Safety Lines

The Newsletter of Minnesota OSHA
Number 50 Winter 2006

Truck-bed-lining industry no breath of fresh air
By Amy Gallagher, Industrial Hygienist

The urethane spray-on truck-bed-liner industry has been growing rapidly and it is estimated that more than 2,000 businesses are in operation in the United States. Increasing knowledge of health hazards and a 2003 fatality in Michigan related to spraying truckbed-liners has initiated concern among occupational safety and health agencies. The major hazard in the industry is exposure to isocyanates in the product that is used. Established health risks of isocyanates include occupational asthma, which caused the death of the bed-liner applicator in Michigan, despite precautions taken such as respirator use and ventilation. The majority of exposures with the bed liners occur when the product is applied with a spray gun, releasing isocyanate vapors and aerosols into the ambient air surrounding workers.
Isocyanate hazards

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Concerns regarding isocyanate exposures are well substantiated. Isocyanates have been documented to be strong irritants, with exposures causing burning and redness to the eyes, and irritation to the skin and respiratory tract. The greatest concern with isocyanates is that the chemical can induce asthma in workers. Inhaled isocyanates can trigger the airways to narrow, making it difficult to breathe, which
Bed-liners continues ...

In the wake of hurrIcanes katrIna and rIta:
– Minnesota OSHA employee assists Red Cross in hurricane aftermath–
By Erny Mattila, Safety Grant Program Coordinator Editor's note: Erny Mattila, Minnesota OSHA Workplace Safety Consultation, has volunteered with the Red Cross as a Disaster Relief Team member since 1994. Typically, he responds to tornadoes and residential fires throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area – at all hours – to assist victims with first aid and vouchers, and to conduct damage assessment so victims can settle with the insurance companies. This is his account – and his photos – of his recent efforts in the Gulf Coast.

On Sept. 26, I flew from Minneapolis to Dallas and then to Austin, Texas, where I was processed-in as a Red Cross Damage Assessment Team leader due to my previous experience. The Damage Assessment Team cannot condemn buildings or hand out food, water or clothing; we simply make note of the amount of damage to a certain property so the Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the insurance companies can refer to our reports when property owners make claims for assistance.

Hurricanes Katrina, Rita to page 6

ultimately was the cause of the Michigan fatality. Isocyanates are dangerous because they may sensitize workers, so that asthmatic reactions may be elicited upon subsequent exposures to isocyanates, even when concentrations are below established safe limits. Recent studies conducted on this isocyanate-induced asthma have indicated these respiratory symptoms can persist for years, in spite of discontinued exposure, resulting in workers Graphic from succumbing to lifelong effects. With such devastating effects to worker health, it is important all appropriate measures be taken to reduce exposures.
MNOSHA isocyanate initiative

Bed-liners continued ...

As a result of the Michigan fatality and increasing hazards reported regarding isocyanates, the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MNOSHA) developed and implemented a local-emphasis isocyanate initiative to conduct inspections of facilities involved in truck-bed-liner operations. Inspections were conducted from April 2004 through June 2005; the results of the initiative indicated 67 percent of the companies inspected were found to have exposures to isocyanates, specifically methylene bisphenyl isocyanate (MDI), exceeding the OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL) ceiling of 0.02 parts per million (ppm). Overexposures averaged approximately seven times in excess of the established limits and ranged from 1.2 to 26.5 times the PEL. Violations found at the majority of the companies included citations for inadequate respiratory protection (1910.134), lack of right-to-know training (5206.0700) and deficiencies in engineering controls to prevent overexposures to isocyanates (1910.1000). The high instances of overexposures and noncompliance indicate the need to improve conditions at businesses involved in spraying truck-bed-liners. Cases of special concern regarding isocyanate overexposure highlighted by MNOSHA included the following situations. • An assistant was overexposed by 12.5 times the PEL in addition to the sprayer. The assistant stood directly by the exhaust fan that was drawing MDI contaminated air to outside of the spray area. • An inspection indicated overexposure of 1.2 times the PEL at the fresh-air intake for the supplied air respirator. • Another inspection yielded a significant overexposure of 26.5 times the PEL.
Methods for reducing exposure

When applying spray-on truck-bed-liners, employees are at risk for unsafe exposures to isocyanates. Measures such as engineering controls, chemical hazard training, work practices and personal protective equipment must be taken to ensure the health and safety of all workers involved with the bed-liner application process.
Engineering controls

One of the most effective measures to minimize exposure to isocyanates is the use of an enclosed ventilated system, which should be the primary means of protection. Commercially designed spray booths are available and can be effective when properly installed. It is important that the performance of the ventilation of the system is evaluated to ensure the capture and containment of the isocyanate vapors away from workers during the spraying process. Changing the filters for the ventilation equipment frequently and conducting periodic maintenance on the system will help to further ensure reductions in airborne levels of isocyanates.
Bed-liners continues ...
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Bed-liners continued ... Chemical hazard training, employee right-to-know

On many occasions, workers are not trained about the hazards associated with the chemicals they are working with. In Minnesota, this training is required by the Employee Right-To-Know Act. Employers must supply information about the health hazards associated with isocyanates and spraying truck-bed-liners, so workers will be able to detect early symptoms of overexposure and receive treatment before health effects progress. Also, employers must provide employees with material safety data sheets (MSDSs) about bed-liner materials and safety information provided by the manufacturer to further ensure the safe use of the product.
Work practices

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How workers apply the bed liner can also influence the amount of exposure to isocyanates. While spraying, the following practices can be used. • Make sure workers do not stand in the flow of contaminated air produced by the spray gun to the exhaust ventilation system. • Workers should refrain from being in the bed of the truck while spraying. Standing by the side of the truck bed is preferred, to reduce exposure to the spray. • If possible, an application technique that uses lower temperatures, less pressure and lower amounts of aerosols can be used to reduce isocyanate exposures.
Personal protective equipment

Although personal protective equipment (PPE) is not to be used as a primary means of protection against isocyanate exposures, it can help further reduce exposures to safe levels when combined with effective engineering controls. When applying a bed liner, risk for overexposure to isocyanates is high and use of a full-face, supplied air respirator (SAR) is the best means to protect the well-being of workers. Air purifying respirators can be used, but a strict cartridge change-out schedule must be followed to ensure proper use of the respirator. Hazards can arise with the use of air purifying respirators when change-out schedules are not followed. The cartridges to purify the air can become saturated with MDI and “breakthrough” can occur where MDI can pass through the cartridges. Workers wearing the respirator will then be exposed to MDI and may not know it, because MDI has poor warning properties (for example, odor and irritation) that cannot be detected until excessive levels of MDI are present. The following practices regarding respirators will aid in proper protective function of the PPE. • Conduct fit tests to ensure a proper seal is made with the skin and the face piece, and that the respirator is providing an adequate barrier from contaminants. • Make sure respirators are stored correctly in a clean location away from contaminants and that maintenance is conducted to ensure the function of the respirator. • If using a supplied air respirator, keep the supplied air intake outside of the spray area to ensure fresh air is being provided to the worker and not harmful contaminants. • Ensure medical evaluations for all workers wearing respirators are conducted to make sure the employees can safely and effectively be protected by the respirators. Bed-liners continues ...
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Bed-liners continued ...

Also, it is important to use PPE to cover all skin that may be exposed during the bed-liner application. Skin contact with MDI not only can cause irritation, but has been found to sensitize workers to further exposures and can even elicit an asthma attack. The following PPE should be used to avoid exposures to the skin: chemical resistant coveralls or suit; gloves, such as Nitrile or other gloves rated for use with MDI; covering on head and neck, such as a hood on a chemical suit; face protection; and protection on feet, such as chemical resistant boots and coverings.
More information

More information about isocyanate use and spray-on truck-bed-liners can be accessed from the following organizations. • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) – − Preventing asthma and death from diisocyanate exposures (1996) online at • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) − • Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA) − Spray-on urethane truck bed linings and isocyanate exposures (March 2003) online at − MDI exposure for spray-on truck bed lining by Lofgren, D., Wally, T., Peters, P., and Weis, M. (2003) in Applied and Environmental Hygiene, 18; pages 772-779 • Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry (API) – • Michigan State University Reports − Michigan fatality and control evaluation (MIFACE) investigation #03MI018 (December 2003) online at

Nominations for DLI safety award recipient due March 1
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) seeks to honor a safety or health professional who is an example of safety excellence, with the annual Arthur E. McCauley Jr., Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Leadership Award. The award was named for former Minnesota Safety Council Member Arthur E. McCauley Jr., whose work as a safety professional encompassed the attributes of this award. McCauley was regarded for his work as a member of the Minnesota Safety Council and the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Council. He was known for his dedication and tireless efforts to improve the safety and health of Minnesota's workplaces.

Arthur E. McCauley, Jr.

Complete information and the nomination form are online at Interested parties may also contact Susan Boone at (651) 284-5018 or at susan.boone for details.

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New crane-operator regulations — an overview
By Tyrone Taylor, Construction Supervisor

Legislation was enacted in Minnesota May 24, 2005, that requires the certification and regulation of crane operators. This is an overview of the new regulation, which takes effect July 1, 2007. According to the new law, no individual may operate a crane, with the lifting capacity of five tons or more, on a construction site unless that person has a valid crane-operator certificate. The certificate must be issued by a nationally recognized and accredited certification program. The new regulation applies to all wire rope-over-sheave mobile cranes and mobile tower cranes. The standard does not apply to track and automotive jacks, railway or automobile wrecking cranes, shipboard cranes, shipboard cargo handling equipment, well drilling derricks, skip hoists, mine hoists, truck body hoists, car or barge pullers, conveyors or excavating equipment when not used as a lifting crane. Operators of cranes shall provide proof of certification upon request by an investigator. Individual certification may be received from the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) or another certifying entity that has been accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. The regulation requires operators to renew their certification every five years. The regulation will not apply to: • a crane operator trainee or apprentice under the direct supervision of the holder of a valid crane operator certificate; • workers directly employed by class 1or 2 railroads, who have been qualified by the employing railroad as a crane operator, while working on property owned, leased or controlled by the employing railroad; • workers employed by or performing work for a public utility, rural electric cooperative, municipality, telephone company or industrial manufacturing plant; • workers subject to inspection and regulation under the Mine Safety and Health Act; • workers engaged in boating, fishing, agriculture or arboriculture; • workers who are members of or performing work for a uniform service or the United States Merchant Marines; • people operating cranes for personal use on property owned or leased by that person; and • people operating cranes in emergency situations. Companies are urged to start the certification process early to avoid any major push when the July 1, 2007, deadline draws near. Currently, there are 12 other states that have certification or licensing requirements.
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Processing-in took two days of paperwork, standing in lines, having physicals and waiting to be approved by the Red Cross officials to serve in the field. After I was processed-in, I was assigned a Red Cross vehicle and a cell phone. I was then sent to the Houston Red Cross office where I spent another two days waiting to be assigned to one of 30 teams. These first few days were filled with disorganization, dysfunction and miscommunication: a beast that would rear its ugly head often during my deployment. However, aside from the organizational shortcomings, the individual workers and volunteers were very nice and very supportive. I was finally assigned a team member and we were deployed north to Texarkana, Texas, to check on damage reportedly caused by one of the more than 50 tornadoes spawned by Hurricane Rita as it followed the TexasLouisiana border north to Arkansas. The storm damage appeared to be caused by a severe thunderstorm and not a tornado, because the structural damage was minor and only a few tree branches and power lines were down. We phoned in our findings and then began looking for housing. However, housing was hard to find, because Hurricane Rita and Katrina evacuees occupied most of the hotels, motels and shelters in Texas. We lucked out when a tree contractor canceled a reservation at a local "mom and pop" motel. This was a pattern that repeated itself every night that we were on the road. The next day, I was deployed to Longview, Texas, where another tornado had reportedly touched down. I found some major structural damage and, again, trees and power lines were down. However, this time the damage was significant and followed a wide path that skipped from block to block and then ended, as if a funnel cloud had touched down, skipped and lifted up. While in Longview, I checked in with the local authorities and gave them my cell phone number. That night, a 35-unit apartment building collapsed. It had been inspected and cleared for occupancy by the local authorities only a few days earlier and was occupied by local residents and hurricane evacuees. The local first-responders contacted me and I arrived on the scene at midnight. The local fire department, police department and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) were already taking people out of the building, treating people in the parking lot and loading others into ambulances. Fortunately, only 11 units were involved and most of the injuries were from people rushing down the stairs and falling. A young, single mother was sitting on the grass next to the parking lot with a blanket around her. I approached her and asked if I could be of help. She was crying and said she had lost everything in Port Arthur, Texas, and now her only child, a five-year-old girl, was severely injured when she was trampled in the staircase. I'll never forget her words, "I just can’t lose her too." EMTs helped her to an ambulance,
Hurricanes Katrina, Rita to page 7
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Hurricanes Katrina, Rita from page 1

Hurricanes Katrina, Rita from page 6

where she and her daughter were whisked away. I completed my damage assessment report and left the site.

Later that morning, I checked in at the fire department to tell them my reports were completed and that I was leaving. I inquired about the status of the injured people and was told they had just gotten a call from the hospital and that the little girl had died. It was a tough pill to swallow as I drove to my next assignment in Marshall, Texas. Over the next few days, my assessment of both Marshall and Tyler, Texas, found each community to have localized tornado damage similar to Longview. Fortunately, there were no fatalities. The Red Cross then deployed me to Shreveport, La., and areas south, to assess the damage caused about three weeks earlier by Hurricane Katrina. The wind damage there became more widespread and flood damage became more apparent as I traveled farther south. The number of trees that were down in the rural areas was significant. I then headed back to Houston to turn in my reports and was deployed to Beaumont, Texas. The Ford Arena in Beaumont was set up as the main headquarters for the Red Cross, National Guard and local EMTs. Hundreds of staff members and volunteers took shelter there, so the main arena floor and two adjacent conference center floors were filled with cots, sleeping bags and tents. Also, hundreds of Red Cross, National Guard and local EMT vehicles were parked outside the arena in marked off areas, ready to respond. The Ford Arena also served as the main shelter for Disaster Assistance dogs. Some of the dogs were trained as search and rescue dogs and cadaver dogs, and spent most of the day out in the field. Others spent the day in the building serving as great stress relievers, especially for those of us who had left pets at home. In Beaumont and Port Arthur, the power of Hurricane Rita and the devastation it left behind became apparent. Damage was no longer sporadic, because now it encompassed five entire counties. For miles and miles, mature trees were just snapped in half, roofs were gone, houses were gone and cars were crushed. People who had not evacuated were either staying in their damaged homes, in their neighborhood church or were just wandering the streets. I came upon a church where people had been sleeping on pews. The minister was exhausted and so were the church funds. I called the Red Cross and it sent out a Family Services Team to write vouchers for clothing and to bring them food and water. People were cut off from the rest of the world. There was no electricity, no communication, no food and no water. However, they had plenty of 100-degree days with high humidity, mosquitoes, rodents and more than their fair share of fear, frustration and anger. People would rush out from their neighborhoods when
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Hurricanes Katrina, Rita to page 8

Hurricanes Katrina, Rita from page 7

they saw my car, to see if help was on the way. It was hard to tell them I was only doing damage assessment and that I did not have water or food. I could assure them help was on the way, but it was hard to drive away and leave them there. The nights in Beaumont and Port Arthur were eerie: no building lights, streetlights or traffic signals; nothing was moving and there were very few noises, other than an occasional speeding emergency vehicle with its siren screaming and red lights flashing. Pets, mostly dogs, were roaming the streets during the day, either alone or in packs. We picked up the first dog we saw and brought her to the local Humane Society. We were disappointed to see the building was abandoned: the front door was open, the cages were open and bags of food had been piled up in the front yard. While there, we saw a person drive by and throw a dog out the car window; the dog chased the car for a block and then wandered back to the Humane Society building looking lost. We tried to help as many animals as we came across, but unfortunately, our efforts were only temporary. The heat, lack of water and shock all took its toll on the animals. As the teams approached the end of their deployment, the Red Cross determined that the Damage Assessment Team duties were completed and no further assessments were needed. Some team members stayed to help with logistics, the rest of us had to return to our jobs and were processed-out to make room for more Family Services Team workers. I flew home out of Houston. Appropriately, the plane flew to the southwest over Beaumont before turning north toward Minnesota. I looked out the plane window at some of the same neighborhoods and towns I had assessed, and I felt for the residents and responders still down there dealing with the aftermath of this disaster. I was finally going home, but I knew I would not be the same.

Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Council 2006
The Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Council was created in 1973 under the statutory authority of Minnesota Statutes §182.656 to advise the department in carrying out the purposes of M.S. §182 and other Occupational Safety and Health Administration statutes. The council consists of 12 members appointed by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry commissioner. Council members include three representatives from management, three representatives from labor, three representatives of occupational safety and health professions, and three representatives from the general public. Meetings are quarterly, scheduled for Dec. 2, 2005, and March 3, June 16, Sept. 15 and Dec. 1 in 2006. The advisory council meets from 10 a.m. to noon, in the Minnesota Room at the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, 443 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN. E-mail Susan Boone at or call her at (651) 284-5018 for further information about the OSH Advisory Council meetings.
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Former Minnesota OSHA leader Terry Mueller retires
By James Krueger, OMT Director

A crowd of people packed the Minnesota Room at the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) in October for the retirement party in honor of former MNOSHA OSHA Management Team (OMT) Director Terry Mueller – a 30-year-employee of DLI. In his first eight years with MNOSHA, Mueller was a safety investigator and a senior safety investigator. During that time, he developed specialties in foundries and grain elevators. During the next 10 years, he served as a supervisor of a unit within MNOSHA. The following nine years were spent as an OMT director for construction and general industry within the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Terry Mueller

During Mueller's time as a director and supervisor, he headed up the Ergonomics Team, which performed inspections throughout the state and engaged in several creative outreach efforts. In addition, he consulted throughout the state as an expert in the areas of grain elevator and foundry inspections. As OMT director, Mueller was instrumental in the development of the High Visibility Personal Protective Equipment standard and the Operation of Mobile Earth-Moving Equipment standard (Minnesota Rules 5205.0030 and 5207.0100) that enable employees to be visible and cautious when working with or adjacent to motor vehicles and heavy construction equipment. Mueller wrapped up his DLI career with three years as DLI's Workers' Compensation Division's Compliance Services director.

Workplace Safety Consultation inks print group alliance
Minnesota OSHA Workplace Safety Consultation (WSC) signed an Alliance agreement in October with Print Industry of Minnesota. WSC and its allies work together to reach out to, educate and lead Minnesota employers and their employees in improving and advancing workplace safety and health. Through this program, organizations will: • build trusting, cooperative relationships with MNOSHA; • network with others committed to workplace safety and health; and • leverage resources to maximize worker safety and health protection. For more information, visit alliances.html. 
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Print Industry of Minnesota President David Radziej and DLI Assistant Commissioner Roslyn Wade sign the Alliance agreement while Paul Gutkowski, PIM safety and environmental services director, and MNOSHA Workplace Safety Consultation Director James Collins look on.
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Newly hired occupational safety and health investigators (OSHIs) are required to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a field related to occupational safety and health, such as industrial safety, environmental health, industrial hygiene or engineering. Many staff members have master's degrees in these areas. Work experience is, of course, preferred as well. Some individuals are also considered if they possess a bachelor's degree in unrelated subjects, but have extensive work experience in occupational safety and health. After being hired, the new investigators participate in a three-phase orientation and training program. Initial orientation is generally completed within one week of the start date and is similar to new employee orientation nearly everywhere. Staff members receive training about state human resource policies and procedures, are issued personal protective and inspection equipment, undergo medical evaluation, and receive initial safety and health training. The next two months are dedicated to initial investigator training. Here, the investigator learns about MNOSHA inspection procedures, penalty calculation and report preparation, and initial hazard recognition and industrial hygiene standards. Most of this training is conducted by MNOSHA training officers and lead investigators, although some of it is computer-based or assisted. During this time, the new investigators begin to accompany experienced OSHIs into the field. They begin by simply observing the inspection process, gradually becoming more involved and taking on more responsibility. During the first year, the new OSHIs are provided with training about the enforcement of specific standards, such as Employee Right-To-Know,
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scaffolding and ergonomics. These classes, or standard learning units, are presented by the MNOSHA training officers and senior investigative staff members. The MNOSHA Strategic Plan states the unit will “conduct a comprehensive workskill assessment and generate a workforce development and retention plan.” A team, consisting of members from the OSHA Management Team (OMT) and MNOSHA Training and Outreach, was assigned to perform the assessment. The team developed a list of three skill areas: soft skills, hard skills and technical skills. The soft skills include human resource development issues, such as writing ability, interpersonal communication, problem-solving and time management. Knowledge of occupational safety and health standards and practices constitute the hard skills, which vary by discipline, such as industrial hygiene, general industry safety and construction safety. Technical skills refer to both field instrumentation and computer equipment. These skill sets were further divided into basic, or core, requirements and advanced requirements. Investigators are expected to demonstrate proficiency in each of the core skills in their area of expertise before attending any advanced or cross training. MNOSHA relies on a wide range of training tools and providers. Soft skills training is made available to staff members primarily through electronic media, such as DVDs or CD-ROM programs. Short courses can be used to further augment the learning process. Technical skills are mainly acquired through on-the-job training. However, MNOSHA puts the greatest amount of
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The question comes up from time to time: Just how much training has that MNOSHA inspector touring my jobsite had? The answer is “a lot.”





By Diane Amell, Training Officer


The making of an OSHI

Insp. 01 State of MF T H E S T A Oinne L ’E T O sota Department I L E D U N O of Labor R nd L a Industry


The person wh appear on th ose signature and ph is card is en ot gaged in offic ograph as a duly accredited representativ ial duties Minnesota De e of the Occupationa partment of Labor an d l Safety and Health DivisioIndustry n.

Jane Doe MNOSHA Co m



its training resources into the hard skills arena. The primary source of hard skills training, whether core or advanced, is provided by the federal OSHA Technical Institute (OTI), located in Arlington Heights, Ill. There, state and federal OSHA staff members gather to get specialized training about occupational safety and health issues and enforcement policies, and to network with their peers in other states. Courses offered by OTI cover a wide variety of topics, including: machine guarding, electrical hazards, fall arrest systems, excavation, industrial noise and toxicology. MNOSHA is fortunate, because OTI usually presents two classes each year for staff members here in Minnesota. Courses conducted in the state within the past two years include: • OSHA 2015 Hazardous Materials; • OSHA 3100 Applied Spray Finishing and Coating Principles;

• OSHA 3160 Steel Erection; • OSHA 1020 Basic Accident Investigation; and • OSHA 2074 Fire Protection and Life Safety. MNOSHA investigators also attend hard skills training classes conducted by the Great Lakes Regional OTI Education Center and through various private companies. MNOSHA's goal is to have each OSHI participate in at least 40, but no more than 80, hours of classroom training each year. MNOSHA expends a considerable amount of resources toward staff training. However, by having well-trained investigators, Minnesota OSHA will be able to work toward its mission of making sure “every worker in the state has a safe and healthful workplace.”

A perennial hazard: carbon monoxide
By Diane Amell, Training Officer

Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA) investigators continue to detect hazardous levels of carbon monoxide (CO) in workplaces across the state. While employee overexposure to CO can occur all year, the problem increases as the winter weather sets in. While forklifts are often implicated in the incidents, MNOSHA investigators have measured high CO levels from fossil fuel combustion associated with: • ceiling-mounted heating units; • bakery ovens; • water heaters, including those built into parts washers; • freight/luggage tugs; • outboard motor repair; • warehouse operations, including adjoining offices;
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• welding operations; • inadequate or nonfunctioning ventilation systems, including insufficient make-up air as compared to exhaust ventilation; • concrete mixing and pouring indoors; and • temporary heaters on construction sites. Many of these overexposures have been due to malfunctioning or improperly maintained equipment. MNOSHA has created a fact sheet describing the different methods for monitoring CO levels in the workplace, along with the Minnesota Rules requirements. It is online at

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dustry or and In nt of Lab e ivision Departm Health D innesota fety and d N. M onal Sa yette Roa Occupati 5 443 Lafa MN 5515 St. Paul, 742 77-470-6 SHA/1-8 77-470-O 1-8

Motor-vehicle safety
Each year, traffic-related crashes claim the lives of more workers, both statewide and nationally, than any other single cause. The purpose of this alert is to heighten public awareness of this often-overlooked occupational hazard and to provide employers and employees with some tips about how to abate it.
Description of the hazard

In a review of data of a five-year period, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that at least 56 percent of workers killed in traffic crashes were not wearing seat belts. The leading contributing factors to these crashes included: running off the road or crossing out of the proper lane, speeding, driver inattention and drivers who were drowsy or fell asleep. Alcohol use by the driver was involved in 8 percent of the accidents.
Controlling the hazard

The single most important prevention measure from worker death or serious injury is the use of seat belts. Federal OSHA and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) have actively promoted seat belt usage recently through the "Every belt – every ride" program. Other precautions employees can take to reduce the likelihood of being involved in traffic accidents include: • driving within the speed limit; • avoiding driving when tired or fatigued; and • becoming familiar with vehicle maintenance. NIOSH and OSHA have identified four key areas employers should focus on to reduce crash-related injuries: policies, fleet management, safety programs and driver performance. Among the recommended policy components are: • assigning responsibility and authority to a key management team member for developing and enforcing the driver safety program; • enforcing mandatory seat belt use; • developing work schedules that do not require workers to exceed speed limits, work far beyond their normal hours, drive during irregular hours or violate regulatory hours of service; and • not permitting or requiring employees to use cellular phones while driving. Fleet management issues include establishing a written vehicle maintenance program and providing employees with vehicles that offer the highest possible levels of occupant protection.
Motor-vehicle safety, continues ...
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Safety training program content should include: • recognition and management of fatigue and in-vehicle distractions; • the importance of safe driving practices both on and off the job; and • safe operation of any specialized vehicles and equipment. Driver performance should be gauged by ensuring the employee has a valid driver’s license to operate the assigned vehicle, checking the employee’s driving record on an initial and periodic basis, and maintaining records of driving performance.
For more information

Motor-vehicle safety, continued ...

Employers and employees with questions or concerns can consult the federal OSHA and NIOSH Motor Vehicle Safety topics pages (below), or contact MNOSHA Compliance at (651) 284-5050 or toll-free at 1-877-470-6742. • federal OSHA – • NIOSH – For information about the requirements for motor vehicles used off the highway, refer to Minnesota Statutes 5205.0750 Motorized self-propelled vehicles for general industry and 29 CFR 1926.600-.602 for construction.

Former Sears Tower gets a makeover, monthly WSC visits Former Sears Tower gets a makeover, monthly WSC visits
Department of Labor and Indsutry Commissioner Scott Brener joined Minnesota OSHA Workplace Safety Consultation (WSC) Sept. 30, 2005, during one of its monthly on-site visits to the former Sears building in Minneapolis. The site, now called the Midtown Exchange, features approximately 730 workers who were nearly finished with a two-millionsquare-foot makeover of new and existing structures. The site is being redeveloped by Ryan Construction Cos., which invited the consultants on-site.
Pictured at left: DLI Commissioner Scott Brener (left) and Rick Peper, senior project superintendent, Ryan Construction Cos., discuss the overall plan for the Midtown Exchange project at Lake St. and Chicago Ave. in Minneapolis. Pictured at far left: Andy Smoka (second from right) and Mike Seliga (right), Minnesota OSHA Workplace Safety Consultation, discuss issues with the subcontractor about the rigging of the suspended scaffold, in particular the proper positioning of outrigger tiebacks, and training and proper use of fall-protection equipment. Overall, the consultants noted few issues and complimented the groups on-site for the ongoing efforts to reduce hazards.
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In September, Minnesota OSHA kicked off its new series of Construction Breakfast seminars. The morning meetings offer a hearty breakfast, served up with some solid safety information. This time around, parking lot demonstrations have been added to the mix. The safety topic in September was personal fall-arrest systems. In November, attendees learned about skid steer safety. The next meeting is Jan. 17; participants will learn the true costs of not having a real safety program. For more information, visit or call (651) 284-5375.
Across the top (l to r): Skid steer safety was presented in the parking lot and in the meeting room during the Construction Breakfast in November by Steve Kohler, Frattalone Companies (first and second photo), Merlin Satrom, Ziegler/Cat Equipment Sales and Linda Brown, Minnesota OSHA.

Outdoor demonstrations add to Construction Breakfast seminars

At left below, Gary Underwood, SALA/DBI, demonstrates personal fall-arrest systems during the Construction Breakfast in September.

2006 Construction Breakfast schedule
• Jan. 17, 2006 Cost of not having a safety program • March 21, 2006 A hands-on AWAIR program that works • May 16, 2006 Tubular welded-frame scaffold safety • Seminar location Minnesota Department of Health, Snelling Office Park, 1645 Energy Park Drive, St. Paul

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Four Minnesota worksites achieve MNSHARP status
In recent months, Minnesota OSHA's Workplace Safety Consultation unit has recognized four worksites that individually achieved Minnesota Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (MNSHARP) status. Started in 1996, MNSHARP recognizes companies whose managers and employees work together to develop safety and health programs that go beyond basic compliance with all of OSHA standards, and result in immediate and long-term prevention of job-related injuries and illnesses. Key elements of comprehensive safety and health programs include: management leadership and employee involvement; an allocation of resources to address safety issues; systems that identify and control workplace hazards; and a plan for employee safety training and education. The five worksites were: • Huisken Meat Company, Sauk Rapids, Minn. • Anchor Block Company, Zenith Products Division, Maple Grove, Minn. • Anchor Block Company, N. St. Paul, Minn. • D&D Commodities Ltd., Stephen, Minn. Visit for more information or call Workplace Safety Consultation at (651) 284-5060.
Anchor Block Company, Zenith Products Division Maple Grove, Minn. Huisken Meat Company Sauk Rapids, Minn.

D&D Commodities Ltd. Stephen, Minn.
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Anchor Block Company N. St. Paul, Minn.
Winter 006

Minnesota OSHA coordinates national publication that highlights state-plan safety, health efforts
GRASSROOTS Workplace Protection is an annual publication developed in cooperation with federal OSHA and the Occupational Safety and Health State Plan Association (OSHSPA) to highlight areas where OSHA state-plan states are unique from federal OSHA. There are 26 state-plan jurisdictions that have been approved by federal OSHA to run their own occupational safety and health programs. By law, these states must have programs that are at least as effective as federal OSHA. The most recent edition of GRASSROOTS Workplace Protection describes innovative approaches to workplace security, customer service, enforcement emphasis in high-risk workplaces, technology and voluntary compliance that have been developed by the states. Two new sections highlight original approaches members have taken in changing the work environment and advancing technology. Minnesota's MNOSHA program is specifically mentioned in sections about: workplace security, strategic plans, customer services, safety and health programs, sitespecific targeting, significant cases, settlement agreements, violation approach in cases involving death or serious injury, state initiatives, technical advances, voluntary protection programs, partnerships and alliances, and training and education initiatives. OSHSPA links the 26 state-plan jurisdictions, federal OSHA and Congress. At meetings three times a year, state-program representatives share information and discuss common problems. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry coordinated the GRASSROOTS publication for federal fiscal-year 2004; it will also coordinate the next edition. Visit for current and past editions of the annual OSHSPA report.

Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Online tools create custom tables
By Brian Zaidman, Research Analyst Research and Statistics

Two new tools are now available on the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Injuries, Illnesses and Fatalities (IIF) Web page at the "Occupational injuries and illnesses profiles" tool and the "Incidence rate calculator and comparison" tool. These tools provide employers and employees with statistics they can use to benchmark, monitor and improve the safety and health systems in their workplaces. The profiles tool allows the user to generate three types of survey results tables, available for the United States and for 44 states and territories, including Minnesota: • case and demographic numbers (Table 1); • case and demographic incidence rates (Table 2); and • annual survey summary numbers and rates (Table 3). Tables 1 and 2 provide information about the characteristics of injured workers and their injuries for cases with one or more days away from work. Tables can be created to select cases by industry, occupation, injury type, age, gender and job tenure. Table 3 provides the complete set of numbers and incidence rate estimates for each selected industry. Currently, only data about 2003 injuries and illnesses is available. The tool can be accessed directly at: InitialPage. The rate calculator tool allows the user to calculate an establishment’s nonfatal injury and illness incidence rate(s) per 100 full-time employees for a given year, provided they have OSHA log data summary numbers available. Four different incidence rates can be calculated: • total rate – the total recordable injury and illness cases; • days away rate – the cases involving days away from work only; • job transfer/restriction rate – the cases involving job transfer or restricted work activity only; and • DART rate – the total cases involving days away from work, days of restricted work activity and/or job transfer. The results can be compared to any industry in any available state. This tool can be accessed directly at:

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Winter 006

Recordkeeping 101: Part 5

Injury or illness?
By Brian Zaidman, Research Analyst, Research and Statistics

Editor's note: This is the fifth installment of a series about using the OSHA Form 300 and summarizing its results. This information is directed to people who are new to OSHA recordkeeping activities, to people who might be unfamiliar with the 2002 recordkeeping changes and to people who want to review their recordkeeping practices. This installment deals with classifying cases as either injuries and illnesses. The prior installments are available at

This installment is about classifying cases as either injuries or illnesses (OSHA log columns M1 through M6). Previous installments of this series discussed basic OSHA recordkeeping requirements; the process for classifying cases as either days away from work, job transfer or restriction, or other recordable cases; counting days for days-away-from-work cases and cases with job transfer or restriction; and describing injury characteristics. The formal title of the OSHA log is “Log of workrelated injuries and illnesses.” Employers classify each case as either an injury or illness in columns M1 through M6 (see figure below). Each case needs to have a check in only one of the columns. There is one column for injuries (M1), four columns for specific illness types (M2 through M5) and one column for any illness not included in the other columns (M6). Employers are instructed to check the injury or illness category that best fits the circumstances of the case.
Check the "injury" column or choose one type of illness:
Skin disorder Hearing loss Respiratory condition

fracture and burn. Sprain and strain injuries to muscles, joints and connective tissues are classified as injuries when they result from a slip, trip, fall or other similar accidents.
Column M2—Skin diseases or disorders

Skin diseases or disorders are illnesses involving the worker’s skin that are caused by work exposure to chemicals, plants or other substances. Some examples are: contact dermatitis, eczema and rashes caused by primary irritants.
Column M3—Respiratory conditions








All other illnesses

Respiratory conditions are illnesses associated with breathing hazardous biological agents, chemicals, dust, gases, vapors or fumes at work. Some examples are: pneumonitis, tuberculosis, occupational asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), toxic inhalation injury, such as metal fume fever, and chronic obstructive bronchitis.
Column M4—Poisoning


Column M1 — Injury

An injury is any wound or damage to the body resulting from an event in the work environment. Some common injury types are: cut, abrasion,
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Poisoning includes disorders evidenced by abnormal concentrations of toxic substances in blood, other tissues, other bodily fluids or the breath that are caused by the ingestion or absorption of toxic substances into the body. Some examples are: poisoning by lead, mercury, cadmium or other metals; poisoning by carbon monoxide, hydrogen
Recordkeeping, continues ...
Winter 006

Recordkeeping 101: Part 5 sulfide or other gases; poisoning by benzene, carbon tetrachloride or other organic solvents; poisoning by insecticide sprays, such as parathion or lead arsenate; poisoning by other chemicals, such as formaldehyde, plastics and resins.
Column M5—Hearing loss

cOntact MnOsHa
Minnesota OSHA Compliance (MNOSHA) (651) 284-5050 1-877-470-6742 Workplace Safety Consultation (WSC) (651) 284-5060 1-800-657-3776 Recordkeeping packet (651) 284-5042 1-800-342-5354

Noise-induced hearing loss is defined as a change in hearing threshold relative to the baseline audiogram of an average of 10 decibels or more in either ear at 2,000, 3,000 and 4,000 hertz, and the employee’s total hearing level is 25 decibels or more above audiometric zero in the same ear(s). There is more detailed information about hearing loss available on the OSHA recordkeeping Web site at hearinglossflowchart.pdf.
Column M6—All other occupational illnesses

cases that result from instantaneous events or exposures in the work environment (injuries) and all other cases (illnesses). Regardless of whether a case is considered an injury or an illness, it is only a recordable case if it results in death, loss of consciousness, days away from work, restricted work activity or job transfer, medical treatment beyond first aid or if it meets any of the additional criteria (see the first article in this series). For example, a work-related rash that can be treated with a nonprescription ointment and that does not result in any job restrictions or time away from work is not a recordable case. Remember to update the log when new information about an illness or injury becomes available.

Use this column only for illnesses that cannot be classified in one of the other categories. Some examples of other illnesses are: heatstroke, heat exhaustion, freezing, frostbite, effects of welding flash, anthrax and bloodborne pathogenic diseases, such as AIDS, HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. If still unsure about the classification, employers could use the longstanding distinction between

Online resOurces
Federal OSHA recordkeeping resources • MNOSHA recordkeeping resources • MNOSHA WSC recordkeeping training • Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses • • Packet of recordkeeping forms, instructions •

Next installment:

summarizing log entries

Booklet: Minnesota OSHA recordkeeping requirement •