Tuesday, December 16, 2014

New reporting requirements go into effect January 1

Beginning January 1, 2015, there will be a change to what covered employers are required to report to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.Employers will now be required to report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours and all in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye within 24 hours of finding about the incident.
Previously, employers were required to report all workplace fatalities and when three or more workers were hospitalized in the same incident.
The updated reporting requirements are not simply paperwork but have a life-saving purpose: they will enable employers and workers to prevent future injuries by identifying and eliminating the most serious workplace hazards.
Employers have three options for reporting these severe incidents to OSHA. They can call their nearest area office during normal business hours, call the 24-hour OSHA hotline at 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742), or they can report online at www.osha.gov/report_online. For more information and resources, including a new YouTube video, visit OSHA's Web page on the updated reporting requirements.

Starting January 1, 2015:
All employers* must report: 
  • All work-related fatalities
    within 8 hours
Within 24 hours, all work-related: 
  • Inpatient hospitalizations
  • Amputations
  • Losses of an eye  
How to Report Incident
*Employers under Federal OSHA's jurisdiction must begin reporting by January 1. Establishments in a state with a State run OSHA program should contact their state plan for the implementation date.

NIOSH publication highlights ways to protect retail workers from material handling injuries

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recently released a 23-page booklet showing procedures employers can share with workers in grocery stores to reduce the risk of strains and sprains when moving materials from the delivery truck to the sales floor.
Ergonomic Solutions for Retailers (PDF*) uses a series of illustrations to show how and where employees in a retail setting, such as a grocery store, would use mechanical assist devices to lift, push or pull heavy materials—job tasks that can lead to musculoskeletal injuries. Manual material handling injuries, also called overexertion injuries, account for 60 percent of the injuries and lost work in select retail businesses.
Although this new publication focuses on the grocery sector, the easy-to-read format can be adapted to other scenarios including for those working in warehouse and storage facilities. The technology presented may also support a retailer's growing Internet sales that depend on moving large quantities of merchandise often with fewer employees. See the NIOSH news release for more information.

New educational resources: interagency fact sheet on safe handling of Ebola-contaminated waste, booklet on hydraulic fracturing hazards

Workers involved in handling, treatment, transport, and disposal of medical, laboratory and other waste must be protected from exposure to infectious agents, including Ebola virus, which causes Ebola virus disease. Contaminated waste may pose a greater risk to workers if it is not handled safely or packaged, treated, and disposed of properly.
OSHA's new fact sheet, "Safe Handling, Treatment, Transport, and Disposal of Ebola-Contaminated Waste,"(PDF*)  was developed jointly with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Environmental Protection Agency. It helps employers take the necessary steps to protect workers whose jobs involve tasks throughout the waste cycle, from the point of waste generation through final disposition of treated waste products. The new guidance also encourages employers to create a waste management plan and secure necessary contracts and permits ahead of time in order to help avoid potential exposure hazards, security risks and storage problems.
In addition to exposure to the Ebola virus, the new interagency guidance also helps employers protect workers from physical and chemical hazards that may be associated with waste management. VisitOSHA's Ebola page for more information on how employers must protect their workers from the Ebola virus, as well as from these other related hazards.
As mentioned in the story above, OSHA also recently published Hydraulic Fracturing and Flowback Hazards Other than Respirable Silica (PDF*). This booklet was the product of the OSHA oil and gas workgroup with assistance from the National STEPS network team.
Publications are available to download at no cost by visiting OSHA's website. To order publications, contact OSHA's Publications Office at 202-693-1888.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New factsheets available on tube and coupler scaffold safety: "Planning and Design" and "Erection and Use"

Two new OSHA fact sheets – "Tube and Coupler Scaffold Planning and Design" (PDF*) and "Tube and Coupler Scaffold Erection and Use" (PDF*) – are now available to help employers protect construction workers using this type of scaffold on the job. Workers building scaffolds are at risk for serious injury from falls and tip-overs, being struck by falling tools and other hazards, and electrocution from energized power lines. Before starting any scaffold project, employers should conduct a hazard assessment to ensure the safety of workers. For more information on scaffolding, visit OSHA's scaffolding safety page.

Retailers reminded to keep workers safe during major sales events

As the holiday season approaches, OSHA is encouraging retail employers to implement safety measures to prevent workplace injuries during major sales events, including Black Friday. The agency sent letters tomajor retailersretail associations and fire associations to remind employers about the potential hazards involved with managing large crowds at retail stores during the holiday season when sales events attract a higher number of shoppers. Retailers are encouraged to use the safety guidelines outlined in the fact sheet Crowd Management Safety Guidelines for Retailers.
Tragic consequences and risk to workers can occur if the proper safety procedures are ignored. In 2008, a retail worker was trampled to death when shoppers rushed through the store to take advantage of holiday sales.
"During the hectic shopping season, retail workers should not be put at risk of injury or death," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "OSHA urges retailers to take the time to adopt a crowd management plan and follow a few simple guidelines to prevent unnecessary harm to retail employees."

OSHA publishes directive for compliance officers for inspecting cranes and derricks

Last month OSHA issued a directive (PDF*) for OSHA compliance officers on enforcing requirements of the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard. The new directive provides OSHA compliance personnel with direction on performing inspections where power-operated equipment, covered by Subpart CC - Cranes and Derricks in Construction, is present on a construction worksite.
The Cranes and Derricks standard was issued in 2010. This directive provides guidance to OSHA compliance officers when conducting inspections.
OSHA's Cranes and Derricks Safety Web page provides compliance assistance on equipment requirements for assembly and disassembly, qualified rigger, signal person qualifications and wire rope inspections; frequently asked questions; and PowerPoint presentations and videos explaining the revised rule and the hazards involved in crane operations.

Protecting health care and other potentially exposed workers from Ebola virus

The OSHA Ebola page also includes an OSHA fact sheet(PDF*) on protecting workers (not in healthcare or laboratories) involved in cleaning and decontamination of surfaces that may be contaminated with Ebola virus. Check the page frequently for the latest information.
OSHA reminds employers that the OSH Act protects workers who complain to their employer, OSHA or other government agencies about unsafe or unhealthful working conditions in the workplace. You cannot be transferred, denied a raise, have your hours reduced, be fired, or punished in any other way because you used any right given to you under the OSH Act. If you have been punished or discriminated against for using your rights, you must file a complaint with OSHA within 30 days of the alleged reprisal for most complaints.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Safety & Health Certificate Programs: Practical Application Beyond Training

The Office of Public Health Practice has completed a Level III Assessment of our Construction and General Industry Certificate Programs.  Results are published in the Journal of Safety, Health & Environmental Research. Volume 10, Issue #2. Title: Safety & Health Certificate Programs: Practical Application Beyond Training

Link: http://www.asse.org/assets/1/7/JSHER_V10N2.pdf

New Web page on protecting workers from exposure to Ebola virus

To assist workers and employers, OSHA has launched a new Ebola Web page that provides information about the disease and how to protect workers. It includes sections on the disease itself, hazard recognition, medical information, standards for protecting workers, control and prevention, and additional resources. The page provides protection information for health care workers; airline and other travel industry personnel; mortuary and death care workers; laboratory workers; border, customs and quarantine workers; emergency responders; and workers in other critical sectors. It also links to the CDC and NIOSH Web pages on Ebola.
The Web page also includes a new OSHA fact sheet on protecting workers (not in healthcare or laboratories) involved in cleaning and decontamination of surfaces that may be contaminated with Ebola virus.

OSHA launches a national dialogue on hazardous chemical exposures and permissible exposure limits in the workplace

OSHA is launching a national dialogue with stakeholders on ways to prevent work-related illness caused by exposure to hazardous substances. The first stage of this dialogue is a request for information on the management of hazardous chemical exposures in the workplace and strategies for updating permissible exposure limits.
"Many of our chemical exposure standards are dangerously out of date and do not adequately protect workers," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "While we will continue to work on issuing and updating our workplace exposure limits, we are asking public health experts, chemical manufacturers, employers, unions and others committed to preventing workplace illnesses to help us identify new approaches to address chemical hazards."
OSHA's PELs, which are regulatory limits on the amount or concentration of a substance in the air, are intended to protect workers against the adverse health effects of exposure to hazardous substances. Ninety-five percent of OSHA's current limits, which cover fewer than 500 chemicals, have not been updated since their adoption in 1971. The agency's current PELs cover only a small fraction of the tens of thousands of chemicals in commerce, many of which are suspected of being harmful.
The comment period will close on April 8, 2015. In the coming months, OSHA will announce additional ways for the public to participate in the conversation. For more information, see the news release and visit OSHA's Web page on preventing occupational illnesses through safer chemical management.

OSHA extends compliance date for crane operator certification requirements

OSHA has issued a final rule extending the deadline for crane operator certification requirements in the Cranes and Derricks in Construction final rule published Aug. 9, 2010 by three years, to Nov. 10, 2017. The rule also extends by three years the employer's responsibility to ensure that crane operators are competent to operate a crane safely. The final rule becomes effective Nov. 9, 2014.
During the three-year period, OSHA will address operator qualification requirements for the cranes standards including the role of operator certification. The final cranes and derricks rule required crane operators on construction sites to meet one of four qualification/certification options by Nov. 10, 2014. After publishing the final rule, a number of parties raised concerns about the standard's requirement to certify operators by type and capacity of crane and questioned whether crane operator certification was sufficient for determining whether an operator could operate their equipment safely on a construction site. For more information, see the news release.

Monday, September 15, 2014

New educational materials available: OSHA poster now in 7 languages, Ebola web page, emergency preparedness and response resources

OSHA's free Job Safety and Health: It's the Law!poster is now available online in Chinese Koreanand Nepali as well as EnglishSpanishPolish andPortuguese (PDFs*). The poster informs workers of their rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. All covered employers are required to predominantly display the poster in their workplaces where workers can see it. For more information about the poster and how to get copies in the various languages, visit OSHA's workplace poster Web page.
OSHA’s new Ebola Web page provides guidance for protecting workers from exposure to the Ebola virus. The new resource covers hazard identification and characterization, medical information, applicable OSHA standards, and recommendations for prevention and control of exposures to Ebola.
In addition, throughout September's National Preparedness Month, OSHA is highlighting its Emergency Preparedness and Response pages to help employers keep workers safe during emergencies – including earthquakeshurricanestornadoesfloodswildfires, andwinter weather.

$10.6M in Harwood safety and health grants awarded by OSHA to 78 organizations across the nation

OSHA has awarded $10.6 million in Susan Harwood Training Grant Program to 78 nonprofit organizations, including community- and faith-based groups, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor-management associations, colleges and universities.
"The Susan Harwood Training Program provides thousands of workers and employers with hands-on, critical health and safety training to reduce occupational injuries," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "The federal grants awarded will provide workers and employers in some of the most dangerous industries with important tools to identify and eliminate hazards."
The Harwood program supports safety and health training programs that educate workers and employers in industries with high injury, illness and fatality rates; underserved youth; limited English proficiency and other vulnerable workers; and small businesses. For more information, read the news release.

OSHA expands requirement for reporting fatalities and severe injuries and updates the list of industries exempt from recordkeeping requirements

final rule announced Sept. 11 requires employers to notify OSHA when an employee is killed on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye. The rule, which also updates the list of employers partially exempt from OSHA record-keeping requirements, will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015 for workplaces under federal OSHA jurisdiction.
"Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 4,405 workers were killed on the job in 2013. We can and must do more to keep America's workers safe and healthy," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "Workplace injuries and fatalities are absolutely preventable, and these new requirements will help OSHA focus its resources and hold employers accountable for preventing them."
"Hospitalizations and amputations are sentinel events, indicating that serious hazards are likely to be present at a workplace and that an intervention is warranted to protect the other workers at the establishment," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.
Under the revised rule, employers will be required to notify OSHA of work-related fatalities within eight hours, and work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye within 24 hours. Previously, OSHA's regulations required an employer to report only work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. Reporting single hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye was not required under the previous rule.
Employers can report these events by telephone to thenearest OSHA Area Office during normal business hours or the 24-hour OSHA hotline 1-800-321-OSHA [6742], or electronically through a new tool which will be released soon and accessible at www.osha.gov/report_online.
In a final rule posted in the Federal Register on Sept. 11, OSHA has also updated the list of industries that, due to relatively low occupational injury and illness rates, are exempt from the requirement to routinely keep injury and illness records. The rule will go into effect Jan. 1, 2015 for workplaces under federal OSHA jurisdiction.
The previous list of exempt industries was based on the old Standard Industrial Classification system and the new rule uses the North American Industry Classification System to classify establishments by industry. The new list is based on updated injury and illness data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Reporting flow chart
The new rule maintains the exemption for any employer with 10 or fewer employees, regardless of their industry classification, from the requirement to routinely keep records of worker injuries and illnesses.
OSHA has posted a new website with plain language materials about the new requirements. For more information on the industries now exempt from keeping records or new industries now covered, please visitwww.osha.gov/recordkeeping2014. OSHA has also posted training material and other guidance on how to keep OSHA records to make it easy for newly covered employers to comply.
All employers covered by theOccupational Safety and Health Act, even those who are exempt from maintaining injury and illness records, are required to comply with OSHA's new severe injury and illness reporting requirements. For more information, see the news release, Assistant Secretary Michaels'statement, and OSHA's new Web page on the revised rule.

New educational resources available: Protecting workers from heat, electrocution from power lines while working with ladders and cranes, and pandemic illnesses

OSHA’s Protecting Workers from the Effects of Heat Fact Sheet (PDF*) has been updated with revised information for employers on measures they should take to prevent worker illnesses and death caused by heat stress.
OSHA has also developed Electrocution: Work Safely with Ladders Near Power Lines, a new training video for employers, as well as Electrocution: Work Safely with Cranes Near Power Lines, an updated video on preventing electrocutions while operating cranes. The videos, which are available in English and Spanish, show how quickly contact with overhead power lines can result in the electrocution of a worker. It also shows what employers can do to ensure the work is done more safely.
A new fact sheet for employers on Protecting Workers during a Pandemic (PDF*).

"Buy Quiet" initiative to help employers protect workers from occupational noise

Buy Quiet” is a prevention initiative launched by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to help companies buy, rent or design quieter machines and tools for their workplaces. Each year millions of U.S. workers are exposed to noise loud enough to be hazardous to their health. For more information about occupational noise hazards and hearing conservation programs, visit OSHA’s safety and health topics page on noise.

OSHA, NIOSH publish recommended practices to better protect temporary workers’ safety and health

OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recently released Recommended Practices(PDF*) for staffing agencies and host employers to better protect temporary workers from hazards on the job. The Recommended Practices publication highlights the joint responsibility of the staffing agency and host employer to ensure temporary workers are provided a safe work environment.
“An employer's commitment to the safety of temporary workers should not mirror these workers' temporary status,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. Michaels. “Whether temporary or permanent, all workers always have a right to a safe and healthy workplace. Staffing agencies and the host employers are joint employers of temporary workers and both are responsible for providing and maintaining safe working conditions.”
The new guidance recommends that staff agency/host employer contracts clearly define the temporary workers’ tasks and the safety and health responsibilities of each employer. Staffing agencies should maintain contact with temporary workers to verify that the host has fulfilled its responsibilities for a safe workplace. For more information, read Dr. Michaels’ prepared remarks, thenews release and visit OSHA’s temporary workers page.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

President Obama signs executive order requiring potential federal contractors to disclose labor law violations

On July 31, President Obama signed an executive order that requires companies competing for federal contracts to disclose labor law violations and gives agencies more guidance on how to consider labor violations when awarding federal contracts. The new process is designed to level the playing field and bring more companies into compliance with OSHA regulations and other workplace laws.
"Today's executive order is an important step to ensure that workers are protected, businesses have a fair shot to compete, and taxpayers get the best bang for their buck," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "Cheaters shouldn't win, and this action ensures they won't. Everyone is welcome to compete — as long as they are willing to do so fairly."
For more information, watch the video, read the fact sheet and read the new DOL blog post.

New resources: OSHA updates Heat Stress QuickCard

OSHA's updated Heat Stress QuickCardTM serves as a reminder to employers to acclimate workers to heat conditions. Employers should gradually increase workloads and allow more frequent breaks for workers who are new to the heat or those who have been away from work. The updated QuickCardTM also advises employers to modify work schedules and establish a complete heat illness prevention plan to protect their workers. OSHA's Heat Safety Tool, a mobile app that allows users to calculate the heat index, is also available for employers and workers.

New OSHA Web page highlights earthquake preparedness in the workplace

OSHA has launched a new emergency preparedness and response Web page to protect workers from earthquake hazards. Worksites in all 50 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia are at risk for earthquakes that can cause injury, death and extensive damage to buildings and other infrastructure. OSHA encourages employers to stay aware of conditions that affect their workplaces, especially those at particular risk that are near fault lines or volcanoes. Employers should train workers on workplace evacuation and emergency action plans, and keep on hand emergency supplies such as battery-operated emergency radios and first aid kits. In the aftermath of disasters, employers must ensure that workers involved in response and recovery operations are protected from potential safety and health hazards. For more information, visit OSHA's Emergency Preparedness and Response page.

Temporary worker policy memorandum outlines responsibilities of host, staffing agencies

OSHA has issued a policy background memo to its field staff as part of its focus on preventing work-related injuries and illnesses among temporary workers. In the memo, the agency reminds OSHA field staff of the agency's long standing general enforcement policy regarding temporary workers.
"Too often in recent months, it has been OSHA's sad duty to investigate fatalities and injuries involving temporary workers who were not given the necessary safety and health protections required under the Act," wrote Thomas Galassi, director of OSHA's directorate of enforcement programs.
As joint employers, both the host employer and the staffing agency have responsibilities for protecting the safety and health of temporary workers. More information is available on OSHA's Protecting Temporary Workers Web page.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New course offings - Asbestos Training for Building Managers Course and the new OSHA Cranes in Construction course

Two new courses are now being offered. Our 1-day Asbestos Training for Building Managers course will be held on October 13th of this year, and the Cranes in Construction course will be held on January 14th, and June 12th of 2015. Please see below for course descriptions, and registration information.

1-day Asbestos Training for Building Managers

Building and facility owners and managers, project managers, construction managers, general contractors, engineering and maintenance managers, EHS personnel and environmental consultants.

BENEFITS:Federal and State asbestos regulations assign overall responsibility for compliance to employers and building or facility owners. Current asbestos courses follow a model plan for specific disciplines such as asbestos abatement and maintenance workers, inspectors and project designers. Often these courses are not applicable to building management personnel. This one-day course will identify major sections of current regulations regarding facility operation compliance. Format is by lecture followed by small workshops to reinforce understanding and a case study to combine course objectives.

TO REGISTER:https://ophp.sph.rutgers.edu/wconnect/CourseStatus.awp?&course=ABM101314

OSHA 2055: CRANES IN CONSTRUCTIONThis course covers the requirements for operation of cranes in the construction industry using the OSHA construction Cranes and Derricks Standard as a guide. Course topics include hazards associated with crane assembly and disassembly, types of cranes, lifting concepts, rigging and wire rope, signaling, employee qualifications and training, and maintenance, repair, and inspection requirements. Students will participate in workshops to reinforce concepts of safe crane operation. Upon course completion students will have the ability to identify the types of cranes and their components and attachments, determine safe operating conditions, and recognize common violations of OSHA Standards.

*PLEASE NOTE:  The OSHA 2055 training has been added as an elective under the "Construction Safety and Health Specialist Certificate".

TO REGISTER:https://ophp.sph.rutgers.edu/wconnect/ShowSchedule.awp?&Mode=GROUP&Group=AOT055&Title=OSHA+2055+Cranes+in+Construction&SubGroup=AOT

New educational resources available: Agriculture and Spanish language

OSHA has developed a new agricultural fact sheet and QuickCardTM on the safe use of tripod orchard ladders, which are used by workers such as fruit pickers and landscapers. Many workers have been hurt from slips on rungs, falls, collapsing ladders and being struck by tree branches.
These resources explain the safety precautions employers and supervisors should take to prevent these injuries. The QuickCardTM is available in English and Spanish.
Also now available online is a Spanish-language version (PDF*) of OSHA's Asbestos fact sheet. Asbestos is a known human carcinogen that can cause chronic lung disease as well as lung and other cancers. The fact sheet lists jobs that may expose workers to asbestos hazards and explains the OSHA standards that employers are required to follow to protect workers from those hazards.
To order quantities of these or any other OSHA materials, visit OSHA's Publications Web page or call the Office of Communications at (202) 693-1999.

OSHA emphasizes importance of acclimatization in protecting outdoor workers from heat illness

OSHA emphasizes importance of acclimatization in protecting outdoor workers from heat illness
Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers
The Department of Labor and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have teamed up again to prevent heat-related deaths and illnesses. Heat-related injuries and fatalities in outdoor workers continue with record-breaking heat waves over the last three summers. In 2012 alone, at least 31 workers died of heat related illness and 4,120 more were made sick.
In a June 19, 2014 call with meteorologists and weather reporters across the country, Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels and NOAA's Deputy Undersecretary Vice Admiral Michael S. Devany discussed the dangers.
"Every year, dozens of workers are killed by heat, and thousands more experience heat-related illnesses," said Michaels. "We have found that the workers who are most at risk for heat-related illnesses are those who are new to outdoor jobs – especially temporary workers – or those that have returned from more than a week away. Workers are particularly at risk if the weather has just gotten hot, and they have not been acclimatized to the heat."
Seasonal workers can be considered new even if they have been working every season for several years. Gradually increasing the workload and giving workers time to acclimate allows them to build tolerance to the heat. This is critically important for workers who are new to working outdoors in the heat, who have been away from working in the heat for a week or more, or at the beginning of a heat wave. Visit OSHA's Heat Illness Prevention page for more information and to get OSHA's free Heat Safety Tool smartphone app, which has been downloaded more than 138,000 time to date. To order quantities of OSHA's heat illness educational materials in English or Spanish, call OSHA's Office of Communications at (202) 693-1999.

Monday, June 16, 2014

New interactive training tool highlights hazard identification

interactive webtool
OSHA has announced a new interactive webtool that will help small businesses identify and correct hazards in the workplace. The tool allows employers and workers to explore how to identify workplace hazards in the manufacturing and construction industries and address them with practical and effective solutions.
"Hazard identification is a critical part of creating an injury and illness prevention program that will keep workers safe and healthy on the job," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "This new tool not only educates employers about how to take control of their workplaces and protect workers, it also demonstrates that following well-established safety practices is also good for the bottom line."
For more information see the press releaseblog and trailer. The hazard identification training tool can be found on OSHA’s website at www.osha.gov/hazfinder.

National safety stand-down reaches 1M workers

National Safety Stand-Down
OSHA and partners from industry, labor, academia and community organizations reached more than one million workers and 25,000 businesses last week during the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction. From June 2 to 6, businesses paused their workday to focus on preventing falls in the workplace, the number one cause of death in the construction industry.
Clark Construction Group LLC hosted several events during the stand-down week, including a safety demonstration with Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels at the African American History Museum construction site in Washington, D.C. The United States Air Force also hosted stand-downs at bases worldwide, involving 650,000 workers. In Florida, NASCAR race car driver Greg Biffle demonstrated fall protection equipment with Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Jordan Barab at the Daytona International Speedway, which is currently under construction.
Workers and employers who participated in a safety stand-down can print their official certificate of participation from OSHA, which will be available through the end of July. View pictures on the Department of Labor Flickr page and read the latest blogs for more information on preventing falls: Stopping Falls Saves Lives and 1 Million Workers Standing Down for Safety.

New educational resources available to protect workers from heat illness and falls

Fall prevention booklet
New and updated materials for OSHA's Fall Prevention and Heat Illness campaigns are now available. OSHA's Fall Prevention Training Guide includes lesson plans, or "toolbox talks" in English or Spanish to help employers protect workers from fall hazards on the job. Resources for OSHA's 2014 campaign to prevent heat-related illnesses in outdoor workers include fact sheets, posters, wallet cards and a training guide.
To order quantities of these or any other OSHA materials, visit OSHA's Publications Web page or call the Office of Communications at (202) 693-1999.

"Deadly Dust" video wins award for getting out the message on silicosis

Deadly Dust video
"Deadly Dust," an OSHA educational video on the hazards of silica exposure, won first place in the safety category in an international competition to find the best business communications videos.
OSHA's nine-minute documentary-style video puts a face on the debilitating and fatal effects of silicosis through images of construction workers on the job. Interviews with doctors, OSHA officials, safety consultants, stone carvers and others provide additional information on the disease and safety measures to prevent it. Visit OSHA's silica rulemaking Web page for more information and the Department of Labor's YouTube channel to watch this and other videos on protecting the safety and health of America's workers.

OSHA and the American Staffing Association form alliance to protect temporary workers

OSHA and the American Staffing Association form alliance to protect temporary workers
Protecting Temporary Workers
OSHA signed an alliance with the American Staffing Association May 21 to work together to further protect temporary employees from workplace hazards.
"We want to make sure that at the end of every work shift, all temporary workers in the United States are able to go home safely to their families," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "Through this alliance with the ASA, we will increase outreach to staffing agencies and host employers and provide information and education that is vital to protecting temporary workers."
Through the alliance, OSHA and ASA will conduct outreach to workers about their rights, and work to educate staffing firms and their clients that all workers have the right to be safe, regardless of how long they have been on the job. The partners will work together to distribute OSHA guidance and additional information on the recognition and prevention of workplace hazards, and to further develop ways of communicating such information to staffing firms, host employers and temporary workers. See the news release and read about OSHA’s Alliance Program for more information.

OSHA launches annual summer campaign to prevent heat-related illnesses

Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers
OSHA announced May 22 the launch of its annual Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers. For the fourth consecutive year, OSHA's campaign aims to raise awareness and educate workers and employers about the serious hazards of working in hot weather and provide resources and guidance to address these hazards.
"Heat-related illnesses can be fatal, and employers are responsible for keeping workers safe," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "Employers can take a few easy steps to save lives, including scheduling frequent water breaks, providing shade and allowing ample time to rest."
In 2012, there were 31 heat-related worker deaths and 4,120 heat-related worker illnesses. Heat illness disproportionately affects those who have not built up a tolerance to heat, and it is especially important for employers to allow new and temporary workers time to acclimate. Workers at particular risk include those in outdoor industries, such as agriculture, construction, landscaping and transportation.
Visit OSHA's heat campaign Web page for free educational materials in English and Spanish, as well as a free heat app for mobile devices. See the news release and therecent blog by Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels for more on OSHA's heat illness campaign and resources.

Friday, May 16, 2014

June 2-6 National Safety Stand-Down aims to reach more than 25,000 employers and 1 million workers

On June 2-6, OSHA will host a National Safety Stand-Down for Fall Prevention in Construction to raise awareness about the hazards of falls – the leading cause of death in the construction industry. During this week, employers and workers are asked to voluntarily stop work to discuss fall prevention, including topics such as safe work on roofs, ladders and scaffolds.
National Safety Stand-down poster
"Almost 300 construction workers were killed in falls in 2012. Thousands more were seriously injured," said Secretary of Labor Tom Perez in a video statement. "Now is the time to focus on this vital safety issue. The economy is on the rebound, housing starts are on the rise, and the summer construction season is getting underway."
Participation in the stand-down for safety is open to all employers — including general industry. Large and small employers across the nation have committed to participate, including U.S. Air Force facilities nationwide. This year's stand-down expects to reach more than 25,000 employers and one million workers. To learn how you can join the June stand-down, visit www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown, or check out OSHA’s regional events page to access the latest information on stand-down events taking place across the country.

New “We Can Do This” video explains the value of Injury and Illness Prevention Programs

“We Can Do This!” is a new seven-minute video developed by OSHA that explains how injury and illness prevention programs enhance workplace safety and health. An injury and illness prevention program is a systematic process that employers can use to find and fix workplace hazards before workers get hurt. Instituting these programs helps transform workplace culture and can lead to higher productivity, reduced turnover, reduced costs and greater worker satisfaction. To learn about the basic elements of these programs and how they have been implemented by many employers with dramatic results, visit OSHA’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program topics page and watch the video.