Safety Lines

The Newsletter of Minnesota OSHA
Number 52 Summer 2006

Minnesota OSHA standards update
By Shelly Techar, Management Analyst Roll-over protective structures (ROPS)

Federal OSHA reinstated the original ROPS standards for construction and agriculture, which were removed in 1996 and replaced with references to national consensus standards for ROPS-testing requirements. The standards were reinstated after several substantive differences between the national consensus standards and the original standards were identified. • Minnesota OSHA adopted this amendment. The effective date in Minnesota was June 5, 2006.
Steel erection; slip resistance of skeletal structural steel

Federal OSHA revoked a provision of the steel erection standard that addressed the slip resistance of walking surfaces of coated structural steel members. The provision was scheduled to become effective July 18, 2006; however, two technical developments that needed to occur for employers to comply with the provision by that effective date did not occur: completed industry protocols for slip testing equipment and the availability of suitable slip resistance coatings. • Minnesota OSHA adopted this amendment. The revocation became effective in Minnesota on June 5, 2006.
Occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium

Federal OSHA published a final rule for hexavalent chromium that establishes an eight-hour timeweighted average (TWA) permissible exposure limit of five micrograms of Cr(VI) per cubic meter of air (5 μg/m3). The standard separately regulates general industry, construction and shipyards to tailor requirements Take the sizzle out of heat stress to the unique circumstances found in each of these sectors. • Minnesota OSHA adopted this standard. The effective date in Minnesota was June 5, 2006. For all applicable start-up dates, see the Federal Register notice. All Federal Register notices and standards are available through the federal OSHA Web site at
As the temperature climbs, so do the risks associated with the six types of heat stress disorders. Review the types, factors, warning signs and preventive measures to take to guard against heat stress disorders by revisiting "That's hot": Handling heat stress, in the Summer 2005 edition of Safety Lines. – –


Electrical safety in the workplace
By James Krueger, Metro Safety Director MNOSHA Management Team

Electrocution, shock, arc flash, burns, fires and explosions are hazards that workers face every day when using electrical equipment. Each year, Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA) investigates several accidents involving fatalities and serious injuries that occurred as a result of electrocution. The majority of these serious accidents were due to employees contacting energized equipment. In fact, from January 2000 through June 2005, it was the fourth most common cause of serious injury investigated by MNOSHA. Standards that can be cited by MNOSHA in the construction industry to prevent these injuries include: • safety training – 1926.21(b)(2); • safety-related work practices – 1926.416-.417; • line clearance requirements for cranes and derricks – 1926.550; and • power transmission and distribution – 1926.950-.960. Applicable general industry standards include: • electrical power general, transmission and distribution – 1910.269; and • safety-related work practices – 1910.331-335. MNOSHA often turns to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Code 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, for guidance when issuing citations to better protect employees. In April 2004, NFPA updated the 70E standard to highlight safety concerns, especially those involving safe work practices. The document was also reorganized into chapters to make it consistent with other NFPA codes. The chapter about safety-related work practices was moved to the beginning of the standard for added emphasis. In addition to the chapter changes, the 2004 update also addressed the issue of multi-employer relationships. This consensus standard requires that the employer and the contractor inform each other of existing hazards, personal protective equipment requirements, safe work practices and emergency evacuation procedures. It is important to remember MNOSHA has not adopted NFPA 70E as a legal requirement. However, an employer in compliance with NFPA 70E will be using the highest level of protective equipment and addressing a comprehensive range of safety hazards, and will be deemed in compliance with MNOSHA standards. For more information or to order a copy of NFPA 70E, visit the National Fire Protection Association Web site at

By Bob Durkee, MNSTAR Construction Coordinator By Bob Durkee, MNSTAR Construction Coordinator

New construction-specific safety recognition program
3) evaluation of the construction employer’s safety program and training requirements. 4) outreach and training, where WSC can provide assistance to the employer in reaching MNSTAR Construction status. 5) interpretation of the federal guidelines by WSC during an on-site review of the company’s program and site. At this phase, companies must demonstrate the site’s safety and health program has produced injury and illness rates that are below both the state of Minnesota average and the national Bureau of Labor Statistics average. Afterward, WSC would recommend the site for recognition as a MNSTAR Construction worksite to the DLI commissioner. MNSTAR Construction status is officially recognized when the DLI commissioner confirms the site has met all criteria of the program. This status is recognized nationally and allows the company to participate in the federal Voluntary Protection Programs. Currently, four construction worksites are striving toward the MNSTAR Construction goal. The benefits for companies that achieve MNSTAR status are numerous and can include increased employee morale and lower workers’ compensation costs. The benefit at the top of the list, of course, is that each day, each employee goes home in the same condition in which they came to work. For more information: • call Ken Hickey, consultation program supervisor, at (651) 284-5253; • call Bob Durkee, MNSTAR Construction coordinator, at (651) 284-5339; or • visit

At the direction of Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) Commissioner Scott Brener, Minnesota OSHA Workplace Safety Consultation (WSC) has established a construction-specific safety and health recognition program. Building on the success of its Minnesota Star (MNSTAR) program, the new MNSTAR Construction program recognizes worksites where construction employers have established exemplary safety and health programs that result in the reduction of workplace accidents and injuries. The new program was designed to meet the unique needs of the construction industry, while maintaining the existing MNSTAR program’s high standards. MNSTAR Construction affords the employer the opportunity to become involved in an effort to improve worksite safety and health through cooperation among employees, management and government. The program relies on self-assessment by the requesting employer, using federal criteria and partnership oversight from WSC. The phases for the applicant include: 1) the initial commitment, which involves a threeway agreement among the Minnesota State Building Trade Council or a non-union employee representative; the general contractor, owner or site management; and the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. 2) site visits, after all agreements are reached, that assist in hazard identification, correction and control.
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Summer 2006

MNOSHA builds partnership with construction association
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) signed a major safety initiative in March, designed to reduce the number of injuries, illnesses and fatalities at participant construction industry employers. The partnership initiative was jointly agreed upon by the Minnesota Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (MN ABC) and Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA). The specific goals of the new partnership program are: Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA) and the Minnesota Chapter of Associated Builders and • emphasize reduction of Contractors (MN ABC) sign a partnership agreement March 28. Pictured are (l to r): front row – DLI Assistant Commissioner Roslyn Wade, DLI Commissioner Scott Brener, Vice injuries and fatalities from the four hazards that are the President of Les Jones Roofing and MN ABC Chairman of the Board Nancy Jones, and President of MN ABC Robert Heise; back row – Tyrone Taylor, MNOSHA Compliance; Steve leading causes of death on Schultz, Shingobee Builders, MN ABC safety committee member; Director of MNOSHA Compliance Jeff Isakson; MN ABC Education Director Kris Pilling-Davis; and Don Hines, construction sites: falls; Nor-son and MN ABC safety committee chairman. being struck by; being caught in or between; and electrocution; • increase the number of general and specialty contractors that implement effective safety and health programs and effective training for management, supervisors and employees; • publicly recognize contractors with exemplary safety and health programs and site-specific plans; and • promote open lines of communication between Minnesota OSHA and the construction industry in pursuit of safety. The partnership between MNOSHA and MN ABC acknowledges the importance of providing a safe, healthful work environment in construction and seeks a working relationship that creates mutual trust and respect among all parties – including project owners and construction workers – involved in the construction process. The three participant award levels of the partnership program are: • silver – the basic level, for applicants wanting to meet the basic minimum requirements of a safety and health program; • gold – the intermediate level, for applicants desiring a more comprehensive safety and health program; and • platinum – the peak level, for applicants striving to be an industry leader with a very comprehensive safety and health program.
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dustry or and In nt of Lab e ivision Departm Health D d N. Minnesota tional Safety and yette Roa Occupa 443 Lafa 5155 MN 5 St. Paul, 42 7-470-67 1-87 0-OSHA/ 1-877-47

Loading/unloading systems at concrete products plants
The Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Division (MNOSHA) has recently identified a specific hazard involving the loading and unloading systems in concrete block production plants. The racks used with some of these systems have failed, resulting in some near misses and at least one accident witnessed by a MNOSHA investigator. In each case, these racks, which are designed to transport thousands of pounds of product, collapsed, sending blocks and fragments onto unsuspecting workers. The purpose of this MNOSHA Safety Hazard Alert is to heighten public awareness of hazards created when these systems are used incorrectly.
Description of the hazard

The automated loader/unloader system places concrete products onto and off of racks for firing in the kiln. The machine has two separate stackers, each equipped with a spade loader. The loader, or stacker, receives pallets of green concrete masonry units from the front delivery conveyor of the concrete products machine. The spade loader moves in and elevates to pick up a load. Once the spade loader is full, the spade deposits the pallets of green concrete masonry units onto a rack. The spade then returns to the stacker to pick up another load. Simultaneously, the spade unloader retrieves pallets of cured concrete masonry units from the kiln and deposits the pallets into the unloader stacker. The stacker sets the pallets one at a time onto the unloading conveyor and returns to the rack to pick up another load. The rack conveyor indexes to the next bay or to the next rack after the spade loader and unloader have filled or emptied their respective bays. During this process the block rack system may collapse due to poor placement onto the conveyor by a forklift driver or a spade loader/unloader failure or even a shift in the block rack or blocks during travel along the conveyor. A full block rack may weigh up to 4,000 pounds and will cause serious injury should it fall onto a passerby. These systems are very top heavy (meaning the weight is shifted upwards and has no stable weight base) as they travel along the conveyor system.
Hazard alert, continues ...
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Hazard alert, continued ...
Eliminating the hazard

MNOSHA investigators will routinely look for the following items to determine whether the hazard is controlled. • Load and unload the blocks at all times according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. This usually – but not always – means blocks should be added from the bottom to the top of the spade loader and removed from the top to the bottom of the spade unloader to increase stability. • Do not load the equipment beyond its design limits. • Establish the common routes of travel away from the conveyor system. • Install and maintain appropriate guarding wherever feasible to ensure that if the material falls, the guards will contain the collapse. (The guarding system should be removable to allow access to the equipment and may or may not extend through the entire loading/unloading area.) • Place a rack positioning guide behind the conveyor when forklifts are used to load the conveyor. The forklift operator can then use the guide to ensure all of the rack feet are completely aligned on the conveyor pads before lowering the rack. • Train employees about the hazards of material collapse and not to walk or work beneath the loader/unloader and conveyor. Some existing chain conveyor systems can be retrofitted with rollers, eliminating the pads and the conveyor, but this retrofit may be expensive and is not always feasible.
For more information

Employers and employees with questions or concerns can consult the federal OSHA Web site at www. or contact MNOSHA Compliance at (651) 284-5050, toll-free at 1-877-470-6742. For more information about requirements and recommendations, refer to Minnesota Statutes 182.653 subd. 8, 29 CFR 1910.176(b), 29 CFR 1910.178(m)(2) and 29 CFR 1910.212(a).

The principal contributor to this MNOSHA Safety Hazard Alert was Brian L. Alexander, an industrial hygienist with the MNOSHA St. Paul Area Office.

Safety Lines


Summer 2006

Minnesota OSHA programs target lower injury, illness rates
By Patricia Todd, Assistant Commissioner Workers' Compensation Division

Employers in Minnesota may be surprised to learn about a potential partner in their efforts to lower the injury and illness rates at their worksite – Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA).

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY Often thought of as citation-wielding regulators, MNOSHA's mission is actually to make sure every worker in the state has a safe and healthy workplace. MNOSHA has two distinct parts:
• Compliance, authorized to conduct unannounced workplace inspections to determine whether employers are complying with standards and providing a safe and healthful workplace; and • Workplace Safety Consultation, which provides consultation assistance on request to private- and public-sector employers that want help establishing and maintaining a safe and healthful workplace. Minnesota has attempted to link companies that have certain injury and illness rates to incentive programs available through MNOSHA: the Minnesota Star (MNSTAR) program, Minnesota Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (MNSHARP), formal partnerships and the 75/25 program.


Workplace Safety Consultation (WSC) coordinates MNSHARP and the MNSTAR program; both programs are designed to recognize and promote effective safety and health program management. Participants are a select group of facilities that work with WSC to design and implement outstanding safety and health programs. As a result of obtaining MNSTAR or MNSHARP status, a company is exempt from MNOSHA Compliance inspections, except where there is an employee complaint, a significant chemical leak or spill, a fatality or a catastrophic situation. MNOSHA Compliance has developed formal partnerships with various industry associations to work together with employers and employees to reduce injury and illness rates. Based upon the safety and health commitments and the injury and illness rate of an employer, partners can be exempt from certain inspections and citations.

Access the DLI Workers' Compensation Division's quarterly newsletter, COMPACT, at www.doli. To receive e-mail notification when each new edition is available online, send an e-mail message to dli.communications@state. with: 1. "COMPACT" in the subject line; and 2. your first name, last name and e-mail address in the body of the message.
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The 75/25 program was established to create a link between workers’ compensation claim rates and MNOSHA Compliance penalties. The program is a penalty-reduction incentive program available to qualified employers. Following a MNOSHA Compliance inspection where citations and penalties are issued, a qualifying employer is provided a significant penalty-reduction if it is able to reduce its workers’ compensation claim rates. Additional information about these programs is available at
7 Summer 2006

Minnesota OSHA presence at annual safety, health conference: booths, presentations, awards




MNSTAR participants awarded the Governor's Safety Award certificate
• Ah-Gwah-Ching Center, Ah-Gwah-Ching Minnesota OSHA Compliance Director Jeff Isakson and federal OSHA Area Director Mark Hysell attend the annual Minnesota Safety and Health Conference. The two gave a joint presentation about OSHA during the three-day May conference.

• Potlatch Corporation, Bemidji • Ainsworth Engineered (USA), LLC, Bemidji • IBM, Rochester • New Ulm Medical Center, New Ulm • Midwest Electrical Products–GE, Mankato


• Flint Hills Resources–Pine Bend, St. Paul

MNSHARP participants awarded the Governor's Safety Award certificate
• Rochester Meat Company, Rochester • E.J. Ajax and Sons, Fridley • Phillippi Equipment Company, Eagan • Morrissey, Inc., Bloomington • Bayer Built Woodworks, Inc., Belgrade • Bayer Trucking, LLC, Belgrade • Lifecore Biomedical, Inc., Chaska • Huisken Meat Company, Sauk Rapids • Anchor Block Company, North St. Paul • Zenith Products, Maple Grove • Scott Equipment Company, New Prague • Anchor Block Company, Shakopee • D&D Commodities, Stephen • Reynolds Food Packaging, Rogers
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Minnesota OSHA employees Carol McLean and Clayton Handt staff the MNOSHA Compliance booth at the Minnesota Safety and Health Conference in May. Minnesota OSHA Workplace Safety Consultation also had a booth and fielded questions from attendees during the three-day event.
Summer 2006

Recordkeeping 101: Part 7

Using your log results: 'How do we compare?'
By Brian Zaidman, Research Analyst, Research and Statistics

Editor's note: This is the seventh 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, who are unfamiliar with the 2002 recordkeeping changes or who want to review their recordkeeping practices. Visit for previous installments.

This installment explains how to use log summary results to track your company’s performance and to benchmark your rates with state and national results for your industry. The previous installment of this series discussed how to complete an annual log summary (OSHA form 300A). Computing the incidence rates gives those who are responsible for workplace safety some perspective about safety and health issues and a broad measure of the performance of safety processes. It also helps in setting goals and prioritizing safety activities for the coming year.
Data available from the log summary

Federal OSHA recordkeeping resources • MNOSHA recordkeeping resources • MNOSHA WSC recordkeeping training • Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses • • Packet of recordkeeping forms, instructions • Booklet: Minnesota OSHA recordkeeping requirement •

When you have accurately completed your OSHA log summary, you have annual numbers for: • hours worked by all employees; • cases with days away from work; • cases with job transfer or restriction; and • other recordable cases. Add the number of cases to produce the number of total recordable cases. You should also have your North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. This is necessary if you want to compare your rates to the corresponding state and national rates. To find an NAICS code or convert a SIC code to a NAICS code, visit Call the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development at (651) 297-2242 to get your firm’s NAICS designation.
Computing incidence rates

• rate of cases with days away from work; • rate of cases with job transfer or restriction; and • the DART rate, which combines the cases with days away from work and cases with job transfer or restriction. Incidence rates are expressed as the rate of cases per 100 full-time-equivalent (FTE) workers. An FTE is defined as one employee working for 40 hours a week for 50 weeks, resulting in 2,000 work hours. One hundred FTEs is equal to 200,000 work hours. Rates are calculated by first computing the number of cases per work hour at your firm (divide the relevant case count by the number of hours worked). Multiply the result by 200,000 to convert it to a rate per 100 FTEs. To assist you in this process, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has produced an instructive document, How to compute a firm’s incidence rate for safety management. It is available online at
Recordkeeping continues ...

The number of cases are converted into incidence rates to show the relative level of injuries and illnesses, which can be used to compare with rates of other firms. The most widely used incidence rate measures are the: • total case incidence rate;

Recordkeeping 101: Part 7
BLS rate calculator tool Using and preserving your rates

Fortunately, BLS has a Web tool, the Incidence rate calculator and comparison tool, that performs these calculations and provides the comparison benchmark rates you need. The tool can be accessed online at • Steps 1 and 2 of the tool ask you to input numbers from your log summary and the total number of recordable cases. • Step 3 of the tool allows you to select the comparison jurisdiction and industry. — First, select an area, either the entire United States or an individual state, indicating whether you want private-sector or publicsector results. Only the states that participate in the BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses are listed. — Next, select a NAICS supersector, the broad industry category that describes your firm’s work. Selecting a supersector changes the industry list to show you the available options for your benchmarking rate. — Then select the industry with the NAICS code most similar to your firm’s code. This is usually an industry with the same first three or four NAICS digits as your firm. • In Step 4, click on the calculate button. Rates for your firm and the corresponding rates for the comparison jurisdiction industry will be displayed in the results. Below is an example of what the results table looks like.

The real power of incidence rates lies in observing the rate trends. Firms’ incidence rates often display much year-to-year fluctuation, so longerterm trends are necessary to see what is really happening. The BLS rate calculator tool only allows you to generate one year’s set of rates at a time. To observe rate trends, DLI provides an Excel file at that enables you to copy annual results from the BLS tool and produce line charts showing your firm’s rates and a set of comparison rates. Copy the file from the Web to your computer or network to use it to display your firm’s incidence rates. The first worksheet of the file contains detailed instructions. If you need assistance using this Excel file, send an e-mail message to Brian Zaidman at Next installment: a recordkeeping review.
Where do comparison rates come from? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and most states conduct the annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. Based on size and industry, a random sample of firms is selected each year to participate in the survey. These firms transfer their log summary information to a survey form that is returned to state or regional BLS offices. These summaries are used to compute state and national incidence rates. The survey is completely confidential and is used for statistical purposes only. In Minnesota each year, about 5,000 firms participate in the survey.

Year: Area: Supersector: Industry: Case type Total Days away

2004 Private industry, Minnesota Manufacturing Metalworking machinery manufacturing Your establishment Private industry, Minnesota 10.3 2.6 1.7 4.3

6.1 1.6 0.9 2.5
Summer 2006

Job transfer/restriction DART
Safety Lines

Long-time, former Minnesota OSHA employees Fant, Rudquist
Art Fant, former senior safety investigator for Minnesota OSHA's northern area, died June 16. Art worked primarily in the Thief River Falls, Minn., area. He was one of the first safety inspectors when the Minnesota OSHA program began in 1973; he worked for Minnesota OSHA until his retirement in 1992. He enjoyed the outdoor life and spent his retirement years in western Washington. LeRoy Rudquist, assistant director of Minnesota OSHA from 1980 to 1992, died June 13. LeRoy worked for the state of Minnesota for 36 years, including working for the Minnesota Department of Corrections before working for Minnesota OSHA. From 1975 to 1980, he was the supervisor for the former Minnesota OSHA area office in Willmar, Minn. LeRoy led the Department of Labor and Industry's efforts to create the A Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction (AWAIR) program law in 1991, the first of its kind in any OSHA program. After retiring from state service, he continued to work as a consultant with Minnesota employers, particularly in the construction industry.

LeRoy Rudquist

Flint Hills Resources awarded MNSTAR status April 18
Department of Labor and Industry Commissioner Scott Brener (fifth from left) presents Flint Hills Resources – Pine Bend Refinery representatives with a flag and certificate recognizing the worksite as a MNSTAR (Minnesota Star) worksite during a ceremony April 18 in Rosemount, Minn. For more information about the MNSTAR program, visit www.doli.
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