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.
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 retailers, retail 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."
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.
New and updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention andNational Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to protect health care workers and additional compliance assistance materials are available on OSHA's Ebola page at www.osha.gov/ebola. Materials include: infection prevention and control guidelines,procedures for putting on and removing personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, andinformation for emergency medical responders and 911 call takers.
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.