Tuesday, June 18, 2013

OSHA's new Injury and Illness Prevention Programs fact sheet can help employers find and fix workplace hazards

new OSHA Fact Sheet (PDF*) describes some common program elements of Injury and Illness Prevention Programs and how to implement them. These systematic programs allow employers on an ongoing basis to find and fix workplace hazards before workers are hurt or become ill. These proactive processes can substantially reduce the number and severity of workplace injuries and illnesses and can alleviate the associated financial burdens on U.S. workplaces. The fact sheet explains the major elements of an effective program, which include management leadership; worker participation; hazard identification, assessment, prevention and control; education and training and program evaluation and improvement. See OSHA's https://www.osha.gov/dsg/topics/safetyhealth/index.html for more information.

Friday, June 14, 2013

OSHA unveils new ladder safety educational resource available for mobile devices

OSHA's newest educational resource on safe ladder use is now accessible for mobile devices. The bilingual English-Spanish booklet, "Falling off Ladders Can Kill: Use Them Safely," is the agency's first e-publication and can be downloaded and read on smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices as well as on desktop and laptop computers. Developed in partnership with the Singapore Workplace Safety and Health Council and Ministry of Manpower, the booklet provides clear, easy-to-follow information about ladder hazards and safety precautions, featuring simple illustrations and plain language writing.

OSHA launches initiative to protect temporary workers

OSHA has announced an initiative to further protect temporary employees from workplace hazards.

A memorandum sent to the agency’s regional administrators directs field inspectors to assess whether employers who use temporary workers are complying with their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Inspectors will denote when temporary workers are exposed to safety and health violations and assess whether temporary workers received required training in a language and vocabulary they could understand.

In addition, OSHA has begun working with the American Staffing Association and employers that use staffing agencies, to promote best practices ensuring that temporary workers are protected from job hazards.

In recent months, OSHA has received a series of reports about temporary workers suffering fatal injuries – many during their first days on a job.

Last week, the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released new data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries about workers killed on the job in 2011. Fatal work injuries involving contractors accounted for 542 – or 12 percent – of the 4,693 fatal work injuries reported. Hispanic/Latino contractors accounted for 28 percent of fatal work injuries among contractors, well above their 16 percent share of the overall fatal work injury total for the year. Additional details are available at http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/contractor2011.pdf.