The newsletter of Minnesota OSHA • January 2008 • Number 58

Safety Lines
2007: Minnesota OSHA’s year in review
Compiled by Shelly Techar, MNOSHA Management Analyst, and Kelly Taylor, MNOSHA Program Analyst

Performance review highlights

Each year, Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA) conducts a review of its projected performance as defined in its performance plan, which is generated prior to the start of the federal fiscal-year (FFY). In FFY 2007, Minnesota OSHA: • visited 2,651 establishments and identified 5,099 hazards; • generated safety inspection results within 23 days on average, while the national average is 46 days; • generated health inspection results within 33 days on average, while the national average is 60 days; • resolved contested cases within 134 days on average, while the national average is 253 days; • conducted 90 outreach presentations with an average of 43 participants; and • signed a new partnership addressing worker safety and health at the I-35W bridge-collapse site with MNOSHA Workplace Safety Consultation, Minnesota Department of Transportation and Carl Bolander & Sons Co. (see Safety Lines Fall 2007, cover story). For more information about Minnesota OSHA’s performance, its annual report is posted online each January at www.doli.
Each year, MNOSHA investigators witness and photograph hundreds of safety and health hazards in their efforts to keep Minnesota workers safe. A collection of "best of the worst" photos – from incidents in 2006 where no one was injured and the employer was instructed to correct the hazards – are online at

MNOSHA's new ‘best of the worst' photos

443 Lafayette Road N. • St. Paul, MN 55155 • (651) 284-5050 • 1-800-342-5354 •

I-35W bridge rebuild partnership
By Ryan Nosan, Principal Safety Investigator

The I-35W bridge in Minneapolis collapsed Aug. 1, 2007, killing 13 people and physically injuring at least 144 others. The bridge was a vital link over the Mississippi River and one of the most heavily used bridges in Minnesota. Following the disaster, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) contracted Carl Bolander & Sons Co. for the demolition and removal of the collapsed bridge. The removal was completed in October 2007, with the assistance of a partnership developed by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MNOSHA) and Workplace Safety Consultation (WSC); Mn/DOT; Bolander; other project contractors and subcontractors; and other state and federal agencies. The project and partnership were an overwhelming success, completing more than 100,000 hours of work without a lost-time injury. With the removal complete, Mn/DOT selected Flatiron/Manson, A Joint Venture, to build the I-35W replacement bridge. Following the selection, a new partnership was developed to again ensure hazardous conditions are identified and injuries are eliminated. The partners include MNOSHA, Mn/DOT, Flatiron/Manson, other subcontractors, and other state and federal agencies. The partnership is focused on the safety and health of all employees throughout the bridge-building project. MNOSHA has dedicated two compliance-assistance positions to work with the safety and health representatives of Mn/DOT, Flatiron/Manson and other subcontractors to help them identify hazardous conditions and determine potential abatement solutions. With zero injuries being the ultimate goal of the project, a strategy has been developed that includes conducting a daily job-hazard analysis prior to any work being conducted, which will be communicated with all employees involved. Additionally, daily safety inspections will be conducted by on-site safety personnel, as well as weekly safety inspections conducted by the partners. All inspections will be conducted to identify hazardous conditions and ensure such conditions are abated immediately. Additional goals include increasing the level of safety and health training for all employees at the worksite and assisting with the implementation of an effective A Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction (AWAIR) program for all contractors and subcontractors. The safety and health of the employees conducting the bridge rebuild will remain the number one goal. In addition to following all current applicable MNOSHA standards, the partnership has established a six-foot fall-protection rule for all activities and a mandatory personal protective equipment (PPE) rule that includes hardhats, highvisibility clothing, and protective eyewear and footwear. Additionally, a drug and alcohol program has been established that includes pre-employment drug testing as well as periodic and random testing.
Safety Lines, January 2008 page 2

Injury and illness survey team now collecting data for 2007
By Brian Zaidman Policy Development, Research and Statistics

Approximately 5,000 Minnesota employers have now received survey packets for the 2007 Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII). In Minnesota, the SOII is conducted jointly by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI). The employers participating in the survey were notified in December 2006 that their OSHA log data for 2007 would be submitted to calculate the incidence rates and case characteristics for the state and – together with employers across the country – for the nation. Employers’ timely response to the SOII mailing is essential to successfully completing this vital statistical activity. It is very important that the employers who received 2007 survey packets in January, begin to respond to the survey. The first task is to complete preliminary OSHA recordkeeping for the 2007 injuries and illnesses. Cases involving injured workers who are still away from work or on work restrictions will need to have estimates entered for the respective durations. Then the log totals are transferred to the log summary sheet and those totals are also entered on the SOII form. Completing the survey takes very little time if the OSHA recordkeeping requirements have been followed. Those with questions about how to complete the OSHA log or the log summary sheet can review this publication's Recordkeeping 101 series at recordkeeping.html. The DLI survey team can answer questions about the survey itself and how to transfer the OSHA log information to the survey forms. The team can be reached by calling (651) 284-5428. Questions about submitting the survey online should be directed to BLS at In December 2007, another set of 5,000 employers received notice that they are participating in the 2008 SOII. Some employers are participating in both the 2007 and 2008 surveys. It is very important to keep the material for the two years separate. Only employers that received the 2007 SOII packet should submit 2007 OSHA log data. Employers that are participating only in the 2008 SOII need to make sure staff members assigned to recording occupational injuries and illnesses are properly trained about recordkeeping.
Safety Lines, January 2008 page 3

Teen worker safety training help for teachers
By Diane Amell, MNOSHA Training Officer

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has recently released a curriculum package for teachers instructing students about workplace safety and health. Youth@Work – Talking Safety is a detailed lesson plan with overheads, handouts, games and other activities about hazard recognition and abatement, emergency response and teen worker rights. The overheads are also available as a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation on the Web site. A Minnesota-specific version with state agency contacts is included on the site as well. A 10-minute video accompanies the program, featuring students interviewing other students who have been injured on the job. The entire course can be completed in three to five hours. There are suggestions throughout the manual about ways to shorten the course if necessary. The curriculum package, PowerPoint presentation and video are all available on the NIOSH Web site at Note: As of Dec. 11, 2007, some of the legal information on pages 61-65 of the booklet is incorrect. • The Minnesota state minimum-wage is $6.15 for large employers and $5.25 for small employers on the basis of volume of sales made or business done. • In Minnesota, “work permits” are called “employment certificates” and are not required for teens age 16 and older. • Workers younger than 18 years of age are not permitted to work on construction or building projects. See the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry's Labor Standards information online at for more information about the state's minimum-wage and child labor laws.

Nominations for DLI safety award recipient due March 30
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 available at Interested parties may also contact Julie Klejewski at (651) 284-5113 or at for details.
Safety Lines, January 2008 page 4

Minnesota's newest MNSTAR worksite
Safety and health committee members from Valmont Industries, Inc., Farmington, Minn., celebrate their facility's achievement as a MNSTAR worksite during an Oct. 30 flag-raising ceremony. Valmont Industries, Inc. is the global leader in designing and manufacturing poles, towers and structures for lighting, traffic, wireless communication and utility markets, and is a provider of protective coating services. Information about the MNSTAR program, is available online at

Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Council 2008
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 February 8, May 9, Aug. 1, and Nov. 7 in 2008. 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. Directions and parking maps are on the department's Web site at E-mail Julie Klejewski at or call her at (651) 284-5113 for further information about the Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Council meetings.
Safety Lines, January 2008 page 5 Department of Labor and Industry Commissioner Steve Sviggum (center) introduces himself to the Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Council, Nov. 2. Next to Sviggum are Minnesota OSHA Administrative Director Jeff Isakson and OSHAC Chairperson Carol Bufton.

Minnesota's newest MNSHARP Construction worksite
Workplace safety and health representatives from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry recognized Zumbro River Constructors on Nov. 8, as the first highway project in the state to achieve designation as a Minnesota Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (MNSHARP) Construction worksite. The event was at Powers Blvd. Interchange Bridge in Chanhassen, Minn. Zumbro River Constructors, a joint venture of Fluor Corporation, Ames Construction and Edward R. Kraemer & Sons, is the designbuild contractor for the Mn/DOT Hwy. 212 project Information about MNSHARP is available online at www.doli.state.

Career opportunities

The Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health (MNOSHA) program, administered by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, was established by the Minnesota Legislature in 1973. Working for MNOSHA can be a very rewarding job. Minnesota’s economy has a great variety of industries and its business leaders are often at the forefront of new technology. Keeping up with new developments is challenging and exciting. And MNOSHA investigators are one of the very few individuals with the authority to affect improvements in working conditions for all Minnesotans. If you wish to speak to someone about jobs with Minnesota OSHA, contact a MNOSHA supervisor at: • (651) 284-5050; or • toll-free at 1-877-470-6742.


Safety Lines, January 2008

page 6


As part of its continual effort to improve customer service and provide needed information to employers and employees, Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA) answers the most frequently asked questions from the previous quarter.

osha answers
frequently asked questions
Is there a minimum indoor workroom temperature that must be maintained for employees? Minnesota Rules 5205.0110 Indoor Workroom Ventilation and Temperature requires the minimum air temperature be at least 60 degrees F where work of a strenuous nature is performed – such as pulling, pushing or lifting heavy loads, or walking at a fast pace – and 65 degrees F in all other indoor workrooms, unless prohibited by process requirements – such as refrigeration. Another area of concern is recirculated process air, where air from an exhaust system containing hazardous substances is vented back into the workplace, usually after some sort of filtering, scrubbing or other process. Such a system containing any materials listed in CFR 1910 Subpart Z: Toxic or Hazardous Substances is not to be implemented without written permission from Minnesota OSHA.


When does an employer have to report injuries or illnesses to Minnesota OSHA? Any work-related accident or illness resulting in a fatality or the in-patient hospitalization of three or more employees must be reported to MNOSHA within eight hours under the recordkeeping requirements of 29 CFR 1904.39. The information can be provided by phone or in person during normal business hours. However, the information cannot be left on an answering machine or voicemail system. If the Minnesota OSHA office is closed, call the federal OSHA toll-free, central telephone number: 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742). The information received will be conveyed to an OSHA Management Team member. The power press (i.e. punch press) standard, 29 CFR 1910.217(g), also has a notification requirement. If an employee is injured by a punch press, the employer must notify MNOSHA in writing within 30 days, as specified in the standard.


What weight restrictions are there for employees who lift, push or pull? Minnesota OSHA does not have an ergonomics standard at this time. However, this does not eliminate an employer's responsibility under the General Duty Clause (i.e. the requirement that an employer provide a safe and healthy work environment for the employees). MNOSHA can and has issued citations for poor ergonomic conditions using the General Duty Clause or the A Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction (AWAIR) Act.

Do you have a question for Minnesota OSHA? To get an answer, call (651) 284-5050 or send an e-mail message to We may feature your question here.
Safety Lines, January 2008 page 7

Recordkeeping 201: Part 3

Job transfer and restricted work
By Brian Zaidman, Policy Development, Research and Statistics Editor’s note: This is the third installment of an occasional series of more advanced topics about recording occupational injuries and illnesses using the OSHA Form 300 and maintaining those records. The previous series about recordkeeping, covering basic information about filling in the OSHA log and creating an annual summary, is available at

Job transfer and work restriction are two related types of events and both are recorded using the same OSHA log columns. The OSHA log requires employers to enter information about cases with job transfer or restricted work in log column I and information about days with job transfer or restricted work in log column L. However, the OSHA recordkeeping packet provides very little information to help decide how and when to use these columns. The purpose of this article is to provide enough information for employers to be able to correctly identify job transfer or restricted work cases and to count days of job transfer or restricted work.
Classify the case
CHECK ONLY ONE box for each case based on the most serious outcome for that case: Enter the number of days the injured or ill worker was:


Days away from work

Remained at work

Job transfer or restriction (G) (H) X X X (I)

Other recordable cases (J)

Away from work (days) (K) 3 2

On job transfer or restriction (days) (L)

32 14

A case can only be considered a job transfer or restricted work case (log column I) if it did not involve death or any days away from work. However, cases with days away from work might also have days with job transfer or restricted work. For these days-away-from-work cases, employers need to enter both the number of days away from work (log column K) and the number of days on job transfer or restricted work (log column L). A more complete treatment about entering data in the log columns, Recordkeeping 101: Part 2, Classifying recorded injuries, is online at the address above.

The important concept for coding job transfer and work restrictions is “routine functions.” For OSHA recordkeeping purposes, an employee’s routine functions are those work activities the employee regularly performs at least once a week.

Job transfer, as the phrase implies, involves assigning an injured or ill employee to a job other than his or her regular job for all or part of the workday. Job transfers are often the result of work restrictions leading to a temporary change in an injured worker’s routine job functions. If the employer assigns, or a physician or other licensed health care professional recommends the employer assigns, an injured worker to work part of the day at his or her routine job functions and to another job for the rest of the day, the injury or illness involves a job transfer. Job transfer is a temporary work situation. If the employer permanently assigns the injured or ill employee to a job that has been modified or permanently changed in a manner that eliminates the routine functions the employee is restricted from performing, the employer must stop the day count. All job transfer or work restriction cases must have at least one day counted in log column L.
Recordkeeping 201: Part 3, continues ...
Safety Lines, January 2008 Safety Lines, January 2008 page 8 page 8

Recordkeeping 201: Part 3, continued ...

Restricted work occurs when, as the result of a work-related injury or illness: • the employer keeps the employee from performing one or more of the routine functions of his or her job; • the employer keeps the employee from working the full workday that he or she would otherwise have been scheduled to work; • a physician or other licensed health care professional recommends the employee not perform one or more of the routine functions of his or her job; or • a physician or other licensed health care professional recommends the employee not work the full workday he or she would otherwise have been scheduled to work. A partial day of work is recorded as a day of job transfer or restriction for recordkeeping purposes, except for the day on which the injury occurred or the illness began. However, it is not a work restriction if the injured or ill worker remains at his or her regular job but works at a slower pace or produces fewer goods or services than he or she would have produced prior to the injury or illness. Likewise, if a physician or other licensed health care professional tells the worker to “take it easy for the next few days,” but the worker is allowed to do all of his or her routine job functions and work all of his or her normally assigned work hours, then the case does not involve a work restriction and does not have to be recorded as such. As a final note about recording cases, employers are not to record a case as a job transfer or restricted work case if the only day the job transfer or job restriction applies is the day of injury or onset of illness. Counting the number of days of job transfer or restricted work begins on the day after the day of injury or onset of illness. More information about counting days is available in Recordkeeping 101: Part 3, The days of our cases at

Next installment: New case or a recurrence?
MNOSHA employees welcomed back after Iraq deployment
Department of Labor and Industry Commissioner Steve Sviggum welcomes Minnesota OSHA Investigators Deborah Fideldy (left) and Stephanie Taylor back to the agency following their 22-month military deloyments that included more than a year in Iraq with the 1st Brigade Combat Team. Fideldy, a chaplain's assistant, acted as the chaplain's bodyguard, among other duties. She traveled with the chaplain to radio relay points along main support route Tampa to provide ministry. Fideldy also assisted during Civil Military Operations (CMO) distributions of school supplies and medical services in various communities. Taylor, the preventive medicine noncommissioned officer for the brigade, worked to prevent illness, disease and noncombat-related injuries, focused chiefly on the soldiers who lived outside of the main military bases. She also provided community health outreach at the Tallil Clinic and volunteered some time in the emergency room, intermedicate care ward and patient administration at the Tallil Hospital. Both women say they value their experiences, are grateful to be home and appreciated all the e-mail, letters and packages sent.
Safety Lines, January 2008 Safety Lines, January 2008 page 9 page 9