September 23, 2010

In This Update
Most Mass Workplace Shootings Occur in Retail Stores
Air Conditioning Company Fined $1.2M for Recordkeeping Violations
Free Tools for Employers to Prevent Distracted Driving
Publications on Nanoparticles and Press Brake Guarding Available
Black & Decker Recalls Random Orbit Sanders
OSHA Proposes Improvements to its On-site Consultation Program
Toshiba Recalls T Series Notebook Computers Due to Burn Hazard
Quick Links
Chip DawsonThis health, safety and environment electronic update comes from Chip Dawson and the Rochester Business Alliance as a service to member organizations.
Pie chartMost Mass Workplace Shootings Occur in Retail Stores

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, mass shootings in the manufacturing workplace get lots of media attention, but when you look at the overall recent history of mass shootings, retail trade has the highest percentage. Out of 421 workplace shootings recorded in 2008 (eight percent of total fatal injuries), 99 (24 percent) occurred in retail trade. Workplace shootings in manufacturing were less common, with 17 shootings reported in 2008. Workplace shooting events account for only a small portion of nonfatal workplace injuries.
During 2004-08, an average of 564 work-related homicides occurred each year in the United States. In 2008, a total of 526 workplace homicides occurred, or 10 percent of all fatal work injuries. About four out of every five homicide victims in 2008 were male. The type of assailants in these cases differed for men and women. Robbers and other assailants made up 72 percent of assailants for men, and 51 percent of assailants for women. Relatives and other personal acquaintances accounted for only 4 percent of assailants of homicides for men, but 28 percent for women. For more on this subject, click here.

Air Conditioning Company Fined $1.2M for Recordkeeping Violations
OSHA has issued 83 willful citations to Goodman Manufacturing Co. LP and fined the company $1,215,000 for failing to record and improperly recording work-related injuries and illnesses at its Houston air conditioning cooling facility. OSHA began its investigation in March in response to a complaint that the company was violating OSHA regulations. Despite being extremely knowledgeable about OSHA recordkeeping requirements, Goodman had willfully either not recorded or improperly recorded nearly three quarters of employee injuries and illnesses for more than two years before the investigation.

Despite strained resources, OSHA is continuing its recordkeeping special emphasis program and is reportedly assessing fines of $1,000 per violation (such as failure to check the appropriate box on the 300 log) for what it considers egregious violations.

If you need recordkeeping training, send me an e-mail or call.

stop signFree Tools for Employers to Prevent Distracted Driving
To assist employers in communicating the dangers of distracted driving to workers and in formulating company policies on the use of mobile electronic devices, the U.S. Department of Transportation has posted free resources here.  These include a full set of materials for the 2010 Drive Safely Work Week (DSWW) campaign (part of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) program) in addition to supplementary posters and sample employer policies. The theme of the 2010 DSWW campaign is "Focus. Safe driving is serious business," and the materials emphasize the dangers of distracted driving, particularly the use of cell phones and texting while driving. For more information on NETS and its programs, click here.
press brake photoPublications on Nanoparticles and Press Brake Guarding Available  
The Canadian research institute IRSST has just issued two new PDF publications dealing with current knowledge in the field of engineered nanoparticles and with the most recent developments in safeguarding power press brakes. The publications are free and can be accessed from the IRSST home page by clicking here.
B&D sanderBlack & Decker Recalls Random Orbit Sanders    
The CPSC has announced a voluntary recall of about 192,000 Black & Decker Random Orbit Sanders ("jug handle style"). The black plastic disc (called the platen) that holds the sandpaper can fly off or break apart during use and the disc, or pieces of the disc, can hit the user or those nearby, posing a laceration hazard. Black & Decker has received 73 reports of incidents involving the sander's black plastic disc (platen) breaking or falling apart, including 15 reports of injuries from flying pieces, one of which involved a serious facial laceration. This recall involves Black & Decker random orbit sanders with model numbers RO400, RO400G, RO410, RO410K, RO410LW and FS3000ROS and date codes between 200701 and 200929. The units were sold at home center, hardware and discount stores nationwide from January 2007 through July 2009 for about $40. To see this recall on CPSC's web site, click here.
OSHA Proposes Improvements to its On-site Consultation Program 
On Sept. 3, OSHA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to revise regulations covering the agency's On-site Consultation Program. The changes will provide the agency greater flexibility for inspecting worksites that are undergoing an on-site consultation visit and those that are granted Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) status, as well as ensure enhanced worker safety.

Toshiba computerToshiba Recalls T Series Notebook Computers Due to Burn Hazard 
The CPSC has announced a voluntary recall of the Toshiba Satellite T135, Satellite T135D and Satellite ProT130 Notebook Computers. About 41,000 of the Chinese-manufactured units have been sold world-wide. The notebook computers can overheat at the notebook's plug-in to the AC adapter, posing a burn hazard to consumers. Toshiba has received 129 reports of the computers overheating and deforming the plastic casing area around the AC adapter plug, including two reports of minor burn injuries that did not require medical attention and two reports of minor property damage. The affected units were sold from August 2009 through August 2010 for between $600 and $800.

Consumers should immediately download the latest version of Toshiba's BIOS computer program to their notebook computer at  This new computer program will detect whether the notebook computer is overheating, and if so, disable the notebook computer's external power and display a message directing the consumer to contact Toshiba for a free repair. To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including pictures of the recalled products, click here.

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