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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: • printing and publishing MNOSHA Compliance program must evaluate data • auto dealers and service stations annually to determine where to focus its efforts to • communications ensure maximum coverage and effectiveness. • hotels and lodging Generally, MNOSHA Compliance focuses inspection efforts on industries with a high injury and illness To help educate the employers and employees in Minnesota, MNOSHA Compliance conducts rate. 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 and on potential future inspection areas. areas: • construction MNOSHA's goal is to focus current outreach and • lead and silica in general industry and training sessions in the following areas: construction • construction • lumber and wood products • young workers (less than 21 years of age) • furniture and fixtures • non-English-speaking workers • paper and allied products • primary metal industries • rubber and miscellaneous plastic • transportation equipment • food and kindred products • fabricated metal products • industrial machine and equipment • emerging businesses • public sector


Complete information about these areas of focus and more is available in the MNOSHA Strategic Management Plan for 2004 through 2008, available online at

Update: standards revoked, amended, repealed, clarified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

Minnesota OSHA published a notice in the March 22 edition of the State Register that proposed the adoption by reference of amendments to Occupational Safety and Health Standards already proposed and adopted by federal OSHA. The notice also proposed modifications to Minnesota Rules Chapter 5207. These changes become effective in Minnesota upon publication of the adoption notice in the State Register. A summary of the proposed changes follows.
Respiratory Protection for M. Tuberculosis; final rule; revocation

On Dec. 31, federal OSHA published a final rule that revoked 29 CFR 1910.139 Respiratory Protection for M. Tuberculosis in the Federal Register. As a result, federal OSHA will begin applying the general industry Respiratory Protection standard for protection against the disease. While the final rule became effective at the federal level Dec. 31, employers have until June 30 to become compliant with the Respiratory Protection standard, 29 CFR 1910.134.
Commercial Diving Operations; final rule

engage in recreational diving instruction and diving-guide duties; use an open-circuit, a semiclosed-circuit or a closedcircuit self-contained underwater-breathing apparatus supplied with a breathing gas that has a high percentage of oxygen mixed with nitrogen; dive to a maximum depth of 130 feet of sea water; and remain within the no-decompression limits specified for the partial pressure of nitrogen in the breathing-gas mixture. These alternate requirements essentially are the same as the terms of a variance granted by OSHA to Dixie Divers, Inc., in 1999. The amendments in this rule became effective at the federal level March 18.
Minnesota Rules 5207.0010 Anchor Bolts; 5207.0020 Bar, Floor, and Roof Joists; and 5207.0250 Walking, Working Surfaces, subp. 5 Roofs; repealer

With the adoption of federal Subpart R (Steel Erection), Minnesota Rules 5207.0010, 5207.0020 and 5207.0250 subp. 5, became unnecessary and are being repealed.
Minnesota Rules 5207.0300 and 5207.0301, Confined Spaces in Construction; clarification

On Feb. 17, federal OSHA published in the Federal Register a final rule amending its commercial diving operations (CDO) standards. The notice allows employers of recreational diving instructors and diving guides to comply with an alternative set of requirements instead of the decompressionchamber requirements in the current CDO standards. The final rule applies only when these employees:
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Minnesota Rules 5207.0300 and 5207.0301 are being amended to clarify the definition of a confined space.
More information

To review the complete Federal Register notices or federal standards referenced above, visit the federal OSHA Web site at To review current Minnesota Rules, visit the Office of the Revisor of Statutes Web site at To review the rules as proposed in the State Register on March 22, visit monmag/srmain.htm.
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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 days. 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 climate. 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.
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Participation will help machining facilities: • identify practical ways to control machine hazards in your shop; • identify reasons why adequate machine-guarding is not always used; • 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 or call (651) 291-9150, toll-free at 1-800-444-9150.
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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 past 10 years have lost their lives in switching-related incidents, one of more than 240 those was in Minnesota. Thirteen of the 18 reported fatalities employees were the result of being struck by or caught between rail cars; have received severe injuries three more died as a result of a fall from equipment, which 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.
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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 cars. 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 industries. 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.
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AWAIR tops most frequently cited standards lists
By Diane Amell, Training Officer

For the second consecutive year, citations issued due to violations of A Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction (AWAIR) Act top the Minnesota OSHA most frequently cited standards lists.

Of particular note is the increase in the number of citations issued for inadequate energy control programs. MNOSHA is currently emphasizing the use of proper specific lockout/tagout procedures as a means 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, codes 1521 through 1799. under "Citations." Most frequently cited standards by MNOSHA, 2003
Standard Minnesota Statutes 182.653 subd. 8 Minnesota Rules 5206.0700 subp. 1B Minnesota Rules 5206.0700 subp. 1 1910.147(c)(4) Minnesota Rules 5205.0116 subp. 1 &2 Minnesota Statutes 182.653 subd. 2 1910.151(c) 1926.501(b)(1) 1926.501(b)(13) 1926.451(g)(1) Description A Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction (AWAIR) Program Employee Right-to-Know written program Employee Right-to-Know training Development and use of lockout/tagout procedures Forklifts — monitoring for carbon monoxide General Duty Clause — unsafe working conditions Emergency eyewash/shower facilities Fall protection in construction — general requirements Fall protection in residential construction Fall protection on scaffolds above 10 feet Frequency 249 120 115 114 111 98 98 98 95 86

Most frequently cited standards by MNOSHA in the construction industry, 2003
Standard Minnesota Statutes 182.653 subd. 8 1926.501(b)(1) 1926.501(b)(13) 1926.451(g)(1) Minnesota Statutes 182.653 subd. 2 1926.652 (a)(1) 1926.100(a) 1926.501(b)(11) 1926.501(b)(10) 1926.501(b)(14)
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Description A Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction (AWAIR) Program Fall protection in construction — general requirements Fall protection in residential construction Fall protection on scaffolds above 10 feet General Duty Clause — unsafe working conditions Use of sloping or protective systems to prevent excavation cave-ins Hard hats in construction Fall protection on steep roofs Fall protection for roofing work on low-slope roofs Fall protection near wall openings

Frequency 117 97 95 86 68 60 52 44 35 35
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 staff. 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, 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.

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Minnesota OSHA's Workplace 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.

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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 health management systems. For more information about either program and to see which Minnesota companies have achieved these awards visit



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MNSTAR, MNSHARP programs continue to benefit Minnesota worksites

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Lovegreen Industrial Services, Inc., was recognized as the state's 17th MNSHARP site at a flag-raising ceremony April 21 in Eagan. Above are (l to r): Jerry Johnson, vice president; Tom Hesse, shop foreman; DLI Commissioner Scott Brener; Mick Hayes, tool and equipment supervisor; and Dennis Schanen, shop salesperson.

Recent MNSHARP sites
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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


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 program Employee Right-To-Know on construction sites

Name Title Organization Address 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:

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