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  1. #1
    ms1600's Avatar
    ms1600 is offline Neither here nor there
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    Safety regulations and violations

    As I previously mentioned in Introductions, I work in Safety Enforcement for OSHA. I'm called upon to help employers comply with safety and health standards through enforcement. To prove violations of the law I have to meet 4 requirements for each violation: SA-SV-EE-EK.

    Standard Applies: There has to be a safety or health standard that applies to the workplace. There are different standards for General Industry than Construction. Not all standards apply to each. For example, in General Industry there are standards for wood ladders and metal ladders (aluminum), but no fiberglass ladders. In Construction, the ladder standard applies to all ladders. We do have a General Duty Clause (catch all for serious safety violations, but it is a little more difficult to cite and have it go through.)

    Standard Violated: If I determine that a certain standard applies, I have to prove that it was violated. This is done best with photographs and backed up with employee interviews. If I get any resistance from employees or employers, I bring up the Alaska Statute that says a person who knowingly makes a false statement or representation to me can be punished (upon conviction) of a fine up to $10,000 or 6 months in jail or both. I don't know of anyone who has been convicted of this, but it is a helpful tool to cut through bull shit. People lie to me probably as much as they lie to you guys.

    Employee Exposed: An employee has to be exposed to the health or safety hazard. For example, if there is a frayed electrical cord at a jobsite with exposed wires, I can't cite it unless it has power and there are employees using it or near it. If a ladder or scaffolding is set up improperly, I have to prove that employees used it. Photographs are great evidence of employees exposed to hazards.

    Employer Knowledge: I also have to prove that the employer knew about the health or safety hazard that the employees were exposed to. If I can prove a foreman or other member of management was in the work area, then knowledge is conveyed to the company. If the hazard was in plain sight, then I say that the employer should have known through the exercise of reasonable diligence (by inspecting and having control of their workplace).

    So I have to prove SA-SV-EE-EK for each violation during my inspections. I can use evidence collected by myself or LEOs, but I can't use photos sent in by the public.

    In Anchorage, APD is usually on scene to workplace accidents prior to Anchorage Fire or OSHA. I am closing out an accident investigation where an employee fell off of a roof. The responding APD officer took excellent pictures of the accident site and I get to use them as evidence because the employer cleaned up the accident scene prior to me arriving several hours later (the employer called us that afternoon to report the accident that happened in the morning). Usually APD or AFD dispatch notifies OSHA if there are workplace fatalities or serious injuries. But their priority is communication between the 911 operators and APD or AFD. AK State Troopers notify us of industrial accidents they respond to, but it is usually later as well.

    Maybe a little further down the road, I'll share some cases that I've closed out and are not being contested (identifying info removed of course).
    Verified Libra- There sure are a lot of people born in August around here.

    Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes he gets you.

  2. #2
    countybear's Avatar
    countybear is offline BDRT - Baby Daddy Removal Team
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    Quote Originally Posted by ms1600 View Post
    Maybe a little further down the road, I'll share some cases that I've closed out and are not being contested (identifying info removed of course).
    I'd like that. I have a special interest in OSHA, being as my Dad co-authored the original OSHA bill.

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

    Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
    That from the nunnery
    Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
    To war and arms I fly.
    - Lovelace

    The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.

  3. #3
    ms1600's Avatar
    ms1600 is offline Neither here nor there
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    Quote Originally Posted by countybear View Post
    I'd like that. I have a special interest in OSHA, being as my Dad co-authored the original OSHA bill.
    Williams or Steiger?
    Verified Libra- There sure are a lot of people born in August around here.

    Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes he gets you.

  4. #4
    countybear's Avatar
    countybear is offline BDRT - Baby Daddy Removal Team
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    Quote Originally Posted by ms1600 View Post
    Williams or Steiger?
    PM sent

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

    Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
    That from the nunnery
    Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
    To war and arms I fly.
    - Lovelace

    The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.

  5. #5
    Ducky's Avatar
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    I really wish there were regulations about black mold.
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    "...but to forget your duck, of course, means you're really screwed." - Gary Larson
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  6. #6
    ms1600's Avatar
    ms1600 is offline Neither here nor there
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
    I really wish there were regulations about black mold.
    We do get a lot of calls about mold, but we can't do anything about mold specifically. Sorry.
    Verified Libra- There sure are a lot of people born in August around here.

    Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes he gets you.

  7. #7
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    I must say, that was a very interesting post and I'm looking forward to hearing more about your cases. Interesting stuff, thanks for sharing!
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

  8. #8
    Ryan701's Avatar
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    What if someone you work with comes into work knowing they have a deadly disease, and the disease can be transferred by touch or air? This person is the boss, and her bosses know. She continues to come into work and her bosses allow this. OSHA has already been called and nothing has been done?

  9. #9
    Ducky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan701 View Post
    What if someone you work with comes into work knowing they have a deadly disease, and the disease can be transferred by touch or air? This person is the boss, and her bosses know. She continues to come into work and her bosses allow this. OSHA has already been called and nothing has been done?
    TB?
    \\
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    "...but to forget your duck, of course, means you're really screwed." - Gary Larson
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtN1YnoL46Q


  10. #10
    Ryan701's Avatar
    Ryan701 is offline Officer First Class
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    MRSA (very deadly type of Staph Infection)

  11. #11
    MacLean's Avatar
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    Why does OSHA allow motor officers to ride motorcycles in thin wool breeches and short sleeve shirts?
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  12. #12
    ms1600's Avatar
    ms1600 is offline Neither here nor there
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan701 View Post
    What if someone you work with comes into work knowing they have a deadly disease, and the disease can be transferred by touch or air? This person is the boss, and her bosses know. She continues to come into work and her bosses allow this. OSHA has already been called and nothing has been done?
    OSHA may refer to CDC or other health agency. There is no standard for what MRSA.
    Last edited by ms1600; 09-16-10 at 09:02 PM. Reason: Didn't see your second post before replying.
    Verified Libra- There sure are a lot of people born in August around here.

    Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes he gets you.

  13. #13
    ms1600's Avatar
    ms1600 is offline Neither here nor there
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLean View Post
    Why does OSHA allow motor officers to ride motorcycles in thin wool breeches and short sleeve shirts?
    OSHA does have a personal protective equipment standard (29 CFR 1910.132). OSHA can't protect everyone everywhere just as WSP can't catch all of the speeders on I-5. An OSHA officer is not likely to flag down a WSP motors officer to conduct an inspection of their bike. The best way to address this is to file an employee complaint w/ OSHA or in WA probably WISHA. Complaints may or may not be assigned an inspection based on current caseload, severity of complaint, or staffing issues . The priority of inspections are imminent danger, fatality/catastrophe, complaints/referrals, and then programmed inspections.

    OSHA has different types of inspections: Programmed and Unprogrammed.
    Programmed Inspections: Strategic initiatives based on high hazard industries (seafood processing, construction, etc). National initiatives such as Process Safety management (Refineries) and local initiatives (trenching).

    Unprogrammed Inspections: Employee complaint, referral from another agency, accident investigation, imminent danger, follow-up (to a previous inspection), fatalities.

    It was a long answer to a short question, but I hope I answered it as best as I could.
    Verified Libra- There sure are a lot of people born in August around here.

    Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes he gets you.

  14. #14
    luckyme's Avatar
    luckyme is offline The bastard you love, the hero you hate
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    Back when I did underground power the standing rule was if osha showed up on site, you stopped work. The idea was if you weren't doing anything, you weren't doing anything wrong. It worked until the found foot prints in the bottom of the ditch. ops: Wasn't sloped correctly. Wasn't my ditch thankfully.

  15. #15
    ms1600's Avatar
    ms1600 is offline Neither here nor there
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckyme View Post
    Back when I did underground power the standing rule was if osha showed up on site, you stopped work. The idea was if you weren't doing anything, you weren't doing anything wrong. It worked until the found foot prints in the bottom of the ditch. ops: Wasn't sloped correctly. Wasn't my ditch thankfully.
    It does make it harder to prove a violation if we can't prove employee exposure. However, if we can document footprints in the ditch- someone was down there. Also in employee interviews I can usually get people to admit what work they were doing (I sometimes have to break out the AK Statute about lying to a government agent).
    Verified Libra- There sure are a lot of people born in August around here.

    Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes he gets you.

  16. #16
    pgg's Avatar
    pgg
    pgg is offline Damnit, I'm hungry again.
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    Need to change all OSHA regs so all suspects automatically get tased since they present a potential safety hazard to the officer(s)
    'Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a
    delusional, illogical liberal minority, and rabidly
    promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
    holds forth the proposition that it is entirely
    possible to pick up a turd by the clean end!'

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. Sigmund Freud

  17. #17
    ms1600's Avatar
    ms1600 is offline Neither here nor there
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgg View Post
    Need to change all OSHA regs so all suspects automatically get tased since they present a potential safety hazard to the officer(s)
    Sounds good to me (unfortunately we are not issued tasers or sidearms ). If we need protection we are supposed to bring a State Trooper (the Fed OSHA guys are supposed to bring US Marshals).
    Verified Libra- There sure are a lot of people born in August around here.

    Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes he gets you.

  18. #18
    MacLean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ms1600 View Post
    OSHA does have a personal protective equipment standard (29 CFR 1910.132). OSHA can't protect everyone everywhere just as WSP can't catch all of the speeders on I-5. An OSHA officer is not likely to flag down a WSP motors officer to conduct an inspection of their bike. The best way to address this is to file an employee complaint w/ OSHA or in WA probably WISHA. Complaints may or may not be assigned an inspection based on current caseload, severity of complaint, or staffing issues . The priority of inspections are imminent danger, fatality/catastrophe, complaints/referrals, and then programmed inspections.

    OSHA has different types of inspections: Programmed and Unprogrammed.
    Programmed Inspections: Strategic initiatives based on high hazard industries (seafood processing, construction, etc). National initiatives such as Process Safety management (Refineries) and local initiatives (trenching).

    Unprogrammed Inspections: Employee complaint, referral from another agency, accident investigation, imminent danger, follow-up (to a previous inspection), fatalities.

    It was a long answer to a short question, but I hope I answered it as best as I could.
    Out of my depth sir, but I am glad you're out there doing it.

    I always figured it was only a matter of time before someone got scraped up and it would be remedied.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



 

 

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