2015 OSHA Seminar Recap and Takeaways

Diversified Insurance Solutions completed their 2015 education series on Wednesday, October 28th with the program OSHA Updates for 2015. The event, which took place at the Brookfield Suites and Convention Center, featured Jim Lutz from the Milwaukee Area OSHA Office. Jim covered OSHA’s updates and initiatives for 2015. He also discussed some of the proposed regulations for the future along with background information on OSHA and its history. Some of the topics attendees were most interested in included:

  • OSHA Updates for 2015 – Jim covered new updates for OSHA that went into effect for 2015 to make sure people were both aware and familiar with them.
    • OSHA’s Recordkeeping and Reporting Rule –As of January 1, 2015, the new rule requires employers to report more work-related illnesses, injuries and fatalities. For a complete list of these new requirements click here.
    • HazCom 2012 Implementation – Back in 2012 OSHA made some changes to the ways employers are required to provide information on hazardous materials in the workplace. In 2015, the transition period ended for chemical manufacturers and importers. They are required to be in compliance with the new standard. To read the full HazCom 2012 Standard click here.
  • Proposed Regulations – Provided an update on proposed changes for 2016. Even if these changes are accepted it would be several years before they go into effect.
    • Walking Working Surfaces – Increased fall protection systems to protect workers from falls.
    • Silica Rule – Inhaled silica can make workers ill, OSHA is proposing to reduce the amount of silica that someone can be exposed to through increased protection measures and more measuring equipment.
    • Electronic Recordkeeping – This proposed rule will require certain injury and illness data to be submitted to OSHA electronically on a quarterly or annual basis depending on the size of the employer.
    • Beryllium Standard – Beryllium is a hazardous substance produced in a number of industries and OSHA wants to reduce the eight-hour permissible exposure limit from 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter to 0.2. This will require more protections, monitoring and training.
  • 2016 Initiatives – Areas where OSHA will place emphasis and focus on in 2016.
    • Heat Protection – This Program will involve educating employers and employees on the dangers of heat stress, encouraging water consumption, scheduling rests periods and acclimating workers to hot conditions.
    • Falls – This initiative will focus on proper planning before commencing a job and provide appropriate equipment and comprehensive employee training.
    • Temporary Workers – These types of workers are experiencing a higher frequency of injuries due to less comprehensive training than full-time employees. OSHA is expanding the requirements for employers in regards to temporary works to make sure adequate training is provided.
    • Telecommunication Towers –OSHA will focus on finding ways to protect workers in this industry because of the number of onsite fatalities.
  • Online OSHA Resources and App – One of the best received portions of Jim’s address. Attendees made numerous comments how they didn’t even know those tools were available to them at no cost and how they felt they could really assist them with their OSHA issues. Some of the resources Jim discussed included:
    • eTools – “Compliance Assistance Quick Start” is a tool to introduce employers, especially new or small businesses, to all the compliance assistance resources available on the OSHA website.
    • v-tools – Prevention videos that goes over various hazards to help employers identify them. The prevention videos cover topics like falls, sprains and strains, carbon monoxide, struck by, electrocutions and more.
    • Training Resources – Various resources and trainings to help employers meet all the training requirements.
    • Hazard Identification Training Tool – Designed to train individuals the process for identifying hazards in the workplace. Developed to primarily assist Emergency Room, Construction, Specific Equipment or Manufacturing.

Jim ended his presentation with a question and answer session to cover question specific to the attendees’ unique businesses. Attendees expressed appreciation of how he was able to take various complicated OSHA rules and regulation and make them easily understandable. Many of the seminar attendees have been to this event before and keep coming back thanks to Jim’s ability to provide relevant information that help employers keep their business in compliance with OSHA.

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