Labor Ledger Sept.-Oct. 2014 - NC Department of Labor

NC Labor
-February 2010
N.C. Department of Labor
Cherie Berry, Commissioner
18th Annual Carolina Star Safety Conference
By LaMont Smith, Recognition Program Manager
he Annual Carolina Star Safety Conference took place at the
Joseph S. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro on Sept. 17-19.
The theme of the conference was “Living the Safety Life.” More
than 600 participants from across the state attended the conference,
including a variety of vendors and speakers at the event.
Opening day for conference activity began with preconference
workshops designed to encourage the growth of the N.C.
Department of Labor’s Star Program. The preconference workshops
included topics that focused on the Star application and evaluation
process. In addition, there were preconference workshops to assist
current participants with preparing their Annual Star Report and
other topics to assist all participants with OSHA recordkeeping.
As the day progressed, the conference transitioned into the general
session, where keynote speaker Kina Repp captivated the audience
with a compelling story about a work-related industrial accident that
forever changed her life. Repp is a safety and motivational speaker
who lost her arm within the first 40 minutes of being assigned duties Kina Repp tells her compelling story to participants at the Carolina Star
on her new job at an Alaskan fish cannery.
Safety Conference. Repp promotes workplace safety while sharing her story
During the summer of 1990, Repp went to Alaska to earn money about the day her life changed forever due to a job-related accident.
to pay for her college tuition. Repp felt her assigned duties at the fish
cannery were not safe. However, Repp did not want to disappoint her supervisor; therefore, she continued to work in these unsafe conditions,
leading to the horrifying chain of events that followed and dramatically changed her life.
Repp’s fight for survival began the moment she found herself caught in the moving conveyor belt. As she so bravely battled for her life, she
found herself to be more concerned about the ripple effect her accident would have on the lives of others. She continuously relives and shares
her story with others so that they do not have to experience the trauma that she did several years ago.
“If you’re taking shortcuts or you’re being complacent or you’re not paying attention to what you’re doing, more than likely you’re going to
be injured,” Repp said. “It might not be today, it might not be 10 years from now, but eventually those risks that you’re taking are going to catch
up to you. I just feel so passionate about wanting people to understand that this is about you making choices and making decisions to keep yourself
safe so you don’t have a family member getting a phone call that says you’ve been injured, or worse, that you’ve died because of a job. It’s just
not worth it.”
The Carolina Star Safety Conference provided the participants with many opportunities to network and discuss safe work practices. There were
several breakout session topics that concentrated on the key components of an effective safety and health management system. In addition, many
breakout sessions focused on building and maintaining positive safety cultures that shape and mold the attitudes and behaviors of all worksite
personnel. Conference participants indicated that they enjoyed the opportunity to share safety ideas and perspectives with employees from other
There are six regional teams that share in responsibility of the conference activities. The designated representatives of these regional teams
include Hal Bates, Glen Raven; Brooke Beckett, Syngenta; Omar Borders, Celanese; Tony Byrum, Nucor Steel; Bonnie Carson, WSACC; Kyle
Green, Elementis; Michael Magnuson, General Electric; Mark Pierce, Davidson County Solid Waste; Ann Robinson, Hospira; Tyler Robinson,
PGI; and Justin Sergent, Sherwin Williams. The Carolina Star Board of Directors recognized the team representatives for their leadership roles
as co-team leaders.
In addition, Ann Morrison, past board member and president, was recognized for her many years of service and contributions to the Carolina
Star Safety Conference Board of Directors. Finally, Leonard Mangum, Star Program consultant, indicated that he was going to retire after 19
years of service as a state employee. As a result, Leonard was recognized and received a certificate of appreciation for his 15 years of dedicated
continued on page 3
Inside this edition:
From Labor
Cherie Berry
This September I was pleased to give closing remarks at
the 18th Annual Carolina Star Safety Conference in
Greensboro. The conference provides companies with
information on how to become a Star site, maintain Star
status, and improve overall safety and health programs
and management systems.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Living the
Safety Life.” I attended the day before the closing session
as well, getting to enjoy the six regional teams compete
with information booths that conveyed the conference
theme. I congratulate all who worked at making the booth
displays successful. We can learn so much when we share
ideas and best safe work practices with one another.
As of last week, I had attended 245 Star ceremonies since
taking office. This includes Carolina Star, Building Star,
Public Sector Star and Rising Star sites. The week following
the conference, I had the pleasure of going to my 246th Star
event, presenting the Building Star flag to Metcon
Construction in Pembroke.
It doesn’t matter if your company has been in the Star
program for more than 20 years (as Milliken and Company’s
Golden Valley and Hatch plants have) or if you’re the
newest Star like Metcon—I congratulate you for being
leaders in safety and health. And for those of you who are
not part of the Star Program, I invite you to attend next
year’s conference. And as many Star participants have
discovered, the journey to becoming a Star site can be the
beginning of your “Living the Safety Life.”
Skanska and NCDOL Sign Safety Partnership
page 4
Labor Department Recertifies Building Star
page 5
Additional E-Verify Webinar Sessions Added
page 5
Thieman Technologies Earns SHARP Award
page 6
Workplace Worries
page 6
Deadly Mistakes
page 7
Bulletin Board
page 8
Recognition Roundup
Recognition Roundup identifies businesses that qualify for one of the N.C.
Department of Labor’s recognition programs. Congratulations to all of the
recent award recipients. To view a complete list of all North Carolina Star
recipient companies, click here.
To view a complete list of all North Carolina general industry SHARP
companies, visit
Safety and Health Achievement Recognition
Program (SHARP) Awards
Saab Barracuda LLC, Lillington
Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, Wilmington
Metal Recycling Services of Whiteville LLC, Whiteville
Carolina Star Sites
Alcoa Power Generating Inc., Yadkin Division, Badin
Celanese, Shelby Plant, Grover (recertification)
NACCO Materials Handling Group, Greenville
N.C. Department of Labor
Cherie Berry
Commissioner of Labor
Editor ........................................................................Neal O’Briant
Layout and Design ..............................................Jeff Wilson
Publications Bureau Chief ....................Mike Daniels
1101 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1101
1-800-625-2267 •
Work Safely
This Fall!
18th Annual Carolina Star Safety Conference
continued from page 1
service to the Carolina Star Program and conference
activity. Leonard accepted his certificate and provided
the audience with an eloquent speech regarding the
Star Program and how safety is more than a priority,
it’s a value.
Guest speaker Ken Flechler spoke candidly about
his experience as safety professional and transition into
the role of Environmental Health and Safety Vice
President of Pike Enterprises Inc. Flechler provided the
audience with examples of some safety-related challenges
he first experienced upon his employment at Pike. He
also shared safety-related best practices implemented
by Pike that continue to influence the company’s safety
culture positively. Some of these best practices included
initiatives to reduce the company’s accident rate and
further pursue participation in the Carolina Star
Program. As a result Pike reduced its accident rate by
70 percent over five years. In addition, Pike Enterprises NCDOL Carolina Star Program staff gather at the 18th Annual Carolina Star Safety
was approved as Carolina Star Site on Aug. 16, 2011. Conference in Greensboro. (From left to right: Brandon Barnhardt, Carlene Harris,
Leonard Mangum, LaMont Smith, Kimberly Bostic and Ron Ellis.)
Flechler concluded by stating that Pike’s overall goal is
to reach a level of zero accidents. He also challenged
all Star sites to raise the bar and continue to strengthen their focus on employee safety.
During the closing session of the conference, Allen McNeely, deputy commissioner/director of OSH, spoke to the participants about the new
requirements for reporting severe work-related injuries to the N.C. Department of Labor, which go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015. McNeely additionally indicated how NCDOL OSH-related training and education efforts have positively affected the partnership programs NCDOL has with
industry. The OSH Division has trained 400 subcontractors and their employees while maintaining a partnership with one general contractor since
2009. This effort amounts to training 20,700 employees on a construction site. As a result, the OSH Division was able to meet the expectations
of its mission statement, which is to train, educate and further enhance our relationships with the employers of North Carolina.
Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry closed the conference with an inspirational speech about what safety means to her and the importance of
returning home safely from work and being able to spend time with family. The 2015 Annual Carolina Star Safety Conference is scheduled for
Sept. 16-18 at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro.
Changes to Reporting Requirements
Effective Jan. 1, 2015
Federal OSHA has revised the reporting requirements in 29 CFR 1904, effective Jan. 1, 2015.
The N.C. Department of Labor will adopt this change as required by law.
The revised rule expands the list of severe work-related injuries that all covered employers must
report to the NCDOL Occupational Safety and Health Division. The revised rule retains the current
requirement to report all work-related fatalities within eight hours and adds the requirement to report
all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and losses of an eye within 24 hours.
There are also changes to the recordkeeping requirements
that will also take effect Jan. 1, 2015.
Look for details in the next issue of the Labor Ledger.
Skanska and NCDOL Sign Safety Partnership
By Neal O’Briant
Public Information Officer
Officials with Skanska USA and
the N.C. Department of Labor signed
a safety partnership Sept. 22. The
partnership covers the construction on
the Rex Heart and Vascular Hospital
project in Raleigh, which began earlier
in the month and is expected to be
completed in December 2017.
Skanska has been working on a
number of other Rex Healthcare construction projects during the past four
years, but this partnership will cover
the Rex Heart and Vascular Hospital
construction project only. The project
Officials from Skanska USA and the N.C. Department of Labor gather after the signing of a safety partnership
is a $200 million expansion and agreement for the construction of the Rex Heart and Vascular Hospital project in Raleigh.
includes a 200,000-square-foot tower
and parking deck. The project is Rex Healthcare’s largest capital project in its history.
NCDOL and Skanska USA have had previous partnership agreements. The first one (in conjunction with Barnhill Contracting) covered the
construction of the Raleigh Convention Center, which was completed in 2008. The second agreement with Skanska covered the construction of
the Wake County Detention Center, which was completed in 2011.
“This is the third partnership that Skanska has done with the Department of Labor,” said Ben Dunn, senior safety manager with Skanska USA.
“We are very enthusiastic about having another partnership. It’s always a pleasure to work with the whole Department of Labor. Rex Healthcare
is also pleased and looking forward to working through this partnership as well.”
Headquartered in New York since 1971, Skanska USA is one of the largest construction and development companies in the country, with
expertise in construction, civil infrastructure, public-private partnerships and commercial development initiatives in select U.S. markets. Skanska
has 39 offices across the country, including regional offices in Charlotte and Durham. Skanska has more than 8,300 employees in the United
States each day.
As part of the safety initiative goals in the partnership agreement, Skanska requested to have the OSH Division offer 10-hour safety training
classes onsite every six months. There will be a tower crane and some mobile cranes onsite at some point during the project. One of the benefits
of the agreement may be the opportunity for new NCDOL compliance officers to learn what to look for when inspecting tower and mobile cranes.
“From our past partnerships with Skanska, I know that our folks will benefit as well from being right on the site with you,” Labor
Commissioner Cherie Berry said. “I look forward to continuing the relationship we built during our previous partnerships and going forward.”
Skanska USA is also a Building Star company, originally certified in June 2001. The company was recertified in October 2004, August 2007,
November 2010 and August 2013.
This partnership agreement covers the Rex Heart and Vascular Hospital construction site for the duration of the time that Skanska has control
of the site. All applicable elements of this partnership will be adopted by the company’s on-site contractors. The partnership will also provide
incentives to participating contractors to voluntarily improve their safety and health performance. Incentives will include but not be limited to
recognition from the OSH Division that will allow limited scope inspections.
Visit the NCDOL booth
inside the Kerr Scott Building
at the N.C. State Fair!
Oct. 16–26, 2014
Labor Department Recertifies Building Star
The N.C. Department of Labor recertified CFE Inc.
as a Building Star during a ceremony at the company’s
corporate headquarters in Apex on Aug. 15.
Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry presented company
officials with the Building Star flag and Building Star
“Each employee should be very proud of this
achievement,” Commissioner Berry said. “I congratulate
all employees for their commitment to safety and health.”
The Building Star is part of the N.C. Department of
Labor’s Carolina Star Program. The Carolina Star is Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry joins CFE employees in celebrating the company’s Building
the most prestigious safety recognition given by the Star recertification.
N.C. Department of Labor. Companies that qualify for
the award have exemplary safety and health programs in the workplace.
“Since our acceptance and admission into the Building Star program in 2007, we have been blessed with the talents, skills, safe work practices
and attitudes of many wonderful associates,” said Mike Ruhmel, chief operations officer with CFE. “These associates go onto our jobsites, which
by the roofing industries nature presents many harsh, dangerous and challenging environments. Even with these conditions our associates have
dedicated their attention to identifying, managing and reducing these conditions that could put them and their team in jeopardy. We have been
fortunate to have the proper support and cooperation from our parent company, The Evans Roofing Company, and subsidiary roofing companies
Charles F. Evans Company Inc. along with the other CFE Inc. operating offices.
“It is with great honor and responsibility that our team accepts the North Carolina Department of Labor recertification status. Thank you to all
the fine associates in our organization for your past and future commitment to working safely.”
CFE Inc. was initially certified as a Building Star Site in September 2007. At the time, the company was the first subcontractor/specialty contractor approved in the Building Star Program. There is now one other specialty contractor in the program out of 22 Building Stars in the state.
CFE Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Evans Roofing Co., based in Elmira, New York. The Apex facility has been in operation since 1998
and has about 40 employees working at various worksites or in the office and shop.
Additional Sessions Added of Free E-Verify Webinars
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has added new dates for its free E-Verify webinars for businesses. During each session, attendees
will learn about E-Verify, the free and easy-to-use service that lets employers verify the employment eligibility of new employees. Sessions
usually last one hour.
As of July 1, 2013, employers with 25 or more employees in North Carolina were required to use E-Verify to check work authorization for all
new hires. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the N.C. Department of Labor, set up webinar dates specifically for
North Carolina employers to inform them about E-Verify.
Cornelius Wyatt, who leads the webinars for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services within the Department of Homeland Security, said
that more than 380 people attended the first five sessions offered this year.
The new webinar dates are:
Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 2 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 2 p.m.
Wednesday , Nov. 19, at 2 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 10, at 2 p.m.
Wednesday, March 18, at 2 p.m.
To learn more about the webinars, visit
1-800-625-2267 v
Photo: Lee Ann Whitehead, Simply Genuine Photography, LLC
By Kimberly Bostic, Star Program Consultant
Thieman Manufacturing Technologies Earns SHARP Award
By Dolores Quesenberry
Communications Director
The N.C. Department of Labor recently certified
Thieman Manufacturing Technologies in Ellenboro as a
participant in the Safety and Health Achievement
Recognition Program (SHARP). The program recognizes
companies for a commitment to the safety and health of
their employees.
Howard Walters, a safety and health consultant supervisor
with the N.C. Department of Labor, presented the SHARP
certificate and flag to company officials on behalf of
Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry on Tuesday, July 22.
“Thieman Manufacturing Technologies is now part of
an elite group of North Carolina businesses that have
achieved SHARP status,” Labor Commissioner Berry
said. “Rutherford County is fortunate to have an employer
like Theiman Manufacturing Technologies that strives for Employees of Thieman Manufacturing Technologies display the SHARP flag in front of
excellence in safety and health while maintaining injury the company’s headquarters in Ellenboro.
and illness rates below the national average.”
The SHARP Award is designed for small to mid-size businesses that show they have developed and maintained good safety programs for workers.
To qualify for the program, injury and illness rates for the site must be below the national average for the industry, and NCDOL safety and health
consultants must complete an assessment of the workplace. There are 146 general industry sites in the program throughout North Carolina, including
three in Rutherford County.
“Our goal here at Thieman Manufacturing Technologies is to provide a safe and healthy working environment for all of our employees, while
working with NCDOL Consultative Services, to improve and manage our safety and health program,” said James Cilone, plant manager for
Thieman Manufacturing Technologies. “We are proud to receive this special SHARP recognition award, along with involvement of all our
employees to maintain a well managed safety and health program, with injury and illness rates well below the national average for our industry.
Since 2011, while working with the N.C. Department of Labor Consultative Services Bureau, we have maintained �ZERO’ injuries and illnesses
in our workplace.”
By Val Eucare, Wage and Hour Administrator
Q: What are the requirements to pay a disabled worker less than minimum wage?
A: The requirements can be found in the N.C. Administrative Code, Section 13 NCAC 12 .0202 entitled
“Disabled Worker Certification,” which states:
(a) For purposes of this Rule, a “disabled worker” means an individual whose earning capacity is
impaired by age or physical or mental deficiency or injury for the work he is to perform.
(b) An application for the issuance of a disabled worker certificate establishing a subminimum wage
rate for an individual for a particular job may be made by an employer with the Administrator of
the Wage and Hour Bureau and must include:
(1) the name, address and nature of the business of the employer;
(2) a description of the occupation at which the worker is to be employed;
(3) the nature of the worker’s disability and its relation to his work;
(4) the wage the employer proposes to pay the worker (as a percentage of the State minimum wage);
(5) signatures of the employer and the worker; and
(6) certification of the applicant’s disability by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation of
the Department of Health and Human Services.
Until an employer is provided a certificate by either the USDOL or the NCDOL Wage and Hour Bureau, an employer must pay the current
minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Once a determination is made and the facts show that a subminimum wage can be paid, only then is an employer
issued a certificate and allowed to pay a subminimum wage rate. For further details and information, call the NCDOL Wage and Hour Bureau at
Businesses covered under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act also can request an authorizing certificate from the USDOL Wage and Hour
Division allowing a subminimum wage rate to be paid to employees who have disabilities for the work being performed. Refer to
and Fact Sheet #39 entitled “The Employment of Workers With Disabilities at Special Minimum Wages” for more information.
N At a grocery store, employees were using two liquid propanefueled concrete saws and a diesel-fueled mini-excavator to
install a drain line in the floor. This activity generated carbon
monoxide that resulted in the hospitalization or treatment of 17
employees representing four employers. This is not the only
incident in which a concrete saw has been the source of carbon
monoxide overexposure.
By Steve Sykes
State Plan Coordinator
Accident Event: On
Aug. 2, 2013, a 43-year-old
forklift operator died from overexposure to carbon monoxide (CO).
An additional worker was transported to a local hospital and survived
the carbon monoxide exposure.
Investigative Findings: The forklift operator and another employee
were loading pallets of blackberries into a tractor trailer when the
overexposure to carbon monoxide occurred. Both employees were
unconscious when first responders arrived. The forklift operator was
still on the running forklift, had no pulse, and was not breathing. The
other employee had a weak pulse and shallow breathing.
The investigation confirmed that the source of the carbon monoxide
in the tractor trailer was the propane fueled forklift. There was no carbon
monoxide detector in either a cooler building where the blackberries
were being stored or the tractor trailer. The owner’s manual for the
forklift specifically warned against running the equipment in closed
spaces, but the forklift was operating in a 53-foot-long tractor trailer
with little ventilation. The victim was operating the forklift longer than
usual because the trailer was improperly loaded initially and pallets
had to be rearranged.
Discussion: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) estimates that more than 400 people in America die each year
from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning, an additional 20,000
receive attention in the emergency room and more than 4,000 are
admitted to hospitals. NCDOL investigated this carbon monoxiderelated fatality in 2013 and three incidents requiring hospitalization in
2014. While the effects of carbon monoxide overexposure are widely
known, the sources and symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure may
not be as well known.
Carbon monoxide is produced as a byproduct of the incomplete
burning of hydrocarbon fuels such as gasoline, LP gas, coal and wood.
It readily mixes in the air and cannot be detected by smell or taste.
Carbon monoxide exposure does have its warning signs, however,
through symptoms such as headache, fatigue, dizziness and nausea.
Some of the sources for carbon monoxide overexposure determined
during investigations by NCDOL include:
N A propane-powered buffing machine used to shine a tile floor at
a business location sent two cleaning service employees to the
N Construction workers using a propane-fueled pressure washer
to flush floor drains in a grocery store caused the hospitalization
of 12 employees including the construction workers, grocery
employees and first responders.
N Three insulation workers utilizing a gas-powered blower were
hospitalized. They were working at a residential location blowing
insulation into an attic.
N A member of a demolition crew was using a gasoline-powered
generator inside a commercial building, which resulted in his
Recommendations: The N.C. Department of Labor has stepped up
its emphasis on reducing the number of carbon monoxide-related
accidents. A carbon monoxide hazard alert was recently updated and
an informational billboard created. The hazard alert includes the following recommendations for employers.
N Conduct a workplace survey to indentify all potential sources of
CO exposure.
N Educate workers about the sources and conditions that may
result in CO poisoning as well as the symptoms and control of
CO exposure.
N Always substitute less hazardous equipment if possible.
N Monitor employee CO exposure to determine if there is a hazard.
N Increase ventilation to include more fresh air.
Makes House Calls!
Enjoy the ease and convenience of
FREE, on-site, bilingual, mobile
safety training at your workplace!
Call to schedule your worksite training!
10-Hour Construction Industry
Awareness Course
Mine and Quarry Training
Part 46 New Miner Training
Oct. 7, Winston-Salem
Oct. 27-29, Wake Forest
Nov. 18, Greensboro
Part 46 Annual Refresher Training
Oct. 9, Winston-Salem
Oct. 30, Wake Forest
Nov. 20, Greensboro
Part 48 New Miner Training
Oct. 13-15, Wake Forest
Oct. 14-16, Greensboro
Part 48 Annual Refresher Training
Oct. 16, Wake Forest
First Aid Training
Oct. 8, Winston-Salem (includes CPR)
Nov. 19, Greensboro
Oct. 23-24, Raleigh
Click here for more information.
Nov. 5-6, Nags Head
Click here for more information.
This course will provide a basic overview of the
construction industry safety and health standards,
29 CFR 1926.
10-Hour Construction Industry
Awareness Course—Spanish
Oct. 28-29, Raleigh
Click here for more information.
This course will be delivered in Spanish and will provide
a basic overview of the construction industry safety and
health standards, 29 CFR 1926. During this awareness
course, the “Top Four” hazards (falls, electrical, struck by
and caught in/between) will be included as part of the
two-day training session.
For details and to register for any of these seminars or classes,
contact the Mine and Quarry Bureau at 919-807-2790.
Complying with OSHA
General Industry Standards
10-Hour General Industry
Awareness Course
Dec. 2-3, Raleigh
This two-day course is designed for new safety and health
professionals who are responsible for safety and health at their
organizations. The course covers general industry standards,
state-specific standards for general industry, and the recordkeeping standards. Click here for more information.
Nov. 13-14, Raleigh
Click here for more information.
This course will provide a basic overview of the
general industry safety and health standards,
29 CFR 1910.
OSH Webinar Courses
Visit the OSH Training Schedule Calendar here to view
upcoming Internet training and other safety courses. Upcoming
webinar topics include steel erection, personal protective
equipment, concrete and masonry, powered industrial trucks,
stairways and ladders, cranes and derricks, scaffolding, hand
and power tools, bloodborne pathogens, and machine guarding.
Check the calendar for new courses being added soon.