January 21, 2015
What the New OSHA Standards Mean For Your Company
The New Year has officially begun, and among the many changes it promises are a new set of OSHA standards and some upgrades to existing regulations. In this quick blog post, we will review part of OSHA"s agenda for the year and how it applies to the reliability industry. In particular, we will look at how it affects job safety issues.
This year is a big one for OSHA, especially when it comes to safety inspections and reporting work-related injuries or deaths, arguably two of the biggest areas of change for this year. There is, of course, more on the docket, but these two main portions will be our focus today.
Injury Reporting Rules
Effective the first day of January 2015, OSHA began requiring all non-exempt employers to alert OSHA in the event of an employee death within eight hours of the event. For any workplace injuries that require hospitalization or result in loss of limbs or eyes, employers have 24 hours to notify OSHA. This is a change from previous years, where only deaths or hospitalizations involving multiple employees had to be reported.
Previously exempt employers and even industries are not immune to this change. Even though your company may have been exempt before, you are now responsible for reporting injuries and deaths under the new ruling. Certain industries may still remain unaffected by this rule: Check the OSHA website for more information on which industries are affected and which new ones have been added to the list.
Other OSHA Rulings
Not all OSHA rulings are in yet, and the specifics of certain proposals are not available as of this writing for many. However, there are a few "final rules" we can note.
One rule we expect to come down the pipeline regards record-keeping for workplace injuries and illnesses. Reportedly, OSHA intends to require employers to submit electronic filings for the OSHA 300 Log, OSHA 301 Incident Report, and the OSHA 300 summary, regardless of whether they are requested or not (currently, you only have to submit them if requested).
Indeed, employers are already able to (and encouraged to) submit workplace injury and death reports via the OSHA website in an effort to streamline the reporting process.
Other changes include regulations for confined spaces in construction, certification requirements for crane and derrick operators, and rulings to help prevent slips and falls, to name but a few.
Keeping updated on the latest changes in policy and regulations can be a pain but is a mandatory part of any reliability manager"s job: We owe it to our employees and customers to ensure that we are doing everything in our power to keep them safe.
Following blogs and signing up for industry newsletters is a great way to stay up to date not only on the latest OSHA standards but on the industry as well. Taking 15 minutes out of your day to visit industry websites and even the OSHA site itself is time well spent and easily justifiable to even the most stern of managers.