OSHA Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements: What’s New In 2017

OSHA’s recordkeeping rule found in standard 29 CFR 1904, requires employers with more than 10 employees to record and report serious work-related fatalities, injuries and illnesses, except for certain low-risk industries.

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Recent provisions to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s recordkeeping rule will take effect on January 1, 2017. Are you aware of what will change? Let us walk you through!

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What Is HAZWOPER? Who Needs HAZWOPER Training (and When)?

HAZWOPER is the term used to describe Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard by OSHA (29 CFR Part 1910.120). Because of hazardous waste’s significant threat to workers’, public and environmental health, OSHA’s HAZWOPER standard was issued to protect workers engaged in hazardous waste clean-up and emergency response operations.

HAZWOPER is the term used to describe Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard by OSHA (29 CFR Part 1910.120). According to Pete Rice, Certified Safety Professional and Industrial Hygienist, hazardous substances are “a serious safety and health problem that continues to endanger human and animal lives and the environment. Discarded hazardous substances or hazardous waste that is toxic, flammable or corrosive can cause fires, explosions and pollution of air, water, and land. Unless hazardous wastes are properly treated, stored or disposed of, they will continue to do great harm to livings things that contact them now or in the future.”

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Top 10 OSHA Citations In 2016 And How To Avoid Them

“In one year, over 10,000 severe workplace injuries will be reported to OSHA, and almost half of those will be fatalities” – said Cathy Evans, ClickSafety Corporate Account Manager, in the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) podcast – “They can all be prevented if people had the information and knowledge to keep themselves safe. When these tragedies are investigated, we often find out that the workers weren’t trained. They didn’t have the information they need.”

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced preliminary results for its most frequent violations at the National Safety Council (NSC) Congress & Expo.

The top 10 OSHA violations for 2016 include:

1. Fall Protection 501: this standard specifies where fall protection is required as well as the proper installation of safety systems to prevent falls in Construction.

2. Hazard Communication 1200: OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires development and distribution of information for employees regarding the hazards of chemicals used in the workplace, in the form of labels and safety data sheets (SDS), as well as adequate training for employees to thoroughly understand hazard chemical exposure risks.

3. Scaffolds 451: this standard outlines the requirement for implementing and accessing scaffolds in Construction.

4. Respiratory Protection 134: this standard addresses preventing occupational diseases caused by atmospheric contamination such as harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, gases, smokes and sprays.

5. Lockout/Tagout 147: companies were mostly given citations for improperly training employees on lockout/tagout procedures, not having a lockout/tagout procedure in place or lacking periodic inspections of existing procedure.

6. Powered Industrial Trucks 178: this standard addresses safety requirements relating to operation of powered industrial trucks, commonly called forklifts or lift trucks.

7. Ladders 1053: hazards in this category are mostly associated with improper use of portable ladders in Construction, likely due to inadequate training.

8. Machine Guarding 212: Moving machine parts could cause severe injuries such as crushed fingers, hands, amputations, burns, or blindness, hence necessary safeguards and safety training are required to eliminate these various hazards.

9. Electrical Wiring 305: citations are commonly issued for unsafe substitutes for permanent wiring and incorrect use of extension cords

10. Electrical, General Requirements 303: improperly installed or incorrect use of electric equipment, and obstructed working space around electric equipment commonly lead to OSHA citations in this category.

“In one year, over 10,000 severe workplace injuries will be reported to OSHA, and almost half of those will be fatalities” – said Cathy Evans, ClickSafety Corporate Account Manager, in the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) podcast – “They can all be prevented if people had the information and knowledge to keep themselves safe. When these tragedies are investigated, we often find out that the workers weren’t trained. They didn’t have the information they need.”

Workers’ safety and health should always be companies’ number one priority. To ensure that workers are going home unharmed every night, companies must not only have an effective safety training program, but also focus on building a strong safety culture. “It’s not easy to build a strong safety culture, and it’s not easy for a safety director or business leader to do it all,” Evans stated. Every employee should be responsible for safety.

When asked to give advice for companies working to build effective safety culture, Evans suggested, “Take it very seriously for your business because if you’re not, it has tremendous impact on your business. We’d want to make sure that you’re performing  job hazard analysis for your workers. And if you don’t have somebody who’s qualified to do that within your company, consult with a third-party safety organization. If you put someone in charge of safety for your organization, such as a safety director, make sure you’re not just assigning it to somebody who just started with your company, but rather somebody who really is qualified and has the credentials.”

To listen to the full podcast, click below:

podcast-the-impact-of-building-a-safety-culture

Top 5 Reasons Companies Invest In Current Safety Management Practices

Understanding the risk at hand, more companies are actively investing in safety management practices to prevent unfortunate incidents from happening. The 2016 SmartMarket Report asked survey respondents to rank factors that most influenced their companies to adopt the current safety management practices. Its finding shows that factors like “regulatory requirements” and “owner/client demand” are on the decline, while factors linked directly to positive effects of a strong safety culture are on the rise.

The benefits of a strong safety culture are increasingly recognized, leading companies to realize the difference a passive approach makes in comparison to an active one. Companies that passively react when a workplace incident happens tend to face a much larger cost. Additionally, this summer OSHA announced adjusting its civil penalty amounts for inflation starting August 1, 2016. Following the new rule, OSHA’s maximum penalties which had stayed the same since 1990, now increase by 78 percent. Top penalty for serious violations hence increases from $7,000 to $12,471 and maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations increases from $70,000 to $124,709.

Understanding the risk at hand, more companies are actively investing in safety management practices to prevent unfortunate incidents from happening. The 2016 SmartMarket Report asked survey respondents to rank factors that most influenced their companies to adopt the current safety management practices. Its finding shows that factors like “regulatory requirements” and “owner/client demand” are on the decline, while factors linked directly to positive effects of a strong safety culture are on the rise.

Here are the top five reasons companies invest in current safety management practices in the construction industry:  

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Safety Leadership: Jobsite Workers’ Role in Building Safety Culture

As employers, it’s critical to protect your workers by building a strong safety culture both from the top down and bottom up! Not only organizational safety leaders should proactively develop an effective safety training program, but jobsite workers must be included in all safety and health planning also.

This year Labor Rights Week focused on reminding ALL U.S workers their right to a safe, healthy and hazard-free workplace. As employers, it’s critical to protect your workers by building a strong safety culture both from the top down and bottom up! Not only organizational safety leaders should proactively develop an effective safety training program, but jobsite workers must be included in all safety and health planning also. We’ve heard of unfortunate mistakes made by several employers in the recent period, such as failure to implement fall protection system, lack of training on machine safety procedures known as lockout/tagout, as well as exposing workers to blocked exits, fall hazards, amputation and chemical hazards. These losses could have been prevented by effective safety training on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), how to prevent slips, trips, and falls, avoid electrical hazards, and more. It’s important to note that providing training is completely different from developing an effective, on-going safety training program, as part of building a strong safety culture (Why should you care? We discussed the benefits of a strong safety culture here).

This blog will explain the role of jobsite workers in ensuring workplace safety and best practices for safety leadership.

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Safety Culture Definition and What It Means to Organization Leaders

Creating a strong safety culture may take months, even years. The 2016 SmartMarket Report: Building A Safety Culture by Dodge Data & Analytics identifies 33 indicators of a safety culture and divides them into seven groups. Management commitment to safety and health is first on the list.

According to OSHA’s definition, in a strong safety culture, “everyone feels responsible for safety and pursues it on a daily basis; employees go beyond the “call of duty” to identify unsafe conditions and behaviors, and intervene to correct them.” Great safety cultures have proved to result in many benefits, including lower injury rates, increased ability to retain existing staff and attract new staff, as well as higher ROI. Dedication to safety and health does not only pertain to high hazard industries such as construction. Big companies in other sectors like Coca-Cola recognized that its success in the long run relies on ensuring the safety of its workers. Because of those benefits, safety related expenses should be deemed investments, not costs.

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