Posts Tagged ‘training’

Everyone Should See This: Downed Power Lines

Please watch this short video. This applies to the general public regarding downed power lines and the safety precautions to take if you ever find yourself in this situation. This information is vital and could be the different between life and death.

A big “Thank You” to Dave Grafton of Grafton Consulting Services for sharing this with us.

Behr Iron & Steel Inc. Pleads Guilty to OSHA Violation Causing Death of Employee

A Rockford-based company pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Iain D. Johnston to willfully violating Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations, resulting in the death of an employee at the company’s facility in South Beloit, Ill.

BEHR IRON & STEEL INC., a high volume ferrous and nonferrous scrap processor, admitted in a plea agreement that on March 10, 2014, the company failed to provide lockout/tagout protection and confined space protection as required under OSHA regulations for the company’s employees who were cleaning a shredder discharge pit.  The company admitted that those violations caused the death of an employee who got caught in a moving, unguarded conveyor belt.

The Company faces a maximum sentence of 5 years’ probation, a maximum fine of $500,000, and restitution to the victim employee in an amount determined by the Court.  Sentencing is scheduled for July 12, 2016, at 1:30 p.m.

The guilty plea was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Ken Nishiyama Atha, Regional Administrator of OSHA in Chicago.

“Justice cannot restore life to the victim whose body was crushed because Behr Iron and Steel failed to provide protection from dangerous machinery on the job,” said Mr. Atha.  “Safety training at the plant was woefully insufficient.  Behr must be held responsible by the courts for ignoring safety standards and failing in its obligation to protect its workers on the job.”

Behr’s South Beloit facility recycles metals contained in such things as automobiles and refrigerators.  According to the plea agreement, OSHA regulations require employers to adopt safety procedures to ensure that dangerous machines are properly shut off and unable to start up again prior to the completion of maintenance or servicing work.  The safety procedures include placing a lock on the power source of the machine and a tag on the lock warning that the machine cannot be operated until the warning is removed, and identifying the employee who has the key to the lock.  OSHA also promulgated regulations that address the need to protect employees from entering a confined space without safety precautions.

Metals shredded through a shredding machine in Behr’s South Beloit facility fall onto a conveyor belt located about ten feet underground in a shredder discharge pit, which was approximately six feet long and six feet wide.  The shredded materials were then moved by a conveyor belt out of the discharge pit and through a sorting process.  Some of the shredded metals fall onto the ground of the discharge pit near the conveyor belt.  One or two Behr employees working on the shredding machine were required to clean the discharge pit on a daily basis.  The employees shoveled shredded materials from the floor of the discharge pit onto the running conveyor belt.

On March 10, 2014, a Behr employee was cleaning the discharge pit when the employee’s arm was caught by the unguarded conveyor belt.  The employee was pulled into the machinery and killed.

Behr admitted that there was no lock or operable emergency shut off switch in the discharge pit for the conveyor belt, and the conveyor belt did not have guards designed to protect employees.  Behr also admitted that employees in the discharge pit were not adequately trained to use the shredder or the conveyor belt, and that the company had not developed and implemented confined space protection for employees entering the discharge pit.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott R. Paccagnini.

Connecticut steel foundry fined more than $100K

Connecticut steel foundry fined more than $100K for exposing workers to multiple hazards and failing to provide protective equipment

Employees at Connecticut steel foundry exposed to electrical, chemical,
mechanical and fire hazards and lack of protective equipment
$104K in OSHA penalties proposed for PCC Structural-Groton

HARTFORD, Conn. – Employees at PCC Structurals-Groton faced the risk of chemical burns, fire, lacerations, amputations, electric shock and other injuries, inspections by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration have found.

“Our inspections identified a disturbing cross-section of hazards that could result in eye, face or body injuries, burns, or hearing loss for employees at the Groton location, as well as potential fires or explosions. It’s imperative for the health and well-being of its employees that PCC Structurals takes comprehensive, effective and ongoing corrective action to eliminate these hazards,” said Warren Simpson, OSHA’s area director in Hartford.

Located at 839 Poquonnock Road, the Groton facility is a steel-investment casting foundry that casts components for aerospace, energy, and commercial applications. Among the hazards identified during OSHA’s inspections:

  • Lack of hand, face and body protection for employees working on or near electrical equipment.
  • Exposed live electrical parts; misused electrical equipment and power cords; inadequate working space around electrical panelboards; and an ungrounded extension cord.
  • Unguarded points of operation of hydraulic presses.
  • Failure to inspect energy control procedures periodically to prevent the unintended startup of machinery during maintenance and cleaning.
  • No program to inspect chain alloy slings used to lift materials and equipment.
  • Lack of emergency eyewashes where employees worked with corrosive chemicals.
  • Inadequate safety glasses for employees working with chemicals.
  • Inadequately labeled containers of hazardous chemicals.
  • Flammable liquids not stored in closed containers; improper disposal of combustible waste.
  • Unsecured compressed gas cylinders.
  • Incompatible chemicals stored together in a cabinet.
  • Employees exposed to high noise levels not provided with a choice of hearing protection.

As a result of these conditions, OSHA cited the company for 20 serious violations of workplace safety and health standards on Feb. 19, 2016, with proposed penalties of $90,000. OSHA earlier cited the facility on Jan. 5 for two serious violations concerning inadequate fall protection equipment and an unprotected table saw. Fines of $14,000 were proposed for those violations.

The citations can be viewed here*, here* and here*.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Source

$5-million boost for job training in Rhode Island

$5-million boost for job training in Rhode Island
Grants straddle diversity of sectors including aquaculture, marine trades, hospitality
Posted Nov. 23, 2015 at 12:01 AM

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Twenty-six teams of private companies, nonprofits, educational institutions and industry associations will share in $5 million of state and federal money to train Rhode Island workers in the skills they need for jobs that are available now.

Governor Raimondo will be joined by the state’s congressional delegation at an event Monday to announce the first recipients of so-called “implementation grants” from the Real Jobs Rhode Island workforce training program.

“My primary focus is to create energy in the economy and create jobs and this is one example where we are trying to train workers and fill jobs right now,” the governor said in an interview.

Governor Raimondo in May discusses her comprehensive jobs plan with members of Rhode Island’s building trades community. They are among the targeted sectors receiving training grants to be announced by the governor on Monday. The Providence Journal / Kris Craig

The program, which was created under the Raimondo administration and is being overseen by the Department of Labor and Training, enlists employers to develop and put in place programs to train workers. It emphasizes collaboration among groups and targets growing industries. It was based on a program in Maryland that was created by DLT director Scott Jensen when he worked in that state.

The first — and only previous — round of funding through the initiative was awarded in August with 21 teams winning a total of $479,000 in planning grants — money intended to help employers design new training programs in a range of industries, including biotechnology, construction, design and defense.

The current round similarly straddles a diversity of employment sectors — among them aquaculture, marine trades and hospitality — but goes a step further in helping companies and other entities actually implement their training programs.

The grants range from about $30,000 for what’s being called the Insurance Innovation Partnership to nearly $370,000 for a shipbuilding program directed by a group that includes Electric Boat. Other notable grants include a nearly $250,000 award to a construction training program directed by the Rhode Island Builders Association.

Some will train hundreds of workers while others will be more tailored. Raimondo mentioned one healthcare program for about 40 people who will be trained for jobs that would pay salaries of $85,000. Although workers in the programs will not be guaranteed jobs, the programs are designed to train workers for skills that are currently in demand.

Training programs in certain sectors were more heavily funded, notably manufacturing, information technology and health care, which each won a total of more than $400,000.

Raimondo said they are being targeted because they and others are seen as industries that will form the basis of the future Rhode Island economy.

“Those are areas of our economy that are growing,” she said. “Those are where the high-skill, high-wage jobs are.”

The funding comes at a time when Rhode Island’s unemployment rate has been steadily declining from a peak of more than 11 percent during the Great Recession five years ago to 5.3 percent in October. Despite the positive trend, Raimondo said that workforce training is more important than ever to ensure that Rhode Islanders have the skills for good-paying, middle-class jobs in a fast-changing economy.

“The only way you can get someone to go from a $30,000 a year job to a $55,000 a year job is training,” she said. “I don’t want people to just have a job. I want them to have a good job so they can take care of their family.”

By Alex Kuffner
Journal Staff Writer

 akuffner@providencejournal.com

(401) 277-7457

On Twitter: @KuffnerAlex

Source

Update on Operator Certification and Recent OSHA Meeting in D.C.

Most of you who read this will be familiar with the draft proposed recently by OSHA regarding crane operator qualification which would replace the original wording of the 1926 (subpart CC) section 1427. This is the section where the operator certification and qualification requirements are covered. Copy and paste the following link to read the entire proposed draft: https://www.osha.gov/doc/accsh/accshcrane.pdf

In a nutshell, the draft was a rewrite of what qualifies and/or certifies an equipment operator, which includes a variety of crane types. In particular, the draft as written would require an extensive annual evaluation of the operator and require that the operator attend a very strenuous training program. The ‘proposed draft’ changed the current wording which states that operators are to be “certified by type and capacity of equipment” to “operators are to be certified by type of equipment.

As you might expect, there was an adverse reaction to this proposed draft, especially by employers of crane and equipment operators, since an annual evaluation of each operator would be extremely time-consuming and costly. Personally, I was not surprised by this proposed draft. I knew change was coming when OSHA extended the operator certification date because of the opposition of certain groups over operators having to be certified by type and capacity. Also, it was pretty obvious that OSHA had given serious thought to the subject of cranes, particularly to personnel who operate them, that certification did not equal qualification and there should be a greater emphasis on operator training, assessment and evaluation.

OSHA scheduled an ACCSH (Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health) meeting on March 2, to discuss the proposed draft. ACCSH is a 15-member advisory body that provides advice and assistance in construction and policy matters to the assistant secretary. ACCSH meetings are open to the public and are announced in the Federal Register. As you would expect, the room was full. CIC was represented by Tony Brown, Jeff Dudley, Pete Walsh and myself. Tony and I signed up to be speakers. When it came our time to speak, Tony and I both recommended to the ACCSH committee that the language requiring operators to be certified by type and capacity should remain in the regulation.

We made this recommendation based on the following reasoning: Half of the four accredited certification organizations (NCCER and CIC) developed their certification programs by type and capacity because OSHA said that would be the requirement. It just would not be fair to these organizations to change the original requirement for certification which was by type and capacity and force them to change their programs. That would not only be unfair, it defies common sense!

[I understand] there are operators that have certifications which are based on type only. Requiring them to be certified by type and capacity would cause them to be disenfranchised. Therefore, we recommended to the ACCSH committee that not only should type and capacity be left in the regulation, but the regulation should also allow operators to be certified by type. The standard would ultimately read that operators of equipment be certified by type and capacity or by type. We felt like this would satisfy all of the certification organizations and would be fair to all of them as well.

The next day, the ACCSH committee recommended by motion several things to OSHA. First, that OSHA needs to rework the operator evaluation and re-evaluation language and that type and capacity be put back into the rewrite of 1427. This would result in operators having the choice of being certified by type and capacity or by type only. ACCSH also recommended that OSHA clarify whether a trainer be certified or certified and qualified and that OSHA develop some reasonable definition of who the controlling contractor would be on the job site.

I’ve always been a little skeptical of OSHA and its control in the workplace. However, after attending the ACCSH meeting I have a lot more respect for OSHA and what it does to protect workers. I was also very pleased with the meeting and have great admiration for the members of the ACCSH committee. Some of these members might not have even known what a crane was when the meeting first started, but they came up to speed very quickly and were very astute to the issues being presented. They made appropriate motions and recommendations to OSHA regarding the most important points of the proposed draft.

So this is what we can be assured of: OSHA is going to require that operators be evaluated on a periodic basis with signed documentation by an evaluator. There will be more stringent training requirements which will have to be documented along with the periodic evaluations. In other words, people will have to attend more of a professional type training program which covers the topics outlined in the proposed draft. It was also expressed that OSHA would like to get all of this done by year’s end. So now we just have to wait for OSHA to do their work and present another rewrite of what was previously proposed. It will then have to go through the process and hopefully by year’s end all of this can be done and this certification issue can be put to bed, and the industry can move forward in a direction that would help more men and women go home safely at the end of the work day.

– Jay Sturm