Friday, August 18, 2017

Free US Constitution & Amendments course offered

US Constitution Day will be commemorated on September 15, 2017, with 4-hr workshop “US Constitution & Amendments” in Somerset, New Jersey.  This workshop is an excellent opportunity for OSHA Outreach Trainers to pick up pointers on how to more effectively deliver the “Introduction to OSHA” presentation. The facilitator for this workshop will be Michael Presutti.

This workshop is funded by OSHA through the Susan Harwood Program.

Click here for more information, and registration.

Office of Public Health Practice, Rutgers SPH YouTube Channel

Please visit and subscribe to the Office of Public Health Practice, Rutgers SPH YouTube Channel  for useful and informative online video content, regarding public health and safety.

Trenching safety symposium webinar available online

trenching safety webinarNow available online is a video of the June 27, 2017, Trench Safety Symposium webinar conducted by representatives from the National Utility Contractors Association, OSHA, and the University of Texas at Arlington. The symposium focused on ways to prevent trenching and excavation hazards in the construction industry. Visit OSHA’s trenching and excavation webpage for more information on working safely in trenches.

OSHA publications made easier to find with revised webpage

revised publications page
OSHA’s publications webpage has been redesigned based on user data and feedback to better engage its many audiences and improve the way it functions. New and popular publications for specific industries or hazards are now easier to download and order. The webpage is formatted for all devices and platforms, from desktop monitors to smartphones.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Earn your Masters in Public Health (MPH) in Occupational Safety and Health at the Rutgers School of Public Health.

Rutgers School of Public Health is accepting students for the new MPH in Occupational Safety and Health.  The program is designed to prepare graduates to effectively manage workplace safety and health hazards in diverse work environments.  http://sph.rutgers.edu/departments/ENOH/index.html 
Please contact Dr. Koshy for further information at koshyko@rutgers.edu

OSHA to hold public meeting to solicit suggestions for strengthening the Voluntary Protection Programs

OSHA will hold a stakeholder meeting July 17, 2017, in Washington, D.C., to discuss the future direction of the agency’s Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). The discussion will include comments and suggestions from the public on potential avenues for action.
OSHA is seeking to reshape VPP so that it continues to represent safety and health excellence, leverages partner resources, further recognizes the successes of long-term participants, and supports smart program growth. Some of the questions OSHA invites stakeholder input include:
  • What can the agency do to enhance and encourage the efforts of employers, workers and unions to identify and address workplace hazards through the VPP?
  • How can the agency support increased participation in VPP while operating with available resources and maintaining the integrity of the program?
  • How can the agency modify VPP to enhance the efforts and engagement of long-term VPP participants?
  • How might the agency modify Corporate VPP for greater leverage and effectiveness?
  • How can the agency further leverage participant resources such as Special Government Employees?
The meeting will be held July 17, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Frances Perkins Building, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20210. Those wishing to attend must register by July 10 at VPP Stakeholder Meeting Registration.  Attendees can choose from several levels of participation in the discussion.
For those who may not be able to attend in person, a docket has been opened to receive comments. You can provide your input and/or read others’ comments here https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=OSHA-2017-0009. The docket closes Sept. 15, 2017.
We anticipate hosting a second stakeholder meeting tentatively scheduled to occur in conjunction with the VPPPA National Conference the week of August 28th in New Orleans.
For more information about the stakeholder events, click here. We look forward to hearing from you about this important discussion.

Employers share their tips for keeping workers safe in extreme heat

Employers and safety professionals were asked how they are keeping workers safe from extreme heat. Below are a few examples of the responses received. 
Water. Rest. Shade. OSHA's Campaign to Keep Workers Safe in the Heat

Land of Lincoln Goodwill Industries in Springfield, Ill., implements a buddy system within shifts so that workers can keep an eye on each other and report to their supervisor if they notice symptoms of heat illness. It is the company’s policy that new and/or transferred employees be acclimated to the environment by getting frequent breaks during their first two weeks on the job and during heat waves. The company also equips workers with cooling caps and bandanas, and provides earlier shifts and additional breaks, water and sports drinks on days when temperatures are expected to be especially high. Throughout the summer the company sends text messages/emails, and gives posters and toolbox talks to keep workers alert to the hazards of heat exposure.
Ballard Marine Construction uses canopies equipped with hoses to provide its workers with shade and cooling mist that protect them from the heat.
Ballard Marine Construction uses canopies equipped with hoses to provide its workers with shade and cooling mist that protect them from the heat.
Ballard Marine Construction is a marine infrastructure and utility contractor serving international clients in the nuclear, hydroelectric, salvage, pipeline, and submarine cable industries. The company sets up portable shade canopies outside its dive control vans, with misting hoses woven throughout the frames to cover workers with a fine spray of water throughout the day. The company has also installed misters on its barges and used misting fans to keep its workers cool in high temperatures.
Granite Construction, one of the 25 largest construction companies in the U.S., uses a variety of methods to keep its workers safe from the heat. These include: providing each jobsite supervisor with a portable canopy sun shade; equipping workers with evaporative, cooling neck towels and shades that attach to the back of their hard hats to protect their necks from sun exposure; monitoring the OSHA-NIOSH heat safety app and following its recommendations; and conducting training sessions on heat exposure, how to recognize and treat heat-related illness, and proper hydration.

OSHA promotes safety in fireworks industry ahead of July 4 festivities

fireworks displayWith Independence Day celebrations approaching, OSHA is encouraging the fireworks and pyrotechnics industry to protect workers from hazards while manufacturing, storing, transporting, displaying and selling fireworks for public events. OSHA offers information on common hazards and solutions, including downloadable safety posters for workplaces.

OSHA and NIOSH team up to offer updated heat safety app

OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool app. Heat Index ?. Calculated. 95*F 55%. Minimal Risk, Low Risk, Moderate Risk, High Risk, Extreme Risk. Arrow pointing to High Risk. At 2:08PM  Feels like 109*F. Precautions. Conditions are hazardous. Heat Index, Hourly, Symptoms, First Aide, More. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and OSHA have collaborated to update OSHA’s original Heat Safety Tool. The updated app, available for both Android and iPhone, provides a clearer user interface, while still providing the same information to help keep workers safe when working outdoors in hot weather. Extreme heat causes more deaths than any other weather-related hazard; each year more than 65,000 people seek medical treatment for extreme heat exposure.
Employers should encourage workers exposed to hot and humid conditions to use the app to check the heat index and relevant protective measures. The app displays the heat index in the user’s location and shows the current risk level. The app also forecasts the hourly heat index throughout the entire workday, giving employers information they can use to adjust the work environment as needed to protect workers.
More than 450,000 users have downloaded the original app since it was launched in 2011. The original OSHA app will no longer function after September 30. To download the updated app and get more information on OSHA’s efforts to help protect workers from the heat, visit our heat campaign webpage.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Free webinars on preventing heat stress scheduled for May and June

With summer fast approaching, the North Carolina Dept. of Labor is offering a series of free 90-minute webinars on the hazards of heat stress in construction and general industry. Topics to be discussed include key definitions, causal factors, heat disorders, health effects, prevention, control, engineering controls, personal protective equipment, administrative controls, acclimatization, re-acclimating, work monitoring and training. At the end of the course, students should have a basic understanding of methods to prevent or minimize exposure to excessive heat in order to prevent heat stress. In addition, students will be able to recognize symptoms of heat stress along with tips on how to treat heat stress victims. The first webinar will be held on May 22, and six additional webinars are set for May and June. For more information or to register, see the webpage.

New videos and infographics provide facts on falls

The Facts on Falls: Falls are the leading cause of death among construction workers. 350 construction workers suffered a fatal fall in 2015. More than 1 in 3 fatal falls in construction in 2015 were just 15 feet or less. Almost 1 in 4 fatal falls were from ladders. BLS data 2015 OSHA.gov/stopfallsFalls are the leading cause of death for construction workers, accounting for 350 of the 937 construction fatalities recorded in 2015. These and other facts about fall hazards are highlighted in new resources from OSHA that employers can use in their discussions with employees during the National Safety Stand-Down. Two videos have been posted on the Stand-Down homepage and a series of infographics can be downloaded from OSHA's Fall Prevention Campaign webpage. We also encourage posting of the new videos and infographics on social media using the hashtag #StandDown4Safety.

Friday, April 21, 2017

NIOSH online network helps healthcare facilities address bloodborne pathogens and other hazards

Occupational Health Safety Network (OHSN)The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has established a web-based injury and exposure monitoring system available at no cost to healthcare facilities. This secure system enables participating facilities to analyze worker injury and exposure data that they already collect. Trends for traumatic injury and hazardous exposures are visualized using a chart function. The system allows facilities to track five common work-related injuries and exposures in healthcare: sharps injuries; blood and body fluid exposure; slips, trips, and falls; patient handling injuries; and workplace violence. Visit the OHSN webpage for more information and to begin the enrollment process.

Safety seminars available online

Ladder Safety SymposiumRecordings of two recent training seminars are available to watch online. One is a symposium on ladder safety hosted by the OSHA Education Center at the University of Texas, Arlington. The other is a webinar on "Communicating with Workers about Hazardous Materials" hosted by the American Staffing Association as part of its alliance with OSHA.

OSHA releases three new publications on Process Safety Management

Copyright WARNING: Not all materials on this Web site were created by the federal government. Some content including both images and text may be the copyrighted property of others and used by the DOL under a license. Such content generally is accompanied by a copyright notice. It is your responsibility to obtain any necessary permission from the owner's of such material prior to making use of it. You may contact the DOL for details on specific content, but we cannot guarantee the copyright status of such items. Please consult the U.S. Copyright Office at the Library of Congress http://www.copyright.gov  to search for copyrighted materials.OSHA has released three guidance documents to help employers comply with the agency's Process Safety Management standard. PSM is critically important to facilities that store highly hazardous chemicals. Implementing the required safety programs helps prevent fires, explosions, large chemical spills, toxic gas releases, runaway chemical reactions, and other major incidents. The new documents focus on PSM compliance for Small BusinessesStorage Facilities and Explosives and Pyrotechnics Manufacturing.

Beryllium rule effective date delayed to allow for further review

Beryllium productsOSHA has announced a delay in the effective date of the Occupational Exposure to Beryllium rule, from March 21 to May 20, to allow for further review and consideration. The extension is in keeping with a Jan. 20 White House memorandum that directed the review of any new or pending regulations. This does not affect the compliance dates of the beryllium rule. For more information, see the news release.

National campaign aims to prevent roadway worker deaths and injuries

roadwork stand-downAs road construction projects ramp up this spring, the Federal Highway Administration is partnering with OSHA, the American Traffic Safety Services Association, and other groups to encourage safe driving in work zones. The campaign, called National Work Zone Awareness Week, is an annual event set for April 3-7 this year. Tragically, 700 people, including 130 workers, were killed in crashes at roadway worksites in 2015. Many states and localities across the country will hold events to bring attention to these hazards and encourage safe driving around work zones.
A national kick-off event is planned for April 4, at 10:30 a.m., at the Maryland state Randolph Road/Georgia Avenue Interchange Project. In addition, the Georgia Struck-By Alliance, which includes OSHA, will hold stand-downs at highway construction locations throughout Georgia this week to train workers on the dangers of distracted drivers and flying debris. For more information on the Georgia events, see the news release.

Monday, March 20, 2017

OSHA warns recovery workers, employers and public of storm cleanup hazards

Tornado Preparedness and ResponseAs residents in Kansas and Missouri recover from the damage caused by recent tornadoes and severe storms, OSHA urges caution during cleanup and recovery efforts. Workers, employers and the public should be aware of hazards they may encounter, and steps needed to stay safe and healthy. "Recovery work should not put you in the recovery room," said Karena Lorek, OSHA's area director in Kansas City. "Our main concern is the safety and health of the workers and volunteers conducting cleanup activities." OSHA representatives are available in hard-hit areas to communicate with emergency responders, provide advice and distribute educational resources to assist in a safe clean-up of damage. For more information, see the news release.

NIOSH releases sound app to help protect workers from hearing loss

NIOSH Sound Level Meter appThe National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has developed a new, free mobile application for iOS devices that measures sound levels in workplaces. The NIOSH Sound Level Meter app displays real-time noise exposure data based on NIOSH and OSHA limits. The easy-to-use app can be particularly helpful to occupational safety and health trainers as they teach construction apprentices about noise hazards and the need for hearing protection. Visit the app webpage for more information.

OSHA's $afety Pays Program shows employers how workplace injuries and illnesses impact their bottom line

$afety Pays ProgramOSHA has updated the $afety Pays Program to include the most recent workers' compensation data from the National Council on Compensation Insurance. The program helps employers understand the impact of workplace injuries and illnesses on their company's profitability. OSHA provides many resources to help employers develop an effective safety and health program to improve safety and reduce costs. Benefits include reduced absenteeism, lower turnover and workers' compensation costs, higher productivity and increased morale.

Nationwide Safe + Sound Week event being held June 12-18 to promote safety and health programs

Safe + Sound WeekOSHA, the National Safety Council, the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the American Society of Safety Engineers, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health a have announced June 12-18 as Safe + Sound Week. The event is a nationwide effort to raise awareness of the value of workplace safety and health programs. These programs can help employers and workers identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness, improving the bottom line. Throughout this week, organizations are encouraged to host events and activities that showcase the core elements of an effective safety and health program--management leadership, worker participation, and finding and fixing workplace hazards. Visit the Safe + Sound Week webpage to sign-up for email updates on the event.

National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls set for May 8-12

Last year, more than 1,900 workers participated in a stand-down event at the construction site of the MGM Casino in Oxon Hill, Md.Employers and workers are invited to participate in the fourth annual National Safety Stand-Down to prevent falls in construction, to be held May 8-12. Sponsored by OSHA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and CPWR — The Center for Construction Research and Training, the weeklong outreach event encourages employers and workers to pause during the work day to talk about fall hazards and prevention. Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry – accounting for 37 percent of fatalities industry-wide. In past years, more than 1 million workers participated in events. They have worked for public and private sector employees and small and large businesses. The event has recently expanded to include industries beyond construction. For more information on how to join in this year’s stand-down, access free training and education resources in English and Spanish, and receive a personalized certificate of participation, visit OSHA's webpage.

Delay of beryllium rule effective date proposed to allow for further review

Beryllium productsOSHA is proposing to delay the effective date of the rule entitled Occupational Exposure to Beryllium, from March 21 to May 20 to allow for further review and consideration. The extension is in keeping with a Jan. 20 White House memorandum that directed the review of any new or pending regulations. It would not affect the compliance dates of the beryllium rule. Comments on the proposed delay will be accepted through March 13 and can be submitted at www.regulations.gov. For more information, see the news release.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Employers reminded to post injury and illness summaries through April

OSHA's Form 300AOSHA reminds employers of their obligation to post a copy of OSHA's Form 300A, which summarizes job-related injuries and illnesses logged during 2016. The summary must be displayed from February through April in a common area where notices to employees are usually posted. Businesses with 10 or fewer employees and those in certain low-hazard industries are exempt from OSHA recordkeeping and posting requirements.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Free hazard communication webinar to be offered by American Staffing Association Feb. 28

Chemical managementThrough its alliance with OSHA, the American Staffing Association will host a free webinar Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. ET on “Communicating with Workers about Hazardous Materials.” The webinar will focus on how OSHA can help staffing firms and host employers better understand their responsibilities for ensuring the safety of temporary workers. During this webinar, OSHA Senior Industrial Hygienist Sven Rundman will discuss the hazard communication standard, and responsibilities for providing hazard communication information and training. For more information and to register, visit the webinar website.

Ladder safety is focus of national outreach campaign

National Ladder Safety MonthFalls from ladders are preventable, and yet they account for about 20,000 injuries and 300 deaths each year. On March 2, agency staff will discuss lessons from the field during a safety symposium hosted by the OSHA Education Center at the University of Texas, Arlington. The safety discussion, from 9 to 11:30 a.m., will also be live-streamed and can be viewed online. The event is organized in conjunction with the American Ladder Institute’s declaration of March as Ladder Safety Month. OSHA area directors Jack Rector and Basil Singh will share stories of ladder-related tragedies they have witnessed, along with ways those incidents could have been prevented. Ladder safety will also be an important component of OSHA’s annual National Safety Stand-Down set for May 8 through 12.

OSHA's free On-site Consultation Program helped more than 27,000 employers create safer workplaces in 2016

On-site Consultation ProgramLast year, 27,385 small and mid-sized U.S. businesses took advantage of OSHA's free and confidential On-site Consultation Program to remove workplace hazards and better protect their workers. The program primarily benefits small and mid-sized businesses – 57% of those helped last year had fewer than 26 employees. Priority is given to high-hazard industries, with more than half of all visits going to construction or manufacturing sites. In 2016, consultants identified and helped employers eliminate more than 140,000 total hazards, protecting an estimated 3.3 million workers from possible injury, illness or death.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Free course dates announced: Assessing, Controlling and Managing Dynamic Hazards Associated with Confined Spaces in Construction

Construction workers often perform tasks in confined spaces - work areas that (1) are large enough for a worker to enter, (2) have limited means of entry or exit, and (3) are not designed for continuous occupancy. These spaces can present physical and atmospheric hazards that can be prevented if addressed prior to entering the space to perform work. The construction confined space standard is expected to prevent roughly 780 serious injuries and five deaths yearly. 

Who will this course benefit? 
Small business owners, trainers, others with construction safety and 
health responsibilities 

Topics Covered: 
• Worker training requirements and employer responsibilities 
- Construction Industry Confined Spaces vs. General Industry 
Confined Spaces 
- Dynamic nature of Construction (things you don’t usually 
find in General Industry) 
- Identifying Construction Confined Spaces/Permit-Required 
Confined Spaces 
- Welding, burning chemicals, epoxies, shaft-work, vault work 
- Hot Work, Lock-out/Tag-out 
• Creating an inventory of Confined Spaces 
- Managing the Construction Industry Confined Space Program 
- Model site-specific orientation 
- precedent: Subpart R- Steel Erection: 
Controlling Contractor 
- precedent: Subpart CC- Host has the responsibility 
to inform contractors of existing hazards 
- precedent: Hazard Communication Model 
- Checklists and flowcharts 
- Completing Permit-Required Confined Space 
(PRCS) forms
- Labeling (signs, signal, and barricades) 

This course will be held at

on the following dates:
February 17, 2017 
March 1, 2017 
March 24, 2017 
April 3, 2017 
April 24, 2017 
May 12, 2017 
June 5, 2017 


Final rule clarifies recordkeeping obligations

OSHA's injury and illness recordkeeping Form 300.OSHA has issued a final rule that clarifies an employer's continuing obligation to make and maintain an accurate record of each recordable injury and illness. Effective Jan. 18, the new final rule more clearly states employers' obligations. "This rule simply returns us to the standard practice of the last 40 years," said OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. "It is important to keep in mind that accurate records are not just paperwork; they have a valuable and potentially life-saving purpose." For more information, see the news release.

Worker health and safety should be an integral part of sustainability efforts

Worker safety and health should be part of any sustainability planA growing number of employers are incorporating the concept of sustainability in their business strategies. This approach factors financial, social and environmental concerns as part of a business' bottom line. OSHA recently launched several resources—including a white paper, blog, and organizational profiles—to demonstrate why protecting worker safety and health should also be part of any sustainability effort. The white paper highlights ways sustainability can include innovative approaches for advancing safety and health. To learn more, read the news release and visit OSHA's sustainability webpage. To share your questions, suggestions and successes, contact sustainability@dol.gov.

Recommendations for Anti-Retaliation Programs released

Five key elements to an effective anti-retaliation program: Management commitment, Compliance concern response system, Anti-retaliation response systeOSHA's Whistleblower Protection Programs has issued Recommended Practices for Anti-Retaliation Programs to help employers create workplaces in which workers feel comfortable voicing safety and other concerns without fear of retaliation. The recommendations, which are advisory only and create no new legal obligations, are intended to apply to all public and private sector employers covered by the 22 whistleblower protection laws that OSHA enforces.

Final rule on beryllium lowers exposure levels, will protect 62,000 workers

Beryllium products
An OSHA rule issued Jan. 6 dramatically lowers workplace exposure to beryllium, a useful metal that can be hazardous to workers when particles are inhaled through dust or fumes during processing. The new standards, which apply to general industry, construction, and shipyards, will lower the eight-hour permissible exposure limit to beryllium from 2.0 to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air. When concentrations exceed those limits, employers will be required to take additional measures to protect workers. The rule becomes effective on March 10, 2017, after which employers have one year to implement most provisions. For more information, see the beryllium final rule webpage.