OSHA Hopes New Injury Data Collection Rule Will Prevent Future Injuries

OSHA inspector

OSHA has updated their rule related to the collection of injury and illness reporting to improve transparency of workplace hazards to employees and the public. The new rule will require certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness data to OSHA. The goal is to encourage employers to better identify hazards, address safety issues, and prevent future injuries and illnesses. The new electronic reporting requirements will be phased in over two years beginning in January 2017 (OSHA).

The collected data will allow OSHA to create the largest publicly-available data set of workplace injuries and illnesses; this will help researchers advance the study of injury causation and more accurately evaluate effective injury and illness prevention activities.

Applying the concept of behavioral economics, OSHA hopes that, ultimately, more attention to safety will save more workers’ lives. The disclosure of an organization’s injury data will naturally motivate employers to improve workplace safety practices by allowing them to compare themselves to other companies in their specific industry. This will encourage employers to compete for top rankings in worker safety and to innovate new ways to identify and prevent hazards and health risks.

An essential aspect of the rule is anti-retaliation protection for employees. For the data to be accurate, workers must be informed of their right to report work-related injuries or illnesses without fear of retaliation. Employers will now be prohibited from using post-incident drug testing as a form of adverse action against employees who report injuries or illnesses. Employers are encouraged to review and revise drug testing policies to achieve compliance with the new requirements. In order to educate the regulated community, the enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions have been delayed until Dec. 1, 2016 (U.S. Department of Labor, 10/18/16).


New Recordkeeping Requirement Compliance Schedule:

Employers with 20-249 employees in high hazard industries must electronically submit their OSHA 300A form for the year 2016 by July 1, 2017

Employers with 250 or more employees in industries newly covered by the recordkeeping rule must electronically submit their OSHA 300A form for the year 2016 by July 1, 2017

• These same employers will need to submit information from all 2017 forms (300A, 300, and 301) by July 1, 2018

OSHA State Plans must also adopt and enforce these requirements within 6 months.

Succeed Management Solution, LLC offers Incident Track® to assist organizations to efficiently track, report, and analyze incidents, including OSHA-reportable injuries and illnesses and near-misses. This web-based software application will seamlessly export all OSHA-required forms electronically directly to OSHA and provide all of the data required by the new OSHA rules. Incident Track® is part of the Risk Management Center®, a suite of applications that assist organizations with their risk management, workplace safety, employee training, and compliance needs.

Smoke Alarms Save Lives! It’s Fire Prevention Week

fireman

Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 9-15, sponsored by the National Fire Prevention Association. The theme this year focuses on smoke alarm replacement. Nearly two-thirds of home fire deaths in 2014 resulted from fires in buildings without working smoke alarms (NFPA). Smoke alarms play a vital role as an advance warning to help prevent fire-related deaths and injuries.

It is no coincidence the week always falls on the week closest to Oct. 9, to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire and Peshtigo Fire that began on the same day and in the same year: 1871. The fires go down as the two most devastating forest fires in United States history that occurred during October (NFPA).

Make it a priority to maintain smoke alarms and discuss a fire escape plan with family members. Survey data by the NFPA reveals a small percentage of people don’t know how old their alarms are and how often they need to be replaced.


Smoke Alarm Recommendations:

– Install alarms inside every bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. Larger homes may need more smoke alarms.
– Keep alarms on the ceiling or high on a wall.
– Keep alarms at least 10 feet from the stove to reduce false alarms from the kitchen.
– Alarms needs to be replaced 10 years from the manufacture date, which can be found on the back of the alarm.
– Test all smoke alarms at least once a month by pushing the test button. If the alarm doesn’t sound by the push of the button, check the batteries which may need to be replaced. If that doesn’t work, you may need to replace the unit.
– Interconnect all smoke alarms in the building so if one sounds they all sound; this is recommended for best protection.
– There are special alarms available for people who are hard-of-hearing or deaf that have strobe lights and bed shakers (Education materials from NFPA).

Succeed offers a Fire Prevention training for organizations that describes the basic components of fire, prevention techniques, and how to develop a fire prevention plan. Safety videos are also available on topics of Fire Prevention in the Office, Fire Prevention in Healthcare, and Industrial Fire Prevention, available in English and Spanish.

Do you have a plan? It’s National Preparedness Month

emergency preparedness

September is National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The intent is to encourage communities to discuss emergency plans for their homes, schools, workplace, businesses, and places of worship (FEMA). It’s a great time for employers to review their emergency action plans. An emergency can present itself at any time and in many forms; assure emergency procedures are tested and understood by all employees and family members.

It is our responsibility to be prepared for ourselves and for each other. Nearly 70 percent of countries are unprepared to handle a serious public health emergency (The Lancet Global Health, July 2015). It is crucial to take a few minutes to go over emergency procedures. The procedures may vary depending on where you live, work, or go to school. Having an emergency plan in place will help prepare individuals for potentially disastrous events.

Tips for emergency planning:
• Set aside small amounts of money each month for an emergency fund
• Attend or plan an emergency preparedness meeting with your neighbors
• Understand what local hazards exist in your community and get informed about your community response systems and plans
• Build and maintain a kit of supplies that is ready in case of a disaster
• Make a family emergency communication plan
• There are free online resources that are available on emergency preparedness, on sites including: CDC Global Health, World Health Organization, Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and more.

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers an Emergency Action Plan training course that covers emergency action plan development in the workplace. There is also a variety of resources related to emergency preparedness, focusing on: natural disaster response, Floods, Hurricanes, Tornados, Tsunamis, Emergency Preparedness for Businesses, and more, available in both English and Spanish. A safety video is also available on the topic of Emergency Planning, available in English and Spanish.

Prevent Foodborne Illness as Summer Draws to a Close

foodborne illness

The Federal government estimates about 1 in 6 Americans get sick with a foodborne illness, each year. This results in 48 million annual cases of foodborne illness (FDA, 01/07/16).

Food becomes prone to contaminants from behaviors that easily get overlooked, including a change in temperature and cross-contamination. Salmonella illness in particular is more common in the summer. Warmer temperatures and eating non-refrigerated food outdoors causes food to be prone to bacteria and Salmonella growth (CDC, 07/8/16).

Protect yourself and others from potential foodborne illness at barbeques and picnics by paying closer attention to how you handle and cook your food.

Grilling Safety
• Cook food thoroughly. Use a meat thermometer to make sure food reaches a proper internal temperature
• Do not let food sit on the grill in a partially cooked state. If foods need to be partially cooked before grilling, do so right before adding them to the grill
• Keep meats and food at 145°F or above after cooking
• Refrigerate or freeze leftovers, perishables, and other prepared foods within 2 hours (or 1 hour if it is at 90°F or above)

Appropriate internal temperatures for food:
• Beef, pork, lamb, veal steaks or roasts: 145° F
• Fish: 145° F
• Ground pork or beef: 160° F
• Poultry (breasts or whole poultry): 165° F
• Casseroles: 165° F

The Danger Zone
The danger zone for food is 40°F – 140°F. Food that stays within this temperature range for too long is at risk for bacteria growth.

Sanitation
• Wash hands before eating and preparing food
• Rinse fruit and vegetables and scrub items with firm skins
• Keep all eating surfaces, serving platters, and utensils clean
• Avoid cross-contamination. Never put cooked food on a surface that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
• Wrap raw meats securely
• Never reuse marinades

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers a variety of safety documents related to foodborne illness and food safety including: Foodborne Illness – Buffets and Potlucks, Eating Outdoors, and Packing a Safe Lunch. A policy is also available for employees and employers who work in the food industry about Food Safety Program Requirements.