Monday, February 22, 2010

Cranesville Block Co. fined by OSHA for safety and health hazards

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $45,500 in fines against Cranesville Block Co. for alleged repeat and serious violations of safety and health standards at its Kingston, N.Y., plant.

The citations and fines follow OSHA safety and health inspections prompted by employee complaints, and concern chemical and electrical hazards and lack of personal protective equipment for workers. Specifically, OSHA found blocked exits, workers lacking safety glasses and gloves while working with acid, unlabeled containers of hazardous chemicals, unmarked electrical equipment, exposed live electrical parts and moisture in electrical equipment.

"The serious and recurring nature of these hazards is disturbing," said Edward Jerome, OSHA's area director in Albany. "Employees at this plant are exposed to the hazards of electrocution, burns, eye and hand injuries, and being unable to swiftly exit the workplace in the event of a fire or other emergency. This employer must address these hazards effectively and continually now and in the future."

OSHA has issued the company two repeat citations, with $27,500 in fines, for the lack of personal protective equipment and the unlabeled containers of chemicals, as it had cited the company in 2009 for similar hazards at Cranesville Block's Fishkill and Glens Falls, N.Y., locations.

The remaining hazardous conditions identified in Kingston resulted in the issuance of six serious citations, with $18,000 in fines. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.

"One means of preventing recurring hazards is for employers to establish an effective comprehensive workplace safety and health program involving their workers in proactively evaluating, identifying and eliminating hazards," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.

Cranesville Block has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, participate in an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Albany Area Office; telephone 518-464-4338.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New OSHA QuickCards for Marine Cargo Handling

We all love OSHA QuickCards.  Those little OSHA publications that keep you compliant and safe in the workplace.  Well, good news to everyone working in the Marine Cargo Handling Industry, OSHA has just released three new QuickCards for you.  Here is the official OSHA press release regarding these QuickCards.

WASHINGTON -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently developed three QuickCards™ addressing worker safety topics in marine cargo handling operations.

Gangway Safety in Marine Cargo Handling lists safety requirements for preventing falls from gangways, the walkways used for boarding and departing vessels. First Aid in Marine Cargo Handling explains workplace requirements such as assuring at least one person with a valid first-aid certificate is available at the terminal to provide medical assistance. Additionally, Lifesaving Facilities in Marine Cargo Handling lists safety requirements for lifesaving equipment such as personal flotation devices and stokes basket stretchers, among other equipment.

"Too many workers are getting injured on the job," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA David Michaels. "OSHA is providing these QuickCards to ensure that employers and workers know the best way to prevent workplace injuries. These educational fact sheets are part of OSHA's ongoing goal of promoting prevention through education."

Industry operations covered in these Quick Cards include the transfer of cargo between ships, trucks, pipelines and other modes of transportation, and the operation and maintenance of piers, docks and associated buildings and facilities.

QuickCards™ are pocket-sized, laminated cards developed by OSHA to provide brief, plain language safety and health information for workers.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

There you have it.  New QuickCards.  Safe Workers.

Stay Safe,


OSHA Accepted Online Courses

Online OSHA Training?

Great news to everybody living in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island, and all of you who's employers have requested that you take OSHA 10 or 30 hour training.  OSHA has accepted online training as a viable option for getting your Department of Labor (DOL) card. 

What does this mean?

This means that you no longer have to rearrange your schedule or give up your weekends to get your OSHA 10 hour or OSHA 30 hour card.  Online training offers a relaxed, self-paced learning environment.  You can learn from the comfort of your own home, or anywhere you have a computer and an internet connection.  There is no difference, in OSHA's eyes, between online and on-site training.  Both are equally valid, viable ways to get your OSHA 10 or 30 hour Outreach DOL card.  Online training is also incredibly affordable, often times costing 1/3 or even 1/4 the price of on-site training.

Where can I take Online OSHA Training?

Easy Safety School offers online OSHA training that is backed by our low price guarantee, and includes 24 hour chat, email, and phone technical and sales support, excellent group rates and corporate solutions.  Our 10 hour course includes a free PDF study guide, a deal you are unlikely to find anywhere else.

Is there a Reason for taking On-site Training?

We recommend on-site training for large groups who can afford to pay for a single instructor, usually upwards of $4000.00.  Onsite training also provides a group inspired, "hands-on" learning environment that some students enjoy and prefer.

We recommend the following links for online OSHA training:

OSHA 10 hour online
OSHA 30 Hour online

Thank you and stay safe,


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

OSHA Regulations on Ladder Safety

Found this video on ladder demonstrating Ladder safety and OSHA regulations. Enjoy!


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$539,000 Fine for Willful Fall Hazard Violations

WASHINGTON, Pa. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined the C.A. Franc construction company $539,000 following the investigation of a roofing worker who fell 40 feet to his death at a Washington worksite. The Valencia, Pa.-based roof installer - whose owner is Christopher A. Franc - was cited for 10 per instance willful citations for failing to protect workers from falls.

"Mr. Franc knowingly and willfully failed to protect his workers from falling to their death," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. "We will not tolerate this type of blatant and egregious disregard for the health and safety of workers."

OSHA began its investigation immediately following the worker's death on Aug. 15, 2009, and found the C.A. Franc company had failed to provide any fall protection to its employees working on a pitched roof 40 feet off the ground. In addition, Mr. Franc failed to train a newly hired college student in hazards and the necessary safety measures for roofing work. As a result of the investigation, the company has been cited for 10 alleged per-instance willful violations, one for each employee working unprotected on the roof, with a proposed penalty of $490,000, and one additional alleged willful violation for failing to train the new employee, with a penalty of $49,000.

General contractor Hospitality Builders Inc. also has been cited with one willful violation and a proposed penalty of $70,000 for failing to ensure that C.A. Franc workers had fall protection.

"This fall fatality was one of five that occurred during a 15-day span in the Pittsburgh area," said John M. Hermanson, OSHA's regional administrator in Philadelphia, Pa. "Falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry. Failure to provide employees with fall protection is unconscionable. We urge construction companies to take the necessary action to ensure their workers are protected."

OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health. Detailed information about fall hazards and safeguards is available on OSHA's Web site at

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Pittsburgh Area Office; telephone: 412-395-4903. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742.

In a related criminal charge, Christopher A. Franc today entered a guilty plea in federal court to a violation of 29 U. S. C. Section 666(e). Sentencing is scheduled for June 18.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach, education and assistance. For more information, visit

Thursday, February 11, 2010

US Department of Labor budget request for fiscal year 2011

WASHINGTON -- Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today, through a national online discussion with stakeholder groups, the general public and the news media, outlined the president's fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget request for the U.S. Department of Labor, which is built around the vision of "good jobs for everyone." The budget launches innovative ways to prepare workers for 21st century jobs, and makes new investments in programs that protect workers' rights, safety and health in the new economy. It reaches out to diverse audiences to ensure that all people from all communities are included in the jobs of the future.
"The FY 2011 budget will help to make the vision of good jobs for everyone a reality for America's workers. This budget invests in innovation and reform that will play a critically important role in building long-term economic security for workers," said Secretary Solis. "At the same time, the budget reflects our commitment to fiscal responsibility, investing in what works and carefully evaluating our programs to make sure that we obtain results that produce good jobs."

Secretary Solis defines "good jobs" as those that:

Can support a family by increasing incomes.

Offer fair compensation.

Narrow the wage gap.

Allow for work-life flexibility.

Promote safe and healthy workplaces.

Give workers a voice.

Foster fair working conditions in the global marketplace.

Are sustainable and innovative, such as green jobs, providing opportunities to acquire the skills and knowledge for the jobs of the future.

Help restore the middle class.

In total, the FY 2011 budget requests $117 billion, with the majority to be used for unemployment insurance benefits for displaced workers and federal workers' compensation. The department's discretionary request of $14.0 billion overall includes $1.7 billion for worker protection programs, a four percent increase over the prior year's budget.

Under this budget, the department expects to hire more than 350 new employees, including 177 investigators and other enforcement staff, many of whom will be bilingual to better communicate with employees in the changing workplace. The 2011 budget builds on the 2010 budget policy of returning worker protection programs to FY 2001 staffing levels, after years of decline. For example, the FY 2011 budget asks for $573 million for the department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is $14 million more than that agency received in FY 2010. Also, the department's Wage and Hour Division will receive $244 million, an increase of almost $20 million from the prior year, including funding to hire 90 new investigators. With these increases, the Labor Department's worker protection agencies will be able to vigorously protect wages and working conditions of 135 million workers in more than 7.3 million workplaces.

When employees are misclassified as "independent contractors," they are deprived of benefits and protections to which they are legally entitled. For example, independent contractors do not receive overtime and are ineligible to receive unemployment benefits. The FY 2011 budget includes an additional $25 million for a Misclassification Initiative to target misclassification with 100 additional enforcement personnel and competitive grants to boost states' incentives and capacity to address this problem. (This $25 million includes the nearly $20 million increase for the Wage and Hour Division discussed above.)

For employment and training programs, the budget provides $11.8 billion, including new investments in innovation. A Workforce Innovation Fund will be created by reserving $108 million from the Workforce Investment Act's Adult and Dislocated Worker streams. With these funds, the department will pursue "learn and earn" strategies such as apprenticeships and on-the-job training, promote collaborations among regions and industries, and support other innovations.

The budget also creates a $154 million Youth Innovation Fund, which will pilot innovative models for delivering summer and year-round work experiences and comprehensive services to disconnected youth. Another $120 million is requested for the YouthBuild program to expand capacity to 230 locations, enrolling nearly 7,500 youth in green construction projects that produce industry-recognized credentials.

Because too many families must make the painful choice between the care of their families and a paycheck they desperately need, the budget establishes a $50 million State Paid Leave Fund within the Labor Department that will provide competitive grants to help states that choose to launch paid-leave programs cover their start-up costs.

The FY 2011 budget also recognizes the department's responsibility to promote worker rights globally. The request includes an additional $22 million to help strengthen worker rights and protections in America's trading partner countries.

The budget requests $39 million for the Office of Disability Employment Policy to increase the workforce participation of people with disabilities through innovative partnerships that break down employment barriers and better serve people with disabilities in the workforce system.

For veterans, the budget provides $262 million for veterans programs, including an additional $5 million to allow the department to reach more homeless veterans, particularly women veterans, and a $1 million increase to expand access to employment workshops for spouses and families of service members transitioning to the civilian workforce.
The budget also provides $50 million for a department-wide evaluation. The additional funding will support demonstration projects coupled with rigorous evaluations to determine which programs and interventions work best, the results of which will inform the department's policy, management and resource allocation decisions.

For more information on the president's 2011 budget for the Department of Labor, visit

OSHA's Workplace Injury and Illness Information

WASHINGTON -- Every year since 1996 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has collected work-related injury and illness data from more than 80,000 employers. For the first time, the Agency has made the data from 1996 to 2007 available in a searchable online database, allowing the public to look at establishment or industry-specific injury and illness data. The workplace injury and illness data is available at as well as

OSHA uses the data to calculate injury and illness incidence rates to guide its strategic management plan and to focus its Site Specific Targeting (SST) Program, which the agency uses to target its inspections.
"Making injury and illness information available to the public is part of OSHA's response to the administration's commitment to make government more transparent to the American people," said David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA. "This effort will improve the public's accessibility to workplace safety and health data and ensure the Agency can function more effectively for American workers."
Information available at the and Websites includes an establishment's name, address, industry, associated Total Case Rate (TCR), Days Away, Restricted, Transfer (DART) case rate, and the Days Away From Work (DAFWII) case rate. The data is specific to the establishments that provided OSHA with valid data through the 2008 data collection (collection of CY 2007 data). This database does not contain rates calculated by OSHA for establishments that submitted suspect or unreliable data. provides expanded public access to valuable workforce-related data generated by the Executive Branch of the federal government. Although the initial launch of provides a limited portion of the rich variety of Federal datasets presently available, the public is invited to participate in shaping the future of by suggesting additional datasets and site enhancements to provide seamless public access and use of federal data.
More information about the Department of Labor's Open Government Web site is available at where there are links to the latest data sets, ways to connect with Department staff, and information about providing public input that will make the Department's site and its work more useful and engaging.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

10 Hour OSHA Training



 U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement concerning the explosion that occurred today at the power plant construction site in Middletown, Conn.:

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends and loved ones of those workers killed and injured in today’s explosion in Middletown. The safety and health of workers is of paramount importance to me and to the U.S. Department of Labor. Inspectors from the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration arrived on site this afternoon to conduct a comprehensive investigation and are working in cooperation with other agencies."

OSHA 30 Hour Training

Contempt orders issued against St. Louis employer for ignoring OSHA citations

ST. LOUIS -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today announced issuance of contempt of court orders against Brian Andre, former owner of Andre Tuckpointing and Brickwork (AT&B), Andre Stone and Mason Work Inc. (AS&MW) and Regina Shaw, owner of AS&MW. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued the contempt orders against the St. Louis-area company and individuals for failing to comply with court orders enforcing citations of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC).
"Companies that expose employees to hazards, and then blatantly ignore citations requiring correction of those hazards, will not be overlooked," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "Employers must fulfill their responsibility to keep employees safe, as well as satisfy any sanctions levied for failing to do so."

The cases stem from numerous citations OSHA issued to AT&B and its successor, AS&MW, for willful, repeat and serious violations related to fall hazards, scaffolding erection deficiencies, power tool guarding and other hazards in connection with multiple projects in the St. Louis area.

When the companies failed to comply with the court's order enforcing OSHRC's final order, the secretary of labor filed petitions for contempt. As a result, a special master of the Court of Appeals concluded that Brian Andre, AS&MW and Regina Shaw were in contempt of the order, and recommended various sanctions. The Eighth Circuit substantially accepted the master's recommendations, found all three parties in contempt, and imposed sanctions, including: Brian Andre, AS&MW and Regina Shaw must pay outstanding monetary penalties, which continue to accrue interest, and other miscellaneous fees, in the current amount of $258,582.08; AS&MW and Regina Shaw must pay a $100 daily penalty, calculated from the time of default, in early 2008, on the OSHRC final order; AS&MW must provide OSHA weekly notification of all current jobs, and known future jobs, at least 72 hours prior to commencement of work for a period of three years; and, AS&MW must provide "competent person" training to all people currently and subsequently designated as jobsite "competent persons," prior to beginning any work, and provide the secretary records of such training.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

OSHA 10 Hour Training