ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR SAFETY NEWS Mike Huckabee, Governor Vol. 27, No.3 3 Fall, 2004 James L. Salkeld, Director FEDERAL OSHA PROPOSES $95,000 IN FINES FOR STATE COMPANY A local utility installation company 9s alleged failure to protect employees from trenching and excavation hazards has resulted in proposed penalties of $95,000 from the U.S.
Department of Labor 9s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), following the investigation of an accident in March. D irector of Labor James L. Salkeld presents Linda Kimes, Co-chair of the Standing Safety Committee at the Whirlpool-Fort Smith Division w ith th e f ir s t El eve n Milli o n W o rk H ou r s A wa r d ea rn ed in th e s t a t e.
The contracting company, which installs water, sewer and utility lines, employs about 30 workers. It was cited for alleged serious, willful and other violations of safety standards. OSHA 9s inspection began March 4 at the company 9s Little Rock worksite after an employee was seriously injured when a track hoe ran over his legs, resulting in the amputation of his leg.
Two weeks later, while in the hospital, the worker died of a heart ... more. less.
attack. WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION IN FORT SMITH IS THE RECIPIENT OF THE FIRST ELEVEN MILLION WORK HOURS SAFETY AWARD E mployees of the Whirlpool Corporation in Fort Smith, Arkansas were presented with the state 9s first Eleven Million Work Hours Safety Award on July 14 at their plant. Approximately 4,300 employees accumulated 11,008,114 work hours without a lost day away from work due to a work related injury or illness between March 10, 2003 and June 16, 2004.<br><br> The company has had a safety program in effect for over 30 years and a 15-member safety committee made up of both employees and management. Three willful citations were issued for failing to ensure adequate precautions were taken to remove accumulated water from the excavation, failing to ensure that a competent person with knowledge of excavation hazards was present at the worksite and failing to ensure that workers were properly protected from cave-ins. OSHA issues a willful citation (continued on page 3-see FINES) The only other company in the state to receive a Ten Million Work Hours Award other than Whirlpool was Butterball Turkey Company in Huntsville in March 2002.<br><br> The Arkansas Department of Labor, the Arkansas Workers 9 Compensation Commission and the Arkansas Insurance Department are proud to present safety awards to Arkansas companies who excel in occupational safety and health. For information on how your company can become eligible, contact Ann Sanders at the Arkansas Department of Labor at 501-682-4329 or e-mail email@example.com OSHA BEGINS WORKING WITH ARKANSAS 9 RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY B ack in June, the Little Rock area office of the U.S. Department of Labor 9s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced special efforts this summer to improve job safety and health in the residential construction industry in Arkansas.<br><br> cAn important objective of this special emphasis program is to reduce work-related fatalities, injuries and illnesses among the large Hispanic workforce in the state 9s residential construction industry, d said John Miles, OSHA regional administrator in Dallas. OSHA 9s Little Rock office focused their resources on local factors that have contributed to serious injuries or fatalities. Other program objectives included motivating workers and employers to emphasize safety; encouraging the involvement of employees in analyzing and eliminating hazards; and establishing sound safety and health programs in English and Spanish that cover the full range of work practices used by local companies.<br><br> Construction has long been recognized as a high-hazard industry. OSHA usually focuses its resources on larger commercial projects, and inspects residential construction sites mainly in response to workers 9 complaints or accidents. From October 1999 through July 2003, there were 458 construction-related fatalities in OSHA 9s five-state Dallas region.<br><br> About 13 percent (59) involved residential work. The region covers Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Paul Hansen, OSHA 9s area director in Little Rock, and Clark Thomas, Safety Administrator with the Arkansas Department of Labor recently met with home builders in North Arkansas to discuss inspections of home construction sites in the state, which began September 1.<br><br> ERGONOMICS GUIDELINES ANNOUNCED FOR POULTRY PROCESSING INDUSTRY Hansen focused on the inspections themselves, whereas Thomas discussed the free consultation service offered by the Arkansas Department of Labor whereby employers can find out about potential hazards at their worksites, improve their occupational safety and health management systems, and even qualify for a one-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections. E mployers and workers in the poultry processing industry have a set of guidelines to draw on to help reduce ergonomic- related injuries, OSHA Administrator John Henshaw announced September 2. Guidelines for Poultry Processing offers practical recommendations for employers to reduce the number and severity of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) throughout the industry.<br><br> Thomas also discussed free training that is available across the state to better educate the residential construction industry on OSHA 9s requirements. To set up training, or for more information on the state 9s free consultation program, call Clark Thomas at 501-682-4522, or e- mail Thomas.firstname.lastname@example.org cMost poultry processing facilities have made substantial efforts to address work-related MSDs, d Henshaw said. cThose results demonstrate that methods are available to better protect workers from injury during poultry processing operations.<br><br> The guidelines we 9re announcing today will not hinder those efforts; on the contrary, they incorporate many of those successful solutions. d Residential construction workers may also benefit from a new web page , Residential Construction Safety and Health , which is a product of OSHA 9s Alliance with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The new page features information about OSHA standards and the hazards present in residential construction. It also provides detailed information and links to related OSHA enforcement policies, such as directives and interpretation letters; various electronic assistance Tools; and training courses related to residential construction.<br><br> cThese are voluntary guidelines intended to build upon progress made in the poultry processing industry, d Henshaw emphasized. cWe will continue working with those who 9ve helped us deliver this important product 3 individual firms in the industry, trade and professional associations, labor organizations, and the medical community 3 to reduce ergonomic-related injuries, which is always our principal goal. d Employers and workers can access information that can be used to develop and implement safety and health programs and link to sites that identify the hazards of residential construction and possible solutions to those hazards at www.osha.gov. You may access a copy of the poultry processing guidelines at www.osha.gov/ergonomics/guideli nes/poultryprocessing/poultryall- in-one.pdf SAVE A TREE BY SIGNING UP FOR SAFETY NEWS BY E-MAIL Just send the information from your mailing label along with your e-mail address to: Sharon.Adams@Arkansas.gov RECOGNITION PROGRAM FOR MINERS BEGUN By Bonita Stocks T he Holmes Safety Association in cooperation with the National Mine Safety and Health Administration has launched the Professional Miner Recognition Program.<br><br> With this program, individual miners will be recognized for their help in making the mining industry a safer and healthier place to work. The initiative goals are to: Recognize all miners for their safety and health efforts Make safety and health a source of pride among miners Encourage individual miners to take an active role in safety and health at their mine Improve the communication of safety and health messages directly to individual miners, and Increase participation in their local Holmes Safety Association District Councils. A self-nominating process allows individual miners to apply for the Professional Miner status.<br><br> Miners can apply for one of three different levels by completing the information in the Professional Miner Recognition Brochure or by going to the JAHSA website http://holmessafety.org The three levels are: 1. Professional Miner Silver Level 3 miners with no lost time injuries over the past three years. 2.<br><br> Professional Miner Gold Level 3 miners with no reportable injuries over the past three years. 3. Professional Miner Platinum Level 3 miners with no reportable injuries over the past five years.<br><br> Professional miners will pledge to serve as positive role models for other miners and as mentors for new miners. By recognizing csafety and health as values d they will work to ensure a safe, healthy, alcohol and drug free workplace for themselves and others, and promote and participate in health and safety initiatives. Each Professional Miner will receive a certificate suitable for framing, recognizing the miner as a member of the organization; pocket ID card, patch and/or sticker identifying them as a Professional Miner, and important safety and health information via e-mail or direct mailing.<br><br> For more information on the program, contact Bonita Stocks at (501) 682-4520 or e-mail email@example.com FINES (contd. from page 1) when there is evidence of the intentional violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act or plain indifference to its requirements. Two alleged serious violations involved failure to properly train and protect workers from excavation hazards and failure to provide adequate egress.<br><br> A serious citation is issued 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. Two other citations were issued for failing to report an employee accident and failing to ensure employees were properly trained on hazardous materials. Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call the OSHA Little Rock area office at (501) 324-6291.<br><br> OSHA 9s toll-free hotline number may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers at 1- 800-321-6742. S AFETY NEWS A quarterly publication of the Arkansas Department of Labor, 10421 West Markham, Little Rock, Arkansas 72205-2190, phone (501) 682-4500, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternate formats are available upon request.<br><br> No information published herein should be construed as substituting for policy directives sent through regular channels to personnel. J AMES L. S ALKELD , D IRECTOR J EANETTE D ONAHUE , E DITOR If you would like your name off the mailing list or know someone who would like to be added, if your name/address/company has changed, or you would like to receive the newsletter by e-mail instead of U.S.<br><br> Mail, please let us know. _______Add my name _______Remove my name _______Change my information (please include old label) _______E-mail Safety News Name and title ________________________________________ Organization________________________________________________________________________ Mailing Address _____________________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip ______________________________________________________________________ E-mail Address______________________________________________________________________ GAS PUMP SHOCK POSES DANGER TO HEALTH A nd no, I 9m not just talking about the price of fuel! With cool weather upon us, there is an added risk of fires occurring at gas pumps due to a build up of static electricity.<br><br> The American Petroleum Institute and the Petroleum Equipment Institute have reminded motorist to avoid potential problems with static electricity at the gas pump by staying outside the vehicle during refueling, and to follow all safe refueling practices during their weekly routine gasoline tank fill- up. Static electricity may build up when a motorist re-enters their vehicle during fueling and slides across the seat. When the motorist returns to the nozzle, the static may discharge at the fill point, potentially igniting gasoline vapors and causing a flash or a small sustained fire.<br><br> Potential problems with static electricity at the pump may occur any time of year, but most typically incidents have occurred when the air is cool and dry. The primary way consumers can avoid static electricity problems at the gas pump is to stay outside the vehicle while refueling. If you must re-enter your vehicle during refueling, be sure to discharge any static that may have built up before reaching for the nozzle.<br><br> Static may be safely discharged by touching a metal part of the vehicle, such as the vehicle door, or some other metal surface, away from the nozzle, with a bare hand. While static electricity-caused fires at the gas pump are rare, if one occurs, leave the nozzle in the fill pipe of the vehicle and back away. Leaving the nozzle in the vehicle will prevent any fire from becoming much more dangerous.<br><br> Notify the station attendant immediately to shut off all dispensing devices and pumps. Another potential problem at the gas pump occurs when dispensing gasoline into a container. A few tips: Use only an approved portable container and place it on the ground when filling in order to avoid a possible static electricity ignition of fuel vapors.<br><br> Containers should never be filled while inside a vehicle or its trunk, the bed of a pickup truck or the floor of a trailer. Manually control the nozzle valve throughout the filling process, filling it slowly to decrease the chance of static electricity buildup. Keep the nozzle in contact with the rim of the container opening while refueling.<br><br> Fill no more than 95 percent to allow for expansion, and cap tightly.