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OSHA

1/15/16       
Larry

Just had an OSHA inspection. We fired an employee, with cause (failure to show up to work!) His unemployment was denied and he was pissed. Of course the inspector said that wasn't the reason for the inspection, coincidence!
List of things we are sighted for: drill press with out guard around bit. A 4x4 electrical box on a power cord, the SawStop table saw had the splitter in place but not the blade guard covering the blade. He wouldn't accept the technology as being a substitute. Our safety committee record had some time frames that were further apart for meetings than allowed. Our employee manual has some things out of order and looking a bit worn but he didn't site us on that.
He will be back Feb 1 to see that we have corrected everything and determine what the penalties will be.
What kind of guards to you have on a drill press spindle that meet OSHA?

1/16/16       #2: OSHA ...
Jim Member

The guard needs to be in such a way to prevent the employee from putting their fingers into the spinning bit as it comes down.

Grainger has one in their catalog. Am sure that there are others out there in the marketplace.

1/16/16       #3: OSHA ...
james mcgrew Member

Some years ago a fella ran out the door screaming he was gonna call osha. so I called them, found out two things, 1) they do not listen to disgruntled employees and 2) by calling them I became a voluntary request and with a scheduled inspection they would not fine me as long as I cleared up any violations.

it was not Voodoo and in the last 20 years I have been inspected several times. because I chose voluntary sometimes the inspections are scheduled.

We made a small U shaped box out of 1/2" ply painted it red and tied a string to it and the drill press when not in use just slip the little box around the bit, this satisfied our inspector. same for the band saw etc.

1/16/16       #4: OSHA ...
Larry

How does putting a box around the bit when it is not in use do any good? Our inspector said we had to have a guard so clothing could not get caught in the spinning bit.
We've got 12 saws of various types in the shop. The only one he had a problem with is the safest one. The SawStop!

1/16/16       #5: OSHA ...
cabmaker

We had an L& I inspector in our building ask whether or not the drill press moved from place to place or whether it was stationary.
I didn't know how to answer so I said it moved.

Turns out that was the right answer.
If it was stationary I would have been cited because it was not hard wired.

Everything in our shop now moves around.

1/16/16       #6: OSHA ...
Pat Gilbert

"We've got 12 saws of various types in the shop. The only one he had a problem with is the safest one. The SawStop! "

And you object to that?

1/16/16       #7: OSHA ...
Pat Gilbert

You should be thankful that we have the department of compliance, "to help us"

1/16/16       #8: OSHA ...
Max Neu

I just talked to a lady that works for a commercial cabinet shop,she said they got a visit from OSHA shortly after they fired an employee. That visit is going to cost them about 50-60k dollars.They have to get a dust collection for outdoors,spray room violations,and some other things.They don't know for sure if it was the employee that called them,but it was quite a coincidence.

1/17/16       #9: OSHA ...
james mcgrew Member

Most all my tools are on wheels as well, the box around bit and blasÚ are called indicative barriers when not in use.

or so as OSHA suggested and We complied. biggest fine we ever had was 100$ for an breaker not covered in a panel box

1/17/16       #10: OSHA ...
RobertNH  Member

Most of 'our' work is site work vs. shop, but I would believe the same principle could apply.

4 years back we began OHSA training for our employees. The 10hr course was the minimal and the 30hr course for Lead or Foreman.
Currently we're bringing everyone up to the 30hr.

Since we implemented this, our occurrences with OSHA have gone much smoother.
Being the last citation we received we were able to defend properly and had it removed. (Cited for a non-GFI splitter plugged into battery chargers)

As James did, we did also. We took first steps. We also, as James did, invited them in to our Warehouse / Shop and asked them where we can improve.

Educate your employees.
Take the first step.
OSHA does not have to be feared.

1/17/16       #11: OSHA ...
Pat Gilbert

That is awesome, BTW has anyone had fewer safety incidents since complying?

It is funny that OSHA holds up the reduction in injuries as "all because them". When in reality it is all because of technology.

Since they don't listen to disgruntled employees they certainly won't pay attention to an internet forum? Whoops

Er ah on second thought I think all of the departments of compliance are wonderful and are a real bargain for all they bring to the economy.

1/17/16       #12: OSHA ...
james mcgrew Member

Pat as always I have read and taken note of opinions !

1/17/16       #13: OSHA ...
Pat Gilbert

I think what I'm stating is an observation.

Would you say the driving force behind this chart is OSHA or technology?


View higher quality, full size image (580 X 422)

1/17/16       #14: OSHA ...
james mcgrew Member

Well I would not rule out less workplaces and will say it is a lot safer than my early days !

1/17/16       #15: OSHA ...
Pat Gilbert

I would say that technology has obviously made the workplace safer.

But that is just my humble observation.

1/17/16       #16: OSHA ...
OSHA inspector

Pat,
You are correct that technology has made the workplace safer.

I do my best when inspecting businesses to be as reasonable as possible. But, let's face it, we need to make money to pay our bills just like you do. I'm not going to stick a customer with a $50k bill if it's not warranted. But I'll get a few grand in fees out of most inspections. Keeps me employed and the bosses happy.

1/17/16       #17: OSHA ...
Pat Gilbert

Apparently Tim is one who is appreciative of all the department of compliance does for/to us?

1/18/16       #18: OSHA ...
Alan F.

OSHA fines can be negotiated, if the inspector made a comment like you look good except this needs to be corrected but I think its minor, and the fine on the "minor" is the full amount then document it.

We used a third party that did the negotiation for us a few years back, we got the max reduction in the fines which was 15k to about 1400.

It was the same simple stuff outlets, fire extinguisher locations, blow off nozzles.

A-

1/18/16       #19: OSHA ...
Dan Minzner Member

Website: http://www.minzner.com

We went through an OSHA inspection a few years ago. The long and the short is that we were not cited for any complaint that was filed. What we were cited for was mainly administrative items such as OSHA 30 log. Written policies and most importantly LOTO procedures. Fine dust is in their sights these days. Shop-vacs are not suitable for industrial uses and blowing down a woodshed is a no no.
Any fines are negotiable and you can pay them over the course of 3 years. They don't advertise it. You need to ask.

1/18/16       #20: OSHA ...
RobertNH  Member

I'm sorry, but maybe I'm the only one upset over this statement.

"I do my best when inspecting businesses to be as reasonable as possible. But, let's face it, we need to make money to pay our bills just like you do. I'm not going to stick a customer with a $50k bill if it's not warranted. But I'll get a few grand in fees out of most inspections. Keeps me employed and the bosses happy."

The reason for OSHA is just that.. "Occupational Safety" and "Health" of the employee.

It is 'NOT' to raise money to fund their Agency.
OSHA is a Government Agency, funded through the General fund. It is NOT a For-Profit Organization.
This is for a very simple reason.. The Safety of the employee!

I pray I never come across an Inspector that makes such a statement.
I would make it my Mission to have him or her removed from their position.

I, personally am offended by the statement. My opinion, my feelings on the statement.

1/18/16       #21: OSHA ...
Larry

Robert,
When OSHA was originally set up it was a self funded agency. I don't know if it still is or not.
We have a heavy cord hanging 8' above the floor with a 4x4 box and 120V outlet. It was put in by a licensed electrician for when we need to power an occasionally used tool that is moved out into the shop. The inspector told me it was in violation because the metal box had knockouts. They could fall out and then someone could put their finger in and get electrocuted. He didn't say anything about the same boxes that line the walls on conduit.
I went to OSHA's site on-line and looked up drill presses. The chuck and bit must be enclosed so no contact can be made while in operation. The bit enclosure should rest on the work and retract as the hole is drilled. The wood must be clamped to the table, not held by hand. The machine must be shut off before moving the work to the next hole. When finished with the drill press the chuck must be removed.
Seeing as how all of you are very safety minded I'm sure that is how your drill press is used. Right! REALLY, remove the chuck!
The SawStop must have a totally enclosed blade to prevent amputations. According to the inspector, OSHA currently is emphasizing amputation prevention & dust control. As usual paperwork was high on the list for amputation prevention.

1/18/16       #22: OSHA ...
Pat Gilbert

Robert

I suspect that statement was made in jest. It is a part of the ongoing humor that I and the suspected poster have.

He knows my viewpoint of all government agencies and their onerous costs with little benefit compared to their cost.

1/20/16       #23: OSHA ...
RobertNH  Member

Larry, to the first, they are funded through the General fund.

To the second, replace the cord with a factory multi plug end and you're in compliance.
We came across this issue several times on the jobsites, even when proper replacement ends were attached. We now throw them out and buy new ones.

1/20/16       #24: OSHA ...
OSHA Inspector

RobertNH,
I was not trying to offend, just trying to give you a perspective of the realities we face. Our fines are no different in principle than paying a speeding ticket. The police department needs money to fund their operations, just like we need money to fund ours.

Now, ideally the public would elect people who would raise taxes to reasonable levels in order to fully fund agencies like ours. But instead they pander anti-tax 'have your cake and eat it too' nonsense. And that puts the onus on us to raise money via fines like I explained.

And in one sense, the fines make a bit more sense than higher taxes in that those who "use" our services foot more of the bill for that service than the general public who does not as directly use our service (though they do to some degree).

Hope that helps. And if I do inspect your shop someday, I promise to not be too onerous with the penalties I impose upon you.

Good day.

1/20/16       #25: OSHA ...
james mcgrew Member

I have never been a fan of.privatized prison or health safty agencies. In the interest it would seem far more worthy if the inspector were searching for safety first and fines second

1/20/16       #26: OSHA ...
cabmaker

I just finished an informal survey of all cabinetshop owners in Seattle.

Every one of us thinks the safety inspectors are doing a much needed job and are greatly unappreciated. We are in the process of forming a lobbying organization. The express purpose of this organization is to petition the legislature to increase the pay and benefits and pension plans of all clerical and inspection staff for safety agencies at the state and Federal level.

We have bi-monthly meetings. If anyone is interested in receiving our monthly newsletter or purchasing advertising in this newsletter please contact the editor.

1/21/16       #27: OSHA ...
Pat Gilbert

People think that somehow "public servants"
become selfless when they become "public servants", they do not. They follow self interest just like everyone else.

The diff is that they become less-accountable so have more freedom to perpetrate their self interest.

If you think this is not true, I have some swamp land I want to talk to you about.

1/21/16       #28: OSHA ...
james mcgrew Member

Pat for the most part I take your personal opinions with a grain of salt, but this one I feel compelled to respond to, Lumping all into one sterotype is a sign of non investigation or a lack of actual experience. I have family thru the 50s to today who are school teachers firefighters at both local and federal level, family in ATF, DEA, local, state police and military which includes Me, My mother was a State level director her whole career for for the SC Housing authority. All of what you said where they are concerned could not be further from the truth. Now I got one Uncle (Married in) whom I have never been proud of and have few words of conversation for him. You see he is a southern Racist pure and to the core, Problem is he served as a High school principle his entire career, when I think of how many minoritys did not go to college did not excel in life as a direct result of his doing (His words) my heart sinks when I hear opinions like yours. now in the crack of public service he got away with it. it is this that makes me look harder at agendas like the ones you preach it is this and some other (Screw most anyone who does not agree) the thought of an all private controlled society void of rules and consequences that scare us most. in my opinion this is a very selfish agenda to take. problem with my Uncle (Married in) is you and Him seem to share the same ideas

1/21/16       #29: OSHA ...
Cabmaker

James,

I think your appraisal of Pat is overly harsh. While I can close my eyes and imagine many people like your uncle, Pat is not one of them.

Pat's generally wrong, however, whenever he contends that all things government are bad and all things free enterprise are good. Try getting even a small cabinetshop to deviate on policy sometime and you will see they are no different than Comcast. If you think private business is nimble try getting any kind of anomalous customer service from an Apple Store.

1/21/16       #30: OSHA ...
james mcgrew Member

My intentions are to compare the Private vs Public opinions,, I have no reason to think Ill of Pat or that he shares all traits with my Uncle. his contributions do matter as I am someone who belives in checks and balances in gov't and private industry.

My sincerest apologies if my post took on any other meaning than that.

1/21/16       #31: OSHA ...
Cabmaker

Pat is right, however, about the rigidity of government.

When I was about 23 the city wanted to cut our water off because we hadn't paid the bill. The part of town we lived in had been annexed by the city decades earlier and had consequently inherited an old private water system. The pipes were so corroded that you couldn't draw water fast enough to keep it warm while you filled the tub.

This old privately owned water system was a bit funky in that the pipes tended to meander a bit in ownership. The neighbor across the alley somehow received water from our pipe.

So when the city said we had to pay the bill or else we calmly explained that they couldn't shut our water off because that would mean they had to cut Ben & Molly's off too.

The local government, of course, didn't have any provision for that but they did have a public works department. They brought out backhoes and dump trucks and spent three days piping in about 500 feet of brand new one inch copper to our house and the neighbor's too. They were going to get their money no matter what.

We, of course, went down to city hall and paid the $35 we owed. Since our bill was paid up they couldn't shut our water off. You could have a hot bath when we were done.

For what it is worth I did get the Apple Store to release the batteries for my laptop to an employee of mine that drove in to pick them up. All I had to do was politely explain to the young store manager that if I had to personally drive in to get the batteries we were going to turn this into a youtube event.

So I guess Pat was right: Government=Inflexible. Private Industry = Problem Solvers.

1/21/16       #32: OSHA ...
Pat Gilbert

I'm happy to have learned you some stuff.

Regarding James's reply, there is infinitely less racism in the private sector, simply because, you're racism is going to cost you in the private sector.

As far as my narrow mindedness regarding the economics of this subject goes, my response is, Thank you. As a free market advocate and an advocate of people it is a mistake to conflate me with your uncle.

1/21/16       #33: OSHA ...
james mcgrew Member

To indicate you share any racial views with my uncle is a mistake I never intended to portray, the blanket disdain and for government is very similar. and this was my point.

We should and need some form of government, largest problem I see with those anti views is a lack of concrete methods or proposals any one can be held accountable too.

could we use a better health care yes. Now what is that ?

1/21/16       #34: OSHA ...
Pat Gilbert

Obviously we need some regulation, but that ship sailed a looong time ago.

For the most part this is what I propose: (see link)

My Proposal

1/21/16       #35: OSHA ...
cabmaker

Pat,

That was a great video.

It makes me grateful that we have government regulators to keep the loggers from clearcutting all the cedar forests. Land use management is what keeps the forest lands available for pencil production and cabinetmaking.

1/21/16       #36: OSHA ...
Pat Gilbert

There are more forests today than there was in the. History of the US, that is because lumber companies following their self interest planted saplings.

Give that trope a rest and consider the facts.

1/21/16       #37: OSHA ...
RobertNH

To OSHA Inspector;
Your statement and excuse of such does not hold water!

Your job (Agency) does not depend on your income (fines)!
It maintains only upon reduction of accidents.
Whether the Agency brings in $20 or $20m does not change the allocation it receives.
In deed, if you were to bring in greater than your allotment, that addition goes to the general fund and is dispersed elsewhere.

To Government, that would make you a cash cow and drive your Agency to something it was never meant to be.

Your point of Police fining to support their Agency is a false claim.
They are also allocated funds from the General Fund and excess being placed into the General fund.

In point of what I'm trying to get across to you.
The moneys you fine are better used to upgrade or fix the issue.
Same way the Police use the 'Fix it' ticket.
You have 30 days to fix it or pay the fine.

Yes, I am offended by your attitude towards your profession.
I do hope we do not meet.
If this is your attitude, we 'will' have an issue.

1/21/16       #38: OSHA ...
james mcgrew Member

Bravo !! We video and document all inspections

1/21/16       #39: OSHA ...
cabmaker

Pat,

I have two questions for you. You can (hopefully) answer them separately.

1) Does the invisible hand of the forestry re-planting encourage more bio-diversity or less bio-diversity than a forest that evolves without this invisible hand?

2) Is bio-diversity an important thing for the health of our ecosystem?

1/21/16       #40: OSHA ...
RobertNH

Very good idea James!
In this age of 'smart phones' that is far too easy to do.

Yes, very good idea!
This will be policy very soon.
Legally, I presume, he has to be notified he's being recorded.
That should change the atmosphere a bit..

1/21/16       #41: OSHA ...
james mcgrew Member

I have seven drop cams in shop all record for ten days back at 200 for camera and with discounts for multiples about 500 a year, alarms mw of all kinds of things on the smart phone tablets and any computer. so far it caught a burgular withing three hours, successfully used as evidence in a bad situation and served to prevent a bad WC claim. I had them in my Bars I owned in the early 90s, videotaped a public official saying some things he should not say and the state of SC abolished the Alcohol, Beverage Control commission shortly after....

lost of ways to do this but this one has proved quite manageable and effective at a controlled cost just needs wifi and a power outlet..

this is a live feed from one at a corner near one of the edgebanders

https://video.nest.com/live/PcUEUX

1/21/16       #42: OSHA ...
OSHA Inspector

RobertNH,
I don't mean to sound condescending, but you seem a little naive about how government actually works versus how it 'ought' to work. The vast majority of people working in government are folks with good intentions. But just like everywhere else, you get the power hungry cronies that make their way to the top and control the purse strings.

Technically, it doesn't matter how much the guys on the street like me collect in fines. But of COURSE it matters to our bosses. And of COURSE it affects how much money gets allocated to our department every year, which in turn affects the salaries of the bosses at the top of my agency.

Most of the OSHA foot soldiers like me are actually on your side. Granted, there are some jerks out there. But you have to realize that even the nice guys like me want to keep our bosses happy, and that means bringing in some money. I try to keep it reasonable. And the more reasonable that people are with me, the less money I'll try to stick them for.

You can argue the morality of it, but that's how it works in practice.

1/21/16       #43: OSHA ...
james mcgrew Member

Something tells me Osha Guy is not legit

1/21/16       #44: OSHA ...
RobertNH  Member

I'm with you James!

A crony is just that.

Working your way up a ladder of deceit for illicit reasons is not the way of an Professional.

He may excuse his intentions as he wishes, yet his intentions have been shown.

Safety is not his concern. His job is! Even if it's at our expense.

Yes, I am offended by his non-professionalism and achievement of his own goals.

Na´ve? I think not. I read you for what you are OSHA Inspector.

Thankfully, those I have come to meet do not have your ideal of the job.

Now I do wonder how you'll do on video?
When everything you do or say will be recorded and be used..
Will you say for record you're only fining me to keep your job?

I agree with James and this will become policy for us starting very soon.

1/21/16       #45: OSHA ...
Pat Gilbert

Tim

Regarding question #1, I have no idea.

Regarding question #2, I have no idea.

If either becomes or is a real issue our friend the free market will respond if not hampered by the government.

There was a feller named Norman Borlaug without who's efforts there would be far fewer people alive today. Agree with this or not Norman solved a very real problem.

1/21/16       #46: OSHA ...
cabmaker

Pat,

You are blinding by dogma.
The fishing industry, if left unabated, would decimate the ocean. This decimation would, of course, not be in the fisherman's ultimate interest but would still happen nonetheless.

There is a reason Somalia is not considered a paragon of financial prosperity. This country generally takes a pretty minimalist approach to regulation but the invisible hand of the marketplace does not seem to protect them.

By the way, the answer to question 2 is Yes. Bio-diversity within the ecosystem is very important to our welfare. Plausible deniability is what keeps lawyers employed.

1/21/16       #47: OSHA ...
james mcgrew Member

If Guys like Alexander Fleming and Jonas Salk had been for sale the free market, Penicillin would have never made and God knows how many would have died of polio...

1/21/16       #48: OSHA ...
Pat Gilbert

No dogma here. Regulations do no good regarding fishing because there is no ownership of the waters. It is called the tragedy of the commons:

DEFINITION of 'Tragedy Of The Commons' An economic problem in which every individual tries to reap the greatest benefit from a given resource. As the demand for the resource overwhelms the supply, every individual who consumes an additional unit directly harms others who can no longer enjoy the benefits.

Actually the best solution for this problem is to privatize the water. This sounds crazy but none the less if the water was owned it would alleviate the problem.

The fact is Somalia has had an increasing standard of living ever since they gave their leader the boot. They use a system called Xerces law that is basically common law and has served them very well. In fact this country could take a lesson from them on this law.

I will take your word on the importance of bio diversity, I know nothing about it.

1/22/16       #49: OSHA ...
Pat Gilbert

The corollary to the Salk, Fleming metaphor would be that if the government would not have conducted the Manhattan Project, the A bombs would not have been dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima saving at least 130,000 civilian lives.

Not to mention that almost EVERY SINGLE invention came from the private sector and an individual in it. How would the standard of living look if we did not have these inventions?

1/22/16       #50: OSHA ...
Cabmaker

"EVERY SINGLE invention came from the private sector "-

Except for maybe this thing we're opining on right now called the interweb......

1/22/16       #51: OSHA ...
james mcgrew Member

Or John Kennedys push to the moon, giving contracts and funding for a host of things that became solid surface Kevlar polymers adhesives communications.

If invention and innovation was truly profitable then cancer would be cured, but as long as it is more "Profitable" to treat than cure, then Government will have a role in my vote.

1/22/16       #52: OSHA ...
RobertNH  Member

Cabmaker, even this came from private sector.

1/22/16       #53: OSHA ...
Cabmaker

Robt,

Wrong again.

The inter web has been around much longer than Microsoft, Facebook and cat videos on youtube.

The origins for the internet come from the Department of Defense.

Once again government investment rides to the rescue.................

I will be signing off this thread now.
My work here is done.

1/23/16       #54: OSHA ...
Pat Gilbert

Econ 101 covered this before. Arpa net was invented by someone working in government. But to say that was responsible for what we have today is imbecilic.

The problem with attributing the invention of different things to the government is that the government does not respond to the market place through price discovery. IOW one has to ask the question: "would anyone pay the price for what the government produces at what the government charges?" You know the $400 hammer type of stuff.

Where as the private sector is constantly giving the customer more for less. Consider communications, or transportation, or medicine, or entertainment, or or or all giving exponentially more features at a lower cost.

1/23/16       #55: OSHA ...
Friedrich Engels

Pat,

Without government regulation there would be no free enterprise. Just like the local constabulary protects the grocery store from being stolen blind, the government provides patent protection and remedy for infringement.

Think for a second what your average grocery store looks like. Over half the real estate is committed to asphalt parking. Since this surface is impermeable the runoff water has to be collected and channeled. Your invisible hand is only going to rhetorically protect that runoff because nobody is insisting that they do and it doesn't make them a nickel.

Free enterprise is a wonderful thing and the world is much better off because of it. Without government to educate the cannon fodder you could not have free enterprise or roads to get the groceries through, except for maybe in the Camelot of your mind.

1/23/16       #56: OSHA ...
Pat Gilbert

Somalia has made progress without government.

Re-watch I Pencil

OTOH N Korea has what you describe as well.

The streets are paid for in spades by the developer. The collection ditches are concrete throwing the residue into the ocean, this IS done by the government.

Government education here in Calif has resulted in what once was a decent education to what today is one of the worst in the United States at the almost the highest cost in the United States.

Not sure what you mean by "cannon fodder". But private enterprise does not create war. Save the defense contractors who are only able to create war with the help of government.

Anyway I'm not going to convince you of anything and vice versa. I will give you the last word.

1/23/16       #57: OSHA ...
james mcgrew Member

Pat are you in the Cabinet or Woodworking Business ?

1/23/16       #58: OSHA ...
Pat Gilbert

Yes

1/23/16       #59: OSHA ...
RobertNH  Member

Not to side track the thread, but...
As I understand it, Stanford & UCLA actually created the first Internet.
Not the Government...
With the first message sent, on record, goes to UCLA.

Of course it crashed..
Something that still happens.

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