Final Rule on Respirable Silica Dust
The final rule is written as two standards, one for construction and one for general industry and maritime. In addition to reducing the permissible exposure limit for crystalline silica, the rule includes employer requirements such as limiting worker exposure through work practices and engineering controls; providing respiratory protection when controls are insufficient; training workers; limiting their access to high exposure areas and providing medical exams to highly exposed workers. Both standards take effect on June 23, 2016., after which industries have one to five years to comply with most requirements:
Construction – Full compliance by June 23, 2017
General Industry – Full compliance by June 23, 2018
OSHA Injury Reporting Webpage simplified, online filing now available
To help employers comply with new requirements to report severe worker injuries, within 24 hours – defined as an amputation, hospitalization or loss of an eye, OSHA has created a reporting webpage and now offers the option of reporting incidents online.
OSHA seeks comment on updated Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines
OSHA is seeking public comment on an updated version of its voluntary Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines, first published in 1989. The guidelines are intended to help employers establish safety and health plans at their workplaces. Key principles include finding and fixing hazards before they cause injury or illness, and making sure that workers have a voice in safety and health. The updated guidelines*, which include illustrations, tools and resources, should be particularly helpful to small- and medium-sized businesses. The guidelines also address ways in which multiple employers at the same work site can coordinate efforts to make sure all workers are protected equally. Public comments will be accepted until Feb. 15. For more information, see the news release.
OSHA issues proposed rulemaking clarifying the ongoing obligation to make and maintain accurate records of work-related injuries and illnesses
OSHA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the July 29 Federal Register that clarifies an employer’s continuing obligation to make and maintain an accurate record of each recordable injury and illness throughout the five-year period during which the employer is required to keep the records.
OSHA issued this proposed rule to clarify the agency’s long-standing position that the duty to record an injury or illness continues for as long as the employer must keep records of the recordable injury or illness. The proposed amendments add no new compliance obligations; the proposal would not require employers to make records of any injuries or illnesses for which records are not already required.
Members of the public can submit written comments on the proposed rule at www.regulations.gov, the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Comments must be submitted by Sept. 27
Updated comprehensive guide to OSHA training requirements available
OSHA has posted a fully updated version of its guide to all agency training requirements to help employers, safety and health professionals, training directors and others comply with the law and keep workers safe. Training Requirements in OSHA Standards* organizes the training requirements into five categories: General Industry, Maritime, Construction, Agriculture and Federal Employee Programs.
OSHA Heat App surpasses 200K downloads
More than 200,000 users have downloaded the OSHA Heat Safety Tool since its launch in 2011. This spring, OSHA released a new version of the app for Apple devices, with full-screen color alerts, improved navigation and accessibility options.
This improved version lets you know instantly if you are in a high-risk zone due to heat and humidity and precautions that need to be taken to prevent heat-related illness. The recently updated app gives users important safety information when and where they need it on their mobile phones. This App can be downloaded from OSHA’s website here.
New OSHA Standard for Confined Spaces in Construction goes into effect August 3
29 CFR 1926 Subpart AA includes several standards regarding confined space work. The new set of standard, which is similar to 29CFR1910.146 which covers general industry, covers all construction employers whose employees may be subject to confined space hazards, with the exception of specialized construction activities (excavations, underground construction, caissons, cofferdams, compressed air and diving) which are separately regulated. It differs from the General Industry Standard in that it incorporates construction specific provisions, reflects advances in technology, and improved enforceability of the requirements. The new standard emphasizes training, monitoring/evaluating, and communications when working in confined spaces.
June 1st Compliance date for revised Hazard Communication Requirements
June 1, 2015 is the date by which compliance with all modified provisions of the final rule is required, except that chemical distributors have a 6 month grace period for shipping containers labeled with the appropriate HCS label. June 1 marks the requirement for compliant SDSs and labels on all chemical shipments (except for the grace period for distributors noted)
June 1, 2016 is the final implementation date when all employers must have completed updating of alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication program as necessary, and provide additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards.
OSHA Letters of Interpretation in 29 CFR Part 1904 – Recording & Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses
December 12, 2014
… You ask if kinesiology tape is considered medical treatment for OSHA recordkeeping purposes. – We consulted with physicians in OSHA’s Office of Occupational Medicine and they inform us that kinesiology taping is designed to relieve pain through physical and neurological mechanisms. The lifting action of the tape purportedly relieves pressure on pain receptors directly under the skin, allowing for relief from acute injuries. The use of kinesiology tape is akin to physical therapy and is considered medical treatment beyond first aid for OSHA recordkeeping purposes. (See section 1904.7(b)(5)(ii)(M)).
October 20, 2014
… you state that an employee was bitten by a deer tick in the work environment. The employee does not contract Lyme disease or any other illness as a result of the bite, does not exhibit any signs of illness, and does not miss any time at work. In an abundance of caution, a physician prescribes antibiotics as a prophylactic measure. …
The issuance of prescription antibiotics is considered medical treatment beyond first aid for OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping purposes. The scenario described above is a work-related injury involving medical treatment and must be entered on the OSHA Form 300. The Agency believes that the use of prescription medications is not first aid… See, the preamble to the final rule revising OSHA’s recordkeeping regulation, 66 Fed. Reg. 5986 (January 19, 2001)