amounts, possibly up to 20-years in prison, and they would be classified as a “Felony”. This movement obviously underscores the importance of being honest with OSHA, especially during investigations.

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Reporting Incidents To OSHA Is Now Available Online

In addition to calling OSHA to report an incident, or visiting the nearest office, you can now report an incident online! This decision was made to streamline the reporting of severe worker injuries. Click here to visit the updated reporting site for OSHA.

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Space Heater Safety

    INdiana Labor Insider has published a great “end of the year” newsletter. Specifically, there is some very useful information on Space Heater Safety. Do you consistently plug in your space heater directly into the wall, not an extension cord? Take a look at the information below. Be sure that your space heater: Is listed by Underwriters Laboratories or another nationally recognized testing laboratory (Ensures the device meets certain safety requirements), features automatic power-off for tip-overs, temperature control, etc. Read and follow all manufacturers instructions of operation Check space heater prior to use every time (Attachment cord, switches, protective grill cover, etc.) Plug the space heater directly into a wall outlet; Never plug into an extension cord, power strip or surge protector Never run cords under rugs, carpet or other material. Always place the device on the floor; Never place space heaters on tables, desks, stacked objects or other […]

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Safe Ways to Grind Tungstun

Do your employees Tig weld?  If so, they are likely grinding the tip of the tungsten rod into a point before they start the welding process.  This is necessary in order to ensure a high quality weld.  However, do you know how are they doing this?  If they are welding in a shop, they are probably using a bench grinder (which is safe).  But if they are welding in a location that doesn’t have a bench grinder nearby (i.e. construction site) they may be using a hand-held angle grinder.  As you can imagine… this is NOT a safe practice!  Can you imagine trying to hold an angle grinder with one hand and hold/rotate a welding rod with the other?  Or what about having a buddy hold the rod while you operate the grinder?  Even putting the rod in a vice and rotating the grinder around the rod to try and sharpen it wouldn’t […]

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Good Picture for Vehicle Safety Training

A good friend of ours was sitting in their vehicle and waiting for their son to get out of school when they looked up and saw someone sitting at a picnic table that was traveling down the road at 20 mph!  And you thought you had seen everything.  Think again!

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Company Avoids Lawsuit Although Cited by OSHA

Most would think that if a company violates an OSHA regulation which results in a worker fatality, that it would set them up for a slam-dunk lawsuit.  However, in a recent tort case that involved a painting company who was cited by OSHA for not providing adequate fall protection for an employee who fell to their death, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in favor of the defending company.  They felt that although the company did violate OSHA requirements, there was not enough evidence proving that the company INTENTIONALLY wanted to cause harm to the employee.  Click here to read more detail about this case and the courts decision.

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OSHA Delays Enforcement of Confined Space Standard

OSHA has decided to temporarily delay the enforcement of their new Confined Space standard for the construction industry.  The rule still becomes effective on August 3, 2015 but it will not be enforced until October 2, 2015.  The did this to allow employers more time to understand the new requirements and implement changes necessary for compliance.  As a side note, state plan agencies (like Indiana OSHA) will likely delay their enforcement another 60-days.  Click here to access details about the delay.  Click here for access to the new standard and other useful materials.

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Barge Crane Collapse Caught on Video!

Two barge cranes that were being used to restore a bridge in the Netherlands collapsed and crushed nearby houses on August 3, 2015.  Amateur video caught the incident on tape.  Click here to view the video and access interviews and pictures from the incident.  This is good material to use for crane safety training!

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Great Video on Golden Gate Bridge Safety

Below is a short video documentary on some of the earliest safety precautions taken in the US when the Golden Gate Bridge was being built.  It’s good to use during fall protection training.

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New OSHA Fatal Fact Sheet for Confined Space

OSHA just published their twelfth “Fatal Facts” sheet for 2015 and it’s on an asphyxiation fatality that occurred in a sewer manhole.  These publications are great to use as training tools.  If your employees enter manholes, you might want to check this one out.  Click here to access it.  

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