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OSHA issues PRCS citations @ transformer manufacturer ($43K; 2 fatalities - 1 entrant and 2 "would be rescuers")
Many of you that followed my incident alerts may remember the transformer manufacturer that had a fatal PRCS accident that killed two workers and left a third injured back at the end of 2015. The three people were working on a transformer in the plant and were found unresponsive. Unofficial sources said the transformer was an 8×12 unit. The Sheriff's office investigating said the first person was working inside the transformer and became unresponsive. The second and third workers entered the transformer to help the first worker and then became unresponsive. Two of the workers were pronounced dead. The third worker was taken to the hospital. OSHA has now issued their seven (7) serious citations ALL related to 1910.146...
My postings back in January were so popular I decided to put the data into EXCEL spreadsheets so that you all can play with the data as you see fit. I only did PSM (1910.119), Permit-Required Confined Spaces (1910.146), and Control of Hazardous Energy (LOTO 1910.147). Each workbook contains three (3) worksheets: 1) By # of Citations, 2) # of Inspections, and 3) By Penalty $. ALL files are in .xlsx format. Here are the XCEL files...
EXCELLENT Presentation from the CSB on
the West Fertilizer Exploison
The state of Washington's OSHA has published their DRAFT standard on Confined Spaces. The standard pretty closely mirrors federal OSHA's 1926.1201-.1213; however, the OSHA standards in WA must be written in a much more simplified manner, thus we end up with a standard that is easier to read and WA-OSHA does an EXCELLENT job explaining the requirements with their "Summary" in each section and the special NOTES they post through out the standard. They have also made some things more clear... for example, in their definition of a confined space they use the phrase "Not primarily designed for human occupancy" vs. "Is not designed for continuous employee occupancy" as found in Federal OSHA's definition. For those in facilities that really want a well explained standard, this is a MUST READ. CLICK HERE
Friday morning (9/23/16) the United States Court of Appeals, For the DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT announced that OSHA could not redefine "retail" using a Letter of Interpretation (LOI) or Memorandum, OSHA would have to go through the Notice of Public Rule Making (NPRM) in order to redefine the term. Ironically, it was a 1995 LOI that actually defined "retail" and yet no lawsuit was brought forth on that LOI and it stood for 20+ years. The court even acknowledges that the "retail" exemption was to be applied to "small containers" and true retail businesses; but in the end, the court sided with the complainants (AGRICULTURAL RETAILERS ASSOCIATION and the FERTILIZER INSTITUTE) and said the Memorandum was essentially a standard. Here is the cleaned up version of the decision, the actual decision can be downloaded...
This is an interesting outcome, of which I have no knowledge as to how this deal was struck. But there was no monetary penalty and the facility has 60 days to make some seriously big changes/improvements. The biggest thing I noticed is that EPA is requiring the facility to make changes to comply with the latest version of CGA 2.1 - 2014 rather than the RAGAGEP the process was most likely built to: ANSI K61. Here are the facts as we know them...