OSHA updates enforcement policy on process safety management

pipes.jpg

Photo: kodda/iStockphoto

Washington — OSHA has updated its process safety management enforcement policy for the first time in 30 years.

The agency announced the change in a directive that went into effect Jan. 26. The directive is intended for OSHA inspectors and other personnel, but also provides insight to employers and workers covered under the standard.

Much of the document is in a question-and-answer format, covering subjects such as:

  • Process hazard analysis
  • Operating procedures
  • Training
  • Incident investigations
  • Emergency planning and response
  • Compliance audits

Appendix A in the document is intended to clarify some parts of OSHA’s standard on PSM. Appendix B includes links to letters of interpretation, which formed the basis for the Q&A. Appendix C contains an index of common terms and phrases.

“OSHA promulgated the PSM standard in 1992 in response to the numerous catastrophic chemical manufacturing incidents that occurred worldwide,” the directive states. “Since the promulgation of the standard, numerous questions have been submitted and compliance guidance provided to industry on the application of the standard.”

State plans must notify OSHA of their intent to adopt the directive within 60 days. Otherwise, they must have policies and procedures that are “identical to or different from the federal program.” Either way, state plan adoption must occur within six months.


McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Newly formed alliances to promote worker rights, prevent exposures to hazards

WASHINGTON – Five organizations and businesses nationwide have signed and renewed alliance agreements with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and organizations to provide workers with information on their legal and fundamental rights, guidance and access to training resources on workplace safety and health.

By joining with OSHA, these organizations benefit from fostering collaboration and can better focus on hazards in ways that are specific to their industries and workplaces.

The alliances will work together on initiatives and facilitate opportunities to:

“The most effective way to protect workers is for every employer to embrace safety and health as a core value in their workplaces,” said Doug Kalinowski, director of Cooperative and State Programs at OSHA. “These alliances from across the country and in various industries show that these employers have made worker safety and health a core value and are leaders in workplace safety.”

OSHA’s Alliance Program helps the agency develop working relationships with organizations that are committed to workplace safety and health. These groups include trade and professional associations, labor unions, educational institutions, community and faith-based groups, and government agencies.

Alliance participants work with OSHA to provide workers and employers with information, guidance, and resources to promote safety and health in workplaces. Alliances also ensure that workers know their rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Original article published by OSHA

U.S. Department of Transportation Observes National Human Trafficking Prevention Month

WASHINGTON – In recognition of National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the U.S. Department of Transportation is taking action to raise awareness among travelers and transportation employees across America’s transportation systems.

“The horrors of human trafficking are far reaching, but together, we have the power to detect and prevent them,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We’re empowering America’s transportation workforce and the traveling public—hundreds of millions strong—to be the eyes and ears of a collective effort to combat trafficking.”

Today, Secretary Buttigieg announced the opening of the Department’s 2024 Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award, which incentivizes individuals and organizations to think creatively in developing innovative solutions to combat human trafficking in the transportation industry, and to share those innovations with the broader community. The Federal Register Notice describes the award which is open to both public and private sector stakeholders through March 11, 2024.

Secretary Buttigieg also announced the launch of a Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking (TLAHT) awareness campaign. The effort aims to educate and empower travelers and employees across all modes of transportation to recognize and report suspected instances of human trafficking. A variety of materials are available for download and can be tailored for use by transportation entities across the country to help raise awareness. Materials have been developed for use in airplanes and airports, buses and bus stations, trains and rail stations, rest areas and travel centers, ports, and other places where human trafficking may occur. Campaign materials include a QR code that links to mode-specific indicators and reporting methods. Suspected instances of human trafficking that involve immediate danger should be reported to 911; tips can be reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline by calling 1-888-373-7888 or texting 233733 (BeFree).

MSHA completed impact inspections at 16 mines with histories of repeated health, safety violations in December 2023

Inspections resulted in 57 significant, substantial and 3 unwarrantable failure findings

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that its Mine Safety and Health Administration completed impact inspections at 16 mines in 11 states in December 2023, issuing 247 violations.

The agency began conducting impact inspections after an April 2010 explosion in West Virginia at the Upper Big Branch Mine killed 29 miners.

MSHA’s impact inspections in 2023 identified 2,739 violations, including 764 significant and substantial and 56 unwarrantable failure findings. An S&S violation is one that is reasonably likely to cause a reasonably serious injury or illness. Violations designated as unwarrantable failures occur when an inspector finds aggravated conduct that constitutes more than ordinary negligence.

The agency conducts impact inspections at mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement due to poor compliance history; previous accidents, injuries, and illnesses; and other compliance concerns. Of the 247 violations MSHA identified in December, 57 were evaluated as S&S and three had unwarrantable failure findings. The agency completed these inspections at mines in Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

“In 2023, MSHA employees demonstrated the importance of conducting impact inspections by identifying hazards, issuing violations, and ensuring that corrective actions were taken to protect miners’ health and safety,” said Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Chris Williamson. “In 2024, the Biden-Harris administration will continue to focus on good jobs, including ensuring that miners are able to return home each day to their families and their communities safe and healthy,” Williamson added.

The Excel #5 Mine, an underground coal mine in Varney, Kentucky, was among the mines MSHA inspected in December. MSHA selected the mine for an impact inspection based upon numerous criteria, including enforcement history and plan compliance and examination issues. The mine is operated by Excel Mining. The inspection identified 20 violations, including nine S&S and two unwarrantable failure findings. Specifically, MSHA inspectors found the following conditions existed at the Excel #5 mine:

  • Failure to remove accumulation of combustible material. Combustible material accumulation was the most cited condition during this inspection. MSHA continues to remind operators of the importance of controlling the accumulation of combustible material to prevent fires and explosions.
  • Failure to maintain equipment in permissible condition was the second-most frequently cited condition during this inspection. These conditions exposed miners to explosion hazards due to exposed ignition sources.
  • Inadequate workplace examinations. Inadequate examinations have contributed to fatal mine accidents and disabling injuries and were identified as a root cause in several mining fatalities the industry suffered in 2023. MSHA has placed a priority on improving workplace examinations including the identification, correction and documentation of hazardous conditions to ensure miners’ safety and health.
  • Other serious violations included not adequately supporting roof and ribs and inoperable fire warning devices.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Original article published by MSHA

OSHA to employers: Post Form 300A by Feb. 1

Form 300A
Photo: OSHA

Washington — OSHA is reminding employers of their Form 300A posting requirement that begins Feb. 1.

Form 300A, a summary of work-related injuries and illnesses, must be displayed “in a conspicuous place or places where notices to employees are customarily posted” until April 30.

Employers who have 10 or fewer employees, including temporary or part-time workers, or those in certain low-hazard industries are exempt from the requirement.

Employers also must maintain injury and illness records for five years at their worksites, and provide copies, if requested, to current or former employees or their representatives.


McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Stress-related sleep problems may put migrant roofers in danger

silhouette-of-builder.jpg

Photo: fantom_rd/iStockphoto

Houston — Migrant roofing workers are more likely to experience poor sleep quality, which may put them at increased risk of injury, Rice University researchers say.

A team analyzed surveys and in-depth interviews with more than 400 migrant roofers who work in communities impacted by natural disasters.

The researchers identified numerous factors that contributed to shorter sleep duration, restlessness and general sleep problems among migrant roofers. Factors included stress related to working fewer days per month, being out of work, and lacking legal authorization to work. Additionally, workers who lived in temporary housing were shown to be at greater risk of poor sleep quality than roofers who had permanent housing.

In a press release, Sergio Chavez, study lead author and Rice University associate professor of sociology, said a lack of sleep can add to the danger of what is already “harrowing” work.

“Migrant workers form part of a growing occupational group that rebuilds in the aftermath of natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes,” the researchers write in the study. “The work these migrant workers perform is essential but also unstable, exploitative and dangerous, which stresses their health and well-being.”

The study was published online in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.


McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health will meet on Feb. 21-22 in Washington

Committee, workgroup meetings will be held in person, online

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has scheduled a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health for Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST.

The meeting will include remarks from the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker, updates on the construction industry from OSHA’s Directorate of Construction, a discussion about women in construction, reports from committee workgroups and a period during which the public is invited to make comments.

Three ACCSH workgroups will meet on Feb. 21. The Emerging Technology workgroup from 9-11 a.m.; the Workzone workgroup from 12-2 p.m.; and the Health in Construction workgroup from 2:10-4:10 p.m.

The full committee and workgroup meetings are open to the public and will be held in Conference Room C-5521, Room 4, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington DC 20210. Public attendance in-person is limited to 25 people.

To register for in-person attendance, contact Gretta Jameson at jameson.grettah@dol.gov by Feb. 15. Submit comments and requests to speak at the Federal eRulemaking Portal, Docket Number OSHA-2024-0002, by Feb. 15. Be sure to include the docket number on all submissions. Details on how to attend online are included in the docket and are available on the ACCSH webpage. Read the Federal Register notice for submission details.

The Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, also known as the Construction Safety Act, established the committee to advise the Secretary of Labor and Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health on CSA-related policy matters and the setting of construction standards.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Workplace mental health: OSHA publishes new fact sheet

group-of-employees.jpg

Photo: Drazen_/iStockphoto

Washington — A new fact sheet from OSHA is intended to help employers prioritize workers’ mental health.

“Mental health is an important component of overall well-being and is equally as vital as physical health for all employees,” OSHA says. “Mental health concerns due to work have the potential to adversely impact an employee’s social interactions, productivity, performance and absenteeism.”

The fact sheet – available in English and Spanish – outlines the effects of stress, traumatic events and substance use disorders on a worker’s mental health. It also touches on suicide, listing ways to contact crisis counselors.

OSHA says it plans to incorporate information from the fact sheet into the introduction of its 10- and 30-hour outreaching training courses.


McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

To curb high rates of heart disease and stroke, experts urge prevention and innovation

Dumitru Ochievschi/iStock via Getty Images
(Dumitru Ochievschi/iStock via Getty Images)

High blood pressure, obesity and other risk factors continue to contribute to high rates of heart disease and stroke worldwide, including in the U.S. where annual deaths from cardiovascular disease are approaching 1 million.

That’s according to an exhaustive statistics report released annually by the American Heart Association that details what’s known about heart and brain health.

The “2024 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics: A Report of U.S. and Global Data From the American Heart Association,” published Wednesday in the AHA journal Circulation, details the strides made in reducing cardiovascular disease risk – such as the decline in cigarette smoking. But major advances in how to prevent heart disease and stroke have failed to reap the benefits they could, said Dr. Seth Martin, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore and chair of the 43-member group that wrote the report.

“We know so much about what works to improve outcomes for patients, but there are still major gaps in translating that into daily practice,” said Martin, also a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “There is a strong need to innovate in our implementation so that we can close those gaps.”

Here are highlights from the report about some of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Read More»


McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by AHA

Work safely on scissor lifts

scissor-lift.jpg
Photo: Baloncici/iStockphoto

Scissor lifts – named for the way the lifting mechanism’s crossed beams raise and lower the work platform – are often used by manufacturing, warehouse and construction workers.

To safely operate a scissor lift, OSHA says two main elements must be addressed before work begins: proper positioning and stabilization.

Here’s what workers and employers can do:

Positioning

  • Implement traffic control measures around the lift to prevent other workers or equipment from approaching.
  • Use ground guides when operating or moving the lift.
  • Place the lift at least 10 feet away from power lines and other sources of electricity, as well as away from overhead hazards such as tree branches.

Stabilization

  • Don’t move the lift while it’s in the upright position.
  • Work in areas that have a level surface and don’t have hazards (holes or bumps) that can cause instability.
  • Use the lift outside only if weather conditions are good.
  • Don’t bypass safety features designed to stop the lift from collapsing.
  • Never allow the weight on the work platform to exceed the manufacturer’s load rating.
  • Don’t use equipment (such as a forklift) other than the scissor lift mechanism to raise the work platform.

And, as always, “Only trained workers should be allowed to use scissor lifts,” OSHA says, “and employers should make sure that those workers show that they can use a scissor lift properly.”

Employers should train workers to:

  • Check that a guardrail system is in place before working on the lift.
  • Stand only on the work platform – never stand on the guardrails.
  • Position work tasks within easy reach of the lift to avoid leaning away from it.

McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication