The Occupational Health and Safety Association (OSHA) recently announced its top 10 safety violations for the 2020 fiscal year. Every year, OSHA announces its top 10 most frequently cited safety violations. This helps alert employers so they may prevent these hazards before they take place.
No. 10:Machine Guarding
Last year Machine Guarding ranked number 9. In 2020 it received 1,313 citations. It’s reassuring to see fewer citations in this standard. But, worker amputations continue to be a concern.
No. 9: PPE and lifesaving equipment related to eye and face protection
The previous year, eye and face protection was in spot number 10, so this citation has increased. This relates to PPE that prevents eye and face injuries including chemical, environmental and other hazards. This can include Arc Flash-related injuries. So, proper Arc Flash labeling programs are critical in ensuring PPE is worn in these situations.
No. 8: Fall Protection Training requirements
Citations were given out for failure to provide proper training materials and programs.
No. 7: Improper Use of Industrial Trucks
The Improper Use of Industrial Trucks held the same ranking as it did last year at 1,932 citations.
No. 6: Lockout Tagout (Control of Hazardous Energy)
Lockout Tagout went down from number #5 in the year prior. In 2020, it held 2,065 violations. Improper training and procedures are often to blame. Martin Technical offers LOTO training to prevent accidents and citations of this very kind.
No. 5: Improper use of Ladders
2,129 citations were given for the Improper use of Ladders in 2020.
No. 4: Scaffolding
Scaffolding moved from #3 to #4 in 2020 with 2,538 citations.
No. 3. Respiration Protection
This standard had 2,649 citations in 2020, moving from #5 to #3. This is both due to lack of fit testing and program management.
No. 2. Improper Implementation of Hazard Communication
Hazard Communication relates to the evaluation and clear identification of hazardous chemicals in the workplace. Related citations in 2020 numbered at 3,199.
No. 1: Fall Protection
Fall Protection has been the number one citation for 8 years, with 5,424 citations in 2020. In partnership with PIXO VR, we offer fall protection training through Virtual Reality training allowing a “hands on” experience of a previously inaccessible training experience.
These top 10 alone make up a total of 24,239 citations. What will you do to prevent citations, injury, and deaths in your facility in 2021?
Service your own boiler but make sure to do it safely. This Boiler Safety and Maintenance On-Site training is designed to teach building and facility maintenance personnel how to stay safe while servicing. Reduce the need for outside service contractors, while at the same time increase your confidence and comfort level in operating and maintaining your own boilers.
Purpose of Training
We will take the mystery out of wondering if your boiler is safe and operating efficiently. For the novice technician needing a well-rounded education and the experienced stationary engineer who needs a refresher course for continuing education, this boiler safety training program provides a no-nonsense, practical and real world approach for boiler operation, maintenance and safety. Extend boiler life, improve boiler efficiency, and save energy costs, while establishing a culture of safe work practices among the employees.
• How/When to Schedule Preventive Maintenance Procedures
• Differences between High Pressure and Low Pressure boilers
• Differences between Firetube and Watertube boilers
• Primary boiler components
• Operating pressures and temperatures of cast iron boilers
• Differences between steam boilers and hot water boilers
• Applications for Electric Boilers
• Four major perils associated with boilers
• Common boiler accidents to avoid
• All about furnace explosions
• Dangers of low water conditions
• How to inspect your Boiler
• Conducting efficiency tests
• Maintenance troubleshooting tips
• Waterside and Fireside maintenance
• Boiler design and construction codes and standards
• How to safely and efficiently operate your boiler
• Burner operations and combustion control systems
I. Boiler Types & Application
Cast Iron Boilers
High Pressure Boilers
Low Pressure Boilers
II. Combustion & Thermodynamics
Pressure Saturated Steam Table
III. Burner Operation & Control
High Turndown Burner
IV. Boiler Room Safety
Operator Responsibilities & Priorities
Cause and Effect
V. Operator Responsibilites
Operator Licensing and Certification
Start-Up and Shut-Down
Low Water Cutoff Controls
VI. Codes & Standards
ASME boiler and pressure
VII. Controls & Safety Devices for Automatically Fired Boilers
Water Level Control
VIII. Inspection & Maintenance of Commercial & Industrial Boilers
Newark, NJ – In an August inspection, OSHA claims to have found 17 serious safety and health violations at Elan Chemical Company Inc. Citations, including for failures in written procedures, have been issued and the proposed penalties total $72,100.
Elan Chemical manufactures flavor and fragrance products. Alleged violations at their Doremus Avenue facility in Newark, NJ included deficiencies in equipment process safety information, process hazard analysis, and written operating procedures, as well as other safety and testing issues.
A statement from OSHA reads as follows: “The violations identified in this inspection create a hazardous environment for the plant’s workers…This facility uses more than 10,000 pounds of ethyl chloride, a highly flammable liquefied gas. The company’s failure to comply with OSHA’s process safety management standard could result in a chemical release, as well as a serious fire or explosion.”
Atlanta, GA – OSHA has fined American Air Filter Co. Inc. $119,900 for allegedly failing to provide proper machine guarding to protect employees from amputation hazards and not following safety procedures to prevent unexpected startup of machinery during maintenance and servicing, known as Lockout/Tagout.
These violations have landed American Air Filter on the OSHA‘s Severe Violator List “for demonstrating indifference to its OSH Act obligations to provide a safe and healthful workplace for employees.”
Having equipment specific lockout procedures written for each piece of equipment is required by OSHA, and is the cornerstone of a compliant lockout/tagout program. The lockout procedures provide detailed instruction on how to isolate and lock each energy source for a given piece of equipment, helping to prevent the unexpected startup or energization of machinery and equipment, as well as preventing the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities.
“This is the second significant enforcement action we’ve conducted at AAF International in the last six months,” said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-East Area Office. “We found the same type of hazards during a recent inspection in a different area at the same plant. Management continues to allow workers to clean equipment without following safety procedures and without guards being properly installed.”
BROKEN ARROW, OK – Alfa Laval Inc. faces $477,900 in proposed penalties after U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspections discovered dozens of serious workplace safety violations, five of which were identified in previous inspections.
Federal investigators found five repeated and 45 serious violations on a range of health and safety issues at the company’s Broken Arrow facility, including inadequate protection of workers from machinery, a lack of respiratory equipment, lack of training for hazardous chemicals, and failure to maintain written plans for fire protection and emergency management. Alfa Laval also had no procedure to prevent machines from starting during maintenance or service. These procedures are known as Lockout/Tagout.
OSHA levied a $218,500 penalty for the repeated violations that it had cited the employer for in 2010 and 2011, and an additional $259,400 for the serious violations. OSHA has placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
A global provider of heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling products, Alfa Laval employs about 18,000 employees at locations worldwide, and approximately 220 people at the Oklahoma facility. The company serves industries that produce food and beverages, chemicals and petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, starch, sugar and ethanol.
Ravenna, OH – Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) imposed a $1.6 million fine for a vehicle parts manufacturer’s 38 safety and health violations. The company was cited with four repeats, 18 willful, and 16 serious safety and health violations, following an investigation into the death of a 43-year-old worker on March 30. The tragedy happened when the barrier door closed on his head when loading a part into a machine.
OSHA alleged that General Aluminum allowed employees to bypass guarding mechanisms designed to prevent the barrier door from closing on them. A malfunction in the door’s optic control also existed before the deadly incident. The OSHA investigators also found a lack of Lockout / Tagout and effective safety management procedures throughout the vehicle parts maker’s facility, in addition to failure to protect employees from burn and explosion hazards.
General Aluminum Mfg was placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) and is subject to mandatory follow-up inspections and increased agency pressure to abate cited hazards. Willful violations will be cited when an employer knowingly disregarded safety and health law and regulation or acted indifferently for employee safety and health. “OSHA will continue to hold bad actors accountable and emphasize the importance of complying with safety and health requirements that can save lives,” Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Jim Frederick said in an agency statement.
Risk can be found in any workplace; it’s essential to avoid becoming complacent with health and safety procedures. Workplace health and safety training can positively influence an organization’s efficiency and productivity, reducing costs and saving lives. A robust health and safety policy cultivates a safe company culture. It helps organizations build a good relationship with their employees, supports businesses to achieve high recognition and good standing in their industry.
Columbus, OH – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) seeks a $709K fine from a paint manufacturer connected with a fatal April 8 fire and explosion. The incident occurred in Columbus’s Yenkin-Majestic Paint and OPC Polymers Corporation. The company manufactures and markets industrial coatings that include acrylics, alkyds, coil and powder coatings, epoxies, primers, and urethanes. The tragedy linked to eight hospitalizations and one fatality. Property damage alone was more than $1 million. A building in the OPC Polymer unit collapsed as a result of the incident. The blast shook neighboring buildings, and at least one nearby business sustained damage.
The tragedy could have been prevented
“Yenkin-Majestic Paint Corp. could have prevented this tragedy if they had followed industry standards and removed a compromised kettle from service,” said Acting OSHA Regional Administrator William Donovan in Chicago. “Knowing that this company altered equipment, failed to use a qualified fabricator, and returned equipment to service knowing that it did not meet safety standards is unacceptable,” Donovan continued. In December 2020, the manufacturer altered the kettle reactor vessel and the manway opening but did not ensure the vessel maintained its pressure-containing ability. On January 3, following the alteration, the newly installed manway failed. The company made additional alterations to the vessel when installing a new gasket. It again failed to adhere to OSHA’s PSM, pressure vessel inspection procedures, and the American Petroleum Institute’s pressure vessel inspection code.
OSHA’s investigationdetermined the kettle reactor vessel released a flammable vapor cloud when its manway cover and gasket failed. The vapor flowed throughout the plant, ignited, and caused the initial explosion.
The citations and penalties
OSHA cited the Ohio paint and resins manufacturer with two willful and 33 serious safety violations. The violations including of the process safety management (PSM) and hazardous waste operations and emergency response (HAZWOPER) standards. OSHA also cited the employer for lack of employee safety training and personal protective equipment (PPE). The agency proposed penalties totaling $709,960 and placed Yenkin-Majestic in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). Willful violations will be cited when an employer knowingly disregards or acts indifferently for safety and health laws and regulations. Employers included in the SVEP are subject to mandatory follow-up inspections and under pressure to abide by cited safety hazards.
The U.S.Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) also dispatched investigators to the Columbus facility following the incident. The CSB is an independent federal agency that investigates industrial chemical accidents. CSB investigations can take several months and result in a report containing recommendations for government agencies, companies, trade associations, labor unions, and other groups.
Martin Technical encourages organizations to develop a robust workplace safety strategy by including regular workplace safety training.
Warehousing is one of the riskier industries due to high-powered machinery and vehicles operating within proximity of each other. Rapid growth in e-commerce is driving an ever-increasing demand for the delivery of products in shorter timeframes. Industrial and commercial warehouses are to keep up with this demand while complying with the current safety expectations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports thousands of injuries, illnesses, and deaths in the warehousing industry annually. Many of those are caused by workplace accidentssuch as slips or falls, hazardous materials, and equipment malfunction. Warehouse safety should be the employers’ utmost priority to keep employees safe, ensure efficient operation, maximize productivity, and minimize injury or damage. Below are some factors to consider when planning a safe work environment for warehouse employees.
Building a Safety Culture and Procedures
Establishing comprehensive safety procedures can help prevent workplace accidents in warehouses and promote a safe work environment. An engaging safety procedure starts from the top-down; management should walk the talk in cultivating such values into the company culture. While employees may have the required certification for the job, this does not always include in-depth safety training. Thus, providing ample opportunities for employees to access safety resources, including signage, safety stickers, regular safety meetings, and safety training, is essential in creating a safe work environment. Consider developing training programs with the help of industry subject matter experts that offer blended and interactive training solutions. Ideally, a comprehensive training program should include a good mix of on-site training, hands-on validation, online learning, webinars, toolbox talks, andvirtual reality courses in multiple languages for easy access.
Other good practices include posting signs around the warehouse indicating different safety procedures, regular communication on safety tips, and announcements on new safety procedures. Incentivize workers to take safety courses and recognize their efforts to demonstrate exemplary safety protocol. Consider putting together a safety handbook or manual that includes potential hazards, safety protocols, and rules.
Establishing a complete and comprehensive Lockout Tagout program that includes clear and precise lockout procedures for all workers is imperative, especially in heavy machinery warehouses. Routine training on using the equipment, shutting it down correctly, and isolating the power sources by following the proper lockout tagout procedures can prevent accidents and avoid fines, ensuring the highest level of safety in your warehouse.
Warehouse workers are more likely to internalize the safety culture and take it seriously when they know the company is responsible, accountable, and invested in their well-being. A safe work environment helps warehouses build a good relationship with their employees and supports businesses in achieving higher recognition.
Orlando, FL- A worker fell to his death at the Orlando StarFlyer while working on the attraction. The worker, identified as 21-year-old Jacob David Kaminsky, was said to have been climbing the tower while conducting a routine safety check before he fell.
The ride stands 450 feet tall and was permitted in 2018, advertised as the world’s tallest swing ride.
“They were doing their daily safety inspection which is conducted every day. That’s when the accident occurred,” said Jacob Stine, the marketing manager for the attraction. “We have an ongoing investigation right now to determine exactly what happened.”
OSHA will also be beginning their investigation into this situation. Stine noted that there are “quite a few redundancies” in their safety procedures and that they’re very thorough.
According to The Florida Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fair Rides Inspections, there hadn’t been any recorded incidents or violations with the Starflyer since it was permitted before this death.
Martin Technical provides safety training taught by trade experienced subject matter experts, as well as safety management software solutions accounting for topics such as maintenance and inspections.
Alhambra, CA – A foundry worker lost both legs last August after a coworker re-energized the machine he was working in. Alhambra Foundry has been fined $283,390 for federal workplace safety and health violations including lack of permit-required confined space program, inadequate machine-specific lockout procedures, missing accident prevention signage, and not having a confined space attendant monitoring his entry, the employee to have suffered the loss of both his lower limbs could look into hiring a workers compensation attorney to see if he is entitled to a compensation payout.
According to federal safety regulators, two Alhambra Foundry employees were cleaning and unblocking a 38-feet-long auger screw conveyor at the bottom hopper of an industrial air filtration device without effectively locking out the equipment. After the cleaning was done, one of the workers re-entered the 20-inch square opening to retrieve a work light from inside the confined space. Unfortunately, at that same time a maintenance worker 45 feet away energized the equipment to perform a test. The moving auger screw pulled the worker into the screw conveyor and both of his legs had to be amputated in order to get him free of the machine.
The Cal/OSHA Chief stated that “sending a worker into a confined space is dangerous, especially inside machinery that can be powered on at any time…Employers must ensure that machinery and equipment are de-energized and locked out before workers enter the space to perform operations involving cleaning and servicing.”
In their investigation, Cal/OSHA found that the screw conveyor was not de-energized and locked out before workers entered the hopper, and accident prevention signs were not placed on the controls. On construction sites, construction project management software is often implemented so as to keep workers informed of ongoing dangers and avoid potential incidents. Alhambra Foundry lacked specific procedures for de-energizing and locking out the equipment and additionally, the worker re-entering the hopper was not monitored by a confined space attendant.
Unfortunately, Alhambra Foundry was cited for similar violations eight years ago and therefore were issued a willful serious accident-related violation for failing to take appropriate measures to protect workers performing cleaning and servicing operations.