March 14, 2011

In This Update
Most Frequently Cited Standards Hold No Surprises
Untreated Hearing Loss Costs High
Workplace Violence Training Offered by RBA
Box Opening-A Caution
OSHA Cites Company for Exposing Workers to Ammonia
Ammonia Leak Close to Home Adds to Company Problems
Small Business Crane and Derrick Guidance Issued
Getting the Attention of Shift Workers
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.
Bobcat scaffold imageMost Frequently Cited Standards Hold No Surprises
Each year, OSHA reports the most frequently cited standards. For FY 2010 ending September 30, 2010, scaffolding and fall protection top the list. In third and fourth position are general industry standards on hazard communication and respiratory protection. Following those are ladders, lockout/tagout, electrical wiring, powered industrial trucks, electrical general and machine guarding. The lesson here is obvious. OSHA cites nearly the same items year after year, and yet employers do not appear to learn from it. Our advice-stick to the basics. Focus on the big issues and everything else will fall into line. Good luck. To see the list, click here.

hearing imageUntreated Hearing Loss Costs High

People with untreated hearing loss lose as much as $30,000 in income annually, depending on their degree of hearing loss, according to the latest national study by the Better Hearing Institute (BHI).  The cost to society is estimated to be as high as $26 billion in unrealized federal taxes.

"More than 34 million Americans suffer from hearing loss," says Sergei Kochkin, PhD, executive director of BHI. "Roughly 60 percent of them are in the workforce. Our study showed that when hearing loss is left unaddressed, it can pose significant barriers to productivity, performance, career success, and also to lifelong earnings."

For more on the study and workplace solutions, click here.

Guy RossiWorkplace Violence Training Offered by RBA 

In response to frequent requests for assistance with workplace violence training, the Rochester Business Alliance has scheduled a half-day session on May 19 with Guy Rossi, a member of the staff of the Homeland Security Management Institute at MCC. Rossi will cover an analysis of violence and methods to be used for prevention, detection and policy making. The program will include case studies and role-playing while participants analyze historical events and identify warning signs and antisocial behaviors. For details, contact Amy Platenik at

Box Opening-A Caution

Following our piece in the March 1 HSE Update about opening taped cartons with a pen, pencil or similar object to create a tear in the tape, we heard from Judy Pfoltzer at J&J. Pfoltzer tells us that an employee broke his hand when he punched the carton to complete the opening process. They no longer allow the poke and break opening method. We leave it to you to decide whether the box cutter or poke and break method is best for you. But, Pfoltzer's advice is clear. If punching the carton is part of the method, be sure to train on how to do it safely.

OSHA Cites Company for Exposing Workers to Ammonia     
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Millard Refrigerated Services Inc. in Theodore, Ala., with 16 alleged safety and health violations and proposed penalties of $52,500 after anhydrous ammonia leaked out of a pipe located on the company's roof. One hundred fifty-two workers from several companies went to the hospital for ammonia vapor exposure, 31 were admitted and four were placed in the intensive care unit. "This incident demonstrates the importance of employers having an effective process safety management system as well as efficient emergency response procedures," said Kurt Petermeyer, OSHA's area director in Mobile. "Such a program must include thorough investigations of all mishaps and chemical releases to identify causal factors and prevent recurrence."
bread imageAmmonia Leak Close to Home Adds to Company Problems    
On March 7, Rochester HazMat crews responded to Goglanian Bakeries on White Street for an anhydrous Ammonia spill. Firefighters found 300-ppm concentrations in the building, but no one was injured. The bakery, formally known as Bona Via, Inc., is also facing over $195,000 in fines dating back to a late 2009 OSHA inspection. According to OSHA, a variety of hazards were not corrected by the time of a re-inspection in August 2010 and new violations were found at that time. To read the full OSHA press release, click here.
Small Business Crane and Derrick Guidance Issued      
OSHA has issued the Small Entity Compliance Guide for Cranes and Derricks in Construction to help businesses comply with the recently published Cranes and Derricks in Construction rule. The small business guide is divided into chapters that correspond to sections of the standard. This guide accompanies other OSHA compliance materials on crane-related topics available on the agency's Web site including a PowerPoint overview, Web chat transcript, Webinar, list of frequently asked questions, and fact sheets. For a copy of the guidance, click here. For more on the rule and a variety of support materials, click here.
Getting the Attention of Shift Workers       
If you want the message to sink in with your shift workers, do not call them in for a mid-day meeting if they work nights-that's when they should be sleeping. They'll be angry, not receptive. According to Circadian (, the best time is the hour before their shift starts-but be sure to pay them overtime. Holding them over at the end of their shift may be convenient for managers, but for the workers, many may have been awake nearly 24 hours. No safety message is going to get through that fog. I've trained many shift workers and I agree with Circadian-the very best time to seat them in a classroom is when they are rested, fresh and alert.

List Removal...If you do not wish to receive these HSE updates, please send an e-mail and include "Remove HSE Update" in the subject line.

Lawrence H. "Chip" DawsonView my profile on LinkedIn
Dawson Associates
Rochester Business Alliance Coordinating Consultant for HSE
1434 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14610-1619
(585) 461-1549