A new year always brings changes to health and safety regulations and requirements. The number of OSHA inspections increased in 2021 from the previous year, and this trend is likely to continue into 2022. It is therefore imperative to ensure that your facility’s safety programs are up to date, safety training is being routinely conducted, and records are being properly kept. A good way to ensure that the safety programs are in order is to conduct a thorough safety audit of all programs, procedures, trainings, and records to ensure that the facility is in compliance with OSHA requirements.

In 2022, OSHA is expected to focus on heat illness prevention. As global temperatures continue to rise, it can be easy to succumb to job-related heat stress while working. Heat is the leading cause of death among all weather-related phenomena, and excessive heat can cause heat stroke or exacerbate existing health problems like asthma, kidney failure, and heart disease. Because of this, OSHA announced that it will begin implementing an enforcement initiative on heat-related hazards and will develop a National Emphasis Program (NEP) on heat inspections. OSHA area directors are expected to perform the following: Continue reading “What to Expect from OSHA in 2022”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) maintains a full-time staff of inspection officers, called compliance safety and health officers (CSHO). OSHA has jurisdiction over most worksites and can enforce the rules and regulations pertaining to the specific industry of the worksite. These rules and regulations can be found in your industry’s specific standards. For general industry, these standards are 29 CFR 1910 (General Industry Standards). For construction, these standards are 29 CFR 1926 (Construction Industry Standards).

An OSHA inspection can be conducted either on-site or by phone/fax. During an on-site inspection, the CSHO may walk through portions of the worksite, will review worksite injury and illness records, and will observe the posting of the official OSHA poster. The inspector is also very likely to interview employees privately, without management present, to discuss site safety.

These inspections can occur for several reasons. Inspections are prioritized for worksites in the following order of priority: Continue reading “Are Third Party Safety Inspections The Best Course of Action for My Facility?”

After a difficult year amidst a global pandemic in 2020, we can finally look ahead to a hopefully brighter 2021. A new year always brings changes to health and safety regulations and requirements. On January 19, 2021, James Frederick was appointed as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, and will be the acting administrator for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) until a new Director is determined.

One of OSHA’s primary concerns at the start of 2021 has been employee safety relating to COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, OSHA has issued citations with penalties totaling $3,930,381. Common violations found from these inspections include failures to perform the following: Continue reading “What to Expect From OSHA in 2021”

Indoor air quality is important for employee health and comfort. Poor air quality can lead to several negative health effects, including irritation, coughing, and fatigue. More serious health hazards such as occupational asthma, specific organ toxicity, or cancer can also occur, depending on the chemicals being handled on site. Because of this, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has developed permissible exposure limits (PELs) for several dusts, fumes, and vapors from various chemicals. These PELs, found in 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-1, identify the maximum concentrations of different chemicals and materials an employee can be exposed over the course of an 8-hour work shift. Employees exposed to airborne concentrations of a material above a PEL may be at risk for serious health hazards. Continue reading “When Should You Retest Your Indoor Air Quality?”

OSHA is working with the Robotics Industries Association and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on developing a training program for inspection officers to better understand how robots in general industry operate, what the requirements are for employers, and how to better identify the potential hazard. By 2020, it is expected that OSHA will have the knowledge necessary to better respond to an incident caused by an issue with robotic safety.

If your facility utilizes industrial robots, including Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) or collaborative robots, contact CTI to determine if your robotic equipment meets safety standards and if you are compliant with OSHA regulations.

 

In April 2017, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined that welding fume is considered to be a known carcinogen that can lead to lung cancer in humans. This decision may affect all facilities who employ welders or other personnel conducting hot work, as these personnel may be exposed to welding fumes. Employers of welders should ensure engineering and administrative controls are implemented to reduce employee exposure to welding fumes in the workplace. Continue reading “Welding Fumes Have Been Classified as a Group 1 Carcinogen”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires all employees who are exposed to noise levels with a time-weighted average of 85-decibels or more to be included in a hearing conservation program. These employees must receive audiograms on an annual basis to determine if they experience a certain level of hearing loss known as a “Standard Threshold Shift”. In addition, the facility must also evaluate feasible administrative or engineering controls to reduce employee noise exposure for all employees who are exposed to noise levels at or above OSHA’s permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 90-decibels. If no additional controls are employed, then those employees exposed to noise levels above the OSHA PEL must wear hearing protectors. It is important to remember that, according to OSHA’s Hierarchy of Controls, the use of PPE is the last step to reducing an employee’s exposure to high levels of noise, after engineering and administrative controls. Continue reading “Are Your Noise Monitoring Results Still Valid?”

In order to keep employees safe while handling hazardous waste, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has developed the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard (HAZWOPER), written in 29 CFR 1910.120. These regulations identify information and training requirements that facilities must comply with to keep employees safe during emergency response involving hazardous chemicals. Continue reading “HAZWOPER Requirements for Small Quantity Generators”