Posts Tagged OSHA

OSHA Publishes Final Rule to Align its HCS with GHS

Posted by proforma on March 27, 2012  |  No Comments

On March 26, OSHA published its final rule aligning its Hazard Communication Standard with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, or GHS — a worldwide effort to standardize criteria for classifying chemical hazards, labeling and safety data sheets. The effective date of the final rule is 60 days after the date of publication.

Organizations preparing to transition to GHS will need to rewrite their SDS (or MSDS) to the new format; the amount of work this represents has been estimated by experts to approach 100 percent of current SDS. Employees will need to be retrained to the new SDS, and where to find them; containers must be relabeled.

View a side by side comparison of Hazard Communication Standard, 1910.1200, as published in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) on March 11, 1994; herein referred to as HCS 1994, and the final rule revising the Hazard Communication Standard to be consistent with the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (herein referred to as the HCS 2012). For additional information, read the press release, access this Fact Sheet or the quick cards.

OSHA Releases Enforcement Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Posted by proforma on March 1, 2011  |  8 Comments

OSHA has released its new Enforcement Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment in General Industry, intended to clarify what kind of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) employers must provide free to workers, such as goggles, face shields, earplugs, earmuffs and respirators.

Businesses Concerned About OSHA’s Proposal for Musculoskeletal Disorder Reporting Requirement

Posted by proforma on February 2, 2011  |  No Comments

HSE professionals are watching for further developments in possible reporting requirements on musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) related to workplace injury or illness. OSHA proposes to require employers to disclose in federal surveys whether a worker’s injury is musculoskeletal in nature.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce (see history on this issue) says this move indicates interest of the Obama administration to adopt sweeping regulation of ergonomic safety. According to Marc Freedman, director of labor law policy for the Chamber, their concerns center on how OSHA will define MSD and whether the injuries actually occurred in the workplace.

On January 25, OSHA announced it was temporarily withdrawing its proposal that a column be added to employer injury and illness logs to record work-related musculoskeletal disorders, citing the need for active dialogue between the agency and the small business community.”

OSHA Hazard Communication Standard

Posted by proforma on February 1, 2011  |  2 Comments

OSHA has slated final action for its  Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) in August 2011. For details, go to  http://www.dol.gov/osha/regs/unifiedagenda/fall2010/1218-AC20.htm. OSHA intends to conform the existing HCS with the United Nations’ (UN) Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

OSHA Sees I2P2 As Top Priority for 2011

Posted by proforma on January 6, 2011  |  No Comments

OSHA is describing its Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2) as a top priority for 2011. A proposed rule to modernize the agency’s reporting system is expected in a September 2011 Notice for Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). The intent is for the I2P2 standard to have the “widest industry and employer coverage that the rulemaking process can tolerate,” according to this document outlining the recommendations by the American Industrial Hygiene Association I2P2 Task Force. The focus will be on proactive identification and control of workplace risks related to physical, biological and chemical and safety hazards.

The proposed I2P2 rule would cover
1) Management duties
2) Employee participation
3) Hazard identification and assessment
4) Hazard prevention and control
5) Education and training
6) Program evaluation and improvement

Separate but related, OSHA also intends to pursue an Infectious Diseases regulation that will require employers to not only protect workers from exposure to infectious diseases, but also develop control programs. Primarily focused on the healthcare industry, a request for information is anticipated to be published soon. Further information is available here.

OSHA Publishes Interim Final Rules on Whistleblower Provisions

Posted by proforma on September 14, 2010  |  No Comments

whistleblowerThe U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has published interim final rules intended to protect workers who voice their concerns about safety, health, and security issues, and in particular, set procedures for handling worker retaliation complaints. The rule itself is available here and information on ”whistleblower” provisions is available at http://www.whistleblowers.gov.

A survey conducted by the Ethics Resource Center, entitled, “Who’s Telling You What You Need to Know, Who Isn’t, and What You Can Do About It,” found that women and nonunion workers, managers (not non-managers) were more likely to report misconduct; US companies or US-based multinationals were more likely to see reporting than foreign-owned. Companies with strong codes of conduct and training experienced higher reporting rates. An useful article on what employers can do to reduce whistleblower incidents is available here.

New OSHA Rule for Cranes and Derricks Issued

Posted by proforma on August 4, 2010  |  No Comments

The final rule for cranes and derricks in construction that’s taken years to develop will go into effect November 8, 2010. The new rule will cover the leading causes of death attributed to electrocution, struck-by hazards, boom collapse and overturning.

One of the most significant changes is that operators will now be required to be qualified and certified (1926.1427). Other personnel, including riggers and signal persons, will also have to be qualified.

Employers will be required to certify their crane operators within the next four years.

Ergonomics: The Next Workplace Safety Battleground

Posted by proforma on June 30, 2010  |  No Comments

Will ergonomics become the next battleground between business and the Administration in workplace safety enforcement? This article on Human Resource Executive Online talks about the possibility of an increase in the scope of compensable injuries. Some believe new standards may be in the works.

CSB Approves Recommendations for Preventing Explosions

Posted by proforma on June 30, 2010  |  No Comments

JOHN CAPANNA, HOT WORK ACCIDENT SURVIVOR

The Chemical Safety Board has issued 18 recommendations to OSHA, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and other agencies that are intended to prevent explosions and fires resulting from using fuel gas to clean or purge gas pipes. These recommendations evolved from its investigations into the Kleen Energy plant explosion and the ConAgra Foods plant explosion. Both explosions were attributed to natural gas released during the installation and commissioning of new piping.

CBS recommends that OSHA pass regulations prohibiting the use of natural gas for pipe cleaning and the venting or purging of fuel gas indoors. IN addition, it urges OSHA to require companies to provide workers and contractors with appropriate procedures and training.

See this moving video put out by the Chemical Safety Board on the Dangers of Hot Work.

UPS Driver Refused to Drive Unsafe Vehicle

Posted by proforma on June 1, 2010  |  1 Comment

A UPS driver was fired after his refusal to drive a truck he reported as unsafe due to inoperable lights on the trailer and tractor. OSHA has ordered United Parcel Service to pay the driver $111,008 in back wages, benefits, compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorney’s fees. OSHA published details in this release.

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