Archive for the ‘OSHA Regulations’ Category

Cal/OSHA Reminds Employers to Post Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses

Monday, May 5th, 2014

The Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DIR/DOSH) reminds all California employees of their requirement to post at their place of business a list of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred at the workplace during the last year. The list must be displayed from February 1 through April 30 for employee review.

The required Cal/OSHA Form 300A is available online at www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/.

Employers are required to use form 300A to report the number of injuries each year, even if no work-related injuries occurred. (more…)

The Code of Federal Regulations Quarterly Update

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

code of federal regulations The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation.

Each volume of the CFR is updated once each calendar year and is issued on a quarterly basis.

Titles 1-16 are updated as of January 1st
Titles 17-27 are updated as of April 1st
Titles 28-41 are updated as of July 1st
Titles 42-50 are updated as of October 1st

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Hexavalent Chromium Notification Mandates for Excess Exposure

Monday, January 20th, 2014

hexavalent chromium In response to a court order, OSHA has amended its February 28, 2006, final rule on occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) by requiring that employers notify employees of the results of all Cr(VI) exposure determinations.

As originally promulgated, the Cr(VI) rule required employers to notify affected employees of any determinations indicating exposures in excess of the permissible exposure limit (PEL). The employer could satisfy this requirement either by posting the determination results in a location accessible to all affected employees or by notifying each affected employee in writing of the results.

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OSHA Penalty Reduction Audit

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Inspector General has announced its audit targets for 2010. On the list, “Impact of OSHA’s Penalty Reductions.”

OSHA’s penalty structure is designed to provide companies with an incentive to correct violations. Reductions in fines can come from several sources. An inspector can recommend discounts to the original fine amount. OSHA supervisors, including area directors, regional administrators and Department of Labor attorneys can further reduce the size of a penalty, which are often significantly less than statutory maximums.
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OSHA Hearing Protector Labeling

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

National Hearing Conservation Association logo 40CFR211 Subpart B, Hearing Protector Labeling

40CFR211 Subpart B, Hearing Protector Labeling Exposure to high levels of noise is one of the most prevalent occupational hazards faced by American workers, with an estimated 22 million noise‐exposed workers in the U.S. Consequently, noise‐induced hearing loss (NIHL) resulting from excessive noise exposure is one of the most common occupational diseases in the U.S.

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H1N1 Respiratory Protection: Surgical Masks vs. N95 Respirators

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

On October 14, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued updated guidelines for infection control procedures for the H1N1 influenza virus.

Included in these updated guidelines were recommendations that employees having direct exposure to H1N1 patients use respirators at least as protective as NIOSH N95 filtering facepiece respirators. In healthcare settings, however, questions can arise about whether a surgical mask or an N95 respirator should be used. Knowing the differences between a surgical mask and an N95 respirator can help answer those questions.

Surgical mask: Medical devices intended for use in preventing and treating disease are subject to regulation under the device provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. This includes surgical masks. As such, the certification of the manufacture of surgical masks is through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—not NIOSH.

A surgical mask is intended to act as a physical barrier to prevent the release of potential contaminants into the immediate environment—they serve as barriers to splash, droplets, and spit. As such, they do provide some measure of protection from bacteria and viruses in these materials, but not airborne particles. Surgical masks are not designed to fit tightly to the face (leakage occurs around the edge of the mask when the user inhales), and they do not effectively filter small particles—such as viruses—from air.

N95 respirator: An N95 is a particulate-filtering facepiece respirator. N95 respirators filter at least 95% of non-oil airborne particles. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has responsibility for the certification and approval of respiratory protection devices for occupational use, including N95 respirators. Only respirators that have been NIOSH-certified can be marketed as NIOSH-approved—and these respirators bear labeling or marking that indicates they are NIOSH certified.

N95 respirators provide protection from exposure to airborne particles such as biological aerosols, including viruses and bacteria, by effectively filtering large and small particles from the air. N95 respirators are designed to fit tightly to the face, preventing leakage of unfiltered air into the breathing space when the wearer inhales. Many N95 respirators cannot be worn in health care settings where a sterile environment must be maintained—for example, those with exhalation valves.

Surgical N95 respirators: For a health care center where protection from H1N1 is required and the environment must be maintained as sterile, a surgical N95 respirator is an option. Surgical N95 respirators are a type of hybrid respirator. Surgical N95 respirators are both NIOSH approved and cleared by the FDA as a surgical mask. Like a surgical mask, the surgical N95 respirator provides a physical barrier for splashes and sprays, and like an N95 respirator, it fits tightly to the face to provide protection from airborne particles.

OSHA Posts Fatality Logs Online

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Wednesday unveiled a new Web site that lists fatality and catastrophe reports by companies across the nation.

The federal agency keeps logs of all of the reported worker fatalities and work place incidents that result in the injury of more than three workers. It keeps weekly lists of the incidents along with short synopses of how the injuries or deaths occurred.

The OSHA fatality log website on Wednesday had logs for the weeks between July 24 and Nov. 27.

The online database gives companies an incentive to take steps to avoid such accidents, and gives safety directors access to information that identifies common hazards around the country, according to the OSHA announcement.

OSHA Public Hearing on New Hazcom Workplace Rule

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will hold three informal public hearings to accept comments and testimony on the proposed rule to align the agency’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

The first hearing will begin March 2 at 9:30 a.m. in the auditorium of the U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. Additional hearings are scheduled for March 31 in Pittsburgh and April 13 in Los Angeles. OSHA will provide the location for the Pittsburgh and Los Angeles hearings in a future notice.

A number of countries, including the United States, and international organizations participated in developing the GHS to address inconsistencies in hazard classification and communications. The system provides a single, harmonized system to classify chemicals, labels and safety data sheets with the primary benefit of increasing the quality and consistency of information provided to workers, employers and chemical users.

Those interested in attending the hearings must provide a notice of intention to appear by January 18, 2010. Notices may be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Notices can also be submitted by regular mail to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-H022K-2006-0062, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Ave., Washington, D.C. 20210. Submissions not exceeding 10 pages can be faxed to the OSHA Docket Office at 202-693-1648.

Technical inquiries should be directed to Maureen Ruskin, OSHA, Office of Chemical Hazards-Metals, 202-693-1950. Press inquiries should be directed to Jennifer Ashley, OSHA, Office of Communications, 202-693-1999.

Department of Labor Increases Budget To Fight Workplace Fraud

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

DOL Budget Boosts Labor Funds to Combat Workplace Fraud

The Obama administration has proposed $14 billion to fund Labor Department divisions pertaining to work force development and safety, among other initiatives. Several Labor Department divisions, including the Employee Benefits Administration, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Wage and Hour Division, among others, saw moderate increases to their fiscal 2011 unit budgets from 2010 levels.

In an online chat Monday following the budget’s release, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said the department would seek to allocate $1.7 billion for worker protection programs—an increase of roughly $69 million—and also hire about 177 new inspectors and investigators.
“Today’s budget affirms this administration’s strong commitment to vigorous enforcement,” Ms. Solis said in a recorded video message. She added, “OSHA received over 100 inspectors in our 2010 budget, as well as an additional 25 requested in 2011. We are also moving 35 inspectors from compliance assistance activities to enforcement.”

From the Wall Street Journal.

OSHA Releases Workplace Injury and Illness Data

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Every year since 1996 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has collected work-related injury and illness data from more than 80,000 employers. For the first time, the agency has made the data from 1996 to 2007 available in a searchable online database, allowing the public to look at establishment or industry-specific injury and illness data. The workplace injury and illness data is available online at OSHA.gov at as well as Data.gov.

OSHA uses the data to calculate injury and illness incidence rates to guide its strategic management plan and to focus its Site Specific Targeting (SST) Program, which the agency uses to target its inspections.

“Making injury and illness information available to the public is part of OSHA’s response to the administration’s commitment to make government more transparent to the American people,” said David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA. “This effort will improve the public’s accessibility to workplace safety and health data and ensure the Agency can function more effectively for American workers.”

Information available at the Data.gov and www.osha.gov websites includes an establishment’s name, address, industry, associated Total Case Rate (TCR), Days Away, Restricted, Transfer (DART) case rate, and the Days Away From Work (DAFWII) case rate. The data is specific to the establishments that provided OSHA with valid data through the 2008 data collection (collection of CY 2007 data). This database does not contain rates calculated by OSHA for establishments that submitted suspect or unreliable data.

Data.gov provides expanded public access to valuable workforce-related data generated by the Executive Branch of the federal government. Although the initial launch of Data.gov provides a limited portion of the rich variety of Federal datasets presently available, the public is invited to participate in shaping the future of Data.gov by suggesting additional datasets and site enhancements to provide seamless public access and use of federal data.

More information about the Department of Labor’s Open Government Web site is available at www.dol.gov/open where there are links to the latest data sets, ways to connect with Department staff, and information about providing public input that will make the Department’s site and its work more useful and engaging.