On December 12, 2018, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began to enforce compliance with the updated Beryllium Rule that went into effect on May 20, 2017. The purpose of this updated Rule is to limit employee exposure to beryllium, which is known to cause lung cancer and other chronic beryllium disease. Continue reading “Updates to the OSHA Beryllium Standard”

Robots have been a part of the industrial landscape for decades. As the world of industrial automation progresses, the number of employees and robots working in close quarters with each other continues to grow. With the increase in automation and the use of mobile and industrial robots, regulations are being updated to address the potential hazards posed by the changes in equipment and routine and non-routine tasks around robots in the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is training their inspectors to be aware of these regulatory changes and become familiar with industrial robot use. Not being aware of your facility’s requirements or of the changes in robot regulations could cost you. Continue reading “Are You at Risk of OSHA Citations for Robot Safety?”

On January 17, 2017, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updated their Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall Protection standards. While most of the changes to the rule have already been put into effect, several provisions have delayed effective dates, many of which are coming up soon. Is your facility ready to comply with these new rule changes? Continue reading “Is Your Facility Ready For The Updated OSHA Ladder Rules?”

While some facilities, typically with a corporate hierarchy, regularly conduct internal audits or answer internal questionnaires about their environmental and safety practice, it is not very common for a facility to have a review of all permits, programs, procedures, and equipment to make sure that they follow all federal, state, and local regulations and requirements. We recommend for all facilities to conduct periodical Environmental and Safety Compliance Reviews (ESCR) either with an internal team or by a third party. 

The ESCR should include a review of permit and recordkeeping requirements, procedures and SOPs, and employee training. The review should also include a physical walkthrough of the facility and process lines to identify any gaps in safety and environmental compliance. The ESCR can also be conducted in conjunction with global and corporate standards, management systems, as well as specified internal auditing procedures. The ESCR will not only identify gaps in compliance but will allow for the team to prioritize the abatement of the gaps based on capital investment required, time allocations, and employee and environmental safety. It is recommended the ESCR be conducted twice a year, or, at a minimum, once a year.

Some of the benefits of conducting regular ESCRs are as follows: Continue reading “Periodical Environmental and Safety Compliance Reviews are a Good Business Practice”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new rule for respirable crystalline silica went into effect on June 23, 2018. Prior regulations for silica were deemed to be outdated as new research regarding the negative health effects of respirable silica has been conducted. Exposure to high concentrations of silica dust can occur in the construction industry, precast construction and fabrication, concrete product manufacturing, and more. Workers who inhale small crystalline silica particles are at risk of developing severe illnesses, including silicosis (an incurable lung disease that could lead to disability or death), lung cancer, and kidney disease.


Continue reading “Are You In Compliance with OSHA’s New Silica Rule?”

Title: Practical Solutions to Combustible Dust Compliance
Date: Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Time: 01:30 PM Eastern Standard Time
Duration: 1.5 hours
Register: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1622114293951139331

Combustible dust poses one of the highest safety risks to a surprising variety of industries; some do not realize that their processes and materials generate combustible dust and could trigger a deadly explosion or even costly six-figure OSHA fines. Some studies have claimed that the average cost of abating combustible dust violations after an inspection is approaching $1 million. Industries, such as food, wood, chemical, plastics, and metals are regularly affected, but if you have baghouses and dust collectors, you may be affected as well. Continue reading “Free Webinar: Practical Solutions to Combustible Dust Compliance”

Imagine you are installing a new process line at your facility, and a building addition to house that line. During the construction and installation, along with your employees, you may have a general contractor on site to oversee the project, subcontractors to do the wiring and other specialized work, additional subcontractors to assist the construction or demolition of the surrounding area, temporary workers to clear the land, venders on site to tell you how great their equipment is, and maybe even some visitors from corporate. With these companies and workers walking and working on your property at any given time, how do you know who is responsible for preventing injuries and accidents? And, in case there is an injury or illness, who has failed to provide a safe workplace and is not compliant with OSHA requirements? Continue reading “To Record or Not to Record: Responsibilities on a multi-employer worksite”

OSHA is now requiring employers to submit OSHA 300A information online.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set up its new Injury Tracking Application (ITA). The online form allows employers to submit the injury and illness information from their completed 2016 OSHA 300A form.

According to the rule, establishments with 250 or more employees must electronically submit data from their OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 forms annually.

Establishments with 20 to 249 employees in industries that OSHA has deemed highly hazardous must submit information from their 300A form annually. (OSHA’s list of highly hazardous industries can be found here).

The data that is submitted, according to OSHA, will be made readily available to the public on OSHA.gov. OSHA’s goal for the transparency in employer injury and illness data is to encourage employers to improve their efforts for preventing occupational injuries and illnesses and to also allow industry groups and researchers to use the disclosed data to advance workplace safety.

The deadline for covered employers to submit their data is December 1, 2017.

See the table below for establishment guidelines and upcoming submission requirements:

To submit your injury and illness information online, go to the ITA page on OSHA’s website here.

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”