On April 11, 2014, OSHA promulgated a final rule revising the general industry and construction standards for work on electric power generation, transmission and distribution installations. On February 13, 2015, OSHA entered into a settlement agreement with the Edison Electric Institute, the Utility Line Clearance Coalition, and the Tree Care Industry Association resolving legal challenges to that final rule. As part of that settlement, OSHA issued a memorandum (dated February 18, 2015) with the subject line "29 CFR 1910.269 and 29 CFR Part 1926, Subpart V-Enforcement dates." The memorandum adopted a delayed enforcement date for certain minimum approach distance requirements in 29 CFR 1910.269 and 29 CFR Part 1926, Subpart V. On January 20, 2016, OSHA issued a second memorandum (subject line, "29 CFR 1910.269 and 29 CFR Part 1926, Subpart V-Enforcement dates for minimum approach distances") further delaying enforcment of those requirements. This memorandum further extends those enforcement dates as follows:
This case is yet another example of how "legal" and "safety" can be so far apart from each other. This case was won by the company because OSHA did a horrible job in defending their citation; and yet, it will become ammo for companies to use in future cases. Let's not fool ourselves into believing that a 1/4" opening around a conveyor does not present a hazard. In this case, a young lady lost her index finger when she tried to remove a piece of chicken from this 1/4" opening between a conveyor and a plastic back splash. The company argued that 1/4" openings are deemed acceptable in all guarding AND that this area did not need to be guarded because the rate of the chicken cone conveyor was too fast, thus never allowing the employees to reach into the opening. BOTH of these arguments are badly flawed based on the facts that: 1) an employee reached into the gap and 2) had her finger amputated; yet the review commission vacated the citation based 100% on the legal argument and the fact that OSHA could not defend it's citation. So yes the company "won", but there is a lot of safety we can learn from this case. By the way, I personally would have cited 1910.147 seeing how she was "cleaning" or "clearing a jam" when she reached into the opening to remove the chicken and the conveyor had not been locked out.
A poultry processing plant was inspected following a reported finger amputation. OSHA commenced an inspection of the worksite on July 1, 2015, with an additional site visit on July 29, 2015. As a result of the inspection, a Citation was issued alleging a violation of 29 C.F.R. § 1910.212(a)(1) and proposed a $7,000.00 penalty.
Over my career in safety I have seen the use of "welding carts" spin out of control as if they are all the "almighty" in fire prevention. These carts can now be purchased with a 30-minute "fire wall" between the fuel gas (e.g. acetylene, propane, etc.) and the oxidizer (e.g. oxygen) and in fact do comply with both OSHA and NFPA storage requirements. But these carts are not keeping up with the newest code requirements and may be on their way out. Many states utilize the International Fire Code (IFC) as a baseline "fire safety code" within their state. The IFC has had a unique separation requirement for fuel gases and oxidizers for several of the last revisions that now make the vast majority of these carts obsolete when it comes to 100% compliance - 100% of the time. Now don't get me wrong, I am in NO WAY suggesting that we trash our carts today as they still comply with OSHA and NFPA requirements, but just like any other safety/control device - we MUST MANAGE them properly and understand their LIMITATIONS.
CLICK HERE (.pptx) for my ppt from this year's conference
This memorandum provides information on issues raised since the publication of the Inspection Procedures for the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012) compliance directive, CPL 02-02-079. This memo serves primarily to assist the field staff in clarifying the requirements of HCS 2012. OSHA clarifies the following questions:
OSHA's NEW Walking & Working Surfaces Standards (ppt's)
In preparing a client for the upcoming Walking and Working Surfaces training and other requirements, I have developed a series of powerpoint presentations that cover: