November 1, 2016: On Thursday, October 20th Diversified Insurance Solutions hosted their fourth and final seminar in their 2016 Education Series: OSHA Updates for 2016. The event was held at the Midway Hotel & Suites and featured OSHA Compliance Assistance Specialist Jim Lutz as the speaker. Jim’s presentation covered a number of important OSHA issues that transpired over 2016 and gave an overview of what to expect from OSHA in 2017. Some of the areas Jim discussed included:
Expanded Reporting Requirements: In 2015, OSHA expanded the reporting requirements for what serious work-related injuries must be reported to OSHA. Jim made sure attendees fully understood what was now required of them. The new reporting requirements include:
- As of January 1, 2015 employers must report to OSHA all work-related fatalities within 8 hours, all work-related hospitalizations within 24 hours, all work-related amputations within 24 hours and all work-related loss of an eye within 24 hours.
- If you work in an industry covered by OSHA’s updated recordkeeping requirements make sure to cover any injury or illness in the OSHA 300 log. (Click here for a list of exempted industries)
- If your do experience an injury or illness that is covered under the expanded reporting requirements you can report the incident by calling your nearest OSHA office during business hours, call the 24 hour OSHA hotline at 1-800-321-OSHA or online at osha.gov/reportonline.
Update on Recordkeeping: There were three major changes to OSHA’s recordkeeping rules in 2016:
- Electronic Tracking: Employers are now required to electronically submit injury and illness data on an annual basis. This data will be posted in an online, searchable database.
- Anti-Retaliation: The new rule prohibits employers from discouraging employees from reporting injuries and requires employers to inform employees of their right to report injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation.
- Drug-Testing: The rule does not ban drug testing, but drug testing cannot be used as a form of retaliation against employees who report an incident or injury. Also, drug testing policies cannot be implemented that might discourage employees from reporting an incident.
2017 OSHA Initiatives: Jim covered what areas OSHA will focus on in 2017:
- Dairy Farms (WI)
- Grain Handling (Jim provided examples of some local incidents that occurred on this issue)
- Combustible Dust
- Pallet Manufacturing
- Material Handling & PIVs (Powered Industrial Vehicles)
- Chemical Plants/Process Safety
- Hex Chrome
- Federal Agencies
OSHA Safety & Health Resources: Jim provided attendees with a number of safety resources that OSHA has available to help support organizations’ safety initiatives. Some of the ones he featured were:
- Hazard Identification Tool: A resource designed to assist small businesses (primarily geared for construction, manufacturing, Emergency Room or Specific Equipment) with learning how to identify workplace hazards.
- OSHA’s Facebook and Twitter Pages: Allows business to stay connected with OSHA and keep informed about their latest news and updates.
- Multi-Language Worker Outreach: OSHA understands the United States’ workforce is becoming more diverse and in response offers a number of their resources in numerous languages to allow more people access to their safety materials
- OSHA Consultation Service: A free consultation service provided by state governments that provides inspections and consultations to businesses separate from OSHA. No penalties or citations are issued.
- Safety Apps: A list of safety apps to assist organizations including OSHA Health Safety Tool, NIOSH Ladder Safety, NIOSH Pocket Guide to Hazardous Chemicals, Pocket First Aid and more.
After Jim’s presentation, there was a question and answer session where attendees were able to ask Jim specific questions about their unique OSHA concerns. The event was very well received and attendees enjoyed how Jim was able to take complex, technical OSHA issues and make them easy to understand. A number of the seminar attendees have been to the OSHA event before, but enjoy coming back since Jim brings new, relevant information every year.