Volume No. 54
Current CONN-OSHA Quarterly
Vol. 54 (PDF, 186KB) | HTML Version
of Connecticut Department of Labor Division of Occupational Safety and
Health (CONN-OSHA) Program and Services By: Richard T. Palo MS, CIH,
For 30 years, CONN-OSHA
has worked to improve work safety and health. Despite our age, not one
week passes without someone inquiring about our role in the work-place.
I welcome this opportunity to present the compo-nents of CONN-OSHA and
encourage employers to take full advantage of our services.
CONN-OSHA enforces all
USDOL-OSHA safety and health regulations in municipal and state
agencies. We respond to and investigate complaints, serious accidents,
and fatalities in the public sector. We conduct approxi-mately 200
inspections and 130 consultations each year.
In order to achieve the
maximum benefit of a safety and health program, the program must be
successfully imple-mented and managed. While our jurisdiction is limited
to the public sector, we will partner with private employers to help
move your safety and health program forward. CONN-OSHA offers a skilled
technical staff, consulting services, educational programs and
materials, videos, and statistical data to the private sector. In
addition to being free of charge, private sector results are
Consultation project provides, upon a employer’s request, on-site
consulting visits at Connecti-cut businesses in the private sector. The
program is geared to assist high hazard establishments and smaller firms
that lack the expertise or resources to interpret com-plex standards or
conduct extensive safety or health monitoring. The consultation program
conducts outreach and education programs for specific needs of the group
or groups served. Training modules, programs, videos, films, media and
publications are also provided to em-ployers and employee groups upon
request. Industrial Hygiene Equipment is used to measure noise and take
air samples. CONN-OSHA will take the samples, pay for the analysis, and
interpret the results.
We also offer:
- Ergonomic Evaluations
- OSHA Recordkeeping
- Health and Safety
Training and Education
- Job Hazard Analysis
- Non-Ionizing Radiation
Standard-Specific Program Development (hazard communication,
lockout/tagout, confined space, respirators and more...)
Personal Exposure Monitoring for Biological & Chemical Contaminants
The Occupational Safety and
Health Statistics unit col-lects and publishes data on the occurrence of
occupa-tional injuries and illnesses in Connecticut. Estimates of
numbers and DART rates of work-related injuries and illnesses by
industry, type of injury, worker characteris-tics, and more are
available from this unit. Through the Census of Fatal Occupational
Injuries program, data is collected and published on all fatal work
injuries, which average 40 lost lives each year in Connecticut.
CONN-OSHA administers the
Occupational Health Clin-ics and Auxiliary Health Clinics program. This
program provides critical funding to clinics and auxiliary clinics
throughout the State serving workers and employers through recognition,
diagnosis and prevention of occupa-tional diseases and injuries.
Significant data on occupa-tional health and safety is also collected.
Finally, under Industrial Health Facility legislation, approximately 100
private sector facilities are granted licenses to operate health
facilities for employees in their businesses.
Like your many other
successes, safety and health man-agement requires your commitment,
resource manage-ment, accountability, and follow-up. It is a difficult
and ongoing, yet rewarding, task. CONN-OSHA can help you achieve
workplace safety and health.
Committing to SHARP was
the right thing to do
By: John E.
Dubrowin, Human Resources Director, Sanford & Hawley, Inc.
Sanford & Hawley is a family owned
124-year old lumber and building materials supplier based in
Unionville, CT. In addition to the Unionville facility, the company
operates lumber yards and stores in Avon CT, Manchester CT, and
Springfield MA. Currently, all four of the company’s facili-ties are
accepted into SHARP.
In approximately 1988,
one of Sanford and Hawley’s mill shop employees was injured while
using a saw. While the employee recovered, it was still a serious
injury and an incident that left fellow employees and the company
own-ers traumatized. The injury along with others also led the
company’s worker’s compensation carrier to threaten to drop coverage
if the company’s claim rate could not be reduced. The company knew
of the OSHA Consultation program, having read about it in the
Northeast Retail Lumber Association’s magazine, the Lumber
Co-Operator, but initially feared bringing OSHA in. Instead,
they implemented stricter safety procedures, started more training
using resources offered by their insurance carrier, and began an
incentive program to reward safe work practices. While this led to
some improvement, the com-pany felt it was still “vulnerable” based
on their limited in house safety and health expertise.
The company’s first visit from
CONN-OSHA came in 2000. The company took OSHA’s recommendations
seriously, and invited OSHA back repeatedly to inspect the
workplace, review correc-tive actions they had taken, and identify
additional meas-ures they could take. By Sep-tember 2005 sufficient
pro-gress had been made on the management system ele-ments, and all
recommended corrective actions had been completed and documented. As
a result, the company was recommended for acceptance into SHARP.
This did not end the relationship with CONN-OSHA, however. The
company continued to invite CONN-OSHA in to conduct inspections,
review programs and procedures, and make recommendations.
Sanford and Hawley has appreciated the
advantages of having fewer injuries and illnesses since working with
OSHA consultation and achieving SHARP. This has helped reduce hidden
costs associated with investigating accident and on-the-job injury
claims, reduce direct costs such as medical care, days lost, workers
compensation and insurance premiums, minimize fluctuations in
capac-ity due to having injured workers unexpectedly being off the
job and difficulties associated with training and replac-ing them
with temporary contractors. The company also acknowledged the value
of not losing money due to inju-ries and illnesses during the
industry-wide economic downtown. Most importantly, the company wants
to pro-vide a safe workplace for its employees and to minimize their
chance of injury and harm.
Sanford and Hawley has also taken
advantage of its safety and health focus and used it to build its
brand and image with customers.
Bob Sanford, president: “Intuitively,
we felt it [committing to become SHARP] was the right thing
to do… and we have had no regrets since.”
On September 11, 2008, The Independent
Electrical Contractors of New England Inc. (IECNE), The Office of
Apprenticeship Train-ing, CONN-OSHA and the U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration met and signed two new
alli-ances. These alliances will provide training and education
pro-grams covering topics such as safe electrical work practices, scaf-fold
& trench safety and control of hazardous energy.
New Alliance Signings
Shown signing the Office of
Apprenticeship Training alliance (from left to right) are: Bill Freeman,
OSHA Director, Hartford Area Of-fice; Paul Mangiafico, OSHA, Hartford
Area Office; Ken Tucker, CONN-OSHA Program Manager; Jack Guerrera,
Office of Appren-ticeship Program Manager and Commissioner Patricia H.
Mayfield, Connecticut Department of Labor.
THE ORIGIN OF CONN-OSHA AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF WHISTLEBLOWER PROCESSES
BY: Anne F. Eisenman, Principal
Connecticut has been
operating its occupational safety and health program, under approval
from the U.S. De-partment of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health
Ad-ministration and in accordance with Section 18(b) of the
Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, since the 1970s. On
January 1, 1975, pursuant to Public Act 73-379, the program became
operational, covering both pub-lic (except for federal employees)
and private sector em-ployees. Eventually, the Connecticut General
Assembly limited coverage under the program to public sector
em-ployees and transferred coverage of private sector em-ployees to
federal OSHA. Connecticut’s State Plan was initially approved on
October 2, 1978 – and received final approval on August 19, 1986.
Under the approved
State Plan, CONN-OSHA is required to maintain a program that is “at
least as effective” as the federal program. Accordingly, pursuant to
Conn. Gen. Stat. 31-372, the Connecticut Department of Labor adopts
by reference federal final standards published in the Federal
Register. CONN-OSHA is also required, un-der section 11(c) of the
federal Occupational Safety and Health Act, to provide protections
for individuals who ex-ercise their rights under the Act.
Connecticut’s whistle-blower process is outlined in Conn. Gen. Stat.
31-379, and in sections 31-379-1 through 31-379-22 of the
Regu-lations of Connecticut State Agencies.
Prior to October 1,
1999, Connecticut investigated “11(c)” whistleblower complaints in
the same manner that the federal OSHA investigators employed while
investigating federal OSHA whistleblower cases. In 1999, however,
the law governing CONN-OSHA’s procedures for han-dling public-sector
retaliation cases in Connecticut changed dramatically. Public Act
99-146 not only changed the time frame within which a Complainant
may file a discrimination complaint – from 30 days (which is the
time frame within which a federal OSHA discrimina-tion case must be
filed) to 180 days – it also to a large extent left behind the
traditional “11(c)” investigative pro-cedures, and implemented
hearing procedures like those successfully utilized in wage and
unemployment compen-sation retaliation cases under Conn. Gen. Stat.
§§31-69b and 31-226a, respectively. Essentially, upon the proper
filing of a complaint under section 31-379, the matter is scheduled
for mediation, which additionally involves the exchange of arguments
between the Complainant and Employer. Should mediation prove
unsuccessful, the matter is scheduled for a formal administrative
hearing, held in accordance with the Connecticut Uniform Admin-istrative
Procedures Act (UAPA), 4-166 et seq. of the Connecticut General
Statutes and CTDOL’s contested case regulations. Should the
Complainant prevail, possi-ble damages include reinstatement, back
pay, front pay, statutory interest, costs, and reasonable attorney’s
fees. An appeal to court in accordance with the UAPA is avail-able
to an aggrieved party.
Over the past nine
years, most of the whistleblower com-plaints filed with the Labor
Department have been re-solved through settlement. Only a handful of
the com-plaints have proceeded to a full administrative hearing.
of Labor - OSHA 38 Wolcott Hill Road Wethersfield, CT 06109
To receive the
Quarterly electronically, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the subject line type “subscribe” and provide your
e-mail address. You may also reach us by phone at (860) 263-6900
or visit our website at
Hazard Corner ...
At approximately 3:45 on a
Friday afternoon late in October, in response to reports of
inclement winter weather, a 32-year-old Department of Transportation
Maintainer was preparing a dump truck for sand/salt dispersal. The
preparation process included outfitting the truck with a plow and
chains, and en-suring the sanding mechanism is free from
obstructions by running the conveyor and spinner.
employee drove the vehicle to the far end of the facility to run the
conveyor. While the conveyor was running, this em-ployee attempted
to enter the dump body via a ladder mounted to the dump body on the
driver’s side of the vehicle. At this time, the employee’s foot
became lodged under the gate where the conveyor pushes the sand
mixture through to the spreader chute. The trauma sustained from the
running conveyor ultimately resulted in the amputation of the
RECOMMENDATIONS Recommendation #1: Follow all manufacturer
recom-mendations for safe use of equipment.
In addition, do not
remove any factory installed placards and be sure to replace those
that have become unreadable.
Recommendation #2: Ensure that employees
are pro-tected from the hazard of ingoing nip points and rotating
According to 29CFR1910.212, the employer
must ensure that machine operators and other employees in the
machine area are protected from hazards including but not limited to
those from ingoing nip points and rotating parts. There are multiple
ways guarding can be
accomplished depending on the piece of equipment. The employer
should consider which method or combination of methods would be most
Recommendation #3: Perform a hazard
analysis prior to equipment use.
Once the employer
has identified the potential hazards that exist through the hazard
analysis, written policies and proce-dures should be developed that
eliminate or reduce em-ployee exposure to the hazard(s).
Recommendation #4: Provide training and
education for employees on the hazards and proper use of equipment
at the workplace.
Once the employer has
identified a hazard and has put poli-cies and procedures in place to
eliminate or minimize em-ployee exposure to the hazard, the employer
should commu-nicate this information to the affected employees
through training and education. In this case, a warning placard
which warned of the danger of a moving chain, was affixed to the
vehicle body adjacent to the ladder. However, because it was
acceptable to enter the dump body for some purposes, employees
likely became indifferent to the placard and the potential hazard.
Effective policies and procedures are those which are CLEARLY
communicated to EACH affected em-ployee and are reinforced on a
regular basis. It is important to remember that every employee has
different levels of ex-perience and knowledge and what seems obvious
to one employee may not be as obvious to another. Training and
educational materials should take all levels of experience into
and Ergonomics December 2, 2008 This session will help
attendees develop a process for recognizing and quantify-ing risks,
creating cost-effective solutions and documenting the effectiveness
of the results.
December 12, 2008 This session will help you fill out the
OSHA Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (Form 300) accurately
and correctly. This class will be
held from 9:00-12:00 noon.
Safety December 18, 2008 This session will discuss the four major hazards of the construction
industry: Fall Protec-tion, Scaffolding and Ladders, Electrical Hazards,
and Trench Safety. This class
will be held from 8:30 to 11:30.
Workplace Violence January 6, 2009
This workshop is designed
to make you more aware of the issues related to workplace violence and
to provide tools to help manage, defuse, and prevent it.
Powered Industrial Trucks January
27, 2009 Learn how to meet OSHA’s Powered Industrial Truck
Standard 29 CFR 1910.178 require-ments. This workshop will cover safe
work practices, methods of providing formal and practical training, and
tools for operator evaluation.
This discussion group meets the third Tuesday every month from 8:15 am
to 9:45 am. Pre-registration is required. To be placed on the e-mail
distribution list, contact John Able at,
Classes are free and
held at 200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT in Conference Room
A/B from 10 am - 12 noon, unless otherwise noted in the class
description. To register, contact John Able at
email@example.com. Pre-registration is required. For more
training information, visit
CONN-OSHA Training Update
This discussion group meets the third Tuesday every
month from 8:15 am to 9:45 am. Pre-registration is required. To be placed on the
e-mail distribution list, contact John Able at
Hazard Communication September 9
Employees will be better able to take steps to protect
themselves when they know what the hazards of chemicals are and how to avoid
exposure. This session will help attendees develop an effective Hazard
Construction Site Safety September 11
This session will discuss the four major hazards of
the construction industry: Fall Protection, Scaffolding and Ladders, Electrical
Hazards, and Trench Safety. This class will be held from 8:30 to 11:30.
OSHA Recordkeeping September 12
This session will help you fill out the OSHA Log of
Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (Form 300) accurately and correctly. This
class will be held from 9:00-12:00 noon.
Safe Driving October 22
Work-related vehicle crashes are the leading cause of
occupational fatalities according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor. This session will
describe safe driving and accident prevention skills. Your awareness of the need
for and the benefits of safe driving will be greatly improved.
Classes are free and held at 200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT in
Conference Room A/B from 10 am - 12 noon, unless otherwise noted in the class
description. To register, contact John Able at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Pre-registration is
required. For more training information, visit
Connecticut Department of Labor - OSHA 38 Wolcott Hill
Road Wethersfield, CT 06109 To receive the Quarterly electronically, contact
email@example.com. In the
subject line type “subscribe” and provide your e-mail address. You may also
reach us by phone at (860) 263-6900 or visit our website at
Fatality & Casualty Reporting State &
Town: CONN-OSHA (860) 263-6946 (local) or 1-866-241-4060 (toll-free) Private
Employers: Report to Federal OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA(6742)
March 01, 2017