Thursday, June 7, 2018

Question About a Dead End in an Outdoor Exit Route

QUESTION:  OSHA 1910 Subpart E, 1910.36 (h)(4), which says "The outdoor exit route must not have a dead-end that is longer than 20 feet", does not make sense to me. How should I interpret that statement? - Glen K. – Indiana

ANSWER:  Hello Glen.  Yours is a very good question, and it actually comes up occasionally in our OSHA 30 hour general industry training classes. Fortunately I did some research on this particular OSHA standard years many ago when I ran into this exact problem at a building where I was serving as safety manager. I am going refer you to a crude drawing I whipped up (see below – birds eye view, not to scale) to try and help you visualize one basic example of this situation as I try and answer your question.

The fire alarm goes off in the building pictured below, and everyone needs to head towards their designated assembly area, which is located outside to the right-hand side of the building pictured below . . .  

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Do Your Machinery Start Buttons Meet OSHA Requirements?

It’s not uncommon to hear people cheer when the lights and air conditioning automatically come back on when power gets restored after an extended power outage. But there is also a real hazard created if certain equipment, such as saws (e.g.: band saws, table saws, radial saws . . .), sanders (belt and disc), drill presses, and mechanical power presses were to automatically restart after a power failure. This is . . . 

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Immediately Repeal The "Obama Safe" Act

Dear President-elect Trump.

Congratulations on your tremendous victory. I am sure your campaign will go down in history as the very best, most excellent Presidential campaign ever run. Believe it or not, I announced my belief that you would win the Presidency more than six months ago on my blog (see my proclamation here). So take a few days to celebrate your hard-earned victory, and then get busy making America great again.

Once you are sworn in, I encourage you to move forward on promised actions such as making healthcare affordable again by, ironically, repealing and replacing “The Affordable Healthcare Act” (aka Obama Care).  And if you are looking for some low-hanging fruit to effect additional needed change, I have another suggestion for action; immediately repeal the “The Obama Outlaws Pizza Parties Act” (aka Obama Safe).

Because you have been preoccupied for the past few months, you might not be aware that The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which you will soon oversee, recently implemented a new rule that prohibits employer discrimination against workers who report an injury, which is a worthy thing to do. But in typical fashion, OSHA administrators’ went and stuck their noses where they do not belong . . .  
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Monday, July 4, 2016

Avoid Use of PVC Pipe and Water Hose Clamps With Compressed Air

Compressed air is a common source of power for tools and equipment utilized in many shops and at construction sites. And while we constantly fret about the hazards associated with many of the tools that are powered by the compressed air, we give very little thought to the piping systems and hoses we utilize to distribute the compressed air from the compressor to the tools. So allow me to alert you to three very common hazards (and OSHA violations) that I see when conducting workplace safety audits for customers around the country . . .

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Five Most Prevalent Myths About OSHA's Excavation Standard

My favorite class to teach is the Excavation Competent Person Training Course. Perhaps that is because it is one of the more relatively complex topic in the federal OSHA standard, and a lot of people seem to misunderstand what is (and is not) required to comply with the regulations. So I thought I’d address the top five most prevalent myths and misconceptions that seem to pop up repeatedly during the classes that I have taught, as well as during site inspections and interviews conducted as an expert witness in lawsuits involving trenching and excavation fatalities.

 MYTH #1“A protective system is not required to . . .
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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Do Not Overlook This One Last Deadline for GHS / Haz-Com

When OSHA updated their Hazard Communication (aka Haz-Com) standard back in 2012, many employers jumped into action so they could meet the mandatory deadline for training their employees about the new GHS criteria for labeling containers and Safety Data Sheets (SDS). And most employers have been assembling the new SDS’s that are issued by product manufacturers and distributors.  And hopefully everyone has updated their in-house container labeling systems to reflect the requirements in the updated Haz-Com standard. But there is one more deadline that employers have hanging over their heads, and it’s coming up VERY soon.
OSHA has given employers a deadline of June 1, 2016 to . . .

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Friday, April 1, 2016

Who Should Be The Next Director of OSHA?

When Donald Trump is sworn into office next January, one of his Presidential duties will be to nominate someone to serve as the new head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The last time this post came open, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), of which I have been a Professional member since 1992, endorsed the current director of OSHA, Dr. David Michaels, for that post. However, I do not recall anyone from the ASSE asking me for my opinion about Dr. Michaels or any other nominee for that matter.  So what I want to do right now is to get an early jump and provide my input for the ideal candidate to endorse when this job comes open. 

Right now I am sure many of you are probably saying out loud . . .

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