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Safety Lines

The Newsletter of Minnesota OSHA

Number 45 Fall 2004


Each year, Minnesota OSHA investigators witness
and photograph hundreds of safety and health
hazards in their efforts to keep Minnesota workers
safe. The investigators have pulled together a
collection of the photos – a "best of the worst"
– from incidents in 2002 and 2003, where no one
was injured and the employer was instructed to
correct the imminent danger hazards.

The collection of photos is available online at



Standards update from Minnesota OSHA

By Shelly Techar, MNOSHA Management Analyst

AWAIR SIC revisions adopted per 100 full-time workers) at or above 3.1 or an
The list of industries that must comply with the incidence rate (recordable injuries and illnesses
A Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction per 100 full-time workers) at or above 6.0 were
(AWAIR) Act has been amended to comply added to the list. These rates are the 2002 average
with the statutory requirement that the list be rates for all Minnesota employers combined.
reviewed and updated every two years. The
revisions were adopted Oct. 4, 2004. Employers AWAIR requires covered employers to develop
in standard industrial classification (SIC) codes a written workplace safety and health program
that were added to the list have six months that includes an explanation of how managers,
to implement an AWAIR program for their supervisors and employees will implement
facilities. the program and explain how the continued
participation of management will be established,
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2002 measured and maintained.
occupational safety and health survey data for
Minnesota was used to determine which SICs The employer's program must also explain the
would be included on the list. Industries with methods that will be used to identify, analyze
a lost-workday case rate (lost-workday cases Update continues next page
Update continued ...
and control new or existing hazards, conditions Respiratory protection: additional fit-testing
and operations. Details of how the plan will be protocol pending
communicated to all affected employees, so they On Aug. 4, 2004, federal OSHA published a final
are informed of work-related hazards and controls, rule in the Federal Register that approves an
must also be included. additional quantitative fit-testing protocol.

The employer must identify how workplace The controlled negative pressure (CNP) REDON
accidents will be reviewed (e.g., define how they fit-testing protocol, will be included in Appendix A
will be investigated, how corrective actions will be of the Respiratory Protection Standard, 1910.134.
implemented, etc.) and how safe work practices and In addition to amending the standard to include
rules will be enforced. the CNP REDON protocol, this rulemaking makes
several editorial and nonsubstantive technical
The revised SIC list was adopted through the revisions to the standard associated with CNP
standards adoption process followed by Minnesota REDON protocol and the previously approved CNP
OSHA for all standards. Both the proposal notice protocol.
and adoption notice can be accessed online at www. For more information, click on the "Federal
register.asp. Registers" link at MNOSHA will
initiate rulemaking to adopt these revisions by
Copies of the proposal notice were sent to those reference.
on the Minnesota OSHA standards mailing list. To
be added to the mailing list for notification of any Shipyard employment: technical
amendments and new fire-protection
future MNOSHA standard activity, e-mail contact standard pending
information to On July 3, 2002, federal OSHA published a final
rule and technical amendments for the shipyard
The SIC list and more information about AWAIR
employment standards. Minor typos, grammatical
plans are online at
and other errors, as well as several inaccurate
Technical amendments pending cross references were corrected. The technical
Federal OSHA published a final rule in the Federal amendments and corrections did not impose
Register on June 8, 2004, which corrects errors in additional compliance obligations on employers or
four OSHA standards: reduce the protections provided to workers by these
1) deletion of two references to a previously standards.
repealed table in the Mechanical Power-
And, on Sept. 15, 2004, federal OSHA published a
Transmission Apparatus Standard;
final rule, promulgating a fire protection standard for
2) correction of typos in the Mechanical
shipyard employment. The final standard provides
Power Presses Standard;
increased protection for shipyard employment
3) correction to a cross-reference in
workers from the hazards of fire on vessels and
the Telecommunications Standard; and
vessel sections and at land-side facilities.
4) correction to a reference about a table
contained in the Hazardous Materials Standard The standard reflects new technologies and current
for Hydrogen. national consensus standards. It also gathers all fire-
related safety practices for shipyard employment
Standards affected are: 1910.219 and 1926.307;
into a single subpart, making them more accessible
1910.217; 1910.268; and 1910.103. For further
and understandable for employers and employees.
information, click on the "Federal Registers" link at
MNOSHA will initiate rulemaking to adopt these MNOSHA will initiate rulemaking
revisions by reference.
to adopt these changes by reference.
Safety Lines 2 Fall 2004
Hoist safety-recall announced

By Diane Amell, MNOSHA Training Officer

Federal OSHA has been notified by Coffing Hoists that the company has issued a
product safety recall of its GJLC series of electric chain hoists rated at two tons and
below. The hoists affected are Dayton models 3YB72-3YB99, 3YE10-3YE15 and
3YE16-3YE21 shipped between Feb. 1 and May 7, 2004. All affected models are
listed in the table below.

These hoists are equipped with chain strippers that may allow the chain to become
cross-linked when entering the hoist, causing the chain guide to split and jam into
the housing, ultimately breaking it. This condition can cause the load on a two-ton
capacity model to become detached and drop. For those hoists with less than a two-ton
capacity, the hoist can become jammed and not function, also creating a hazardous

The hoists involved with this recall were sold exclusively through Grainger Industrial
Supply under the Dayton brand name. The model number of the hoists, along with
the date code, can be found on the hoist information tag located on the body of the
hoist. The date code is the last two letters of the serial number. The affected date
codes are NT, PT, QT and RT.

Coffing Hoists is requesting that all hoists affected by this recall be removed from
service immediately and returned to their nearest warranty service center. Coffing
Hoists will replace the chain stripper and inspect or load test the hoists free of charge,
as well as pay or reimburse customers for ground shipment charges.

For more information, contact Coffing Hoists by phone at (704) 694-2156 or by fax
at 1-800-374-6853.
Dayton Hoist model numbers being recalled
3YB72 3YB83 3YB94 3YE15
3YB73 3YB84 3YB95 3YE16
3YB74 3YB85 3YB96 3YE17
All with the date codes NT,
3YB75 3YB86 3YB97 3YE18 PT, QT, or RT; for example,
3YB76 3YB87 3YB98 3YE19 serial number JM010NT.
3YB77 3YB88 3YB99 3YE20
3YB78 3YB89 3YE10 3YE21
3YB79 3YB90 3YE11 7E989
3YB80 3YB91 3YE12 7E990
3YB81 3YB92 3YE13 7E991
3YB82 3YB93 3YE14 7E992
Sausage, eggs and ... safety?
In the Twin Cities metro area
Join Minnesota OSHA for a Construction Breakfast seminar and you'll enjoy a breakfast buffet and
a presentation about a specific safety topic. The seminars are just $10 and are at the Minnesota
Department of Health, Snelling Office Park, 1645 Energy Park Drive, St. Paul, from 7 to 9 a.m.

• Nov. 16, 2004 Skid steer, backhoe, equipment and

worksite safety
presented by Bill Miller, training manager,
Tri State Bobcat

• Jan. 18, 2005 Most-cited standards: AWAIR and

employee right-to-know programs
presented by Gary Robertson, MNOSHA
training officer, and a MNOSHA field

• March 15, 2005 Multi-employer worksites:

responsibilities and inspection
presented by a Department of Labor and
Industry attorney and/or an assistant
attorney general

• May 17, 2005 Residential fall-protection

presented by Mitz DelCaro, MNOSHA
construction supervisor

Register online at or call (651) 284-5375.

In outstate Minnesota
Join Workplace Safety Consultation (WSC) for Construction Breakfast seminars in outstate
Minnesota. For $10, you'll enjoy a breakfast buffet and a presentation about a specific safety topic.
The seminars are from 7 to 9 a.m. at various locations throughout the state.

In November, the topic is Health hazards in the construction industry, presented by WSC's
Michael Seliga.

• Nov. 2, 2004 South Central Technical College, North Mankato

To register, call Tom Vosberg at (507) 389-7409.

• Nov. 9, 2004 Best Western Apache, Rochester

To register, call WSC at (651) 284-5060.

• Nov. 10, 2004 Holiday Inn, Duluth

To register, call Steve Korby at (218) 727-4565.

• Nov. 23, 2004 Holiday Inn, Waite Park/St. Cloud

To register, call WSC at (651) 284-5060.

For more information about Construction Breakfast seminars, both metro area and outstate, visit
Grants ease employer costs of
abating safety hazards
By Erny Mattila, Safety Grants Program Administrator

The Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) announces

continuation of its safety hazard abatement matching
grant program under Minnesota Statutes, section
79.253, and Minnesota Rules, parts 5203.0010 through

Employers covered by workers’ compensation insurance

or approved as self-insured employers are eligible to apply
for matching grants to abate safety or health hazards in the
workplace. The safety or health hazards must have been
identified in an on-site survey conducted by:

1) a Minnesota OSHA safety/health investigator;

2) a DLI Workplace Safety Consultation safety/health
consultant; Equipment purchased
3) an in-house employee safety/health committee; using grants awarded
4) a workers’ compensation insurance underwriter; in fiscal-year 2004
5) a private safety/health consultant; or Anti-fatigue matting
6) a person under contract with the Assigned Risk Plan. Asbestos abatement
The on-site safety/health survey must have resulted in specifically Bucket truck
Chlorine-leak detectors
recommended safety or health practices or equipment, training for Cones
purchased equipment or tuition reimbursement designed to reduce Crane
the risk of injury to employees. Defibrillator
Costs eligible for program participation are all or part of the cost of Dust collection system
Ergonomic furniture
purchasing and installing recommended safety/health equipment, Excavator
training for purchased equipment, tuition reimbursement, the cost Eyewash stations
of operating or maintaining safety/health equipment, or the cost of Fire/smoke alarms
purchasing or renting real property, if necessary, to meet criteria Flammable cabinets
established by the on-site safety/health survey. Automobiles, Harness
weapons or personnel costs, such as salary and benefits, will not be Manhole lift
covered by these grants. Paint booth
Whether or not DLI approves the grant application in no way Rough terrain Bobcat
diminishes, delays or absolves the employer of any obligation to SCBAs
Security system
abate hazards as required by law. No state funds will be distributed Traction sets
until all grant documents are signed by all parties; funds expended Trench box
before that must not rely on grant approval. Invoices dated prior Tripod
to the fully executed grant agreement are not eligible for this Turn-out gear
program. Vests

Safety Lines 5 Fall 2004

Grant applications are accepted continuously and grants are awarded monthly.

Grants are limited to a total maximum match of $10,000 per project. The employer must provide at least
$1 in project costs for every dollar awarded. No grant will be awarded for more than half the amount of
the approved project. Projects will be judged according to the criteria established by law.

Qualified projects having the greatest impact and feasibility will be given priority. Priority will also
be given to projects meeting the other requirements for grants: creating production jobs in an area;
preventing loss of jobs due to safety problems; and areas that are the current focus of Minnesota OSHA
compliance and consultation strategies, including public sector, food and kindred products, lumber and
wood products, furniture and fixtures, paper and allied products, printing and publishing, rubber and
miscellaneous plastics, industrial machinery and equipment, communications, hotels and other lodging
places, automotive dealers and service stations, construction, health services, ergonomic equipment,
training for purchased equipment and tuition reimbursement. Less than the requested amount may be
awarded if program resources are insufficient to provide full assistance to all approved applicants and if
the reduced grant could still achieve safety objectives.

Grant applications are accepted continuously and grants are awarded monthly. Applications must be
received by the last day of the month to be awarded the next month. An employer that has received a
grant for a particular worksite will not be eligible to receive another grant for that worksite during the
two years after the date of the award. All applicable information requested on the grant application form
is required for grant approval. Missing information will result in the application being returned to the

Eligible applicants for grants must submit their proposals to: James Collins, OSHA Management Team
Director, Workplace Safety Consultation, 443 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55155. For further
information or to request a grant application, contact Erny Mattila, safety grants program administrator,
by phone at (651) 284-5162 or 1-800-731-7232, or by e-mail at, or visit online.

Workplace Safety Consultation

Safety grant activity – fiscal-year 2004

Number of grants Project costs

private sector............ 128 employer match fund ..... $2,316,843

public sector ............. 68 state match fund ........... $1,033,716
total ........................ 196 total ............................ $3,340,291

From 1995 through 2003: 1,374 grants

have been awarded, totaling $8.7 million.

Safety Lines 6 Fall 2004

OSHA Workplace Safety Consultation has partnered with McGough Construction to perform monthly safety and
health walk-around inspections at the new Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. During the Oct. 1 inspection, safety
and health representatives for all onsite contractors and building trades business agents toured the site as part of
a “fall blitz” to remind workers to adopt safe and healthy behaviors before the good weather ends. Approximately
160 workers are onsite daily. The theater is slated to open in May 2006.

EMPLOYERS: Minnesota OSHA needs you!

Employers, Minnesota OSHA's Workplace Safety Consultation needs you ... or at least your opinions.

WSC has initiated a client feedback survey, beginning with general-industry employers. After WSC has
made an initial consultation visit to an employer, the employer is given a consultation report and a copy
of the survey, which asks for input to measure consultant effectiveness, knowledge, helpfulness and
the employer's overall satisfaction with the consultation experience. WSC plans to survey construction
employers in the next phase of the project. There are also plans to include a survey area on the WSC
Web page,

Safety Lines 7 Fall 2004

Portable-auger hazards during fall harvest
By Deb Peterson, MNOSHA Greater Minnesota Supervisor

As the fall harvest season progresses, grain handlers should take special note of potential
hazards on the farm and at grain handling facilities. Portable augers that are commonly used
present several types of hazards. Remind your personnel of the following safety tips.

• When moving, transporting or relocating portable augers, make certain the hitch connection
to the tractor or truck is secured. Inspect the hitch for cracks. Does the hitch have a clevis, and
a suitable locking pin or clip, to positively secure the auger to the vehicle or tractor hitch?

• If a portable auger is being towed down the roadway, has the unit been lowered to assure
it will clear all overhead signs or electrical lines?

• When towing augers on roadways, are slow-moving-vehicle signs visible to other vehicles
approaching from the rear?

• Are other warning devices used, such as brightly colored flags attached at the very rear of
the auger, or has consideration been given to the use of an escort vehicle at the rear?

• Before releasing the hitch connection, check to see the auger has been positioned correctly,
on level ground, and that the auger has been raised to the appropriate height. After the auger
is in the final position, block both wheels and make certain the hitch end cannot move, and
the hitch end is pressing down on the tractor or truck hitch before unhitching. Note that
upward pressure on the tractor or truck would indicate the auger may tip in the opposite
direction when released.

• When first positioning an auger, keep personnel clear of the opposite end of the auger in
the event that the auger would tip.

• Inspect all cables that raise or lower the auger for broken strands or fraying, because a
broken cable could cause the auger to collapse.

• Is sufficient guarding provided for the auger blade at the intake end to protect workers
hands and feet from being caught in the ingoing auger point?

• Has a guard been placed over the power take-off shaft of the tractor that supplies power
to the portable auger, and does the guard sufficiently protect the connection?
Whistleblower laws protect employees
against employer retaliation

By Christine Dougherty, MNOSHA Senior Discrimination Investigator

Employers and employees are often surprised to learn If an employee believes he or she has been adversely
there is a specific statute in Minnesota law (and a affected by the employer's actions, they must file a
corresponding federal law) that protects employees compliant within 30 days by calling MNOSHA's
from discrimination when they make safety or health Discrimination unit at (651) 284-5051. Employees
complaints to their employers. should not wait for the results of an internal grievance,
union grievance or unemployment action before filing
Commonly referred to as “whistleblower” laws, the a complaint. If they do, it may be too late.
Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Act of
1973 has a specific discrimination statute – Minnesota A staff member from the MNOSHA Discrimination unit
Statute 182.669 – that provides an employee has the will screen the complaint to determine: the adverse
right to make complaints about job safety and health, employment action occurred within the past 30 days,
and is protected against the employer taking an adverse the employee made a safety or health complaint, the
employment action against him or her because employer knew or believed it to be the employee
of the complaint. There is also protection who made the complaint and, because of
specifically for refusing to do a job or task that, the employee suffered an adverse
the employee, in good faith, believes employment action.
will put him or her in imminent danger
or cause serious physical harm (M.S. Both the employer and the employee
182.654. Subd. 11). have the opportunity to state their case;
a discrimination investigator will be
Some employers and employees believe responsible for doing interviews, evaluating
that only an employee who made a complaint evidence and making a decision. At any time
to the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health during the process, the employer may work through
Administration (MNOSHA) is protected by the the investigator to settle the case between the two
discrimination statute. This is not true, and a complaint parties. If no settlement is reached, the investigator will
that is filed does not have to be found to violate a make a final recommendation regarding the case.
MNOSHA standard either. While filing a complaint
with MNOSHA is definitely covered, an employee may If an employee ultimately prevails, M.S. 182.669
simply have made a complaint to his or her supervisor, provides that the employee can be awarded back pay,
talked to coworkers or refused to do a job they felt put compensatory damages, reinstatement at full status and
their life in imminent danger of serious physical harm. benefits, and costs associated with the case, including
After the action of the employee has taken place, it is attorney fees. If there is insufficient evidence to support
how the employer reacts to knowledge of that complaint the employee’s claim, the case will be dismissed.
that counts. If the employer disciplines an employee
or tangibly changes their work relationship by altering For further information, visit the federal OSHA
such things as wages, hours, shifts or promotions, or Web site at The brochure Protecting
enforces suspension or termination, because that whistleblowers with job safety and health complaints
employee made a complaint, then the protection of is at
the discrimination statute applies.

Safety Lines 9 Fall 2004

Weyerhaeuser Company attains MNSTAR status
Representatives from the Minnesota Department of
Labor and Industry presented the MNSTAR award to
Weyerhaeuser Company, White Bear Lake, Minn., in

MNSTAR is a Minnesota Occupational Safety and

Health Administration (OSHA) program recognizing
companies where managers and employees work
together to develop safety and health management
systems that go beyond basic compliance with all
applicable OSHA standards and result in immediate
and long-term prevention of job-related injuries
and illnesses.

For more information about the MNSTAR program,


Minnesota workers' compensation claim characteristics, 2002

Nature 2002 Percent

of injury or disease claims of total Part of body
Sprains and strains 15,010 56%
Multiple and other 2,390 9% Fingers 7% Head 2% (except eyes)
Fractures 2,160 8%
Cuts 2,080 8% Eyes 0.7%
Contusions 2,000 7% Hands 3% Neck 2%
Cumulative injuries* 1,280 5%
Illnesses 950 4%
Back 23%
Burns 490 2% Wrists 6%
Dislocations 380 1%
*excludes strains Trunk 4%
Elbows 2% (except back)

Cause 2002 Percent Shoulders, arms 13% Legs 4%

of accident claims of total
Strain or overexertion 13,100 49%
Body systems 3% Knees 9%
Fall 5,120 19%
Miscellaneous cause 1,920 7%
Struck by object 1,640 6% Multiple parts 11% Ankles 4%
Cut 1,520 6%
Striking against object 1,100 4% Feet 3%
Motor vehicle 900 3% Toes 0.7%
Caught in/between objects 860 3%
Exposure (hot, cold, chemicals) 580 2%

The charts above only include claims with cash benefits. Claims with medical benefits only are not included.

Safety Lines 10 Fall 2004