Archive for June, 2011

Safety Training Resources Monitors OSHA’s LEP on Worksites with Elevated Exposure to Respirable Dust

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

US Labor Department’s OSHA cites Granite and Marble Company for exposing workers to excessive levels of respirable silica, other hazards

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Delta Granite and Marble Inc. with 10 serious and one other-than-serious violation. Proposed penalties total $42,000.

OSHA‘s Region VI Office initiated a health inspection on Feb. 23 at the company’s facility where employees were fabricating marble and granite countertops and associated products. The inspection was part of the agency’s National Emphasis Program for Crystalline Silica, which was developed to reduce occupational exposure to respirable silica.

Serious violations include failing to ensure that airborne levels of crystalline silica met established health standards, to provide an effective hearing conservation program, to ensure employees wore protective footwear, to ensure that appropriate hand protection such as gloves were utilized and to ensure compressed air used for cleaning did not exceed 30 pounds per square inch. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

“Exposure to respirable silica above OSHA‘s established limits can lead to serious long-term health conditions such as silicosis and other pulmonary function disorders,” said Jeff Funke, OSHA‘s Region VI area director.

The other-than-serious violation was cited for failing to ensure that audiograms contained information on employee job classifications. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, approximately 5 million workers are required to wear respirators to protect against harmful particulates, low oxygen areas, vapors, gases, and toxic or hazardous materials. This means that approximately 1.3 million workplaces in the U.S. need to worry about complying with OSHA‘s respiratory protection rule. Is yours one of them?

OSHA’s requirements are clear: Employers must develop an effective respiratory protection program along with training that includes teaching workers when and how to use their respirators.   Missouri employers are often cited for noncompliance with the standard. In addition, OSHA recently amended its PPE and training enforcement practices to allow per-employee citations for violations, which could mean an enormous increase in your potential liability.

Don’t take a chance with employee safety or OSHA penalties.  Contact Safety Training Resources for a free safety consultation.


Safety Training Resources Connects Cultures with Residential Construction Fall Protection Training and Guidance

Sunday, June 26th, 2011
Latino Roofing Crew

Residential Construction Fall Protection Training and Guidance

On June 21st,  Safety Training Resources hosted a Residential Construction Fall Protection training and guidance class for St. Louis area Latino roofing crews.  Jeff Viehmann, President of Safety Training Resources, organized a training opportunity for several Latino roofing crews that featured Robert Robles, an OSHA Safety Compliance Officer, and Dave Barklage, President of Midwestern Safety Equipment.  The safety meeting also provided an opportunity for Eileen Wolfington, Lead Promoter, to introduce Casa de Salud (House of Health www.casadesalud.org) to those in attendance.

The majority of the information was presented in Spanish and plenty of handouts were provided in support of the fall protection trainingOSHA’s Robert Robles provided training and guidance on the new Residential Construction Fall Protection Standard.  He was also instrumental in fascilitating open discussions about the standard and the responsibiliies of General Contractors, Sub-contractors, and the crews themselves.

Dave Barklage provided expertise in the area of personal fall arrest systems.  He demonstrated how to select, fit, and utilize anchors, harnesses, ropes, and lanyards.  He also provided insight into the various options available to the crews when implimenting best practices to the jobsite. 

Safety Training Resources is actively pursuing additional opportunities to connect safety training with those who need it most.  Safety Training Resources will continue its efforts to improve workplace safety and health conditions while simultaneously providing assistance to Spanish-speaking workers and employers.

Latino Roofing Crews Receive Residential Construction Fall Protection Training and Guidance


Safety Training Resources Raises the Roofer’s Awareness to OSHA’s new Fall Protection Standard

Sunday, June 26th, 2011
 
OSHA announces three month phase-in for residential construction fall protection…

Roofing Crews Need Training and Guidance on the Residential Construction Fall Protection Standard

 

 

The three month phase-in period runs June 16 – September 15, 2011. During this time, if the employer is in full compliance with the old directive (STD 03-00-001),  OSHA will not issue citations, but will instead issue a hazard alert letter informing the employer of the feasible methods they can use to comply with OSHA’s fall protection standard or implement a written fall protection plan. If the employer’s practices do not meet the requirements set in the old directive, OSHA will issue appropriate citations.

If an employer fails to implement the fall protection measures outlined in a hazard alert letter, and during a subsequent inspection of one of the employer’s workplaces OSHA finds violations involving the same hazards, the Area Office shall issue appropriate citations.

Safety Training Resources’ On-Site Consultation Program offers training and guidance  to small and medium-sized businesses.  Safety Training Resources can explain the new directive, Compliance Guidance for Residential Construction (STD 03-11-002), provide a detailed description of the phase-in policy, and offers guidance materials about the requirements for protecting workers from falls.


Safety Training Resources says “enlighten, educate, and empower”…..take a practical approach to implementing and managing your occupational health program for respirable dust.

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Enlightenment…

Crystalline Silica is one of the most abundant minerals found in the earth’s crust. Nearly all industries in our complex civilization use crystalline silica in some way. A background level of respirable silica exists in ambient air. The term “respirable” typically refers to particulates 10 micrometers or less in diameter.

Crystalline silica is one of the most significant health hazards encountered in the minerals industry. The primary health hazard is from the inhalation of respirable silica dust, which may result in silicosis and other occupational lung diseases. In more recent years inhalation of respirable crystalline silica has been identified as a risk factor in the development of lung cancer.

The control of exposures to respirable silica has long been a concern to the occupational health profession, the minerals industry, and the regulatory community (MSHA). The current emphasis and increased enforcement of CFR 56.5002 is meant to hold your company accountable for proper and systematic monitoring of the workplace environment and the respiratory health status of your employees for the purpose of adequately protecting the workforce from the effects of overexposure to respirable crystalline silica.

Educate everyone…


Your company’s safety training program should provide a general review of respiratory health effects and the various routes by which airborne silica can exert its adverse influence on the respiratory system. It should describe the symptoms of overexposure. And finally, your safety training should reference the health risks associated with exposure to respirable crystalline silica.

Workplace dust sampling surveys can be conducted by an industrial hygienist or a non industrial hygienist such as a laboratory technician, quality control analyst, safety officer, or a similar person within the company (Safety Training Resources).

Dust sampling methods are to be both qualitative and quantitative.

While initial dust sampling is used to identify jobs, areas and equipment that may need dust control attention, in most work environments initial dust sampling is rarely sufficient to reliably reflect actual long-term worker exposure. To compensate for variation in dust levels, re-sampling is most always required. Re-sampling is conducted for a variety of reasons, such as gauging the efficiency of dust controls when introduced or modified, documenting the effect of process changes, and as a means to more reliably document worker exposure over time. MSHA has suggested that the minimum standard should be 2 employees being monitored twice per year.

Your company needs to establish dust controls when sampling indicates the need. Commonly applied dust control techniques intended to minimize respirable crystalline silica exposures begin with personal respiratory protection and end with substitution and engineering practices.

Empower with a purpose…

Safety Training Resources is prepared to help your company implement and manage your occupational health program for respirable dust. We have the knowledge and equipment to minimize the risk of overexposure and compliance. Act Now!