The eighth annual National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction will be held May 3-7.

First published by OSHA

The 2021 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction is scheduled for May 3–7, OSHA has announced. The annual safety stand-down is intended to raise awareness of fall hazards and to encourage conversations about industry best practices to prevent fall fatalities and injuries. According to OSHA, fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction workers: in 2018, 320 of the 1,008 fatalities recorded in construction were attributed to falls.

Workplaces that participated in past years’ safety stand-downs include commercial construction companies, residential construction contractors, subcontractors and independent contractors, highway construction companies, general industry employers, the U.S. military, other government participants, unions, trade associations, institutes, employee interest organizations, and safety equipment manufacturers. OSHA encourages any employer who wants to prevent hazards in the workplace to participate. Employers whose workers are not exposed to fall hazards can use the safety stand-down as an opportunity to focus on other job hazards, protective methods, and safety policies and goals. Following the stand-down, employers will be able to download a certificate of participation and provide feedback about their experience.

The website for the safety stand-down provides resources to help workplaces participate in the event, including free training materials, videos, and additional educational resources. Highlights​ from previous years are also available.​​​​​

 


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

The ‘first step’: OSHA updates COVID-19 guidelines as Biden administration focuses on worker safety

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Turner Construction

Washington — OSHA has issued updated COVID-19 guidance for workplaces – the “first step” by the Biden administration and new OSHA leadership to address the pandemic.

“The guidance issued today is the first step in the process, but it’s certainly not the last step in that process,” Jim Frederick, OSHA’s acting administrator and the agency’s principal deputy assistant secretary, said Jan. 29 during a Department of Labor virtual news conference.

The updated guidance, titled Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace stems from an Executive Order signed by President Joe Biden on Jan. 21. In addition to issuing the updated guidance, the order directs OSHA to consider an emergency temporary standard related to COVID-19. If an ETS is considered necessary, the agency is instructed to issue one by March 15.

A little more than one week into his new job, Frederick said he wasn’t ready to commit to a clearer time frame or outline what a potential ETS would include.

“We do not have an outline of what an ETS might look like, should we consider to go there,” Frederick said. “That is something we’re deliberating about and we’ll be working on.”

In the updated guidance, OSHA replaces suggestive language with stronger language, such as employers “should implement” prevention programs to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus. Unlike a regulation, however, the guidelines provide no legal obligations for employers.

Steps employers should take to reduce transmission of COVID-19 among workers include adopting policies that encourage potentially infected workers to remain home without punishment for their absences. Workers also should have protection from retaliation for raising COVID-19-related concerns, and employers should communicate policies and procedures in every language spoken by their workforce.

Additionally, the guidance calls for hazard assessments and the identification of control measures that will limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The guidance includes information about physical distancing and face coverings, among other recommended measures, as well as the roles of employers and employees in COVID-19 responses. This includes considerations for workers who are at higher risk of severe illness, including older employees, “through supportive policies and practices.”

Other sections address the installation of barriers when physical distancing of 6 feet or more isn’t feasible, ventilation, personal protective equipment, good hygiene practices, and routine cleaning and disinfection.

“More than 400,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and millions of people are out of work as a result of this crisis,” M. Patricia Smith, senior counselor to the labor secretary, said in a press release. “Employers and workers can help our nation fight and overcome this deadly pandemic by committing themselves to making their workplaces as safe as possible. The recommendations in OSHA’s updated guidance will help us defeat the virus, strengthen our economy, and bring an end to the staggering human and economic toll that the coronavirus has taken on our nation.”

Another step in the process is “streamlining” the COVID-19-related citation process, OSHA Senior Advisor Ann Rosenthal said during the news conference.

She said the previous administration had “so many levels of review for COVID-related citations that, generally, they were issued on the final day of the six-month statute of limitations.” The goals of the streamlined process, she added, are timely abatement of hazards and informing workers.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

US Department of Labor issues stronger workplace guidance on coronavirus

First published by OSHA

New OSHA guidance seeks to mitigate, prevent viral spread in the workplace

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that its Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued stronger worker safety guidance to help employers and workers implement a coronavirus prevention program and better identify risks which could lead to exposure and contraction. Last week, President Biden directed OSHA to release clear guidance for employers to help keep workers safe from COVID-19 exposure.

Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace” provides updated guidance and recommendations, and outlines existing safety and health standards. OSHA is providing the recommendations to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace.

“More than 400,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and millions of people are out of work as a result of this crisis. Employers and workers can help our nation fight and overcome this deadly pandemic by committing themselves to making their workplaces as safe as possible,” said Senior Counselor to the Secretary of Labor M. Patricia Smith. “The recommendations in OSHA’s updated guidance will help us defeat the virus, strengthen our economy and bring an end to the staggering human and economic toll that the coronavirus has taken on our nation.”

Implementing a coronavirus prevention program is the most effective way to reduce the spread of the virus. The guidance announced today recommends several essential elements in a prevention program:

  • Conduct a hazard assessment.
  • Identify control measures to limit the spread of the virus.
  • Adopt policies for employee absences that don’t punish workers as a way to encourage potentially infected workers to remain home.
  • Ensure that coronavirus policies and procedures are communicated to both English and non-English speaking workers.
  • Implement protections from retaliation for workers who raise coronavirus-related concerns.

“OSHA is updating its guidance to reduce the risk of transmission of the coronavirus and improve worker protections so businesses can operate safely and employees can stay safe and working,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Jim Frederick.

The guidance details key measures for limiting coronavirus’s spread, including ensuring infected or potentially infected people are not in the workplace, implementing and following physical distancing protocols and using surgical masks or cloth face coverings. It also provides guidance on use of personal protective equipment, improving ventilation, good hygiene and routine cleaning.

OSHA will update today’s guidance as developments in science, best practices and standards warrant.

This guidance is not a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations. It contains recommendations as well as descriptions of existing mandatory safety and health standards. The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content and are intended to assist employers in recognizing and abating hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm as part of their obligation to provide a safe and healthful workplace.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Demolition work: Keep it safe

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

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Demolition work involves the dismantling, razing, destroying or wrecking of any building or structure. Hazards of this dangerous work, according to OSHA, may include materials hidden within structural members (e.g., lead, asbestos, silica, and other chemicals or heavy metals requiring special material handling), as well as unknown strengths or weaknesses of construction materials, such as post-tensioned concrete.

To combat these hazards, workers at a demolition site should know the safety precautions they must take to protect themselves. OSHA says to:
PLAN ahead to get the job done safely. Before work begins, a competent person should survey the work. This person should closely check the condition of the structure and the possibility of an unplanned collapse. An assessment of health hazards also should be completed before work begins.
PROVIDE the right protection and equipment. The employer must determine what personal protective equipment will be required and provide it to workers. The employer also will need to educate workers on the proper use, fit, maintenance and storage of the PPE.
TRAIN employees about demo work hazards and how to safely use equipment. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for employees. Employers must train employees – in a language they understand – on recognizing and avoiding or removing hazards that may cause an injury or illness.

OSHA addresses demolition hazards in specific standards for the construction industry. Learn more at osha.gov/demolition/standards.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Michigan OSHA launches emphasis program on silica

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
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Lansing, MI — Michigan OSHA intends to conduct inspections at jobsites where workers are most likely to be exposed to respirable crystalline silica, as part of the agency’s recently launched state emphasis program aimed at reducing exposure to silica and preventing silicosis.

Silica is a carcinogen found in sand, stone and artificial stone. MIOSHA’s 12-month emphasis program, announced in the agency’s Fall 2020 online newsletter, includes outreach to affected industries to consult, educate and train employers and the public about the dangers of silica.

MIOSHA has compiled a list of industries with historically high silica exposures and a prevalence of silicosis cases. Establishments on the list could get an unannounced investigation visit to ensure compliance with federal and MIOSHA standards.

The agency has a goal of completing 88 inspections – 2% of the total number of inspections conducted in fiscal year 2019. This matches the goal set by federal OSHA for each of its regions in its national emphasis program, announced Feb. 4.

The agency is offering consultative audits to help establishments identify silica hazards. The audits will help employers develop and implement a comprehensive safety and health system as well as silica exposure monitoring.

Federal OSHA notes that 2.3 million workers nationwide are exposed to silica. When inhaled, these tiny particles – the product of cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling, and crushing stone, rock, concrete, brick, blocks and mortar – increase the risk of serious silica-related diseases such as silicosis, an incurable lung disease. Workers exposed to silica are also at risk for kidney disease, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

U.S. Department of Labor Reminds Specific Employers to Submit Required 2020 Injury and Illness Data by March 2, 2021

First published by OSHA.

Photo: OSHA

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reminds employers that the agency will begin collecting calendar year 2020 Form 300A data on Jan. 2, 2021. Employers must submit the form electronically by March 2, 2021.

Electronic submissions are required by establishments with 250 or more employees currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, and establishments with 20-249 employees classified in specific industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses.

Visit the Injury Tracking Application Electronic Submission of Injury and Illness Records to OSHA for more information and a link to the Injury Tracking Application.

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.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

OSHA issues COVID-19 prevention guidelines for cleaning staff

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

See the source image

Washington — A new guidance document from OSHA is intended to help cleaning staff reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19.

Beyond the standard recommendations of wearing a face covering, staying home when feeling ill, washing hands frequently and maintaining at least 6 feet of distance, OSHA says cleaning staff should:

  • Use Environmental Protection Agency-approved disinfectants or cleaning chemicals.
  • Wear disposable gloves to clean, sanitize and disinfect common surfaces.
  • Wipe equipment before and after use.
  • Use the warmest water level that is safe and dry laundry completely.
  • Avoid dry sweeping, if feasible, and the use of high-pressure streams of water.
  • Wash their clothes as soon as they get home, if possible.
  • OSHA also encourages workers to report any safety and health concerns to their supervisor.

    The document is available in English and Spanish.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Stay safe when using portable generators

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
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Portable generators can be found in many workplaces. Among the risks users face, according to OSHA, are shocks and electrocution from improper use of power or unintentionally energizing other electrical systems, and fires from improperly refueling the generator or not storing fuel correctly.

A major (and potentially deadly) hazard is exposure to carbon monoxide – a colorless, odorless, toxic gas that’s produced from a portable generator’s exhaust. Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, headaches, nausea/vomiting, tiredness, confusion and loss of consciousness. If a worker is showing any of these symptoms, get him or her to fresh air and seek medical attention.

“Do not reenter the area until it is determined to be safe by trained and properly equipped personnel,” OSHA cautions.

Help workers avoid carbon monoxide poisoning while working with portable generators by following these tips:

  • Inspect generators for loose or damaged fuel lines.
  • Keep generators dry.
  • Maintain and operate generators according to manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Don’t use portable generators indoors or in an enclosed space such as a basement or garage.
  • Don’t place generators near doors, windows or ventilation shafts where carbon monoxide can enter and build up.
  • Make sure generators have 3 to 4 feet of clearance on all sides and above to ensure adequate ventilation.

McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Holiday workplace safety: OSHA publishes tips, resources

First published by OSHA.

See the source imageWashington — To help keep safe the workers who play a role in getting “gifts from the warehouse to your home” for the holidays, OSHA has published a series for seasonal workplace safety tips and a video – including COVID-19-related guidance.

The agency’s recommendations cover workers in retail sales, order fulfillment and delivery. For retail employees, OSHA provides COVID-19 control and prevention tips. For delivery workers, the agency has four resources, including advice for the trucking industry, winter weather precautions and safety practices at a destination. Finally, for workers fulfilling orders, OSHA offers a warehousing safety resource along with information on forklift safety and ergonomics.

For all workplaces, the agency provides answers to a series of FAQs on protecting workers from exposure to the coronavirus, as well as videos on COVID-19 and training. It also supplies information on workers’ rights, temporary and seasonal workers, and young workers.

“As the nation enters a very different holiday shopping season, employers must ensure that all workers are trained to recognize and prevent job hazards, and incorporate safe work practices to prevent exposure to the coronavirus,” OSHA says.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Fall 2020 regulatory agenda: OSHA infectious diseases standard still ‘long-term action’

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
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Photo: OSHA

Washington — A potential infectious diseases standard from OSHA remains on the list of long-term actions in the Department of Labor’s regulatory agenda for Fall 2020 – the last under the Trump administration.

Released Nov. 9, the agenda – issued by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs twice a year – gives the status of and projected dates for all potential regulations listed in three stages: pre-rule, proposed rule and final rule. Listings marked “long term” aren’t expected to be worked on for at least six months.

That could change, however, if President-elect Joe Biden – after taking office Jan. 20 – directs OSHA to issue an emergency temporary standard on infectious diseases related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Such a directive would require the agency to then develop a permanent standard within six months.

Much of the rest of the agenda remains largely unchanged since the previous agenda was released July 1, although five OSHA regulations were finalized:

On July 10, MSHA announced no changes were made to the agency’s training requirements for refuge alternatives in underground coal mines, removing its only final rule from the agenda.

MSHA has one addition to the agenda: a proposed update and clarification to 30 CFR 50 – its rules on “notification, investigation, reports and records of accidents, injuries, employment and coal production in mines.”

The agency is seeking to revise the definition of “occupational injury/illness” to include “work-related.” It also seeks to review incidents that need to be reported within 15 minutes, noting in the agenda item that “the current list includes 12 types of accidents, and may be overly broad.” Also planned by MSHA is an accommodation of electronic reporting and recordkeeping, as well as a proposed attempt to “reduce recordkeeping and reporting burdens, to the extent feasible.”

OSHA’s standard on tree care operations has moved from pre-rule to proposed rule, and a notice of proposed rulemaking could be published in October. Another new item on the agenda is the proposed removal of 1910.217(g) from OSHA’s Mechanical Power Presses Standard, which requires the reporting of injuries resulting from mechanical power presses and the reporting criteria therein.

“There is a lack of evidence that OSHA uses this specific data,” which the agency states is already required under its Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Requirement Standard.

A new final rule listed would change the interpretation of the anti-retaliation provision of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, based on the Supreme Court’s opinion in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar issued in 2013. In the case, the court held that defendants must prove in anti-retaliation cases that retaliation was the sole motivating factor for an adverse action such as a firing, instead of one of multiple motivating factors.

OSHA’s potential rule on workplace violence in health care and social assistance remains in the pre-rule stage, but a Small Business Advocacy Review panel is expected to convene in the near future, one of the next steps in the regulatory process.


McCraren Compliance sees the solution in our people. We are developing each person into a safety leader by recognizing and valuing them as humans and teaching them to do the same with their co-workers. We are creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.