CANTON, OH– TimkenSteel, a steel manufacturer, was cited with inadequate machine guarding following a fatality of an employee in Canton, OH. The failure to install guards or provide proper hand tools to employees, led to entanglement hazards while operating a bar straightener machine.
Founded in 1917 as the steel business of The Timken Roller Bearing Company, the parent company to TimkenSteel, is a leading producer of carbon steel, alloy and micro-alloy steel in specialty bars, mechanical tubing, and other products used in the automotive, industrial, and energy markets. The company employs 1,800 workers.
Violations and Citations
During the investigation, OSHA determined the worker was operating the machine when he was entangled on a piece of steel bar stock that was rotating at high speeds. The entanglement of the employee with the steel bar stock ultimately led to fatal injuries. Upon further investigation, inspectors found the safety equipment provided to employees to manipulate the steel on the machines was not in compliance with the machine requirements. And because proper equipment and safety procedures were not in place, the employee’s limbs became exposed to the danger zones of the steel rotating machine.
OSHA cited the steel manufacturer with two willful and two serious citations, which resulted in over $315K in penalties. The serious violations were cited due to lack of guarding on horizontal drive shafts and knuckles, and walking-working surfaces that exposed workers to slip and fall hazards from oil coolant leaks and spills.
“A worker’s life might have been spared if Timken Steel safeguarded dangerous machinery as required by law,” said OSHA Area Director Howard Eberts in Cleveland. “This company identified the safety issue that exposed workers using this machine to serious hazards but failed to make it safe.”
OSHA sources state that workers who operate and maintain machinery suffer approximately 18,000 amputations, lacerations, crushing injuries, abrasions, and over 800 deaths per year.
Until there are no more workplace fatalities, it is critical companies remain vigilant with their safety procedures. If machine guarding procedures were in place, this workplace fatality could have been prevented. Martin Technical offers machine guarding safety training and program development along with other pertinent safety trainings to ensure the highest level of workplace safety. Find out how Martin Technical can ensure every employee makes it home safely at the end of the day.
The month of June is National Safety Month, an event focused on bringing awareness to safety concerns in the workplace. Martin Technical, a member of the National Safety Council, wants to recognize National Safety Month and its significance. With such a high fatality rate in 2020 in the United States, with 4,764 fatal work injuries recorded (a 10.7% decrease from 5,333 in 2019), it is important to draw attention to this national topic. While this number is decreasing, National Safety Month is an event tailored around the continuation of the fatal work injury rate.
Top OSHA Safety Concerns
The list of top 10 most frequently cited standards following inspections of worksites by federal OSHA for all industries is released publicly every year to attract attention to safety concerns in the workplace that are often overlooked. With better knowledge and understanding of safety hazards that are often missed, companies can better prepare their workplace.
Additional to their top safety citations OSHA has also released information on their “Fatal Four” leading causes of fatalities in the workplace.
Falls- 36% of workplace fatalities
Struck by Objects- 10% of workplace fatalities
Electrocutions- 9% of workplace fatalities
Caught in Between- 2% of workplace fatalities
How can you address Safety Concerns?
With proper safety training in place the risk of workplace fatalities decreases. All industries should focus on building and maintaining robust training programs for fall protection, lockout tagout, machine guarding, and arc flash, which help to provide education on the fatal four in the workplace. Martin Technical, a leading safety solutions company providing services and implementation solutions, has in-house subject matter experts whose mission is to help companies build their own customized and efficient training programs. Working with industry experts can boost your safety program, build or strengthen safety cultures, and combat the fatal four workplace concerns.
The Importance of National Safety Month
National Safety Month is a national movement with the goal of bringing awareness to safety in the workplace, ensuring every individual makes it home safe after each day, to enjoy the best part of their day. Join the cause and continue to help spread awareness today.
St. Louis, MI– Steel manufacturer St. Louis Cold Drawn LLC, has taken steps to creating a safer work environment with an initiative they started in 2016, in conjunction with Missouri OSHA, to develop improved safety awareness programs and to prevent on the job injuries. With nearly 4% of all cold steel workers suffering recordable injuries each year, this steel company strives to make a change.
The initiative is broken down into three separate aspects, all to improve workplace safety.
A revised program to address hazards
A revised program to ensure routine training
Preventative measures to keep workers safe
The initiative started with 14 different safety and health visits, where consultants identify hazards, dangers, and violations. The consultants then worked with the company to implement new safety measures. Specific improvements that were made include:
Adjusted warehouse layout
Improved communication strategies
“The Missouri On-Site Consultation Program helped St. Louis Cold Drawn understand that OSHA works cooperatively with businesses who voluntarily implement programs to ensure the workers’ safety and health,” said U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Acting Regional Administrator Steven J. Kaplan in Kansas City, Missouri. “St. Louis Cold Drawn made major improvements to its safety programs and did so with worker input. These efforts increased the ownership and involvement in safety at all levels of the company’s organization and significantly enhanced its safety culture.”
The company earned OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program, also known as SHARP status, in September 2020 and will seek renewal in 2022. SHARP acknowledges small and medium-sized businesses that have used OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Services and operate exemplary workplace safety and health programs.
OSHA standards can be difficult to meet without the right knowledge and guidance. Partnering with industry experts such as Martin Technical can help you take the right steps to improving your workplace safety and culture by providing proper consultation and services. Offering a range of services from safety training, lockout tagout, electrical safety, to arc flash, Martin Technical can help you maintain OSHA compliance and build your safety culture.
Oklahoma City, OK– A large construction company, T.J. Campbell Construction Co., was cited with $370K in penalties after failing to prevent a conveyor system from being turned on. Failure to comply with lockout tagout requirements led to the fatality of an 18-year-old employee. The young employee was attempting to clear debris from the conveyor, when the machine was turned on and the employee was pulled into hot asphalt.
Based in Edmond, T.J. Campbell Construction, is a subsidiary of DUIT Holdings Inc. The company was founded in 1978 and is considered a premier asphalt and concrete paving contractor. Their specialty includes the turn-key construction of DOT Heavy Highway, street, and site infrastructure for commercial developments as well as complete construction and reconstruction services, from city streets to Interstate Highways.
Violations and Citations
After investigation, it was determined that T.J. Campbell Construction Co. did not lockout the conveyor system, which led to the fatality. In addition to not following proper lockout tagout procedures, the company did not have a lockout tagout policy in place and had not trained employees adequately on requirements for controlling hazardous energy.
Other violations found:
Permitting unguarded pulleys, and chain and sprockets on walking and working surfaces
Failure to apply lockout tagout on machinery
Safety violations due to missing handrails
Safety violations due to uncovered open holes on walking surfaces
“A young worker was barely three months on the job when his life was tragically cut short,” said OSHA Area Director Steven Kirby in Oklahoma City. “Had TJ Campbell Construction Company provided their workers with the required training on controlling hazardous energy and ensuring proper shutdown before any attempt to remove debris was made, this young man would have ended his workday safely.”
For the 11th consecutive fiscal year, OSHA’s fall protection(29 CFR 1926.501) remains the agency’s most frequently cited standard. While the Fall Protection Training Requirements(29 CFR 1926.503) was the agency’s seventh most frequently cited standard in FY 2021. In the meantime, fall fatalities from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees. Above all, the BLS data reports that 1,008 construction workers died on the job, with 351 of those falling from elevation. In an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries, organizations should participate in OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down event and activities. The one-week event aims to raise fall hazard awareness and reinforce fall protection training across the country.
All Workplaces Are Encouraged to Hold a Safety Stand-Down
A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. All workplaces should hold a stand-down event or meeting to focus on fall hazards and reinforce the importance of preventing falls. However, participation is not limited to the construction industry, and no business is too small to participate. Workplaces that are not exposed to fall hazards should also leverage this opportunity to promote a positive safety culture. In fact, OSHA recorded that many non-construction employers held Stand-Down events.
In past years, participants included commercial construction companies of all sizes, contractors, general industry employers, the U.S. Military and other government participants, unions, employer’s trade associations, institutes, employee interest organizations, and safety equipment manufacturers.
Additionally, several domestic and international companies working outside of the United States participated in past Stand-Downs, and OSHA hopes to have more international participation this year.
How to Conduct a Safety Stand-Down
Generally, managers should plan a Stand-Down that works best for their workplace schedule. Accordingly, some of the recommended practices in conducting a Safety Stand-Down are as follows:
Conduct a Safety Stand-Down by taking a break to have a toolbox talk.
Inspections of safety equipment, developing rescue plans or discussing job-specific hazards.
Develop presentations or activities that provide information about hazards, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies, goals, and expectations. In addition, sharing hands-on exercises, including a worksite walkaround, equipment checks, etc., can also increase retention.
Besides, consider inviting the subcontractors, owners, architects, engineers, or others associated with your project to participate in the Stand-Down for a collaborative effort.
Employers may share information on their Stand-Down events, Fall Prevention Programs, or suggestions with OSHA on how initiatives such as these can be improved. Employers can also download a certificate of participation following the event.
Resources for Preventing Fall Hazards
In summary, employers should provide competent person training and proper supervision in the workplace, ensuring workers are aware of fall hazards. Virtual Reality Fall Protection Training can provide an effective and engaging way to practice and validate fall safety requirements without the real-world consequences. Learn more about VR curriculums developed by industry experts to help raise risk awareness and to help prevent fall accidents.
APPLETON, WI – OSHA cited an Appleton-based contractor twice in six months for exposing workers to deadly fall hazards.
In June 2021, OSHA cited the company during an inspection at a Neenah job site and proposed $21,140 in penalties. The citation included failing to provide workers with fall protection equipment and training and a ladder extending at least 3 feet above the landing surface.
Despite the consequences of the June citation, OSHA has issued one willful, one repeat, and one serious violation six months later. The proposed penalties total $49,722, based on OSHA’s observations of six roofers atop a two-story Algoma duplex on Nov. 2, 2021.
The Contractor’s History of Exposing Workers to Fall Hazards
The pair of recent inspections continues the company’s history of failing to protect its roofing workers. In 2017 and 2018, OSHA cited the company for similar hazards at other job sites. The company has neither paid OSHA penalties assessed in June 2021 nor complied with requirements to provide abatement information.
“Apple Roofing Solutions continues to show a flagrant disregard for the safety and well-being of its workers and the law. Fall hazards make roofing work among the construction industry’s most dangerous jobs. It is also OSHA’s most frequently cited hazards,” said OSHA Area Director Robert Bonack in Appleton. “This company seems willing to ignore the dangers of falls and the potential for serious injuries, debilitation, or worse. OSHA will hold Apple Roofing Solutions, and other employers like them, accountable for failing to meet the legal requirements to provide safe working conditions.”
Fall Protection Remains OSHA’s Most Frequently Cited Standard
For the 11th consecutive fiscal year, OSHA’s fall protection (29 CFR 1926.501) remains the agency’s most frequently cited standard. At the same time, the Fall Protection Training Requirements(29 CFR 1926.503) was the agency’s seventh most frequently cited standard in FY 2021. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports in 2020 that 1,008 construction workers died on the job, with 351 of those falling from elevation.
Thus, employers should have a competent person training and supervising the workplace, ensuring workers are aware of fall hazards.
In summary, Martin Technical encourages organizations to develop a robust workplace safety strategy by scheduling regularworkplace fall protection training. The training provides an effective and engaging way to practice and validate safety requirements without stopping production. In addition, learn more aboutVR curriculums developed by subject matter experts created to raise risk awareness and provide training for preventive measures against fall accidents.
WASHINGTON – On February 15, the Department of Labor announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by OSHA to improve worker safety and health. This ensures that the agency’s general industry and construction industry rules reflect current industry practice and state-of-the-art technology. OSHA proposes updating the design and manufacturing requirements of the powered industrial trucks standards for general industry and construction.
The Proposed Update
The proposal would update design and construction requirements for industrial trucks powered by an electric motor or internal combustion engine. This includes fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks, and other specialized industrial trucks.
The proposed updates would add references to the latest design and construction requirements published by the American National Standards Institute. And the references are also in conjunction with the Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation.
Since OSHA adopted the 1969 version of the ANSI B56.1, ANSI has revised its consensus standard twelve times between 1975 to 2020. The three B56 volumes cover all powered industrial trucks that are currently within the scope of OSHA’s standards (§§ 1910.178(a)(1) and 926.602(c)(1)(vi)). They encompass all equipment initially covered by the consensus standard cited in OSHA’s existing standards (ANSI B56.1-1969). OSHA is not aware of any other consensus standards covering powered industrial trucks in its scope. But the agency requests comments on whether any other such standards exist and should be referenced by OSHA.
In addition to updating the design and construction requirements for future manufactured powered industrial trucks, it will also address equipment manufactured before the final rule’s effective date.
This proposed update is part of OSHA’s regulatory projects to update nearly 200 agency standards. The updates will be helpful to reflect the current versions of international consensus and national industry standards.
Violations of the powered industrial trucks are consistently on the OSHA Top Ten Most Frequently Cited Safety and Health Violations. Several thousand injuries related to forklifts occur in U.S. workplaces every year. Read more on the safety and compliance requirements for forklifts. Martin Technical encourages organizations to develop a robust workplace safety strategy by scheduling regularforklift training. The Forklift Train-The-Trainer and Operator Training Course are designed to aid general industry and construction workers in the safe operation of forklifts. This step-by-step approach proves helpful for workers to be knowledgeable of OSHA and manufacturers’ safety requirements for the use of forklifts.
HENDERSON, TX – Following a fatal injury suffered by an 86-year-old worker, the U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA opened an investigation. The worker had fallen from a stack of pallets at W.D. Townley and Son Lumber Company Inc. The manufacturer has been family-owned and operated since 1943, with its private fleet of commercial transportation equipment.
OSHA Cited the Manufacturer Exposed Workers to Hazardous Energy Sources
The federal investigation at this Henderson sawmill and pallet manufacturer found the company exposed workers to hazardous energy sources and a lack of machine guarding.
“Sawmill operations can be hazardous work, but it should not be life-threatening,” said OSHA Area Director Basil Singh in Dallas. “W.D. Townley and Son Lumber Company Inc. showed a complete disregard for their employees’ well-being. OSHA will hold employers accountable when they neglect their legal responsibility to provide workers with a safe workplace.”
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citationsand penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings.
Proper Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) practices and procedures safeguard workers from the release of hazardous energy. Employers must train workers in the purpose and function of the energy control program. In addition, workers have to be equipped with the knowledge and skills required to safely apply, use, and remove energy control devices.
CREST HILL, IL – A 42-year-old Chicago area employee suffered a fatal injury while cleaning a machine at a Crest Hill frozen pizza manufacturer.
Rich Products Corp. is a multinational food manufacturer that operates about 100 locations globally and reports annual sales exceeding $4 billion. The company manufactures frozen pizzas, desserts, and other grocery items for food service, retail, in-store bakeries, and delis. It employs about 375 people at its Crest Hills facility and more than 7,400 nationwide.
OSHA issued one willful violation to the Buffalo, New York-based food manufacturer and proposed $145,027 in penalties. The agency placed Rich Products in OSHA’s Severe Violator Program for a willful violation that led to an employee fatality. The company has an extensive history of OSHA violations nationwide.
“This preventable tragedy is another example of why employers must ensure lockout/tagout procedures are in place before allowing workers to clean or operate machinery. Employers who fail to follow safety standards and train workers in operating procedures will be held accountable,” said OSHA Chicago South Area Director James Martineck in Tinley Park.
The company has 15 business days to comply, request a conference, or contest before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Lockout/Tagout is among the Top 10 Most Cited Standards
OSHA’s lockout/tagout and machine guarding standards are among the agency’s top 10 most frequently cited standards in FY 2021. The lockout/tagout standard (29 CFR 1910.147) was cited 1,698 times in the fiscal year (FY) 2021. At the same time, Machinery and Machine Guarding, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.212) were cited 1,113 times.
Safety culture is the way safety is perceived, valued, prioritized, and integrated into all activities in the workplace. Rather than referring to the company’s safety policy and program, it is a set of core values and behaviors that prioritize safety. Safety culture encapsulates the mindsets, attitudes, and behaviors of workers, supervisors, managers, and owners toward safety in the workplace.
Benefits of building a Positive Safety Culture
Having a positive safety culture within an organization promotes more than safety. It is vital for a successful and effective health and safety program. According to OSHA, developing a strong safety culture has a significant impact on the accident reduction of any process.
Additionally, a positive safety culture helps strengthen worker confidence and retention, organizational behavior, and even productivity.
Core Elements of Building a Positive Safety Culture
While qualities may differ from organization to organization, companies with a strong safety culture share several characteristics, including:
Management Leadership – Senior leaders demonstrate their commitment to continuous safety and health improvement, communicate that commitment to workers, and set program expectations and responsibilities. Managers shall make safety and health a core organizational value, establish safety and health goals and objectives, provide adequate resources and support for the program, and set a good example. Often, a shift in safety culture is unsuccessful because there is without top-down support. The change is temporary and ends by slipping back into old patterns, or there is no change.
Worker Participationand Ownership – Workers are committed to continuously identifying safety hazards and improving the work environment for the better. Once the employees understand safety standards, they can help with establishing, operating, evaluating, and improving the safety and health program. Team participation can be taken a step further by improving safety dialogue between workers and management and showing workers how to help keep each other safe. Organizations should empower employees to improve safety in their work area and throughout the facility.
Hazard Identification, Assessment, Prevention, and Control – Involve workers who often have the best understanding of the conditions that create hazards and insights into how to control them. Identify and evaluate options for preventing and controlling hazards, and develop plans to protect workers during emergencies. After assessing existing hazards, exposures, and control measures, periodic inspections and reassessments shall follow to identify the root causes and new hazards. A plan should also be developed to ensure that controls are implemented, interim protection is provided, progress is tracked, and the effectiveness of controls is verified. Martin Technical encourages organizations to develop a robust workplace safety strategy by scheduling regular hazard assessments includinghazards of arc flash, lockout tagout, and electrical safety.
Safety Procedures and Equipment – Inspect the workplace with workers and ask them to identify any activity, piece of equipment, or material that concerns them. Other good practices include posting signs around the facility indicating different safety procedures, regular communication on safety tips, and announcements on new safety procedures.
Education and Training – 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. All workers should be trained to recognize workplace hazards and understand the control measures implemented.
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, and virtual reality coursesin multiple languages for easy access.
Maintaining the Safety Culture by Continuous Evaluation and Improvement
Creating a positive workplace safety culture goes a long way towards changing the mindset, and the actions, of both workers and management. Often, organizations recognize the need to change the workplace safety culture in response to a culture that’s become complacent. The effects of complacency can be catastrophic in causing accidents, injuries, illnesses, costly fines, and even loss of life.
Continuous processes shall be established to monitor safety program performance, verify program implementation, and identify the shortcomings and opportunities for improvement.
A positive safety culture will be easier to build and maintain when employees feel comfortable reporting concerns and believe that the reporting process is positive. Keeping team members motivated and updated about the improvement is essential to maintaining a positive safety culture. Recognizing individuals and departments for improvements can effectively keep team members excited and invested in building a positive safety culture.