President Donald Trump recently signed a resolution that overturned a final recordkeeping rule from OSHA. According to the agency, the rule was meant to clarify that employers must maintain work-related injury and illness records throughout a five-year storage period, and did not create any additional requirements. However, critics of the rule argued that it allowed OSHA to unlawfully issue citations to businesses up to five years after an incident, provided the violation was related to recordkeeping.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) that governs OSHA does not allow for a citation to be issued more than six months after the occurrence of a violation. Despite this, OSHA’s final rule stated that the agency considers all recordkeeping violations to exist until they are corrected. For example, if a recordkeeping violation first began on Feb. 1 and was corrected on May 15, OSHA would have had until Nov. 15 to issue a citation under its final rule.
This development is the latest step in the Trump administration’s efforts to reduce regulatory burdens on businesses. Since Trump took office, OSHA has delayed its new beryllium exposure rule until May 20, and has also announced that it is currently not ready to accept electronic injury and illness data for its electronic reporting rule. However, you still need to be aware of your ongoing OSHA requirements. Although OSHA’s recordkeeping rule has been rescinded, employers are still required to maintain their injury and illness records for five years. Contact us at (916) 380-5300 for help staying in compliance with OSHA standards.
OSHA currently requires employers to keep track of their employees’ injuries and illnesses in an “OSHA log.” However, in 2016, the agency released a final rule that will also require some employers to submit these records electronically, so they can be posted on OSHA’s website. The final rule becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2017.
The following are the requirements for the new rule:
• Establishments with 250 or more employees that are required to keep injury and illness records must electronically submit the following forms:
o OSHA Form 300: Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
o OSHA Form 300A: Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
o OSHA Form 301: Injury and Illnesses Incident Report
• Establishments with 20-249 employees that work in industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses must electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A.
With the new rule, OSHA hopes that employers and researchers will be encouraged to find new and innovative ways to prevent injuries and illnesses at workplaces.
For more information on the recordkeeping rule, contact us at (916) 380-5300. We can provide you with our in-depth compliance bulletin, “OSHA Issues Final Rule on Electronic Reporting.”
Filed under: OSHA
— Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 5:09 pm January 4, 2017
On May 12, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule requiring certain employers to electronically submit data from their work-related injury records to OSHA. OSHA also indicated its intention to publish this employer information on a public website. Fearing that the publicity of workplace injury and illnesses would motivate employers to discourage their employees from reporting injuries and illnesses, OSHA included three major anti-retaliation provisions in the final rule.
The anti-retaliation provisions were initially set to become effective on Aug. 10, 2016. After considerable pushback from employers across multiple industries, OSHA delayed enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions to Nov. 1, 2016. However, on Oct. 12, 2016, OSHA announced it would delay enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions a second time. The second delay was granted to allow a federal judge sufficient time to review a lawsuit that was filed to challenge the new anti-retaliation provisions. The new enforcement deadline is now set for Dec. 1, 2016.
Back in 2013, employers were advised of the requirement to train employees regarding new label elements and safety data sheets but there have been questions about why some employees would need to be trained. For example, an office employee cleans their desk surface weekly with a cleaning product purchased by the employer from a grocery store and is available for employee use. Is GHS training required for that employee?
The Technical Answer
California Code of Regulations 5194(b)(5)(G) excludes incidental use as follows:
(G) Consumer products packaged for distribution to, and use by, the general public, provided that employee exposure to the product is not significantly greater than the consumer exposure occurring during the principal consumer use of the product; GHS training is required for employees working with hazardous substances on a regular basis in the course and scope of their employment.
The Practical Answer
GHS Training is not required for incidental use of a consumer product used in a consumer manner but general awareness training for all employees of the hazardous material identification system would be considered wise and a ‘best practice’ for all employers. Why? Because in the event of an injury to an employee caused by substances in the workplace, it could be deemed negligent that an employer provided a product but not information of its hazardous nature. Free information and GHS training materials are readily available from many sources, see below.
Still unsure of whether to train? Call OSHA Compliance 916-263-0704. I reached a knowledgeable person on my first try and/or call your insurance agent/broker for information.
California Code of Regulations-Hazard Communication https://www.dir.ca.gov/title8/5194.html
Cal OSHA Safety and Health Fact Sheet on GHS-Globally Harmonized System-DIR http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/dosh_publications/ghs_fs.pdf
Guide to the California Hazard Communication Regulation-DIR https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/dosh_publications/hazcom.pdf
US Department of Labor –OSHA Hazard Communication https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/index.html
Free PowerPoint presentation http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hazardcommunications/ghsoverview.ppt
Free YouTube Training Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkGbof7FeZA
Sacramento Safety Center http://safetycenter.org/
If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Jackie Sudia-Reno, AIC, ARM, CRIS
Claims and Risk Management Liaison
Warren G. Bender Co.
(916)380-5333 (Direct Phone & Fax)
According to certain provisions in the budget passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on Nov. 2, federal agencies like OSHA could radically increase their penalties in order to account for inflation.
The budget allows federal agencies to institute a one-time “catch up” increase for 2016, after which agencies will adjust penalty amounts annually for inflation. Since OSHA hasn’t adjusted its penalties since the early 1990s, the increase could be drastic.
While the Consumer Price Index has risen by about 80 percent since the last time OSHA adjusted its penalties, language in the legislation caps the increase to a maximum of 150 percent.
For more information about OSHA penalty increases, contact Warren G. Bender Co today and ask about our “Compliance Bulletin: OSHA Penalties to Increase in 2016,” which illustrates potential fee increases.
Filed under: OSHA
— Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 5:15 pm December 22, 2015