Volume No. 67
- 146 Fatal Work
Injuries in New England in 2010
- Connecticut Department of Labor’s
Division of Occupational Safety and Health has a new
Director - Kenneth Tucker
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Hazard Alert: Bathtub Refinishers
Have Died While Stripping Tubs
- Hazard Corner …
- Training Update ...
Fatal Work Injuries in New England in 2010
A preliminary total of 4,547 fatal work
injuries were recorded in the United States in 2010, about the
same as the final count of 4,551 fatal work injuries in 2009,
according to results from the Census of Fatal Occupational
Injuries (CFOI) program conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics. The rate of fatal work injuries for U.S. workers in
2010 was 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, the
same as the final rate for 2009. Over the last 3 years,
increases in the published counts based on information received
after the release of preliminary data have averaged 174
fatalities per year or about 3 percent of the revised totals.
Final 2010 CFOI data will be released in Spring 2012.
Economic factors continue to play a role
in the fatal work injury counts. Total hours worked were up
slightly in 2010 in contrast to the declines recorded in both
2008 and 2009, but some historically high-risk industries
continued to experience declines or slow growth in total hours
New England; A total of 146 fatal work
injuries were reported in New England in 2010. Regional
Commissioner Denis M. McSweeney noted that, while the 2010 count
is preliminary, it was the 4th-lowest count since the series
began in 1992. One year ago, the series low of 139 on-the-job
fatalities was recorded. Overall, fatal occupational injuries in
New England accounted for about 3 percent of the nation’s 4,547
Among the six New England states,
on-the-job fatalities were highest in Massachusetts (51) and
Connecticut (49), the two states with the largest workforces.
Together, Massachusetts and Connecticut accounted for nearly 70
percent of the fatal occupational injuries occurring in New
England. Maine (19 fatalities) and Vermont (13) represented 13
and 9 percent of the New England fatality count, respectively.
Rhode Island ended the year with nine work-related fatalities
and New Hampshire, five.
In 2010, four New England states
recorded increases in their on-the-job fatality counts, while
two reported decreases. Connecticut recorded the largest
increase with 15 fatalities. The on-the-job fatality count fell
by 13 in Massachusetts.
Connecticut; In Connecticut, the
fatality count of 49 was the highest total in the state since
2004. In 2010, the most frequent fatal workplace events were
assaults and violent acts (17), transportation incidents (11),
and fires and explosions (8). Workplace fatalities were most
common in the trade, transportation, and utilities (15) and
construction (12) industries. Among occupational groups,
transportation and material moving (14) and construction and
extraction (10) occupations accounted for nearly half of the
state’s fatality count.
More than half (25) of all worker deaths
were individuals 35-54 years old. Black, non-Hispanics, Asians,
and Hispanics or Latinos combined for 11 workplace fatalities in
Connecticut, the largest total for these groups in any New
Maine; Maine had 19 on-the-job
deaths in 2010. Nearly two-thirds (12) of the fatalities were
the result of transportation incidents of which nine were
highway accidents. Both the natural resources and mining and
trade, transportation, and utilities industries accounted for
four fatalities each in Maine. Among occupational groups, the
transportation and material moving group accounted for eight
fatalities and farming, fishing, and forestry had four
fatalities. Nearly all of the fatally injured workers in Maine
were white, non-Hispanics (18). Among the age groups, almost
half (9) of the state’s fatalities were from workers 55 and
Massachusetts; In Massachusetts,
the fatality count of 51 in 2010 was the lowest total in the
Commonwealth since 2002. The most frequent fatal event was falls
(15), followed by transportation incidents (14) and assaults and
violent acts (12). These three events accounted for 80 percent
of Massachusetts’s workplace deaths.
The greatest number of fatal workplace
incidents occurred in the construction industry (13); government
followed with 10 fatalities. Construction and extraction
occupations had the highest number of on-the-job fatalities
(14), followed by transportation and material moving occupations
(8). Eighty percent of the fatally injured workers in the
Commonwealth were white, non-Hispanics while 14 percent were
Hispanic or Latino, the highest reported share for that group in
any New England state. By age group, 45-54-year-olds had 13
fatalities and 55-64-year-olds had 12 fatalities, accounting for
25 and 24 percent of the state’s total, respectively.
New Hampshire; In 2010, New
Hampshire had five workplace fatalities, one less than a year
earlier and the lowest number since the series’ inception in
1992. All of the fatally injured in the state were males.
Rhode Island; Rhode Island
recorded nine workplace deaths in 2010, an increase of two from
the previous year. Assaults and violent acts led to four
workplace fatalities in the state. All recorded fatalities were
Vermont; In 2010, Vermont had 13
workplace fatalities, one more than the previous year.
Transportation incidents accounted for seven on-the-job
fatalities in the state. Four fatalities in Vermont occurred in
natural resources and mining. All of the fatally injured workers
in Vermont were white, non-Hispanic males and eight of them were
age 55 or older.
Background of the program; The
Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), part of the BLS
Occupational Safety and Health Statistics (OSHS) program,
compiles a count of all fatal work injuries occurring in the
U.S. during the calendar year. The CFOI program uses diverse
state, federal, and independent data sources to identify,
verify, and describe fatal work injuries. This assures counts
are as complete and accurate as possible. For the 2010 data,
over 18,000 unique source documents nationally were reviewed as
part of the data collection process.
Connecticut Department of Labor’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health
has a new Director - Kenneth Tucker
Kenneth Tucker has been named Director of the Connecticut Department of Labor’s
Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CONN-OSHA). An Air Force veteran,
Tucker, has been with the Connecticut Department of Labor since 1986, had been
serving as the Division’s acting director for the past three years.
Tucker considers himself lucky to be working in a job that he loves. It is this
love for his job that fuels the enthusiasm and energy necessary for him to
promote CONN-OSHA’s mission and build upon its past accomplishments. As the
Director of CONN-OSHA, he is responsible for overseeing the enforcement of
occupational health and safety regulations as they pertain to public sector
In addition to overseeing enforcement, Tucker will also oversee CONN-OSHA’s
on-site consultation program for the public and private sectors, CONN-OSHA’s
training and education programs; CONN-OSHA’s Statistics Unit, and the
Occupational Health Clinics program.
In his spare time, Tucker serves as District Governor for Lions International,
is past-president of the Montville Mohegan Pequot Lions Club, and is a past
union steward with the Administrative and Residual Employees Union. He resides
in Norwich with his wife, Nancy. They have five children and six grandchildren.
The staff of CONN-OSHA congratulate Ken on his well deserved accomplishment.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, toxic gas which interferes with
the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood. CO is non-irritating and can overcome
persons without warning. Many people die from CO poisoning, usually while using
gasoline powered tools, equipment and generators in buildings or semi-enclosed
spaces without adequate ventilation.
Effects of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Severe carbon monoxide poisoning causes:
neurological damage, illness, coma, death. Symptoms of CO exposure: Headaches,
dizziness, drowsiness nausea, vomiting, tightness across the chest.
Some Sources of Exposure:
generators/generators in buildings.
Power trowels, floor
buffers, space heaters.
Never use a
generator indoors or in enclosed or partially en closed spaces such as
garages, crawl spaces, and basements. Opening windows and doors in an
enclosed space may prevent CO buildup.
Make sure the
generator has 3-4 feet of clear space on all sides and above it to ensure
Do not use a
generator outdoors if placed near doors, windows or vents which could allow
CO to enter and build up in occupied spaces.
When using space
heaters and stoves ensure that they are in good working order to reduce CO
buildup, and never use in enclosed spaces or indoors.
Consider using tools
powered by electricity or compressed air, if available.
If you experience
symptoms of CO poisoning get to fresh air right away and seek immediate medical
OSHA Quick Card
Hazard Alert: Bathtub Refinishers Have Died While
Since 2000 at least 13 tub refinishing workers have died nationwide due to
overexposure to methylene chloride based strippers. The majority of these tub
refinishers were working alone in small bathrooms with limited ventilation and
inadequate respiratory protection.
Methylene chloride is a hazardous chemical that is regulated by OSHA. Short term
exposure to high levels of methylene chloride can cause dizziness and headaches.
The liver metabolizes methylene chloride to carbon monoxide. Elevated levels of
carbon monoxide in the blood can cause heart attacks, irregular heart rhythms
and sudden death. Employees with chronic exposure to methylene chloride are at
an increased risk of developing cancer.
The most effective way to prevent work-related fatalities is to use non
methylene chloride based strippers. Because alternative strippers and other tub
reglazing chemicals can be hazardous, employers should always review the
products’ material safety data sheets (MSDS) and provide employees with hazard
OSHA’s methylene chloride standard requires employers to control occupational
exposure to methylene chloride through the use of exposure monitoring,
engineering controls, work practices, respiratory protection and medical
surveillance. If employers decide to continue using strippers that contain
methylene chloride the following safe work practices should be followed:
Evaluation: Evaluate exposures by collecting short term and full shift
air samples. Current investigations suggest that bathtub refinishing with
methylene chloride based strippers will most likely result in air levels that
exceed OSHA’s permissible exposure limits.
Ventilation: Use make up air and effective local exhaust ventilation.
Attach duct work to the intake side of a portable exhaust fan/blower. Because
methylene chloride is heavier than air, place the duct work as close as possible
to the bottom of the tub, and place the exhaust fan in the bathroom window.
Ceiling fans alone are not sufficient.
Work Practices, Respiratory Protection and Protective Equipment: Leave
the room after applying strippers and keep the ventilation systems running.
Use tool handle extenders to minimize leaning into
Use full-face supplied air respirators (a fresh air
system). Dust masks and cartridge respirators do not provide
protection from methylene chloride vapors.
Wear butyl or polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) gloves. Latex
or nitrile gloves are not protective.
Connecticut OSHA can help employers implement these
evaluation and control strategies. Call 860-263-6900 to request a free
OSHA Quick Takes (November 1, 2011 · Volume 10, Issue
Michigan Fatality Assessment & Control Evaluation (FACE)
Fatality & Casualty Reporting:
4 Hazard Corner … PROPANE, by James R. Fusaro
When I was asked to write an article about propane safety, I
discovered that I knew about as much regarding propane as I do quantum
physics. I then decided to limit my article to what most people need to know
about propane. So after doing a little research I came up with some fun (or
maybe not-so-fun) facts that I thought readers of this publication might be
interested in. Here goes my attempt at writing my (hopefully) Pulitzer Prize
piece on this very interesting and potentially explosive topic.
Propane should not be feared if handled and used properly,
but should always be respected as it has the potential to become a fatal
fireball. My job as an Occupational Safety Officer is not to tell you about
how life with propane is rosy all the time, but for me to inform you about
what can happen when shortcuts are taken by people. Propane (also called
Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, LP Gas, or liquid propane gas) is a flammable
mixture of hydrocarbon gases used as a fuel, a refrigerant and an aerosol
Many of us have at least 20 pounds of propane in our back
yards posing as a magical source of fire for our barbeque grills. These 20
pounds of propane equal approximately 4.7 gallons of liquid and weighs about
½ the weight of an equivalent amount of water. With an expansion rate of 270
to 1, one gallon of propane will produce 270 gallons of propane in the air.
Multiply that by 4.7 and you’ve now got about 1,270 gallons of potentially
explosive gas in your back yard.
If you smell the odor of propane (which is really an
odorless gas with a foul-smelling additive, usually mercaptan, to make it
detectible for us), whether indoors or out, immediately leave the premises
and call your propane dealer or fire department and inform them what type of
gas you use. This will let them know what they’ll be looking for and how to
look for it, as propane is heavier than air, but natural gas is lighter than
air. Whomever the emergency responders in your area happen to be, they
should be testing/metering while wearing full personal protective equipment
(PPE) in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association and OSHA
standards to provide them with the necessary protection while monitoring for
the presence of gas and location of the leak. Remember, they are working in
a potentially IDLH (Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health) atmosphere and
should treat it as known IDLH.
A few more things that are good to know:
A gallon of liquid propane contains 91,560 BTU’s (a BTU,
or British Thermal Unit, is the amount of energy needed to raise one
pound of water one degree Fahrenheit).
Propane tanks and cylinders are made of heavy duty steel
which are tested at the factory and re-inspected according to DOT
regulations and industry standards.
Whenever a propane tank is changed, it should be
inspected for leaks by spraying the connection with soapy water. If you
see bubbles, shut it down and re-connect, then check it again.
Let licensed professionals service your propane
appliances and tanks as Carbon Monoxide (CO) can be produced by
incomplete combustion or improperly vented appliances.
Make sure you have working CO detectors in your house if
you use propane for indoor appliances.
All in all, propane is a safe and environmentally
friendly fuel, meeting standards set forth by the Federal Clean Air Act
In closing, if you’d like an interesting application for
your smart phone or PC, try
http://wiser.nlm.nih.gov for emergency responder information for almost
all known hazardous materials, it’s free!
CONN-OSHA Training Update
Powered Industrial Trucks March 6, 2012, from 10:00 a.m.
to noon This workshop includes the basic requirements of the OSHA 29 CFR
1910.178 Powered Industrial Truck Standard which affects both General
Industry and Construction material handling operations.
OSHA Recordkeeping March 8, 2012, from 8:30 a.m. to noon
At this workshop, you will learn how to fill out the OSHA 300 Log of
Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses accurately and correctly.
Trenching & Excavation May 22, 2012, from 10:00 a.m. to
noon This workshop will provide an overview of 29 CFR 1926.650-652
excavations, including the role of the competent person. The session is
designed to assist participants in identifying hazards associated with
excavations and related activities
Construction Site Safety June 12, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. to
noon 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.
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
Classes are free and held at 200 Folly Brook Boulevard,
Wethersfield, CT in Conference Room A/B. To register, contact John Able at
firstname.lastname@example.org or Catherine Zinsser at email@example.com.
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