Corrections to Standards

OSHA issued corrects to General Industry Standards 1910 – Subpart D Walking-Working Surfaces, Personal Protective Equipment, and Special Industries standards, Including:

Ladders 1910.23(d)(4) requires employers to ensure that the side rails of through or side-step ladders extend at least 42 inches above the top of the access level or landing platform served by the ladder. Prior to the correction 42 inches was listed as an exact measurement

Stairways 1910.25(a) clarifying that all articulated stairs used in general industry, not just those serving floating roof tanks, remain excluded from coverage by § 1910.25. Prior to the correction, only floating roof tank stairways were excluded from this standard

Personal Fall Arrest Systems 1910.140(c)(8) requires snaphooks, carabiners, and D-rings (and other hardware) to be proof tested to 3,600 pounds (ANSI/ASSE Z359.12-2009, section 3.1.1.6) and requires the gate of snaphooks and carabiners to be capable of withstanding a minimum load of 3,600 pounds without the gate separating from the nose of the snaphook or carabiner body by more than 0.125 inches (ANSI/ASSE Z359.12-2009, section 3.1.1.3).  Prior to the correction, the latter part of the requirement was out of alignment with the ANSI standard.

Visit the Federal Register for more details on the changes.

OSHA determined that this rulemaking is not subject to the procedures for public notice and comment specified in Section 4 of the Administrative Procedures Act (5 U.S.C. 553), Section 6(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 655(b)), and 29 CFR 1911.5. This rulemaking only corrects typographical, formatting, and clerical errors, and provides more information about the requirements of some provisions. As it does not affect or change any existing rights or obligations, no stakeholder is likely to object to these corrections. Therefore, the agency finds good cause that public notice and comment are unnecessary within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), 29 U.S.C. 655(b), and 29 CFR 1911.5.

To ensure your team is up to date on OSHA standards and industry best practices, sign up for training at McCraren Compliance today. Remember if you need a class you don’t see listed, just ask us.

 

 

Statement from OSHA Regarding Occupational Fatalities in 2018

OSHA reports Suicide at work increased 11% in 2018 and unintentional overdoses at working increased 11% according to the US Bureaus of Labor statistics. To help combat these serious issues affecting our workers, families, companies and the greater society, OSHA has a new webpage with free and confidential resources to help identify the warning signs of suicide and to help users know who and how to call for help.

OSHA is also working with National Safety Council on the release of a toolkit to help employers address opioid abuse in their workplaces and support workers in recovery. To see the full release from OSHA click here

McCraren Compliance offers Suicide Prevention in Workplace training through Working Minds. Email info@mccrarencompliance.com to find out more.

Number of OSHA inspections at Trump-administration high, agency says

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Photo: OSHA

Washington — OSHA conducted 33,401 inspections in fiscal year 2019 – the largest total during the Trump administration.

A Dec. 3 press release from the agency states that a record 1,392,611 workers were trained on safety and health requirements via the various education programs, and its free On-Site Consultation Program identified nearly 138,000 workplace hazards.

“OSHA’s efforts – rulemaking, enforcement, compliance assistance and training – are tools to accomplish our mission of safety and health for every worker,” Loren Sweatt, the agency’s acting administrator, said in the release. “I am proud of the diligent, hard work of all OSHA personnel who contributed to a memorable year of protecting our nation’s workers.”

The total number of inspections is the most since FY 2015, when 35,820 were conducted. The agency conducted 31,948 inspections the next fiscal year, then 32,408 in FY 2017 and 32,023 in FY 2018.

Between FY 2010 and FY 2012, OSHA conducted more than 40,000 inspections each fiscal year and more than 38,000 annually from FY 2003 to FY 2013.

One likely reason for the fewer number of inspections since that stretch is a dwindling number of OSHA inspectors, also known as compliance safety and health officers. The agency had a record-low 875 CSHOs as of Jan. 1, according to a National Employment Law Project data brief issued in March. In an April 3 congressional appropriations hearing, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) pointed to a federal hiring freeze during the first year of President Donald Trump’s administration, as well as retirements and resignations, as factors.

To try to counteract that, the Department of Labor committed to adding 26 new full-time equivalent inspectors to the agency for FY 2019 after adding 76 CSHOs in FY 2018.

Then-Secretary of Labor R. Alexander Acosta testified during the April hearing that he expected inspections to increase once the new CSHOs were up to speed. In his written testimony for the hearing, Acosta acknowledged that it could take one to three years to get the inspectors working in the field unsupervised.

100 Years of the Hard Hat, 100 Years of Safety

Photo by ©Thinkstock

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the invention of the hard hat. The hard hat is one of the most recognizable pieces of safety equipment in the world. Hard hats were first worn by construction workers beginning in the 1920s. Over the years, hard hats have come to symbolize the strength of the construction industry and its workers.

Hard hats are designed to protect workers from head injuries due to falling objects or overhead hazards by reducing the intensity and distributing the pressure of impacts to the head. The E.D. Bullard Company, in San Francisco, California, was the first manufacturer to develop and sell hard hats that were used by some miners and laborers. At the time, Bullard referred to their product as the “Hard Boiled®” hat. In the early 1930s, electricians in Boston, Massachusetts, also began wearing hard hats. By the mid-1930s, construction of the Golden Gate Bridge began, and all workers were expected to wear hard hats [Carpenter et al. 2019].

During the ensuing 40 years, hard hats of various shapes and materials reached the market. These included hard hats made of steel, aluminum, canvas and resin, Bakelite®, and fiberglass. In each case, these hats were advertised as light, resilient, and cool while protecting the worker. In the 1960s, hard hats made of plastics such as polyethylene were sold. In the 1970s, when OSHA and NIOSH were created under the OSH Act, the use of hard hats was regulated as part of the head protection standard, and hard hat use significantly expanded [OSHA 2019]. As demand increased, more manufacturers produced hard hats, including MSA, Honeywell, 3M, and Kask [Rosenberg et al. 2010].

The hard hat has a rich history, but its design has remained fairly consistent over the decades, including a suspension system and outer shell. In recent years, safety helmets, similar to those worn in mountain climbing or ice hockey, have begun to be used on some construction sites to improve worker protections beyond that provided by the traditional hard hat. NIOSH is studying the performance and design of hard hats and safety helmets to improve overall personal protection with the hope of potentially reducing the likelihood of traumatic brain injury caused by falls and to save lives [Konda et al. 2016; Wu et al. 2017]. NIOSH researchers are also working to improve consensus standards that address hard hat performance.

OSHA issued a temporary enforcement policy for crane operator certifications from Crane Institute Certification.

WASHINGTON, DC – To avoid industry confusion and potential disruptions of construction crane projects, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an enforcement policy for crane operator certifications issued by Crane Institute Certification (CIC). OSHA requires crane operators engaged in construction activity to be certified by an entity accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency. CIC no longer holds such accreditation.

The policy explains that, although CIC-issued certifications are not compliant with OSHA’s operator certification requirement, OSHA does not intend to cite employers for operating equipment that violates that requirement if their operators, in good faith, obtained CIC-issued certifications prior to December 2, 2019, with the belief the certifications met the standard’s requirements. Until further notice, OSHA will not accept CIC certifications – including re-certifications – issued on or after December 2, 2019.

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 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.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

10 tips for starting a workplace safety and health program

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Photo: PeopleImages/iStockphoto

Does your workplace lack a safety and health program? If you’re looking to create one, OSHA offers 10 tips to get you going.

  1. Make safety and health a core value. Ensure workers know that having them go home safely each night is the way you do business. Let them know their health is a top concern, and make it clear that any hazards will be taken seriously and addressed.
  2. Show workers your organization cares about their safety by making safety part of daily interactions with employees.
  3. Create a well-communicated, simple reporting system workers can use to report injuries, illnesses or incidents, such as near misses. Workers need to know that they won’t be retaliated against, so include an option to make the process anonymous.
  4. Educate workers on identifying and controlling potential hazards.
  5. Regularly conduct inspections with workers, and ask them to help identify issues that concern them regarding safety.
  6. Make workers part of the safety process by asking them for hazard control ideas. “Provide them time during work hours, if necessary, to research solutions,” OSHA advises.
  7. Have workers choose, implement and evaluate hazard control solutions.
  8. Determine foreseeable emergency situations that may arise, and have a plan in place on how to handle them. Display procedure signs in visible areas of the workplace.
  9. Before making significant changes, consult with employees about potential safety and health issues.
  10. Always aim for improvement. “Set aside a regular time to discuss safety and health issues, with the goal of identifying ways to improve the program,” OSHA recommends.