Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Rutgers OSHA Training Institute Education Center (Rutgers-OTIEC), with the assistance of our Construction Outreach Trainers conducted a study of the 10-hr Outreach Program to identify knowledge gained by the students and their overall perception of the outreach program. The results are published in the Journal of Safety Studies.
Rutgers School of Public Health was awarded an OSHA Susan Harwood Grant to provide Temporary Worker Safety Training. Offered are the 1-day workplace hazards training for employers to assist them achieve/maintain compliance and a ½- day program for workers tailored to the hazards at their worksite (topics include: hazard communication, EAP, workzone safety, confined space (general industry and construction), fall protection, and electrical safety). The ½ day program is offered in English and Spanish.
1-day workshop will be held on October 23, 2015 in Montclair, New Jersey, co-sponsored by the New Jersey Industrial Safety Committee.
To better protect emergency responders, OSHA has revised its manual, Fire Service Features of Buildings and Fire Protection Systems*. The manual explains how fire service operations can be affected by different building features, and it offers guidance for design professionals, code officials, fire service representatives, building owners and other stakeholders. Updates to the manual include more photos; new chapters on water supply and building phases; and new sections on energy conservation, emergency power, and numbering rooms and floors. The manual's information can help responders during fires and other emergencies such as hazardous material releases, emergency medical care, non-fire rescues and terrorist incidents.
A series of free webinars will be offered in observance of this year's National Farm Safety & Health Week, which takes place Sept. 20-26. The five webinars, scheduled for noon each weekday, will cover rural roadway safety, confined spaces, children's safety, health hazards and tractor safety. The events are being hosted by the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety located at the Peosta campus of Northeast Iowa Community College. Visit the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety website to register for the webinars and for more information and public service announcements related to farm safety. The center is also hosting an 'AgChat' on Twitter at @NECASAG on Tuesday, Sept. 22, from 7-9 p.m. For additional resources, visit OSHA's Agricultural Operations page.
Labor Rights Week 2015: Events across country to inform vulnerable workers of their rights under U.S. labor laws
Every year during Labor Rights Week, federal agencies, consulates and embassies as well as educational, labor, and community organizations join together to remind the nation's most vulnerable workers that everyone who works in the United States has the same workplace rights. This year, the week runs from Aug. 31 to Sept. 6 with events taking place all over the country.
Along with OSHA, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, National Labor Relations Board, and the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division are sending the message that no worker in this country should experience discrimination, wage theft or safety hazards in the workplace.
Planned events this week include the signing of a new alliance between OSHA and the Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia, and renewals of alliances with several other consulates, including the Mexican Consulate in Austin, Texas. There are also multi-agency outreach events at mobile/remote consulates, free consultations from experts in labor law, and industry-specific events such as a poultry fair in Gainesville, Ga. Be sure to visit OSHA's Labor Rights Week webpage for a list of events in your area.
If you are participating in Labor Rights Week, OSHA has many resources to help you get out the safety message. Some of our most popular videos include Young Workers' Rights in English andSpanish, a special message for the Hispanic workforce, and a general Workers' Rights video in English and Spanish. The OSHApublications page provides printed resources in several languages and covers a variety of workplace hazards.
Monday, August 17, 2015
OSHA has issued an updated National Emphasis Program on Amputations. The NEP has been in existence since 2006 and is targeted to industries with high numbers and rates of amputations. As in the prior NEP, OSHA is using current enforcement data and Bureau of Labor Statistics injury data to assist with site selection targeting.
According to the most recent BLS data, 2,000 workers suffered amputations in 2013. The rate of amputations in the manufacturing sector was more than twice that of all private industry. These serious injuries are preventable by following basic safety precautions.
This updated directive applies to general industry workplaces in which any machinery or equipment likely to cause amputations are present. Inspections will include an evaluation of employee exposures during operations such as: clearing jams; cleaning, oiling or greasing machines or machine pans; and locking out machinery to prevent accidental start-up.
On Jan. 1, 2015, OSHA issued new requirements for reporting work-related fatalities and severe injuries. Employers must now report fatalities within eight hours of learning of the incident and any in-patient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye within 24 hours of learning of the incident. Employers can report an event by telephone to the nearest OSHA area office or to OSHA's 24-hour hotline at 800-321-6742. For more information, see the news release.
OSHA issues long-awaited proposal to protect workers from beryllium exposure; labor-industry collaboration is key
On August 7, OSHA issued aproposed rule to dramatically lower workplace exposure to beryllium, a widely used material that can cause devastating lung diseases. The long-sought proposal would reduce allowable exposure levels by 90 percent and add other protections. The proposal gained renewed momentum after the nation's primary beryllium product manufacturer, Materion, and the United Steelworkers, the union representing many of those who work with beryllium, approached OSHA in 2012 to suggest a stronger standard.
For Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, the development had special significance: In 1999, as assistant secretary of energy for environmental safety and health, he issued the final regulation lowering allowable worker exposure to beryllium in nuclear weapons facilities. "OSHA's new proposed rule is the beginning of the final chapter of our making peace with the past," he wrote in a DOL blog. "Once we finish, workers exposed to beryllium will be protected and we will save the lives and lungs of hundreds."
OSHA estimates that every year the rule would prevent almost 100 deaths and 50 serious illnesses among the approximately 35,000 workers exposed to beryllium in occupations such as foundry and smelting operations, machining, and dental lab work.
Since its release in 2013, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Ladder Safety app has helped thousands of users set up and use extension ladders more safely to prevent falls. NIOSH recently announced that the app will now include stepladders.
The new stepladder module will be available at the end of this year to help workers use the most common four-legged portable ladders more safely. The new module will be based on the existing ladder safety standards and regulations and will provide easy-to-use, graphic-oriented safety tools, checklists, and guidelines.
With more than 40,000 downloads in the past two years, the NIOSH Ladder Safety app continues to help improve the safety of workers using extension ladders. In addition to its ladder-positioning tool for setting the ladder at the optimal angle, the app contains general ladder safety, inspection and selection guidelines, and related information. The Ladder Safety app is available free, in English or Spanish, for Apple and Android smartphones. Read more on NIOSH's webpage on Fall Injuries Prevention in the Workplace.
OSHA provides guidance to compliance officers for enforcing the revised Hazard Communication standard
OSHA has issued instructions to compliance safety and health officers on how to ensure consistent enforcement of the revised Hazard Communication standard*. Thisinstruction outlines the revisions to the standard, such as the revised hazard classification of chemicals, standardizing label elements for containers of hazardous chemicals, and specifying the format and required content for safety data sheets. It explains how the revised standard is to be enforced during its transition period and after the standard is fully implemented on June 1, 2016.
OSHA revised the standard in March 2012 to align with the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. The revised standard improves the quality, consistency and clarity of chemical hazard information that workers receive.
Under the standard, employers were required to train workers on the new label elements and safety data sheets by Dec. 1, 2013. Chemical manufacturers, importers and distributors had to comply with revised safety data sheet requirements by June 1, 2015. Manufacturers and importers had to comply with new labeling provisions by June 1, 2015. Distributors have until Dec. 1, 2015, to comply with labeling provisions as long as they are not relabeling materials or creating safety data sheets, in which case they must comply with the June 1 deadline.
Additional information on the revised Hazard Communication Standard may be found on OSHA's Hazard Communication Safety and Health Topics page.
OSHA has posted a fully updated version of its guide to all agency training requirements to help employers, safety and health professionals, training directors and others comply with the law and keep workers safe. Training Requirements in OSHA Standards* organizes the training requirements into five categories: General Industry, Maritime, Construction, Agriculture and Federal Employee Programs.
The safety and health training requirements in OSHA standards have prevented countless workplace tragedies by ensuring that workers have the required skills and knowledge to safely do their work. These requirements reflect OSHA's belief that training is an essential part of every employer's safety and health program for protecting workers from injuries and illnesses. For a list of educational materials available from OSHA, please visit the Publications webpage.