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Friday, January 15, 2010

Where do you stand with the "New" OSHA?


From the Safety Links Blog, an interesting post on the current focus of OSHA 
Where do you stand with the "New" OSHA?

Many local companies have found out about the “new OSHA” the hard way. The old “well at least you’re trying to comply” mentality is long gone. In fact, in December 2009 we have seen even the most proactive companies receive citations for some very obscure regulations. This direction is coming from the Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis who stated in 2009...

....“The government has a fundamental responsibility to protect workers from unsafe workplaces. We are focused on workers – not voluntary programs and alliances. We are serious about workplace protection. We are serious about workplace health. And we are serious about workplace safety... Make no mistake, the Department of Labor is back in the enforcement business.


Here are some things you can focus on to ensure compliance:

1. Recordkeeping: On October 1, 2009, OSHA announced the national emphasis on recordkeeping. The emphasis program will include greater inspection of employer maintained logs to make certain employers are recording all workplace recordable injuries/illnesses.
2. Annual verification of lockout/tagout procedures: OSHA will focus on making certain that employers are complying with the requirement to conduct periodic inspections (at least annually) of the energy control procedures as required by 20 Code Federal Regulation (CFR) 1910.147 (c)(6)(i).
3. A general lock/tagout policy does not comply with OSHA regulations: Employers must have a separate lockout/tagout procedure for each piece of different equipment.
4. Combustible dust: On April 29, 2009 OSHA announced that rules would be initiated regarding combustible dust hazards. OSHA will issue Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and convene with related stakeholders to evaluate possible regulatory methods, as well as gather data on issues relating to combustible dust.
5. Per employee penalties for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE): OSHA issued a final ruling allowing OSHA to cite employers on a “per employee basis” for failure to wear/use required PPE. The rule went into effect January 12, 2009 and applies to PPE as well as training. As a result, an employer who has failed to properly train employees or who has employees not wearing or using PPE may be issued a citation per employee.

Lastly, it is important to remember that ignorance of an existing or even a new regulation is not an excuse for non-compliance. It is your responsibility to stay current with all new regulations and safety and health information!

1 comment:

  1. A lot of companies are actually getting their workers osha 10 or osha 30 certification programs as a lot of them can see the benefits of such safety programs and the guidelines from OSHA. Aside from reducing the number of injuries at work, it also helps with the day to day operation by avoiding delays and accidents in the workplace.

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