Tag Archive | "health & safety"

Health & Safety Feb. 21

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Health & Safety: OSHA Issues Stronger Coronavirus Workplace Guidance

Posted on 01 February 2021 by cradmin

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued stronger worker safety guidance to help employers and workers implement a coronavirus prevention program and better identify risks which could lead to exposure and contraction. Last week, President Biden directed OSHA to release clear guidance for employers to help keep workers safe from COVID-19 exposure.

Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace” provides updated guidance and recommendations, and outlines existing safety and health standards. OSHA is providing the recommendations to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace.

Implementing a coronavirus prevention program is the most effective way to reduce the spread of the virus. The guidance recommends several essential elements in a prevention program:

  • Conduct a hazard assessment.
  • Identify control measures to limit the spread of the virus.
  • Adopt policies for employee absences that don’t punish workers as a way to encourage potentially infected workers to remain home.
  • Ensure that coronavirus policies and procedures are communicated to both English and non-English speaking workers.
  • Implement protections from retaliation for workers who raise coronavirus-related concerns.

The guidance details key measures for limiting coronavirus’s spread, including ensuring infected or potentially infected people are not in the workplace, implementing and following physical distancing protocols and using surgical masks or cloth face coverings. It also provides guidance on use of personal protective equipment, improving ventilation, good hygiene and routine cleaning.

OSHA will update this new guidance as developments in science, best practices and standards warrant.

This guidance is not a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations. It contains recommendations as well as descriptions of existing mandatory safety and health standards. The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content and are intended to assist employers in recognizing and abating hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm as part of their obligation to provide a safe and healthful workplace.

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OSHA Clipboard

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OSHA Issues Enforcement Guidance For Recording Cases of COVID-19

Posted on 16 April 2020 by cradmin3

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued interim guidance for enforcing OSHA’s record-keeping requirements (29 CFR Part 1904) as it relates to recording cases of COVID-19.

Under OSHA’s record-keeping requirements, COVID-19 is a recordable illness, and employers are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19, if the following applies:

  • Is confirmed as a COVID-19 illness;
  • Is work-related as defined by 29 CFR 1904.5; and
  • Involves one or more of the general recording criteria in 29 CFR 1904.7, such as medical treatment beyond first aid or days away from work.

OSHA does not consider construction to be a high-risk industry like healthcare and emergency response industries are when it comes to transmission of the virus. As such, the agency said it will not enforce record-keeping requirements to mandate that contractors make determinations regarding whether a COVID-19 case is work related or not. Construction firms can use whatever information is reasonably available to them in deciding whether a COVID-19 case is recordable.

For example, if there are several workers who ride in the same work truck every day and one is diagnosed with COVID-19 and then a second worker who rides in that truck also is diagnosed, that is probably objective evidence that the transmission is work related. However, if both workers attended the same party at the home of someone who had COVID-19, then the employer can consider that evidence as well and determine the cases are not work related.

You may also be interested in this article: OSHA Releases Alert and Guidance on COVID-19

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Cov 20

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Coverings Cancels Due to COVID-19 Concerns

Posted on 18 March 2020 by cradmin

Coverings has been monitoring the domestic and global developments regarding the coronavirus pandemic for several weeks. 

The health and safety of our exhibitors and attendees are very important to Coverings. Given the public health emergency we are currently facing, we believe the only prudent action at this time is for Coverings to cancel for 2020.

As you can imagine, this was a very difficult decision. Coverings has been providing connections, education, and a global marketplace for the tile and stone industry for more than 30 years. However, with the limitations to travel, the recommendations regarding mass gatherings, and concern for the health and safety of the Coverings community, we have decided cancelling is the only course of action.

Coverings asks for your patience and understanding during this time of uncertainty, as there are many complexities involved in this decision which we are working to resolve.

Coverings is, as always, committed to the education and promotion of the tile and stone industry. Although the public health concerns caused by this pandemic have impacted Coverings 2020, we look forward to engaging with the Coverings community moving forward to ensure a robust industry and show for 2021.

Please monitor Coverings website, social media channels and future press releases as we work toward a successful Coverings in April 2021.

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Reduce Workplace Injuries Through SHARP

Posted on 27 March 2017 by cradmin

??????????Shoeneck Containers in New Berlin, Wis., a manufacturer of plastic containers for consumers and commercial businesses around the world, recently announced it has reduced workplace injuries by 90 percent while doubling the size of its workforce by entering the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) offered by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

What Is SHARP?

SHARP is a free, comprehensive consultation service offered by OSHA and regional safety partners. The goal of this program is to help improve the occupational safety and health programs put in place by private businesses. Most consultations take place onsite, and they provide several benefits to workers, management and the business as a whole.

Employee Benefits

  • Helps workers identify and remove workplace/worksite hazards
  • Protects employees from injuries and illnesses
  • Improves morale

Management Benefits

  • Helps managers comply with federal and state laws and regulations
  • Increases overall management effectiveness
  • Increases productivity and product quality

Business Benefits

  • Demonstrates how the cost of accidents greatly outweighs the cost of accident prevention
  • Lowers workers’ compensation rates
  • Limits damage to equipment and inventory

How SHARP Works

SHARP is open to all businesses that have fewer than 250 employees at one site and fewer than 500 employees at all locations, not including franchises. The consultations are completely confidential, and consultants from OSHA are not allowed to issue citations or, propose penalties to OSHA or report possible violations to OSHA enforcement.

In fact, most business in the program are exempt from standard OSHA inspections for up to a year. In addition, successfully completing the program and following through with all recommendations guarantees that your business will pass future OSHA inspections.

The program consists of four steps that will educate you about general approaches to workplace safety and health, provide you with a written report of findings, help you develop and maintain and effective program for preventing illness and injury and provide training for you and your staff.

The four steps are as follows:

  1. Opening conference
  2. Walkthrough and analysis
  3. Closing conference
  4. Abatement and followup

SHARP Certification

Once you complete the consultation, the consultant will evaluate your response, and based on that evaluation, may recommend your business for SHARP certification. If approved, most states will conduct a ceremony to recognize the achievement, and your business will be exempt from programmed inspections for up to two years.

After two years, you may request a SHARP renewal for up to three additional years by continuing to meet all certification and renewal criteria. You can read a variety of SHARP success stories and view all SHARP-certified businesses by state at the OSHA website.

For further information about SHARP and OSHA’s Onsite Consultation Program, visit OSHA.gov or call (800) 321-OSHA.

 

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Effective Safety Planning Part 6: Safety Meetings

Posted on 21 April 2016 by cradmin

next-safety-meeting-date-time-location-topic-required-to-attendThe final edition of our six-part series on effective safety planning is aimed at helping you with the upkeep of all the hard work you put into your four-point safety plan: holding regular safety meetings. In a few states, such as Washington, Oregon and California, regular safety meetings are mandated by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), but in most area, meetings are recommended but not required by law.

Keep Safety a Top Priority

If you talk to any organization or business specializing in OSHA-compliance training, they will all recommend that you hold safety meetings for several reasons. Some fabricators hold safety meetings every week while others prefer monthly, quarterly or even annually, the last of which is not recommended but better than having no meetings at all. A select few businesses go the extra mile and hold safety meetings daily or at the beginning of each shift to really hit home how important it is to effectively deal with workplace hazards. After all, taking five to 10 minutes each shift could end up saving you thousands of dollars in medical expenses and workers’ compensation premiums.

Safety meetings are one of the most effective ways to ensure that all employees know and remember all of the safety rules, and it encourages a culture of safety in your business. You will be able to discuss opinions and facts on what are acceptable work practices and clear up misunderstandings about how to use tools and equipment in a manner that is least likely to cause harm.

Set an Example as Team Leaders

Workplace safety meetings help management to get all employees to follow the safety standards you have put into place. Holding regular meetings also helps to reinforce the leadership role of management, but managers have also have to do their part by setting good examples for the others. When employees see management following all of the safety rules, they will be more inclined to do so themselves.

This is a vital part of safety meetings because it extends into everyday practices. In addition, you want your managers and supervisors to follow safety practices because when they get sick or injured, your liability is potentially higher than it would be for an entry-level worker.

Safety Meetings or Safety Committee?

Some OSHA jurisdictions allow regular safety meetings to be replaced with a full-time safety committee, but it is your job to discover which is more effective in your specific situation. For the most part, safety committees work best when you have more than 10 employees. When you have fewer than 10 employees, the time it takes to organize the committee and then have the members inspect each and every situation detracts from the work their regular work. In this case, safety meetings are a matter of dollars and cents.

What Is a Safety Meeting?

Safety meetings are usually led by one person who is in management or who has had extra training to learn all of the specific actions that must be taken to comply with OSHA regulations, or to go beyond compliance for even greater safety. The meetings may be overviews of new safety rules, or they may focus on a single situation. In Oregon, businesses that are involved in construction, manufacturing and utilities must keep written records of meetings for three years, but this is a good idea for all businesses no matter where they operate. When you have records of what was covered and who attended, it helps to reduce your liability should accidents occur in situations that were topics of one or more meetings.

If you have trouble thinking of topics for safety meetings, there is no need to try to discover them yourself. Of course, the most effective meetings are those that cover topics specific to your business and location. However, if you can’t think of anything to cover, the California State Compensation Insurance Fund and the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries have both prepared lists of possible subjects that can either help you get started or save you when you are in a bind.

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