Monday, January 23, 2017

Free course dates announced: Assessing, Controlling and Managing Dynamic Hazards Associated with Confined Spaces in Construction

Construction workers often perform tasks in confined spaces - work areas that (1) are large enough for a worker to enter, (2) have limited means of entry or exit, and (3) are not designed for continuous occupancy. These spaces can present physical and atmospheric hazards that can be prevented if addressed prior to entering the space to perform work. The construction confined space standard is expected to prevent roughly 780 serious injuries and five deaths yearly. 

Who will this course benefit? 
Small business owners, trainers, others with construction safety and 
health responsibilities 

Topics Covered: 
• Worker training requirements and employer responsibilities 
- Construction Industry Confined Spaces vs. General Industry 
Confined Spaces 
- Dynamic nature of Construction (things you don’t usually 
find in General Industry) 
- Identifying Construction Confined Spaces/Permit-Required 
Confined Spaces 
- Welding, burning chemicals, epoxies, shaft-work, vault work 
- Hot Work, Lock-out/Tag-out 
• Creating an inventory of Confined Spaces 
- Managing the Construction Industry Confined Space Program 
- Model site-specific orientation 
- precedent: Subpart R- Steel Erection: 
Controlling Contractor 
- precedent: Subpart CC- Host has the responsibility 
to inform contractors of existing hazards 
- precedent: Hazard Communication Model 
- Checklists and flowcharts 
- Completing Permit-Required Confined Space 
(PRCS) forms
- Labeling (signs, signal, and barricades) 

This course will be held at

on the following dates:
February 17, 2017 
March 1, 2017 
March 24, 2017 
April 3, 2017 
April 24, 2017 
May 12, 2017 
June 5, 2017 


Final rule clarifies recordkeeping obligations

OSHA's injury and illness recordkeeping Form 300.OSHA has issued a final rule that clarifies an employer's continuing obligation to make and maintain an accurate record of each recordable injury and illness. Effective Jan. 18, the new final rule more clearly states employers' obligations. "This rule simply returns us to the standard practice of the last 40 years," said OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. "It is important to keep in mind that accurate records are not just paperwork; they have a valuable and potentially life-saving purpose." For more information, see the news release.

Worker health and safety should be an integral part of sustainability efforts

Worker safety and health should be part of any sustainability planA growing number of employers are incorporating the concept of sustainability in their business strategies. This approach factors financial, social and environmental concerns as part of a business' bottom line. OSHA recently launched several resources—including a white paper, blog, and organizational profiles—to demonstrate why protecting worker safety and health should also be part of any sustainability effort. The white paper highlights ways sustainability can include innovative approaches for advancing safety and health. To learn more, read the news release and visit OSHA's sustainability webpage. To share your questions, suggestions and successes, contact sustainability@dol.gov.

Recommendations for Anti-Retaliation Programs released

Five key elements to an effective anti-retaliation program: Management commitment, Compliance concern response system, Anti-retaliation response systeOSHA's Whistleblower Protection Programs has issued Recommended Practices for Anti-Retaliation Programs to help employers create workplaces in which workers feel comfortable voicing safety and other concerns without fear of retaliation. The recommendations, which are advisory only and create no new legal obligations, are intended to apply to all public and private sector employers covered by the 22 whistleblower protection laws that OSHA enforces.

Final rule on beryllium lowers exposure levels, will protect 62,000 workers

Beryllium products
An OSHA rule issued Jan. 6 dramatically lowers workplace exposure to beryllium, a useful metal that can be hazardous to workers when particles are inhaled through dust or fumes during processing. The new standards, which apply to general industry, construction, and shipyards, will lower the eight-hour permissible exposure limit to beryllium from 2.0 to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air. When concentrations exceed those limits, employers will be required to take additional measures to protect workers. The rule becomes effective on March 10, 2017, after which employers have one year to implement most provisions. For more information, see the beryllium final rule webpage.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

OSHA offers new outreach training elective on safety leadership

OSHA Outreach Training ProgramOSHA's Outreach Training Program and CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training have developed a new OSHA 30-hour construction training elective course: Foundations for Safety Leadership. Responding to a training gap identified by contractors, unions and other industry stakeholders, FSL is designed to introduce construction workers, particularly foremen and lead workers, to five critical safety leadership skills needed to improve jobsite safety climate and safety outcomes. The course stresses the importance of leading by example, engaging and empowering team members, listening and communicating effectively, coaching and providing feedback, and recognizing team members who go above and beyond for safety. The FSL course will be available on OSHA’s Outreach Training Program webpage starting January 1, 2017.

New fact sheets provide information on changes to electric power standards

Power line worker
A new series of fact sheets outline changes made in 2014 to OSHA's general industry and construction standards covering work involving electric power generation, transmission and distribution lines and equipment. The revisions were made to better protect workers, while also making the two standards more consistent. The fact sheets highlight some of the major changes in the standards, as well as requirements for electrical protective equipmentfall protection, and minimum approach distance, information transfer and training.

New bilingual cards explain whistleblower rights protected under five federal statutes

Workers Have Rights!OSHA has released new cards explaining employee whistleblower rights protected by the agency under five federal statutes covering occupational safety and healthcommercial motor carriersrailroadsaviation, and securities fraud. Each card explains the activities protected by a specific statute, and provides contact information for OSHA and the time limit for filing a retaliation complaint. The information on each card is printed in English on one side and Spanish on the other

OSHA extends deadline for comments on proposed rule to improve provisions in its standards

OSHA logoOSHA is extending the comment period for its proposal to revise provisions that may be confusing, outdated or unnecessary in the agency's recordkeeping, general industry, maritime and construction standards. Originally scheduled to expire Dec. 5, the comment period will be extended to Jan. 4, 2017, to allow parties more time to review the rule and collect necessary information and data for comments. Individuals may submit comments electronically at www.regulations.gov. Comments also may be submitted by facsimile or mail.

OSHA issues recommended practices to promote workplace safety and health programs in construction

Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs in ConstructionAs a complement to its recommended practices to help employers in general industry establish safety and health programs in their workplaces, OSHA has released Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs in Construction. The recommendations may be particularly helpful to small- and medium-sized contractors who may not have safety and health specialists on staff. The goal of safety and health programs is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths as well as the financial difficulties these events can cause for workers, their families and their employers. For more information, see the news release.