Thursday, May 21, 2015

City of Philadelphia requires a 10-hour OSHA card for construction workers and 30-hour for supervisors

Effective September 30, 2015, the City of Philadelphia requires a 10-hour OSHA card for construction workers and 30-hour for supervisors.

   OSHA 10 Safety Training (Or Equivalent) 

All workers directly performing construction or demolition activities for which permits have been issued are required to complete OSHA 10 safety training or an approved equivalent. (Philadelphia Code, Title 4, Subcode A, Section A-1001.4). This requirement applies to all employees of licensed contractors (including plumbing, electrical, firesuppression and warm-air contractors) AND State-registered Home Improvement Contractors. 

Workers will be required to furnish proof of required safety training to Department of Licenses and Inspections officials upon request. The Department does not propose to provide registration cards or conduct safety training at this time.

   OSHA 30 Safety Training (Or Equivalent) 
All contractors licensed under Section 9-1004 of the Philadelphia Code must employ at least one supervisory employee who has completed OSHA 30 safety training ,or approved equivalent, within the past 5 years. (Philadelphia Code, Section 9-1004(4)(c.1). Licensed plumbing, electrical, fire suppression, and warm-air contractors are not required to employ an OSHA 30 supervisory employee. 

Identification of a supervisory employee and proof of training will be required for all new Contractor License applications made after September 30, 2015 and for the renewal of all Contractor Licenses set to expire on or after March 31, 2016. This information is not required for the renewal of licenses set to expire on March 31, 2015.

 The Department of Licenses and Inspections will begin strict enforcement of these code requirements for all licensed contractors on April 1, 2016.

Please refer to OSHA’s website,, for assistance in identifying safety training opportunities.

OSHA seeks to prevent heat illness with revised Heat Safety Tool app and promotion of "Don't Fry Day"

As summer approaches and outdoor temperatures begin to rise, OSHA is once again informing the public about its Heat Safety Tool app to help protect workers from heat illness, which is available on iOS and Android devices in both English and Spanish. OSHA has updated the version for iPhones, which now offers full screen color alerts for all heat conditions, improved navigation and accessibility options, and compatibility upgrades. The heat app provides heat illness prevention guidance specific to the user's current outdoor workplace conditions using weather data provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The new version provides the daily maximum heat index intended to help prepare for extreme heat and plan work schedules accordingly. More than 187,000 users have downloaded this life-saving app.
OSHA's heat app was updated in-house and is fully open source, so app developers from across the country can access the code and contribute to or improve the app themselves. The heat app's code is available online.
As part of its Heat Illness Prevention Campaign, OSHA is also joining the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention to promote "Don't Fry Day" on May 22. "Don’t Fry Day" is an annual event — taking place on the Friday before Memorial Day — that seeks assistance from the media to help educate the public about the danger of extreme heat and ultraviolet radiation.

National Safety Stand-Down reaches millions of workers

Since May 4, millions of workers and thousands of employers have paused to focus on preventing falls in the workplace. As National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction wraps up, businesses from around the country and across the globe have participated in this year’s record-setting campaign.
On May 11, Casa de Maryland's Shady Grove center trained workers on scaffold and ladder safety using roof buckets, scaffolds, and ladders for demonstration. Similar talks took place at the other CASA centers located in Hyattsville, Md.
The Nevada OSHA Safety Consultation Training Section and the Nellis Air Force Base Ground Safety unit in Las Vegas provided fall protection safety training to more than 150 participants during an hour-long stand-down event at the military installation.
Stand-Down in Boston
On Tuesday, May 5, 2015, Youth Build Boston, Madison Park High School and the New England Regional Council of Carpenters Training Fund held a two-hour fall safety stand-down that consisted of hands on demonstrations at the construction site of a single family home being built in Roxbury, Mass.
In Hindon, India, 1,300 workers gathered to discuss falls on a Boeing site which is constructing several facilities for the U.S. government. The team continues to have an excellent safety record with more than 8 million man hours without a lost time incident.
On the island of Diego Garcia, San Juan Construction is working on multiple projects at a U.S. Navy Support Facility. As part of the stand-down training, exercises are being conducted on fall protection, PPE, ladder safety and head safety, among other topics.
The Canadian Government's Labour Program is participating in the stand-down by developing hazard alert info sheet on falls from heights and promoting the stand-down on their social media outlets.
For a complete list of stand-down events in the U.S. and throughout the world, visit OSHA's National Stand-Down for Safety page. After hosting or participating in a stand-down, OSHA reminds employers and workers to visit the OSHA Stand-Down webpage or the National Safety Council webpage to print an official Certificate of Participation signed by the Secretary of Labor to recognize your business' commitment to workplace safety.

OSHA and the National Center for Transgender Equality form alliance to protect safety, health of transgender workers

OSHA has entered into an alliance with the National Center for Transgender Equality to provide NCTE affiliates and others with information and resources to help foster safer and more healthful American workplaces.
"Through this alliance, we will jointly work with the NCTE to develop products and guidance materials to improve workplace safety and health for all workers," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.
The Alliance will provide opportunities for OSHA to speak, exhibit, or appear at conferences, local meetings, or other events sponsored by the NCTE or allied organizations. Additionally, the alliance will focus on sharing information on OSHA initiatives, workers' rights and employer responsibilities and other safety and health information. NCTE will also review, promote and disseminate new guidance products. The alliance agreement will be for two years. For more information, see the news release.

New resources available on protecting roofing workers, fall prevention and respirator evaluation

OSHA's new booklet on Protecting Roofing Workers* provides guidance for preventing falls from roofs, which accounted for nearly 1,200 fatalities between 2008 and 2012, or more than a third of all occupational fall deaths during that period. An updated Fall Protection in Construction* publication is now available to help workers and employers better understand OSHA's Fall Protection in Construction standard requirements and the criteria for fall protection in construction workplaces.
OSHA also has a new resource to help employers conduct medical evaluations in workplace situations where respirators are required to protect employees from hazardous airborne contaminants. When respiratory protection is required, employers must have a respirator protection program as directed in OSHA's Respiratory Protection standard. The newRespirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire Infosheet*provides the mandatory minimum required medical questionnaire for this evaluation.

OSHA launches National Safety Stand-Down – 3 million expected to participate

Employers and workers all across over the nation and internationally are ready to make history by reaching more than 3 million workers during the two-week 2015 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction. From May 4-15, millions of participants will pause during their workday to focus on preventing fatalities from falls through talks, demonstrations and trainings.
Check out the National Safety Stand-Down webpage for details on events across the country; instructions on how to conduct a stand-down and receive acertificate of participation; and free resources in English and Spanish. Videos to promote participation in the Stand-Down, including one with a message from Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, are also available on OSHA's website.
The national stand-down is part of OSHA's fourth annual Fall Prevention Campaign, launched in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, National Occupational Research Agenda, and CPWR, the Center for Construction Research and Training. For more information, see the news release.

OSHA unveils new version of "It's the Law" poster to help prevent injuries and protect workers' rights

To help ensure that workers have a voice in their workplaces and the protection they deserve, on April 28 OSHA unveiled a new version of its "Job Safety and Health – It's The Law!" poster. The poster informs workers of their rights, and employers of their responsibilities.
"This poster emphasizes a very important principle when it comes to prevention – that every worker has a voice," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "Workers need to know their rights and be able to use their rights, without fear of retaliation, when they believe that their safety or health is at risk."
The newly designed poster informs workers of their right to request an OSHA inspection of their workplaces, receive information and training on job hazards, report a work-related injury or illness, and raise safety and health concerns with their employer or OSHA without being retaliated against. The poster also informs employers of their legal obligation to provide a safe workplace. In addition, it has been updated to include the new reporting obligations for employers, who must now report every fatality and every hospitalization, amputation and loss of an eye.
OSHA's "It's the Law" poster is free and can be downloaded online. Employers must display the poster in a conspicuous place where workers can see it. Previous versions of the poster do not need to be replaced. For more information, see the news release.

OSHA issues final rule to protect construction workers in confined spaces

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued a final rule to increase protections for construction workers in confined spaces. People working in confined spaces (such as manholes, crawl spaces, and tanks) face life-threatening hazards including toxic substances, electrocutions, explosions and asphyxiation.
Last year, two workers were asphyxiated while repairing leaks in a manhole, the second when he went down to save the first – which is not uncommon in cases of asphyxiation in confined spaces.
"In the construction industry, entering confined spaces is often necessary, but fatalities like these don't have to happen," said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "This new rule will significantly improve the safety of construction workers who enter confined spaces. In fact, we estimate that it will prevent about 780 serious injuries every year."
confined space
The rule will provide construction workers with protections similar to those manufacturing and general industry workers have had for more than two decades, with some differences tailored to the construction industry. These include requirements to ensure that multiple employers share vital safety information and to continuously monitor hazards – a safety option made possible by technological advances after the manufacturing and general industry standards were created.
For more information, see the news release and visit OSHA's webpage on Confined Spaces in Construction.