The occupational safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began enforcement of its final crystalline sillica standard on Saturday, September 23, 2017 after a three month delay.
The silica rule, which has been in the works since 2013, is intended to limit workers’ exposure to respirable crystalline silica. It reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for workers to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an eight-hour shift. It also requires employers to implement engineering controls, offer medical exams and develop control plans related to the issue.
What effect will the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s recently announced reduction in the reporting of workplace fatalities have on safety efforts for employees? – Last week, the occupational Safety and Health Administration posted a revision that reverses a practice observed during the Obama administration. Back then, OSHA listed fatalities at companies that were not at fault or even cited for violation related to the incident, thereby inflating the number of workplace-related fatalities reported.
Wood Dust becomes a potential health problem when wood particles from processes such as sanding and cutting become airborne. Breathing these particles may cause allergic respiratory symptoms, mucosal and non-allergic respiratory symptoms, and cancers. The extent of these hazards and the associated wood types have not been clearly established.
Written safety policies do not ensure a culture of safety at a company. Although putting a foundation of safety policies and best practices in writing is essential to a successful safety management system, a collection of policies alone cannot create an environment where employees feel safe and instinctively make safe choices.
Creating a culture of safety takes time and begins with real commitment from all levels of management—not just a Safety First sign as you enter the building or verbal commitment to safety by the CEO or facility manager, but an active commitment that leadership demonstrates every day in the decisions they make and the actions they take. Frontline supervisors set the tone because they have to make quick decisions throughout the day, including corrective action when a hazard is identified. Their first priority is safety.
Read More at OHS Online
OSHA has recently updated the Guidelines for Safety and Health Programs it first released 30 years ago, to reflect changes in the economy, workplaces, and evolving safety and health issues. The new Recommended Practices have been well received by a wide variety of stakeholders and are designed to be used in a wide variety of small and medium-sized business settings. The Recommended Practices present a step-by-step approach to implementing a safety and health program, built around seven core elements that make up a successful program.
Read more at OSHA
After a few legal fits and starts, as well as extra time for review and input, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s new silica standard for construction is scheduled to go into effect about a month from now, on Sept. 23rd. What that means is contractors who engage in activities that create silica dust — that is, respirable crystalline silica — such as by cutting, grinding or blasting materials like concrete, stone and brick, must meet a stricter standard for how much of that dust workers inhale. The same goes for employers of tradespeople working around such activities.
Read More at Construction Dive