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

The list of industries that must comply with the A Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction (AWAIR) Act has been amended to comply with the statutory requirement that the list be reviewed and updated every two years. The revisions were adopted Oct. 4, 2004. Employers in standard industrial classification (SIC) codes that were added to the list have six months to implement an AWAIR program for their facilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2002 occupational safety and health survey data for Minnesota was used to determine which SICs would be included on the list. Industries with a lost-workday case rate (lost-workday cases

per 100 full-time workers) at or above 3.1 or an incidence rate (recordable injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers) at or above 6.0 were added to the list. These rates are the 2002 average rates for all Minnesota employers combined. AWAIR requires covered employers to develop a written workplace safety and health program that includes an explanation of how managers, supervisors and employees will implement the program and explain how the continued participation of management will be established, measured and maintained. The employer's program must also explain the methods that will be used to identify, analyze
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and control new or existing hazards, conditions and operations. Details of how the plan will be communicated to all affected employees, so they are informed of work-related hazards and controls, must also be included. The employer must identify how workplace accidents will be reviewed (e.g., define how they will be investigated, how corrective actions will be implemented, etc.) and how safe work practices and rules will be enforced. The revised SIC list was adopted through the standards adoption process followed by Minnesota OSHA for all standards. Both the proposal notice and adoption notice can be accessed online at www. register.asp. Copies of the proposal notice were sent to those on the Minnesota OSHA standards mailing list. To be added to the mailing list for notification of any future MNOSHA standard activity, e-mail contact information to The SIC list and more information about AWAIR plans are online at
Technical amendments pending

Update continued ...

Respiratory protection: additional fit-testing protocol pending

On Aug. 4, 2004, federal OSHA published a final rule in the Federal Register that approves an additional quantitative fit-testing protocol. The controlled negative pressure (CNP) REDON fit-testing protocol, will be included in Appendix A of the Respiratory Protection Standard, 1910.134. In addition to amending the standard to include the CNP REDON protocol, this rulemaking makes several editorial and nonsubstantive technical revisions to the standard associated with CNP REDON protocol and the previously approved CNP protocol. For more information, click on the "Federal Registers" link at MNOSHA will initiate rulemaking to adopt these revisions by reference.
Shipyard employment: technical amendments and new fire-protection standard pending

Federal OSHA published a final rule in the Federal Register on June 8, 2004, which corrects errors in four OSHA standards: 1) deletion of two references to a previously repealed table in the Mechanical PowerTransmission Apparatus Standard; 2) correction of typos in the Mechanical Power Presses Standard; 3) correction to a cross-reference in the Telecommunications Standard; and 4) correction to a reference about a table contained in the Hazardous Materials Standard for Hydrogen. Standards affected are: 1910.219 and 1926.307; 1910.217; 1910.268; and 1910.103. For further information, click on the "Federal Registers" link at MNOSHA will initiate rulemaking to adopt these changes by reference.
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On July 3, 2002, federal OSHA published a final rule and technical amendments for the shipyard employment standards. Minor typos, grammatical and other errors, as well as several inaccurate cross references were corrected. The technical amendments and corrections did not impose additional compliance obligations on employers or reduce the protections provided to workers by these standards. And, on Sept. 15, 2004, federal OSHA published a final rule, promulgating a fire protection standard for shipyard employment. The final standard provides increased protection for shipyard employment workers from the hazards of fire on vessels and vessel sections and at land-side facilities. The standard reflects new technologies and current national consensus standards. It also gathers all firerelated safety practices for shipyard employment into a single subpart, making them more accessible and understandable for employers and employees. MNOSHA will initiate rulemaking to adopt these revisions by reference.
Fall 2004

Hoist safety-recall announced
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 situation. 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 By Diane Amell, MNOSHA Training Officer

3YB72 3YB73 3YB74 3YB75 3YB76 3YB77 3YB78 3YB79 3YB80 3YB81 3YB82

3YB83 3YB84 3YB85 3YB86 3YB87 3YB88 3YB89 3YB90 3YB91 3YB92 3YB93

3YB94 3YB95 3YB96 3YB97 3YB98 3YB99 3YE10 3YE11 3YE12 3YE13 3YE14

3YE15 3YE16 3YE17 3YE18 3YE19 3YE20 3YE21 7E989 7E990 7E991 7E992

All with the date codes NT, PT, QT, or RT; for example, serial number JM010NT.

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 Most-cited standards: AWAIR and employee right-to-know programs presented by Gary Robertson, MNOSHA training officer, and a MNOSHA field investigator Multi-employer worksites: responsibilities and inspection procedures presented by a Department of Labor and Industry attorney and/or an assistant attorney general Residential fall-protection presented by Mitz DelCaro, MNOSHA construction supervisor

• Jan. 18, 2005

• March 15, 2005

• May 17, 2005

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 • Nov. 9, 2004 • Nov. 10, 2004 • Nov. 23, 2004 South Central Technical College, North Mankato To register, call Tom Vosberg at (507) 389-7409. Best Western Apache, Rochester To register, call WSC at (651) 284-5060. Holiday Inn, Duluth To register, call Steve Korby at (218) 727-4565. 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 5203.0070. 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; 3) an in-house employee safety/health committee; 4) a workers’ compensation insurance underwriter; 5) a private safety/health consultant; or 6) a person under contract with the Assigned Risk Plan. The on-site safety/health survey must have resulted in specifically recommended safety or health practices or equipment, training for purchased equipment or tuition reimbursement designed to reduce the risk of injury to employees. Costs eligible for program participation are all or part of the cost of purchasing and installing recommended safety/health equipment, training for purchased equipment, tuition reimbursement, the cost of operating or maintaining safety/health equipment, or the cost of purchasing or renting real property, if necessary, to meet criteria established by the on-site safety/health survey. Automobiles, weapons or personnel costs, such as salary and benefits, will not be covered by these grants. Whether or not DLI approves the grant application in no way diminishes, delays or absolves the employer of any obligation to abate hazards as required by law. No state funds will be distributed until all grant documents are signed by all parties; funds expended before that must not rely on grant approval. Invoices dated prior to the fully executed grant agreement are not eligible for this program.
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Equipment purchased using grants awarded in fiscal-year 2004 Anti-fatigue matting Asbestos abatement Beds Bucket truck Chlorine-leak detectors Cones Crane Defibrillator Delimber Dust collection system Ergonomic furniture Excavator Eyewash stations Fire/smoke alarms Flammable cabinets Harness Lifts Manhole lift Paint booth PPE Rough terrain Bobcat SCBAs Security system Traction sets Trench box Tripod Turn-out gear Vests
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 requester. 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
private sector............ 128 public sector ............. 68 total ........................ 196

Project costs
employer match fund ..... $2,316,843 state match fund ........... $1,033,716 total ............................ $3,340,291

From 1995 through 2003: 1,374 grants have been awarded, totaling $8.7 million.

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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.


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


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 September. 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, visit

Minnesota workers' compensation claim characteristics, 2002
2002 claims Percent of total

of injury or disease

Part of body
Fingers 7% Head 2% (except eyes) Eyes 0.7% Hands 3% Neck 2% Back 23%
(except back)

Sprains and strains Multiple and other Fractures Cuts Contusions Cumulative injuries* Illnesses Burns Dislocations
*excludes strains

15,010 2,390 2,160 2,080 2,000 1,280 950 490 380

56% 9% 8% 8% 7% 5% 4% 2% 1%

Wrists 6% Elbows 2%

Trunk 4%


of accident

2002 claims

Percent of total

Shoulders, arms 13% Body systems 3% Multiple parts 11%

Legs 4% Knees 9% Ankles 4% Feet 3%

Strain or overexertion Fall Miscellaneous cause Struck by object Cut Striking against object Motor vehicle Caught in/between objects Exposure (hot, cold, chemicals)

13,100 5,120 1,920 1,640 1,520 1,100 900 860 580

49% 19% 7% 6% 6% 4% 3% 3% 2%

Toes 0.7%

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

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Fall 2004