OSHA Watch – Duncan Financial Group
HR Tips – EEOC Updates, Child Labor Laws, Preliminary Injunction on Davis-Bacon Provisions
July 11, 2024
When It Comes to 401(k) Beneficiaries, Where There’s a Will There Isn’t Necessarily a Way
July 12, 2024
HR Tips – EEOC Updates, Child Labor Laws, Preliminary Injunction on Davis-Bacon Provisions
July 11, 2024
When It Comes to 401(k) Beneficiaries, Where There’s a Will There Isn’t Necessarily a Way
July 12, 2024
OSHA Watch

Pile of documents with Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA.

OSHA Watch

Proposed Heat Injury and Illness Prevention standard released

The proposed Heat Injury and Illness Prevention standard addresses the safety needs of those working in outdoor and indoor heat. It would require employers to develop an injury and illness prevention plan to control heat hazards in workplaces affected by excessive heat. Among other things, the plan would require employers to evaluate heat risks and, when heat increases risks to workers, implement requirements for drinking water, rest breaks, and control of indoor heat. Other requirements relate to training, PPE, and recordkeeping when injuries or illnesses occur. It would also require a plan to acclimate new or returning workers unaccustomed to working in high heat conditions.

The proposal would apply to all employers conducting outdoor and indoor work in all industries, with particular attention to the construction, maritime and agriculture sectors.

The drafted standard is awaiting imminent publication in the Federal Register, after which a public commenting period will begin. For more information, click here.

Comment period on emergency response standard extended again

The second extension of the comment period on the emergency response standard now ends July 22. The controversial rule will replace and greatly expand the standard on fire brigades (1910.156) to include a broad range of public and private workplaces, as well as volunteer emergency responders. Many private employers and fire service groups consider the new requirements burdensome, costly, and a deterrent to retention and recruitment.

Business groups urge Congress to repeal worker walkaround rule

Nearly 60 employer groups have urged members of the House to support a resolution intended to repeal the final rule on worker walkaround representation. They argue the rule would harm employers and disrupt inspections by allowing non-employees, including union members, to represent workers during inspections. The resolution was referred to the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

Guidance memo on recording certain treatments for musculoskeletal injuries

A new guidance memo outlines whether musculoskeletal injuries and illnesses are recordable under the injury and illness recordkeeping regulation (29 CFR 1904) when the only treatment given is first aid, Active Release Techniques (ART), and/or exercises and stretching. Generally, ART is considered massage, which is listed under first aid treatment and, therefore, not recordable. However, if the application of ART exceeds massage, it is recordable. Stretching or therapeutic exercise isn’t included on the list of first aid treatments for musculoskeletal injuries and is considered recordable medical treatment when used for a particular work-related injury or illness.

Enforcement guidance for the injury and illness reporting rule

A memo to Regional Administrators provides clarification on citations related to non-compliance with the injury and illness reporting rule. It notes current enforcement procedures primarily focus on employers’ failures to submit required Form 300A data, while the agency continues to review Form 300 and 301 submissions. However, there may be circumstances to cite employers for failing to submit Form 300 and 301 data. Since the deadline to submit data electronically was March 2, the six-month date to issue a citation for non-compliance is September 2.

When a motor vehicle accident is work-related and recordable

A new letter of interpretation addresses when a motor-vehicle accident is work-related and recordable.

New video on preparing for severe weather

The video focuses on steps employers should take to keep workers safe from hurricanes, tornadoes, and other extreme weather events before they occur.

Safety guidance to flood recovery workers in Florida

A strong reminder was issued to emergency responders, recovery workers, and residents in flood-affected areas of Florida to prioritize safety amid cleanup efforts following intense rainfall. It emphasizes the importance of training, following safe work practices, and using PPE during debris removal to minimize these risks.

Employee misconduct defense fails when safety rules are violated routinely

A federal administrative law judge has affirmed safety violations against United Airlines related to a 2021 incident at Newark Liberty International Airport in which a 737’s tire crushed a technician’s foot as they worked with one of the company’s towing crews. In the decision, the judge denied United Airlines’ attempt to cite employee misconduct given the finding that, while tow-safety rules were violated routinely, the company failed to take corrective action in response.

Safe + Sound Week, August 12-18, 2024

To learn more or register, click here.

MSHA – New safety alerts

Battery fire explosion hazard
Mobile equipment
Belt conveyor system – stored energy

State plans

Cal/OSHA
Indoor heat standard approved, fast-tracked for implementation

On June 20, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board approved the new indoor heat standard and asked the Office of Administrative Law to expedite the finalization of the standard. This could mean an effective date in August instead of Oct. 1. With some exceptions, the standard will apply to indoor workplaces where the temperature is 82° F or hotter. The rule places considerable compliance obligations on employers including the development of a Heat Illness Prevention Plan (HIPP), easy access to fresh drinking water, cool-down areas and rest periods, close observation during acclimatization, emergency response procedures, effective training, and more. The plan and actions must be customized to the employer’s operations and can not be a restatement of the standard.

Click here to find answers to the most popular FAQs regarding outdoor heat illness prevention.

Update to PSM regulation

The Standards Board approved Petition 601 requesting the expansion of the Process Safety Management (PSM) regulation (Section 5189.1) to cover refineries that are now processing renewable feedstocks in place of petroleum. This will trigger an expedited rulemaking process to update the PSM regulation.

Governor appoints Deborah Lee as new chief

Governor Gavin Newsom announced on June 6 that he appointed Debra Lee, Chief of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health at the Department of Industrial Relations, where she has been Acting Chief since 2024 and has served in several positions since 1994.

MIOSHA
Webinar on top violations in the cannabis industry
A recent webinar discussed the top ten violations in the cannabis industry. View the webinar as well as other webinars on the cannabis industry.

Take a stand day – August 12 – 16
Employers are invited to “Take a Stand” for workplace safety and health on August 12-16 by partnering with MIOSHA. The professional staff will be scheduled to provide a day of one-on-one consultations. There will be no citations or fines for participating workplaces, however, participants must agree to correct all serious conditions. The deadline for registration submissions is Friday, July 19, 2024.

Coffee with MIOSHA
Incompass Michigan and MIOSHA invite employers and employees to share a cup of coffee and learn more about the programs and services on July 17, 2024, 8 – 10 a.m., 335 Seymour Ave., Lansing. To register, click here.

Recent fines and awards

California

    Amazon warehouses in two counties allegedly violated the state’s “Warehouse Quotas law,” which requires warehouse employers to provide employees written notice of any quotas and face $5.9 million in fines.

Florida

    Following the heat-related death of a farm worker, Guerero Ag LLC, a labor contractor, was cited for two serious violations for exposing workers to hazards associated with high ambient heat and not providing first-aid training to employees working in an area without an infirmary, clinic, or hospital. Proposed penalties are $30,651.

Georgia

    1. NOR-D LLC, a Johns Creek construction contractor, faces $61,065 in penalties following the death of a laborer who stepped on a skylight and fell about 19 feet. Nine violations relating to fall protection, reporting, PPE, and forklifts were issued.
    2. Crown USA Inc., a Woodbury plastic and resin manufacturer, received eight serious and six other-than-serious violations after a maintenance technician was crushed inside an unlocked hooding palletizer while servicing the machine. The company faces $98,699 in proposed penalties for the lockout/tagout and machine safety violations.

Illinois

    Maestro Construction Inc. a construction contractor, faces two willful, two repeat, two serious violations, and one other-than-serious violation with penalties of $264,407 related to fall protection, training, and PPE. The company has been cited seven times since 2020.

Minnesota

    The Amazon warehouse in Shakopee was issued two serious violations including a general duty clause violation with a fine of $10,500 for ergonomics violations.

New York

    A.W. Stiles Contractors Inc. of McMinnville, Tennessee was cited with eight serious violations, totaling $83,885 in proposed penalties for failing to provide adequate fall protection and train employees following an employee’s fatal fall at a Smyrna job site.

Wisconsin

    Konz Wood Products, an Appleton pallet manufacturer, was placed in the Severe Violators Enforcement Program (SVEP) following the death of an employee who was struck by the carriage of a lumber stacking machine. The fatal incident marked the fifth opening of an inspection since 2016 at the Appleton plant. Proposed penalties for 2 repeat and 15 serious violations are $177,453.

For more information and current news from OSHA, click here.

To learn more about what these OSHA updates mean to you financially, schedule an appointment with one of our financial professionals.