Workplace Labels and OSHA GHS Fear-mongering

Multiple clients who use chemicals in the course of their businesses have recently asked us questions such as these: “A label company salesperson is telling me that effective June 1, 2015, OSHA will require labels on chemical containers to have pictograms, signal words and hazard and precautionary statements.  Do we have to relabel all the manufacturers’ containers of chemicals we


Five Widely Believed OSHA Myths

William H. Kincaid

Although nowhere near as exciting as tales of Bigfoot or handy ancient aliens who enjoyed building pyramids in their spare time, there are some persistent OSHA-related myths which are just as untrue. There are so many there’s not room enough in one column for them all, so we’re just covering a sample. Here are some of those myths, plus one

OSHA’s General Duty Clause Loophole

William H. Kincaid

As a rookie OSHA Safety Engineer I was taught when there was a specific rule for a particular condition, we had to use that rule, and not try to hold an employer to a stricter standard by writing a Section 5(a)(1) “General Duty Clause” citation.   The Field Inspection Reference Manual says, “Section 5(a)(1) shall not normally be used to impose

Cut-Resistant Gloves

William H. Kincaid

It used to be the case that cut-resistant gloves were bulky, stainless steel contraptions used mainly on meat-packing lines.   Now, light cut-resistant gloves made of Kevlar, Aramax or other tough materials are used in jobs where dexterity and feel are more important, but there’s a need to prevent cuts to hands while working with sharp tools.   They’ve also become of

The Supervisor’s Creed

William H. Kincaid

As supervisors, there are lots of important operating factors we’re responsible for on a daily, hourly, even minute-by-minute basis.  Quality, productivity, efficiency, safety, compliance with food safety, USDA, EPA, DOT, and other standards, customer service… all are important.  None of them should eclipse the others.  For example, great productivity doesn’t accomplish anything if poor quality leads to customer complaints, efficiency

Hexavalent Chromium in Stainless Steel Welding

William H. Kincaid

Nothing pushes a safety or health topic onto the radar faster than an upward spike in OSHA citations.  Although hexavalent chromium isn’t anywhere near the top of the “Most Cited OSHA Standards” list, it has popped up a couple of times lately with some of my clients.   These citations remind us of the relevance of these rather loftily technical regulations

Innate Risk Capacity

William H. Kincaid

In the food industry, we know our goal: to get healthly, safe, appealing food from the producers to the customers in a sustainable, cost-effective way.  If done right it benefits the producers, processors, packagers, distributors, retailers and customers.   Making sure our people are safe is an important part of making it happen.  Yet as much time as we might spend

Product Recall – Global

Ian Harrison

Understanding Recall Issues A major recall in the food manufacturing and retailing sector was once a rare event guaranteed to make the news headlines. Not anymore. Hardly a week passes without some new eruption of salmonella, listeria, E. coli, or other noxious contaminants cropping up somewhere along the food production and distribution chain. When the source is far back along

Taking a Lesson from OSHA Enforcement

William H. Kincaid

OSHA just announced a corporate settlement agreement with a grocery chain.   The agreement settles citations for violations cited at one store.  The hazards cited would be overlooked by many grocery veterans, because they are common practice in so many stores, but they weren’t overlooked by the OSHA inspector.  The settlement agreement allows a roughly 30% reduction in fines while expanding

Safety Incentive and Allocation Programs

William H. Kincaid

In any given company, there’s always someone who had an experience with safety incentives and who thinks they are the golden ticket to lower accident rates.  They are quite commonly used in food processing and distribution facilities.  Yet there is very little factual data to support such beliefs.   In fact, to the contrary, it’s not hard to find companies that