H&S Compliance Basics: Key Regulatory Bodies, by Region

In the U.S., the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970 stipulates what employers are responsible for in the area of H&S. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), part of the U.S. Ministry of Labor, was created in 1971 to enforce the Act and amend it when necessary.

Individual U.S. states are encouraged, but not required, to establish their own safety and health administrations. In 2018, 26 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands had OSHA-approved plans. Many state plans adopt standards identical to OSHA. OSHA approves and monitors all state plans and provides up to 50 percent of the funding for each program. State-run safety and health programs must be at least as effective (ALAE) as the federal OSHA program. Twenty-two of these programs cover both private and state and local government workers. OSHA provides coverage to certain workers specifically excluded from a state plan, such … Read more...

OSHA’s Most Common Citations: Hazard Communications

Hazard communication is one of OSHA’s perennial top-10 citations. Without the labeling and training required by the hazard communication standard (29 CFR 1910.1200), workers might not realize that the chemicals they work with every day could be causing cancer, allergies, lung disease or reproductive harm.

After all, while you can clearly see that a sharp blade might cut your arm off, the link between a chemical exposure and a cancer that doesn’t appear until 20 years later is much less visible.

That said, the requirements of the hazard communication standard are fairly straightforward.

  • Employers are required to make a list of all chemicals that are present in the workplace.
  • Employers must have a written hazard communication plan that addresses all facets of compliance, including in-house labeling systems, contractor chemical safety, and unlabeled pipes.
  • Chemical manufacturers, importers and distributors are required to ensure that chemicals are properly labeled. Employers receiving these
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OSHA’s Most Common Citations: Ladders and Scaffolds

Falls are one of the leading causes of serious injury and death in the workplace, and OSHA is serious about preventing them. Four of the agency’s 10 most cited standards in 2017 were related to fall prevention, including the rules for ladder safety and scaffolds.

In 2016, OSHA updated its general industry walking-working surfaces standards (found in 29 CFR 1910 Subpart D) and its scaffold standards (found in Subpart I). With the exception of some requirements for updating fixed ladders, the requirements of the updated standards became effective in 2017.

Workers must be protected from falling when they use fixed or portable ladders, as well as mobile ladder stands and platforms. OSHA requires all ladders to be:

  • Capable of supporting their maximum intended load. Mobile ladder stands and platforms must be capable of supporting four times their maximum intended load.
  • Inspected before each work shift for defects that could cause
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Taking the Headache Out of Health and Safety Compliance

It’s a cold, hard fact of doing business: at some point, you’re going to have to prove to regulators that you’re providing your employees a safe and healthy workplace. Demonstrating your company’s compliance with Health and Safety regulations can take many forms, including regularly submitting accident and injury reports to government or providing necessary data to inspectors, should they show up at your door.

Maintaining compliance can be an onerous task, what with capital expenditures on equipment, staff training costs and keeping reports and data organized and easily accessible. A new Intelex Insight Report looks to help take the headache out of the compliance process by examining:

  • The key areas that regulators such as the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA) demand compliance on.
  • The benefits of being compliant. While risk can never be completely eliminated from the work process, maintaining compliance can result in numerous monetary and non-monetary
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Making sense of OSHA’s E-recordkeeping Rule

Mandatory submission of injury and illness data to OSHA through a dedicated Web-based portal should, in theory, make the process quick and easy. However, a recent spate of real and proposed changes to the agency’s E-Recordkeeping Rule has left many employers wondering if they are required to submit injury and illness data for certain establishments, by when they must do it, and what the consequences are of not submitting the data.

The latest in Conn Maciel Carey LLP’s OSHA webinar series addressed these topics and provided some much-needed clarity for employers. Dan Deacon, an Associate in the Washington, D.C.-based law firm’s OSHA Practice group, highlighted an important change to the annual electronic recordkeeping requirement promulgated under the Obama Administration in May 2016. Under the plain text of the Rule, this year, establishments with 250 or more employees are supposed to submit not only their 300A data, but also data from … Read more...

Technology OSHA Citations You Need to Know

In the world of health and safety, there are certainly some things that rarely or ever change. Case in point – some of the routine citations issued against various standards non-compliances by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Each year, OSHA tallies up the citations it has issued and publishes a list of the 10 most cited standards. There are a half-dozen that almost always make that list, and include:

  • Falls are among the leading causes of serious injury and death in the workplace, and OSHA is serious about preventing them. Four of the agency’s 10 most cited standards in 2017 were related to fall prevention, including the rules for ladder safety and scaffolds.
  • Hazard communication are an OSHA’s perennial top-10 citations. Without the labeling and training required by the hazard communication standard (29 CFR 1910.1200), workers might not realize that the chemicals they work with every day
Read more...

Why it’s critical to get Lockout/Tagout right

The Lockout/Tagout (Control of Hazardous Energy) standard is one of the most frequently cited standards of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA). For this reason and many others, says Eric Conn, Chair, OSHA/Workplace Safety Practice Group at Conn Maciel Carey LLP, companies should make compliance with the standard an area of focus. The firm, which specializes in OSHA-related matters, sees Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) consistently appearing in the top five on OSHA’s list of most frequently-cited standards.

“OSHA is paying a lot of attention to it,” Conn said during a recent webinar devoted to the topic.

“It’s known as the low-hanging fruit. When OSHA is in your facility, no matter what it is that caused them to be there, [LOTO] is something they can find and cite rather easily, and they do.”

The LOTO standard is designed to protect workers from hazardous energy and moving mechanical parts while they are … Read more...

Trump’s OSHA deregulation push is no fait accompli

The spotlight throughout 2018 will once again be on the Trump administration’s efforts to deregulate government and roll back regulations brought in under the Obama government. When it comes to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), however, one expert believes the current president will not have an easy time making any big changes.

During his first year in office, Trump moved forward with some notable initiatives aimed at deregulation. He relied on the rarely-used Congressional Review Act to eliminate 14 regulations, including two OSHA-related rules, the “Volks” rule around record-keeping and the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” rule.

Another example of rollback action took place in January 2017, when Trump brought in the so-called “2-for-1” regulations. This executive order stipulates that if any government agency wants to get a new rule out they must cancel two older ones.

In addition, some OSHA rules that have not been updated in … Read more...

The High Cost of Musculoskeletal Disorders – And How to Lessen Them

A single workplace musculoskeletal injury can cost a company between $18,000 and $60,000, according to Mike Kim, CTO and co-founder of StrongArm Technologies, a safety data solution provider.

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) affect muscles, tendons, blood vessels, nerves, ligaments, discs, etc. Aside from the compensation costs paid to injured workers, a company can also incur indirect costs, including lost productivity, the cost of replacing affected employees, and the price tag that comes with training their replacements.

“Because of these indirect factors, OSHA believes the cost might be doubled,” said Kim, speaking during a recent Intelex EHSQ community webinar. “Then we’re looking at $36,000 to $120,000 for one injury. And that’s not to mention the personal toll it takes on the workers and their families, and their livelihood.”

To help prevent MSDs, it’s important to know what causes them. The main factor, according to the 2017 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Read more...

EHSQ Community | OSHA and ISO 45001 Updates

Community Expert member Eric J Conn shares an update on the OSHA’s Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Data Submission and Anti-Retaliation Rule.  We invite you to join our Environmental, Health and Safety, and Quality professional community, and share your knowledge with other members.

  • OSHA’s Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Data Submission and Anti-Retaliation Rule with member Eric J Conn
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders: Is Your Workforce Protected? by Michael Kim and Matthew Marino
  • Next steps for ISO 45001 September 2017 by member Chris J Ward
  • Ask you ISO 45001 questions in our ISO 45001 OHSMS group

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