OSHA’s silica rule had been debated and delayed so many times and industry opposition has been so loud, many thought the new standard would never be put in place. Think again.
Your car stalls on the tracks when a train is coming. Do you know which way to run? More importantly, do your crews?
The answer is to run at a 45 degree angle toward the train, even though your instincts may be to run away from the direction of the train.
How much of your company budget for workplace injuries is going to fix injuries that are misdiagnosed in the initial phase? A new study by a consulting group called “Best Doctors” estimates that more than 20% of on-the-job injuries may be misdiagnosed and that number climbs to 50% for the most expensive workers compensation case. All told, the group believes that American industry spends $15 billion a year on cases that were misdiagnosed. You can review the study here.
Here are a few of the ways that Best Doctors says misdiagnosis costs companies: Continue reading “Half Of Your Most Expensive Workers Comp Cases May Be Misdiagnosed!”
Summer is here. Are your crews ready? OSHA warns that heat is the number one cause of weather-related deaths in the United States. Here’s what the death rate looks like spread out over the country. Continue reading “Six Ways To Beat The Heat Before It Beats Your Crews”
Very honored to be participating in a morning-long session on best practices for Job Safety Analysis at the next Gulf Coast Safety Training Group Meeting on Friday, July 14th in Lafayette, LA.
They have put together an outstanding lineup of speakers, including representatives from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Chevron, Fieldwood Energy and Versa Integrity. it is a great chance to learn best practices on JSA’s from the perspective of government regulators, large and medium oil and gas companies and contractors.
I will focus my presentation on the role of supervisors in making sure everyone understands their role in the JSA and aligning operating procedures with JSAs to supercharge your safety program.
You need to RSVP to attend. Go to http://www.gcstg.com/Contact.htm to learn more and register.
The OSHA rule requiring companies to submit their injury and illness reports electronically was supposed to kick in at the end of this week, but with the online database for reporting still not released and mounting opposition, the agency has delayed implementation until December First at the least. Continue reading “OSHA Delays Electronic Reporting Rule For Five Months…Maybe More”
The United States has a bit of an epidemic on its hands involving vehicular fatalities. The death rate on American roads jumped six percent last year to the highest rate since 2007.
A good place to start fixing that problem is to get everyone to buckle up. That includes passengers in the back seat, but we all know that is a hard sell.
So for your next safety meeting, here is a video that shows what happens when back seat passengers don’t use seat belts. Continue reading “Buckle Up – Everybody!”
Officials haven’t explained yet how the medical records for up to 1800 people wound up in a dumpster in Houston. Somehow they were thrown out from an office of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Records apparently contained patient names, conditions, even bank account information. Here’s a full rundown on the story from Houston’s KPRC-TV.
While this is an extreme case, many companies have their own problems managing the medical records of their employees. Privacy and record security fall under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and fines for HIPAA violations range from $100 to $50,000 per violation (or per record) with a cap of $1.5 million. Even though the law has real teeth, company handling of medical information can be pretty sloppy. Continue reading “Nothing Says “OOPS” Like A Dumpster Full Of Medical Records”
In about a week, OSHA’s rule on silica was supposed to go into effect for the construction industry. However, the Administration delayed implementation until late September and the rule has also been challenged in court.
That doesn’t mean industry is off the hook however. Silicosis kills about a hundred people a year and OSHA says more than two million American workers are exposed to harmful level of silica a year. Without as standard on exposure, companies may avoid OSHA fines, but wind up facing liability for silicosis cases down the road.
Construction is not alone in facing a compliance deadline if the rule goes into force. General industry and maritime will need to comply by June of next year. Oil and gas fracking operations need to comply with new engineering controls by June of 2021. That 2021 date has caused some confusion within the oil and gas sector. Many read it to mean that they don’t need to meet the requirement for four more years. However, the rule actually says that fracking operations need to protect workers from silica exposure by next June, just like other general industries. The 2021 date is when they need to adopt engineering control to limit the amount of respirable silica around drilling sites.
The chemical company ArrMaz produces a product that coats sand to reduce silica dust used in fracking operations. The company has developed one of the best explanations of how the rule will be applied in oil and gas operations that I have seen. You can download a copy of their graphic here: ArrMaz_Respirable Crystalline Silica_InfoGraphic.
The bottom line is that there are ways to reduce silica dust on a frack site and industry is working on other engineering solutions, but companies need to understand that the requirement to protect workers on the exposure side is likely to arrive in a year.
It always generates headlines when a company is hit with a big OSHA fine, but we rarely hear about all of the cases when OSHA investigates and determines there was no safety violation. Here’s one recent case that offers important lessons to safety professionals.
On March 22, AK Steel in Middletown, Ohio received a letter from OSHA saying the agency had received complaints of a number of safety violations, including “welders have no certification to weld or pressure pipes, structures, railings, etc.” and “no welding logs are being kept for certifications purposes,” according to the local Journal News. The letter gave the company one week to respond. Continue reading “When OSHA Calls: Why Recordkeeping Is So Important”