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.

OSHA Amends Silica Rule for First Time in 45 years

silica exposure

OSHA has updated regulations to the respirable crystalline silica standard. These changes have been anticipated for a long time: it’s being updated for the first time since 1971. This is due to a clearer understanding of the long-term health effects from inadequate protection from silica. Under the new rule, OSHA stresses the importance of implementing engineering controls and measurements within worksites to help improve employee safety and compliance.

Silica exposure affects the lives of not only workers, but their families and loved ones as well. Nearly 2.3 million workers are exposed to crystalline silica in their workplaces. OSHA estimates the updated rule will save over 600 lives and prevent up to 900 new cases of silicosis each year, as soon as its effects are fully understood (OSHA).

A major key provision of the rule is reducing the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air over an 8-hour shift.

It is crucial to equip employees with updated safeguards and the knowledge necessary to prevent silica exposure.

Changes to implement under the new standard:

Exposure control plan: Outlines methods of controlling dust within a worksite where exposure is present.
Written respiratory protection program: Organizations must implement a plan if respirators are necessary to protect workers.
Engineering controls: Wet methods, vacuum dust collection, local exhaust ventilation, substitution of less toxic materials.
Administrative controls: Limit access to hazardous areas, provide hazard communication and training on silica for employees, protect employees’ right to know and understand
Post warning signs: If working outside, block off areas directly downwind of airborne silica dust to assure unprotected workers and others are not exposed.
Housekeeping: Maintain equipment by replacing vacuum collection bags and air filters regularly, avoid sweeping and use of compressed air of dry material off surfaces and floors.
Medical Exams: Require all employees to receive a medical exam regardless of the level of exposure.

Effective Dates for Implementation
For the construction industry:
June 23, 2017
For general industry and the maritime industry:
June 23, 2018

*Industries have one to five years to adopt most requirements

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers a new Silica Exposure Prevention training course that outlines the potential hazards associated with working with risk of exposure to silica dust. The course includes information about the new OSHA requirements and necessary controls to apply in the workplace to keep your workers safe.

How to Combat Heat-related Hazards

heat illness

Weather conditions can have a significant effect on our well-being and safety. A combination of heat, humidity, and strenuous physical activity can lead to dangerous outcomes when the body is unable to cool off by sweating. Heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat rash, cramps, and heat illness are examples of heat-related outcomes that can result in death. Fortunately, heat-related deaths are preventable when the symptoms and causes are understood and acted upon quickly.

Most common heat-related illnesses:

Heat Exhaustion:
Symptoms: Fatigue, profuse sweating, weak and rapid heartbeat, headaches, nausea, confusion, loss of coordination, muscle weakness, dizziness, or fainting.
Causes: Dehydration, lack of acclimatization to high temperatures, strain on the circulatory system, and reduced blood flow to the brain.
First aid: The affected individual must rest in a cool, shaded or air-conditioned area. Cool the affected individual by fanning, misting with water, or applying ice packs. Give cool (not cold) water only if the individual is conscious.

Heat Stroke:
Symptoms: Core body temperature exceeding 104° F, hot skin with a lack of perspiration, strong and rapid pulse, nausea, confusion, dizziness, seizures or convulsions, or fainting.
Causes: Heat exhaustion was left untreated and the body’s cooling mechanisms have been exhausted.
First Aid: Heat stroke is immediately life-threatening. Notify a supervisor and follow the emergency action procedure. While waiting for medical personnel to arrive, the individual giving care should provide the same first aid measures as those for heat exhaustion. In addition, loosen or remove heavy clothing if necessary.

General Controls: The best way to prevent heat illnesses is to make the work environment cooler.

• Provide shaded areas large enough to accommodate all employees during meal, rest, or recovery periods. This can be achieved through rotation of employee breaks.
• Provide shaded areas and drinking water as close as feasible to work areas.
• Provide employees with one quart of water minimum per hour for the entirety of shift.
• Use fans or air-conditioning if possible.
• Employees should wear lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing.
• Urge employees to avoid consumption of alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and heavy meals.
• Acclimatize employees to heat by having them work for short periods of time and gradually increase their time in the heat over a two-week period.
• Train employees to recognize symptoms in themselves and others and report them.

In addition to heat illness, prolonged sun exposure can also result in permanent skin damage if consistently left unprotected. Outdoor workers are especially at a higher risk of developing skin cancer, along with other ailments.

According to a survey by the Deb Group, a skin care company, over 8,500 people in the U.S. contract skin cancer on a daily basis. And 71 percent of employees that work outdoors claim that their employers fail to provide sunscreen in the workplace.

To prevent skin cancer and sun damage, wear protective clothing including long sleeves and hats, use sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher, and have a yearly mole check.

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers a Heat Stress Prevention online training course that describes the precautions to help protect employees from heat illnesses. Other related resources include toolbox talk documents on topics of: Basics of Heat Stress, Heat Illness, and a Heat Illness Prevention Plan. A safety video is also available on 5 tips for Protecting Employees from Heat Stress.

Don’t Forget: Deadline For Full GHS Compliance Is June 1!

GHS

Organizations must achieve full compliance with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) by June 1, 2016. Over 43 million workers and 5 million industries are affected by the Hazard Communication standard.

Full-compliance with GHS in the United States will help to achieve universal understanding of the classification of chemical hazards and safety data sheets. It also serves to improve the safety and health of employees. OSHA estimates the modified standard will prevent over 500 workplace injuries and illnesses and 43 fatalities annually (from OSHA Fact Sheet).

Chemical manufacturers and importers have the responsibility to provide the information to Employers prior to June 1 to allow them to have time achieve compliance.

By June 1, Employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces MUST:

Update alternative workplace labels and hazard communication program as necessary
Provide additional training to employees on newly identified physical or health hazards in the workplace
Apply the new format of Safety Data Sheets that require 16 specific sections
• Achieve FULL compliance with GHS including anything else required by the HazCom 2012 guidelines.

What are the benefits of the new standard?
• Universally improves communication and consistency of hazard information
• Improves employee comprehension of hazards and workplace safety
• More efficient access to information on the safety data sheets
• Minimizes the misuse of chemicals in the workplace
• Increases productivity for American businesses. Organizations are estimated to save more than $475 million due to productivity improvements, simpler training requirements and fewer label and SDS updates

Hazard Communication was the second most frequently cited standard by federal OSHA from October 2014 to September 2015. The top cited section within the standard is 1910.1200(h)(1): Employee information and training. Training employees on the hazardous chemicals they will encounter in their work area is crucial to truly improve safety and productivity in the workplace.

For specific questions and details on the modified standard, refer to the OSHA Q&A page.

Succeed offers a comprehensive GHS Training that assists organizations with their compliance efforts. This program includes the requirements needed to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), in particular hazard classification, Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), and chemical container labels.

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC Doubles Training Library in 2015

GIF of trainings

In 2015, Succeed Management Solutions, LLC released 37 new online training courses. These courses cover a diverse range of industry topics in both English and Spanish, including Trenching and Shoring, Active Shooter Preparedness, Patient and Resident Handling and many more. Also, 38 existing online training courses on general industry topics have received significant improvements to their content, appearance, and functionality, including Slip, Trip and Fall Prevention, Workplace Violence, and Bloodborne Pathogens.

The Succeed Risk Management Center® resource library has also grown to include over four hundred comprehensive safety training materials that have been updated and created to complement each online training course.

In the New Year, Succeed is continuing to expand their risk management library while focusing on the development of new online training courses that address several different industry topics and current anticipated OSHA rules including: Food processing, DOT/CDL, and Crystalline Silica Exposure.

Check out Succeed’s current list of Online Training Titles

Reminder: Post OSHA 300A Summary Form by February 1st

Employers with 11 or more employees (including temporary employees) are required to post the OSHA 300A Summary form in a public area of the workplace from February 1 through April 30, 2016, for the previous year. This form is a representation of the total number of injuries and illnesses recorded for the year, as documented in the OSHA 300 Log. The OSHA 300 Log is an ongoing list of all recordable injuries, illnesses, and fatalities at an organization.

There are exempt industries that are not required to post the OSHA 300A Summary, however since January 1, 2016, OSHA has decreed that additional industries are now required to post this form. These industries include automobile dealers, bakeries, beer, wine, and liquor stores, performing arts companies, special food services, building material and supplies dealers, and more. Even if your organization is exempt, you still have to complete the forms if there has been a fatality, in-person hospitalization, amputation, or if an employee lost an eye due to a work-related incident.

The OSHA 300 forms are requested in any OSHA visit. Citations and fines may result if your organization does not comply. Regardless of OSHA, it is a best practice to keep a record of all injuries, and perform investigations to assess the root causes, at risk behaviors, and other factors that can help organizations prevent injuries.

Please use these links below for more information on the OSHA 300 log process, or to sign up for a free webinar.

View a short introductory video on the OSHA 300 logs
Sign up for a free educational webinar on the OSHA 300 log process
View the pre-recorded educational webinar

OSHA updates National Emphasis Program on amputation inspections

Lockout Tagout

In August, a new employee lost four fingers on his first day of work at a plastic molding company in Ohio. The company did not provide adequate training, nor did they report the amputation, as required by OSHA (From OSHA News Release 08/13/15). If the company had trained the employee about lockout/tagout requirements and machine hazards, the incident could have been prevented.

Amputations are among one of the most frequently cited OSHA standards. According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data, 2,000 workers suffered amputations in 2013. Data reveals that amputation injuries are being underreported, across all industries. Employers can prevent these by following proper safety precautions. In 2006, OSHA created the National Emphasis Program that focuses on industries with high rates and numbers of amputation injuries (From OSHA’s Trade News Release, 08/13/15).

OSHA has recently updated the National Emphasis Program to target organizations whose workplaces possess machinery that has a high risk of amputation hazards. OSHA is expected to carry out more inspections of employers that fit these credentials. “This directive will help ensure that employers identify and eliminate serious workplace hazards and provide safe workplaces for all workers,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. The inspections will consist of an evaluation of exposures found present during employees’ operation of machinery including: cleaning, oiling or greasing machines or machine pans; and locking out machinery to prevent accidental start-up.” (From OSHA’s Trade News Release, 08/13/15).

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC has digital library resources that focus on Lockout/Tagout procedures, including audit checklists, training shorts, quizzes, and PowerPoint presentations. They also have content that focuses on machine safeguarding, interlock guarding, light curtains, and more. Most importantly they have Lockout/Tagout and Machine Safeguarding training courses, which are comprehensive and aim to educate employees and help prevent amputation hazards.

New Confined Space Entry Regulations – Starting October 2nd

OSHA has added a new sub-part to their existing Confined Space Entry standard. This change addresses construction-specific hazards that will be enforced beginning October 2nd, 2015. The construction industry encounters unique hazards and is subject to a higher risk of death and serious injury. This prompts the request for specific modifications to be made to the current confined space entry standard.

Confined Space Communication

The additional regulations encourage employers to heighten communication throughout every step of the confined space entry process, including the clear communication of roles and responsibilities, proper pre-entry procedures, atmospheric testing, and acquisition of the appropriate permits. OSHA believes once properly implemented by employers, this final rule will reduce the amount of fatalities and injuries in confined spaces by 96 percent (from OSHA’s Final Rule, 5/04/2015).

The nature of a confined space can be unpredictable. It is essential to train employees and all personnel involved about the changes to the confined space entry in construction standard. Learn about the roles and responsibilities to assure understanding of each person involved in the process:

confined space entry deadline

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers a newly updated Confined Space Entry online training course that includes the newest confined space in construction regulations. There are also toolbox talks that cover the same regulations.

Electrical Installations – Safety & Execution

fire extinguisher safety

For temporary and/or permanent electrical equipment used on the job site:

Lock out/tag out procedures must be followed:

  • If systems need to be energized for work, only properly trained, licensed and qualified persons may work on these systems and only with proper controls in place.
  • Qualified persons must don the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as specified in the specific procedure for that equipment.
  • Extension cords are not to be used in lieu of permanent wiring. Extension cords used with portable electrical tools and appliances shall be of three-wire types.
  • Grounds are never to be removed from equipment or extension cords.

Tool and equipment condition:

  • All wiring and electrical equipment, tools and machinery shall be in excellent repair and part of a sound Preventive Maintenance Program with frequent inspections and full documentation.

Temporary lights:

  • Temporary lights and lighting where exposed to breakage, shall be equipped with guards to prevent accidental contact with the bulb.
  • Temporary lights shall not be suspended by their electric cords unless cords and lights are designed for this means of suspension.
  • Splices are not permitted.

Electrical lines, extension cords, and cables:

  • Do not to lay them on floors or in walkways, etc.
  • Secure and place in doorways and work areas so they won’t be damaged.
  • Do not use flexible cords as a substitute for fixed wiring, run flexible cords through walls, ceilings, floors, doorways, windows, attach to building surfaces, or conceal behind building walls, ceilings, or floors.

Panel boards, access, and ground fault systems:

  • These must have dead fronts on them at all times, except when being serviced.
  • All electrical equipment should have at least a three foot clearance in front of the equipment.
  • The area needs to be controlled for unauthorized access.
  • A “ground fault system” is used to prevent shock hazards. This may include the use of “ground fault circuit interrupters” (GFCIs) or an “assured equipment grounding program”.

Fire Extinguisher Safety

fire extinguisher safety

Have you inspected your fire extinguishers lately?

Are they fully charged, strategically located, accessible, and ready for use? Or, are they covered with dust and hidden in a corner where they create a false sense of security?

Fire extinguishers are often purchased with enthusiasm and then forgotten because they are not needed. It is a good thing that they have not been needed, but they still need proper inspection and maintenance. Not only is this a legal requirement, but ensures they are ready to use if needed! Remember, fire extinguishers are a first line of defense against fire.

Fire extinguishers must be kept accessible and functional to eliminate lost time when they are needed. Inspect your extinguishers monthly to be certain they are charged and in ready to use condition. Annual maintenance inspections are required in accordance with NFPA 10. Other maintenance and inspection requirements are required based on the type of extinguisher. Check the manufacturer owner’s manual for these requirements.

Also, if staff will be expected to use fire extinguishers in an emergency, be sure that they have received training on how to use them correctly.

Do you have the proper Class of extinguisher for the kinds of materials that are most likely to burn in your operation?

The following is a list of the different classes of fires and the recommended fire extinguishers to be used for each. The correlation is very straightforward: Class A fires require Class A extinguishers; Class B fires require Class B extinguishers, etc. Some extinguishers have multiple ratings which makes them usable on different classes of fires. But remember, if you do not know what kind of materials are burning or if you do not have the proper class of extinguisher, do not try to fight the fire; evacuate immediately.

  • Class A Fires involve ordinary combustibles such as paper, plastic, rags, and wood. The recommended extinguishers are Class A.
  • Class B Fires involve flammable liquids such as oil, grease, gasoline, and paint. The recommended extinguishers are Class B.
  • Class C Fires involve electrical equipment such as motors, heaters, and office machines. The recommended extinguishers are Class C.
  • Class D Fires involve combustible metals such as magnesium, aluminum, sodium, and potassium. The recommended extinguishers are Class D.
  • Class K Fires involve combustible cooking fluids such as oils and fats. The recommended extinguishers are Class K.