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CONN-OSHA Quarterly

Volume No. 29
Spring 2002

Young Worker Safety
Sue Prichard, Supervising Special Investigator
CT Department of Labor, Wage & Workplace Standards Division

School will soon be out, and while the adults are making vacation plans, our young workers are pounding the pavement looking for work. It can be an exciting time with many young workers entering the workforce for the first time. We should also recognize that these workers are vulnerable to many situations in a workplace where they can be at risk.

While federal and state OSHA laws exist to protect the safety and health of all workers, including minors, additional safeguards have been imposed under both Connecticut and Federal laws to further keep our young workers out of harm’s way. Laws that apply specifically to minors are enforced by the CT Department of Labor, Wage and Workplace Standards Division and the U.S. Department of Labor. In cases where there is a difference between the state and federal laws, the stricter of the two sets of laws will apply.

Connecticut’s Labor Laws require that:

  • All persons are paid in accordance with the minimum wage laws. Current minimum wage as of January 2002 is $6.70 per hour.

  • Meal periods (30 minutes) are given if an employee works for 7 1/2 hours or more.

  • Employers provide a "hiring agreement" which states the employee’s hours of employment, rate of pay, wage payment schedule, and any benefit policies.

  • Employers maintain payroll records (3 years) and personnel files (1 year) after separation.

  • Employers maintain true and accurate time records, showing the beginning and ending time of each work period.

  • Minors work in a safe and healthy work environment. Proper training and adequate supervision reduces the incidence of injury.

  • Employers in the service industry comply with all occupational safety and health standards.

Additional laws protecting minors dictate, by industry, permissible hours and days that minors may work. Others prohibit all minors under the age of 18 years from working in certain occupations or places of employment. The following is a partial list of prohibited occupations and places of employment (for a complete list, refer to Connecticut General Statutes §31-23-1):

  • Motor vehicle driving and outside helper

  • The use of electrical tools, circuits, or equipment (except double insulated hand tools)

  • Slaughtering or meat packing, processing or rendering. This includes electric meat slicers.

  • Roofing operations

  • Excavation operations

  • Automotive maintenance and repair, EXCEPT:

    • Island work

    • Changing passenger car tires (no truck tires)

    • Use of air hand tools

    • Preparing cars for painting, limited to sanding and masking (no spray painting or welding)

    • Hand cleaning or washing of motor vehicles (no flammable liquids)

    • Clerical or bench work

  • Construction, EXCEPT:

    • Landscaping (planting small trees, shrubs, etc.)

    • General yard work/cleaning (no riding reel lawn mowers)

    • Brush painting and window cleaning (no ladders over 6 feet, no flammable cleaners/thinners, etc.)

    • Clerical/shipping/stock work

  • Dry cleaning/laundry operations

  • Pharmaceutical products manufacturing

  • Printing operations

  • Spray painting and dipping

  • Sewing machine operation using needles over 1/16 inch diameter

Additional restrictions regarding place of employment and hours/days of work apply to 14 and 15 year olds. The following is a list of those occupations where 14 and 15 year olds are permitted to work:

  • Agriculture

  • Street trades (newspaper delivery, shoe shining, baby-sitting, etc.)

  • Hospitals (no food service or laundry)

  • Convalescent homes (no food service or laundry)

  • Hotels and Motels (no food service or laundry)

  • Banks

  • Insurance companies

  • Professional offices (lawyers, CPAs, etc.)

  • Municipalities (library attendants, recreation departments, etc.)

  • Golf caddies (municipal courses only)

  • Acting

  • Household chores for private homeowners (yard work, etc.)

  • Licensed summer camps

There are some exceptions for 15 year olds. They may be employed in all mercantile/retail stores during non-school weeks only, and effective October 1, 2000, they may be employed in retail food stores on Saturdays only throughout the school year (maximum 8 hours per day).

Inquiries regarding occupational safety and health standards should be directed to CONN-OSHA at (860) 566-4550. All other inquiries related to the information in this article should be directed to the CT Department of Labor, Wage and Workplace Standards Division at (860) 263-6791.

CONN-OSHA TRAINING UPDATE

The following training sessions will be offered by CONN-OSHA in the upcoming months. We require preregistration for all workshops because of limited classroom size. All sessions are FREE and will be held at the State of Connecticut, Department of Labor Staff Development Conference Room "A," 200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT. Once we receive your registration request, we will send a confirmation letter to you with directions included.

There are three convenient ways to register:

  • By mail:

Attn: John Able
Connecticut Department of Labor, OSHA Division

38 Wolcott Hill Road

Wethersfield, CT 06Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office9

Schedule:

June 20, 2002 and October 3, 2002, 9 am - 12 noon

Recordkeeping, the new OSHA Form 300

Introduces participants to the new Recordkeeping Standard and requirements. If you are responsible for filling out the Log and Summary of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, if you supervise the person that completes the form, of if you are a safety committee member, this class is a must!

June 25, 2002, 9 am - 12 noon

Emergency Action Plans

Recognizing that any place of employment is subject to workplace disasters, OSHA requires all employers to do whatever is necessary to minimize the likelihood of such occurrences and requires a plan that will minimize harm to people and property should a disaster occur. This workshop presents hazard-specific information to help attendees get ready for natural and man-made emergencies and disasters.

July 16, 2002, 9 am - 12 noon

Work Zone Safety for Maintenance Operations on Local Roads

In this workshop, participants will learn how to manage work zone traffic, set up and maintain safe work zones, install and monitor traffic control devices, and identify and train the right people for flagging in the work zone.

September 26, 2002, 9 am - 12 noon

Lockout/Tagout

Covers the basic requirements of 29CFR19Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Project Management Office.147, the Control of Hazardous Energy standard. The workshop discusses sources of hazardous energy and covers energy control procedural requirements including inspections, training and communication.

In addition to the training being offered by CONN-OSHA, the Bridgeport Federal OSHA Area Office will be holding an educational session regarding Amputations and Lockout/Tagout on May 22, 2002 in Cheshire. For more information, contact Leona May at (203) 579-5581.

In the last issue of The Quarterly, we asked those of you who are interested in short, monthly, early morning meetings to discuss issues such as setting up a safety and health program, maintaining written programs effectively, identifying hazards, and solving problems, to let us know. Since the time of publication, we have heard from a number of people who are interested in this type of meeting. If you did not contact us already, and would like to attend this type of meeting, contact John Able at (860) 566-4550 or john.able@osha.gov.

Summer Hazards

Ken Tucker, Health Compliance Officer

With the return of warmer weather, certain things are inevitable. Hot summer sun, green grass to mow, gardening, summer barbeques, and baseball. More and more time will be spent outdoors. With the additional time spent enjoying the seasonal activities, one must be cognizant of some of life’s little nuisances such as insect bites and poisoning.

Insect bites including bee stings, tick bites and mosquito bites are an inevitable part of the ritual of looking forward to the warmer weather. The two greatest risks from most insect bites and stings are allergic reaction and infection. A bee will leave behind a stinger attached to a venom sac. Don=t try to pull it out and take a chance that more venom may be released. Gently scrape it out, wash the area with soap and water, apply a cold pack if swelling occurs, and apply a paste of baking soda and water for 20 minutes. If symptoms occur such as abnormal breathing, tightness in throat or chest, hives, rash, nausea, or vomiting - seek immediate medical attention.

Conventional preventive guidance to prevent tick bites includes contact avoidance, that is, avoid brushy, overgrown grassy and wooded environments if possible. Remove leaves, tall grass, and brush from work areas and residential areas to reduce potential tick habitat. Wear light-colored clothing so that ticks can be easily seen, wear long-sleeved shirts and tuck pant legs into socks or boots. Use approved tick repellents and, after spending time out of doors, ensure that you check your body carefully for ticks.

Mosquito bites are a common occurrence in warmer weather. All mosquitoes require water to develop. Ensure that all standing water is eliminated. Covering exposed skin and using approved repellents on clothing and exposed skin help to provide protection.

Poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak are common hazards encountered outdoors. Learn to recognize what these plant look like and avoid them. These plants contain an oil called urushiol. Direct contact (touching these plants), indirect contact (touching contaminated objects such as garden tools or the fur of pets) or airborne particles (from burning brush containing these plants) can all lead to a very uncomfortable rash. If this occurs, wash all exposed areas with cold running water to wash off the urushiol and apply over-the-counter creams.

It has been said that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." It is easier to enjoy the warm weather without having to deal with the consequences of bee stings, tick bites, mosquito bites, and poisonous plants. Protect yourself. Enjoy your outdoor activities.

HAZARD CORNER

The exact cause may never be known, but the end result will be with the unfortunate victim for life.

While participating in a wood shop class project that involved the production of Adirondack chairs, a student, who was cutting pieces of 1x3 pine stock into slats for the back and seats of the chairs, amputated the left hand above the wrist. The student was operating a 12 inch, contractor style, radial arm saw. The saw was equipped with the appropriate guards but was not installed in such a manner that would cause the cutting head to return to the start position when released by the operator.

The student had been instructed to draw the material against the stop with the right hand and to pull the cutting head through the piece with the left hand. The student had successfully completed many cuts during the class period. Because of a demonstration of competency in this operation, the student was allowed to work independently.

There were no witnesses to the incident so the exact cause of the amputation is speculation. Did the failure of the cutter head to return to the start position play a part? Did the repetition of the work make the student complacent? Did the left-handed work, for a right-handed student, cause an unnatural hand motion? Did loose clothing get caught in the blade? ………….All possibilities for a tragic result.

OSHA-Quarterly Index

Last Updated: October 24, 2016


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