OSHA Compliance

OSHA to Issue Combustible Dust ANPR Soon

It has been noted that OSHA’s ANPR (Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) on combustible dust will be published shortly in the Federal Register. The Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is under the review of Office of Management and Budget which is a final step in the process of the intergovernmental review. Workers handling combustible dust hazards in the worksites are recommended and encouraged to participate in the rulemaking process.

Combustible dusts have been known to cause explosion or a fire. These dusts are solids which have ground into fine particles and when suspended in air, it becomes highly flammable. The force from this kind of explosive is so strong that it can cause death, injuries and destruction of the entire structure.

Some of the combustible dusts include rubber, sugar, coal, flour, paper and metal to name a few. OSHA has acknowledged various industries with combustible dust hazards which include agriculture, plastics, chemicals, food, grain, tire and rubber manufacturing, wood, paper, textiles, pharmaceuticals and metal processing.

There are certain OSHA standards which provide some level of protection against combustible dust but they don’t provide a single rule to protect workers from combustible dust explosions. After OSHA issues the ANPR, hopefully the occurrence and severity of future accidents will be reduced.

Over the past few decades, such combustible dust incidents have killed many workers and injured hundreds. OSHA is doing a great job in issuing the ANPR combustible dust rulemaking to tackle this problem.

OSHA strengthens Heat Illness Prevention Regulations in California

OSHA strengthens Heat Illness Prevention Regulations in California
On July 31, Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) which is a division of OSHA filed a proposal to amend the state’s heat illness prevention regulations with the Occupational Safety and Health of California. The request followed the proposal of Governor Schwarzenegger to improve and strengthen the standards to protect outdoor workers from the scorching sun.

Besides, the state budget which recently signed has authorized the spending of $1.5 million to expand on the efforts to educate employers and workers about the necessity of prevention from heat illness. This was the expanding outreach to train employers and workers, and will help to expand successful partnership of OSHA in California with labor, industry and community groups.

Under the leadership of the governor, California was the very first state of nation to develop safety and health regulation which addressed heat illness in year 2005. Later in year 2006 OSHA in California issued permanent heat illness prevention regulations to protect the workers who are outdoors. The Regulation includes topics such as; shade requirements, heat illness training requirements, drinking water requirements, and other related topics. It requires that the employer should make the availability of shade, provide proper drinking water, provide training to both workers and supervisor and also require written heat illness prevention program that includes a plan for summoning emergency responders.

OSHA issues Compliance Directive for H1N1 in Healthcare Institutions

OSHA has announced that they will issue a compliance directive that will implement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Interim Guidance on Infection Control Measures for the H1N1 2009 Influenza in healthcare settings. This is a first move from the offer a requirement posture for dealing H1N1.

OSHA Directives will prescribe a uniform procedure that governs OSHA inspections of the healthcare institutions for the occupational exposure to the swine flu. The covered healthcare set by OSHA includes acute care nursing homes, hospitals, physicians’ offices, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient clinics, home healthcare agencies and urgent care centers. Based on the employee complaints, OSHA will conduct a thorough inspection.

Though it is not clear of how much CDC guidance will be included into the OSHA’s directive and the level of compliance will be required, healthcare employers are advised to make reasonable efforts ensuring their postings conform, procedures, policies and forms with the CDC’s recommendations. It includes hierarchy of controls and N95 respirators/facemasks.

CDC recommends the use of hierarchy of controls by the healthcare facilities for preventing H1N1 exposure and transmission. It has also recommended the use of facemasks for respiratory protection. For those personnel who are in contact with suspected or confirmed H1N1 patients, they are required to use the fit-tested disposable N95 respirator.

All these measures are strictly mandated by OSHA for those healthcare institutes to tackle the H1N1 influenza.

OSHA Workplace Posters – Get It Free

Have you ever got messages, threatening notices or telephone calls from people requiring you to buy OSHA documents from them? They might have added that they would help you to be in compliance with OSHA rules and regulations. Well, in that case you are only helping them to fill up their pockets. The OSHA Workplace poster is one of the most popular documents that are being offered for sale by many companies. There are also some cases where some people falsely identify themselves as employees of OSHA or from the Department of Labor contacting employers to purchase the OSHA workplace posters and threatening them with fines if they don’t purchase the materials.

The fact is all those employers have been a victim of some imposters. Another big fact is that those OSHA workplace posters are available free of cost. Yes, it’s free and you don’t have to pay a dime for that. You can visit the official website of OSHA and order through the publications office or download from the website. It’s as easy as that.

Employers must display the OSHA workplace poster prepared by the Department of Labor continually. The poster is displayed in order to inform workers of protections that come under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The poster again must be displayed in a noticeable place where the workers can easily view it. However, a point to remember is that you must research whether you need to put the state or federal OSHA poster in your workplace otherwise, you will get a citation for that.

Know whether you have been exempt from OSHA

OSHA has been working to uphold the safety of the workers in US. When the Congress created OSHA and passed the OSH Act of 1970, some groups were exempted from the coverage. Find out if you are among them or not.

Federal Government employees – This group includes people with high hazard jobs like people in armed services, press operators at federal mint, rangers at national park and FBI agents. This group of people is exempt from the OSHA coverage. The federal OSHA compliance officers that come to inspect companies are not subject to the OSHA coverage even though that’s their job.

Employees of State, City and Country – Public employees are exempt from OSHA coverage as they are some prohibitions against unfunded mandate. Workers hired by private companies are regulated by OSHA standards but the city crew is not.

Some employees covered by other federal agencies – there are certain workers who are covered by some other administrations like the workers in a mine will be covered by Mine Safety & Health Administration. Workers at the sea or flight crews in an airplane are also covered by other regulations.

A lone proprietor– If a proprietor has no employees then, they are not an employer. OSHA only has authority over employers. However there is an exception to this exemption, if the sole proprietor hires temporary workers and directs their daily activities.

Family members in family farm – When family members are working in their farm, they are not taken as employees of the farm. These family members are exempt from the OSHA coverage even though OSHA has their own agricultural standards.

Volunteers – If someone is volunteering for a company without receiving any payment or compensation, they are not considered as an employee as they don’t fall under the OSHA regulations.

Federal And State OSHA Workplace Posters

Most states in the US have opted to develop the OSHA program of their own. For those states who have their own state OSHA program, the employees there will not be inspected by the officers of the OSHA compliance. Instead they will be subjected to their state OSHA compliance officers.

However, an important point to be taken is that most employers of the state plan areas receive a citation because instead of the state OSHA workplace poster, they display the federal OSHA workplace poster. You may think what’s the big deal? But the point is if your state has its own state OSHA program, then you must have your state OSHA's posting.

OSHA will inspect if you as an employer adheres to the Department of Labor's safety and health regulations. OSHA workplace poster is one of thing they look for while inspecting the workplace. The OSHA workplace poster has to be displayed in a workplace. If you are unsure which poster you should display in your workplace then, you must research which poster is required to display. You can also download a free copy of the state and/or federal OSHA posters from the web. Remember, the OSHA poster must be displayed in a place where employees have an easy access to it.

What To Expect When OSHA’s Asbestos Standard Is Disregard

Have you ever wondered what will happen when you disregard any of OSHA’s standards? You can face a penalty of $112,000. Right! This happened with a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, consulting company who are into maintenance and management of nursing homes for alleged violation of OSHA asbestos standards in the construction industry. Two Baton Rouge companies are also included in the citations. The two companies own and manage residential and commercial properties. The citations resulted from the work that was performed at the State National Life Building.

OSHA found some violations that included failure to provide the necessary respiratory equipment, failure to provide an experienced person to administer while removing a ceiling that contained asbestos, failure to inform employees that the work place contained asbestos, failure to operate engineering controls in order to resolve and minimize the exposure of workers to asbestos, failure to supervise for asbestos materials, failure to train workers who are engaged in project of removing asbestos and failure to handle asbestos-containing waste and contaminated clothing properly.

OSHA has commented that most of the violations were willful and they were committed with an intentional disregard of to the standard set by the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

Watch List Established By OSHA To Reinforce Integrity Of Outreach Training Program

OSHA has been making great efforts to check on fraudulent trainers that are on a rise these days. They have taken a step to continue the strong integrity of its Outreach Training Program of 36 years by publishing an Outreach Trainer Watch List of the trainers whose trainer authorizations are either suspended or revoked.

As a part to heighten its effort to address deceptive activity by trainers, OSHA has recently conducted an undercover investigation. The investigation was for a 10 hour training which reveals numerous examples of failure to fulfill with program guidelines. The infraction of the training includes submitting falsified information concerning the instructional time spent on the topics, improperly advising participants not to contact OSHA to report hazards and failing to gather and keep required documentation. The trainer failed to appeal the decision after being revoked by OSHA and his name where listed on the Watch List on OSHA’s website.

You must notice that to teach 10-hour and 30-hour programs, trainers must complete a 1-week OSHA trainer course through an OSHA Training Institute Education Center in order to get authorized.

The Watch List is updated weekly by OSHA. They are still monitoring training programs and in case you want to file complaints about fraud and abuse, a hotline at 847-297-4810 has been provided by them.

OSHA on Safety for Trenching and Excavation Workers

OSHA on Safety for Trenching and Excavation Workers
Open trench work has been cited by OSHA as the 4th deadliest job in US. So, you are well aware of the kind of danger that the workers might face every day at the job site. Often the death and injury of the workers happen when walls collapse burying them inside. This is a serious case that often plagues the sewer, pipeline, water or construction industry.

Even though the incidence cannot be stopped from happening but it sure can be prevented. Since that the incidence of trench collapsing is continually increasing often accompanying death OSHA has guaranteed an increased enforcement presence at those job sites where such operations are being conducted.

OSHA has made it a high priority when it comes to trench and excavation safety as it still continues to be the highest area of fatality and the highest in number of safety violation as well. Apart from wall collapsing the other trenching hazards include explosions, electrocution, toxic fumes, as well as drowning.

If you are involved in trenching and excavation, OSHA has provided many program to help. They have recommended safety training programs for those involved in such dangerous job.

OSHA Construction Safety Training Growing Its Popularity

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration training has helped in minimizing the hazardous work environment and promotes the safety of worker. This is the reason for the significant declination of total rate of workplace illness and injuries. The better news is; many new states have adopted the safety and health programs approved by OSHA to continue the trend which is why OSHA training is growing its popularity.

Many states have passed a bill of requirement of OSHA training including; New Hampshire, Missouri, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. In each of these sate bill requires that all the construction workers to complete an OSHA approved construction training course. This bill safety training is indeed a smart idea for the contractors and employers; it is also helpful in ensuring the safe job site to the workers.

The most recent is the Nevada’s bill which was signed on 5th June, 2009. It is said the bill was driven by the 12 death on the construction site that occurred along the Las Vegas Boulevard in a period of only 18 months. For the safety at construction site; according to the new bill requirement is that all employees and supervisors to complete OSHA training within the time period of 15 days of being hired. The law will be into effect by January 2010

In these recent years, enrollment in the OSHA 10 hour training course has been dramatically increased in New York and surrounding states over the last few months. And now Nevada is also following the trend. The costing of the OSHA 10 hour training can cost anything between $89 -$125. The cost of the training also depends on the selection of the course and the training institute. There are companies which provide bulk discount to the employers of the new states for multiple students signing up for the course at one time.

PPE Standards updated by OSHA

A final rule of the PPE or personal protective equipment has been revised by OSHA. The PPE sections include the general industry, long shoring, shipyard employment and marine terminals standards that mostly concern eye- and face-protective devices and head and foot protection requirements.

The references have been updated in OSHA’s regulations to reveal more current editions of the appropriate national consensus standards that will integrate advances in technology. OSHA has put its requirement that the PPE should be safely designed and be constructed for the mission performed.

Workers when they are exposed to occupational hazards require head, eye and face or foot protection. Now they will be provided a protection that will be based on the standard that reflects an advanced technology as well as materials. The final step has been taken by OSHA as an effort to update or to remove the references of outdated industry standards and national consensus.

A revision of the PPE standards included a requirement where filter lenses and plates in the eye-protective equipment must test for transmission of radiant energy like light or infrared.

OSHA released new Guidance Document for Monitoring Ethylene Oxide

In OSHA’s recently published work ‘Small Business Guide for Ethylene Oxide’, you can read the requirements of ethylene oxide exposure levels and monitoring. This guideline has been especially documented to help employees understand the standard of ethylene oxide and how to monitor air quality in job site where ethylene oxide is processed, used and handled.

In the document, various types of ethylene oxide exposure monitoring and lists have been clarified. The exposure level used by OSHA has also been explained and an outline for the employers is provided to tell what they can do while monitoring. It also shows the exposure levels of ethylene that exceed the allowance limits.

Workers are often exposed to dangerous level of ethylene oxide as they are very hard to detect by smell or sight. Acting to this serious threat, OSHA had released the new standard which is very vital for the employees to know how they can measure the exposure level and avoid potential serious illnesses.

Ethylene oxide is an odorless and colorless gas which is widely used in hospitals for sterilizing the surgical equipment. You can also find it in antifreeze, adhesives, detergents and spices. When people are exposed to ethylene oxide for short term it can cause nausea and difficulty in breathing, among other symptoms. If exposed for a long tern then, more severe conditions like cancer and damage to the nervous system may occur.

Know The Penalty For Violating OSHA Standards

Every industry in US would like to stay as far as possible from OSHA’s penalties. Big or small industries that have violated the norm set by OSHA have been fined heavily. Accident and injury is part of most industries. Every year, OSHA goes on inspection to see whether the industries are providing a safety environment for the workers and if the workers are abiding by the rules they have set.

The penalties given by OSHA can range from none to $70,000. That will depend on how the violation would likely result to the workers. Other violations which carry no threat as such will not result in any penalties but may result in up to $7,000 if the case is a bit serious. Repeated or willful violations may carry a heavy penalty which may be as high as $70,000. If the organization has a few number of employers or few or no previous violations then the penalties may be discounted.

In order to avoid the penalties from OSHA, you can try to stay in compliance. OSHA has provided help for those who seek to present a safety environment in the working place.

Safety in General Construction Sites

Safety in General Construction Sites
There are many specific dangers which can be linked to any construction sites; the major hazard would be fall from certain height, although there are more such hazards, which includes those related to scaffolds, electrical equipment, confined spaces etc. Workers at the construction site often put their health at risk as well, with the materials which they use and handle. The irony is that the protective equipment worn by workers at construction site to reduce their exposure toxic substances can actually increase accidental incidents by reducing clarity, vision, dexterity, hearing ability and increasing heat stress.

Even the safety of the non-worker in or outside the construction site may put at risk, particularly the drivers who on making their way past road construction sites who can possibly come in the contact with safety signs and barricades, causing injuries and accidents.

Prevention from accidents caused in the construction sites is highly needed. In United States of America, safety and health standards in workplace, this also includes construction sites are put in place and are put through OSHA. Accidents are caused usually due to either unsafe act or unsafe conditions, so it stands to valid reason that the best way to prevent and reduce accidents is by attempting to eliminate unsafe acts and unsafe conditions.

Eliminating unsafe condition starts with a general understanding of what types of conditions can cause accident and then removing those conditions. The employer of the construction site should make sure that the workers at the construction site are provided with necessary protective equipment and gears, also ensure that every worker should wear them are one of the example of becoming aware of the unsafe condition and then working on removing that condition.

There are times when accidents are caused by workers themselves acting in unsafe ways. Construction workers can help in reducing the number of injuries and accidents that occur in onsite by doing the job in a proper way, by working carefully and safely and being alert and conscious of the particular conditions and environment in which they are working. A construction company can help in this manner by making safety awareness and training mandatory part of the job both and as the part of hiring process as well as on the ongoing process. OSHA provides various kinds of safety training programs which include every aspect of dangers and also that gives measure and precautions which are needed in any construction site.

OSHA issues the 3rd Largest Fine in History

$8,777,500 fine! Who would believe that? But you better as that’s the exact figure OSHA has fined Imperial Sugar Co. and its two affiliate companies. Now, with that huge number, OSHA has issued, it now holds the third largest in US history.

This all started after the 2008 February blast in the Port Wentworth, Georgia plant. The explosion has resulted in the deaths of about 13 employees and 40 others seriously hospitalized. When OSHA initiated an inspection, numerous safety violations were found mostly that deal with sugar dust in the air, electrical machinery as well as other equipment.

The cause of the huge explosion is believed to be from the ignition of sugar dust in the air when an employee used a hammer and a metal rod to break up sugar.

The organization may take the fine to be too big but OSHA has commented that the fine were mainly due to the fact that the organizations were not taking the incident too seriously. In spite of the accident already occurring and of the officials of the company well aware of the dangers which were still there, they were doing little to stop another similar explosion and problem from happening again. The second plant of Imperial Sugars in Gramercy, Georgia was also in impending danger to have the same kind of explosion. There were around 120 safety violations found between the two plants.

Though it may seem hard to believe but sugar dust is an extremely flammable substance. The accident in the plant has resulted in the passing of a new bill where stricter measures are issued regarding dust hazards by OSHA.

Consensus Standards updates for Acetylene Industry by OSHA

A final notification of proposed rulemaking has been issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to revise the acetylene standard. The outdated consensus standards have been replaced OSHA along with the revision and the updated standard reflects the current acetylene industry practices.

According to the revised standard, employees are required to ensure that the in-plant handling, storage, transfer and use of acetylene cylinders are in comply with Compressed Gas Association Pamphlet G-1-2003, Acetylene.

Again the piping equipment, facilities and systems used for generating acetylene or for filling acetylene must be in comply with National Fire Protection Standard (NFPA) 51A - Standard for Acetylene Charging Plants.

The final rule has been made to improve OSHA's acetylene standards to provide safe worksites for workers by incorporating a safe industry practice and latest technology.

If within 30 days of the publication, a significant adverse comment has been received by the agency then, they will be allowed by the associated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to continue the rulemaking as a ‘Notice and Comment ‘rulemaking. In case if there is no adverse comments as such received then, a direct final rule will be take effect on Nov.9. 2009.

The revision has been made by the US Chemical Safety Board and the Compressed Gas Association as another step to update the outdated references in OSHA’s standards.

Can OSHA Authoritatively Ban The Use Of Hazardous Substance Or Not?

OSHA has announced its incapability of Congressional authority to stop the use of hazardous substance. OSHA has given this statement in a letter of interpretation, which is published on the website of agency in response to a question which is mainly related to OSHA’s authority to ban the hexavalent chromium in the workplace. According to OSHA, the best solution to avoid the hazards from using hexavalent chromium is “product substitution”. However, the agency still rejects the notion that it can ban the use of hexavalent chromium or any other hazardous substance. According to the agency to ban the use of any hazardous materials are delegated to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The agency of OSHA has the authority to mandate employer’s adherence to safe practices which are provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. This Act does not mainly allow OSHA to ban the use of any hazardous substances; the agency has always taken a comprehensive view of its regulatory authority. If banning of hazardous substances are were reasonably necessary and appropriate to provide safe work environment, then it could be argued that OSHA would have the authority to implement the workplace ban. But with the latest statement of agency, it has foreclosed the prior argument.

OSHA’s position is not only of theatrical interests. It might be very major in upcoming OSHA regulatory actions. For example, the agency is making a proposal to regulate silica exposure effectively in the workplace. Many of the stakeholders have asked OSHA to stop the use of silica in abrasive blasting operations. The latest announcement from the agency would possibly take the regulatory approach off the table. It could also be important in OSHA’s rule making, where substitution of production is an important issue.

Workplace Safety and OSHA

Employees have all the right to a workplace that is free of any health and safety hazards. OSHA is a federal agency that seeks to assure the health and safety of America’s worker by setting and enforcing workplace safety and standards. Currently there are many OSHA training programs held in America which trains people thoroughly for workplace safety.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970 created Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) within the department of Labor, to implement safety and health programs to reduce the hazards at a workplace. OSHA gives many rights and responsibilities to employees which also includes right to;
  • Review the copies of appropriate rules, regulations, requirements and standards that the employer should have at the workplace.
  • Have access to relevant medical records and employee exposure.
  • Employees on request to OSHA, have their names withheld from their employer if they sign and file a written complaint.
  • Employees can request to OSHA area director to conduct an inspection if they believe any violations or hazardous conditions exist in the workplace, and also have authorized employee representative accompany the OSHA compliance officer at the time of inspection.
  • Employees have right to be free of any discriminatory or retaliatory action taken by their employer on result of any OSHA complaint.
Along with rights to employees, OSHA has the employer obligations as well. Employers have the duty to;
  • Provide workplace and the work free from recognized hazards.
  • Inform their employers about OSHA health and safety standards that apply to their workplace.
  • Display of OSHA poster in the prominent place at workplace which describes the rights and responsibilities under the OSH Act.
  • Make a written, comprehensive hazard communication program which includes provision for things like; material data safety sheets, container labeling and an employee training program.
  • Properly inform employees of, the location, existence and the availability of their medical exposure records when employees begin the employment and annually thereafter. Also provide these records on request.
OSHA determines which standards apply to any particular workplace and also requires its employees and employer to follow all the standards and requirement. OSHA also offers many safety training courses for both employee and employer to get certified in hazard recognition. Some states have mandatory training program for the OSHA certification as well.

Is there any Hazard or Risk in your Workplace?

Is there any Hazard or Risk in your Workplace?
There are many things that can affect health of a person such as; his surrounding, his environment, lifestyle etc. Not everybody knows that work is an important determinant of health. It can affect health either in positive way or in a negative way. How safe you feel at your workplace? Do you feel comfortable at your workplace? Or have you ever thought that how full of risk your workplace could be?

These are some of the questions which you need to ask in order to access whether your workplace is safer and healthy place to be or not. A place that is healthy, safe and work conducive gives more productivity. The fact is, with a healthy workplace you will be doing more work with less effort.

It is very important to know the difference between Hazard and Risk. Hazard is a word used to describe something that has the potential to cause harm. Risk, on the other hand can be defined as a measure of possibility of any specific harmful effect in any given circumstances.

Some common workplaces Hazard are:
  • Biological Hazards- It is caused by organisms such as bacteria, virus, parasites and fungi.

  • Safety Hazards- Insufficient and Inadequate machine guards, unsafe work practices, unsafe workplace conditions.

  • Physical Hazards- Vibration, noise, weather, energy, electricity, radiation and pressure.

  • Ergonomic hazards- Physiological, anatomical and Psychological demands on the worker like; forceful and repetitive movements, extreme temperatures, vibrations, an awkward posture which is due to improper work methods also some improper designed workstations, equipment and tools.

  • Psychological hazard- These basically causes stress to a worker, This type of hazard troubles an individual to an extent that his general well being can be affected.
These are few kinds of workplace hazard one should know. By knowing the cause of any problem can help you with what kind of measures one should take to be safe from these hazards. Safety training course are available these days where they train people on how to be safe from these kinds of hazards. OSHA safety training courses are one of these kinds of course. To know more you can visit http://osha-safetytraining.blogspot.com/

Dangerous Arc Flash

Dangerous Arc Flash
Can you imagine yourself hit by a bolt of lightning? Arc flash is like lightening which can unexpectedly release tremendous amount of energy which may result in serious injury or even death. If there is a short circuit or electric fault in energized equipment then it creates Arc flash. Current flows through the air which creates electric arc, much like the phenomenon of lightening. These electrical dangers are present in the myriad of circumstances which do not require any storm conditions to manifest of like a lightening.

Data shows that above 80% is electrically related injuries involve some types of arc flash. They can be caused by range of various factors that includes; carelessness, equipment malfunctions, dropped tools, inadequate safety procedures etc. Any amount of the energy released by the electrical arc depends on the total amount of electrical current flowing through the arc and on how long this current will flow before it gets interrupted by a fuse or circuit breaker.

The amount of radiation released in an arc flash light can be so intense and fast that it can within no time burn skin and ignite clothing. Temperatures at the electric arc can climb rapidly to tens of thousands of degrees. Extreme metal turns to liquid, vaporizes and the air surrounding the arc becomes superheated. Together the superheated air and metal vapor expands with explosive force. This creates potential and dangerous lethal pressure wave of hot gas, solid metal shards and molten metal droplets which can possibly create burns and give wounds.

OSHA requires the employers to assess their workplace for any kind of arc flash hazards present or that are likely to be present. For assessment standards have been developed by The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) to address flash hazards.

Like other government agencies, OSHA expects employers to keep updated with regulations and also to take necessary step to compliant. It also doesn’t walk the employers through the steps of setting up an effective safety program. This simply means workers can be exposed to arc flash hazards because of the ignorance of the employer of regulatory requirements and is operating based on misconception. Therefore, employer should be well aware of the OSHA and its programs to ensure safety to its employees.

Let’s try Combating Workplace Hazard

Your workplace can be a potential source of danger if the place where you are working is an industry which uses the materials that may cause direct or indirect harm to you. That is why it is essential for you as an employee to have access to all the required information about the material so that you are well equipped to fight any impending danger. You should not only know the danger what is brings to you but you should also understand your responsibility as an employee to combat, avoid and control the situation if it arises.

Some of the examples of such kind of workplaces can be a construction site, another dangerous place to work at can be an industry that deals with chemicals and other would be heavy machinery manufacturing industries. All these workplaces are potential of danger and, it is very important to take correct measures to avoid and combat these dangers.

Hence, to provide safety to the employee at the workplace is suggested that the employer or the employee should himself opt for OSHA training. OSHA stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration; it is an agency of United States Department of Labor. The main aim of OSHA safety classes is to prevent workplace hazards, injuries, illness and deaths. They train you by telling you about the maximum and minimum risk areas in a workplace and suggest the related precaution which should be taken. It also urges the employees and employers to abide by the standards mentioned.

There are various OSHA training courses available like OSHA 10 hour safety training for general industry, OSHA 10 hour safety training for construction industry, OSHA 30 hour safety training for general industry. It is necessary for your safety and also for the safety of others to take these courses to make your workplace a safer place.

Be extra cautious while using Power tools!!!

It is necessary for everyone to understand the importance of safe use of power tools because a little carelessness when using power tools can cause major harm to your body. Experienced user give importance to this fact and it is the reason which keeps them safe while using power tools. There is certain basic safety rules given below which one should keep in mind while using power tools;

• The very first important step in ensuring your safety is to read carefully and follow the instructions given on the product manual. This safety measure should never be ignored or neglected for the maximum safety of oneself.

• Next important safety measure is to be alert and careful while useful these power tools. None can disagree the fact of no machine can harm a person, if it is handled carefully. While using any power tool you should always remember that it is ultimately you who is responsible for your own safety. Therefore, it is always better to use these tools with extra care. On showing negligence while using power tools can prove hazardous.

• All the power tools can be very harmful, if it is not being used in a proper way with following proper instructions. While, there are certain tools which can harm you more if used improperly. One have to be extra cautious while using tools like table saws and box cutters. There are also other potential power tool that can prove very dangerous like; radial arm saw and chain saw and shaper.

• Maintenance of tool is one key factor that plays a major role in ensuring the safety to the user. It is always advisable to keep the power tools in good condition, clean, sharp and smooth. Power tools should be cleaned at regular interval which is a good idea to ensure safety to the user.
• The workplace should always be clean, well lit up and away from any potential distractions. Keeping the workplace clean and tidy can save you from any kind of possibilities of falling or tripping on any kind of dangerous tools. Also sufficient lighting will prevent any major accidents in your workplace.

It is always good to remember that safety is in your hands while you are using the power tools. OSHA safety training courses are available which is designed for both employer and the employee working on construction sites or any other industrial company. OSHA courses are proved to be a significant course and will make your workplace a safer one.

Update on OSHA’s enforcement

During Small Business Administration’s safety and health forum which was at Washington DC, OSHA’s Director of Enforcement and Constructions programs, Mr. Richard E. Fairfax, presented an update on the key information initiatives of the agency. He stated that;

• In November, 2009 OSHA will issue another update to its Field Operations Manual (FOM). The work of FOM is to guide OSHA’s officer during the time of inspection.

• Enhanced Enforcement Program of OSHA is being revised to have more focus on serious hazards and fatalities which are identified in the OSHA’s National Emphasis Programs and also to follow the instructions are mandatory.

• These NEPs are now in the following works; primary metals, hexavalent chromium, food flavorings and record keeping.

There has been two new enforcement document issued. The Site Specific Targeting Program (SST) for year 2009 is mainly OSHA’s inspection plan for the non-construction-workplaces which are which includes 40 or more employees.
OSHA has surveyed about 80,000 employers in some of the high rated industries which required them to report their illness and injury rate to compile SST. Employers in manufacturing that reported any particular DART (Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred) rate which is over 8.0 or reported DAFWI (Days Away From Work and Injury) rate which is over 15.0 should expect an inspection under Site Specific Targeting Program (SST).

Under SST personal care and nursing facilities are looked after separately and it will also be subjected to inspection if the DART rate report is over 17.0 or a DAFWI rate over 14.0.

OSHA also reissued NEP, its petroleum refinery by which OSHA focuses on enforcing its PSM (Process Safety Management) standard in refineries. Employers who are in NAICS code 324110 should review their respective PSM programs in anticipation of an OSHA inspection.

OSHA Compliance Safety – What will you do when an OSHA inspector visits your office?

Always be mentally prepared to come under the situation when an OSHA compliance safety officer knocks your office doors. The very first thing you have to do is to request the inspector to how his proper US Department of Labor identification card and other credentials for verification. See whether the safety compliance officer informed you regarding such inspection. Employers have full rights to require OSHA to have warranty before allowing entry to their respective work site. If suppose, a particular inspection they want to search for is not occurring, then you can ask him to return at some other time.

Try to demeanor conference with the compliance safety officer! With such discussion, you can find out the nature and purpose of visit and even the extent of inspection. In case, if you find the inspection was impelled by one of the employees of your company, then you have rights to get an abridged copy, that obscures the employee’s identity to make available to you at such point of time. OSHA compliance safety officer will ask you to choose an employer representative on your behalf to convoy him for an inspection.

Try negotiating the scale of inspection with the compliance safety inspector! Some of the OSHA safety officers will even do so. If you find the purpose of this visit is a response to your employee’s complaint, then you can ask him to confine his investigation to the specific area involved in the respective complaint. Generally, investigations are focused on nature of inspection, which are mainly concentrated in certain main and key hazards. However, employer should be well prepared for full investigation, if failure in safety is found at your work place.
Whenever compliance safety officer enters your work place, he will evaluate and make sure how many injuries and illnesses among your employees and will be asked to show list of your hazardous chemicals used at your workplace. Even inspection officer will confer with employees of your company before taking any action. So, owners should train their employees at training stage that in case of any inspection, they all are working towards one goal that is to ensure safe workplace.

The compliance safety inspector can even note anything that he find suspicious of. He can disclose any noticeable violations noted on proper ask by the employer. There are some cases previously seen where any instantaneous remedy can result in involuntary diminution of fines charged against them, so better ask compliance safety officer, about their policies, before paying fine. So these are some ways where you can handle OSHA compliance safety officer!

OSHA’s responsibility in workplace safety

The company owner is the only person responsible to maintain and protect health and safety of their workers. From past several years, many health and safety laws have been put under implementation for the reason to ensure worker’s safety and with the aim to protect them from hazards prevailing at their work place. The OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act), 1970 passes a law that enforces employers to provide a safe and healthy environment to workers, which is free from any kind of hazards and should comply all OSHA standards.

The US Government created OSHA to impose these safety standards and make people aware about workplace safety, including training and assistance to all the workers and employees working in an industry.

Employers working in any of the sectors whether private or public, both of these are covered by an OSHA office under the centralized regulation itself or sometimes even by OSHA programs functioned by their own state. Those states operated by state OSHA program are as effective as those of centralized OSHA programs. All the states conduct inspections regularly and immediately respond to every worker’s complaints. Some states also offers supplementary safety services for small business like as safety consultancy.

Important and essential rights are given to workers as they play the most important role in identifying and rectifying workplace hazards. Once a problem or any hazard gets recognized, workers tend to correct it swiftly. A worker, at anytime can nitpick any hazardous situation prevailing at workplace that has tendency to threaten their health and safety. All the worker’s complaints can be sleeved in through telephone, fax or electronic mail to OSHA official website.
OSHA necessitates employees to obey all health and safety standards that widely are valid to their actions at their duties.

Employee’s responsibilities:

• It is must for employees to follow safety and health standards together using all the required equipments and instruments used at the workplace.

• Always try to follow safe work practices and be alert to identify any hazards that can occur in the industry.

• Post an initial complaint regarding workplace hazard to employer and then post it to OSHA if employer fails to correct the hazardous issue.

• Seek for an emergency treatment in case of any job-related injuries or sickness.

• Be a responsible worker and exercise all rights under OSHA.

The OSHA Act enforces employers to offer a safe and healthy environment that gives workers a place to work in a free space without any recognized hazards. It is employer’s duty to provide necessary training, assistance, medical treatments etc.

If any employer found to disobey or neglect OSHA standards can be cited or can be fines. Such employer can be cited under OSHA’s General Duty Clause, which says employers must ensure their workplace free from any kind of serious hazards. OSHA has under-taken several steps to make certain workplace safety but in support of employees of the industry in maintaining a productive space.