Archives: OSHA Guidance

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OSHA Seeks Comments on its Updated Voluntary Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines

This week OSHA announced that it is seeking public comment on its updated voluntary Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines (OSHA-2015-0018) which it hopes “will provide employers and workers with a sound, flexible framework for addressing safety and health issues in the workplace.” Comments must be received by February 15th, 2016. The Safety and Health … Continue Reading

Fainting At Sight of Blood From Work-Related Injury Recordable

In a recent interpretation letter, OSHA responded to an employer’s request for “clarification on whether an employee’s laceration and subsequent fainting at the sight of blood constitutes a recordable case on the OSHA Form 300.” The employee had scratched his finger on a vinyl saw clamp at work. The injury was minor and the only … Continue Reading

OSHA Request Public Comment on Whistleblower Guidance Document

Recognizing that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, OSHA introduced last week its draft document, “Protecting Whistleblowers: Recommended Practices for Employers for Preventing and Addressing Retaliation” (available here).  In the draft document, OSHA identifies these five key steps to creating an effective anti-retaliation program: Ensure leadership commitment Foster an anti-retaliation culture … Continue Reading

Lawmakers Pledge Action to Curb Agency Guidance Documents

Under an exception to the rulemaking process, federal agencies may use legally nonbinding guidance documents to interpret regulations. This has led some U.S. senators not only to issue a broad pledge to restrict the practice when such guidance becomes a rule enforceable against a regulated community, but also to request that the Occupational Safety and … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Extensive Hazard Communication Directive

On July 20, 2015, OSHA published a long awaited Directive on the revised Hazard Communication Standard (“HCS”), Inspection Procedures for the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012), CPL 02-02-079. The Directive is intended to provide inspection and enforcement guidance to compliance officers regarding the final Hazard Communication Standard published in March 2012. However, the Directive also … Continue Reading

OSHA Extends Enforcement Date for Confined Spaces in Construction Standard

On May 4, 2015, OSHA published the Confined Spaces in Construction standard, 29 C.F.R 1926, Subpart AA.  The new standard is effective August 3, 2015.  Several interested stakeholders petitioned the agency for a delay in the August enforcement date citing the  need for additional time to train employees and obtain the necessary equipment to comply with … Continue Reading

OSHA launches its Hazard Identification Training Tool

OSHA’s new Hazard Identification Training Tool is designed as “an interactive, online, game-based training tool for small business owners, workers and others interested in learning the core concepts of hazard identification.” Users enter a rudimentary virtual world where they are able to choose to visit one of four scenarios: OSHA Visual Inspection Training, Manufacturing, Construction, … Continue Reading

Eight Tips for Addressing OSHA’s New Enforcement Guidance on RAGAGEP under the Process Safety Management Standard

OSHA issues new guidance to Regional Administrators and State Plan Designees on the enforcement of the Process Safety Management (PSM) standard’s recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices (RAGAGEP) requirements. The new guidance clarifies OSHA’s positions with respect to enforcing the PSM standards that reference or imply the use of RAGAGEP. The memorandum provides the … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Guidance on Restroom Access for Transgender Workers

On June 1, 2015, OSHA announced its new Best Practices: A Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers. The core principle underlying OSHA’s best practices is that: “All employees, including transgender employees, should have access to restrooms that correspond to their gender identity.” OSHA’s Sanitation standard (29 C.F.R. § 1910.141(c)) mandates that employers who fall … Continue Reading

OSHA and NIOSH issue Hazard Alert on Worker Exposure to Crystalline Silica

OSHA first announced its proposed rule on Occupational Exposure to Crystalline Silica in August 2013 and concluded public hearings on the proposed rule in April 2014.  In spite of this ongoing intense rulemaking on occupational exposure to crystalline silica, OSHA and NIOSH published a Hazard Alert on Worker Exposure to Crystalline Silica during Countertop Manufacturing, … Continue Reading

OSHA Concludes that Acclimatization May Be the Most Important Element of a Heat-Illness Prevention Program

On August 8, 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a report in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (Vol. 63. No. 31) related to the causes of heat illness and death among workers in the United States.  The report is the result of a OSHA’s Heat … Continue Reading

OSHA Enters Into MOU with the FMCSA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”).  The MOU is intended to facilitate coordination and cooperation between the two agencies when enforcing the anti-retaliation provision of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (“STAA”), 49 U.S.C. § 31105, and the anti-coercion … Continue Reading

OSHA Launches Online Tool for Hospitals

On January 15, 2014, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) launched an online resource tool to help hospitals assess workplace safety needs, implement safety and health management systems, and enhance their safe patient handling programs.  The online resource tool was created in an effort to assist hospitals in combating their high workplace injury and … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Memorandum on Classifying Combustible Dust under Revised Hazard Communication Standard

On December 27, 2013, OSHA quietly issued a memorandum to all Regional Administrators providing compliance guidance to Compliance Safety & Health Officers (CSHO) for inspections of manufacturers and importers under the revised Hazard Communication Standard.  Specifically, the guidance is meant to provide CSHOs with criteria for determining whether classifiers (manufacturers and importers) have appropriately classified … Continue Reading

Chemical Facility Safety and Security

In the wake of the devastating West Texas fertilizer plant explosion in April, the federal government is moving to improve chemical facility safety and security. We anticipate a number of significant government proposals and actions over the next year. The Presidential Executive Order of August 1, 2013, “Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security,” directs the … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Regulatory Agenda

OSHA recently issued its long-awaited regulatory agenda.  The agenda is designed to provide stakeholders with notice of what major regulatory initiatives the agency is planning and the projected timetables for those initiatives. OSHA’s agenda is the first issued in several months by the agency and provides a glimpse into the regulatory priorities – in President … Continue Reading

Hurricane Sandy — Key Governmental Resources

As Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, we wanted to highlight some key sources of information for hurricane preparedness and response: OSHA Guidance CDC Guidance FEMA Guidance Employers affected by the storm should review their emergency preparedness plans and these sources of information to ensure their employees are fully protected. … Continue Reading

OSHA Launches New Outreach Campaigns

OSHA has recently announced two new “initiatives” aimed at improving compliance in traditional "summer-time" areas of concern for the agency:  heat illness and falls. Heat Illness Since 2009, OSHA has placed a priority on the prevention of heat illness, especially in the hot summer months.  The most recent campaign is intended to raise the awareness among workers and … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Memorandum on Employer Safety Incentive and Disincentive Policies and Practices

In a recent memorandum to Regional Administrators and Whistleblower Program Managers, Richard Fairfax, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for OSHA, has provided "guidance to both field compliance officers and whistleblower investigative staff on several employer practices that can discourage employee reports of injuries and violate section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH … Continue Reading

OSHA Provides Warnings and Work Tips for Anticipated Winter Storm Work Hazards

As the winter storm season approaches, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has focused on protecting workers from hazards during winter storm response and recovery operations. OSHA’s new webpage, entitled “Winter Storms,” provides employers with information on preparing for winter storms and identifying and controlling hazards associated with winter storm conditions. A number of hazards associated … Continue Reading