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Compliance Update Affecting Your Vusiness: Proposed Changes to Injury and Illness Tracking

Injury Illness Reporting

You’re not the only one asking yourself “didn’t these changes already happen in January?”  You aren’t going crazy, there was indeed an injury and illness reporting change to kick off 2015, but they aren’t stopping  there.  These are additional proposed changes that have not yet been made official but will further not only OSHA’s but a business’s ability to track injuries and illnesses that happen within their company.

Reporting Requirement Impacts

The rule will not impact the obligations that fall on employers when it comes to criteria for recording or who is required to keep these records, it will only impact how businesses relay information from their records to OSHA.

Purpose of the Proposal

This change will allow OSHA to work more effectively with the resources that they have. Most of the logs of companies currently go unseen by OSHA. Through making the collection of these records through public posting, this will make the information more easily accessible and broken down for statistical analysis.

Affects on your Business

Changes that will occur in your processes include the way you submit your information to OSHA. This proposal will make it so all submissions are done electronically on a quarterly, annually or upon request basis based on your current company standing under OSHA guidelines.

Want more information about this proposed change go to:https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/proposed_data_form.html or keep checking back with us here, as we follow what develops.



Out of Site, Never out of Mind: Lone Worker Best Practices

Lone Worker Safety

All by myself, don’t want to be all by myself, ANYMOREEEE! What a great song and what a great way to sum up #loneworkerproblems. While working alone isn’t necessarily a bad thing, not having the proper communication systems in place to make sure your lone workers are safe is.

What is a Lone Worker

Workers don’t necessarily have to be working outside of your facility to be considered “lone workers”. A lone worker is anyone who works out of direct contact with others for a period of time whether it be just down the hall in a different part of the same building or out on the road.  Also, just because a worker is doing a task that doesn’t make them a “lone worker” one day doesn’t mean they can’t be one the next and vice versa.

Assessing Lone Worker Situations

Before a worker is scheduled to work alone on a project where they will be out of contact for a period of time, assess the situation and the level of danger associated with it to then determine necessary safety procedures.

Consider the:

  • Length of time the person will be working alone
  • Type of work
  • Location of the work
  • Expertise required to complete the work
  • Available communication

Lone Worker Safety Precautions

Lone workers tasks can vary greatly which will require specific precautions based on task however some general rules of thumb for workers who will be “away from the herd” include:

  • Establishing a check- in process
  • Scheduling high-risk tasks during normal hours when other workers are available to help should an emergency take place
  • Prepare an itinerary detailing where the lone worker will be and when
  • Develop an emergency action plan if a lone worker does not check-in as scheduled



A Year in Preparedness: Trips for Preparedness Through All Seasons of Safety

EmergencyPreparedness

When you think preparedness what do you think of? First thing that pops into my head is hurricane season, evacuations, wild fires; national preparedness month is September which falls in line with that way of thinking, but where does that leave your preparedness plan for the rest of the year?  Preparedness really should be a yearlong, continuous effort; awareness of your local conditions and the steps your facility can take to protect your business assets against any dangers.

Winter, summer, spring and fall, they all bring with them causes for concern.

Fall: Leaves change, compliance stays the same? As summer says farewell, many start preparing for the back half of the year. Pushing to finish out strong and don’t forget inventory, leading to higher stress levels, longer hours and quite possibly more mistakes? Minds are tired, and rushed; a dangerous cocktail when it comes to protecting against real hazards that pop up when corners are cut. It’s almost the holiday season so we rush to get everything done, and work on.

Winter: the biggie. Blizzards, icy condition, and the sheer weight of snow pile up and where to put it all, as temperatures plunge to new found lows. Driving is dangerous and heck even walking is a hassle. Muscles are achy, people are sick and more often than not just in a cold mood. Still we find ways to deal and work on.

Spring: Hibernation to full court press. It’s been a long cold hard winter no doubt, but here comes rain, and a lot of it. When’s the last time you backed up your important files. Leaky roof, slips, trips, and falls, and processes in need of maintenance all in the name of “spring cleaning”. As your facilities prepare for a summer that passes in the blink of an eye, there is so much work to do to get production moving. In the name of driving revenue we prepare and work on.

Summer: Hot, Hot, Hot! We’re talking heat stress, and driving dangers behind the wheel and on the sidewalk. Working in direct sunlight leads to total body exhaustion, not to mention heightened risks for skin cancer, dehydration at the very least. All of this while more people are driving, it is the prime time for road work, and therefore more accidents on the roads, recently hitting dangerous highs not seen since 2007.  It’s summer though and the sun is out, so we suck it up enjoy it while it lasts and work on.

Before you know it you’re back at where you began and it’s time to do it all again. The point being there is no single time in the year when a facility should focus on “preparedness” because it is marked on a calendar.  In every safety meeting make it a point to go over preparedness tactic for your facility and the season of safety that you are in.

How are you keeping your facility prepared all year round?

 


 

Workplace Safety News Roundup 

Workplace Safety News

Keeping track of new OSHA regulations and taking advantage of supplemental safety training and reading materials makes a big difference in the success of the programs you implement in your workplace. Seeing what others are doing both for the better and worse help mold an all encompassing safety initiative. Here is a sampling of some of the news buzzing around workplace safety this month.

OSHA final rule sets new process for making changes to State Plans

A new rule from OSHA aims to streamline the process of implementing changes to State Plans. An identical proposed and final rule were published in the Aug. 18 Federal Register. The rule eliminates references to standards that no longer apply, and deletes provisions that require State Plans to keep paper copies of approved programs and submit multiple copies of proposed State Plan documents to OSHA. Other rights and responsibilities of State Plans remain unchanged.

For more information click here

A New Standard for Beryllium

On Aug. 6, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced a long-awaited measure aimed at protecting workers from harmful exposure to beryllium by proposing to dramatically lower the amount of beryllium allowed in the air that workers breathe. The proposed rule − which would apply to about 35,000 workers − is significant for many reasons, but two are especially noteworthy.

Read More Here

Company Ordered to Pay $536K for Retaliating Against Injured Worker

OSHA has ordered a  freight railroad to reinstate an employee and pay him $536,063 for retaliating against him after reporting a knee injury. The company  must reimburse the worker for back pay, damages and attorney’s fees. The company disciplined the worker after he reported his injury in November 2010. The employee then filed a Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) anti-discrimination complaint with OSHA in February 2011. The company fired him in August 2011. OSHA says the company violated federal laws protecting whistleblowers.

Read More Here

Texas worker injured after being denied safety equipment; employers cited

Despite his request for a safety harness, a temporary worker without fall protection on a roof later fell 12 feet through the roof. His fall resulted in his hospitalization with fractured arms and severe contusions.  The employer waited three days to report the injury, an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administrationfound. Federal law requires employers to report such incidents within 24 hours.

Read More Here