OSHA Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements

Under the OSHA record keeping regulation, covered employers are required to prepare and maintain records of serious occupational injuries and illnesses. Such events must be recorded on the OSHA 300 Log. This type of information is important for employers, workers and OSHA in evaluating the safety of a workplace, understanding industry hazards, and implementing worker protections to reduce and eliminate hazards. What Employers are Required to Report: All employers covered by the Act must orally report to OSHA the death of any employee from a work-related incident or the in-patient hospitalization of three or more employees as a result of a work-related incident within eight (8) hours. When Employers are Required to Prepare and Maintain Records:  Employers with more than ten (10) employees and whose establishments are not classified as ...
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OSHA Releases New Resources to Protect Hospital Workers and Enhance Patient Safety

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently launched a new educational Web resource which has extensive materials to help hospitals prevent worker injuries, assess workplace safety needs, enhance safe patient handling programs, and implement safety and health management systems.  The materials include fact books, self-assessments and best practice guides.  The website’s materials on safe patient handling are designed to address the most common type of injuries hospital workers face, and hospitals can use these resources to protect their workers, improve patient safety and reduce costs. Among the many serious hazards that hospitals workers face are exposure to chemicals and hazardous drugs, exposure to infectious diseases and needlesticks, lifting and moving patients, and workplace violence.  According to Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and ...
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U.S. Department of Labor Announces Rule Change That Will Decrease Burden on Employer’s Utilizing Mechanical Power Presses

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced a rule change which updates and streamlines the standards for the use of mechanical power presses which punch, form or assemble metal or other materials. Workers can be exposed to hand, finger or arm injuries if parts of a press are worn, damaged or not operating properly. The new rule will eliminate a requirement for employers to document mandatory weekly inspections of these presses while clarifying the responsibility of employers to perform and document any maintenance or repairs necessary to protect the safety of the workers who operate them. The DOL found that removing the weekly inspection and test certification requirements will reduce 613,000 hours of unnecessary paperwork burden on employers. The final rule will be effective February 18, 2014, unless OSHA receives a significant ...
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Employer Sentenced to Prison and Fined $1.2 Million for Deaths of Two Employees

On May 14, 2010, two employees of Black Mag, LLC were killed in an explosion at the plant while manufacturing a gun powder substitute. The employees, who had been employed for just one month, were hand feeding powder into operating equipment due to the employer’s failure to implement essential protective controls. OSHA’s investigation into the cause of the explosion led to the issuance of 54 workplace safety and health citations with penalties totaling $1.2 million. Craig Sanborn, who was the company’s president, managing member and primary owner, was sentenced to five to ten years on two counts of manslaughter, to be served consecutively, for a total of ten to twenty years, and assessed fines of $10,000. To view all of the citations issued to Black Mag, click here.
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OSHA Proposes New Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries

OSHA recently announced that it was issuing a proposed rule to improve workplace safety and health through improved tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. Under the proposed rule, establishments with more than 250 employees will be required to submit injury and illness information to OSHA electronically on a quarterly basis.  OSHA is also proposing that establishments with 20 or more employees, in certain industries with high injury and illness rates, be required to submit electronically only their summary of work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA once a year. Currently, many such firms report this information to OSHA under OSHA’s Data Initiative. OSHA plans to eventually post the data online. It is thought that timely, establishment-specific injury and illness data will help OSHA target its compliance assistance and enforcement resources more effectively by identifying workplaces ...
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Falls Prevented, Lives Saved With Three Steps

OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign offers fact sheets, posters, and videos that vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventative measures.  This website is part of OHSA’s nationwide outreach campaign to raise awareness  among workers and employers about the hazards of falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs. According to OHSA, falls can be prevented and lives can be saved through three simple steps:  Plan ahead to get the job done safely;  Provide the right equipment, and Train everyone to use the equipment safely. OSHA can provide materials and resources that employers can use during toolbox talks to train workers on safe practices to avoid falls in construction.  All documents on the website are available to print free of charge.
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OSHA Issues $270K in Fines to Four Contractors For Hazards Related to Fall Protection

OSHA recently issued citations totaling $272,720 to four contractors following an inspection of a project involving the construction of a mid-town Manhattan hotel.  Notably, the fines were issued even though no one was hurt.  The inspection was conducted as the result of a complaint that workers were being exposed to fall hazards. The contractor receiving the heaviest of the fines, Flintlock Construction Services, LLC, is a general contractor and it was cited  for seven violations of OSHA’s fall protection and scaffolding standards for workers being exposed to potentially fatal falls of up to 26 feet while they were on scaffolding. Flintlock allegedly failed to provide and ensure the use of fall protection, such as guardrails or personal fall arrest systems.  In addition, the scaffolding lacked a  safe means of access, ...
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You’ve Received an OSHA Citation: Step One

If you receive an OSHA citation, one of the things you certainly should not do is put the citation on the corner of your desk and tell yourself that you will take care of it “later.” Essentially, this is the equivalent of doing nothing and contrary to wishful thinking the citation is not going to vanish on its own with the passage of time. Often, after getting consumed by something else, “later” winds up being much later. This is not advisable. It is important to give an OSHA citation your immediate attention and consider your options and any potential defenses that may be raised. In fact, critical procedural rights – all of which may serve to save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in penalties – may be forever lost as ...
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