OSHA IN 2011
Compliance Assistance Specialist
OSHA, Kansas City Area Office
Safety & Health Under Dr. Michaels:
Where Are We?
Put a priority on enforcement as a driver of
The OSHA agenda is going to come back to
Emphasis on compliance assistance coming
Politics to affect the ―science‖ of injury and
Budget Deal for Rest of 2011 Spares OSHA,
Avoids Cuts Sought by House Republicans
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's $558.6
million budget would be sustained at current levels for the
remainder of the 2011 fiscal year—less a 0.2 percent
government-wide rescission—under a continuing resolution
(H.R. 1473) informally worked out April 8 between House
Republicans, Senate Democrats, and the White House, and
released April 12.
Floor debate on H.R. 1473 was scheduled to begin April 14.
OSHA's current budget has been in set in a series of short-term
continuing resolutions at the fiscal 2010 level (39 OSHR 1062,
The continued funding appears to mark a victory for worker
advocates, considering that House Republicans on Feb. 11 had
called for an 18 percent cut to OSHA's budget in a funding plan
that failed to pass in the Senate (H.R. 1)
OSHA Encourages Workers to Speak
Up—and You to Listen
OSHA encourages employees to be active players in their
workplace's safety and health effort. Specifically, OSHA
encourages workers to join with employers in promoting safety
on the job, and it provides protection for those who speak up.
1. Right to Promote Safety
Working cooperatively to reduce hazards.
Right to refuse to perform unsafe work.
Recourse if the employer does not correct a hazard.
2. Right to Protection from Retaliation
Right to confidentiality
OSHA Reform Legislation
OSHA Reform Bills
Protecting America‘s Workers Act (H.R. 2067)
would extend Occupational Safety and Health
Administration coverage to public sector
workers In addition to covering public sector
The Protecting America's Workers Act also
raise penalties for violators,
afford more protections for whistleblowers, and
extend new rights to victims of work accidents .
OSHA Reform Bills
New Criminal Prosecution
Greatly Expanded ―Legal Tests‖ for Criminal Prosecution
Under a ―knowing‖ standard, the government must only prove
that the defendant had knowledge of the facts that constitute the
offense – i.e., that the conduct at issue was not accidental or a
Willful act resulting in death
Knowing act resulting in serious harm
OSHA Reform Bill Could Move in Congress?
―Everything depended on health care, because it's in the same
committees‖ as the worker safety bill, said Frank White, director
of ORC Worldwide's health and safety practice, and a former
deputy head of the Occupational Safety and Health
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), chair of the House Education and
Labor Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, who introduced
the bill in the House, told BNA she expects Congress to begin
considering the bill in 2010.
A companion version of the OSHA reform bill was introduced
in the Senate by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in August
2009 on behalf of Sen. Edward Kennedy, then chairman of the
Senate labor committee.
Bill was later tied to the Mine Safety Bill which did not pass
Change in Congress may kill the Bill completely
OSHA Reform Bills
Woolsey also said she and Rep. Robert Andrews (D-
N.J.) introduced a bill that seeks to prevent
employers from misclassifying full-time workers as
consultants or independent contractors as a way of
evading their duties under the OSH Act.
Deputy Secretary of Labor, Seth Harris, testified
before Congress the week of June 7, 2010
OSHA says ―bah-humbug‖ to Salvation Army Santa
Emphasis on Enforcement
In 2011 we can expect to see greater enforcement
On the enforcement side, you‘ll notice
More OSHA inspectors??,
(KCAO is down to 14 vs 15 CSHOs) (hiring freeze in effect)
more citations and
Changed penalty calculation procedure on 10/1/2010
Average penalty per violation of $4000 vs $1000
4 Average violations per inspection
Yields average penalty per inspection of $16,000
Incentive to contest citations?
It‘s safe to say that businesses need to look at their
safety programs carefully and make sure they are
measuring up to the high standards being set by the
Opposition to the Penalty
On November 15, 2010, Senator Michael Enzi (R-WY), Ranking Member,
U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, and
Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Committee
on Small Business and Entrepreneurship to the Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis
expressing concerns over the direction of the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA). In particular, they detailed concerns about recent
changes to OSHA‘s administrative penalty policy and several proposed
rulemakings which they believe will negatively impact small business. Their
overarching concerns relate to the administration‘s lack of outreach to the
small business community and convening small business review panels to
fully understand the economic impact administrative changes might have on
Other issues addressed in the Senate letter are the proposed changes to the
Onsite Consultation Program Agreement and eliminating funding for the
Voluntary Protection Program (VPP).
OSHA Cracking Down on Repeat
Barab, the acting assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, said that
OSHA is replacing its existing Enhanced Enforcement Program
(EEP), initiated in 2003 under the Bush administration, with a
new program, provisionally named the Severe Violators
Inspection Program (SVIP).
Barab told subcommittee members, ―the new program will
ensure that recalcitrant employers not meeting their obligations
under the OSH Act are targeted for additional enforcement
Barab also said that OSHA would work closely with the Justice
Department to prosecute employers that repeatedly violated
Dr Michaels stated that OSHA would also begin to work more closely
with State and Local Prosecutors on issues related to workplace safety.
What to Expect Under SVIP Program
SVIP will be a comprehensive revision of the existing EEP, focusing more on
large companies and less on small businesses.
Some of the changes under the program include:
• Mandatory follow-up inspections
• Inspections of other employer sites
• Additional enhanced settlement provisions
• More intensive examination of an employer‘s history for systemic
problems that would trigger additional mandatory inspections
Several administrative changes to the penalty calculation system, outlined in
the agency's Field Operations Manual, are being made. These administrative
enhancements will become effective in the next several months. The penalty
changes will increase the overall dollar amount of all penalties
Average Penalty for Serious Violations to increase from $1000 to $4000
Pilot in several offices in June and July with national implementation
High-Emphasis Hazards are targeted and include fall
hazards and hazards identified from the following
National Emphasis Programs (NEPs):
Commission Upholds Repeat Citation
In Unanimous Ruling „Piercing Corporate Veil'
Willful and repeat citations and penalties totaling $10,750 against a
construction company in New Hampshire were upheld unanimously by the
Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Nov. 18 in a case that
resolved questions over the extent to which companies can change names and
structure and still be considered the same employer for purposes of a citation
(Secretary of Labor v. Sharon & Walter Construction Inc., OSHRC, No. 00-1402,
In upholding the citations against Sharon & Walter Construction Inc., the
commission concluded that repeat citations can apply, in appropriate cases, to
employers that have altered their legal identities from that of a predecessor
that had been cited previously.
The case, one of the oldest on the docket, was one of several the commission
accepted for review between 2000 and 2004 that focused on what
Commission Chairman Thomasina V. Rogers has called ―piercing the veil‖—
determining to what extent separate corporate identities are entwined.
Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards
for Fiscal 2010 (Oct. 1, 2009 to Sept. 30, 2010)
1926.451 – Scaffolding
1926.501 – Fall Protection
1910.1200 – Hazard Communication
1910.134 – Respiratory Protection
1926.1053 – Ladders
1910.147 – Lockout/Tagout
1910.305 – Electrical, Wiring Methods
1910.178 – Powered Industrial Trucks
1910.303 – Electrical, General Requirements
1910.212 – Machine Guarding
Employer Can Establish An Employee
Misconduct/ Unpeventability Defense By Showing:
Existence of an effective safety program designed to
prevent the violation.
Adequate safety instructions effectively
communicated to employees. (Training)
HOLD PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE
Means to discovering violations of instructions.
Enforcement of safety rules. (Discipline)
Without a good safety program, you could end
up with your buttocks in a sling
(In more than one way)!
Getting Tough Examples
New York trainer arrested on charges of
selling OSHA training certifications
Another 3 million dollar case against BP
―Presumptive Willfulness‖ for trenching
Judge upholds citations issued to Missouri company by
OSHA following investigation of fatal falls
OSHA has announced that the Occupational Safety and Health
Review Commission recently ruled in favor of upholding
citations issued to Thomas Industrial Coatings Inc. of Pevely,
Mo., following an investigation into two separate worker deaths
at the same worksite.
In its decision, the Occupational Safety and Health Review
Commission affirmed a total of six serious and 12 willful
violations, with an assessed penalty of $871,500. Of significance
was the judge's affirmation of OSHA's egregious or violation-by-
violation penalty policy, where eight willful violations were
issued to the company accounting for each employee exposed to
the same fall hazard.
Two Missouri employers arrested for failing to correct
life-threatening worker hazards
The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis ordered the arrest of
Brian Andre, former owner of Andre Tuckpointing and Brickwork, and
Regina Shaw, owner of Andre Stone & Mason Work Inc., the successor
company to Andre Tuckpointing and Brickwork, for repeatedly failing
to comply with court sanctions enforcing OSHA citations. The two
were taken into custody by authorities Dec. 28, 2010. The order for
incarceration stems from Mr. Andre‘s and Ms. Shaw's failure to comply
with sanctions ordered by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals,
following the court's initial ruling of contempt against Andre and Shaw
in January 2010.
OSHA issued numerous citations from June 2003 to Dec., 2010, to
both the original company and its successor, for willful, repeat and
serious violations related to fall hazards and scaffolding erection
deficiencies, among other issues.
Business Letters Cite OSHA Enforcement,
Lockout/Tagout Rules as Drags on Job Growth
In letters to a House oversight panel, business groups have called attention to
regulatory initiatives on worker safety enforcement, permissible exposure limits, and an
updated penalty policy as more examples of overreaching by the Occupational Safety
and Health Administration.
The letters were sent in response to a request in January by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.),
chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, for lists of
rules thought to curb job creation and economic growth (41 OSHR 30, 1/13/11).
Thomas Gibson, president of the American Iron and Steel Institute, said in a letter
that OSHA's ―increased enforcement measures can be counterproductive to achieving
Cooperative efforts among industry, labor, and government are the
most effective means of achieving safe workplaces, he said.
Further, ―strict interpretation of rules that do not provide additional workplace safety
and cost companies thousands of dollars in lost productivity unnecessarily reduces our
manufacturers' global competitiveness,‖ according to the letter.
The Business Roundtable submitted a report, titled Toward Smarter Regulation, calling on
federal agencies to base their regulatory priorities upon ―realistic considerations of
risk‖ and arguing that ―public fears and political expediency—not scientific analysis—
often dictate the priorities set by legislature and agencies.‖
Regulators should also select rules that achieve their objectives in the least costly way
and favor performance-based standards over ―command-and-control‖ regulation, and
agencies should be required to develop regulatory budgets that would limit the amount
of regulatory costs they could impose on the economy each year, the Business
Quick Action by OSHA Inspector
Prevents Possible Injury or Death
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Rick Burns was
performing a worksite inspection on a trench being dug by Trimat
Construction in Mercerville, Ohio, when he directed an employee to exit the
trench believing collapse was imminent.
Within five minutes, it did and could have buried the worker under six to
seven feet of soil.
"The actions of the compliance officer likely saved this worker's life," said
David Wilson, assistant area director in the Columbus area office.
"Cave-ins are a leading cause of worker fatalities during excavations."
OSHA standards mandate that all excavations 5 feet or deeper be protected
The employee was working in a trench at a depth greater than 10 feet without
cave-in protection. OSHA is conducting an investigation.
Workers were ordered out of the trench (left)
just moments before a portion collapsed
(right), avoiding possible injury or loss of life.
OSHA At 40
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was established in 1971.
Since then, OSHA and our state partners, coupled with the efforts of
employers, safety and health professionals, unions and advocates, have had a
dramatic effect on workplace safety.
Fatality and injury rates have dropped markedly.
Although accurate statistics were not kept at the time, it is estimated that in 1970
around 14,000 workers were killed on the job.
That number fell to approximately 4,340 in 2009.
At the same time, U.S. employment has almost doubled and now includes over 130 million
workers at more than 7.2 million worksites.
Since the passage of the OSH Act, the rate of reported serious workplace injuries
and illnesses has declined from 11 per 100 workers in 1972 to 3.6 per 100 workers
OSHA safety and health standards, including those for trenching, machine
guarding, asbestos, benzene, lead, and bloodborne pathogens have prevented
countless work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths.
See the OSHA web for a 40 year historical timeline which highlights key
milestones in occupational safety and health history since the creation of
10-year-old had to pick out dad‟s
Ronnie Lynn May, 44, was killed while working on a drilling rig in Midland
May and a co-worker were moving pipe on a drilling rig when a portion of the
pipe slipped, pinning the co-worker‘s leg.
As May tried to rescue the worker, he was crushed by another piece of the rig.
May was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. The other
worker‘s injuries weren‘t life threatening. OSHA is investigating.
The San Antonio Express-News reports that May‘s son, 10-year-old Seth, spent
the day after his father‘s death picking out a headstone, casket and funeral
May‘s mother, Mamie May, told the newspaper that the father and son were
great friends. The two spent time together riding four-wheelers, fishing and
―They did everything,‖ Mamie May said. ―And today, Seth made all of his
father‘s funeral arrangements.‖
OSHA Inspector Faces Charges
WICHITA — An inspector with the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration is charged in
Kansas with lying about performing inspections at
A three-count federal indictment made public
Wednesday alleges Douglas W. McComb falsely
indicated on OSHA reports that he had inspected
two construction sites in Wichita and one in
McComb was summoned to appear April 18 in U.S.
District Court in Wichita.
Standards and Regulations
Congressional Republicans are promising to scrub the government
for what they say are "job killing" regulations. One of their primary
targets is OSHA
Republicans say OSHA enacts expensive rules without regard to their effect on
business. They've proposed cutting its budget this year by 20 percent, a reduction the
director says would be devastating to the agency's efforts to protect worker safety.
Now, Republicans in control of the House are trying to push the pendulum back. As
part of their drive to cut about $61 billion from federal spending in the current fiscal
year, they've targeted OSHA for a $99 million reduction.
"The Republicans have proposed a 20 percent cut and given [that] half a year's over,
that really means a 40 percent cut," OSHA administrator David Michaels says. "It
would really have a devastating effect on all of our activities."
Republicans argue that OSHA's stepped-up enforcement threatens jobs.
Michaels says. "We know that OSHA doesn't kill jobs. It stops jobs from killing
workers. When employers embrace safety, they actually save money. We know that's
true. They often don't believe it, but we show them. And we have consultants who
provide that information for free."
While fighting off cuts to this year's budget, the Obama administration has proposed
increasing spending on OSHA in the next fiscal year by a bit more than 4 percent.
March 14, 2011 Michaels Defends
Impact of OSHA Regs on Job
In a statement to members of a congressional
subcommittee, OSHA administrator Dr. David
Michaels addressed the issue of the impact of
government regulation on job creation. ―Despite
concerns about the effect of regulation on American
business, there is clear evidence that OSHA‘s
commonsense regulations have made working
conditions in this country today far safer than 40 years
ago when the agency was created, while at the same
time protecting American jobs,‖ Michaels said.
Cost of Accidents:
The Iceberg Effect
On average, the indirect
costs of accidents exceed
the direct costs by a 4:1
$ A F E T Y P A Y S ! OSHA Advisor @ www.osha.gov
Estimated Costs of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses and Estimated Impact on a Company's Profitability
Report for Year: 1999
Employer: XYZ Inc
Prepared by: I. B. Safe, Safety Coordinator, on January 28, 2000
The injury or illness selected: Strain
Average Direct Cost: $5,945
Average Indirect Cost: $7,134
Estimated Total Cost: $13,079
The net profit margin for this company is 4%
The ADDITIONAL sales necessary
- to cover Indirect Costs are: $178,350
- to cover Total Costs are: $326,975
The injury or illness selected: Laceration
Average Direct Cost: $1,101
Average Indirect Cost: $4,954
$AFETY PAYS is a tool developed by OSHA to
Estimated Total Cost: $6,055 assist employers in assessing the impact of
The net profit margin for this company is 4% occupational injuries and illnesses on their
The ADDITIONAL sales necessary profitability. It uses a company's profit margin,
- to cover Indirect Costs are: $123,850 the AVERAGE costs of an injury or illness, and
- to cover Total Costs are: $151,375 an indirect cost multiplier to project the amount of
sales a company would need to generate in order
to cover those costs. Since AVERAGES are used,
the actual costs may be higher or lower. Costs
used here do not reflect the pain and suffering of
injuries and illnesses.
President Obama called for a regulatory review,
ordering federal agencies to drop regulations that
"are just plain dumb."
The move was hotly debated with safety and health advocates
warning that crucial government oversight will be diluted and
conservatives complaining that the review won't go far enough
and exempts health care reform and financial reform.
Critics who complain that regulations burden businesses and
impede economic recovery point to a 2005 study by the Small
Business Administration's Office of Advocacy that tallied
regulatory costs at $1.75 trillion per year.
But the study failed to track the benefits of regulation, which tend to be
hard to measure since they often are long-term improvements –
Last year, the Office of Management and Budget reported that
over the last ten years, the benefits of major federal regulations
(ranging from $128 billion to $616 billion) dwarfed the costs
(ranging from $43 billion to $55 billion).
Emphasis on New Regulations
The regulatory agenda recently outlined is very
OSHA's Winter 2010 Regulatory
"This agenda continues to build upon the
Secretary Hilda Solis' regulatory strategy of plan,
prevent, protect; and solidifies the Agency's
commitment to strengthening the worker's voice
in the workplace," he wrote.
OSHA's major projects to implement the
Secretary's vision are:
New S&H Management Standard?
Statement of Dr Michaels before Congress On
The Labor Department released its winter regulatory
agenda which includes a new enforcement strategy –
Plan/Prevent/Protect – an effort designed to expand
and strengthen worker protections through a new
OSHA standard that would require each employer to
implement an Injury and Illness Prevention Program
tailored to the actual hazards in that employer‘s
OSHA initiated rulemaking on this standard with
stakeholder meetings, the first took place in June 2010
in New Jersey.
Injury and Illness Prevention
Program (Find and Fix) (I2P2)
OSHA has substantial data on reductions in
injuries and illnesses from employers who have
implemented similar effective processes.
The Agency currently has voluntary Safety and
Health Program Management Guidelines (54 FR
3904-3916), published in 1989.
Twelve States have similar rules.
Web Chat of 1/3/2011
DURING THE CHAT, OSHA REVEALED THAT ITS
HIGHEST REGULATORY PRIORITY IS THE INJURY
AND ILLNESS PREVENTION PROGRAM (I2P2) RULE.
OSHA NOTED THAT BECAUSE OF ITS LIMITED
RESOURCES, IT CAN‘T ISSUE STANDARDS FOR ALL
HAZARDS. THEREFORE, IT HAS TRIED TO FOCUS ON
REGULATORY ACTIVITIES SUCH AS THE I2P2 RULE
THAT WILL HAVE THE GREATEST IMPACT.
THE NEXT STEP FOR THE I2P2 RULE IS THE SMALL
BUSINESS REGULATORY ENFORCEMENT FAIRNESS
ACT (SBREFA) PROCESS, WHICH IS CURRENTLY
SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 2011
Key provisions of the program may include:
A requirement that employers systematically identify
and remediate risks to workers for example, to review
relevant safety and health information, develop
procedures for inspecting their workplaces for safety
and health hazards and investigate accidents.
Methods to provide workers with opportunities to
participate in the program,.
Provisions requiring that the program be made available
to workers so they can understand it and help monitor
A requirement that employers implement the program
so the program actually protects workers
Provisions to prevent employers from not covering
workers by misclassifying them as independent
Assess The Hazard and Take
Lobbying battle on tap over proposed
changes to workplace-safety rules
Business and labor are preparing to wage a lobbying battle over a
new rule expected later this year that could have a profound
effect on how health and safety are handled in the workplace.
In a January speech before the watchdog group Public Citizen,
OSHA head David Michaels said the rule ―represents the most
fundamental change in workplace culture since the passage of
the OSHA Act‖ — the 1970 law that created the agency.
The agency has held at least five public meetings with
stakeholders to get feedback on how to draft it.
President Obama‘s fiscal 2012 budget request asks Congress for
$2.4 million to help develop I2P2, which is an increase since he
did not seek any funding for the rule for fiscal 2011.
Lobbying battle on tap over proposed
changes to workplace-safety rules
Michaels told The Hill that his agency is working on the regulation because
OSHA does not have the manpower to stop every workplace accident.
―It would take over 100 years for OSHA to visit every workplace under its
jurisdiction,‖ Michaels said. ―OSHA believes that workers will be better
protected if each employer has a proactive plan to find and fix hazards in
their workplaces so that workers don‘t get hurt.‖
Economic and feasibility analyses of the regulation were slated to be released
in late 2010. But those reports were delayed to June in order ―to gather more
stakeholder input‖ and crunch more data, Michaels said.
OSHA‘s focus on the rule has caught the attention of a number of business
groups. Members of the Coalition for Workplace Safety, like the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, have
grown concerned about the rule.
―This would be the most sweeping regulation that OSHA has ever put out,‖
said Marc Freedman, the Chamber‘s executive director of labor law policy.
Freedman believes the rule could require employers to identify all hazards in
the workplace, even ones not already mitigated for by OSHA.
―There is one school of thought that they would not have to issue another
regulation ever again,‖ Freedman said.
More Aggressive OSHA and New
High Noon for Ergonomics?
In 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama said that, if elected, he
would issue a new ergonomics standard. The Clinton
administration‘s ergonomic standard survived only a few months
and was repealed by the Bush administration and a Republican
Congress shortly after Clinton left office.
Last June, in a speech to the American Society of Safety
Engineers, acting OSHA Administrator Jordan Barab
characterized the ergonomics issue as a ―political football‖ with
―powerful players who don‘t want to see it on the field.‖ He
added, ―Well, we‘re going to pick up that football.‖
I2P2 Ergonomics Debate
Freedman of the Chamber believes OSHA wants to re-establish
that ergonomics standard using the I2P2 rule. Since the
ergonomics rule was rejected under the Congressional Review
Act, the agency cannot reissue a regulation that would be similar
to the voided standard.
―Not only is this similar to the ergo rule, this will be how this
OSHA does ergonomics,‖ Freedman said. ―This is their ergo rule
in style and substance.‖
Seminario of the AFL-CIO said the reference to the voided
ergonomics standard is a scare tactic and has been used before,
most recently, she said, with OSHA‘s proposed regulation that
would restore a column on employer injury and illness logs to
record workers‘ musculoskeletal disorders. The rule was
temporarily withdrawn earlier this year.
Bill Requiring Congress
To Approve Major Rules Could Freeze OSHA and I2P2
The Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny
(REINS) Act, introduced in the House (H.R. 10) by Rep. Geoff
Davis (R-Ky.) and in the Senate (S. 299) by Sen. Rand Paul (R-
Ky.), would require congressional approval of any regulations
deemed to be ―economically significant,‖ meaning those whose
cost to the economy is estimated at $100 million or more
annually. Also included would be rules that would cause a major
increase in costs or prices or significant adverse effects on
competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation,
or U.S. competitiveness..
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's injury and
illness prevention program rule, under which employers would
bear the burden of identifying and fixing safety hazards in their
own workplaces, is one rule that could be affected if the REINS
Act becomes law, although the regulation has not yet been
The bill has 127 co-sponsors in the House and 25 in the Senate.
GOP Amendments to Small Business Bill
Take Aim at Regulatory Powers, Spending
A series of Republican amendments to a Senate small business bill could strip authority and
funding from federal regulatory agencies, including the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration, according to labor advocates who object to the amendments.
One amendment, the United States Authorization and Sunset Commission Act of 2011 (S.
Amdt. 186), submitted by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), would create a bipartisan eight-member
commission, composed of members of the House and Senate, to review and possibly
recommend the abolishment or consolidation of redundant or duplicative programs in the
Labor Advocates Criticize Amendment
According to Chasick, a commission like the one proposed by Cornyn ―would diminish the
important oversight and fact-finding roles of committee hearings and reports, and diminish the
opportunity for input from agency staff, occupational safety and health experts, or victims'
Moreover, ―by concentrating this power in the hands of only eight members, it is highly unlikely
that there will be anyone from the relevant committees on the commission, further de-
legitimizing the process,‖ Chasick said. ―It's bad enough that Congress, through the REINS Act,
wants to politicize the rulemaking process by requiring a vote in both houses before a rule can
take effect; concentrating this power in the hands of an eight-member commission would mean
industry lobbyists could kill a rule in an afternoon.‖
Similarly, Eric Frumin, safety and health director at the Change to Win labor federation,
criticized the Cornyn amendment, telling BNA March 28 that if the new procedure were
established, it would be even easier for corporate interests to manipulate the congressional
process to weaken or eliminate critical public health and safety agencies like OSHA.
ASSE Share Views, Support on OSHA‘s
Feb 8, 2011 2:59 PM, By Laura Walter
The American Society of Safety Engineers
(ASSE) sent a letter to the House
Committee on Oversight and Government
Reform Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-
Calif., to reiterate its support for OSHA‟s
development of an injury and illness
prevention program (I2P2) standard.
Hazard Communication Standard -
Global Harmonization System of
Classification and Labeling of Chemicals
OSHA and other U.S. agencies have been involved in a long-
term project to negotiate a globally harmonized approach to
informing workers about chemical hazards. The result is the
Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of
Chemicals (GHS). OSHA is revising its Hazard Communication
Standard to make it consistent with the GHS. The new standard
will include more specific requirements for hazard classification,
as well as standardized label components which will provide
consistent information and definitions for hazardous chemicals
and a standard approach to conveying information on material
safety data sheets. On September 30, 2009, OSHA published the
proposal and participated in hearings in March 2010.
Plenty of Substance in OSHA's Web Chat of
Look for a final rule revising the Hazard
Communication standard in August 2011
In particular, OSHA is focused on improving
worker awareness of the health and safety risks
posed by hazardous chemicals.
Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and
Reporting Requirements (Musculoskeletal
OSHA revised its regulation on Recording and Reporting
Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (Recordkeeping) to restore a
column on the OSHA 300 Injury and Illness Log that employers
will check when recording work-related musculoskeletal
The MSD data from the column will help about 750,000
employers and 40 million workers track injuries at individual
workplaces, and improve the Nation's occupational injury and
illness information data published by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics. The MSD column was removed from the OSHA 300
Log in 2003.
The White House's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
(OIRA), part of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB),
has been "reviewing" it for several months.
Plenty of Substance in OSHA's Web Chat of
Answers to questions posed by participants
indicated the MSDs column will be added to the
300 log in 2012 (if OMB allows the change to
Concerns among small businesses have prompted
OSHA to hold off implementing a column to
record work-related musculoskeletal disorders, at
least for the time being. The federal agency said it
will reach out to small businesses and get their
input on the impact of the plan.
OSHA announced last year it would restore a column
on its Form 300 Log of Work-Related Injuries and
Illnesses specifically for MSDs. The column was
announced in 2001 although it was deleted in 2003
before it became effective.
Public comments on the proposal indicated concerns
about added expense and training.
This rulemaking will update existing permissible
exposure limits and establish additional
provisions to protect workers from exposures to
respirable crystalline silica dust.
Will be in the form of an ―Expanded Health
Sampling, medical monitoring, controls, respirators,
PEL 25 or 50 ug/m3???
Completed SBREFA Report 12/19/2003
Initiated Peer Review of Health Effects and Risk
Completed Peer Review 01/24/2010
Crystalline Silica NEP
Silica NEP Inspection Program initiated 1/2008
to identify and reduce or eliminate the health
hazards associated with occupational exposure
to crystalline silica.
Foundries are included on the inspection
Silica inspections are 2% of all inspections
Confined Space for Construction
OSHA is closer to finalizing a rule to extend
confined-space protection to construction
According to the Regulatory Agenda, comments
OSHA has received regarding the rule were
analyzed in October 2010.
Currently, construction contractors can follow
safety requirements in the general industry
standard, but this is not mandatory
Combustible dust can cause catastrophic explosions like the 2008
disaster at the Imperial Sugar refinery that killed 14 workers and
seriously injured dozens more. Deadly combustible dust fires and
explosions can be caused by a wide array of materials and
processes in a large number of industries. Materials that may
form combustible dust include wood, coal, plastics, spice, starch,
flour, feed, grain, fertilizer, tobacco, paper, soap, rubber, drugs,
dyes, certain textiles, and metals. While a number of OSHA
standards address aspects of this hazard, the Agency does not
have a comprehensive standard that addresses combustible dust.
OSHA is engaged in the early stages of rulemaking to develop a
combustible dust standard for general industry. OSHA published
an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in October 2009
and held stakeholder meetings in December 2009.
OSHA to hold more stakeholder meetings on how to
regulate combustible dust
Bill to Prevent Industrial Dust Explosions
Reintroduced in the House
Published: February 08, 2011
The bill is called the Worker Protection Against
Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act.
It would require OSHA to issue interim protections to
prevent combustible dusts like coal, sugar or metals dust
from building up in industrial facilities to hazardous levels.
The bill was introduced by U.S. Rep. George Miller, Rep.
John Barrow and Rep. Lynn Woolsey.
According to a press release sent out by the Workforce
Protections Subcommittee, in the three years since the
Imperial Sugar explosion there have been 24 combustible
dust explosions or fires, causing four deaths and 65 injuries.
MICHAELS ANNOUNCED THAT OSHA IS PLANNING
TO PUBLISH FIVE MORE RULES IN 2011
CONFINED SPACES IN CONSTRUCTION
GENERAL WORKING CONDITIONS FOR
SHIPYARDS, AND ELECTRIC POWER
OSHA ALSO PLANS TO PUBLISH A PROPOSED
RULE FOR SILICA
Airborne Infectious Diseases
Airborne infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, severe acute
respiratory syndrome (SARS), and influenza can be spread from
OSHA is interested in protecting the nation's 13 million
healthcare workers from airborne infectious diseases.
Healthcare-acquired infections are on the rise and there are also
increasing levels of drug-resistant microorganisms in healthcare
settings. Most current infection control efforts are intended
primarily for patient protection and not for worker protection.
In March 2010, OSHA published a Request for Information to
help examine how to improve worker protection from exposure
to airborne diseases.
Per Web chat of 1/3/2011 OSHA may expand scope to include
percutaneous and droplet ingestion of may different pathogens
Plenty of Substance in OSHA's Web Chat of
Additionally, this agenda also reflects two new
initiatives that are focused on hazards in the
high risk construction industry:
Backing Operations and
Reinforcing and Post-Tensioned Steel Construction.
Walking / Working Surfaces - Subparts D & I
This proposed standard will update OSHA's rules
covering slip, trip and fall hazards and establish
requirements for personal fall protection systems. The
rule affects almost every non-construction worker in
the United States. This is an important rulemaking
because it addresses hazards that result in numerous
deaths and thousands of injuries every year. The
proposal is expected to prevent 20 workplace fatalities
per year and over 3,500 injuries serious enough to result
in days away from work.
The Agency issued a Proposed Standard in May 2010.
Cranes and Derricks
More than 80 workers lose their lives each year in crane-related
fatalities. OSHA's existing rule, which dates back to 1971, is
partly based on industry consensus standards that are over 40
years old. On October 9, 2008, OSHA issued a comprehensive
proposed revision of the Cranes and Derricks standard. The
proposed rule addresses electrocution hazards, crushing and
struck-by hazards, overturning, procedures for ensuring that the
weight of the load is within the crane's rated capacity, and
ensures that crane operators have the required knowledge and
skills by requiring independent verification of operator ability.
This year, OSHA completed the public hearing and comment
phase of the process and is now analyzing the public's input and
preparing the final rule.
OSHA issued the final rule in July 2010.
OSHA Issues Guidance on Cranes
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
issued the Small Entity Compliance Guide for Cranes
and Derricks in Construction to help businesses comply
with the recently published Cranes and Derricks in
OSHA has confirmed the effective date of June
15, 2010, for the direct final rule requiring
employers to notify their workers of all
hexavalent chromium exposures. The rule
revises a provision in OSHA's Hexavalent
Chromium standard that required workers be
notified only when they experienced exposures
exceeding the permissible exposure limit.
Hearing Conservation for
Construction Dropped from
Due to ―resource constraints and other priorities,‖ the
Hearing Conservation Program for Construction
Workers has been dropped.
A recent survey found that 60 percent of more than
3,000 construction workers employed by the U.S.
Department of Energy suffer with hearing
loss. OSHA‘s plans to increase enforcement of
standards 1926.52 and 1926.101, which are devoted to
noise exposure in construction.
The transient nature of construction work and its labor
force complicate resolution of this health and quality of
OSHA Agrees to Extend Comment Period
On Proposed Reinterpretation of Noise Standard
OSHA's proposal, published Oct. 19, centers on the term ―feasible
administrative or engineering controls,‖ as used in the general industry and
construction occupational noise exposure standards.
Under the reinterpretation, employers would have to reduce noise exposure in
the workplace by using administrative or engineering controls, rather than by
providing personal protective equipment, if the cost of doing so does not
threaten the employer's ability to stay in business (75 Fed. Reg. 64,216; 40
OSHR 867, 10/21/10).
Employer organizations have expressed concern over the impact of the
proposed reinterpretation. There were no comments from labor unions on
file as of Nov. 19. The comment period was due to close Dec. 20.
The comment period for the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration's proposed reinterpretation of its noise protection standards
will be extended 90 days to March 21, 2011,
Noise Control Policy Change
Proposal Has Been “Suspended”
OSHA proposed the new policy after research showed hearing loss to be a significant workplace
with more than 20,000 workers annually experiencing hearing loss.
only 34 percent of workers exposed to potentially harmful noise levels wear HPDs.
Armed with this evidence from inspections and investigations and research, OSHA proposed in 2010 to
have employers use engineering controls to bring noise levels down below 90 dBA when feasible.
OSHA‘s old policy In effect since the 1980s called for the use of controls only when noise exceeded 100 dBA.
The new policy target noise exposures between 90 and 100 dBA.
―We failed to educate the public on the reasons for the renewed emphasis on nose controls over PPE,
so we pulled back for more education,‖ said Hauter.
OSHA received ―a very, very strong immediate reaction from the National Association of
Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,‖ along with almost 30 other industry groups. ―We
heard the same comments that we‘ve heard since the 1970s,‖ said Hauter. ―You‘re going to ruin us, put
us on the brink of bankruptcy.‖
Facing this level of protest, OSHA decided that more outreach and input from the public was needed,
and withdrew the proposal. ―Rest assured OSHA is not dropping this issue,‖ said Hauter.
The agency plans to update the noise section of its website in March with new information.
Public hearings on the proposal will be held, hopefully this spring or summer, according to Hauter.
And she said OSHA chief Dr. David Michaels is making the case that American industry is losing business to
European manufacturers of ―quiet equipment,‖ because engineering controls are more accepted in Europe; thus
manufacturers there have more motivation to put R&D money into quiet equipment technology.
OSHA Rescinds Interim Residential Fall
The head of the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration said Nov. 16 that the agency rescinded
its interim residential fall protection guidelines, which
critics say can allow employers to forego certain fall
protection measures even if they are feasible.
Conventional fall protection programs consist of three
protective systems—guardrails, safety nets, and
personal fall arrest systems. Employers are allowed to
use alternative fall protection, however, when a
conventional program is ―infeasible or creates a greater
hazard,‖ the interim guidelines said.
OSHA published a retraction of this policy on
12/22/2010 in the Federal Register
OSHA acts to protect workers in residential
OSHA issued a new directive withdrawing a former one that allowed
residential builders to bypass fall protection requirements.
The directive being replaced, issued in 1995, initially was intended as a
temporary policy and was the result of concerns about the feasibility of
fall protection in residential building construction.
However, according to data from the department's Bureau of Labor
Statistics, there continues to be a high number of fall-related deaths in
residential construction and industry experts now feel that feasibility is
no longer an issue or concern.
The National Association of Home Builders, the National Advisory
Committee for Construction Safety and Health, and the Occupational
Safety and Health State Plan Association all recommended rescinding
the 1995 directive.
To view the directive and for more information, visit OSHA‘s
Residential Fall Protection page.
Guidance document provides methods to help
prevent injuries and deaths among residential
To help employers comply with the new fall protection
directive (see first story) OSHA issued a guidance
document on Fall Protection in Residential
Falls are the leading cause of death for workers
involved in residential construction.
The document focuses primarily on new construction
and shows how employers can prevent fall-related
injuries and death by methods that include using
bracket scaffolds, anchors, safety net systems and
guardrails during activities such as weatherproofing a
roof or installing roof sheathing, walls and subfloors
New OSHA brochure explains workers'
rights to a safe and healthful workplace
OSHA's new brochure, We Are OSHA -- We Can Help*,
provides information to help workers understand their rights
under the OSH Act and what OSHA can do to help protect
The brochure covers topics including:
who OSHA covers,
OSHA safety and health standards,
the right of workers to request an OSHA inspection of their
the right of workers not to be punished or discriminated against
for using their OSHA rights.
Dangers of distracted driving
OSHA's new distracted driving brochure* explains to employers and supervisors the
importance of preventing texting by their workers while driving. Texting while driving
dramatically increases the risk of motor vehicle crashes, the leading cause of worker
fatalities. Distracted driving crashes killed more than 5,400 people and injured nearly
500,000 in 2009. OSHA encourages trade associations to share this brochure with their
members. It can be downloaded or ordered from the Publications page of OSHA's
This resource is part of OSHA's Distracted Driving Initiative, which OSHA Assistant
Secretary David Michaels discussed with stakeholders in a March 3 teleconference.
Participants representing workers, employers, trade associations, insurance companies,
small businesses, government agencies and advocacy groups participated in a
discussion of strategies and plans to work cooperatively to help inform businesses of
the importance of preventing texting while driving. See OSHA's Distracted Driving
Web page for more information on the agency's efforts to protect workers from this
Overhaul of Injury and Illness Data
Need better data for enforcement targeting
Revise entire OSHA recordkeeping system to be a
―real time‖ web based reporting system
A $99 million cut in OSHA money, which is
just under a fifth of its budget. Almost half
of the cut (42 percent) would be in federal
OSHA enforcement, while another 35
percent of the cut would be in money to
gather safety and health statistics.
Compliance Assistance Programs
House Oversight Subcommittee Chairman
Calls for „Creative Legislation' on OSHA
Federal policy on worker safety should emphasize compliance assistance, not
enforcement, the chair of a House oversight subcommittee told BNA April 6.
―Congress has delegated rulemaking authority to OSHA, and the agency's
expertise in workplace safety matters makes it the prime mover in shaping the
future of regulatory policy within the industry,‖ Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio),
chair of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus
Oversight, and Government Spending, said.
―The key here is that, in an era where the industry is struggling for jobs, we
need regulations that inform job creators about how best to comply with the
law to promote workplace safety—not regulations that are used only to
punish honest mistakes, thus forcing manufacturing and construction firms to
focus less on providing jobs and helping consumers than on fearing they
would have to lay off employees and cut down business to avoid heavy fines
or prosecution,‖ Jordan, who also chairs the Republican Study Committee,
‗Burdensome Enforcement' Not Helpful
While both parties see the need to boost jobs, OSHA ―has increased fines
and penalties, while cutting funding and staff for cooperative programs,‖ he
said. ―Critically, we need to agree that burdensome enforcement regimes that
minimize compliance assistance are not helpful to employees, and especially
not helpful to business.‖
OSHA issues hazard alert on hair smoothing and
straightening products that could release formaldehyde
OSHA issued a hazard alert to hair salon owners and workers
about potential formaldehyde exposure from working with some
hair smoothing and straightening products. (Brazilian Blowout)
Formaldehyde can irritate the eyes and nose, cause allergic
reactions of the skin, eyes and lungs and is also linked to nose
and lung cancer.
Responding to complaints about possible exposure, OSHA and
many state occupational safety and health agencies are
During one investigation, federal OSHA's air tests showed
formaldehyde at levels greater than OSHA's allowable limits,
even though the product tested was labeled as formaldehyde-
OSHA Revises Outreach Training Program to
Improve Trainer Reliability
OSHA recently revised its voluntary Outreach Training Program
procedures to include trainer verification requirements and other
changes to improve training quality and ensure the integrity of its
The new requirements now include a trainer code of conduct
and a statement of compliance, which requires each trainer to
verify that the training he or she conducts will be in accordance
with the program requirements and procedures.
Other enhancements involve
limiting classroom size to a maximum of 40 students;
limiting the use of translators to those with safety and health experience;
and limiting the amount of time spent on videos during the training.
OSHA Revises Outreach Training Program to
Improve Trainer Reliability
The agency also is making the following changes to the Outreach Training
Imposing limits on outreach training conducted outside of OSHA‟s
Allotting military members returning from overseas an additional 90 days
from their return date to renew their trainer authorization.
Requiring trainers to issue course completion cards to students within 90
days of class completion.
Requiring trainers to provide the course completion card directly to the
student, allowing students to have proof of training completion to display
at any job site and help prevent organizations from withholding the card
from a worker.
Adding record requirements to impose tougher advertising restrictions and
revising the rules for using guest trainers.
Finally, the training class content has changed. All construction classes are
required to include 4 hours on Focus Four Hazards. All 30-hour classes
must include 2 hours on Managing Safety and Health.
The new requirements and procedures also integrate recent requirements,
which require training classes to last a maximum of 7.5 hours per day and
include a new, 2-hour Introduction to OSHA training module.
Without a S&HMS You Could Go…
Compliance Assistance Focus
Implementation of effective SH Management
Improve ―safety culture‖
Reach ―at risk‖ workers
The VPP Model
(Culture + Systems = Reduced Injuries and Illnesses)
Successful Safety Management
HSE Performance over time
and standards • Visible leadership /
HSE • Shared purpose & belief
• Aligned performance
Management commitment & external
• Engineering improvements • HSE delivers business
• Hardware improvements value
• Safety emphasis
• E&H Compliance
• Integrated HSE-MS
• Reporting Improved
• Risk Management
KCAO Achieves STAR VPP Status