Biden says OSHA will issue an emergency temporary standard on COVID-19 vaccination, testing

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Washington — OSHA is developing an emergency rule that will require employers with at least 100 workers to “ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week,” President Joe Biden announced Sept. 9.

The announcement was made on the same day the president signed Executive Orders requiring federal employees and most federal contractors to be vaccinated. Additionally, nursing home, hospital, home health care facility and other medical facility workers – who treat Medicare or Medicaid patients – are now required to be vaccinated.

“Some of the biggest companies are already requiring [vaccines],” Biden said. “The bottom line: We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers. We’re going to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by increasing the share of the workforce that is vaccinated in businesses all across America.”

The emergency rule will require covered employers to give workers paid time off to get a COVID-19 vaccine, Biden said.

A recent survey conducted by the National Safety Council found that employer-required vaccinations resulted in a 35% increase in the number workers who got a shot(s), according a Sept. 10 press release from the nonprofit organization.

“With the nation’s death toll nearing 650,000 lives lost, we must double down on evidence-based solutions – COVID-19 vaccinations – to keep people safe,” NSC President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin said. “Employers are widely trusted by their workers and can play a pivotal role in increasing vaccination rates of people throughout the country to save lives, from the workplace to anyplace.”

In a statement issued Sept. 9, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), ranking member of the House Education and Labor Committee, said the president had “no business issuing a burdensome vaccine regulation that will further harm overworked and struggling business owners.”

The National Association of Manufacturers, which represents more than 14,000 U.S. businesses, said it looks forward to working with the administration “to ensure any vaccine requirements are structured in a way that does not negatively impact the operations of manufacturers that have been leading through the pandemic to keep Americans safe.”

Meanwhile, Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, an advocacy group, called the mandate a “missed opportunity” to expand COVID-19 prevention plans to all workplaces. An OSHA emergency temporary standard, which went into effect in June, applies only to health care settings. In addition, National COSH Co-Executive Director Jessica Martinez notes that physical distancing, improved ventilation, shift rotation and personal protective equipment are “important components of an overall plan to reduce risk and stop the virus,” but are missing from Biden’s plan.

Employers who have questions about implementing a vaccine requirement or providing other safety measures can consult resources from SAFER: Safe Actions for Employee Returns – an NSC initiative aimed at developing industry- and risk-specific resources and recommendations for employers.


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.

US Department of Labor awards more than $6.7M in worker safety, health training grants to 37 recipients

Newly available grants focus on stopping spread of infectious disease, including coronavirus

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced the award of more than $6.7 million in grants to 37 nonprofit organizations nationwide to fund education and training programs to help workers and employers recognize infectious diseases, including coronavirus health hazards, and identify preventive measures for a safe workplace. In addition to hazard control, the training will also include understanding worker rights and employer responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

The award includes “Workplace Safety and Health Training on Infectious Diseases, including the Coronavirus” grants funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The grants derive from the Susan Harwood Workplace Safety and Health Training program, named for in honor of the late Susan Harwood, former director of OSHA’s Office of Risk Assessment. In her 17-year OSHA career, she helped develop federal standards to protect workers from bloodborne pathogens, cotton dust, benzene, formaldehyde, asbestos, and lead in construction.

The program funds grants to nonprofit organizations, including community and faith-based groups, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor-management associations, colleges and universities. Target trainees include small-business employers and underserved vulnerable workers in high-hazard industries. These grants are a critical element in supporting OSHA’s role in educating workers on their rights and assisting employers with providing safe workplaces.

Learn more about the 2021 Susan Harwood Training Grant Program recipients.


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 News

First published by OSHA

Photo property of OSHA

US Department of Labor publishes final interpretive rule amending one of the
rules interpreting the OSH Act’s anti-retaliation provision

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that its Occupational Safety and Health Administration has published a final interpretive rule that changes a rule interpreting the anti-retaliation provision of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

In 1973, OSHA established Part 1977 – Discrimination against Employees under OSH Act of 1970 that contains interpretive regulations and procedures governing the agency’s administration of cases under section 11(c), which prohibits employers from retaliating against employees because they have engaged in protected activity, including complaining about unsafe or unhealthful working conditions.

The revised final interpretive rule clarifies the causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse action (29 CFR 1977.6). This change brings the provision in line with the Supreme Court’s holdings in Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc., Univ. of Tex. Sw. Med. Ctr. v. Nassar, and Bostock v. Clay County, Georgia. The agency also revised the regulation by adding terms to reflect the full scope of section 11(c)’s prohibition against retaliation.

The final rule is effective on Sept. 3, 2021.

Learn more about whistleblower protections.


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.

Carbon monoxide: The silent killer

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication
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Do your employees use gas-powered equipment at work? If so, they may be exposed to carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can deprive an exposed worker’s brain, heart and other vital organs of oxygen. Symptoms of mild exposure include nausea, dizziness and headache. High exposure can result in confusion, loss of consciousness, muscle weakness and more.

Protect your workers from carbon monoxide poisoning. Oregon OSHA has tips to help.

  • Survey your workplace to identify potential sources of exposure.
  • Educate workers about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Know the sources: Besides gasoline, natural gas, oil, propane, coal and wood can produce carbon monoxide.
  • Keep internal-combustion equipment in good operating condition.
  • Don’t use or operate fuel-powered engines or tools inside buildings or in partially enclosed areas.
  • Regularly test the air in poorly ventilated areas. Use mechanical ventilation when possible to keep carbon monoxide below unsafe exposure levels.
  • Use personal CO monitors where potential sources of carbon monoxide exist, Oregon OSHA says. “These monitors should be equipped with audible alarms to warn workers when CO concentrations are too high.”

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.

Labor Rights Week set for Aug. 31-Sept. 3

First published by DOL

En español

Collage showing immigrant workers in different occupations with the text "Labor Rights Week, August 30 to September 3. dol.gov/LaborRightsWeek"

Every day, millions of vulnerable workers head to jobs where they unnecessarily face dangerous or unfair conditions. Construction workers aren’t given necessary personal protective equipment and suffer injuries or fatalities as a result. Dishwashers are told to work overtime without pay. Garment workers are paid for each piece they sew – but those wages are less than the federal minimum wage.

Some aren’t aware of their rights because their employers failed to provide that information in a language they understand. Some are afraid to speak up for fear of losing their jobs or being deported.

During Labor Rights Week, Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, we’re getting the word out that ALL workers have the same right to a safe workplace and fair pay, as well as the right to report possible violations without retaliation. That’s because worker protections apply to everyone regardless of immigration status.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health AdministrationWage and Hour Division and Bureau of International Labor Affairs are teaming up with federal and state agencies, embassies and worker advocates to deliver that message to those who need to hear it most.

Many immigrant workers have performed essential duties throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important that they have meaningful access to information about their rights as they work diligently during these challenging times. It’s also important that employers understand their responsibilities and meet their obligations. We are committed to working together through education and compliance assistance.

Explore our resources, available in many languages, and learn more about how you can get involved at dol.gov/LaborRightsWeek.


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.

OSHA announces stand-down on preventing construction worker suicides

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Image from CPWR

OSHA is urging employers in the construction industry to take part in a weeklong safety stand-down to raise awareness about suicide prevention.

Slated for Sept. 6-10, the Suicide Prevention Safety Stand-Down coincides with National Suicide Prevention Month. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published last year concluded that male construction workers have one of the highest suicide rates when compared with other industries and are at four times greater risk than the general public.

“Work-related stress can have severe impacts on mental health and, without proper support, may lead to substance abuse and even suicide,” Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Jim Frederick said in the release. “Workers in construction face many work-related stressors that may increase their risk factors for suicide, such as the uncertainty of seasonal work, demanding schedules and workplace injuries that are sometimes treated with opioids.”

An OSHA press release highlights a number of the agency’s resources that employers can use during the weeklong event, as well as others produced by construction industry groups. The agency has assembled a task force to help raise awareness on the types of stress that construction workers may face.

OSHA’s regional offices in Kansas City and St. Louis initiated the first stand-down last year in partnership with The Builders’ Association, the Associated General Contractors of Missouri, the University of Iowa, Washington University, the University of Kansas, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, local worker unions and several employers. The event included more than 5,000 participants, the release states.

                                                       

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.

OSHA issues updated guidance on COVID-19

First published by OSHA

U.S. Department of Labor issues updated guidance on protecting
unvaccinated and other at-risk workers from the coronavirus

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued updated guidance to help employers protect workers from the coronavirus. The updated guidance reflects developments in science and data, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated COVID-19 guidance issued July 27.

The updated guidance expands information on appropriate measures for protecting workers in higher-risk workplaces with mixed-vaccination status workers, particularly for industries such as manufacturing; meat, seafood and poultry processing; high volume retail and grocery; and agricultural processing, where there is often prolonged close contact with other workers and/or non-workers.

OSHA’s latest guidance:

  • Recommends that fully vaccinated workers in areas of substantial or high community transmission wear masks in order to protect unvaccinated workers;
  • Recommends that fully vaccinated workers who have close contacts with people with coronavirus wear masks for up to 14 days unless they have a negative coronavirus test at least 3-5 days after such contact;
  • Clarifies recommendations to protect unvaccinated workers and other at-risk workers in manufacturing, meat and poultry processing, seafood processing and agricultural processing; and
  • Links to the latest guidance on K-12 schools and CDC statements on public transit.

OSHA continues to emphasize that vaccination is the optimal step to protect workers and encourages employers to engage with workers and their representatives to implement multi-layered approaches to protect unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk workers from the coronavirus.

As part of the agency’s ongoing commitment to review the COVID-19 Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard every 30-days, OSHA also said that the safeguards set forth by the standard remain more important than ever. After reviewing the latest guidance, science and data, and consulting with the CDC and partners, OSHA has determined the requirements of the healthcare ETS remain necessary to address the grave danger of the coronavirus in healthcare. OSHA will continue to monitor and assess the need for changes in the healthcare ETS each month.

Our priority is the safety and health of workers, and we will continue to enforce the law to ensure workers are protected from the virus while they are on the job, including through OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on COVID.


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.

Updated Small Business Handbook

First published by  OSHA

Photo: OSHA

OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have collaborated to issue an updated workplace safety and health handbook for small businesses. The Small Business Safety and Health Handbook (link to handbook) highlights the benefits of implementing an effective safety and health program, provides self-inspection checklists for employers to identify workplace hazards, and reviews workplace safety and health resources for small businesses.

The self-inspection checklists are designed to help general industry employers identify workplace hazards and to ensure workplace safety for their employees. Employers can use the checklists in several ways; including printing the documents, filling them out by hand or entering information in the fillable PDF forms.

Please share this resource with small business stakeholders, as appropriate.


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.

US Department of Labor kicks off national Safe + Sound Week, Aug. 9

First published by OSHA

Weeklong event recognizes effective workplace safety, health programs

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor encourages the nation’s employers to commit to workplace safety and health and join its Occupational Safety and Health Administration in observing Safe + Sound Week, Aug. 9-15, 2021.

A nationwide event that recognizes the successes of workplace safety and health programs, Safe + Sound Week also offers information and ideas on how to keep America’s workers safe.

“Each year, millions of workers suffer job-related injuries or illnesses, and thousands die in work-related incidents. These incidents hurt workers and their families, and harm businesses as well,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health James Frederick. “Most importantly, effective safety and health programs save lives and prevent injuries. They also help businesses improve safety and health compliance and avoid the many costs associated with workplace safety and health incidents.”

In 2020, more than 3,400 businesses helped raise awareness about workers’ safety and health. Successful safety and health programs can identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness, and can increase worker satisfaction, improve productivity and reduce costs associated with workplace injuries.

Participating in Safe + Sound Week is simple. Organizations of any size or in any industry looking for an opportunity to show their commitment to safety can participate. Visit the Safe + Sound website for more information, resources and tools to help plan and promote safety events.

Learn more about OSHA.


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.

Temporary power safety

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Temporary Power Safety is important in many industries - McCraren

Contact with electricity is one of the leading causes of fatalities in construction, according to OSHA.

Temporary power is allowed only for construction; remodeling; maintenance; repair; demolition of buildings, structures or equipment; or similar activities.

To ensure proper safety procedures are met when working with or around temporary power, temporary wiring should be designed and installed by a qualified electrician according to National Fire Protection Association 70E requirements. The qualified electrician can ensure the temporary power has the capacity to supply all connected loads. Other temporary power safety tips from the Electrical Safety Foundation International:

  • Temporary power equipment on a worksite should be protected from vehicle traffic, accessible only to authorized persons and suitable for the environmental conditions that may be present.
  • Establish a time frame of when temporary power will be removed or switched over to permanent power.
  • Inspect cords and wiring for damage or alterations, and remove any that aren’t in good working condition.
  • Make sure equipment, receptacles, and flexible cords and cables are properly grounded.
  • Ground fault circuit interrupter protection is required for all 125-volt, 15-, 20- and 30-ampere receptacle outlets. Listed cord sets or devices incorporating listed GFCI protection for portable use are permitted. Other receptacle outlets should be GFCI protected.
  • Test GFCIs monthly.

Once a project is complete, ESFI says that temporary power must be removed.


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.