CITE's Workplace Safety Blog

Two employees working on a second-story roof standing on trusses without fall protection.

Salem, OR — The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) cited Munoz Construction $70,000 for not protecting its employees from falls. The fine was based on a willful violation and was the result of an inspection at a Portland apartment complex on Feb. 27, 2013. The employer appealed the citation but agreed to it following an informal conference with Oregon OSHA.

During the inspection, an Oregon OSHA inspector observed two employees working on a second-story roof standing on trusses. Neither employee was wearing fall protection. The owner was on site and said his employees were comfortable working without fall protection, even though it was available in the company trailer.

Originally published by OHSA:

Saturday, 07 December 2013 11:10

Should OSHA Fine Workers for Unsafe Actions?

Imagine this scenario: During an inspection of your facility, an OSHA compliance officer observes a worker performing his duties without safety goggles, gloves or earplugs – despite ubiquitous signage declaring that the aforementioned PPE is mandatory at all times on the shop floor.

When the compliance officer confronts the worker and reminds him of the importance of proper PPE, the worker shrugs his shoulders and replies, "I'll take my chances."

The OSHA inspector promptly pulls out a pad of paper and issues the safety scofflaw a $500 fine.

In the United States, OSHA holds employers – not employees – accountable for safety infractions, regardless of the circumstances.

But that's not the case in Alberta, Canada. At least not anymore.

Boom lift tips over on S. Eugene hill, man sent to the hospital

EUGENE, Ore. -- A man was sent to the hospital after a boom lift-type crane toppled over near 49th and Willamette Street Friday night while a crew was working on communication lines near the Sunset Hills cemetery.

The man was unresponsive when paramedics put him in an ambulance, officials said.

Police at the scene said the man was with a crew that had been working on some communication lines for some time.

Originally published by 13 KVAL:

Saturday, 07 December 2013 11:01

Grain Handling Safety

OSHA has developed a webpage to provide workers, employers, and safety and health professionals useful, up-to-date safety and health information on grain handling facilities.

Originally published by OHSA:

What are grain handling facilities?

Grain handling facilities are facilities that may receive, handle, store, process and ship bulk raw agricultural commodities such as (but not limited to) corn, wheat, oats, barley, sunflower seeds, and soybeans. Grain handling facilities include grain elevators, feed mills, flour mills, rice mills, dust pelletizing plants, dry corn mills, facilities with soybean flaking operations, and facilities with dry grinding operations of soy cake.

Saturday, 07 December 2013 10:57

Hand Signals

Hand Signals

During my training classes I'm always being asked for the most commonly used hand signals for hoisting operations involving cranes, forklifts or any other material handling equipment.

Here is a downloadable PDF for a chart of 19 hand signals that come straight from OSHA's 29 CFR 1926, Subpart CC standards.

Please keep in mind that whenever "Hoisting Operation" activity is being performed a copy of these charts is required to be posted on the equipment or in the vicinity where these operations are being performed.

The American Rental Association (ARA), the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED), the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and the Scaffold Industry Association (SIA) have joined forces to help develop the document, “Statement of Best Practices of General Training and Familiarization for Aerial Work Platform Equipment.”

The 20-page document can be downloaded as a PDF at:

Saturday, 07 December 2013 10:50

Forklift Safety for a Better Tomorrow

Powered industrial trucks can either be ridden by the operator or controlled by a walking operator. There are many types of powered industrial trucks. Each type presents different operating hazards. For example, a sit-down, counterbalanced high-lift rider truck is more likely than a motorized hand truck to be involved in a falling load accident because the sit-down rider truck can lift a load much higher than a hand truck.

Saturday, 07 December 2013 10:49

Forklift training and loading docks

Nearly 100 workers are killed each year in the United States as a result of forklift-related incidents. The situation calls for clear communication to the right person, at the right time, and at exactly the right location — especially at the loading dock where forklifts and pedestrians often are on a collision course. Forklift drivers also need to be aware of what's happening at all times during the fast-paced semi trailer loading and unloading process.

Fortunately, communication-related technologies and best practices have evolved to reduce the risks of forklift-pedestrian collisions and other catastrophic accidents at the loading dock. Now is the time to understand the issues involved and what can be done at the dock to improve communication and increase safety for forklift operators and pedestrians.

Fall Protection Training Could have Prevented this Accident

On January 5, 2012, a 52-year-old carpenter/foreman was fatally injured when he fell from a beam. The victim had been employed for 14 years by a small general contractor who primarily did residential work, but also did commercial and industrial jobs.

This Washington State Fatality Narrative was originally published by SHARP:

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