Recent Event Highlights: Imperial Sugar Refinery explosion , BP Refinery Explosion, Fire protection in shipyard employment, Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act , Outreach to young workers and partnerships with employers., Revised asbestos standard, and 40 more...
Created by usdol-osha on Dec 10, 2010
Last updated: 12/13/10 at 06:22 PM
The new rule, which replaced a 40-year old standard, was designed to prevent the leading causes of fatalities among crane and derrick operators, including electrocution, crushed-by/struck-by hazards during assembly/disassembly, collapse and overturn. The rule affects approximately 267,000 construction, crane rental and crane certification establishments employing about 4.8 million workers.
April 20, 2010: BP Oil’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig suffered a catastrophic explosion, killing 11 workers, and resulting in an unprecedented oil spill. OSHA worked as part of the coordinated federal response, along with the U.S. Coast Guard, NIOSH, and NIEHS, making over 4,200 site visits to protect cleanup workers.
National Action Summit for Latino Worker Health and Safety Held April 14-15, 2010
Effective date of new OSHA rule requiring employers to pay for most types of personal protective equipment for workers
An explosion and fire at the Imperial Sugar Refinery in Port Wentworth, GA, killed 14 workers, and led to a renewed focus by OSHA on combustible dust hazards
August 29, 2005: Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and other areas of the Gulf Coast. More than 100 OSHA hurricane response workers, joined by 17 State Plans and several On-site Consultation Projects, fanned out across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas to help protect workers involved in cleanup and recovery operations. OSHA intervened in over 5,000 situations where some 10,500 workers could have been seriously injured.
Explosion and fire at the BP refinery in Texas City, Texas, killed 15 workers and injured more than 160 others.
September 15, 2004: OSHA adopts a standard for increased protection for shipyard employment workers from the hazards of fire on vessels and vessel sections and at land-side facilities.
Dust explosions in three facilities (KY, NC, and Indiana) killed 14 workers, resulting in the CSB issuing a report and calling for a new OSHA regulatory standard designed to prevent combustible dust fires and explosions.
October-November 2001: During the anthrax terrorist threats, OSHA served as a technical advisor to both the U.S. Postal Service and the Architect of the Capitol. The agency assisted in designing safety and health plans, sampling for contaminants and evaluating decontamination efforts at postal facilities and the Senate Hart Office Building. OSHA also developed an anthrax matrix to assist all employers in assessing risk at their workplaces and guide them in protecting their workers involved in mail handling operations.
September 11, 2001: Following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, more than 1,000 members of the OSHA family from around the country came to New York City; they worked around the clock for nearly 10 months to protect workers involved in the cleanup and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center disaster site. OSHA personnel fit-tested and distributed between 2,000 and 4,000 respirators each day to recovery workers. At the Pentagon, an OSHA team worked side-by-side with the military, the EPA, and the FBI to ensure worker safety and health during rescue and recovery operations.
January 18, 2001: As mandated by the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act, OSHA published a revision to the Bloodborne Pathogens standard that included new requirements for employers, such as additions to the exposure control plan and keeping a sharps injury log. They also specified the engineering controls in greater detail, such as safer medical devices, which must be used to reduce or eliminate employee exposures.
November 9, 1998: OSHA’s Strategic Partnership Program was launched to improve workplace safety and health through national and local cooperative voluntary agreements. 2000: OSHA developed Safety and Health Information for Teenaged Workers. This included safety and health information (i.e., web pages, printed handouts, videos, etc.) for the teen worker, parents, employers and educators. 2001: The OSHA Alliance Program was established to provide an opportunity for OSHA to develop relationships with organizations that can reach at-risk workers and provide them with information on their rights. The program also enables OSHA to work with organizations representing employers that can provide information on how to keep their workers safe and the employers' responsibilities to provide workplaces free from known hazards.
August 10, 1994: The asbestos standard was revised to lower the permissible exposure limit, and clarify other issues regarding the standard. While fewer workers are exposed to asbestos, given the latency period involved in the development of cancer from asbestos exposure, significant numbers of exposed workers continue to die from asbestos-related disease.
July 25, 1994: OSHA published a revision to its shipyards standards to protect workers entering any confined or enclosed space or working in any other dangerous atmosphere in or out of a shipyard. July 1994: OSHA published a major revision to its personal protective equipment standard, requiring employers to make a workplace assessment of the hazards that will cause workers to need protective equipment. October 12, 1994: OSHA published a standard specifying safety requirements covering all logging operations, regardless of the end use of the forest products. Logging workers use or operate dangerous tools and equipment, such as chain saws, axes, and tractors. These workers also deal with massive weights and irresistible momentum of falling, rolling, and sliding trees and logs. The hazards are even more acute when dangerous environmental conditions are factored in, such as uneven, unstable or rough terrain; inclement weather including rain, snow, lightning, winds, and extreme cold; remote and isolated work sites where health care facilities are not immediately accessible. The OSHA logging standard protects workers from all of these hazards. July 25, 1997: OSHA published revisions to the longshoring and marine terminals standards. The revised standards was intended to prevent fatalities and injuries associated with cargo lifting gear, transfer of vehicular cargo, manual cargo handling, and exposure to hazardous atmospheres.
January 14, 1993: Confined spaces include underground vaults, tanks, storage bins, manholes, pits, silos, process vessels, and pipelines. OSHA uses the term "permit-required confined space" (permit space) to describe a confined space that may contain a hazardous atmosphere; contains a material that has the potential to engulf an entrant; has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which could trap or asphyxiate an entrant; or contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress. Hazards in such confined spaces have caused many worker deaths over the years.
February 2, 1992: Unexpected releases of toxic, reactive, or flammable liquids and gases in processes involving highly hazardous chemicals have been reported for many years in various industries that use chemicals with such properties. Regardless of the industry that uses these highly hazardous chemicals, there is a potential for an accidental release any time they are not properly controlled, creating the possibility of disaster. To help ensure safe and healthful workplaces, OSHA issued the Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals standard which establishes requirements for the management of hazards associated with processes using highly hazardous chemicals. OSHA's standard emphasizes the management of hazards associated with highly hazardous chemicals and establishes a comprehensive management program that integrates technologies, procedures, and management practices.
The Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) standard provided protection to workers potentially exposed to the hazards of HIV & Hepatitis B. This was the first standard to focus on the health care industry.
September 1, 1989: "Lockout/Tagout (LOTO)" refers to specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities. Approximately 3 million workers service equipment and face the greatest risk of injury if lockout/tagout is not properly implemented. Compliance with the lockout/tagout standard prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. Workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous energy lose an average of 24 workdays for recuperation. In a study conducted by the United Auto Workers (UAW), 20% of the fatalities (83 of 414) that occurred among their members between 1973 and 1995 were attributed to inadequate hazardous energy control procedures specifically, lockout/tagout procedures. March 5, 1990: Excavation and Trenching Standard completely updated the existing standard to simplify many of the existing provisions, add and clarify definitions, eliminate duplicate provisions and ambiguous language, and give employers added flexibility in providing protection for employees.
October 1989: Phillips 66 petrochemical plant explosion, Pasadena, Texas, 23 workers killed, led to the Process Safety Management Standard in 1992.
OSHA takes on major new responsibilities for worker protection at both hazardous waste operations and emergency response activities. OSHA had already been enforcing an interim final standard for HAZWOPER.
March 24, 1989: Exxon Valdez oil spill and disaster response, Alaska. OSHA used the interim final Hazardous Waste and Emergency Response Operations standard to protect workers.
OSHA begins an inspection and outreach effort at several large meatpacking workplaces, where workers were exposed to a variety of serious safety and health hazards
December 31, 1987: Grain handling standard addressed hazards that had resulted in numerous deadly explosions at grain silos and grain handling facilities April 12, 1988: OSHA adopts regulations on safety testing and certification of certain workplace equipment and materials by nationally recognized testing laboratories (NRTLs).
This construction disaster in Connecticut killed 28 workers, and led to the virtual elimination of the “lift slab” construction method.
Laboratory Safety and Health Formaldehyde Benzene (revised) Field Sanitation Asbestos (revised) Access to Medical Records (modified)
Federal OSHA supports Puerto Rico state plan in reponse to the fire at the Dupont Plaza Hotel in Condado, Puerto Rico. 97 workers and patrons died and 120 were more injured.
Explosion at aldicarb oxime unit of Union Carbide plant in West, Virginia
The catastrophic release of the toxic chemical methyl isocyanate at Union Carbide’s Bhopal, India plant sparked worldwide concern and prompted OSHA to inspect all U.S. facilities manufacturing or processing this chemical, and eventually led to an emphasis program for chemical refineries (1985-86).
July 5, 1983: OSHA adopts standards for marine terminals to address hazards associated with marine cargo handling ashore. This standard protects workers from a wide range of hazards, including those from material handling and walking and working surfaces.
November 25, 1983: The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) gives workers the right to know which chemicals they may be exposed to in their workplace and the hazards these chemicals present. In 1987, the protections of the Hazard Communication Standard were extended to all employees potentially exposed to hazardous chemicals. The standard covers a broad range of health and physical hazards. It requires chemical manufacturers and importers to assess the hazards of their products, and provide information on them to downstream customers through labels on containers and safety data sheets. All employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces must implement a program to make the information available to workers, and train them to use it. The HCS has resulted in extensive information being made available to employers and workers, and a reduction in chemical source illnesses and injuries.
OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs were created to recognize workplaces with exemplary safety and health management systems and encourage other employers to follow suit.
OSHA adopts standards requiring employers to provide an effective hearing conservation program, including regular testing, for workers exposed to high levels of noise.
Fire protection Guarding of low-pitched roof perimeters Design safety standards for electrical standards
Employers are required to maintain and grant access to workers’ medical and exposure records. This standard enables workers and their doctors to assess and monitor workers’ exposures to hazards in the workplace, and empowers workers to advocate for safety improvements at work.
November 14, 1978, OSHA published a new standard for Lead Exposure in general industry, reducing permissible exposure levels and specifying a range of protections to address a long-recognized hazard that can cause damage to the kidneys and nervous system. Lead exposures can affect many target organs in workers, including the kidneys, nervous system, and reproductive system. It is widely used in many different industries. February 1978: Benzene standard was issued. Exposures to benzene can lead to the development of leukemia, as well as affect the central nervous system. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the standard and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld that decision in 1980. A new standard was ultimately promulgated in 1987. March 1978: Dibromochloropropane (DBCP) standard: DBCP exposures can result in reduced fertility in exposed male workers. Issuance of this standard was the first time an OSHA rule was promulgated primarily on data regarding the occurrence of a reproductive hazard. May 5, 1978: Inorganic arsenic standard was issued. Exposures to inorganic arsenic may cause cancer in workers, as well as affect the gastrointestinal system. Today, the primary use of arsenic is in the production of wood preservatives. November 1978: OSHA regulates workers exposure to acrylonitrile, a chemical which may sensitize skin, as well as affect the central nervous system and liver, or cause cancer.
New Directions training and education grants (now Susan Harwood Grants) were created to support the work of organizations engaged in protecting the safety of workers in their communities.
Thousands of federal workers received protection under the OSH Act for the first time when President Carter issued Executive Order 12196.
June 23, 1978, OSHA promulgated the Cotton Dust Standard, designed to address the crippling hazards of byssinosis (“brown lung”) in the textile industry. Over the next several years, effective implementation of the cotton dust standard’s protections results in drastic reduction in cases of byssinosis in American textile workers.
OSHA adopts standards to protect workers in commercial diving operations.
1977: OSHA publishes regulations that allow State Plans to cover Public Employees Only (State and local government). The following year, Connecticut is approved as the First Public Employee Only State Plan. (Currently, five States and territories operate such programs.) Public sector employees are not covered by Federal OSHA but are required to be covered by State Plans.
OSHA adopts a standard for ground-fault circuit interrupter protection on construction sites. In 2005, OSHA estimated that this standard had saved between 650 and 1,100 lives over the years 1974 through 2004.
Workers exposed to the pesticide Kepone at a manufacturing plant in Hopewell, VA, prompted OSHA to expand and reorganize its capabilities needed to enforce complex safety and health standards related to hazards such as kepone.
Coke oven emissions in steel production facilities contain thousands of chemicals, and have been associated with the development of cancer in exposed workers. The coke oven emissions standard compelled implementation of engineering controls, and has resulted in significant decreases in exposures in these types of operations.
OSHA consultation program to assist smaller employers in compliance is established
OSHA published the first comprehensive health standard for a physical effect—impaired hearing due to occupational exposure to noise. The standard established restrictions on exposure to noise, and control measures for addressing and decreasing such exposures.