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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry42 View Post
    Cord reels suspended from overhead on steel framework and connected to the ceiling mounted outlets by a 6' extension cord. Because cord reels are considered extension cords they violated the rule about using more than one extension cord fine $3,000.
    In the 80's we had an office situation where we needed to extend power to 25 or so computer workstations. The inspector said extension cords were not acceptable and we would need to have an electrician wire plugs, etc. There was a work around - surge suppressors were allowed. We sourced switched power strips that said they were 'surge suppressors' (for a few bucks each) and that was fine.

    I don't know if that passes muster with OSHA or if I'd risk that for the absurd fines you face but it is worth checking out. Surprisingly, I have seen cheap surge suppressors save equipment.

  2. #22
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    So let's get creative - as kustomizingkid said above, the idea of worker safety is a good one. Compare the working conditions in some third world countries, such as "just weld with your eyes shut" rather than having a proper helmet - !

    But of course, there are competing forces at work, and not just the profit motive. Some tasks involve a certain amount of risk; it is possible (and we've all seen the pictures) to be horribly maimed, poisoned, killed by the tools and procedures necessary to make the products we use. One can attempt to mitigate the risk, but too often the easiest way to mitigate the risk involves making it much harder to accomplish the task.

    Add to that the inherent tension of regulation: if there is no regulation, there will be many, many places with thoroughly unsafe working conditions, and those shops that try to maintain safety will be at an economic disadvantage. But regulation, by its nature, is a blunt instrument - at least the way we do it now, the best way anyone has figured out how to do it up to this point.

    In general, we want regulations to be written in an "objective" way so that the same rules apply to everyone. But that results in a one-size-fits-all approach, one that must be overly comprehensive to try to address all of the permutations of individual contexts. Meanwhile, these "objective" regulations have to be administered by people ... and people are always subjective. Even those who try hard to be totally objective must still make subjective judgments about whether or not a given regulation applies to a given unique circumstance. And unfortunately, when anger or arrogance or greed creep into the mix, the tendency is to be very subjective. Worst of all, one can be totally subjective while pretending to be objective, because after all, "I'm just following these regulations."

    So, again, let's get creative. Is there a way to address the need for safety and regulation, while overcoming at least some of the drawbacks described above? I regularly encounter people telling me that "we can't" do such and such, or "we have to" do such and so. What that generally *really* means is, they don't know any other way to do things, or it is not convenient to try to find another way to do things.

    I remember when emissions controls and fuel economy were seen as the worst possible thing that could happen to cars, inevitably reducing performance. And at first, that was true - anybody remember the cars of the 70's?? But what about the cars of the last 10 years: my modern, efficient, clean car has better performance than my old gas guzzler, and the air is way easier to breathe (and if you doubt that, just go to a city in the third world and see how the air is).

    Maybe, just maybe, there are some creative alternatives that could help us achieve better safety AND efficiency, better application of appropriate regulation that helps keep the playing field even WITHOUT hampering productivity or empowering wanna-be-bullies. Maybe ...

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  4. #23
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    I worked for a workers compensation insurance company as a safety consultant a long time ago. We would contact the insured owners and arrange to visit them for a mock OSHA inspection. Often we would find things that could save a lot of money in fines in the event that OSHA showed up.

    Sometimes, employers would resist. I once inspected a trailer manufacturer that built the really big trailers for semis. They had a machine shop and did mainly steel fabrication of heavy items. There were a number of overhead cranes and hoists. I noticed that they were using wire cables to lift their steel beams but that none of the hooks on the cranes or hoists had the OSHA-required safety latches, Apparently the cranes predated that OSHA requirement.

    I suggested personally to the owner and in a letter that the safety latches should be installed to prevent the wire ropes coming out in the event that the steel were to contact something on the way down.

    The owner was sort of a hothead and told me in no uncertain terms that he didn't like paying for workers compensation and that he also didn't like my visiting him and making expensive suggestions. Then he told me to GTFO of his plant.

    About a year later, I was reviewing claims from insured companies and saw that one of his employees had lost the fronts of both of his feet. A cable had slipped off of one of the hooks when a load touched a pile of steel on the way down and a heavy steel beam had slipped off of the hook and landed on the employee's feet.

    The result was a multi-thousand dollar disability claim, a big OSHA fine and an huge increase in his workers compensation premiums.

  5. #24
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    I have seen businesses in mine and neighboring counties that could have not had a building and safety inspector or OSHA within miles of them in decades. One had numerous extension cords all over the floor in work areas, bare uncapped wires hanging from walls, belt driven machinery without safety guards, and shelving stacked with heavy objects to the point they were sagging and near collapse. That auto repair shop closed down due to the fact they lost their state inspection license. They lost it due to lax inspections, passing cars that should have failed, not because of unsafe working conditions.

    When I was back in Cali a lot of local fire departments did impromptu OSHA like inspections and handed out fines.
    Multi unit industrial complexes were prime targets. Had a customer who did DC motor repair, they pretty much raided his complex on a monthly basis. A lot of these agencies have become nothing but revenue collectors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    ... sounds like something that would happen from a local authority in Cali.
    Get over it. And there is no such place as "Cali".

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    When I was in Ventura Co, the fire department would pull surprise inspections. I figured out that they were not going to leave without writing you up for something. So I used to keep the coffee pot plugged in to an extension cord. Give them something simple and easy to fix.

    Osha was nothing but a bad joke. Inspectors with 3rd grade educations just coming in a making shit up as they went along.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    Get over it. And there is no such place as "Cali".

    Cali - Wikipedia

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    You had to go quote an annoying liberal I had on ignore, didn't you. Cali for most is short for California, trend started by an LL Cool J song "Going Back to Cali" in the late 80's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    Get over it. And there is no such place as "Cali".
    I will let Tupac give you a quick run down.



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    Quote Originally Posted by SND View Post
    Having just 10 employees might not save you from them, but having zero and a few robots or sending all the work to China does.
    This is the thing to do.
    Stay below the figure you need to be, and automate.
    If you're too busy, sub on to a good known supplier.

  17. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Dickman View Post
    Osha was nothing but a bad joke. Inspectors with 3rd grade educations just coming in a making shit up as they went along.
    When they left that job did they go to work for Riverside County Building and Safety? The worst situations I encountered were people inspecting electrical installations. I got into it with an inspector who rejected a service panel installation in my shop because the #6 size solid copper wire running to the Earth ground was mounted inside a metal screw connector. I had an Earth ground and one into the rebar in the foundation. He claimed an earthquake could cause it to shear off and it should be shielded with rubber. I lost it, big mistake! I told him he was a ^&#%#! idiot and any earthquake strong enough to shear one of the two grounds I had off would bring the building down and destroy the whole infrastructure of the area.

    Of course after that the moron nit picked anything he could. The same knuckle head told me single phase 120v was the most dangerous electricity as more people die from that than any other. Of course the reason why that happens is that is the most common, not because it is most lethal. I think the idiot was just parroting what he was told, he knew as much about electricity as the average 10 year old, yet he had the authority to shut down a construction site.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rand View Post
    Kali - Wikipedia

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    Quote Originally Posted by TeachMePlease View Post
    I think this should be on our license plates

    800px-kali_by_raja_ravi_varma.jpg

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    I have seen it a lot when a employee leaves OSHA comes for a visit. Also each year at a shop the Fire department would drop by and check fire hazards and smoke detectors. It was a certain time of year and every business in the area would see them coming sometimes.

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    I welcome the annual visits by the fire inspection team. They are pretty thorough, and besides checking all the extinguishers they test the emergency lighting on the exit signs and stuff like that. They never fail to compliment us on being the cleanest machine shop they visit. Of course we are in the oil patch, so that bar is set somewhere at ground level or below. As for OSHA, there are oil drilling rigs, refineries, power plants and mines here, all producing worker fatalities, so they have a target-rich environment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by empwoer View Post
    fuck OSHA right up their asshole. one of my most hated organizations
    +1
    I am SO glad I do not have to deal with them!

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    They nailed me good just before I sold our factory off. One day this young cocky punk comes in with that "I'm from OSHA" attitude. I could tell right away he had a chip on his shoulder and this wasn't going to be good. Now, My grandfather built the shop in 1945 so it had seen 60 years of wear and tear but I had worked pretty hard at keeping it compliant.

    Right off the bat this kid starts finger banging away at petty things like Harbor freight air nozzles with no vents. Finally he looks up and notices the one thing I was praying he wouldn't see,,,, The over head gantry crane. This over engineered beast was installed by my grandfather during construction of the building so there were no certs. One day many years earlier I was wondering around the factory looking at stuff and realized there was no load rating on the cross beam. I scrounge up enough stencils to put a 2 ton CAP on the side of it (Knowing the thing probably would hold 20). It was only when I was on the mezzanine and touched the crane and the ceiling rafter that I realized my grandfather was cheaper than me. Apparently in order to save money he put single phase reals running 3 phase hoist thus using the crane itself as the 3rd leg. After getting my bearings back and realized I had just been bit by 220 volts leaning off of a platform 30 feet in the air I decided there was no need to ever touch that bastard again.

    Back to present day. The kids looking up and sees the rating and ask when the last time it was certed and I said "I guess when it was installed". Now I've got to play the ignorance card. As hes looking up he ask if the beam is rated for 2 tons why does it have (Two) 2 ton hoist on it? my response was we only use one at a time, ha, Nope, another gig! now I'm just to the point where I have had it with this fker and realize there is no pleasing him. He went up the mezzanine to inspect the hoist and some part of me was just hoping he would get lit up. He dicked around a bit but never got grounded out. To this day I still wonder if the fine would have been worth seeing an OSHA inspector get the piss knocked out of him. In the end I got just shy of $20k in fines and had to get the crane load certified. I just pulled the power and removed the hoist and let it be.

    Too much BS with OSHA, and so glad they don't have it here in Asia. I don't think they would like my welders protection or the guarding on the fence around the compound.
    welder.jpg
    img_20140311_123654.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by g-coder05 View Post
    They nailed me good just before I sold our factory off. One day this young cocky punk comes in with that "I'm from OSHA" attitude. I could tell right away he had a chip on his shoulder and this wasn't going to be good. Now, My grandfather built the shop in 1945 so it had seen 60 years of wear and tear but I had worked pretty hard at keeping it compliant.

    Right off the bat this kid starts finger banging away at petty things like Harbor freight air nozzles with no vents. Finally he looks up and notices the one thing I was praying he wouldn't see,,,, The over head gantry crane. This over engineered beast was installed by my grandfather during construction of the building so there were no certs. One day many years earlier I was wondering around the factory looking at stuff and realized there was no load rating on the cross beam. I scrounge up enough stencils to put a 2 ton CAP on the side of it (Knowing the thing probably would hold 20). It was only when I was on the mezzanine and touched the crane and the ceiling rafter that I realized my grandfather was cheaper than me. Apparently in order to save money he put single phase reals running 3 phase hoist thus using the crane itself as the 3rd leg. After getting my bearings back and realized I had just been bit by 220 volts leaning off of a platform 30 feet in the air I decided there was no need to ever touch that bastard again.

    Back to present day. The kids looking up and sees the rating and ask when the last time it was certed and I said "I guess when it was installed". Now I've got to play the ignorance card. As hes looking up he ask if the beam is rated for 2 tons why does it have (Two) 2 ton hoist on it? my response was we only use one at a time, ha, Nope, another gig! now I'm just to the point where I have had it with this fker and realize there is no pleasing him. He went up the mezzanine to inspect the hoist and some part of me was just hoping he would get lit up. He dicked around a bit but never got grounded out. To this day I still wonder if the fine would have been worth seeing an OSHA inspector get the piss knocked out of him. In the end I got just shy of $20k in fines and had to get the crane load certified. I just pulled the power and removed the hoist and let it be.

    Too much BS with OSHA, and so glad they don't have it here in Asia. I don't think they would like my welders protection or the guarding on the fence around the compound.
    welder.jpg
    img_20140311_123654.jpg
    Those pictures are a joke... right?

  30. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by g-coder05 View Post
    They nailed me good just before I sold our factory off. One day this young cocky punk comes in with that "I'm from OSHA" attitude. I could tell right away he had a chip on his shoulder and this wasn't going to be good. Now, My grandfather built the shop in 1945 so it had seen 60 years of wear and tear but I had worked pretty hard at keeping it compliant.

    Right off the bat this kid starts finger banging away at petty things like Harbor freight air nozzles with no vents. Finally he looks up and notices the one thing I was praying he wouldn't see,,,, The over head gantry crane. This over engineered beast was installed by my grandfather during construction of the building so there were no certs. One day many years earlier I was wondering around the factory looking at stuff and realized there was no load rating on the cross beam. I scrounge up enough stencils to put a 2 ton CAP on the side of it (Knowing the thing probably would hold 20). It was only when I was on the mezzanine and touched the crane and the ceiling rafter that I realized my grandfather was cheaper than me. Apparently in order to save money he put single phase reals running 3 phase hoist thus using the crane itself as the 3rd leg. After getting my bearings back and realized I had just been bit by 220 volts leaning off of a platform 30 feet in the air I decided there was no need to ever touch that bastard again.

    Back to present day. The kids looking up and sees the rating and ask when the last time it was certed and I said "I guess when it was installed". Now I've got to play the ignorance card. As hes looking up he ask if the beam is rated for 2 tons why does it have (Two) 2 ton hoist on it? my response was we only use one at a time, ha, Nope, another gig! now I'm just to the point where I have had it with this fker and realize there is no pleasing him. He went up the mezzanine to inspect the hoist and some part of me was just hoping he would get lit up. He dicked around a bit but never got grounded out. To this day I still wonder if the fine would have been worth seeing an OSHA inspector get the piss knocked out of him. In the end I got just shy of $20k in fines and had to get the crane load certified. I just pulled the power and removed the hoist and let it be.

    Too much BS with OSHA, and so glad they don't have it here in Asia. I don't think they would like my welders protection or the guarding on the fence around the compound.
    So if I understand your complaints correctly, it's that you bought non-vented blow guns rather than safety blowguns, despite the fact that you can buy a safety-vented blow gun at harbor freight for $3. You also had a ridiculously unsafe crane that could kill somebody. And OSHA is the bad guy here?

    Don't get me wrong, I think a lot of what OSHA does is wrong. I think writing a company up for meeting the 1910 rules but not meeting their more stringent company procedures is wrong and counterproductive; it leads to companies not trying to be better than the minimum required by law. I think there should be more fix-it tickets, for example with the MSDS vs SDS issue brought up earlier, and probably in your case telling you to fix your blow guns. But the crane issue is the type of thing that OSHA absolutely should be fining people over. You had a known unsafe crane that could kill someone. Unless it's a very unusual crane design, there are a bunch of failure modes that end with someone getting shocked when they hook a load up to it.

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  32. #40
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    I am speechless. Perfect example of why we have OSHA.


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