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Safety Lines

The Newsletter of Minnesota OSHA

Number 43 Spring 2004

MNOSHA details industry focus for inspections

By Patricia Todd, Director of MNOSHA Compliance

At its present staffing level, it would take Minnesota In addition, it is MNOSHA's goal to conduct
OSHA Compliance approximately 25 years to inspect 5 percent of all programmed inspections in the
all the companies within the state. Therefore, the following areas:
MNOSHA Compliance program must evaluate data • printing and publishing
annually to determine where to focus its efforts to • auto dealers and service stations
ensure maximum coverage and effectiveness. • communications
• hotels and lodging
Generally, MNOSHA Compliance focuses inspection
efforts on industries with a high injury and illness To help educate the employers and employees
rate. in Minnesota, MNOSHA Compliance conducts
numerous outreach training sessions. It attempts to
This year, the goal is to conduct 60 percent of all focus these sessions on industries with high injury and
programmed (routine) inspections in the following illness rates, in areas with hard-to-reach employees
areas: and on potential future inspection areas.
• construction
• lead and silica in general industry and MNOSHA's goal is to focus current outreach and
construction training sessions in the following areas:
• lumber and wood products • construction
• furniture and fixtures • young workers (less than 21 years of age)
• paper and allied products • non-English-speaking workers
• rubber and miscellaneous plastic • primary metal industries
• food and kindred products • transportation equipment
• industrial machine and equipment • fabricated metal products
• public sector • emerging businesses

Complete information about these areas of focus
and more is available in the MNOSHA Strategic
Management Plan for 2004 through 2008, available
online at www.doli.state.mn.us/oshplan.html.

standards revoked, amended, repealed, clarified
By Shelly Techar, MNOSHA Management Analyst

Minnesota OSHA published a notice in the engage in recreational

March 22 edition of the State Register that proposed diving instruction and
the adoption by reference of amendments to diving-guide duties; use
Occupational Safety and Health Standards already an open-circuit, a semi-
proposed and adopted by federal OSHA. The notice closed-circuit or a closed-
also proposed modifications to Minnesota Rules circuit self-contained
Chapter 5207. These changes become effective in underwater-breathing
Minnesota upon publication of the adoption notice apparatus supplied with
in the State Register. A summary of the proposed a breathing gas that has
changes follows. a high percentage of oxygen mixed with nitrogen;
dive to a maximum depth of 130 feet of sea water;
Respiratory Protection and remain within the no-decompression limits
for M. Tuberculosis; specified for the partial pressure of nitrogen in the
final rule; revocation
breathing-gas mixture. These alternate requirements
On Dec. 31, federal essentially are the same as the terms of a variance
OSHA published a granted by OSHA to Dixie Divers, Inc., in 1999.
final rule that revoked The amendments in this rule became effective at the
29 CFR 1910.139 federal level March 18.
Respiratory Protection
for M. Tuberculosis in Minnesota Rules 5207.0010 Anchor Bolts;
the Federal Register. As 5207.0020 Bar, Floor, and Roof Joists; and
a result, federal OSHA 5207.0250 Walking, Working Surfaces, subp. 5
will begin applying the general industry Respiratory Roofs; repealer
Protection standard for protection against the disease. With the adoption of federal Subpart R (Steel
While the final rule became effective at the federal Erection), Minnesota Rules 5207.0010, 5207.0020
level Dec. 31, employers have until June 30 to and 5207.0250 subp. 5, became unnecessary and are
become compliant with the Respiratory Protection being repealed.
standard, 29 CFR 1910.134.
Minnesota Rules 5207.0300 and 5207.0301,
Confined Spaces in Construction; clarification
Commercial Diving Operations; final rule
Minnesota Rules 5207.0300 and 5207.0301 are
On Feb. 17, federal OSHA published in the Federal being amended to clarify the definition of a confined
Register a final rule amending its commercial diving space.
operations (CDO) standards. The notice allows
employers of recreational More information
diving instructors and diving To review the complete Federal Register notices or
guides to comply with an federal standards referenced above, visit the federal
alternative set of requirements OSHA Web site at www.osha.gov. To review current
instead of the decompression- Minnesota Rules, visit the Office of the Revisor of
chamber requirements in the Statutes Web site at www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us. To
current CDO standards. review the rules as proposed in the State Register
on March 22, visit www.comm.media.state.mn.us/
The final rule applies only monmag/srmain.htm.
when these employees:
Safety Lines Spring 2004
CDC, Park Nicollet sponsor
machine-guarding study
By David L. Parker, M.D., MPH
Park Nicollet Healthsource
Work is a leading cause of hand injuries. Each year, two out of every
100 workers experience hand injuries, and one out of 300 workers has
a serious hand injury. The majority of work-related hand injuries results
in significant lost work-time and adversely impacts the employee’s
quality of life. The average loss of work time is approximately six

Finger amputations often appear relatively mild because they result in

a loss of only part of one finger. However, many finger amputations
are to the thumb or involve two or more fingers. Serious hand injuries
often result in job loss or permanent job change. Every shop owner
is concerned about the safety and the risk of serious hand injuries;
however, the development of safety and machine guarding programs
often seems complex and expensive.

In October 2002, the Park Nicollet Institute was funded by a grant from
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assist the
metalworking industry in developing programs to help prevent finger
and hand injuries. This work is being carried out in cooperation with
the University of Minnesota and several machine-shop owners and
managers. After a year of development and close work with industry
experts, we are now looking for companies to participate in this new
program. All services provided by Park Nicollet are free of charge,
nonregulatory and confidential.

The Minnesota Machine Guarding Program is a practical research

study concerned with assessing and improving machine guarding. This
program is sponsored by the CDC and is being conducted by the Park
Nicollet Institute and the University of Minnesota. The goal of this
program is to improve methods of machine guarding in businesses in
the metalworking trades.

The Park Nicollet Machine Guarding Program can help small- to

medium-sized metal-fabrication shops involved in activities such
as metal stamping, sheet metal fabrication, custom metal fabrication
or metal grinding, to improve machine safety and the general safety

The program is looking for shops that might be interested in

participating. Participation will involve a confidential shop evaluation
and completion of a brief (five to 10 minute) questionnaire by workers.
In addition, some shops will receive free safety training.
3 Spring 2004
Participation will help machining facilities:

• identify practical ways to control machine hazards in your shop;

• identify reasons why adequate machine-guarding is not always


• solve problems as they arise; and

• develop even better working relationships concerning shop safety.

Industry representatives have been active participants in all phases of

program development and implementation. This helps to assure that
participation provides employers with the types of materials they need
in a practical way.

For further information or to participate in the study, contact David

L. Parker, M.D, MPH, by phone at (952) 993-8753 or by e-mail at

MNOSHA participates at safety and health conference

By Diane Amell, Training Officer

Minnesota OSHA Compliance and Workplace Safety Consultation will continue tradition with
a strong presence at the 70th Minnesota Safety and Health Conference, May 5 through 7 at the
Minneapolis Convention Center. Both branches of
MNOSHA will be exhibiting during the first two days
of the conference, which is sponsored by the Minnesota
Safety Council. MNOSHA Compliance staff members will
be among the featured guests at the annual "Lunch with
the Enforcers," May 5.

MNOSHA staff members will be participating in the

educational programs as well. James Krueger, MNOSHA
Compliance, will be speaking about lockout/tagout
enforcement; Ken Hickey, Workplace Safety Consultation,
will speak about the MNSTAR, MNSHARP and safety
grants programs.

For more information about the Minnesota Safety and Health Conference, visit the Minnesota Safety
Council Web site at www.mnsafetycouncil.org/conf/04index.htm or call (651) 291-9150, toll-free at
Safety Lines 4 Spring 2004
Spur line safety: Everyone's responsibility
By Jen Mason, Senior Safety Investigator

Because of concerns expressed by the Federal Railroad Administration, railroads,

private employers, employees and unions about the numbers of severe injuries
and deaths occurring among employees who work on, about and near trains,
studies have been conducted during the past few years to determine causes of
these incidents and to make safety recommendations to the industry.

Study results show that within the past 10 years more than 240 employees have
received severe injuries from rail-car incidents. Most of those injuries resulted
in permanent, total disability. During the same time period, 76 workers lost their
lives due to rail-car accidents; 44 of those fatalities occurred between October
1999 and August 2003. All 76 victims were switchmen employed in the railroad
or other related industries.

Thirty-four of the 76 fatalities occurred on railroad spur lines, and 16 of those

occurred during switching, coupling, uncoupling and shoving
operations. Since August 2003, two additional switchmen ... within the
have lost their lives in switching-related incidents, one of past 10 years
those was in Minnesota. Thirteen of the 18 reported fatalities more than 240
were the result of being struck by or caught between rail cars; have received
three more died as a result of a fall from equipment, which severe injuries
from rail-car
then rolled over them. The unexpected movement of one or incidents
more rail cars on the spur line was a significant factor in each
of these deaths.

In the industry, it is generally agreed that switchmen are significantly more at

risk to severe injury and death than other railroad workers. This is because these
employees are usually on the ground standing or walking next to or climbing
moving rail cars, and working in very close proximity to tracks. Noise can be a
factor that inhibits communication with coworkers.

Because of these circumstances, industry leaders have stepped forward to

standardize safety rules and recommendations, particularly for those in switchmen
positions. These leaders represent the steel, railroad, scrap steel and iron recycling,
paper and logging industries, among others, as well as the unions that represent
those workers. Each of these industries suffered the loss of one or more workers
due to death or severe injury during switching operations. As a result of the studies
and industry collaboration, the following recommendations have resulted:

1. Training – Thirty-four percent of fatalities occurred among switchmen who

had been in their positions less than one year. Typically, switchmen receive
on-the-job training. The recommendation is that switchmen are mentored by a
competent person and closely supervised for one year. In addition, during that
time, they are required to complete classroom training and pass periodic written
competency tests before they are permitted to work independently.
Safety Lines 5 Spring 2004
2. Job hazard assessment – Employers should undertake
a comprehensive job hazard assessment of the switching
operations in their facilities and communicate those hazards
in writing to switchmen and other yard employees. In addition
to the recognized hazards attributed to switching and coupling/
uncoupling operations, there may be other hazards present,
such as adjacent traffic, poor lighting, noise, limited visibility,
etc. The hazard assessment results should be incorporated into
the training and testing of switchmen.

3. Braking, cribbing and blocking – The unexpected movement of rail cars contributed to 61 percent
of fatalities during coupling and uncoupling operations on spur lines. The recognized practice in these
operations is to stop, brake, crib, uncouple, uncrib, release the brake and move. Braking, cribbing and
blocking will help to prevent unexpected movement of rail cars.

4. Passing between moving rail-cars – Industry practice prohibits walking or passing between moving
rail cars when they are within 50 feet of each other. Most fatalities occurred when switchmen misjudged
the cars’ velocity when trying to pass between rail cars moving at estimated speeds of two to five miles
an hour. Other factors also contributed to the inability of the workers to pass safely between the moving

5. Safety inspections – Because many rail cars used on spur lines are owned by someone other than the
employer, it is imperative that safety inspections be performed on all rail cars. The inspections should
check for such things as air and manual brake function, and the presence and condition of grab and safety
bars and ladders, in addition to any other normal inspection procedures the employer may utilize. The
bars and ladders should be able to support the weight of the employees who may need to use them in
emergencies. The employer should reject rail cars that do not pass this type of safety inspection.

6. Work rules, safety policies and procedures – With the significant hazards inherent to coupling and
uncoupling operations, industry practice must include strict enforcement of written work rules, safety
policies and proper procedures. Employers should consider disciplinary measures up to and including
discharge for those switchmen who do not abide by them.

Some trade groups have mandated the implementation of these recommendations for their respective

Of the 76 fatalities among switchmen, only two were

attributed to natural causes, and one to the explosion
and fire of a rail car. With the recognized hazards
related to switching, coupling and uncoupling
operations, prevention is the key. Performing job
hazard assessments, inspecting equipment for safety,
providing comprehensive training, and enforcing
safe work practices, policies and rules are paramount
in providing a safe work environment for employees
involved in these operations.

Safety Lines 6 Spring 2004

AWAIR tops most frequently cited standards lists
By Diane Amell, Training Officer

For the second consecutive year, Of particular note is the increase in the number
citations issued due to violations of citations issued for inadequate energy
of A Workplace Accident and Injury control programs. MNOSHA is currently
Reduction (AWAIR) Act top the emphasizing the use of proper specific
Minnesota OSHA most frequently cited lockout/tagout procedures as a means
standards lists. to reduce the large number of fatalities
and serious injuries that occur in the state each
The lists are based on inspection opening year. Fall hazards, on the other hand, continue to pose
conference dates during 2003 (calendar year). The a significant risk to construction workers.
first list covers all places of employment inspected,
while the second list is limited to those whose Longer listings of the most-cited standards can be
primary standard industrial classification (SIC) codes found on the Department of Labor and Industry
fall within the construction classification, i.e., SIC Web site at www.doli.state.mn.us/oshainfo.html,
codes 1521 through 1799. under "Citations."

Most frequently cited standards by MNOSHA, 2003

Standard Description Frequency
Minnesota Statutes 182.653 subd. 8 A Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction (AWAIR) 249
Minnesota Rules 5206.0700 subp. 1B Employee Right-to-Know written program 120
Minnesota Rules 5206.0700 subp. 1 Employee Right-to-Know training 115
1910.147(c)(4) Development and use of lockout/tagout procedures 114
Minnesota Rules 5205.0116 subp. 1 Forklifts — monitoring for carbon monoxide 111
Minnesota Statutes 182.653 subd. 2 General Duty Clause — unsafe working conditions 98
1910.151(c) Emergency eyewash/shower facilities 98
1926.501(b)(1) Fall protection in construction — general requirements 98
1926.501(b)(13) Fall protection in residential construction 95
1926.451(g)(1) Fall protection on scaffolds above 10 feet 86

Most frequently cited standards by MNOSHA in the construction industry, 2003

Standard Description Frequency
Minnesota Statutes 182.653 subd. 8 A Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction (AWAIR) 117
1926.501(b)(1) Fall protection in construction — general requirements 97
1926.501(b)(13) Fall protection in residential construction 95
1926.451(g)(1) Fall protection on scaffolds above 10 feet 86
Minnesota Statutes 182.653 subd. 2 General Duty Clause — unsafe working conditions 68
1926.652 (a)(1) Use of sloping or protective systems to prevent 60
excavation cave-ins
1926.100(a) Hard hats in construction 52
1926.501(b)(11) Fall protection on steep roofs 44
1926.501(b)(10) Fall protection for roofing work on low-slope roofs 35
1926.501(b)(14) Fall protection near wall openings 35
Safety Lines 7 Spring 2004
Let your fingers do the walkin'
By Diane Amell, Training Officer

By phone
To provide customers with faster service, MNOSHA
Compliance recently installed an automated phone-menu
system. People calling the St. Paul area office locally at
(651) 284-5050 or toll-free at 1-877-470-OSHA (6742) can:

• connect with the staff directory;

• report a fatality, serious injury or imminent danger
situation, or file a safety or health complaint;
• order mandatory workplace posters or OSHA 300 logs;
• request copies of inspection files, speakers, video loans
or handout materials;
• file a discrimination complaint; or
• speak with a member of our administrative support

By allowing callers to directly select the service they are

most in need of immediately, MNOSHA hopes to provide
everyone with faster service.

On the Web
Have you discovered all of the treasures on the
Department of Labor and Industry Web site?

At www.doli.state.mn.us/oshainfo.html, visitors can

access a list of available online publications, designed
to help employers, employees and others with reading
and applying various state and federal OSHA regulations
to create safe and healthful worksites. Among the topics
covered are AWAIR, Employee Right-To-Know, heat stress,
emergency eyewash and showers, MNOSHA accident
investigations, most cited standards and permissible
exposure limits. There are also links to the Minnesota
Statutes and Minnesota Rules.

On the rest of the DLI site, visitors can:

• learn what workplace issues DLI addresses;

• print or order mandatory workplace posters in English
or several other languages;
• retrieve an application for a safety grant;
• get the latest version of the First Report of Injury form;
• read current or archived copies of various publications;
• access various state labor standards; and
• much more.

Safety Lines 8 Spring 2004

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MNSTAR, MNSHARP programs continue

to benefit Minnesota worksites

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Minnesota OSHA's Workplace

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Safety Consultation unit offers
two programs that benefit companies that want to
increase safety and health for employees and go
beyond basic compliance with applicable OSHA
standards. In addition to immediate and long-term
prevention of job-related injuries and illnesses, these
programs can exempt businesses from MNOSHA
Compliance scheduled (routine) inspections from one
to three years.

The Minnesota Safety and Health Achievement

Recognition Program (MNSHARP), started in 1996 to
help smaller businesses, and the MNSTAR program,
started in 1999 to help larger businesses, recognize
companies whose managers and employees work
together to develop and implement effective safety and
Lovegreen Industrial Services, Inc., was recognized
health management systems. as the state's 17th MNSHARP site at a flag-raising
ceremony April 21 in Eagan. Above are (l to r): Jerry
For more information about either program and to Johnson, vice president; Tom Hesse, shop foreman;
DLI Commissioner Scott Brener; Mick Hayes, tool and
see which Minnesota companies have achieved these equipment supervisor; and Dennis Schanen, shop
awards visit www.doli.state.mn.us/wsc.html. salesperson.

Recent MNSHARP sites

• E.J. Ajax and Sons, Fridley − recertified
• Murphy Warehouse Company, Minneapolis
• Lovegreen Industrial Services, Inc., Eagan
• Minnesota Freezer Warehouse Co., Albert Lea
• Malco Products, Annandale

Recent MNSTAR sites

Star level
• International Paper Mill, Sartell − recertified
Merit level
• Louisiana-Pacific Corporation, Two Harbors

Safety Lines 9 Spring 2004

Free publications available from MNOSHA
Send me one copy of the publication(s) indicated below:
Safety and health protection on the job (MNOSHA poster)

OSHA forms for recording work-related injuries and illnesses (OSHA

300 log packet)

Minnesota OSHA information sheet

Minnesota OSHA workplace inspections

An employer's guide to developing A Workplace Accident and Injury

Reduction (AWAIR) program

A Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction (AWAIR) program for small

construction employers

An employer's guide to developing an Employee Right-To-Know


Employee Right-To-Know on construction sites





City, state and ZIP

Mail, fax or e-mail your request to:

Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry

Occupational Safety and Health
443 Lafayette Road N.
St. Paul, MN 55155-4307
Fax: (651) 284-5741
E-mail: osha.compliance@state.mn.us

Safety Lines 10 Spring 2004