Reminders of new or revised OSHA standards, increased OSHA penalties, recordkeeping tracking requirements, and guidelines for safety & health programs
For those employers and employees regulated by OSHA, there have been some significant new OSHA standards or revisions to existing standards that need mentioning. Below are some of OSHA’s new or revised standards, as well as a description of OSHA’s increased penalties, recordkeeping tracking requirement, and revised safety and health program guidelines. This is not intended to depict the entire standard or compliance guideline, etc. All employers, employees who are affected by any of these are advised to find further details and information on the OSHA website (www.osha.gov) on each of these items. There are Fact Sheets, pamphlets or publications to assist with many of these below items available on the OSHA website. The full standard is also available on the OSHA website. Contact USF Safety Florida, as well, if you have further questions regarding these or other occupational safety & health standards.
Confined Spaces in Construction (1926 Subpart AA). Took effect August 2015. Some elements of this recent standard include:
-When applicable, affected employers must have a written permit-required confined spaced (permit space) program. There’s approximately 14 elements to this written program that need to be addressed.
-With some exceptions, affected employers (those entering permit spaces) must complete a written entry permit document.
Respirable crystalline silica-Construction (Subpart Z-1926.1153). Most elements in effect as of June 23, 2017. Some elements of this standard include:
-If an employer’s employees can be exposed to respirable crystalline silica at or above 25 micrograms per cubic meter of air for an 8-hour time weighted average this standard is applicable.
-Standard contains many elements including mandated written exposure control plan, training, recordkeeping, and medical surveillance aspects when an employee must wear respirators under this standard for more than 30 days a year.
-There is a table (Table 1) as part of this standard that contains 18 tasks. An employer who performs and follows the applicable task elements listed in this table and incorporates the engineering controls, etc. is not required to conduct exposure control assessments or comply with the OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL) (50 micrograms per cubic meter of air), if these tasks are performed utilizing the criteria stipulated in this table. OSHA believes the work will be performed below the PEL.
Respirable crystalline silica-General Industry and Maritime-(General Industry Subpart Z-1910.1053). Most elements in effect June 23, 2018. Many similar elements as those in the construction respirable crystalline silica standard, with the exception that there is no table with 18 tasks to be utilized when conducting general industry work that entails the exposure to respirable crystalline silica. Although, this general industry standard states that this general industry respirable crystalline silica standard (section) does not apply if the employer complies with 29 CFR 1926.1153 (respirable crystalline silica for construction) if the task performed is indistinguishable from a construction task listed on Table 1 (of the construction respirable crystalline silica standard) and the task will not be performed regularly in the same environment and conditions.
Walking-working surfaces & personal protective equipment-General Industry (1910 Subpart D). A revision to the existing standard. Most elements went into effect in January 2017, with some elements that have extended effective dates. Some elements of this revised standard include:
-Fall protection flexibility (more elements than the old standard that basically only had guard rail systems for fall protection)
-Updated scaffold and ladder requirements
-Phase-in of ladder systems or personal fall arrest systems on fixed ladders
-Phase-out of “qualified climbers” on outdoor advertising structures
-Rope descent systems
-Adds requirement for personal fall protection equipment
-Adds training requirements
OSHA’s increase in Penalties in effect after August 1, 2016. The penalties were increased significantly as follows:
|Type of Violation||Prior to 8/1/16||New Maximum Penalty|
|Serious, Other-Than-Serious, Posting Requirements||$7,000 per violation||$12,471 per violation|
|Failure to Abate||$7,000 per day beyond the abatement date||$12,471 per day beyond the abatement date|
|Willful or Repeated||$70,000 per violation||$124,709 per violation|
OSHA’s Recordkeeping Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses. Effective submission dates may vary, depending on size of the employer. This rule requires applicable employers to electronically send OSHA certain injury / illness data (OSHA 300 and/or 300A, 301). This ruling also adds employees’ Right to Report (injuries, illnesses) free from retaliation by the employer.
|Establishments (Employers) With 20-249 employees||Establishments (Employers) with 250 or more employees||Submission of Data Deadline|
|Form 300A||Form 300A||July 1, 2017|
|Form 300A||Form 300A, 300 and 301||July 1, 2018|
OSHA’s Safety and Health Program (SHP) Guidelines-revised October 2016. These guidelines were originally published in 1989 and contained four elements of an effective safety and health management system. These basic four elements consisted of: Management Commitment and Employee Involvement, Workplace Analysis, Hazard Prevention and Control, and Safety and Health Training. These four have been somewhat revised, and as of October 2016, the OSHA guidelines for an effective SHP now consist of seven elements: Management Leadership, Worker Participation, Hazard Identification and Assessment, Hazard Prevention and Control, Education and Training, Program Evaluation and Improvement, and Coordination and Communication on Multi-employer Worksites.