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CONN-OSHA QUARTERLY
August, 2010

Volume No. 61
August 2010


 

CONN-OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program 

Consultation ImageAre you having trouble meeting your safety and health needs? CONN-OSHA offers professional, on-site consultations to both public and private employers in the State of Connecticut. Consultation services can help employers identify and correct potential safety and health hazards at their worksites, improve their safety and health programs, and prevent work-related injuries and illnesses in the workplace. Consultations are provided free of charge and are completely voluntary.    

CONN-OSHA recognizes the difficulties public officials, agency directors, and business owners face in technical and resource management of workplace safety and health issues. Our skilled staff can offer professional advice and assistance, consulting services, relevant educational programs and useful materials, and statistical data. We will partner with you and use our resources to help you move your safety and health programs forward. 

Topics which can be addressed during the consultation include: 

  • Air Contaminants;

  • Occupational Exposure to Noise;

  • Bloodborne Pathogens;

  • Ergonomic Issues;

  • Confined Spaces;

  • Hazardous Chemicals;

  • Hazard Communication;

  • Electrical Safety;

  • Machine Guarding;

  • Construction Safety;

  • Control of Hazardous Energy – Lockout/Tagout;

  • Trenching/Excavation Safety;

  • Recordkeeping (OSHA 300 log);

  • Personal Protective Equipment;

  • Tuberculosis;

  • Process Safety Management

Consultations are Confidential & Free

Consultation services are completely separate from OSHA enforcement operations. Your request will not prompt a federal or state OSHA compliance inspection. Our consultants will not provide company owner names or give any information about the workplace to enforcement staff, as long as the employer agrees to correct, in a timely manner, any serious hazards identified during the consultation visit.   

There is no fee for the on-site consultation visit. There is also no charge for any chemical, noise, or other type of monitoring conducted during the consultation visit. 

No Citations or Penalties  

CONN-OSHA consultants do not issue citations or propose penalties for violations of OSHA standards. Instead, solutions are offered for correcting identified hazards.    

Employer Determines Scope of Consultation  

Consultation requests are tailored to fit the needs of employers. An employer may request either a full-service visit or a limited visit, depending on specific needs. The employer controls the scope of the consultation visit. The employer may expand, limit or cancel the consultation at any time. 

How Consultations Can Help You

Our safety and health consultants provide a variety of services, including: 

  •  Identification and evaluation of safety and health hazards in your workplace;

  • Safety and health program evaluations;

  • Problem solving and hazard correction assistance;

  • Review of workplace injury and illness rates;

  • Training and education for you and your employees;

  • Industrial hygiene services include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Personal exposure monitoring for air contaminants;

    • Ambient air sampling for chemical and/or biological contaminants;

    • Indoor air quality surveys;

    • Noise exposure determinations;

    • Ergonomic evaluations.

The Consultation Process 

The consultation process begins with a manager’s request by phone, an on-line request, or a written request made directly to CONN-OSHA. Your assigned safety and/or health consultant will contact you to schedule a visit. The time required for the consultation visit will vary depending on the size of the workplace and the scope of the visit. In some cases, a follow-up visit may be necessary. The consultation visit consists of an opening conference, the walkthrough survey, a closing conference, and a written report. 

The Opening Conference  

When the consultant arrives, he or she will review the entire consultation process during an opening conference. The consultant will explain his or her role and your obligations as an employer.   

The Walkthrough Survey  

During the walkthrough survey (which is limited to the work  areas you specify), the consultant will assess conditions and work practices. The consultant will point out potential safety or health hazards, discuss applicable OSHA standards, and recommend possible control measures. An assessment of your existing safety and health program may be conducted. This would include a review of certain OSHA-required written programs which may be applicable to your workplace such as emergency action, lockout/tagout, hazard communication, confined space entry, and bloodborne pathogens programs. Employee bulletin board posting requirements may also be discussed. 

The Closing Conference

At the closing conference, the consultant will explain preliminary findings, review possible solutions, and schedule abatement periods to eliminate or control identified hazards.  Timelines for correction of serious hazards are discussed at this point. 

Employers are obligated to correct all serious and imminent danger hazards within a timeframe agreed upon between the employer and the consultant.  All serious hazards will have correction due dates. We ask the employer to inform us of all actions taken to correct serious and imminent danger hazards. Abatement of identified hazards is required in order to reach the consultation objective of effective employee protection.   

The Written Report  

Following the visit, the consultant will send you a detailed written report explaining all findings, possible control measures, and confirming abatement periods discussed during the closing conference. The results of any monitoring conducted will also be included in the written report.   

Establishing an effective safety and health program can help reduce workplace injury and illness rates, decrease workers’ compensation costs, improve employee morale and productivity, and cultivate an environment in which both employers and employees take responsibility for safety and health.   

To Request a Consultation:

  • Call CONN-OSHA at (860) 263-6900,

  • Write to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, Connecticut Department of Labor, 38 Wolcott Hill Road, Wethersfield, CT  06109, or

  • Complete and submit the online “Consultation Request Form” at: www.ctdol.state.ct.us/osha/consulti.htm

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SHARP (Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program) 

Connecticut OSHA’s (CONN-OSHA) Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) was developed to provide a road map and incentive for Connecticut employers and employees to work together to find and correct hazards, develop and implement effective safety and health programs, continuously improve, and become self-sufficient in managing occupational safety and health.  Employers who meet all of the eligibility criteria and on-going program requirements may be removed from Federal OSHA’s Programmed Inspection Schedule for “a period of not less than one year”.   

A program of CONN-OSHA’s Consultation group, the goal of SHARP is to recognize employers that have achieved an exemplary level of occupational safety and health management which has the effect of reducing injuries and illnesses. It also shows other employers that occupational safety and health can work for everyone.   

For an employer to be considered for SHARP, an employer must:

  • Employ less than 250 employees on site.

  • Have at least one year of operating history at the particular worksite for which the employer is seeking SHARP participation. This will establish the location’s Days Away, Restricted or Transferred (DART) rate and Total Recordable Cases (TRC) rate.

  • Request a consultation visit that involves a full service safety and health hazard identification survey, including a comprehensive assessment of the worksite’s safety and health management system.

The employers seeking SHARP approval should know that their worksites must:

  • Have an injury/illness rate that falls below the published Bureau of Labor Statistics rate for that industry.

  • Receive a score of at least “2” on all basic attributes of the Form 33.

  • Submit a request for SHARP participation to the Consultation Project Manager (CPM).

  • Receive a full-service safety and health consultation visit and a comprehensive review of their safety and health management system with all hazards found by the consultant(s) corrected.

  • Agree to notify the CPM and request a subsequent on-site consultation visit when changes in working conditions or work processes occur that may introduce new hazards into the workplace.

The journey to SHARP status begins with an employer’s request to participate in the SHARP program. OSHARP Logonce the request is received, a member of the CONN-OSHA consultation staff will conduct an initial assessment of a company to identify the strengths and weaknesses of its safety and health management program.  The company can then develop an action plan to focus its energy where it is most needed.  CONN-OSHA staff returns, as needed, to provide assistance and guidance.  When the company is ready, a consultant conducts a final assessment, and, if the company qualifies, recommends it for SHARP approval. In addition to receiving the SHARP certificate, the company is removed from the Federal OSHA list of programmed inspections for the period of SHARP approval. Initial SHARP approval lasts up to two years.  In order to re-qualify, SHARP companies are expected to work toward continuous improvement of their safety and health management systems. 

SHARP employers have the knowledge that they have achieved a safety goal that very few companies even consider possible. Connecticut companies that have achieved Sharp status include:

  • CAS Medical Systems, Inc.

  • Cooper-Atkins Corporation

  • Hi-Tech Profiles, Inc.

  • Infoshred, LLC.

  • Midwestern Connecticut Council on Alcoholism

  • Oxley, Inc.

  • Sanford & Hawley, Inc. - all three Connecticut locations have achieved SHARP status

  • Smurfit Stone Container Corporation, Inc.

  • Wafios Machinery Corporation

 Congratulations to all.

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Hazard Corner... Electrical Shutoff is Critical at a Fire 

This year, two firefighters from fire departments at opposite ends of the state received electrical shocks at different fire scenes. In 1996 a young volunteer firefighter lost his life from electrocution at a fire scene.  All of these accidents had one distinct thing in common: a breakdown of critical communication concerning electrical power. The confirmation that power is de-energized can never be assumed.      

In January 2010, a volunteer firefighter received an electrical shock when working an hazardsearly morning cottage fire. The major attack was over, but the utility company had not arrived at the scene. Since the power lines connected to the house were burnt through, the firefighters assumed there was no power to the cottage. A volunteer firefighter knelt on the ground to direct a small diameter hose stream under the cottage to extinguish hot spots. An electric shock created elbow pain, but he assumed it was pain from striking his arm against the hard, icy ground. When it happened a second time, he realized he had been shocked, dropped the hose, and backed away.  He was transported to the hospital by ambulance for evaluation. There were no signs of burns on his body or clothing and he was released. When the utility company arrived on scene, power was verified as still going to the house. 

In April 2010, a volunteer firefighter with 20 years of experience was shocked while fighting an apartment fire. The utility company was on scene. However, apparatus blocking the utility pole delayed the shut-off of power. A firefighter entering the building said he heard someone say that the power was shut. Once inside, he attempted to gain entry into a room where the door was blocked. While on his hands and knees, he reached around the door and felt a sharp pain run from his shoulder to his opposite hand. He rolled to his side to break the current, yelled, “power is on”, and immediately retreated from the building. He was treated at the hospital and released. Again, there were no burn marks on his body or clothing. Witness statements indicated that the power was cut at about the same time the shock occurred. 

In December 1996, a 23 year-old volunteer firefighter lost his life to electrocution. On arriving at a house fire, fire officials observed a downed electrical line. They contacted the utility company and requested the shut-off of power. Approximately 15 minutes after the request was made, the wires arced violently, a loud pop was heard, and the wires stopped arching. Without confirmation from the utility company, the fire officials assumed the power had been shut-off and directed the fire fighters to begin fighting the fire. After extinguishing the flames, a firefighter was walking backwards while checking for hot spots. His SCBA tank came into contact with the 23,000 volt electrical line.  He was fatally electrocuted. 

Direct face-to-face communication is the only recommended manner in which life critical information is transferred between the utility company and on-scene command.

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CONNECTICUT-OSHA ~ Training Update … 

  • Workplace Violence - September 14, 2010 - This workshop is designed to make you more aware of some of the issues related to workplace and to provide tools to help manage, defuse and prevent it. This class will be held from 10 am-noon.
     

  • OSHA Recordkeeping - October 5, 2010 - Learn how to fill out the OSHA Log of Work-Related Injuries & Illnesses (Form 300) accurately and correctly. This class will be held from 9am -noon.
     

  • Construction Site Safety - October 22, 2010 - Construction managers, first line supervisors, and construction employees will be provided with an overview of four areas of concern on the construction site.  Program contents include: fall protection, scaffolding and ladders, electrical hazards, and trenching safety.  This class will be held from 9:00 am-noon.
     

  • Confined Space Safety - November 17, 2010   This workshop includes the basic requirements and procedures involved with permit-required confined spaces as detailed in 29 CFR 1910.146.  This class will be held from 10 am-noon. 
     

  • Breakfast Roundtable - This discussion group meets the third Tuesday of 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 able.john@dol.gov   

Classes are free and held at 200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT in Conference Room A/B.  To register, contact John Able at able.john@dol.gov or Catherine Zinsser at zinsser.catherine@dol.gov.  Pre-registration is required. A Photo I.D. is required to allow  entry into a public building. For more training information, visit the CONN-OSHA web site  www.ctdol.state.ct.us/osha/osha.htm   

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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)



Connecticut Department of Labor - OSHA
38 Wolcott Hill Road
Wethersfield, CT 06109

To receive the Quarterly electronically, contact gregory.grayson@dol.gov. 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 www.ctdol.state.ct.us/osha/osha.htm.

CONN-OSHA Quarterly Index

Last Updated: March 01, 2017


200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT 06109 / Phone: 860-263-6000

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