New reporting requirements: Employers required to report fatalities and severe injuries and illnesses
As of Jan. 1, 2015, employers covered by federal OSHA are now required to report work-related fatalities within 8 hours and work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and losses of an eye within 24 hours of finding out about the incident.
Previously, employers were required to report all workplace fatalities and when three or more workers were hospitalized in the same incident. The updated reporting requirements have a life-saving purpose: they will enable employers and workers to prevent future injuries by identifying and eliminating the most serious workplace hazards.
Employers can report these incidents by calling their nearest area office during normal business hours, or the 24-hour OSHA hotline at 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742). For more information and resources, visit OSHA's Web page on the updated reporting requirements. Soon employers will also be able to report fatalities, injuries and illnesses online.
As of January 1, 2015:
All employers* must report:
- Work-related fatalities within 8 hours
Within 24 hours, work-related:
- Inpatient hospitalizations
- Losses of an eye
How to Report Incident
*Employers under federal OSHA's jurisdiction were required to begin reporting by January 1, 2015. Establishments in a state with a state-run OSHA program should contact their state plan for the implementation date.
OSHA reminds employers to post OSHA 300A injury/illness summary February through April
OSHA is reminding covered employers to post OSHA's Form 300A, which summarizes the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred during 2014 and were logged on OSHA's Form 300, the log of work-related injuries and illnesses. The summary must be posted between Feb. 1 and April 30, 2015, and should be displayed in a common area where notices to employees are usually posted.
Employers with 10 or fewer employees and employers in specific low-hazard industries are normally exempt from federal OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping and posting requirements. Due to changes in OSHA's recordkeeping requirements that went into effect Jan. 1, 2015, certain previously exempt industries are now covered. Lists of both exempt and newly covered industries are available on OSHA's website. Visit the Updates to OSHA's Recordkeeping Rule Web page for more information on recordkeeping requirements.
Winter Storm Hazards: Web page offers guidance for employers and workers
As the temperatures drop and winter storms head in, employers can take measure to keep workers safe. OSHA's Winter Weather Web page provides information on protecting workers from hazards they may face while working outside during the winter, particularly in severe cold weather.
The Web page provides guidance on how to recognize snow storm-related hazards and the necessary steps that employers must take to keep workers safe while working in these conditions. This guidance includes how to protect workers from hazards associated with clearing heavy snow in front of workplaces and from rooftops.
Federal OSHA rejects inadequate fall prevention measures in Arizona's state-run occupational safety and health program
OSHA published a notice in the Feb. 6 Federal Register rejecting Arizona's residential construction fall protection standard. Arizona is one of 27 states and territories that operate their own occupational safety and health programs. State-run programs are required to be at least as effective as federal OSHA standards. The Arizona state legislature recently passed a statute that requires fall protection – specifically a guardrail, safety net or personal fall arrest system – for fall hazards at a height of 15 feet or greater. Federal OSHA requires employers to provide fall protection whenever workers are exposed to a fall hazard at a height of six feet or more.
Because Arizona's fall protection statute is not as effective as federal OSHA's, the agency has the authority to assume control of the enforcement standards in the state's construction sector. The Federal Register notice stated that OSHA was deferring this action to allow time for the Arizona legislature to repeal its inadequate fall protection provision.
As a result of OSHA's Federal Register notice, Arizona's Department of Occupational Safety and Health took immediate action and deemed the state's inadequate standards automatically repealed. Arizona is now enforcing OSHA's residential construction fall protection requirements and is offering free training classes for affected employers. OSHA will continue to work with the state and monitor its enforcement of the fall protection standard.
OSHA launches redesigned Whistleblower Protection Web page
OSHA unveiled a redesigned Whistleblower Protection page that is more user-friendly and features improved navigability that makes it easier to find program information and resources.
The redesign effort is part of OSHA's continuing efforts to strengthen its outreach and provide thorough and accessible information to the public.
Safety and Health Information Bulletin warns of hazards from exposure to grain fumigants
OSHA has released a Safety and Health Information Bulletin warning of hazardous exposure to chemical fumigants used in insect control in stored grain. The use of chemical fumigants can result in hazardous exposures to workers involved in the handling of both fumigants and treated grain. An upsurge in insect infestations and the movement of stored grain have contributed to the need for increased fumigation, putting exposed workers at increased risk. The toxic effects of these fumigants can include permanent central nervous system damage, heart and vascular disease, lung edema and cancer.
The bulletin outlines the exposure risks and provides employers with measures to take in evaluating grain handling facilities and transit carriers, such as truck trailers, railroad cars and barges. See the bulletin for more information.
OSHA and NIOSH issue hazard alert to protect workers from silica exposure during countertop manufacture and installation
Courtesy David L. Johnson & Margaret Phillips, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Cutting stone, as pictured, generates dangerous crystalline silica dust that can become trapped in lung tissue and cause silicosis.
OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health have jointly issued a hazard alert (PDF*) about protecting workers from significant crystalline silica exposure during manufacturing, finishing, and installing natural and manufactured stone countertops.
Workers who inhale very small crystalline silica particles are at risk for silicosis – an incurable, progressively disabling and sometimes fatal lung disease. Symptoms of silicosis can include shortness of breath, cough and fatigue, and may or may not be obviously attributable to silica. Workers exposed to airborne crystalline silica also are at increased risk for lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease.
OSHA and NIOSH have identified exposure to silica as a health hazard to workers involved in stone countertop operations, both in fabrication shops and during in-home finishing/installation. The alert explains how this hazard can be mitigated with simple and effective dust controls. See the news release for more information
OSHA signs alliance with EPA and Fertilizer Safety and Health Partners to protect workers, first responders from hazardous chemicals
OSHA entered into an alliance with Fertilizer Safety and Health Partners and the Environmental Protection Agency to provide safety and health information and training resources to workers, emergency responders and communities surrounding establishments in the agricultural retail and supply industry. The alliance will focus on the safe storage and handling of fertilizers such as ammonium nitrate and anhydrous ammonia.
"Incidents such as the horrific explosion at the West Fertilizer Company in West, Texas, that killed 15 people including emergency response personnel, highlight the hazards in storing and handling ammonium nitrate," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "These tragedies are preventable and we need to work together to address hazards, prevent injuries and save lives."
The alliance emphasizes sharing emergency response information among agricultural business establishments, first responders and surrounding communities; as well as improving the safety and security of chemical facilities, reducing the risks of hazardous chemicals to workers and communities, educating workers on their rights and ensuring that employers understand their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
New outreach materials focus on Tree Care Workers; Temporary Workers
OSHA has released two new bilingual –English and Spanish—on-the-job quick references for employers and employees. Tree Care Work: Know the Hazards (PDF*) addresses the most common tree care work hazards and ways in which employers can prevent them.
The Temporary Worker (PDF*) pocket-sized pamphlet reminds individuals working through a staffing agency that they have the same rights as any other worker. The pamphlet is part of OSHA's Temporary Worker Initiative, which focuses on compliance with safety and health requirements when temporary workers are employed under the joint employment of a staffing agency and a host employer.
These bilingual resources are easy-to-read, durable in design and ideal for health and safety trainings, consultations, and inspections. To order quantities of these or any other OSHA materials, visit OSHA's Publications Web page or call the Publications Office at (202) 693-1888.
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