In this edition, we'll be covering the following topics:
- NSC 2018: OSHA announces latest Top-10 Violation list.
- Worker in boomlift shocked by high-tension wire.
- Shed Company Fined GBP250,000 (USD325,000) Over Forklift Death.
- Ask Bob: Our tech guru addresses a question on keeping trainees engaged.
- Trenching and excavation safety.
- Steel fabricators fined GBP100,000 (USD129,780) in unsafe forklift lifting operation.
- Last chance to register!
- What's Wrong With This? Photo and answer.
- A selection of interesting articles.
- New testimonials from our wonderful clients.
But first, check out all the places we are delivering training this month...
NSC 2018: OSHA announces latest Top-10 Violation List.
At the 2018 National Safety Council Congress & Expo in Houston, Texas, Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, presented the agency’s top 10 violations for fiscal year (FY) 2018 to a standing-room-only crowd of safety professionals. While the list—particularly its top half—is largely familiar from previous years, one standard made an appearance for the first time.
The data, which covers violations cited from October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018, is preliminary, and as such, the precise numbers associated with each violation may change. However, the ranking is likely to remain consistent when OSHA releases the final numbers.
The top 10 violations of FY 2018 are:
- Duty to provide fall protection (29 CFR 1926.501): 7,270 violations. The duty to provide fall protection has been OSHA’s top citation for several years. According to Kapust, common violations under this standard included failure to provide fall protection near unprotected sides or edges and on both low-slope and steep roofs. Many of the citations were issued to roofing contractors, framing contractors, masonry contractors, and new single-family housing construction contractors.
- Hazard communication (29 CFR 1910.1200): 4,552 violations. Hazard communication has been in the number-two spot for several years. Common deficiencies include lack of a written program, inadequate training, and failure to properly develop or maintain safety data sheets (SDSs). Auto repair facilities, hotels, and motels were among the industries that received many hazard communication citations.
- Scaffolds—general requirements (29 CFR 1926.451): 3,336 violations. Common violations included lack of proper decking, failure to provide personal fall arrest systems and/or guardrails where required, and failure to ensure that supported scaffolds are adequately supported on a solid foundation. Masonry, siding, and framing contractors were particularly prone to scaffolding violations.
- Respiratory protection (29 CFR 1910.134): 3,118 violations. Failure to establish a program, failure to perform required fit testing, and failure to provide medical evaluations were among the most frequently cited issues. Auto body refinishing, painting contractors, and wall covering contractors received many citations under this standard.
- Lockout/tagout (29 CFR 1910.147): 2,944 violations. Many employers cited under this standard failed to establish an energy control procedure altogether, while others were cited for failing to provide adequate employee training, failure to develop machine-specific procedures, and failure to use lockout/tagout devices or equipment.
- Ladders (29 CFR 1926.1053): 2,812 violations. Common deficiencies included failure to have siderails extend 3 feet (ft) beyond a landing surface, using ladders for unintended purposes, using the top step of a stepladder, and ladders with broken steps or rails. These violations were common among roofing, framing, siding, and masonry contractors.
- Powered Industrial Trucks (29 CFR 1910.178): 2,294 violations. Violations commonly addressed deficient or damaged forklifts that were not removed from service, operators who had not been trained or certified to operate a forklift, and failure to evaluate forklift drivers every 3 years as required. Forklift violations were widespread across a number of industries, but were particularly prevalent in warehousing and storage facilities, fabricated and structural metal manufacturing, and wood container and pallet manufacturing.
- Fall protection—training requirements (29 CFR 1926.503): 1,982 violations. Commonly cited issues include failing to provide training to each person required to receive it, failure to certify training in writing, failing to ensure that training is provided by a competent person, and failing to train the proper use of guardrails and personal fall arrest systems.
- Machine guarding (29 CFR 1910.212): 1,972 violations. Violations included failing to guard points of operation, failing to ensure that guards are securely attached to machinery, and failure to properly anchor fixed machinery. Machine guarding violations occur in many industries, but common targets include machine shops, fabricated metal manufacturing, and plastics manufacturing.
- Personal protective and lifesaving equipment—eye and face protection (29 CFR 1926.102): 1,536 violations. The final violation is a newcomer to OSHA’s top 10 list and replaces electrical wiring methods (29 CFR 1910.305), which took the number 10 spot for FY 2017. Commonly cited issues included failing to provide eye and face protection where employees are exposed to hazards from flying objects; failing to provide protection from caustic hazards, gases, and vapors; and allowing employees to wear combinations of prescription and safety eyewear that compromise the protective qualities.
Worker in boomlift shocked by high-tension wire.
A worker painting the side of a Glen Rock apartment building suffered apparently serious injuries when he was shocked by a high-tension line over the weekend, a Glen Rock fire official said.
The painter was about 50 to 75 feet in the air when he was shocked, according to Glen Rock Fire Chief Ron McCullough.
It happened about 3:35 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, in the first block of Hanover Street, according to dispatch logs.
The worker was in a platform-type lift safety cage. He was painting when his back touched a high-tension line, McCullough said.
After being shocked, the man slumped down on the platform, the chief said.
He couldn't be rescued until the power was shut off, according to McCullough, who said a Met-Ed crew was on the scene in 10 or 15 minutes.
After the power was turned off, fire/rescue crews were able to use a fire bucket truck to rescue the man, who was then driven to Glen Rock Park and flown to a burn center in Baltimore, McCullough said.
"He was talking when we (took him to the helicopter)," the chief said, but he noted that electrical shocks can be debilitating and not dissimilar to microwave-type burns.
Shed Company Fined GBP250,000 (USD325,000) Over Forklift Death.
A garden shed manufacturing company has been fined more than GBP250,000 (USD325,000) for safety breaches after a worker was killed.
Andrew Hanshaw, 44, died in 2012 after being struck by a forklift.
According to the Yorkshire Post,Woodlands Homecare Ltd of Railway House, Calverley Lane, Rodley pleaded guilty to breaching the Health & Safety at Work Act and was fined GBP233,334 (USD300,000) with GBP21,620 (USD27,830) in costs.
After the hearing, Health and Safety Executive inspector Rachel Brittain said: "This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to implement the findings of their own transport plan.
"Vehicles at work continue to be a major cause of fatal and major injuries."
Q. Half my guys end up losing interest and even dozing off when I'm doing the classroom stuff. Lots of times I notice they are way back on another page while I am reading the book. How should I bring them back, or better yet, stop them from drifting off to start with?
A. First of all, don't take it too personally when people drift off. They are adults that are used to moving around while they work and when they are forced to sit still for an extended period of time it's almost guaranteed that their minds and bodies will go into dozing mode.
Based on what you told me about them being on another page while you are reading through the book, my advice is DON'T JUST READ THROUGH THE BOOK! Sitting through a class where the teacher simply reads the book chapter and verse is just plain boring!
Interaction is key. Don't read through every page, just go to the questions in the book and ask the group for the answers. If there are questions or confusion about the answers, direct the group to the specific page with the text that addresses the question and review it. Then move on to the next question. Move your questions around the room and ask lots of them but never ones with a yes or no answer. For example, "Can anyone tell me what would happen if..." If nobody answers pick someone, "Joe, what do you think would happen in...?" Follow the answer with something like, "Frank, do you agree with what Joe said? Why? Why not?" Asking lots of questions in a non-threatening way gets people engaged and they are far less likely to drift off if they know they will be involved.
Also, use visual training aids, take frequent but short breaks and keep the room more cool than warm. If you can break things up by getting out to the equipment for a walk through of a pre-use inspection halfway through the review of the book, do it - it will get them moving. Don't forget to ask lots of questions out at the machine too. Get them involved!
Trenching and excavation safety.
George Kennedy can recall multiple incidents involving unprotected workers and trench cave-ins. Unfortunately, some of those stories have tragic endings.
One worker was killed in a collapse after removing a trench shield to retrieve a shovel.
Another worker died after returning to an unprotected trench to grab a pack of cigarettes that had fallen from his pocket and a cave-in occurred.
Kennedy, vice president of safety for the National Utility Contractors Association, is among those working to raise trench safety awareness.
“They just should not take the chance of going into an unprotected trench for any reason for any period of time,” Kennedy said. “Even 30 seconds, a minute. That’s all it takes. Cave-ins happen in a fraction of a second. You turn around and it’s on you.”Staying protected
OSHA defines an excavation as “any man-made cut, cavity, trench or depression in the earth’s surface formed by earth removal.” A trench is “a narrow underground excavation that is deeper than it is wide, and is no wider than 15 feet.” The agency points out that 1 cubic yard of soil can weigh up to 3,000 pounds – approximately the weight of a small car.
The fatality rate for excavation work is 112 percent higher than the rate for general construction, OSHA data shows. The agency lists “employee injury from collapse” as the primary hazard of excavation work and includes “no protective system” among the leading causes of worker injuries.
According to OSHA, 23 workers were killed in trench collapses in 2016, surpassing the combined total from 2014 and 2015. No matter the nature of the work or depth of the trench, excavations are unstable, experts note.
“Employers need to recognize that any excavation has the potential for exposure to serious injury or fatality, and have systems in place to verify that precautions are specifically identified and carried out consistently,” said Larry R. Russell, principal consultant at DEKRA Organizational Safety & Reliability.
The OSHA standard for trenching and excavation – 29 CFR 1926.650-652, Subpart P – requires protective systems for trenches that are 5 feet or deeper, unless the excavation occurs in stable rock. A registered professional engineer must design protective systems for trenches that are at least 20 feet deep or approve tabulated data prepared for the system.
In July, OSHA unveiled a free sticker intended to remind workers of the three primary protective systems:
- Sloping (or benching). Cutting back the trench wall at an angle inclined away from the excavation.
- Shoring. Installing aluminum hydraulics or other types of supports to prevent cave-ins.
- Shielding. Using trench boxes or other supports to prevent cave-ins.
Joe Turner, director of engineering, research and product development at National Trench Safety, said serious injuries and fatalities in excavation work often result from one of two circumstances. “Either where there’s no shoring at all,” he said, “or where the contractor misapplies the shoring system – doesn’t do it properly, doesn’t do a job hazard analysis before they begin the shoring, that sort of thing.”
As work conditions dictate
Chris Cain, executive director of the Center for Construction Research and Training (also known as CPWR), stressed that excavations are dug in response to the needs of the worksite, and protective systems follow the same logic.
When choosing protective systems, a safety officer or competent person must consider various factors, including soil classification, depth of cut, water content of soil, weather- or climate-driven changes, surcharge loads, and other nearby operations. Not every protective system is suitable for each type of soil. Employers should ensure workers are trained on trenching hazards and develop an emergency action plan.
“We’ve made a lot of progress,” said Ron Chilton, president of the North American Excavation Shoring Association, “but we’re still a dangerous profession. ... The jobs are getting bigger and the excavation is getting larger and deeper and more complex.”
OSHA requires a safe means of access or egress – such as ladders, steps and ramps – to be located within 25 feet of all workers for excavations 4 feet or deeper. Workers should keep heavy equipment away from trench edges, keep surcharge loads at least 2 feet from trench edges and never work under raised loads.
Following these guidelines helps limit struck-by incidents, Kennedy said. Wearing high-visibility clothing such as shirts, jackets, sweaters or vests can contribute to mitigating yet another hazard for workers in excavation: worker visibility.
“The equipment swings around and the operator doesn’t know the [person] is there,” Kennedy said. “And lots of times, it’s due to the fact that they’re hard to see sometimes and they don’t make themselves visible to the operator.”
'Extremely important to have a competent person'
Preplanning is paramount in excavation work. The designated competent person leading the operation takes a central role by mastering OSHA regulations and recognizing existing and potential hazards.
(For a more in-depth look at the responsibilities of a competent person, read “What is a ‘competent person’?” at sh-m.ag/2OZSp2e.)
As required by Subpart P, the competent person must inspect trenches before work starts, as well as after events in which conditions change or hazards increase, such as rainstorms.
“Inspecting is a big deal for trenches, because the conditions change from day to day if a trench is open for a long period of time, or even for more than one day,” Cain said, adding that atmospheric hazards also might arise from work and could resemble those found in confined spaces.
A job near an underground natural gas line, for example, would warrant air sampling. Employers should call 811 before digging so utility workers can come out and mark the locations of underground lines.
Further, Cain said, crews working near old landfills should be mindful of a possible exposure to methane gas or hydrogen sulfide – an odiferous, toxic gas.
Russell recommends a competent person consult OSHA’s technical manual on hazard recognition in trenching and shoring.
Questions a competent person should ask during a site assessment include:
- Is the cut, cavity or depression a trench or an excavation? Is it more than 4 feet deep? Does it contain water?
- Are there adequate means of access and egress? Are there surface encumbrances or exposures to vehicular traffic? Are adjacent structures stabilized?
- Is equipment operating near the trench or excavation? Does the equipment have warning systems?
- Does the trenching or excavation work require sloping, shoring or shielding? If shielding is used, does the shield extend at least 18 inches above the surrounding area if it is sloped toward the excavation? Is the depth of the cut more than 2 feet below the bottom of the shield?
- Is emergency rescue equipment required?
- Is there documentation of the minimum daily excavation inspection?
“It’s extremely important to have a competent person on the job,” Kennedy said, “because they’re going to make sure that they are using their protective system, that it is set up properly. And they’re making sure workers don’t take chances, ladders are set up, [excavated soil] piles are set back at least 2 feet from the edge of the excavation. All the things that go along with making sure the trench is safe before a worker goes into it.”
Said Turner: “If that process is followed and it happens, it prevents workers from getting trapped and having cave-ins. If they don’t follow that process, if they don’t provide shoring, this is where you read about most of the deaths in excavations.”
Talking it over
Subpart P states that trench backfilling “shall progress together with the removal of support systems from excavations” as work nears its completion.
Once backfilling is finished, Cain recommends evaluating work during a post-job discussion.
“After a significant job with significant safety risks, it’s always important to do some kind of look back and make sure that things went right,” Cain said. “And if things went wrong or there was evidence that things could be going wrong, just do a debrief and figure out with the crew, the competent person, the foreman and whoever the management is onsite. Ask, ‘How did it go? Was anything unexpected encountered? What could we have done to avoid that?’
“That type of thing is always a good activity to do. It could be a five-minute discussion right after a particularly hazardous job. It could actually make a difference in the next job or the job after that.”
Steel fabricators fined GBP100,000 (USD129,780) in unsafe forklift lifting operation.
A steel fabricating company has been fined after a worker was injured by steel falling on him.
Chelmsford Magistrates Court heard how in December 2016, an employee was struck by a bundle of steels that fell from a fork lift truck whilst they were being moved. As a result, he suffered multiple breaks in his leg.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company did not have a safe system of work in place to avoid this kind of incident. In particular, workstations were not separated from vehicles routes; lifting accessories were not provided to reduce the risk of the rebar slipping from the forks; and forklift truck drivers were not provided with site-specific and load-specific training.
Lemon Groundwork Solutions Limited of Russell Gardens, Wickford, pleaded Guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and have been fined GBP100,000 (USD129,780) and ordered to pay costs of GBP6,253.14 (USD8,034).
After the hearing HSE inspector Nikki Hughes said “This incident could easily have been avoided by the implementation of affordable control measures, such as a lifting accessory being used on the forklift truck. Handling and moving rebar is a well-recognised industry risk, which the company failed to identify and manage, despite the activity occurring frequently during a working day. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
What's Wrong With This? Photo
Can you tell what's going wrong in this photo?
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Answer to Last Month's WWWT? Photo
Here's what Vertikal.net had to say about it:
A photo sent in by a reader in Iceland shows a painting company using a homemade platform attachment on a boom lift for a job in Reykjavik, last summer.
The painters constructed a wooden structure and platform extension clad in clear plastic sheeting and attached it the front of boom lift’s platform in order to prevent overspray damaging the surrounding cars and buildings.
The scenario is best described in the words of our reader: “Last summer I got a phone call from one of my customers that told me that there was a small oil leak in the Genie S65 machine he had rented from us earlier that week. When I arrived at the scene I saw the most terrifying addition I have ever seen on any man lift and of course grounded the machine immediately and gave the foreman an urgent and clearly needed preaching about work safety.”
“They had been working the whole day with this monstrous tent and platform extension on a five storey house, and the workers where proud to show me their ‘lightweight and genius invention’ when I arrived. The ‘invention’ was made because the wind carried the white paint overspray away from the building threatening to damage nearby cars as they were working with high pressure paint sprayer, mounted inside the basket.”
“The worker had been standing on the extension outside of the basket ‘because the guardrail was limiting his movement’. I am sure that the small O-Ring that failed in the hydraulic manifold that day saved his life or at least his health, the wind was quite strong that day and unpredictable as the worksite was only about 250 metres from the open sea surrounding most parts of Reykjavik.”
“Some are just too lucky, and thankfully the machines are built with high safety standards to be able withstand the wind force that day with this gigantic and idiotic sail on it. I am sure that this qualifies for the Deathwish series.”
We are in complete agreement, definitely one for our Death Wish series.
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