Friday, February 19, 2016
Climbing for work? NIOSH's award-winning Ladder Safety app, first released in 2013 to provide user-friendly guides and interactive tools for extension ladder selection and safe use, now includes step ladder safety resources and other enhancements based on user input. Download the free app, available in English and for iPhone/iPad or Android. Visit the NIOSH Ladder Safety Mobile Application webpage to learn more.
OSHA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Center for Construction Research and Training have announced May 2-6, 2016, as the official week for the third annual National Safety Stand-Down. The event is a nationwide effort to remind and educate employers and workers in the construction industry of the serious dangers of falls that remain the leading cause of death in the industry. Employers are encouraged to pause during their workday for topic discussions, demonstrations, and training on how to recognize hazards and prevent falls.
More than four million workers participated in the National Safety Stand-Down in 2014 and 2015. OSHA expects thousands of employers across the nation to join the 2016 event. To guide their efforts, OSHA hosts the official National Safety Stand-Down website with information on conducting a successful stand-down, including the 2016 Stand-Down video.
The National Safety Stand-Down in 2016 is part of OSHA's ongoing Fall Prevention Campaign, which provides employers with lifesaving information and educational materials on how to take steps to prevent falls, provide the right equipment for their workers and train all employees on its proper use. For more information, see the news release.
As part of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's efforts to protect workers from the hazards of chemicals, the agency plans to issue new guidance on how to apply the Weight of Evidence approach when dealing with complex scientific studies. On February 16, OSHA will begin accepting comments on its Guidance on Data Evaluation for Weight of Evidence Determination*, which is intended to help employers consider all available information when classifying hazardous chemicals.
The "weight of evidence" approach assists manufacturers, importers and employers to evaluate scientific studies on the potential health hazards of a chemical. It aids in determining what information must be disclosed on the label and safety data sheet for compliance with the Hazard Communication Standard. This draft is a companion document to a recently posted Hazard Classification Guidance* and is intended to help the label and safety data sheet preparer apply the approach when dealing with complex scientific studies.
For more information and to review the draft guidelines and provide comment, visit OSHA's Guidance on Data Evaluation for Weight of Evidence Determination webpage. Comments will be accepted until March 31, 2016 and may also be posted directly towww.regulations.gov. For more information, read the news release.
OSHA has a new webpage explaining employers' obligations to provide all workers with sanitary and immediately-available toilet facilities. OSHA's sanitation standards are intended to ensure that workers do not suffer adverse health effects that can result if toilets are not sanitary and/or are not available when needed. The webpage includes information on the minimum number of toilet facilities an employer must provide, in restrooms separate for each sex. The webpage also includes a link to OSHA's recent best practices publication, A Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers*.
OSHA certifies New Jersey occupational safety and health plan for state and local government workers
OSHA recently certified New Jersey's State Plan for protecting the safety and health of state and local government workers. The New Jersey Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health State Plan covers more than 530,000 state and local government workers. The New Jersey State Plan was initially approved in January of 2001 and certification became effective on Jan. 22, 2016. This certification, which was published in the Federal Register, attests to the fact that New Jersey now has in place all those structural components necessary for a State Plan covering state and local government workers. For more information, see the news release.
OSHA is introducing more durable and secure completion cards for its Outreach Training Programs, including 10-hour and 30-hour voluntary safety classes for workers in construction, maritime, and general industry. The classes, which help workers learn how to identify and prevent workplace hazards, are not required by OSHA although some cities and employers do require workers to complete them. The classes are taught by independent consultants authorized by OSHA and trained through OSHA Training Institute Education Centers.
At the conclusion of each course, students receive completion cards, which are currently printed on paper. After February 29, completion cards will be made of a more durable card stock, like a credit card - with a QR code that will include the student name, trainer name, date of issue, and the OTI Education Center that produced the card. OTI Education Centers will charge $8 each for the new cards, compared to $5 for the current paper cards. The new cards will be issued for in-person training sessions only; students who complete online training will continue to receive paper cards at this time. Workers who already have 10-hour and 30-hour cards do not need to change over to a new card. For more information, visit OSHA's voluntary Outreach Training Programs webpage.