Employees of a Brooklyn medical facility were allegedly exposed to head, eye, face and groin injuries and intimidation and threats during routine interactions with patients and visitors. An inspection by OSHA reportedly found approximately 40 incidents of workplace violence between February 7 and April 12, 2014. These incidents involved employees who were threatened or physically and verbally assaulted by patients and visitors, or when breaking up altercations between patients. The most serious incident was an assault of a nurse, who sustained severe brain injuries when she was attacked while working. As a result of its alleged failure to adequately protect its employees against workplace violence, the medical center faces $78,000 in fines.
Articles Discussing General Topics Under OSHA.
OSHA has announced that it will extend the comment period on the proposed rule to improve the tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses to Oct. 14, 2014. The proposal, published on Nov. 8, 2013, would amend OSHA’s recordkeeping regulation to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information that employers are already required to keep.
In 2013, the communications industry was confronted by an increasing number of fatalities involving worker falls from cell tower sites. Alarmingly, OSHA recorded fourteen fatalities, all of which were determined preventable — either a result of an employer’s failure to provide fall protection or an employee’s failure to use the equipment. In the wake of this statistic, on July 17, 2014, OSHA implemented a new directive governing all work activities on communication towers that involve the use of a hoist to lift personnel to or from their workstations.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been tasked by Congress to enforce the whistleblower provisions of 22 different statutes. These laws protect workers in many industries throughout the country from retaliation when they report unsafe working conditions, fraud or something that would endanger the public.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched a web page devoted to hospital worker safety. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012, U.S. hospitals recorded 250,000 work-related injuries and illnesses, almost 60,000 of them causing employees to miss work. These statistics, according to OSHA, make hospitals one of the most hazardous places to work, even more dangerous for employees than working in construction or manufacturing.
If you operate a nursing home or residential care facility, it is time to take a hard, critical look at the health and safety risks in your workplace. Failure to correct problems could prove a very expensive mistake – as a nursing home in New Jersey recently discovered.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) annual Workplace Injury and Illness Summary, private sector employers reported approximately 3 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2012, or about 3.4 instances per 100 full-time equivalent workers, down from 3.5 instances per 100 workers reported in 2011. This data is in keeping with the steady decline of reported injury and illness rates over the past five years.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created two online resources aimed at reducing chemical hazards in the workplace. The first is an online toolkit to help employers identify chemicals that can be used as alternatives to more hazardous substances, or eliminate them altogether. According to OSHA, the toolkit is appropriate for manufacturers that use chemicals in their production processes and businesses that use products containing chemicals in their everyday operations. The webpage includes seven linkable steps to make the workplace safer, as well as an introductory video.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released its long-awaited proposed rule that sets new workplace permissible exposure limits (PELs) for respirable crystalline silica, and outlines methods to control exposure, conduct medical exams for workers with high silica exposure, train workers about silica-related hazards, and keep records related to crystalline silica amounts. The proposal includes one exposure limit standard for general industry and maritime employment, and another for construction.