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CONN-OSHA Quarterly
May, 2011

Volume No. 64
May 2011

Train Workers in a Language They Understand ...
Anne Bracker, MPH,CIH

iFeliz Cinco de Mayo! Es un dia muy importante e historico para los immigrantes mejicanos. "Los trabajadores Latinos trabajan en las condiciones mas peligrosas y con muy pocas protecciones."'

For many of you, the beginning sentences of this article are meaningless because they are written in Spanish. Imagine the frustration of a worker who attends a health and safety training program that is presented in a language that he or she doesn't understand. All workers, including those for whom English may not be a first language, need to understand the hazards they face and what their OSHA rights are.

Among the most vulnerable work­ers in America are those who work in high-hazard industries. Many of the workers who do the hardest and most dangerous jobs in our country are native and foreign-born Hispanic or Latino workers. Immigrant Latino workers die on the job at a rate that is 50 percent higher than other workers2. About 14 Latino workers die on the job every week3.

Because of language barriers or low literacy skills, many vulnerable workers cannot be trained effectively with an English-only training program. For this reason, OSHA requires employers to present health and safety training materials in a language that their workers can understand. The training materials should be appropriate in content and vocabulary to the educational level, literacy, and language of the employees.

Health and safety training and outreach materials in Spanish and other languages are available on OSHA's website:  http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/compliance_assistance/

1Happy Cinco de Mayo. This is an important and historic day for Mexican immigrants. “Latino workers face the most dangerous working conditions and the fewest protections.” (David Michaels-Assistant Secretary of Labor - National Action Summit for Latino Workers Health and Safety (April 14-15, 2010).
2
OSHA Update for Associated General Contractors of America (July 24, 2010) Jordan Barab, OSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary.
3
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor 2010.

Number of fatal work injuries involving Hispanic or Latino workers, 1992-2009

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Welcome to Commissioner Glenn Marshall and Deputy Commissioner Dennis Murphy

 

Commissioner Glenn Marshall

Governor Dannel P. Malloy has tapped Glenn Marshall to serve as the new commissioner of the Department of Labor, and has chosen Dennis Murphy as the agency's new deputy commissioner.

Marshall, of Milford, is currently the president of Carpenters Union Local 210, where he led advocacy efforts on behalf of a construction labor force, including working closely on state legislative and administrative matters that impact the construction industry and the economy of Connecticut. In this position, he gained recognized respect as a leader who has worked well with both organized labor and Connecticut businesses.

Murphy, of Bridgeport, is a Neutral Labor Arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association, FINRA and the ADR Center, Inc. He previously served as the Director of Human Resources for the City of Stamford from 2004-2008, and was the Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Bridgeport from 1994-2002.

"In order to run the Labor Department, it is important to have someone who can work effectively as a consensus builder,” Governor Malloy said. “I strongly reject the premise that you have to be either pro-labor or pro-business – you have to be both. There is no doubt that in these tough economic times we need to have a responsible approach to decision making and an ability to work with broad-based coalitions. Glenn and Dennis – both of whom I have known for years – will take their respective experiences and put them to work at the Department of Labor, finding new and unique ways to ensure our state’s labor force is protected, and our state’s business community thrives."

This is a tremendous honor and I’d like to thank Governor Malloy for this opportunity,” said Marshall. “I’ve respected Governor Malloy for speaking frankly and honestly about the unique ways in which we need to get the labor and business communities around the same table on behalf of the people of Connecticut. That will be my guiding principle as I begin this next phase in my career.”

Deputy Commissioner Dennis Murphy

Having worked with Governor Malloy while he was the Mayor of Stamford, I’m looking forward to working with him once again,” said Murphy. “In this economy, we can’t afford to label ourselves pro-labor or pro-business. Governor Malloy expects all of us to be pro-Connecticut, and to find ways to create new jobs and get people back to work. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

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Got Mold?

When the heavy snow melted, water made its way into buildings. If ignored, that water can lead to mold growth, especially on porous materials such as carpet, sheetrock, ceiling tiles, and insulation. When mold spores become airborne, exposure to them can cause various health effects including allergic reactions, asthma, and serious complications for those with impaired immune systems.

Ideally, wetted materials should be removed or dried as soon as possible so that mold growth does not occur. Maintaining relative humidity inside a building below 60% may also help prevent mold growth. If not addressed immediately, occupants may begin complaining about allergic reactions or moldy or musty odors. These are signs that mold growth may be present and remediation may be necessary. Remediation includes identifying the source and eliminating it. Keep the following in mind:

  • The extent of water damage and mold growth should be assessed. This should include identifying the types and amounts of materials that have been affected.

  • If the area is less that 10 feet square you may clear it yourself. If the area is larger, has been contaminated by sewage, or is in a hidden place, hire a professional.

  • Once identified, materials with potential mold growth should be cleaned or removed, depending on the material. Always ensure that building materials are tested for asbestos and lead before being disturbed.

  • Cleaning or removing of materials should take place with barriers set up to prevent dust and other airborne contaminants generated during the work from entering the occupied spaces.

  • Anyone performing remediation work should wear appropriate personal protective equipment.

  • Active water intrusion should be investigated and repaired.

  • Once remediation has occurred, check regularly to insure mold has not returned.

For more information refer to the following OSHA documents:

  • Preventing Mold-Related Problems in the Workplace (OSHA 3304-04N 2006)

  • A Brief Guide to Mold in the Workplace (SHIB 03-10-10)

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Cranes and Derricks in Construction - Final Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a historic new standard in August 2010, addressing the use of cranes and derricks in construction and replacing a decades old standard. The significant number of fatalities associated with the use of cranes and derricks in construction and the considerable technological advances in equipment since the publication of the old rule, issued in 1971, led the Labor Department to undertake this rulemaking.

The rule became effective November 8, 2010. Certain provisions have delayed effective dates ranging from 1 to 4 years. The final rule was published on August 9, 2010 by the Federal Register, and can be found at http://www.osha.gov/FedReg_osha_pdf/FED20100809.pdf . A copy of the regulatory text is available at: http://www.osha.gov/doc/cranesreg.pdf

This new standard will comprehensively address key hazards related to cranes and derricks on construction worksites, including the four main causes of worker death and injury: electrocution, crushed by parts of the equipment, struck-by the equipment/load, and falls.

Significant requirements in this new rule include: a pre-erection inspection of tower crane parts; use of synthetic slings in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions during assembly/disassembly work; assessment of ground conditions; qualification or certification of crane operators; and procedures for working in the vicinity of power lines.

A “Small Entity Compliance Guide For Final Rule For Cranes and Derricks in Construction” has been released, and can be found at: http://www.osha.gov/cranes-derricks/small_entity.html

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Fall Protection in Residential Construction
New OSHA document describes methods to help prevent injuries, deaths among residential construction workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a guidance document on Fall Protection in Residential Construction to help employers prevent fall-related injuries and deaths among residential construction workers. Data shows that falls are the leading cause of death for workers involved in residential construction. The guidance document can be found at: http://www.osha.gov/doc/guidance.pdf

OSHA has also issued STD 03-11-002, Compliance Guidance for Residential Construction, which rescinds STD 03-00-001, Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidance for Residential Construction, and provides that OSHA will be enforcing 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(13) for all residential construction work, effective June 16, 2011. This directive can be found at: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=DIRECTIVES&p_id=4755

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Hazard Corner ...

crane image

In 2005, a 40-year-old construction laborer lost his life to a crane accident.

A truck driver was transporting concrete forming panels. Despite being properly restrained, the straps loosened during transport and the panels fell off the truck and into the roadway. The driver called the company and two employees were dispatched to help clear the debris.

The employees arrived with a boom truck to clear the roadway and re-load the truck. The operator used the hydraulic crane on the back of the truck to lift steel cages while a laborer loaded wooden forms onto the truck.

The boom came in contact with overhead power lines and the laborer was electrocuted. Neither the driver nor the other employee outside the truck was injured. The laborer was an eight-month employee of the company.

Nearly 30% of the approximately 350 electrical-related fatalities that occur each year involve cranes and overhead power lines. To avoid such a tragedy, employers should ensure that workers assigned to operate cranes and other boomed vehicles are specifically trained in safe operating procedures. This training should include:

  • The proper techniques for rescuing coworkers or recovering equipment when working around power lines.

  • Understanding the limitations of such devices as boom guards, insulated lines, ground rods, nonconductive links, and proximity warning devices and recognizing that these devices are not substitutes for de-energizing and grounding lines or maintaining safe clearance.

  • The danger posed by overhead power lines is often compounded by other factors, such as uneven ground that could cause the crane to weave or bob into power lines, and windy conditions that can make the power lines sway, reducing clearance. Cranes should be operated at a slower-than-normal speed in the vicinity of power lines.

  • Where it is difficult for the crane operator to maintain safe clearance by visual means, designate a person to observe the clearance and to give immediate warning when the crane approaches the limits of safe clearance [29 CFR 1926.550(a) (15)(iv)]. Safe minimum clearance is as follows:

power line voltage chart

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Training Update ...

  • OSHA Recordkeeping. May 19, 2011, 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.

  • Work Zone Safety. May 24, 2011, from 10:00 to noon Basic guidelines for work zone traffic control and the requirements of Part VI of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) with particular emphasis on short term work sites on roads and streets in rural and small urban areas will be presented.

  • Construction Site Safety. June 7, 2011, 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.

  • Trenching & Excavation. June 28, 2011, 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.

  • Safe Driving. July 26, 2011, from 10:00 a.m. to noon The goal of this session is to increase awareness of the need for and the benefits of safe driving. The focus of this session will be the four skills that have the most promise of preventing crashes.

  • 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


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