20 OSHA has announced the availability of a final report to deter- mine whether the Methylene Chloride Standard has func- tioned as intended, whether it could be simplified or improved to reduce the regulatory burden on small business- es, or whether it is no longer needed and should be rescinded. The final report states that of the standard should be contin- ued. To obtain a copy of the report, see the Federal Register notice at: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-10107.htm
The US Department of Labor announced that Imperial Sugar will pay more than $6 million and implement exten- sive safety and health abatement measures. The settlement resolves violations found after 14 people died at its plant in Port Wentworth, GA. in February 2008. Safety and health violations were subsequently discovered at the company’s Gramercy, La., facility.
In the agreement, submitted to Judge Covette Rooney of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, Imperial Sugar will pay $4,050,000 in penalties for the 124 violations found at its Port Wentworth plant after the explo-
As part of the settlement, Imperial Sugar agrees that it has corrected all deficiencies at both of its plants or will correct those deficiencies according to a set schedule. Preventative maintenance and housekeeping programs have been estab- lished, and Imperial Sugar will identify and map locations where combustible dust may be present at its plants. The company also will conduct regular internal safety inspections and employee training, and hire an independent expert at each plant to ensure that there are adequate avenues of com- munication on worker safety and health issues within the company.
OSHA announced Standards Improvement Project (SIP)- III, a proposed rule to revise and remove requirements within several OSHA standards that are outdated, duplicative or inconsistent. This rulemaking will help keep OSHA standards up-to-date and will help employers better understand their regulatory obligations.
Those interested in submitting comments for this proposed rule can submit them through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at
http://www.regula- tions.gov. Comments may also be submitted by mail to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2006-0049, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. Submissions can also be faxed to the OSHA Docket Office at 202/693- 1648. OSHA will accept comments until Sept. 30, 2010
OSHA requests information and comment on occupational exposure to infectious agents in settings where health care is provided, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, school clinics and correctional facilities, and settings such as labora- tories that handle potentially infectious biological materials, medical examiner offices and mortuar- ies. OSHA will use the information received in response to this request to determine what action, if any, the agency may take to further limit the spread of occupationally-acquired infectious dis- eases in these types of settings. More information on how to submit comments is available in the Federal Register notice at
The U.S. Labor Department’s OSHA has cited Enbridge G&P in Douglasville, Texas, with two alleged willful and five alleged serious viola- tions with assessed penalties totally $152, 000 following a worker fatality from release of hydro- gen sulfide. The willful violations were issued for failing to develop and implement safe work prac- tices for workers who process equipment or pip- ing or who are exposed to airborne concentrations of hydrogen sulfide in excess of 50 parts per mil- lion, and for failing to provide workers with the required personal protective equipment. In this case, the company did not provide respirators.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is launching a pilot program seeking to partner with building inspectors in 11 American cities to reduce injuries and fatalities at construction sites. Under this program, building inspectors would notify OSHA when they observe, during the course of their work, unsafe work conditions. OSHA, in turn, would send a federal agency compliance officer to that workplace for a safety inspection. OSHA seeks to partner with building inspectors in the following cities: Austin, Texas, Boise, Idaho; Cincinnati, Ohio; Concord, N.H; Greenwood Village, Colo.; Madison, Miss; Atlanta Metropolitan area, Ga; Newark, NJ; Oakland, Calif; Washington, D.C. Wichita, Kan.
OSHA has announced in a notice of proposed rulemaking its plans to require improved worker protection from tripping, slipping and falling hazards on walking and working sur- faces. A public hearing on the revised changes will be held after the public comment period for the NPRM. The current walking-working surfaces regulations allow employers to provide outdated and dangerous fall protection equipment such as lanyards and body belts that can result in workers suffering greater injury from falls. Construction and maritime workers already receive safer, more effective fall protection devices such as self- retracting lanyards and ladder safety and rope descent systems, which these proposed revisions would also require for general industry workers. The current walking-working surfaces standards also do not allow OSHA to fine employers who let workers climb certain ladders without fall pro- tection. Under the revised standards, this restric- tion would be lifted in virtually all industries, allowing OSHA inspectors to fine employers who jeopardize their workers’ safety and lives by let- ting them climb these ladders without proper fall protection. More information is available in the Federal Register notice at
Circle 125 on Card
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