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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Monday released plans for two regional emphasis programs that will target the transportation tank cleaning industry in the Midwest and those facing confined space dangers in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
The Midwest program follows OSHA investigations of 23 Chicago-area worker deaths and 97 incidents in the transportation and tank cleaning industries since 2016. In its investigations, OSHA found the most common violations included failure to prevent the inhalation of harmful substances and failure to follow procedures for confined spaces.
The initial phase of the Midwest program will include informational mailings to employers, professional associations, local safety councils, apprenticeship programs, and local hospitals and occupational health clinics, as well as presentations to industry organizations and stakeholders. Following a three-month outreach, the program authorizes OSHA to inspect targeted industries in Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin and those under federal jurisdiction in Indiana, Michigan and Minnesota.
OSHA is also introducing a similar but separate regional emphasis program to target confined space dangers in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. This follows 136 inspections in the region since 2016 that found safety issues in tank cleaning activities in trucking, rail and road transportation; remediation services; material recovery; and waste management services.