If you weren’t one of the 7,500 people who attended the Ohio Safety Congress this month you may not have heard the buzz surrounding safety changes under the new Trump Administration. Below is a rundown of some recent regulation changes and other safety updates to keep top of mind this month.
OSHA Regulation Updates
- This month the U.S. House of Representatives voted to overturn the OSHA recordkeeping rule that took effect in January. With the help of a rarely used measure known as the Congressional Review Act (CRA) the House voted 231 to 191 to block the rule that clarified employers’ obligation to record all injuries and illnesses for as long as the employer must keep records of a recordable injury or illness—a period of five years. At the end of 2016 OSHA argued that recordkeeping violations were continuing to be an issue, which led to the rule that took effect on January 18. According to OSHA, “the duty does not expire just because the employer fails to create the necessary records when first required to do so.” The senate is expected to follow the house vote and President Trump is expected to sign both bills.
- The Senate voted this month to repeal requirements that large federal contractors reveal safety violations mandatory under the rule known as the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order. Signed into law in 2014 and implemented in October 2016, it required prospective federal contractors to disclose labor law violations (including those cited by OSHA) and gives agencies guidance on how to consider the violations when awarding federal contracts. The Senate, on March 6, voted 49 to 48 to kill the rule, which had already been voted down in the House. It goes next to the president, who is expected to sign it.
- The effective date of the new OSHA beryllium rule has been pushed back. The proposed delay—from March 21 to May 20, 2017—follows a White House regulatory freeze issued days after President Donald Trump took office. It directs the heads of executive departments and agencies to temporarily postpone the effective date of published regulations for 60 days “for the purpose of reviewing questions of fact, law, and policy.” The proposed delay will allow OSHA to further review and consider the rule, which was published January 9, 2017. OSHA says the proposed extension of the effective date will not affect compliance dates, which begin in March 2018 and extend through March of 2020. OSHA estimates 62,000 workers are exposed to the substance at work, most in general industry operations such as beryllium metal and ceramic production, foundries, and fabrication of beryllium alloy products and that the provision will save 90 lives from beryllium-related diseases and prevent 46 new cases of chronic beryllium disease each year.
Reminders for National Ladder Safety Month
- March is National Ladder Safety Month, which provides a great opportunity for companies to review their ladder policies, training, and equipment. Whether you’re a small service business with a couple of step stools around for lightbulb changes or a large contractor that uses complex climbing equipment, you’ll want make sure you know the OSHA requirements for using ladders in the workplace. According to OSHA, falls from portable ladders (step-, straight, combination, and extension) are one of the leading causes of occupational fatalities and injuries. This ladder safety 101 online resource provides great information for companies looking to brush up on ladder basics, including a refresher on how to choose the right ladder.
- On April 6th OSHA Area Director to the Cleveland office, Howard Eberts, will be presenting a WIRE-Net seminar to update area manufacturers on the recent regulation challenges and help answer questions about the changes and impact they could have to area companies.
- Revised requirements and procedures for authorized trainers in OSHA’s Outreach Training Program will go into effect on April 1, 2017. Updates include clarifications of student contact hours, replacement card procedures, and the Trainer Code of Conduct. As part of OSHA’s Outreach Training Program WIRE-Net will once again be offering the OSHA 10-HR course in June. Watch for updates on this course!
New Resources for Safety and Security
- WIRE-Net's Spring Safety Roundtable Series will be covering new topics in April to provide an opportunity to come together with peers and an expert to share experiences, expertise, and learn what you don't know about these new topics—which will include OSHA Compliance, Developing a Safety Culture, Training and Enagaging Supervision, Lockout and Machine Guarding, and Recordkeeping.
- A free online platform was recently released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to educate business owners and members of the community on steps to ensure a safe, crime-free work environment. The easy-to-use tutorials, available at https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/safety-and-security-quick-guides, provides resources and practical steps to help business owners to understand the top security threats they face, identify actions owners and employees can take before a crime occurs, and how to work with employees on fast-response plans when an incident occurs.
- To reduce business vulnerability to internal and external threats, WIRE-Net is offering a new program this April to help businesses create an internal process for risk-based thinking based on and taught by industry–leader Swagelok. Managing Risk: Safeguarding your Company from the Unexpected is a program designed for manufacturing leaders who want to apply risk-based thinking to disaster planning. Attendees will learn the Swagelok risk management system and use it to create written risk mitigation/business continuity plans to sustain their business in the event the worst occurs.
Ohio Safety Congress 2017—A Look Back in Photos
Did you miss this month’s Ohio Safety Congress? View photos and tweets from last week’s event here.