OSHA's Outreach Training Program and CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training have developed a new OSHA 30-hour construction training elective course: Foundations for Safety Leadership. Responding to a training gap identified by contractors, unions and other industry stakeholders, FSL is designed to introduce construction workers, particularly foremen and lead workers, to five critical safety leadership skills needed to improve jobsite safety climate and safety outcomes. The course stresses the importance of leading by example, engaging and empowering team members, listening and communicating effectively, coaching and providing feedback, and recognizing team members who go above and beyond for safety. The FSL course will be available on OSHA’s Outreach Training Program webpage starting January 1, 2017.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
A new series of fact sheets outline changes made in 2014 to OSHA's general industry and construction standards covering work involving electric power generation, transmission and distribution lines and equipment. The revisions were made to better protect workers, while also making the two standards more consistent. The fact sheets highlight some of the major changes in the standards, as well as requirements for electrical protective equipment, fall protection, and minimum approach distance, information transfer and training.
OSHA has released new cards explaining employee whistleblower rights protected by the agency under five federal statutes covering occupational safety and health, commercial motor carriers, railroads, aviation, and securities fraud. Each card explains the activities protected by a specific statute, and provides contact information for OSHA and the time limit for filing a retaliation complaint. The information on each card is printed in English on one side and Spanish on the other
OSHA is extending the comment period for its proposal to revise provisions that may be confusing, outdated or unnecessary in the agency's recordkeeping, general industry, maritime and construction standards. Originally scheduled to expire Dec. 5, the comment period will be extended to Jan. 4, 2017, to allow parties more time to review the rule and collect necessary information and data for comments. Individuals may submit comments electronically at www.regulations.gov. Comments also may be submitted by facsimile or mail.
As a complement to its recommended practices to help employers in general industry establish safety and health programs in their workplaces, OSHA has released Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs in Construction. The recommendations may be particularly helpful to small- and medium-sized contractors who may not have safety and health specialists on staff. The goal of safety and health programs is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths as well as the financial difficulties these events can cause for workers, their families and their employers. For more information, see the news release.
Twenty-three workers have been killed and 12 others injured in trench collapses so far in 2016 – an alarming increase from the previous year. "There is no excuse,” said Dr. David Michaels, OSHA assistant secretary. "These fatalities are completely preventable by complying with OSHA standards that every construction contractor should know."
Among the victims was a 33-year-old employee, crushed to death this summer as he dug a 12-foot trench for KRW Plumbing LLC of Ohio. An OSHA investigation found that KRW failed to protect its workers from the dangers of trench collapses. The company was issued two willful and two serious violations, with proposed penalties of $274,359.
OSHA's trenching standards require protective systems on trenches deeper than 5 feet, with soil and other materials kept at least two feet from the edge of trench. OSHA has a national emphasis program on trenching and excavations with the goal of increasing hazard awareness and employer compliance with safety standards. For more information, read the news release.
New final rule updates walking-working surfaces standards and establishes personal fall protection requirements
OSHA issued a final rule Nov. 17 updating its 44-year old general industry Walking-Working Surfaces standard to protect workers from slip, trip, and fall hazards. The rule also increases consistency in safety and health standards for people working in both general and construction industries. OSHA estimates the final rule will prevent more than 5,800 injuries a year. The rule takes effect Jan. 17, 2017.
"The final rule will increase workplace protection from those hazards, especially fall hazards, which are a leading cause of worker deaths and injuries," said OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. The rule's most significant update is allowing employers to select the fall protection system that works best for them, choosing from a range of accepted options. For more information, read the news release.