SCOTUS Scuttles OSHA’s ETS on COVID-19 Testing, Vaccination

Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh hopes employers ontinue to promote vaccination and testing for employees, despite the U.S. Supreme Court decision that halted OSHA ETS for vaccination-or-testing mandate.
Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh hopes employers continue to promote vaccination and testing for employees, despite the U.S. Supreme Court decision that halted OSHA ETS for vaccination-or-testing mandate.

In an unsigned opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has ruled against the Biden administration and halted enforcement of the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard mandating that companies with 100 or more employees require vaccination or weekly testing for COVID-19. The ETS impacted more than 84 million workers in thousands of workplaces around the country and SCOTUS’ opinion makes it clear the majority of justices believe OSHA’s ETS overstepped the agency’s mandate to protect employees from workplace hazards.

Under the standard, covered employers were required to develop, implement and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, unless they adopt a policy requiring employees to choose to either be vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face … Read more...

How to Survive an OSHA Inspection: Part 2

If OSHA comes knocking, be co-operative and responsive when the OSHA inspector arrives, but  maintaini control of the onsite safety inspection if possible.
If OSHA comes knocking, be co-operative and responsive when the OSHA inspector arrives, but maintain control of the onsite safety inspection if possible.

(Part 2 of this two-part blog post series explains what to expect during an OSHA on-site inspection, the rights a company has during an inspection and how to impose a level of control over how an inspection proceeds. Check out Part 1 to learn about the expected focus on OSHA onsite inspections in 2022 and how to prepare.)

Many companies aren’t prepared for a surprise examination of their workplace facilities so it’s essential to think ahead and establish parameters for inspection if and when Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspectors come to call.

Kirsten White, a partner with Atlanta-based legal firm Fisher Phillips LLC, recommends being co-operative and responsive when an OSHA inspector arrives, but to also focus on maintaining control of the onsite safety … Read more...

How to Survive an OSHA Inspection: Part 1

Expect much more investigation activity from OSHA in 2022, including OSHA enforcement, larger fines and shaming press releases.
Big changes are in store for companies that are facing OSHA inspections. Be prepared before an OSHA inspector arrives by creating an action plan that assigns inspection-related activities and provides a checklist of things to consider.

(This is Part 1 of a two-blog series explaining an expected course of OSHA inspections in 2022, the burden of proof required prior to an inspection, how to handle an informal complaint and what to do when an OSHA inspection happens. Part 2 will explore how to take control and manage an inspection.)

Expect much more investigation activity from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 2022 as the agency looks to increase its inspections and is emboldened by a federal government more favorable to enforcement.

Edwin Foulke, a partner with Atlanta-based law firm Fisher Phillips LLC, says he believes President Joe Biden’s administration will direct OSHA enforcement to reduce … Read more...

It’s Time to End the Blame Game and Start a Just Safety Culture

It's time for companies to build a just safety culture, where trust in workers is established, people feel safe to communicate their concerns and observations.
It’s time for companies to build a just safety culture, where trust in workers is established, people feel safe to communicate their concerns and observations and are apt do the right things regardless of who is watching.

It’s often said that accidents will happen, but in many workplaces there’s a tendency to blame someone for the mishap. It’s the kind of thinking that harms efforts to keep workers safe.

So says health and safety professional Rod Courtney who shared his views on how to create a “just” safety culture during a keynote speech at the recent EHS Today Safety Leadership Conference. Human errors in the workplace are normal and even the best people make mistakes on the job.

“Blaming those who make mistakes fixes nothing. We need to stop blaming people,” Courtney says. “It’s human nature to find fault. It’s human nature to find out who did it, someone … Read more...

Tips and Tactics for Reducing Workplace Aggression

An average of 455 incidents of workplace violence and abuse were perpetrated against retail shopworkers in Britain every day in 2019.
There are certain tactics that organizations can take to help reduce the frequency of aggressive acts toward front-line service staff.

An average of 455 incidents of violence and abuse were perpetrated against retail shopworkers in Britain every day in 2019, according to the British Retail Consortium. The U.K. Railway Safety and Standards Board reported that 94 percent of frontline rail staff experienced workplace abuse in 2020, with 25 percent of incidents being physical assaults. In the same year, the Fire Brigades Union found that UK firefighters were subjected to a total of 1,170 attacks. 

These sombre statistics illustrate just how serious the issue of aggression in the workplace is, particularly the variety carried out against frontline service delivery personnel.

Why are these numbers so high, and what can be done to reduce them? These were key questions addressed by Nicole Vazquez, Director at Worthwhile Training, a Stratford-upon-Avon, U.K.-based workplace consultancy … Read more...

How to Build Your Job Safety Analysis Plan

Job hazard analysis (JHA) or job safety analysis (JSA) help to identify risks and create safer workplaces.
Job hazard analysis (JHA) or job safety analysis (JSA) help to identify risks and create safer workplaces.

Too many workers are injured and killed each day at the workplace and employers need to do all they can to be aware of and reduce the risks to prevent workplace injuries. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates 2.3 million people around the world die from work-related accidents or diseases every year – a total that exceeds 6000 deaths each day. In addition, there are 340 million occupational accidents and 160 million victims of work-related illnesses annually.

Job hazard analysis (JHA) or job safety analysis (JSA) help to identify risks and create safer workplaces. JSA and JHA are generally interchangeable terms used to describe plans that define and outline how to control hazards associated with certain processes, jobs or procedures. It is a systematic examination and documentation of every task within a particular … Read more...

Lucky #7: Tips to Develop a Laser-Focused Safety Vision for 2022

A great safety process begins with a great safety vision.

When an organization believes in a vision, or in this case – a safety vision – it will elevate individual values to that of the shared vision. What it means to me as a safety professional is that I have a chance to capture an employee all day/every day, at work and at home. It fosters a partnership that extends past the employee-manager relationship and opens the door to new ideas and increases engagement while adding shareholder value.

It also allows me to challenge the organization when decisions are contemplated that threaten the success of the endorsed safety vision. Simply put, a great safety process begins with a great safety vision that is so real you can latch on to it and leverage it for success. It creates energy and a passion for making change happen. It inspires individuals and … Read more...

Secret Santa Tips for Surviving the Holidays

Santa’s safety and health tips should help you navigate the holiday season, whether it’s ladder safety or avoiding decking yourself instead of the halls.

Santa Claus has many years of experience with sourcing presents—the elves can’t make everything!—and in self-care (delivering presents to children around the world in a 24-hour period is hard work!).

Whether it’s buying presents, decorating the tree or staying healthy over the next few weeks, here are a few tips from the jolly guy himself to help you successfully and safely navigate the holiday season.

Presents: Visions of Product Safety Dance Through Our Heads

With the pandemic having pushed in-person shopping online for many people, it can be much harder being informed about your gift purchases. It also means fraudsters or businesses with low quality management standards are ready to take advantage of desperate shoppers. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while stress-testing your credit card. … Read more...

‘Tis the Season to Stay Safe

Winter weather brings challenges. Each year more than 1 million Americans are injured and approximately 17,000 die as the result of falling on ice or snow.
Along with snow and ice, winter brings with it some unique health and safety challenges.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but winter is also the season for extra caution and heightened safety awareness.

There’s risk on many fronts during snowy, cold and icy weather. Research shows that approximately 25,000 deaths related to hypothermia happen each year in the United States in addition to 8,000 that happen Canada. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), winter weather kills more than twice as many Americans as summer heat.

Flu rates peak from December to March, primarily because people spend more time indoors and potentially breathe the air of those who may be infected. And flu transmission favors cold, dry climates. Likewise outdoor risks are great. Driving can be treacherous, with more than 70 percent of roads in the United States and pretty much all of Canada located in … Read more...

Spoiled Food, Spoiled Holidays: Tips for Avoiding Foodborne Illness

To help you make sure your holiday celebrations take place in the home and not the emergency room, we’ve assembled some simple tips you can follow during the festive season. 
To help you make sure your holiday celebrations take place in the home and not the emergency room, we’ve assembled some simple tips you can follow during the festive season. 

Food plays a central role in many holiday traditions. With visits from friends and extended family, dining room tables and kitchen facilities will strain under the weight of the diverse dishes served over the next few weeks. 

However, the more food we have to prepare, the greater the possibility of foodborne illness or injuries related to food preparation making an unwelcome holiday appearance. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 48 million Americans get sick from foodborne illness each year. Of that number, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die. The most common culprit is campylobacter, bacteria that derive from poultry and cause infection of the intestinal tract, followed by salmonella and Cyclospora.  

To help you make sure … Read more...