All posts tagged OSHA

workplace-safetyOn October 21, 2016, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a set of Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs to update OSHA’s 1989 guidelines. The updates reflect the countless changes in the economy, workplaces, and evolving safety and health issues since its first release 30 years ago.

The Recommended Practices combine an easy-to-use format with a step-by-step approach to help employers in implementation of a workplace safety and health program. According to OSHA, these new guidelines provide a straightforward approach based around seven core elements, each of which are implemented by completing several action items. The seven core elements are:

  • Management leadership.
  • Worker participation.
  • Hazard identification and assessment.
  • Hazard management and control.
  • Education and training.
  • Program evaluation and improvement.
  • Communication and coordination for host employers, contractors, and staffing agencies.

According to OSHA, the older, traditional approaches are generally reactive rather than proactive. Traditional practices often address a problem after an incident occurs; however, with these new standards and practices the goal is to find and fix hazards before the damage, injury, or illness. The new guidelines outline the core elements, provide tools (downloadable templates, worksheet, and reference materials), related case studies, additional resources covering all the core elements, and the ability to download all the recommended practices for quick reference and application.

For employers, it’s important to note that these new guidelines are for advisory purposes only and do not create new OSHA requirements or safety laws for employer compliance. Regardless, the guidelines — intended to be significantly helpful in small and medium-sized workplaces — may be used in any workplace to create a comprehensive yet flexible framework for addressing workplace safety and health issues.

Originally published by www.thinkhr.com

roll of old style hundred dollar bills stand on wooden table, Shallow DOFSection 701 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 contains the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Improvements Act of 2015, which requires the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and most other federal agencies to implement inflation-adjusted civil penalty increases. The Inflation Adjustment Act also allows OSHA a one time “catch-up adjustment” to adjust for inflation since 1990 (the last time penalties were adjusted) along with annual adjustments for inflation based on the Consumer Price Index.

OSHA was required to publish the new penalty levels through an interim final rule in the Federal Register by July 1, 2016. Subsequently, OSHA adjusted the penalty levels which will take effect after August 1, 2016, as follows:

LEVEL CURRENT MAXIMUM PENALTY NEW MAXIMUM PENALTY
Serious, Other Than Serious Posting Requirements $7,000 per violation $12,471 per violation
Failure to Abate $7,000 per day beyond abatement date $12,471 per day beyond abatement
Willful/Repeat $70,000 per violation $124,709 per violation

 

Any citations issued by OSHA after August 1, 2016 will be subject to the new penalties if the related violations occurred after November 2, 2015.

States that operate their own occupational safety and health plans will also be required to raise their maximum penalty amounts to align with the federal OSHA levels.

To help avoid exposure to the new penalties, employers should perform internal audits to ensure compliance with OSHA standards.

Originally published by ThinkHR – Read More

0621The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued sweeping changes to record-keeping and reporting rules. Starting in 2017, employers with as few as 20 employees may be required to electronically report workplace injuries and illnesses on an annual basis, and the information from those reports will be searchable, by employer name, by any member of the public.

Are you a covered employer?

Determine if you are a business with 20 or more employees that is considered “high risk”:

  • The list includes most retailers, care facilities, transportation services, home delivery services, museums and historical sites, and specialty food services.
  • The complete list can be found on the OSHA website

If you are not “high risk,” determine if you have at least 250 employees:

  • Headcount for OSHA means “the number of paid workers, including full time, part time and seasonal, assigned at any time during the last calendar year.”
  • Contract workers, if supervised by the host company, are included when recording injuries and illnesses.
  • Headcount is calculated by site, not as a company total

If you are a covered employer, request UBA’s Compliance Advisor, “OSHA Reporting Changes: Employer Checklist” for a step-by-step guide to reviewing your employee communications, policies, handbooks and incentive programs for compliance. From OSHA posters, to drug and discipline policies, to incentive programs that may deter accident reporting, make sure you are ready for the changes.

Originally published by United Benefit Advisors – Read More

OSHA’s Final Rule on Electronic Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses | Ohio Benefit Advisors

Categories: Employee Safety, Team K Blog, UBA News
Comments Off on OSHA’s Final Rule on Electronic Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses | Ohio Benefit Advisors

WorkplaceSafety_iStock_92086861Beginning in 2017, certain employers with as few as 20 employees at a single site will be required to electronically file information about employee injuries and accidents that occurred in the prior year. This means that, for many employers, injuries and illnesses occurring in 2016 will be subject to this change.

Employers of as few as one employee have always been required, under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), to report work-related in-patient hospitalizations and deaths. And, employers with at least 10 employees at a single site have been required to maintain and annually post a Form 300A log within their facility. These new regulations will place increased demands on hundreds of thousands of employers, but of greater concern is that OSHA intends to make public the information it collects.

OSHA’s agenda is, quite simply, employer shaming. The quote from the OSHA website states:

OSHA believes that public disclosure will encourage employers to improve workplace safety and provide valuable information to workers, job seekers, customers, researchers and the general public.

Why should this be a concern? One reason is that employers are required to report incidents that are outside of their control, including car accidents and heart attacks. These occurrences can negatively impact an employer’s image to applicants and customers. Further, such incidents are reportable even if they are later found to be not attributable to the employer. A second issue is that labor unions can mine data and use the information in organization efforts. Similarly, competitors will have visibility into rival businesses. Finally, Form 300A reporting includes multiple identifiers that may present challenges with HIPAA, especially in less populated areas.

Originally published from United Benefit Advisors