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Aurora OSHA Construction News



April 4, 1998 Vol. 2, Issue 1

1) Another impalement on rebar occurred in Naperville. The worker slipped at grade onto unprotected vertical rebar that was 30 inches high. It punctured his neck and missed the jugular vein by one inch. The worker received nine stitches in the neck area.

2) In October 1997, a concrete pumper tipped over injuring a worker in the head and shoulders. The cause was the outriggers sinking in the ground. Outriggers must be supported similar to cranes. If they are sinking at all, then compaction and/or a wider pad must be used.

3) DOT approved gas cans are permitted on construction sites in Region 5 although they do not have a flame arrester or self closing lid. (8/26/1996 Region V memo)

4) The largest penalty in OSHA last year appears to be the asbestos issues at the Pittsburgh airport ($1.1 million).

5) There has been no enforcement of 1926.451(e)(9) and (g)(2) in the Northern Illinois area yet. These standards deal with access and fall protection for scaffold erectors. These cases must be reviewed by the National Office for concurrence prior to issuance.

6) An employee knocking out a support pole in a old restaurant demolition job caused the building to collapse onto him in Northwest Illinois this winter.

7) In February, undermining an existent apartment building foundation in Chicago caused the structure to actually lean requiring supports.

8) In Arlington Heights, OSHA is investigating another masonry wall collapse that happened in March. No one was injured.

9) The Aurora Office affirmed another Willful citation for guardrails against a large plastering contractor.

10) OSHA won a non-precedent setting case on multi-employer citation policy against a large North Carolina contractor in the Appeals court in Illinois.

11) In February, a contractor loading shingles buckled the three story Chicago apartment building's roof. An employee was injured in the fall.

12) In a recent court case, OSHA affirmed a willful multi employer citation against R.W. Dunteman regarding trench safety. The inspection occurred in the Chicago North office jurisdiction.

13) The use of plastic sheeting as a mid-rail is not acceptable unless it has 150 psf strength as specified by the manufacturer.

14) We have seen high carbon monoxide levels in many warehouses under construction. We have cited 1926.154(a)(1) for not providing ventilation.

15) Our office went to contest with the largest construction manager in the country and affirmed a multi-employer citation this winter.

16) The use of a trench box with out two horizontal supports at each end is not acceptable and many competent persons are unaware of this.

17) Congratulations to Rodney Johnson, foreman for Area Erectors, whose ironworkers used fall protection when below 25 feet. The building was 30 feet and sloped down to 23 feet at the other side. The project manager had insisted that Rod require the men to walk the steel rather than put in stone for the aerial lifts. Area was connecting steel from aerial lifts, and could not get the lifts through the mud. After listening to OSHA, the construction manager brought in stone and graded the area to allow Area Erectors to complete the steel erection.

18) Recently, we have conducted comprehensive construction inspections due to formal employee complaints. Typically, we've asked the company to supply the data sheet for the most hazardous chemical on the site, and most companies do not have the MSDS for the worst chemical. Some of the MSDS's were 20 years old. Many chemicals have become known carcinogens in this time. MSDS's should not be older than three years.

19) Under OSHA's whistleblower authority, OSHA would investigate an employee work refusal when a company requires truck driving in unsafe weather conditions such as a blizzard, tornado, etc. OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.

20) There is another OSHA reform proposal. House bill (H.R. 2879) wants to amend the OSHA Act by adding the following language. "An employer may not be cited for a violation if the employer.

(1) has no employees exposed to the violation; and

(2) has not created the condition that caused the violation or assumed responsibility for ensuring compliance by other employers on the work site.

The use of the "or" in the second sentence can be interpreted differently to many people.

21) The use of a metal receptacle box lying on the ground is hazardous because the wires can be jostled loose from the terminal screws.

22) Our office investigated a flat roof fall to a construction worker in Rochelle. He was shoveling snow off when he slipped off. He sustained a broken hip and spinal injuries.

23) Calumet City office is investigating incidents of carbon monoxide overexposure on chimney repair jobs.

24) Our office is investigating a construction company who clears out muck at the bottom of a steel blast furnace. Toxic metals such as arsenic, lead, and cadmium would require that contractor to meet those standards particular hygiene requirements.

25) Tying to vehicles to support steel columns is not acceptable. We saw this in a job by Rockford recently.

26) Appellate Judge Ann Williams sentenced Pittsburgh-Des Moines (PDM) to 5 years of probation and a $1,000,000 fine from safety issues at the post office collapse that happened in Chicago. PDM must submit a list of all its jobs to OSHA prior to job commencement as part of its probation.

27) Three of the top penalized inspections in Illinois involved lead. Our office plans to double the lead inspections in construction this summer. We hope to inspect all demolition, paint removal, and bridge beam removal jobs.

28) A review of the most frequently cited national construction violations reveals different citations than occurred in the past (see the table). In addition, the national violations are different than the Aurora office violations. Our office does not usually issue 1926.28 (a) citations. The use of 1926.304 (f) must be big in one part of the country. It usually is not in the Top 100.

29) When there is silica, there are noise/hearing conservation program issues when looking at highway and bridge construction's most cited list.

30) Our office did an inspection of a large utility company. Two workers went in a telecommunication vault to wire a new phone. They disregarded the company's written policy of Test, Purge, and Ventilate. Both workers had 25 years with the company. The workers said they disregarded the policy because they had tested the manhole on eight previous jobs and never found anything. The vault had running storm sewer water about knee deep. The company provided extensive written training records, numerous audits of this crew, and records of discipline to other employees in the company. The company met the unpreventable employee misconduct defense.

31) The use of 1926.501 (b)(15) is increasing nationwide and in Illinois, but not in our office. It has been cited for working on sloped surfaces such as water towers, but there is no immediate explanation of the sudden increase.

If you would like to receive this newsletter via E-mail, contact "charlie.shields@aurora.osha.gov". Due to costs, this cannot be mailed to indivdual companies.

Comments on the newsletter should be addressed to John Newquist c/o OSHA, 344 Smoke Tree Lane, North Aurora, IL 60542 or call (630) 896-8700.

The next issue should be out by July 1998.
Most Frequency Cited Serious Construction Standard

Aurora Area Office

3/1/97-2/19/98

Rank
Standard
Description
1 1926.20(b)(1)

Deficient accident prevention program

2 1926.451(g)(1) No guardrails on scaffolds

3

1926.21(b)(2)

Deficient safety training

4


1926.652(a)(1)


Unsafe trench

5

5 (a)(1)

General duty clause

6

1926.451(e)(1)

Unsafe access to scaffolds

7

1926.100(a)

No hard hats

8

1926.701(b)

Unprotected rebar or using plastic caps

9

1926.706(b)

Inadequate masonry wall bracing

10

1926.451(b)(1)

Not fully decking scaffold levels

Comments about the most frequently cited items.

1) Having a canned written program is not acceptable. This program must be reviewed annually and incorporate written rules to prevent accidents (or OSHA citations, losses) that happened in 1997.

2) Number one source for a drive by inspection. 90% have no guardrails at all. Welded frame scaffolds and pumpjacks are the most common problems.

3) Hiring a construction worker with 10 years of experience does not meet this standard. Initial orientation must be done or some sort of verification of the employee's knowledge on safety has to be conducted. We are seeing many workers not know basic safety.

4) A rash of competent persons being hurt or in unsafe situations leads us to believe that re-training is overdue. Most bad excavations are multiple heights. If the bank is 7 feet vertical, then protection is needed.

5) Most common problem is sinking of outriggers for cranes. We have been citing this for self propelled aerial lifts under ANSI A92.5. This may change to 1926.451 (g)(1)(vii).

6) This is often for climbing welded frame scaffolds where the frames have horizontal supports of 18 inches or more.

7) More citations for this issue in our office than any time in the last ten years.

8) Reinforcing steel presents an impalement on grade when 36 inches or less. The use of plastic caps violates the manufacturer's instructions on safe use. They are only intended for scratch protection.

9) 1997 was the worst year yet for wall collapses in Northern Illinois. Two dead and several hurt in six wall collapses. A simple vertical plank with a diagonal plank is not acceptable.

10) If employees are working on welded frame scaffolds, then their work platform must be decked fully.
Most Frequency Penalized Serious Construction Standard

Aurora Area Office

3/1/97-2/19/98

$$$$
Standard
Description

$8729

1926.652(a)(1)

Unsafe trench

$3445

1926.501(b)(1)

Unprotected sides and edges

$2996

1926.706(b)

Inadequately supported masonry wall

$2813

1926.501(b)(10)

No fall protection on flat roofs

$2766

1926.451 (g)(1)

No guardrails on scaffolds

$2500

1926.251 (e)(2)

Exceeding sling capacity

$2466

1926.501 (b)(4)(i)

Not protecting floor openings

$2287

1926.501 (b)(11)

No fall or slide protection on sloped roofs

$2250

1926.103 (a)(1)

Wearing wrong respirator for silica

$2073

1926.701 (b)

Unprotected rebar

Comments about the most penalized items

1) Having a competent person who knows the rules for sloping and chooses not to follow them is responsible for many willful citations.

2) This is cited repeat probably more than other citation in our office. Usually, there were some rails, but they had many areas which were not protected.

3) Usually a 20 foot high wall without bracing is assessed $5000 initially. The size of the employer can reduce this to $2000 for a first time offense.

4) Many experienced roofing companies are not putting up warning lines. This is important around the access ladder area.

5) This is the number one reason for drive by inspection under the FALL LEP. Usually fall distance is 15-20 feet.

6) Every synthetic sling has a rated capacity marked on them. The competent person must know the weight of the load being lifted.

7) A cause of many fatal accidents, this condition is a prevalent problem on the roof lately.

8) Most commonly cited for a two story residential 6/12 pitch roof with no slide guards or other fall protection.

9) The Silica NEP results in this citation when overexposure is found. Often companies have never conducted any silica sampling, training, or preventive measures resulting in the higher penalty.

10) About 60% are for exposed rebar and the rest for using the 100% plastic caps that are not allowed for impalement protection by their manufacturers.

Significant OSHA Construction Enforcement Action in Illinois

1997

Penalty Craft Major Issues

1) $330,000 Demolition Lead

2) $189,000 Demolition Lead

3) $162,000 Painter Lead

4) $131,600 Plasterer Scaffolds

5) $117,600 Demolition Fall Protection

6) $112,500 Residential CM Fall protection, fire protection, safety programs, Multi-employer

7) $77,000 Tunneling Fall Protection

8) $72,000 Mechanical Unsafe Trench

9) $60,000 Mason Wall bracing, scaffolds

10) $56,000 Trenching Unsafe Trench

11) $51,500 Highway Power line clearance

12) $40,000 Ironworkers Aerial lifts

13) $32,000 Ironworkers Fall Protection

14) $28,000 Trenching Unsafe trench

15) $28,000 Ironworkers Fall Protection

16) $27,500 Residential CM Guardrails, hard hats, multi-employer

17) $26,250 Mason Scaffolds

18) $25,450 Mechanical Unsafe trench

19) $24,750 Tank construction Hazardous waste, confined space

20) $22,500 Bridge Const. Lead

21) $21,000 Ironworker Fall Protection

22) $21,000 Gen. Contractor Guardrails

23) $17,500 Const. Mgr. Cranes, rigging, safety program, multi-employer

24) $17,400 Plasterer Scaffolds

25) $17,250 Tuckpointer Silica, respirator
 
Most Frequency Cited Serious Construction Standard

Nationwide

3/1/97-2/19/98

 
Rank
 
Standard
 
Description

1

1926.501(b)(15)
 
No fall protection on walking/walking surfaces not addressed by Subpart M


2

 
5 (a)(1)

General Duty Clause

3
 
1926.405(b)(2)
 
No covers on panel or other electrical boxes/no insulated bushing for conductors
 
4

  1926.304(f)

 Woodworking equipment not meet ANSI 1961 standard
 
5
 
1926.28(a)

Not requiring the wearing of PPE when employee is exposed to a hazard
 
6

1926.95(a)


Not requiring the wearing of PPE when employee is exposed to a hazard

 
7
 
1926.454(b)

No training of scaffold inspector/erector

8

1926.451(f)(3)

Scaffold not inspected before each work shift

9
 
1926.1051(a)

Not using a ladder when there is a break of elevation of 19 inches or more
 
10

1926.403(i)(2)(i)
 
Not guarding live electrical parts

John Newquist : Safety Specialist - Aurora OSHA Office
 
Most Frequency Cited Construction Standard

Highway and Bridge Contractors

SIC 1611-1622 - 1997 Illinois

 
Rank
 
Standard
 
Description

1

1926.501(b)(1)

No fall protection at edges

2

1926.20(b)(1)
 
Deficient safety program

3
 
1926.21(b)(2)

Lack of safety training

4
 
1926.52(d)(1)
 
No hearing conservation program

5

1926.55(a)

Overexposure to silica

6

1926.55(b)

No engineering controls for exposures to silica
 
7

1926.62(i)(2)(i)


No change area for employees exposed to lead

 
8
 
1926.62(i)(5)(i)

No hand washing facility for employees exposed to lead

9
 
1910.1200(h)

Deficient training on the hazards of silica

10

1926.62(g)(1)

No personal protection for employees exposed to lead

John Newquist : Safety Specialist - Aurora OSHA Office
 
Most Frequency Cited Construction Standard

Sewer and Other Utility Construction

SIC 1623 - 1997 Illinois

 
Rank
 
Standard
 
Description

1

1926.652(a)(1)
 
Unsafe trench


2


1926.651(c)(2)
 
No means of egress from trench

3
 
1926.100(a)
 
No hard hats


4

 
1926.651(k)(1)
 
No competent person for excavations

5

1926.21(b)(2)

Inadequate safety training

6

1926.20(b)(1)

Deficient safety/health program

7
 
1926.651(j)(2)

Spoil not at least 2 feet from trench edge
 
8

1926.21(b)(6)(i)

No training in confined space hazards

9

1926.651(h)(1)

No precautions taken when water is excavation
 
10

1926.1053(b)(1)

Ladders not 3 feet above edge of trench
 
Most Frequency Cited Construction Standard

Painting Contractors

SIC 1721 - 1997 Illinois

 
Rank
 
Standard
 
Description

1

1926.21(b)(2)

Deficient safety training

2


1926.454(a)

 
No scaffold safety training


3

 
1926.451(g)(1)
 
No guardrails on scaffolds

4
 
1926.501(b)(1)
 
No fall protection at open sides

5
 
1926.20(b)(1)

Deficient safety program

6
 
1926.20(b)(2)

No competent person on site

7
 
1926.100(a)

No hard hats

8

1926.453(b)(2)(v)

No fall protection in extensible boom aerial lifts

9

1926.451 (e)(1)

Unsafe access to scaffold

10

1926.451(g)(1)(ii)

No body harness worn on suspended scaffold

John Newquist : Safety Specialist - Aurora OSHA Office
 
Most Frequency Cited Construction Standard

Electrical Contractors

SIC 1731 - 1997 Illinois

 
Rank
 
Standard
 
Description

1

1926.21(b)(2)
 
Deficient safety training


2


1926.20(b)(1)
 
Deficient safety program

3
 
1926.404(b)(1)(i)
 
No GFCI for temporary electric

4
 
1926.20(b)(2)
 
No competent person

5

1926.453(b)(2)(v)

No fall arrest in extensible boom aerial lifts

6
 
5(a)(1)

Unprotected conduit from impalement

7

1926.404 (b)(1)(ii)

No GFCI on generators over 5kW

8
 
1926.405(a)(2)(ii)(B)

Runs of open conductors subject to physical damage

9

1926.405 (g)(2)(iii)

Illegal splices in cords

10

1926.501 (b)(1)

No fall protection at open sides

John Newquist : Safety Specialist - Aurora OSHA Office
 
Most Frequency Cited Construction Standard

Masonry Contractors

SIC 1741 - 1997 Illinois

 
Rank
 
Standard
 
Description

1

1926.451(g)(1)
 
No guardrails on scaffolds


2


1926.451(e)(1)

 
Unsafe access to scaffolds


3

 
1926.451(f)(7)
 
No competent person inspecting scaffold

4

1926.454(a)

No scaffold safety training

5

1926.20(b)(1)

Deficient safety program

6

1926.21(b)(2)

Inadequate safety training

7

1926.451(g)(4)(i)

No installing guardrails before scaffold is released to employees to work on
 
8

1926.100 (a)

No hard hats
 
9
 
1926.706 (b)

Inadequate bracing of masonry walls
 
10

1926.20 (b)(2)

No competent person on site

John Newquist : Safety Specialist - Aurora OSHA Office
 
Most Frequency Cited Construction Standard

Carpentry Contractors

SIC 1751 - 1997 Illinois

 
Rank
 
Standard
 
Description

1

1926.451(g)(1)

No guardrails on scaffolds


2


1926.501 (b)(1)


No fall protection on open sides


3

 
1926.20 (b)(1)
 
Deficient safety program

4
 
1926.503 (a)(1)
 
No fall protection training

5

1926.21 (b)(2)

Deficient safety training

6
 
1926.501(b)(15)

No fall protection on walking/working surfaces not address by Subpart M
 
7
 
5(a)(1)


Inadequate truss bracing


8

1926.501(b)(13)

No fall protection in residential construction

9

1926.100(a)

No hard hats
 
10

1926.451(b)(1)

Not fully planking scaffold decks

John Newquist : Safety Specialist - Aurora OSHA Office
 
Most Frequency Cited Construction Standard

Roofing and Siding Contractors

SIC 1761 - 1997 Illinois

 
Rank
 
Standard
 
Description

1

1926.503(a)(1)

No training in fall protection

2

1926.501(b)(10)
 
No fall protection on flat roofs

3
 
1926.501(b)(13)
 
No fall protection in residential construction


4


1926.20(b)(1)

Deficient safety program

5

1926.20(b)(2)

No competent person

6
 
1926.501(b)(11)

No fall protection on sloped roofs

7

1926.451(g)(1)

No guardrails on scaffolds

8

1926.451(g)(1)(i)

No body harness worn when on a ladder jack scaffold

9

1926.501 (b)(1)

No fall protection on open sides
 
10

1926.21 (b)(2)

Deficient safety training

John Newquist : Safety Specialist - Aurora OSHA Office
 
Most Frequency Cited Construction Standard

Steel Erection Contractors

SIC 1791 - 1997 Illinois

 
Rank
 
Standard
 
Description


1


1926.105(a)
 
No fall protection above 25 feet

2
 
1926.20(b)(1)
 
Deficient safety program
 
3

1926.451(g)(1)

No guardrails on scaffolds

4

1926.501(b)(1)

No fall protection on open sides

5
 
1926.62(d)(1)(i)

No air sampling for lead

6
 
1926.62(d)(2)(v)

No interim protection for employees used while exposure monitoring is being conducted

7

1926.100(a)


No hard hats


8

1926.550(b)(2)

Unsafe cranes, not doing daily inspections of cranes for leaks and other hazards
 
9
 
1926.1051(a)
 
Walking steel exposed to a fall instead of using a ladder

10

5 (a)(1)

Not bracing columns in two directions, projections on decking or beams create a tripping hazard

John Newquist : Safety Specialist - Aurora OSHA Office

 


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