1. Thank you for visiting HeavyEquipmentForums.com! Our objective is to provide industry professionals a place to gather to exchange questions, answers and ideas. We welcome you to register using the "Register" icon at the top of the page. We'd appreciate any help you can offer in spreading the word of our new site. The more members that join, the bigger resource for all to enjoy. Thank you!
  2. ALL NEW MEMBERS READ THIS FIRST!! Thank you for joining Heavy Equipment Forums! If you are new to forums we communicate with "Threads", please search our threads to see if your topic may have already been answered and if not then click "Post New Thread" in the appropriate forum. This will allow all of our members to see your question and give you the best chance to be answered. After you've made a number of posts you will graduate to Full Member status where you'll see a few more privileges. Following these guidelines will help make this the best resource for heavy equipment on the net. Thanks for joining us and I hope you enjoy your stay!!

Site visits by OHS

Discussion in 'Safety Issues' started by Grader4me, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. Grader4me

    Grader4me Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,792
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    There has been discussion from some of you concerning officers from occupational health & safety inspecting work/project sites, finding violations etc.
    My question.. and this is just out of curiosity. How frequent are these inspections on your work site, and are there some of you that never see an officer? In this area its my opinion they are not as sharp as they should be.
    Probably could fuel a lot of debate, as in some places they are very vigilant. My next question...What are your thoughts/opinions concerning these officers and what they are required to do? To tough? Not tough enough?
     
  2. diversified man

    diversified man Active Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    25
    Occupation:
    CEO
    Location:
    www.diversifiedmanagementllc.com
    they come on my jobs and look around for a little bit and leave they never gave me a hard time knock on wood. but i know if they want to they can really break balls if they want too.
     
  3. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    3,388
    Occupation:
    Digger Driver
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    I was doing a big commercial wall on a busy road when they pulled up oneday. I was kind of expecting it because of the exposure. Anyway, guy walks over, introduces himself and asks for our cards (Called a Blue Card here)...so we start getting them out and he says "no, not that crap...your business card....I need a wall built at my place":eek:
     
  4. Lashlander

    Lashlander Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,226
    Location:
    Kodiak Ak.
    They come here once a year. The Seafood plants bring them in. They used to very seldom go anywhere but them. Then a couple years ago a company was laying 24" ductile iron waterline. The operator had to relieve himself so he set the bucket on the side of the trench and headed for the outhouse. His tail gunners got ready for the next joint and one got out of the trench and hooked the next joint to his bucket. When the operator came back he got in his hoe, hit the throttle, yarded the bucket off the ground an spun the machine around to walk back a bit. It yanked the pipe into the trench on top of his tail gunners. One was lucky and wasn't hurt to bad. The other one was busted up bad. It broke a leg, one arm, six ribs and ruptured his spleen. They didn't think they were going to be able to save his hand it was smashed so bad. He eventually healed up but still has trouble with it. That brought them in and they went over everyone and have been back every year since.
    They seem to have their own pet peeves. Years ago I was running a hoe on a pipe job. I jumped in the trench and was helping the pipe layer with a connection when an osha inspector walked up to the trench. She introduced herself and asked why I didn't have a hardhat on? I told I just jumped out of my machine. She told me not to do it again or she would fine me and the company. Then she asked how long the side window had been cracked on our loader. Her pet peeve was broken glass. She fined them for everyone she found. Although He's never got to us there's an inspector they call inspector gadget. He actually puts on a toolbelt with all sorts of meters and gauges and starts to go over your shop. He usually writes everyone several thousand dollar fines. He isn't interested in helping anyone comply, He's only interested in how large a fine he can level on everyone. Its those kind of people that breed contempt for all of them. Luckily he hasn't got to us yet.
     
  5. Dwan Hall

    Dwan Hall Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,029
    Occupation:
    Self Employed
    Location:
    Juneau, Alaska
    Another reason I like a family run business. No outside employees. No OSHA
     
  6. murray83

    murray83 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    260
    Occupation:
    jack of all trades....master of none
    Location:
    new brunswick canada
    Around here I believe an owner operator operation can be fined as well.

    Now that summer is here the tan hats are making rounds mostly busting folks without hard hats,vests,saftey glasses etc,and I do agree the ones around here make the trailer park boys look like ivy league school grads :rolleyes:
     
  7. RocksnRoses

    RocksnRoses Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Messages:
    770
    Occupation:
    Owner operater crushing & contracting business
    Location:
    South Australia
    We would be lucky to see an inspector once a year and when he does come he will look at our plant and make suggestions where we should have extra guards etc. Like he said, if he comes back in three or six months time and nothing has been done, then he might get a bit grumpy and after all, it is in our own interests. Our Mines Department funds a very good programme where they hire a private health company to come out and conduct health checks on us and our employees once every couple of years. They also employ people to come out and conduct on the job safety and hazard courses such as noise and dust suppression etc.

    On a lighter note, we have a quarry owned by a multi-national company not far from us and a local lad worked there as assistant manager for a few years. He then moved to one of their city quarries and from there he went to the Mines Department as an OH & S inspector. He came back to inspect the local quarry and instructed the present manager who has also worked there for a number of years, to put guards on the drives on their wetting conveyor. With that the manager turned to him and said "Well, you were the one that b***** well took them off in the first place!", which he had.

    Rn'R
     
  8. AtlasRob

    AtlasRob Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,982
    Occupation:
    owner operator
    Location:
    West Sussex UK
    In the UK its HSE Health & Safety Executive. Its very rare to get a visit and when they do it is more in an education and enlightenment role. Unless, as happened just a few months ago in which case they are called along with the Police, even then it seems pretty low key but they are the guys who will ultimately see you in court if that is where you are deemed to be needed :eek:

    But they do have purges on specific areas of the industry at different times, though even these are warned about a month or two in advance. Then God help you if your caught out.

    Most major sites have a safety officer and they can turn up or drive by anytime. The grief then gets fed back down the food chain depending on the error, PPE, Personal Protective Equipment, Hard hat, High Vis, Safety Boots and on this site Glasses and Gloves are a reminder of what is required but this site has a few RED cards. Working at Height without proper protection, be that in a cherry picker with no harness or not clipped on, or on a bridge deck without suitable edge protection, crossing a live traffic lane and operating an item of plant without the relevant certificate / card are all instant removal from site.

    I've met some real *****s but most are human and accept that we are human and all have a job to do. Them and us.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2008
  9. surfer-joe

    surfer-joe Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Messages:
    1,403
    Location:
    Arizona
    Dwan, it doesn't matter that you have only family members working. If you were only a one man band, OSHA could still enter your jobsite and write citations on whatever they found. Generally speaking, the hotter or colder it is, the less they will visit. But if you have an incedent or there is one nearby, expect to see them more frequently. The inspectors are just like the DOT fellas, treat them with respect and compliance, and it's likely they will only write a warning at worst and do some educational lecturing. Tick them off with a belligerent attitude, and you will suffer the consequences. Having repeat violations will definitely bring them around more frequently.

    Grader4me asked if they were not sharp enough or didn't get out on site enough? Those that do not have experience or expertise on what you are doing, can go back to the office and discuss your project with another member that does. OSHA is understaffed and always has been. Those inspectors that have been in the industry for a while, in my experience, don't miss much, but sometimes give a guy a break if they see that he's trying hard to be in compliance. Like anything else, many times it's their interpretation and judgment of the regulations in writing a citation. If you feel that they are wrong, file an appeal. Best to get in on the right side of these guys and work out a good relationship with them. It just might save your butt on your current or another project.
     
  10. D3B Dave

    D3B Dave Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Missouri
    Several years ago, before I had any employees, I was working a Federal Contract for some dirt work. The Engineer on the job was a young smart-axx,with no field experience. I was using a tractor pulling a pan and a dozer for the job. One morning I found a red ribbon tied to the tractor door handle with a note taped to the window. The note was from the Engineer, stating that the tractor was not in OSHA compliance as it did not have seat belts. The tractor was not to be used till it was in compliance. I smiled while reading the note, and started the tractor. A few minutes later the Engineer showed up and then left the site. A short time later the Engineer came back with the Federal Contracting Officer for the job. The contracting Officer was very angry that I had ignored the note and started to work with the tractor. She ordered me to stop work as I was in violation of Federal Law while working on a Federal Contract. Every time that I tried to speak she would cut me off. I then took her note and wrote on the back OSHA 1975.3 d and handed it to her. I asked her if she was familar with OSHA regulations, she informed me she was very familar with the regulations, and that my tractor was inviolation, that the tractor was not to be used. Not trying to be a smart-axx I suggested that she re-read the regulations, as OSHA did not govern self-employed contractors. She stated that she would check my claim and send me a written answer. The red ribbon remained on the tractor for two days, then disappeared. I did not recieve her written ruling for another five days, this meant a total of seven days down time. I finished the contract with out another incident, and requested a contract change order for additional $18,200.00, for time lost while the Contracting Officer read the OSHA regulations. The Contracting Officer paid it.
    OSHA does not regulate self-employed a construction worker.
    The tractor did not have seat belts when new. I have since installed seat belts as I now have employees. Don't get me wrong, I believe in safety, I just do not like smart-axx people.
     
  11. Dwan Hall

    Dwan Hall Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,029
    Occupation:
    Self Employed
    Location:
    Juneau, Alaska
    Thanks Dave,
    In 26 years as a owner operator I have been asked by OSHA several times if they could inspect my equipment and shop area. Every time they have asked I tell them I am a sole proprietor and have no employees. Then in return say thanks and cancel there visit.
    Now I am not saying they do not have authority over me but if they do they have never used it.

    That is why I stated earlier "No outside employees. No OSHA"
     
  12. zhkent

    zhkent Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Messages:
    264
    Occupation:
    Earthmoving
    Location:
    Kansas
  13. Grader4me

    Grader4me Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,792
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
  14. zhkent

    zhkent Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Messages:
    264
    Occupation:
    Earthmoving
    Location:
    Kansas
    I don't have any employees, except me.
    Since I'm incorporated and I am the employee I wonder how that works?
     
  15. Dwan Hall

    Dwan Hall Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,029
    Occupation:
    Self Employed
    Location:
    Juneau, Alaska

    Your cooperation is an entity in itself and pays you as an employee therefor your corp. needs to carry WC insurance on you.

    I never have seen an advantage for 1 person to incorporate.
     
  16. D3B Dave

    D3B Dave Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Missouri
    ZHKENT, Thanks for checking on the OSHA ruling, since I am from the Show-Me state, I know where you are coming from. It is my understanding that does not matter if you are a corp. or not. Only if you have any employees. I know that a partnership is treated the same. At the time of my incident I had formed a LLC. I am curious if you are a straight corp. maybe a sub chaper s, or a LLC, and why you choice?

    DWAN, I formed an LLC. for liability protection. I did not want to put personal assets at risk of attack should things go sideways. An LLC offers personal protection, with the added benefit of pass-through tax savings. The LLC is treated as a sole propritership for tax purposes. A straight corp. is indeed a seperate entity for tax purposes, which means for every dollar the corp earns it pays a tax, then every dollar it pays the owner in salary the owner then has to pay tax on it again. It just depends of the situation and future goals which is best.

    Now that the business has grown, I have employees. I have never had a visit from OSHA, but I try to be prepared. Since the business has shifted into bridge construction I figure a visit is coming. I know that I like to go home at night and I want my employees to also.
     
  17. D5G

    D5G Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    829
    Location:
    Northeast
    That is interesting info, thanks!
     
  18. zhkent

    zhkent Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Messages:
    264
    Occupation:
    Earthmoving
    Location:
    Kansas
    D3B Dave,
    My company is a straight corporation, or c-corp.
    My main motivation was to save on taxes.
    In 1988 I got nicked for an even third of gross. Dozer was depreciated, didn't have many expenses, and got hammered for 10k.
    I sold that dozer the next year.
    Now my taxes seem fairly reasonable.
    The only downside I've heard about is if I ever want to liquidate the corp out, especially selling it all at one time.
    But in our line of work I've seen a pretty much retired guy sell off a piece of equipment every now and then, probably not much tax there as the profit would of went to his pay. Would think a guy could work it like that.
     
  19. catchick

    catchick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    Messages:
    53
    Occupation:
    Dozer operator
    Location:
    Saskatchewan
    Hey, our OHS guy comes once every two months, he trolls about, stops a few machines to check log book and makes sure we are always equipped with first aid kits, and fire extinguishers in every machine etc. There always is cause that's part of my job as OHC worker co-chair. We have yet to get any cites but he's pretty easy goin'.
     
  20. Ron Light

    Ron Light Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    I found out years ago here in Texas (and I guess everywhere) even as an owner operator (one man operation) if you have a processing machine of any kind (I was using a link belt scalping screen) you belong to MISHA.:rolleyes:

    From then on it was scoop and load only.:D Haven't seen them one time after. That was about 1987:cool2