OSHA’S Fall Prevention Campaign Includes a National-Stand Down for Fall Safety

Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. In 2012, 279 construction workers lost their lives in falls from heights and more than 8,800 construction workers were seriously injured by falls. From June 2 through June 6, 2014 employers and workers are voluntarily stopping work to talk about saving lives and preventing fatal falls. More than 1 million workers and tens of thousands of businesses across the country are expected to participate in this national stand-down for fall safety. This national stand-down…
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OSHA to Refer Time-Barred Whistleblower Claims to the NLRB

On May 21st, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced that OSHA will begin referring time-barred whistleblower claims (brought pursuant to Section 11(c) of the OSH Act) to the NLRB, which has a longer limitations period, for investigation and potential prosecution. In order to facilitate this collaborative program, OSHA agents have been provided with talking points briefly describing the NLRB and providing other information to use when referring untimely Section 11(c) complainants. The statute of limitations for a whistleblower claim brought pursuant to Section…
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This Week’s Top OSHA Related News


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OSHA Emphasizes Safe Patient Handling Programs for Healthcare Workers

Nurses and other healthcare workers face many safety and health hazards in their work environments. In fact, healthcare workers experience some of the highest rates of non-fatal occupational injuries and illnesses of any industry sector. In 2012, injuries and illnesses reported for nursing and residential care workers were significantly higher than those in construction, and 2-3 times higher than in retail or manufacturing. Almost half of the injuries and illnesses reported for nurses and nursing support staffs were musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).  Reducing the number of…
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OSHA Related News for April


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Exploring the Limits of OSHA’s Inspection Authority: A Precursor to Exercising Your Rights

If an OSHA inspector, known as a compliance safety and health officer (CSHO), arrives at your door, presents his or her credentials, and asks for you to consent to an inspection of your workplace, what do you do? If you consent, what should you expect to happen next? And if you refuse to consent, then what? Obviously it would be wishful thinking to conclude that the CSHO would simply leave, bid you good day and never come back. These rather elementary questions are among the…
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OSHA Announces National Stand-Down for Fall Prevention

OSHA has announced a national safety stand-down from June 2 to June 6, 2014 to raise awareness about the hazards of falls, which account for the highest number of deaths in the construction industry. In order to conduct a safety stand-down, a construction company should stop working at a specific designated time and provide a focused toolbox talk on a safety topic such as ladder safety, fall protection equipment, or scaffolds safety. The purpose of the meeting is to provide information to workers about hazards,…
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OSHA Tasked by Congress to Protect Whistleblowers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been tasked by Congress to enforce the whistleblower provisions of 22 different statutes. These laws protect workers in many industries throughout the country from retaliation when they report unsafe working conditions, fraud or something that would endanger the public. The Department of Labor is reporting that since 2009 the number of new whistleblower cases has grown by 37 percent. The Federal government has responded to this increase by providing additional resources in the fiscal 2015 budget. With these…
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OSHA to Pay Special Attention to Accidents Involving Communication Tower Workers

A recent communications tower collapse in West Virginia resulted in the deaths of two tower workers, as well as a firefighter who died while responding to the incident. These deaths are part of a sharp rise in fatalities in this industry. In fact, more communication tower workers were killed in 2013 than in the previous two years combined. According to Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels, OSHA is very concerned about the sharp rise in deaths and is going to increase…
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Six Practical Tips for Minimizing OSHA Liability

As many employers know, OSHA penalties can be costly. Some employers, however, never even receive an OSHA citation. Why is this? Is it luck? Or is it because the employer implemented well-thought and planned systems and strategies specifically designed to promote the health and safety of its workers? In my recent article in Industry Week, I assert that it is likely the later – and provide six practical tips and strategies that employers in virtually any industry may implement. These strategies include:
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