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Slope it. Shore it. Shield it.

October 18, 2018

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OSHA issued a press release announcing that it has updated the National Emphasis Program (NEP) on preventing trenching and excavation collapses in response to a recent spike in trenching fatalities.  The NEP will increase education and enforcement efforts.  The program began on October 1, 2018 with a three-month period of education and prevention outreach.  During this period, OSHA will continue to respond to complaints, referrals, hospitalizations, and fatalities.  OSHA-approved State Plans are expected to have enforcement procedures that are at least as effective as those in this NEP.

OSHA has a number of compliance assistance materials to help, including:

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Electronic Submission of Injury & Illness Records to OSHA

June 20, 2018

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) deadline for submitting 2017 OSHA Form 300A data is July 1, 2018, for establishments with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries. The Injury Tracking Application (ITA) is accessible from the ITA launch page, where you are able to provide your 2017 OSHA Form 300A information. Establishments with 250 or more are only required to provide their completed 2017 Form 300A summary data. OSHA is not accepting Form 300 and 301 information at this time.

(According to the OSHA website, OSHA announced it will issue a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to reconsider, revise, or remove provisions of the “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” final rule, including the collection of the Forms 300/301 data. The Agency is currently drafting that NPRM and will seek comment on those provisions.)

Beginning in 2019 and every year thereafter, the information must be submitted by March 2.

See answers to more frequently asked questions on the rule.

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June is National Safety Month

June 6, 2018

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Did you know that injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 40? Poisonings are the number 1 cause of unintentional death in America. This statistic is driven by drug overdose predominantly from prescription pain killers. The National Safety Council, in conjunction with an independent research group, has designed a Substance Use Cost Calculator for Employers. This tool can be used to find information regarding the cost of substance abuse on the workplace and to provide guidance on taking action:

https://www.nsc.org/forms/substance-use-employer-calculator

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OSHA Reporting Deadline – Update

December 19, 2017

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You may recall our recent blog post on OSHA’s new online reporting requirements. Last Friday, December 15th, had been the cut-off date for submitting your information. On Monday December 18th OSHA issued a press release indicating they would continue to accept electronic reporting of the mandatory information until midnight on December 31, 2017. OSHA will not take action against employers who submit their logs between now and the 31st. However, effective January 1, 2018 you will no longer be able to submit your 2016 data.

Working with various clients over the past few days, a few questions consistently came up among several:

What is an establishment?
For recordkeeping purposes OSHA defines an establishment as “a single physical location where business is conducted or where services or industrial operations are performed” for one year or longer. For online recording, this establishment is also required to exceed 20 employees at some point in the reporting year. You will need to report your required information for EACH INDIVIUAL ESTABLISHMENT.

If the establishment is fewer than 20 employees AT ALL TIMES during the year, do I need to submit my information online?
No. However, you continue to keep a log for any facility that is in operations for longer than 1 year.

What if I am part of a state OSHA program?
To further complicate matters, OSHA approved state plans have not yet adopted the requirements. It is our understanding the state plans will adopt the requirements within 6 months of publication of the final rule.

Where do I create an account and submit my data?
On the Injury Tracking Application Page.

As always, if you have any questions regarding this information please reach out to the J.W. Terrill Loss Control department at losscontrol@jwterrill.com.

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Medical Requirements of the OSHA Silica Rule

December 6, 2017

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The new OSHA rule governing respirable crystalline silica calls for medical surveillance screenings to allow for identification of silica exposure-related health effects in your workers. But who exactly must be surveilled, when and how often do you conduct the surveillance?

For purposes of this article, our focus is the construction industry.  This new rule requires that medical surveillance be made available to employees who use respirators for 30 or more days per year in situations where those respirators are required by OSHA for protection against silica hazards.

Of course, our first question is – how do you count a day?  OSHA offered some clarification of this in their enforcement guidelines issued earlier this fall.  These guidelines stated that even on days that employees wear a respirator for only a portion of the day; are counted as full days towards the medical surveillance requirements.   It should be noted that progression toward the 30 day rule resets with every new employer.  The only exception is when you hire, release, and re-hire the same employee for several short-term assignments during a year, with a day count totaling 30 days or more.

Now, you have an employee who you know needs to be included in the medical surveillance and you ask yourself – what does that entail?

First, you must select a medical provider who is capable of providing an exam which will include the following components –

  • A review of the patient’s history – work and medical
  • A physical examination with an emphasis on the respiratory system
  • A chest x-ray interpreted and classified according to the International Labour Office (ILO) International Classification of Radiographs of Pneumoconiosis by a NIOSH-certified B Reader
  • A pulmonary function test administered by a spirometry technician with a current certificate from a NIOSH-approved course
  • Testing for latent tuberculosis
  • Any additional tests deemed appropriate by the provider

It is your responsibility as the employer to provide the physician with –

  • A copy of the exposure standards in the OSHA respirable crystalline silica rule
  • A description of the employee’s former, current, and anticipated duties as they relate to the employee’s occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica
  • The employee’s former, current, and anticipated levels of occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica
  • A description of personal protective equipment used or to be used by the employee, including when it will be work and for how long the employee
  • Information from records of employment-related medical examinations previously provided to the employee and currently within the control of the employer

Once the exam is completed, you will obtain a written medical opinion from the physician which contains:

  • The date of the exam
  • A statement that the exam has specifically checked for silica exposure according to the requirements of the standard
  • Any recommended limitations on the employee’s exposure to respirable crystalline silica

Remember, this baseline examination must be made available within 30 days of initial assignment, unless the employee can show they received an examination that meets the requirements of this section within the past three years.  In addition, you must also conduct this same exam at least every three years and more frequently if recommended by your healthcare provider.

If you have any questions regarding this information or any other safety and health topic please contact the Loss Control Department at J.W. Terrill – losscontrol@jwterrill.com.

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OSHA Reporting Deadline Approaching

November 29, 2017

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has extended the deadline for submitting OSHA 300 form information, required under the Improved Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses rule.

The new enforcement date of December 15, 2017 is quickly approaching. The Injury tracking Application (ITA) is accessible from the ITA launch page. This application is where you can provide OSHA the required elements of your 2016 OSHA forms.

As a reminder, establishments with 250 or more employees who are required to keep record of injuries and illnesses and establishments with 20-249 employees in high hazard industries must participate in this new rule. If you have 250 or more employees you must submit your OSHA 300 log, 300A summary and associated 301 forms for 2016. If you have 20-249 employees in a referenced high hazard industry you must only submit your 300A summary for 2016. Moving forward, employers will be required to submit their information each year by July 1st.

You can access detail directions and frequently asked questions regarding this new rule on the ITA launch page or feel free to contact the Loss Control Department at losscontrol@jwterrill.com.

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OSHA Extends Deadline for Submission of Form 300A information

November 28, 2017

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OSHA has delayed the requirement for employers to submit their 2016 recordkeeping information until December 15th. You can read the full details here, and as always, if you have any questions regarding this information please reach out to the J.W. Terrill Loss Control Department at losscontrol@jwterrill.com.

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OSHA Delays Deadline for Crane Operator Certification

November 13, 2017

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OSHA announced they are delaying the deadline for employers’ to ensure that crane operators are certified to operate cranes.  The deadline for the certification of operators has been postponed by one year until November 10, 2018. You can find all the details here.

Contact the J.W. Terrill loss control department at losscontrol@jwterrill.com with any questions or concerns.

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Navigating Silica-Don’t be Caught in the Dust

October 24, 2017

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As we have been discussing these last few months, the new silica standard in construction establishes an 8-hour time weighted average (TWA) permissible exposure limit of 50 µg/m3 and action level of 25 µg/m3. OSHA has been enforcing the standard since September 23rd, but, for the first 30 days OSHA was offering compliance assistance in lieu of enforcement for employers making good faith effort to comply. Effective October 23rd OSHA began fully enforcing all provisions of the standard. Until a compliance directive becomes available OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) are using interim enforcement guidance. This document demonstrates how the CSHO will check for compliance of the new silica standard in the field. The interim guidance will expire when the compliance directive becomes effective and available to the field CSHOs.

In addition, due to the new requirements silica exposures, OSHA has revoked their national emphasis program on crystalline silica. However the inspection procedures for both general industry and maritime will remain unchanged until the compliance date for these industries begin on June 23, 2018.

Materials like stone, asphalt and concrete contain crystalline silica. Activities such as abrasive blasting, cutting, sanding or drilling these materials can result in exposure to respirable crystalline silica dust. It is highly recommended to use controls available for some of these tasks outlined in Table 1 of the silica standard. The enforcement guidance states that if the employer fully and properly implement the engineering controls, work practices and respiratory protection listed in the table, it is not required for the CSHO to conduct exposure assessments of the work environment.

For contractors performing tasks outside of Table 1, OSHA has outlined alternative control measures to protect employees from silica exposure. If you are performing a task that falls outside of Table 1, and the compliance officer feels there is potential exposure, they will review your sampling data and control plan.  In addition, they will perform their own exposure assessment to determine the 8-hour TWA for the operations.

For both control measures, Table 1 or alternative controls, there are other requirements of the standard that include:

  • Establishing and implement a written exposure control plan which identifies task and procedures to restrict access to work areas were high exposure may occur.  Per the enforcement guidance document OSHA compliance officers are required to review the written plan along with any other related programs such as a hazard communications program and a respiratory protection plan.
  • Designate a competent person to implement the written exposure control plan.  It should be noted that employees working onsite should be familiar with who this competent person is if asked.
  • Offer medical exams that include chest x-rays and lung function test. This must be performed every three years for workers who are required to wear a respirator for 30 days or more per year.
  • Train workers on operations that result in silica exposures and what is the limit exposure.
  • Keep records of workers’ silica exposure and medical exams.

As always if additional assistance is needed please reach out to the J.W. Terrill Loss Control department at losscontrol@jwterrill.com.

 

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Construction Safety Update: Crystalline Silica Standard

September 25, 2017

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Recently a memo was released from Thomas Galassi, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, regarding the enforcement of the new Silica Regulatory Standard which became enforceable on September 23, 2017 in the construction industry.

You can find the memo here-
https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=31292

In summary, OSHA will take into consideration all good faith efforts taken by contractors to attempt to meet the new requirements.  OSHA will work with employers to ensure the use of all aspects of the Table 1 requirements in the field and provide guidance as needed to reach full compliance with the standard.  OSHA will only pursue citations if it appears that the employer is not taking efforts to implement controls.

For any questions or concerns regarding compliance with this silica standard please contact J.W. Terrill’s Loss Control Department at: losscontrol@jwterrill.com.

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When do you need a Missouri Class E Driver’s License?

August 7, 2017

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To operate a vehicle for pay in the state of Missouri, you are likely required to carry a state-issued Class E driver’s license. Class E licenses are often referred to as a chauffeur’s license.   More specifically, you may need to carry a Class E license if you operate a motor vehicle for employment that:

  • Carries 14 passengers or less
  • Transports property or goods
  • Belongs to another person or business
  • Is under 26,000 lbs
  • Is not used to transport hazardous materials

Occupations and vehicles requiring a Class E license would include:

  • Shuttle drivers
  • Food delivery
  • Uber or Lyft drivers
  • Taxis
  • Delivery/shop vans and UPS drivers.

To obtain a Class E license, first the applicant must be 18 years of age. Applicants are then required to read and review the Missouri Drivers guide and pass an exam related to the Class E in the book. A vision test is then administered along with a road test (if you do not already have a standard license). You then pay applicable fees – $17.50 for 3 years and $35 for 6 years.

A Class E driver’s license should not be mistaken with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). There are far more requirements for a driver to obtain a CDL and more stringent programs that need to be in place at your facility.  Examples of vehicles requiring a CDL include:

  • Tractor Trailers
  • Vehicles carrying hazardous materials
  • Large school buses
  • City buses
  • Units with a gross vehicle weight in excess of 26,001 lbs

As the Class E definition is rather broad, often employers will inquire as to whether or not their company drivers are required to carry the Class E. For example, if a company owns and operates service vans that carry product for repairs or installations, then yes, these drivers would be required to carry the Class E.  If you have employees operating a company-owned vehicle transporting others for pay, then yes, these employees need a Class E license.  As the definition states, “belongs to another person or business” (i.e. a company car) do you need a Class E?  The answer to that is no, if the only thing you are doing is operating the vehicle (not transporting products, people, etc.).  We are of the understanding these situations are interpreted differently and do not necessarily reflect the spirit of the rule.  When in doubt, contact your J.W. Terrill Loss Control Consultant or the Missouri Department of Motor Vehicles.

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NSC State-by-State Report

July 14, 2017

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The National Safety Council (NSC) is conducting a year-long project that rates each state within the U.S. on how well they prevent work-related injuries. This project called “The State of Safety: A State-by-State Report,” shows the strengths and weaknesses of 3 aspects of each state: road safety, home and community safety, and workplace safety. NSC tracked the specific programs, policies, and practices that can impact safety within each state, and scaled them from 1-5 on the level of effectiveness that these programs have. These were then converted to a percentage, and a grade was given to each state based on these percentages – similar to how schools and universities grade their students.

A

​B ​C ​D ​F
​No state received an overall “A” grade. Maryland Illinois Washington, D.C. Maine Oregon Connecticut California Washington Hawaii Louisiana Kentucky New Jersey Minnesota North Carolina Massachusetts Delaware New Mexico Rhode Island Indiana Colorado Tennessee West Virginia New York Michigan Vermont ​Texas Pennsylvania Wisconsin Virginia Utah North Dakota Alabama Nevada Georgia New Hampshire Nebraska Alaska Ohio Iowa Florida

Kansas Oklahoma Arkansas Arizona South Carolina South Dakota Montana Wyoming Mississippi Idaho Missouri

 From this grading project, the NSC has concluded that 0 states earned an “A” for safety, 8 states earned a “B”, 18 states were given a “C” rating, 15 states were given a “D” rating, and 11 states earned an “F”. Missouri was included in the states that were given an “F” for preventing accidents and injuries. From this grading report, it is obvious that a change is needed for the safety culture of many states, including Missouri. Click on a state above to view its grading report.

According to the NSC, fatalities from poisonings, motor vehicle crashes, falls, drowning, choking, and fires have increased 7% since 2014. More than 140,000 lives are lost in the U.S. each year due to these threatening incidents. To show how much each state can reduce the amount of fatalities in these categories, the NSC created the State-by-State report. The NSC believes that this grading report will give states an incentive to begin implementing programs and policies that protects citizens from injuries. The goal is to have every state achieve an “A” grading, which will then lower fatalities and improve the wellness of families throughout the entire nation.

 

Information contributed by John McGoon, the 2017 Loss Control Intern for J.W. Terrill. John is currently studying at The University of Central Missouri and is spending his 2nd summer at J.W. Terrill learning about the safety services that are provided by the Loss Control Department.

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