OSHA delays enforcement of crane operator documentation requirements for ‘good faith’ employers

Employers who make “good faith efforts” to document their evaluations of crane operators have an additional 60 days to comply with OSHA’s Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Operator Certification Extension, according to a Feb. 7 enforcement memorandum from the agency. Continue Reading»

Bulletin Addresses Safety for Workers Wearing Devices Containing Lithium Batteries

new OSHA bulletin addresses hazards associated with small, wearable devices powered by lithium batteries, such as body cameras. If these devices are damaged or defective, they may catch fire or explode. Employers should ensure that workers are trained to properly use, store, and charge these devices; identify, remove, and properly dispose of damaged or defective devices and batteries; and provide information on their health and physical hazards.

A lithium battery-powered body camera.

OSHA Signs Charter for Working Group to Improve Chemical Facility Security and Safety

The Department of Labor, Department of Homeland Security, and the Environmental Protection Agency recently created and signed the Chemical Facility Security and Safety Working Group Charter. The working group, which includes other federal agency representatives, was established by an Executive Order in response to several chemical facility catastrophes. The charter reaffirms the group’s commitment to work with stakeholders to address safety and security at chemical facilities, and reduce risks associated with hazardous chemicals to workers and communities. For more information, visit OSHA’s Chemical Facility and Security webpage.

Final Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

March 2, 2019, is the deadline for electronically reporting your OSHA Form 300A data for calendar year 2018. Collection will begin January 2, 2019.

OSHA published a Final Rule to amend its recordkeeping regulation to remove the requirement to electronically submit to OSHA information from the OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report) for establishments with 250 or more employees that are required to routinely keep injury and illness records. Covered establishments are only required to electronically submit information from the OSHA Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses). The requirement to keep and maintain OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301 for five years is not changed by this Final Rule.

Remember, not all establishments are covered by this requirement. To review which establishments need to provide their data, click here.

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Final Rule to Protect Privacy of Workers

To protect worker privacy, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule that eliminates the requirement for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report) to OSHA each year. These establishments are still required to electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses). Continue reading »

OSHA Penalties Adjusting in 2019

OSHA’s civil penalties amounts for violations of workplace safety and health standards will increase in 2019 to adjust for inflation. The adjusted maximum penalty amounts will take effect upon publication in the Federal Register. New penalties for willful and repeat violations will be $132,598 per violation; serious, other-than-serious, and posting requirements are $13,260 per violation; and failure to abate violations are $13,260 per day beyond the abatement date.

U.S. Department of Labor Proposes to Revise Beryllium Standard for General Industry

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today issued a proposed rule to revise the beryllium standard for general industry. The proposed changes are designed to clarify the standard, and to simplify or improve compliance with the standard.

The proposed rule would amend selected paragraphs of the standard, including “Definitions,” “Methods of Compliance,” “Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment,” “Hygiene Areas and Practices,” “Housekeeping,” “Medical Surveillance,” “Hazard Communication,” and “Recordkeeping.” It would also remove the existing Appendix A, which lists suggested controls, and replace it with a new Appendix A, Operations for Establishing Beryllium Work Areas.

Comments, hearing requests, and other information must be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal, or by facsimile or mail. Read the Federal Register notice for submission details. Comments must be submitted by February 9, 2019. The enforcement date for the provisions affected by this proposal is December 12, 2018. While this rulemaking is pending, compliance with the standard as modified by this proposal will be accepted as compliance.

The proposal satisfies a settlement agreement with stakeholders that had concerns about some of the provisions in the 2017 beryllium final rule. The proposed rule would affect approximately 50,500 workers employed in general industry, and is estimated to yield minor net cost savings to employers. OSHA expects the proposed changes would provide employees with equivalent safety and health protections to the current standard.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.