With the end of 2016 came many things. Of course we say hello to 2017, but we also start this year with a new President of the United States and many new members of our government. Under President Obama, a number of regulatory initiatives were achieved, including a rule on crystalline silica, an electronic submission of injury/illness data, and an increase in penalties from OSHA citations. The election of now President Donald Trump brings questions of what 2017 will bring for industry, employers, and the occupational safety and health policies and regulations across the board. I will go over what OSHA has published as its plans going forward in 2017, without the unknowns of a new administration. Keep in mind that some items may be moved on aggressively by OSHA before the new administration has time to step in and negate them. Continue reading “What to Expect from OSHA in 2017”

Assessing risk has always played a vital role in the development and implementation of industrial machinery. Industrial robots, in particular, and other machinery are evolving, and therefore so are the needs and regulatory requirements for the identification and understanding of the risks involved in working with these machines. Thanks to the passage and enforcement of regulations governing the use of industrial machinery by organizations such as the Robotic Industry Association (RIA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the International Organization for Standards (ISO), conducting risk assessments on robotic systems and other machinery are not just good practices, they are mandatory. Continue reading “Risk Assessment Methodology for Robots and Other Machines”

The publication of the new ISO 45001 Standard, Occupational Health and Safety Management System, is once again being delayed. While the drafting committee has processed several thousand comments from the first draft already, another meeting is being scheduled for February 2017 to discuss and review the remaining comments.  Once all of the comments have been reviewed, the committee is expected to publish the new standard by the end of 2017 or early 2018. With the additional time the finalization of the ISO 45001 standard is being delayed, companies now have more time to prepare and implement any programs and changes for the new requirements. Stay tuned for more information on the finalization of this standard.

While there are numerous OSHA regulations that requires facilities to maintain written safety programs, many of you may be unaware of exactly which programs you are required to maintain. You may ask yourself “Do I need to have a written program for every single OSHA regulation?” One thing that is good to ask yourself is are you confident and prepared if OSHA visits your facility and inspects your safety programs? This list of safety programs and some of the aspects that are required to be outlined in them should provide guidance on what to keep in mind when deciding how to prioritize your safety programs. Continue reading “5 Must Have Safety Programs”

Many people in general industry are all too familiar with some of the vague or confusing requirements in OSHA’s lockout/tagout regulation 1910.147. In my years working with Conversion Technology, and visiting all sorts of different manufacturing sectors, there have been several mistakes and misconceptions regarding lockout/tagout that have popped up. Continue reading “8 Mistakes to Avoid to Ensure an Effective Lockout/Tagout Program”

Your injury and illness records are about to become public record!

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued another final rule this year. This new rule on facility recordkeeping will require employers to electronically submit injury and illness data to OSHA each year. The data submitted will be made public as part of an OSHA public records database. This change, as expected, is causing much controversy with employers throughout general industry sectors.

The new rule will require facilities with 250 or more employees to electronically submit their injury and illness information, from OSHA forms 300, 300A, and 301, to OSHA each year. Continue reading “OSHA’s New Recordkeeping Rule”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule to protect workers from exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The rule is comprised of two standards, one for Construction (1926.1153) and one for General Industry (1910.1053). Before going into the details of the final rules, here is a review of what crystalline silica is and why a new rule governing exposure to it is being pushed out. Continue reading “OSHA Releases Final Rule on Silica Exposure Requirements”

It feels like we have been talking about the enacting of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for years, probably because we have been discussing the different aspects and implementation plans since it came out in 2012. The last deadline for compliance with this regulation is almost here. With the three-year transition period for full implementation of this regulation ending on June 1, 2016, this standard and its components should be at the fore front of our minds. Continue reading “Final GHS Deadline Is Almost Here!”

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Now that 2015 has come to a close and 2016 is upon us, we will explore the ever evolving world of occupational health and safety and go through some of the upcoming regulation changes and emphasis priorities from OSHA in 2016.
2016 will bring some updated regulations, updated emphasis programs, and new methods for inspections and citations that are designed to allow for high value inspections of complex facilities and processes.

Continue reading “What to Expect From OSHA in 2016”