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 Prior regulations for silica were deemed to be outdated as new research regarding the negative health effects of respirable silica has been conducted.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.
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.
Many employers are aware that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires hazardous materials (hazmat) training for “hazmat employees” who are involved with the transportation of hazardous chemicals and materials. But which employees are considered to be “hazmat employees?” Continue reading “Do My Employees Need DOT Hazmat Training?”
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”