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Top 10 OSHA Citations for 2017

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced the Top 10 most frequently cited alleged violations for fiscal year 2017, which ended September 30. The list changes little from year to year, but this year violation number nine, “Fall protection – training requirements,” is new. The top five violations remained identical to the list for FY 2016.

OSHA Announces Top Ten Violations

OSHA recently released the top ten violations for fiscal year 2017, which ended September 30. Generally, this list does not change much from year to year with the top three violations always being fall protection, hazard communication and scaffolding. OSHA noted that not all violations had been added to its reporting system but that the list was not expected to change.

Minimizing OSHA Liability : More Than an Ounce of Prevention

OSHA penalties can be costly. In fact, a single “repeat” or “willful” violation can result in a penalty of $126,749. And, if you have multiple violations, that number can increase significantly. This article addresses measures any employer can implement to minimize the risk of costly penalties while—at the same time—promote the most important goal which is to provide a safe work environment for employees.

Women and Workplace Safety: A Closer Look at the Data

According to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), women are less likely than men to incur workplace injuries, but the injuries reported by women are disproportionately unique to female employees. In the following four questions and answers, we go behind the numbers to take a closer look at what the data means.

Don’t Let Your “Safety Minutes” Become Routine.

Many companies open certain meetings with a “Safety Minute.” Often, the home office develops weekly or daily Safety Minutes for crews to use at pre-work meetings. Ideally, the Company’s leadership requires other meetings to open with a Safety Minute. Some companies mandate that all meetings open with a Safety Minute. Given our society’s fixation with meetings, we could be talking about a great many Safety Minutes.

OSHA and The Trump Administration: The First 200 Days

Any new presidential administration is likely to bring a new philosophy, vision, and focus to a variety of issues—including workplace safety and health. More than 200 days into the Trump presidency, we take a look below at some of the top developments in OSHA thus far in 2017.

New Interim Leader of MSHA Appointed

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta recently announced his appointment for the new interim Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Wayne D. Palmer, who was formerly chief of staff to Secretary Acosta will serve as acting head of the agency until the confirmation of a Trump administration nominee as assistant secretary. He will also serve as the agency’s deputy assistant secretary.

The Eclipse, Worker Safety and Triffids.

Tomorrow is the much-awaited Eclipse and employers are beginning to worry that they may not have taken all appropriate steps to protect their employees. Shockingly, OSHA does not maintain a Workplace Eclipse Safety Standard. Accordingly, employers should analyze the hazards presented by an Eclipse as they would any other hazard at the workplace. Even if spiders, snakes and poison ivy are universal, employers nonetheless protect their employees from these hazards when present in the workplace.

OSHA Suspends ITA Due to Security Breach

On Monday we blogged about the availability of the new OSHA Injury Tracking Application (“ITA”) that serves as the web portal for the submission of injury and illness information (300 Logs, 301 Forms and 300A Forms) under OSHA’s “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” rule (aka Electronic Recordkeeping rule). Yesterday, OSHA suspended user access to the ITA after the Department of Homeland Security notified the Department of Labor of a potential compromise of user information. It appears that only one company has been affected by this breach of security and that company has been notified.

How to Survive the Dog Days of Summer: OSHA’s Yearly Heat Campaign Sizzles

On June 26, 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the return of its heat illness prevention campaign: “Water. Rest. Shade.” As part of the seventh annual heat illness prevention campaign, OSHA’s website outlines the dangers of working in heat, employers’ responsibilities, and additional resources. These include OSHA’s Occupational Exposure to Heat page and the agency’s publications page, which offers educational articles on heat illness in addition to training materials for employers. The campaign’s website also offers employers a number of videos and graphics that are free to use in publications and social media campaigns.