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Showing posts from October, 2009

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 manu…

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…

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 form…

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 e…

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 Safet…

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…

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 wor…

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.����������������������������������…

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 trenc…

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 t…

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 include…

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 oxid…

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 …

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, safe…

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…

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…

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 regulator…

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…

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 Hazar…

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 a…

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 o…

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 negligen…

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…

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’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 a…