Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Integrating Occupational Safety & Health into Green and Sustainability

The following represents OSHA's desire to integrate Occupational health and safety into green / LEED / Sustainable building.  This is not a large leap, as green building should fall under the category of building in general. As "All jobs should be safe jobs", it follows that green jobs should be no exception.

Making Green Jobs Safe:
Integrating Occupational Safety & Health into Green and Sustainability

Washington, DC
Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I want to express my thanks to NIOSH for organizing this timely and visionary workshop, and for inviting OSHA to be a participating partner.

Thanks to all the participants for your hard work, innovative thinking and contributions over the past two days. As we tackle the challenging issues discussed in this workshop, OSHA will continue to solicit your ideas.

As you're aware, I was just sworn in last week as Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA. I think it's very fitting and proper that my first speech as Assistant Secretary should address the issue of green jobs - what green jobs mean for the earth, for our economy and for American workers.

We're all aware of the job opportunities that green jobs offer, and in the present economy, new technologies with the potential of new jobs are especially welcome.

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis recently announced nearly $55 million in green job grants, authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. These grants will support job training and labor market information programs to help workers, many in underserved communities, find jobs in expanding green industries and related occupations.

But in addition to job opportunities, there are many concerns that we need to consider - which is why you have gathered here this week.

Secretary Solis has provided the Department of Labor with her vision, which is simply and profoundly: "Good jobs for everyone." And everyone at this conference understands all too well that green jobs cannot be good jobs unless they are safe jobs.

This goes for sustainable jobs as well. They, too, must also be safe jobs.

Dr. Christine Branche challenged us all in her remarks to begin the process of integrating safety and health into green jobs by taking critical steps: defining categorizing and tracking green jobs; evaluating green jobs, processes, and products; planning for early prevention; and adding safety and health to green benchmarks.

From what I've just heard this morning, you've taken that challenge seriously. You've identified a full agenda of research, policy, practices, and educational solutions to advance each of these steps, not just in workplaces where green jobs occur but in all workplaces.

I'd like to echo what many speakers here have said: Tackling green jobs, which are a priority for this administration, provides us an opportunity to transform - not just change - all workplaces. I believe we must take this bold approach.

Repeatedly at this conference, a possible solution cited was "Life cycle assessments" and consideration for worker exposure throughout a "green product's life cycle" or a "green technology's life cycle." This is a powerful way to integrate worker safety and health into short- and long-term decision making. I'll be very interested to see how this concept is practically applied in each of the industries that you examined over the last few days.

I've heard that, during this conference and during breakout sessions, you discussed ways to engage workers in occupational safety and health - in construction, infrastructure and re-purposing; manufacturing and emerging technologies; energy and mining; agriculture, forestry and fishing; and waste management and recycling.

I agree with you. Workers should play a central role in safety and health.

I also heard that you worked in small groups to better understand the full scale of the "green" economy. We could say that we're witnessing a Green Revolution where new applications and emerging technologies promise to transform the economy.

We could also say that we're witnessing the blossoming of a Green Movement. More and more citizens here and around the world are developing awareness and demanding long-term stewardship of resources. As occupational safety and health professionals, it's our mandate to ensure that worker health and safety is not left out of this historic change.

Speakers noted a sense of rush in the green economy. Employers who race into this green economy without paying attention to worker safety will blunder into many preventable injuries and deaths.

We can't afford this. We can't allow this to happen.

We must use our knowledge and skills to identify potential hazards as they emerge. We can't wait years for hazards to be completely characterized, to let industries shift their responsibility or defer workplace protections by producing "doubt" instead of actively practicing prevention.

It is vital, now, that we integrate worker safety and health concerns into green manufacturing, green construction and green energy. Most importantly: We must push worker health and safety as a critical, necessary, and recognized element of green design, green lifecycle analysis and green contracts.

It's not a matter of choosing either a green future or safe jobs. It's both. It's all or nothing, and NIOSH, OSHA and everyone else needs to play a role in building this sustainable economy - an economy that will provide sufficient jobs, green jobs, and jobs that are safe for all workers.

Here is where we start: Most people instinctively see green jobs as safe. But at OSHA, when we hear "weatherization and renovation," we see exposure to lead and asbestos. When we hear insulation, we think isocyanate exposure. When we hear rooftop solar power, we see fall hazards. When we hear wind energy, we see lockout hazards.

It's small wonder that some call OSHA the "Debbie Downer" of federal agencies.

But there are even more fundamental issues - and these present problems as well as opportunities. You're all aware of the industrial hygiene hierarchy of controls. What's at the very top of that hierarchy? Substitution.

This means exchanging a safe, clean chemical for a hazardous one. But, we also all know that, all too often, substitution is an unreachable panacea - because the safer chemical may be too expensive or may not quite fit the job's technical needs, or because we don't have enough information to know which chemicals are actually safe.

Let me give one example that's causing our standards people fits: Diacetyl. We know that exposure to certain levels of this chemical - used in food flavorings like popcorn - destroy workers' lungs. Some companies have introduced "substitutes." You can't see it in my notes, but I've put "substitutes" in quotes, because some of these "substitutes" are so chemically close to diacetyl that they really need to be classified as diacetyl. Other food flavoring additives may be further away chemically; they're not diacetyl, but they haven't been tested adequately to determine the health hazards they may present.

So, then, does it make sense to regulate diacetyl alone? Does it make sense to develop a standard or Permissible Exposure Limit, or just require engineering controls? Does it make sense to do all this work on diacetyl when we really need to be addressing a broader class of chemicals: "food flavoring additives"?

This is piecemeal protection. It's inefficient, incomplete, and inadequate.

I have a vision of a greener world where there is full and complete hazard information available for every chemical and every chemical mixture; where science is at work not only to make more effective and more profitable chemicals, but safer chemicals, too. I dream of a world where workers can collaborate on an equal basis with management to find safe chemicals and develop and implement processes that won't put workers in danger.

There's an enormous chasm to bridge between the ideal future and the imperfect present. Today we suspect that at least a couple of thousand high-use chemicals out there may present some threat to worker health. Yet, OSHA currently regulates about 500 chemicals, based mostly on science from the 1950s and 1960s. How many chemical standards has OSHA issued in the past 12 years? Two - and one of these two only came about because of a court order! We haven't been keeping up with the science.

So, not only are we lacking critical information about the hazards of many chemicals, but we have virtually no information about the hazards of chemical mixtures.

If we don't pay attention at the dawn of this new green revolution, we'll be replicating past problems as we move into future industries. I'm making it my mission and OSHA's mission to ensure this doesn't happen.

Clearly one of the best ways to move forward on worker safety at the same time that we move forward on green jobs is to ensure that workers are more engaged in the work process and in the development of green jobs. It's clear that we must move toward a permanent system where employers and workers come together, on a basis of mutual respect, to assess and abate hazards. This is OSHA's "Green Reform Principle Number One."

I've long advocated that every employer establish a Comprehensive Workplace Safety and Health Program that features management leadership, worker participation, and structure that fosters continual improvement. While thousands of responsible employers already operate this way with excellent results, many other employers haven't gotten the message.

Another part of the big picture is chemical safety, as I outlined earlier. This is Principle Number Two. For example, the European Community's REACH program will provide industry and American workers with more and better information about the chemicals they are exposed to. More important, REACH is also, finally, challenging the old paradigm where chemicals are considered innocent until proven guilty - and all too often proven guilty by the sick and dead bodies of American workers.

The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals will also contribute consistency, efficiency, and more and better information - leading to greater worker safety and health.

Congress is working closely with the EPA and Lisa Jackson to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Now, if this administration and this Congress can see fit to move forward with TSCA reform, is there any reason we shouldn't move forward at the same time to reform the way worker exposure to chemicals is regulated and controlled? I don't think so, and I hope to ensure that OSHA participates with NIOSH and EPA in all discussions about chemical regulation in this country.

Progress has not come easy for American workers. Improvements in safety conditions did not come because a politician thought it would be a good idea, or a scientist decided that a chemical was too dangerous.

Every incremental improvement in working conditions has been earned with the blood and broken bones of working people, as a result of the battles fought - some won and some lost - in thousands of workplaces and union halls across the country.

Too many of those advances came too late, only after we counted the bodies destroyed by workplace hazards that could have been prevented.

As we build the green industries of the future, we can break this tragic pattern; we can learn from history; we can move from reaction to prevention.

As green industries grow, OSHA will be fully involved in the movement toward Prevention through Design. This is OSHA's Green Reform Principle Number Three. Prevention through Design is about fundamental change that integrates safety efficiently and thoroughly.

Prevention through Design asks: Why should we go back and expend precious time and resources retrofitting hazardous industries to make them safer when we have the ability and the opportunity to begin fresh and make work safe from start to finish?

I don't have the answers to all these problems. In fact, right now I'm still concentrating on the questions. But it's clear that your help is absolutely essential to ensure that we're not only asking the right questions but also using this important time in our history to make major progress toward good answers.

Once we have some of those answers, what will we do with this knowledge?

OSHA has been fortunate in 2010 to receive a substantial budget increase - enough to significantly increase the number of inspectors we can put into the field. Armed with answers to some of the problems we've finding in green jobs, this can save a lot of lives and prevent many illnesses.

Still, we haven't nearly enough inspectors to visit even high hazard workplaces on any kind of a regular basis - unless you count decades as a "regular basis." In addition despite the best daily efforts of our able field staff, workplace hazards are changing while our standards haven't kept up.

There's only so much a dedicated inspector can do when many of our standards are out of date.

This leads us to Principle Number Four: Where, and when possible, OSHA must move ahead on rulemaking for urgently needed standards - and to create good standards, we'll need the input of scientists and engineers, academics, students and workers. We'll also need allies in the progressive business community who will say "yes" to sensible changes and participate in the rulemaking process with constructive comments and insight.

OSHA's Green Reform Principle Number Five: Enhancing workers' voice in the workplace. To get us up to date and move into a safer, healthier future, it's also clear that workers must have a stronger voice in workplace safety than they have now. Giving that voice impact and value means that workers must have much better information about their rights, the hazards they face and controls for those hazards.

OSHA is trying to make this happen. Very soon, we'll announce a new round of Susan Harwood training grants. One major new subject of these grants will be Green Jobs.

Another way to enhance workers voices is to ensure that they receive accurate information. Accurate injury and illness statistics are essential for workers and employers to be able to identify workplace hazards. OSHA also needs accurate numbers to ensure that we focus our scarce resources where the most problems are.

As you may be aware, numerous studies and Congressional hearings have cast serious doubt on the accuracy of workplace injury and illness reporting.

A recent Government Accountability Office study confirmed those problems, but also noted serious concerns about incentive and disciplinary programs that discourage workers from reporting injuries and illnesses.

Most upsetting was a GAO finding that a high percentage of health care providers reported being pressured by employers to under-diagnose and under-treat workers and otherwise manipulate information to avoid reporting injuries and illnesses on the OSHA log. This is irresponsible and unacceptable.

To ensure the accuracy of injury and illness numbers, OSHA has launched a focused National Emphasis Program. We'll also take a hard look at incentive and disciplinary programs to ensure that they do not discourage workers from reporting.

Ultimately, of course, counting injuries, illnesses and fatalities is counting failure. The more we design safety into the workplace the less we'll have to worry about injury and illness statistics.

So, here we have some overarching principles to carry us and carry OSHA into the future.

It's been OSHA's pleasure to participate in this workshop. Thanks to your contributions now and in the future, we can look forward to developing a reliable roadmap to help employers drive their industries in the proper direction - toward a safe and healthful future.

The challenge now is to get everyone else on board across the Nation. We need to make the expression "green jobs" synonymous with "safe jobs" - because green jobs are good jobs only when they are safe jobs.

Thank you.
I hope you have enjoyed this.  For more information visit

OSHA Mandated safety cards and training courses

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

US Department of Labor certifies approximately 4,000 Ohio workers in auto-related industries as eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance

Certification includes workers at 5 Delphi facilities across Ohio, Cleveland Casting Plant

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced that nearly 4,000 workers in auto-related industries across Ohio are eligible to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA).

The certification includes workers at five Delphi Ohio facilities in Howland, Warren, Rootstown, Vienna and Cortland counties, as well as workers at Cleveland Casting Plant in Cleveland, Ohio.

"Over the years, our nation has benefited immensely from the work and dedication of those employed in auto-related industries across Ohio," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Trade Adjustment Assistance is one way we can support these workers as they seek re-employment in promising regional industries that pay family-supporting wages."

"These TAA certifications will allow these auto workers to access much needed resources," said Dr. Ed Montgomery, executive director of the White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers. "The White House council's priority is to work with Secretary Solis and other members of the administration to cut red tape so that workers and communities get the assistance they need today, while trying to create opportunities for growth and revitalization."

Workers covered by these certifications will be contacted by their respective states with instructions on how to apply for individual benefits and services. Those who do apply may receive case management and re-employment services, training in new occupational skills and trade readjustment allowances that provide income support for workers enrolled in training. Some workers may also receive job search and relocation allowances and the Health Coverage Tax Credit.

Workers 50 years of age and older may elect to receive Re-employment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA), which was created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. If a worker obtains new employment at wages less than $55,000 and less than those earned in adversely affected employment, the RTAA program will pay 50 percent of the difference between the old wage and the new wage, up to $12,000 over a two-year period. RTAA participants may also be eligible for retraining and the Health Coverage Tax Credit.

For more information on Trade Adjustment Assistance and the range of Department of Labor employment and training services, visit
10 hour osha online course

Shop for Dog Runs now. This site is listed under Services Directory

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

OSHA Fall 2009 Regulatory Priorities

OSHA's Fall 2009 Regulatory Priorities

The Secretary's vision of Good Jobs for Everyone requires a safe and healthy workplace for all workers. OSHA's regulatory program is designed to help workers and employers identify and control hazards in the workplace and prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities. OSHA's current regulatory program demonstrates a renewed commitment to worker protection.

OSHA's major projects to implement the Secretary's vision are:

Airborne Infectious Diseases
Airborne infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and influenza can be spread from person-to-person. OSHA is interested in protecting the nation's 13 million healthcare workers from airborne infectious diseases. Healthcare-acquired infections are on the rise and there are also increasing levels of drug-resistant microorganisms in healthcare settings. Most current infection control efforts are intended primarily for patient protection and not for worker protection. In March 2010, OSHA intends to publish a Request for Information to help examine how to improve worker protection from exposure to airborne diseases.

Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements (Musculoskeletal Disorders)
OSHA is proposing to revise its regulation on Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (Recordkeeping) to restore a column on the OSHA 300 Injury and Illness Log that employers will check when recording work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The MSD data from the column will help about 750,000 employers and 40 million workers track injuries at individual workplaces, and improve the Nation's occupational injury and illness information data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The MSD column was removed from the OSHA 300 Log in 2003. The Agency will issue a proposed rule in January 2010.

Cranes and Derricks
More than 80 workers lose their lives each year in crane-related fatalities. OSHA's existing rule, which dates back to 1971, is partly based on industry consensus standards that are over 40 years old. On October 9, 2008, OSHA issued a comprehensive proposed revision of the Cranes and Derricks standard. The proposed rule addresses electrocution hazards, crushing and struck-by hazards, overturning, procedures for ensuring that the weight of the load is within the crane's rated capacity, and ensures that crane operators have the required knowledge and skills by requiring independent verification of operator ability. This year, OSHA completed the public hearing and comment phase of the process and is now analyzing the public's input and preparing the final rule. OSHA plans to issue the final rule in July 2010.

Crystalline Silica
Inhalation of respirable silica dust can cause lung disease, silicosis and lung cancer. Exposure to airborne silica dust occurs in operations involving cutting, sawing, drilling and crushing of concrete, brick, block and other stone products, and in operations using sand products (e.g., in glass manufacturing and sand blasting). One study estimated that there may be as many as 7,000 new cases of chronic silicosis each year. This rulemaking will update existing permissible exposure limits and establish additional provisions to protect workers from exposures to respirable crystalline silica dust. OSHA plans to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in July 2010.

Combustible Dust
Combustible dust can cause catastrophic explosions like the 2008 disaster at the Imperial Sugar refinery that killed 14 workers and seriously injured dozens more. Deadly combustible dust fires and explosions can be caused by a wide array of materials and processes in a large number of industries. Materials that may form combustible dust include wood, coal, plastics, spice, starch, flour, feed, grain, fertilizer, tobacco, paper, soap, rubber, drugs, dyes, certain textiles, and metals. While a number of OSHA standards address aspects of this hazard, the Agency does not have a comprehensive standard that addresses combustible dust. OSHA is engaged in the early stages of rulemaking to develop a combustible dust standard for general industry. OSHA published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in October 2009 and is preparing to hold stakeholder meetings in December 2009.

Hazard Communication Standard - Global Harmonization System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals
OSHA and other U.S. agencies have been involved in a long-term project to negotiate a globally harmonized approach to informing workers about chemical hazards. The result is the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). OSHA is revising its Hazard Communication Standard to make it consistent with the GHS. The new standard will include more specific requirements for hazard classification, as well as standardized label components which will provide consistent information and definitions for hazardous chemicals and a standard approach to conveying information on material safety data sheets. On September 30, OSHA published the proposal and is preparing for hearings in March 2010.

Beryllium is a lightweight metal that has a wide variety of applications, including aerospace, telecommunications and defense applications. Chronic beryllium disease occurs when people inhale beryllium dust or fumes and can take anywhere from a few months to 30 years to develop. The disease is caused by an immune system reaction to beryllium metal, and causes symptoms such as persistent coughing, difficulty breathing upon physical exertion, fatigue, chest and joint pain, weight loss, and fevers. OSHA is developing a rule that would update the Permissible Exposure Limit and establish additional provisions to protect exposed workers. Currently, the Agency is preparing to conduct a peer review of the health effects and risk assessments and plans on initiating the peer review in March 2010.

Employee exposure to diacetyl causes obstructive airway disease, including the disabling and sometimes fatal lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans or “popcorn lung.” This rulemaking will establish a Permissible Exposure Limit as well as additional provisions to protect workers from exposure to diacetyl. OSHA held a stakeholder meeting on diacetyl in 2007 and completed the small business review panel report in July 2009. OSHA is currently working on the proposed regulatory text and developing the health, risk and feasibility analysis. The Agency plans to initiate a peer review of the health effects and risk assessments in October 2010.

Walking / Working Surfaces - Subparts D & I
This proposed standard will update OSHA's rules covering slip, trip and fall hazards and establish requirements for personal fall protection systems. The rule affects almost every non-construction worker in the United States. This is an important rulemaking because it addresses hazards that result in numerous deaths and thousands of injuries every year. The proposal is expected to prevent 20 workplace fatalities per year and over 3,500 injuries serious enough to result in days away from work. The Agency plans to issue a proposal in March 2010.

Online OSHA 10 Hour Training
Online OSHA 30 Hour Training

Thursday, December 3, 2009

10 Hour Construction State Laws Pt. 1

MISSOURI - August 28, 2009

This is extracted from Missouri's Summary of the Truly Agreed Version of the Bill.  It essentially states that all workers on a public work project must be OSHA 10-hour certified.  Failure to meet this requirment will result in a heft fine courtesy of OSHA.  This law is now in effect.
Contractors and subcontractors who contract to work on public works projects must provide a 10-hour OSHA construction safety program, or similar program approved by the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, to be completed by their on-site employees within 60 days of beginning work on the construction project. Contractors and subcontractors in violation of this provision will forfeit to the public body $2,500 plus $100 a day for each employee who is employed without training. Public bodies and contractors may withhold assessed penalties from the payment due to those contractors and subcontractors.

View the rest of the bill here.

NEW YORK - July 18, 2008
New York's law only required OSHA 10 training on public jobs with a total contractual value of $250,000.00 or more.  Laborers, workers and mechanics working on the site must have OSHA 10-hour training. This law is currently under effect.
OSHA 10-hour Construction
Safety and Health Course – S1537-A
This provision is an addition to the existing prevailing wage rate law, Labor Law §220, section 220-h. It requires that on all public work projects of at least $250,000.00, all laborers, workers and mechanics working on the site, be certified as having successfully completed the OSHA 10-hour construction safety and health course. It further requires that the advertised bids and contracts for every public work contract of at least $250,000.00, contain a provision of this requirement.

NEVADA - January 1, 2010

Nevada requires all supervisors to take OSHA 30-hour training within 15 days of being hired, and all other workers to recieve OSHA 10-hour training withing 15 days of being hired.  This bill forces employers to to suspend or fire any workers on a public job site that cannot show of having taken the course.  All employers who do not act accordingly within 15 days will recieve a fine.  According to this, employers have the option of providing an alternative to the OSHA 10 and 30 courses.  This law will be effective starting January 1, 2010.

Assembly Bill No. 148–Committee on Commerce and Labor

AN ACT relating to occupational safety; requiring employees on a construction site to receive certain health and safety training; and providing other matters properly relating thereto. Legislative Counsel’s Digest:

Section 10 of this bill requires: (1) supervisory employees working on a construction site to complete a specified 30-hour health and safety course not later than 15 days after being hired; and (2) all other construction workers working on the construction site to complete a specified 10-hour course not later than 15 days after being hired.
Section 8 of this bill requires the Division of Industrial Relations of the Department of Business and Industry to adopt regulations approving courses which may be used to fulfill the requirements of section 10.
Section 8.5 of this bill requires providers of approved courses to display the card evidencing their authorization by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the United States Department of Labor to provide such a course at the location at which the course is being provided.
Section 11 of this bill requires employers to suspend or terminate the employment of an employee on a construction site who fails to provide proof of obtaining the required training not later than 15 days after being hired.
Section 12 of this bill provides for administrative fines for employers who fail to suspend or terminate certain employees on a construction site after the 15-day period if those employees have not obtained the required training.
Section 15 of this bill: (1) allows employees to satisfy the requirements of section 10 of this bill by completing an alternative course offered by their employer; (2) requires an employee that satisfies the requirements of section 10 by completing an alternative course to take an approved course before January 1, 2011; and (3) requires an employer to maintain and make available to the Division of Industrial Relations a record of all employees that have completed an alternative course until a date to be established by the Division by Regulation.
View the rest here.

How long will it be until OSHA courses are mandatory in your State? 
Online OSHA 10 Hour Training
Online OSHA 30 Hour Training

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Introducing The Official OSHA Updater Widget!

It has happened.  We finally got our own widget.  Use the OSHA Updater widget to keep you informed from your desktop or elsewhere.  Thanks to widgetbox for the easy widget creator tools.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lower Prices on HAZWOPER Courses.

I'm please to announce that Easy Safety School will be lowering it's prices on HAZWOPER courses.  Now you can get your HAZWOPER training and certification for an all new rock-bottem price.  Here are the new prices.

  • HAZWOPER 40 Hour: $349.95  (down from 379.00)
  • HAZWOPER 24 Hour: $199.95 (down from 229.00)
  • 8 Hour Refresher: $39.95 (down from 79.00)
  • 8 Hour Refresher + Study Guide: $49.95
  • 8 Hour Refresher + Bloodborne OR Excavations Module: $59.95
  • 8 Hour Refresher + Bloodborne OR Excavations Module + Study Guide: $79.95
Merry Christmas...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How to Be Unsafe | Funny Safety Pictures

Every once in a while you have to do a google search for funny safety pictures.  I have compiled a "Best of the Hilarious and Shockingly Unsafe Pictures".  And now... In no particular order...

#1  Power Tools on Ladder in Pool While Barefoot

This is a personal favorite of mine.  Note the subtle display of alcoholic beverages located in the bottom left.  At least he saw fit to wear protective eye wear.

#2  The Ol' Wood Cutting Near the Genitals Routine

Sometimes you've got to cut wood, and sometimes you've got to do it near where you know it can really do some damage.  You might also want to take your shirts off and have huge beards.

#3 Because Why Not?

Tired of those hot lunch breaks?  Need shade, but want it to be heavier?  You need one of these!!!   The heaviest shade you can get.  It even comes with reluctant guy to help keep your shady area uncrowded.

#4  Power Prop

As you can probably tell, this guy likes working on his truck, but he hates getting his shirt dirty.  I'm thinking 3 seconds later his shirt probably got real dirty.

#5  Tandom Power Ladder for Men

Come on...  I mean, maybe it would be safe enough for one person, but this is too much.  Also,  is that a denim skirt or some real short shorts?  Maybe it's some new couples therapy technique.

#6  Oops!

You probably can't tell by the pictures, but just inside that warehouse is someone saying, "I don't know... I just found it like that..."

#7  Real Dedication

Some people are just that dedicated to the art of gardening.  Though, gas prices are at an all-time low...

#8  The Roof Danglers

What?  They love dangling...  Get over it.

#9  The Danglers Revisited

The Danglers are back!  Only this time they've hired a designated poker guy.  He just sits there and pokes yah', and he's real good at it.

#10  Homemade Ladder's by Henry

I'm assuming they cleared it through OSHA before climbing to the top of that thing.  Then again,  it kind of looks like an amateur design.

Well that does it for this installment of How to Be Unsafe - A Picture Story.  I hope you have enjoyed it.  This is the one time I might say... "Don't get any ideas.

Easy Safety School provides OSHA 10 and 30 Hour safety training.

New Location for The Osha Updater

I'm proud to announce that we have moved The OSHA Updater from its address to our own domain!  It can now be found at  Keep checking back for more current safety related news, opinions, videos, jokes, and more!

Monday, November 16, 2009

US Department of Labor's OSHA provides workplace H1N1 influenza

New Web site offers fact sheets with practical information

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued commonsense fact sheets that employers and workers can use to promote safety during the current H1N1 influenza outbreak.

The fact sheets inform employers and workers about ways to reduce the risk of exposure to the 2009 H1N1 virus at work. Separate fact sheets for health care workers, who carry out tasks and activities that require close contact with 2009 H1N1 patients, contain additional precautions.

"Protecting our nation's workers is OSHA's top priority," said Jordan Barab, the agency's acting assistant secretary. "These fact sheets are tools we have developed to help ensure America's workers stay healthy and our businesses remain viable. OSHA's new fact sheets will help all employers identify appropriate actions to protect their workers."

OSHA's "Workplace Safety and H1N1" Web site provides easy to understand information appropriate for all workplaces and more extensive guidance for those involved in higher risk health care activities. The fact sheets are advisory in nature and informational in content.

As new information about the 2009 H1N1 virus becomes available, these workplace fact sheets will be updated. Employers and workers should review OSHA's site often to ensure they have the most up-to-date information when making decisions about their operations and planning.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information about the agency, visit

osha 10

US Department of Labors OSHA issues record-breaking fines to BP

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today announced it is issuing $87,430,000 in proposed penalties to BP Products North America Inc. for the company's failure to correct potential hazards faced by employees. The fine is the largest in OSHA's history. The prior largest total penalty, $21 million, was issued in 2005, also against BP.

Safety violations at BP's Texas City, Texas, refinery resulted in a massive explosion — with 15 deaths and 170 people injured – in March of 2005. BP entered into a settlement agreement with OSHA in September of that year, under which the company agreed to corrective actions to eliminate potential hazards similar to those that caused the 2005 tragedy. Today's announcement comes at the conclusion of a six-month inspection by OSHA, designed to evaluate the extent to which BP has complied with its obligations under the 2005 agreement and OSHA standards.

"When BP signed the OSHA settlement from the March 2005 explosion, it agreed to take comprehensive action to protect employees. Instead of living up to that commitment, BP has allowed hundreds of potential hazards to continue unabated," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Fifteen people lost their lives as a result of the 2005 tragedy, and 170 others were injured. An $87 million fine won't restore those lives, but we can't let this happen again. Workplace safety is more than a slogan. It's the law. The U.S. Department of Labor will not tolerate the preventable exposure of workers to hazardous conditions."

For noncompliance with the terms of the settlement agreement, the BP Texas City Refinery has been issued 270 "notifications of failure to abate" with fines totaling $56.7 million. Each notification represents a penalty of $7,000 times 30 days, the period that the conditions have remained unabated. OSHA also identified 439 new willful violations for failures to follow industry-accepted controls on the pressure relief safety systems and other process safety management violations with penalties totaling $30.7 million.

"BP was given four years to correct the safety issues identified pursuant to the settlement agreement, yet OSHA has found hundreds of violations of the agreement and hundreds of new violations. BP still has a great deal of work to do to assure the safety and health of the employees who work at this refinery," said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab.

The BP Texas City Refinery is the third largest refinery in the United States with a refining capacity of 475,000 barrels of crude per day. It is located on a 1,200-acre facility in Texas City, southeast of Houston in Galveston County.

A willful violation exists where an employer has knowledge of a violation and demonstrates either an intentional disregard for the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970, or shows plain indifference to employee safety and health. A penalty of up to $70,000 may be assessed for each willful violation.

A notification of failure to abate can be issued if an employer fails to correct a cited condition and the citation is a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. A penalty of up to $7,000 may be assessed for each day that the violation remains uncorrected.

Under the OSH Act, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit

osha 10

Thursday, October 22, 2009

US Labor Department's OSHA issues report

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released a report on Nevada's occupational safety and health program that reveals a number of serious concerns with the program's operation, including failure to issue appropriate willful and repeat citations, poorly trained inspectors and lack of follow-up to determine whether hazards were abated. The comprehensive evaluation of the Nevada OSHA plan points to an urgent need for corrections in oversight and changes in all phases of its workplace safety and health program.

Twenty-five workplace deaths occurred in Nevada from January 2008 through June 2009. Those deaths, in addition to extensive media coverage revealing Nevada OSHA's poor handling of the fatality investigations and several serious complaints filed with federal OSHA about Nevada's state plan administration, compelled OSHA's investigation.

"The safety of workers must be priority one, and the U.S. Department of Labor is stepping up review of state OSHA plans to ensure that is the case," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "I am pleased that Nevada OSHA cooperated fully throughout the evaluation process and that the state agency's new leadership has pledged to take prompt corrective action."

Between July and August 2009, OSHA monitors evaluated Nevada's workplace fatality investigations, as well as information from all Nevada OSHA inspections conducted from January 2008 through June 2009. OSHA identified a number of systemic issues that caused great concern: Identified hazards were not cited, families of deceased workers were not notified of fatality investigations nor provided opportunities to speak to investigators – though family members may provide information pertinent to a case, and Nevada OSHA investigators demonstrated limited knowledge of construction safety hazards.

The details of OSHA's Nevada report raised concerns about OSHA's monitoring of all state plan states. Jordan Barab, the Labor Department's acting Assistant Secretary for OSHA, added, "As a result of the deficiencies identified in Nevada OSHA's program and this administration's goal to move from reaction to prevention, we will strengthen the oversight, monitoring and evaluation of all state programs."

Barab also pointed out the benefits of state programs: "Many state programs have shown they have the flexibility to deal with workplace hazards that are sometimes not addressed by federal OSHA, and we strongly support their initiative and dedication."

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 encourages states to develop and operate their own job safety and health programs. Federal OSHA approves and monitors the state plans and provides up to 50 percent of an approved plan's operating costs. Nevada, one of 27 states and American territories approved to operate its own safety and health enforcement program, has been a state plan state since December 1973. OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education.


OSHA 10 Hour Online Training
OSHA 30 Hour Online Training

Radiation exposure among hazards addressed in OSHA bulletin on particle accelerators

WASHINGTON - The increasing use of special purpose particle accelerators has prompted the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue a Safety and Health Information Bulletin (SHIB) identifying the risks and providing information on the safe operation of these devices.

Special purpose particle accelerators use electrostatic or electromagnetic fields to increase the speed of electrically charged particles and direct the particles to collide with each other or other targets. In the medical field, accelerator-produced particle beams or X-rays are directed at cancerous tumors that are not reachable by other methods. Although accelerators can target life-threatening growths within the body, these devices can also potentially expose serious risks to operators.

"Based on safety and health inspections and audits that OSHA conducted, workers are potentially exposed to harmful radiation, electrical hazards from high-voltage cable systems, oxygen-deficient atmospheres and confined spaces," said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab. "Workers will suffer fewer injuries and illnesses if employers follow the safety measures specified in this bulletin and in OSHA standards."

The SHIB identifies specific safety and health risks and describes OSHA standards and regulations to protect workers. OSHA standards include requirements that employers apply lockout/tagout procedures to prevent unexpected startup of machinery, have a fire protection safety program and provide workers with personal protective equipment.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education.

Online OSHA 10 Hour Training

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cal/OSHA moves to strengthen heat illness prevention regulations

The Department of Industrial Relations’ (DIR) Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) today has filed a proposal with the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board to amend California’s first of its kind heat illness prevention regulations. This action follows the July 16 request by Governor Schwarzenegger to strengthen and improve the standards to protect outdoor workers from the hot summer sun.

“Today we are moving to clarify amendments to the standards and to ensure that we provide the necessary measures to improve upon our first in the nation regulation to protect outdoor workers from the summer heat,” said DIR Director John C. Duncan. “This package will, among other things, include a requirement for shade to be present at all times and a trigger for shade to be up when the temperature exceeds 85 degrees. It also makes it clear that employees have the right to take a rest in the shade whenever they feel the need to do so to prevent themselves from overheating.”

Earlier clarifying proposals were submitted to the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board for adoption as emergency amendments to the heat illness standard on June 18 and July 16, but the Board did not adopt the amendments as an emergency. Today the amendments are being resubmitted through the standard rule making process.

“Our efforts to strengthen the heat illness prevention regulations will continue until we obtain the clarity needed to promote the most effective compliance with the standard,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Len Welsh. “These proposed amendments will provide greater protection for outdoor workers and address questions raised among some employers about how to comply with the standard.”

Under the Governor’s leadership, California became the first state in the nation to develop a safety and health regulation addressing heat illness in 2005. Cal/OSHA issued permanent heat illness prevention regulations to protect outdoor workers in 2006. The current regulations require that the employer make shade available, provide drinking water, provide training to both supervisors and workers, and requires that the written heat illness prevention program include a plan for summoning emergency responders.

Enforcement of the heat illness preventions standards continues to be a priority, especially during times of high heat. Since the recent heat wave began on July 11, Cal/OSHA has conducted 176 inspections of outdoor workplaces identifying over 230 violations while checking for compliance to the heat illness prevention regulations. This year Cal/OSHA has conducted 1,971 targeted inspections and identified 507 violations of the safety and health standards.

Since 2005 when enforcement of the heat illness prevention regulations began, 5,588 inspections have been conducted with over 2,355 violations found. The number of inspections conducted during each year since 2005 as exceeded the number conducted during the previous year. Last year's total was 2,583 and this year Cal/OSHA is again on target to beat the previous year's numbers.

An increased effort has been placed on expanding outreach to train outdoor workers and employers. The state budget just signed has authorized the spending of $1.5 million to expand upon the extraordinary outreach efforts already in place to educate workers and employers about the necessity of heat illness prevention.

This effort will help to expand Cal/OSHA's successful participation and partnership with industry, labor, and community groups. This year a total of 934 heat illness prevention outreach activities have been conducted, including seminars, presentations, training sessions, with both workers and their employers.

The development of a partnership with a coalition of seventeen agricultural groups, including the California Farm Bureau and Nisei Farmers League, has expanded training from farm labor contractors, to crew leaders and the growers who hire them. Over 4,000 have attended this training series since it was launched in March.

Community partnerships have been established with Catholic Dioceses across the state to provide a supportive environment to reach out to migrant workers. The Diocese of Fresno and Monterey have worked with Cal/OSHA to train key migrant leaders and volunteers in the agriculture community on educating workers about heat illness prevention. Cal/OSHA trainers have also held informational meetings and distributed heat illness educational pamphlets out to Spanish and Mixteco monolingual migrant workers directly.

An important partnership was established with the California Department of Education’s Migrant Education program in 2008 to bring important heat illness prevention training to teachers and administrators statewide who have then educated students and their families about heat stress and their rights. Each year the Migrant Education programs reaches out to approximately 300,000 migrant families.

Health fairs and community events in key areas across the state have also been a popular approach by Cal/OSHA to distribute materials and speaking directly with the public about this important subject. Since the regulation was first implemented in 2005 Cal/OSHA has participated in over 2,300 outreach events.

For more information on heat illness prevention and training materials visit the Cal/OSHA Web site at Employees with work-related questions or complaints may call the California Workers’ Information Hotline at 1-866-924-9757.


Online and onsite OSHA training

OSHA revises enforcement policies for fall protection during steel erection

WASHINGTON - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently revised the steel erection compliance directive for the agency's Steel Erection Standard to change two enforcement policies related to tripping hazards and installation of nets or floors during steel erection.

One of the revised policies addresses the standard's requirement that employers install a floor or net within two stories or 30 feet, whichever is less.

The other policy states that employers must comply with the requirement that steel studs, known as shear connectors, be installed at the worksite. Shear connectors bind concrete to the steel.

"Falls are the leading cause of death among construction workers," said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab. "We are intent on reducing the number of injuries and fatalities in the construction industry and believe these policy revisions will help us attain that goal."

Bureau of Labor Statistics 2007 data show that 1,204 fatalities occurred in the construction industry, 447 of which resulted from falls. The steel erection standard sets forth requirements to protect workers from the hazards associated with steel erection activities when constructing, altering, and repairing single and multi-story buildings, bridges, and other structures where steel erection occurs.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit

Online OSHA Outreach Courses

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cal/OSHA Diacetyl Regulation Finally Published

After more than two years of work, California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health and the Cal/OSH Standards Board have unveiled a first-in-the-nation regulatory proposal to control exposures to the potentially deadly flavorings chemical diacetyl. The proposal is in a comment period that ends with a Standards Board public hearing Nov. 19 in Costa Mesa.

The standard, General Industry Safety Orders §5197, would apply to all flavor and food manufacturing facilities that use diacetyl and flavorings that contain 1% or greater concentration of the chemical.

Facilities covered by the standard would be required to perform an exposure assessment to determine the concentration of airborne diacetyl each worker is exposed to as an eight-hour, time-weighted average. It also would require employers to establish a regulated area for each process using diacetyl, unless the employer uses a closed process.

Further, such employers would have to use engineering and work practice controls to reduce diacetyl and ensure that employees use respirators whenever they are in a regulated area. The standard also requires medical surveillance of workers, including health questionnaires, pulmonary function tests and medical removal for up to six months for employees to reduce exposure to diacetyl, if recommended by a physician or other licensed health care professional. And they would be required to prepare Material Safety Data Sheets for products containing more than 0.1% of diacetyl.

Additionally, employers would be required to report to DOSH any "flavor-related" diagnosis of fixed obstructive lung disease within 24 hours of becoming aware of it.

The public hearing is at 10 a.m., Nov. 19 at Costa Mesa City Hall, 77 Fair Dr.

**This has been taken from
OSHA 10 online

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Choosing an Online OSHA School

Like many of us, you are in search of a quality, online safety school. You might be interested in an OSHA Outreach 10 hour course or a 40 hour HAZWOPER course, but before you jump the gun, here are a few things to consider when making the choice.

1. Content Providers

Now this is something that most people don't know, but for the thousands of online safety school providers out there, there are only a handful of content providers. This means that in a nut shell, most of the websites out there are selling the exact same course. This is a good thing because it narrows down the list in a big way. The two big names out there are 360Training and ClickSafety. I find 360Training to be a great choice when choosing a content provider because they provide 24 hour support 7 days a week, including live chat and a toll free number, their media loads quickly and is updated regularly.

2. General Aesthetic

General Aesthetic in this sense refers to how a website looks. It may not matter much to you, but I find that if i'm spending 10 to 40 hours on one website, an obnoxious website can make that experience go from bad to worse. Generally, something nice and clean is always preferable. The look of a website can also be a good indicator of how much the owner cares about the website, and thus how much they care about their customers.

3. Customer Feedback

It might seem obvious to check the customer feedback of an online business, but you'd be surprised at the number of people who give out their credit card information to a shady company without even considering the legitimacy of the company. Keep in mind that a lack of feedback is just that. It is neither a good omen nor a bad omen, it just means that either the company has no negative feedback or is relatively new.

4. Price

This part of the search is pretty straight forward. Since most of the websites are selling the same course, there's not necessarily a "You get what you pay for" mentality. Most websites will be offering the course for about the same price, but there is a way to get more for less. Some websites like Easy Safety School provide study guides ($49.00 value) and standard books (up to $150.00 value) free of charge with the price of enrollment. They also provide a huge amount of free OSHA publications, pocket guides, posters and more. Whether you need or want these free items is up to you, but If it's free, why not?


Choosing an online safety course provider can be a daunting task, but if you follow these simple guidelines, you should find it to be easy and rewarding. I hope this has helped you.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Osha Updater

Welcome to the Osha Updater. This blog is dedicated to keeping you informed of all new OSHA regulations and requirments, providing you with OSHA training materials, and reviewing OSHA online training websites. Stay tuned and stay safe.

--Osha Updater


About This Blog

This blog is owned and operated by