Machine guards aren’t just nice to have – they’re specified for employers within OSHA standards.
How can you create a safe employee work environment around all machines? From nip points and rotating parts to flying chips and sparks, machines have high-hazard elements that can injure and even kill unprotected workers.
Here are the most common types of machine guards, their respective OSHA standards, and more information on keeping your employees safe.
Common Machines that Require Guards
There are a vast number of machines that require guards, but some are more commonly used than others. Here are some of the most frequently used machines that require guarding per OSHA standards.
General Industry Machinery
This category includes woodworking machinery, abrasive wheels, mills, calenders, power presses, forging machines, and mechanical power transmission apparatuses. It also includes machinery specific to the textiles, telecommunications, and baking industries.
For small or hand-held machinery, barrier guards are standard protective devices that keep workers safe. For heavier machinery, guard rails can help keep workers safe while protecting expensive equipment like forklifts in a warehouse, manufacturing facility, or distribution center.
Maritime Industry Machinery
Longshoring operations require specific requirements for machine guarding of “danger zones” on machines. This includes any machinery on waterborne craft, from engines and motors to generators and propulsors.
Construction Industry Machinery
The construction industry uses various large and small tools to complete residential and commercial building projects. Hand-held tools, abrasive wheels, woodworking tools, hydraulic equipment, and air receivers are just a few examples of machines that need guarding.
Agriculture Industry Machinery
The agriculture industry often employs heavy machinery to carry out repetitive tasks on farmland. Cotton gins and tractors are machines that require guards to protect workers.
Types of Machine Guards
OSHA identifies three main categories of machine guards that apply across various machines: barrier guards, two-hand tripping devices, and electronic safety devices. Here’s a bit more about each and their corresponding OSHA standards for further reading.
Barrier Guards are protective devices used in full-revolution and part-revolution mechanical power presses. These guards keep the operator’s hands and arms away from the “danger zone” set by the machine. Because of their ease of use, they’re often the go-to safety measure for most machines.
What does OSHA have to say about barrier guards? There are a few regulations outlined in standard 29 CFR 1910.217(c)(2)(i):
- On a power press, a barrier guard must keep hands or fingers from touching the point of operation.
- Openings can’t exceed the limits in inches outlined in Table O-10.
- The barrier guard can’t create pinch points between the guard and moving parts. A pinch point is any area where a body part could be caught.
- The guard must be secure and not easy to remove.
- Machines should still be able to be inspected regularly without damaging the guard.
- The point of operation on the machine must still be as visible as possible to the operator.
Two-Hand Tripping Devices
Two-hand trips are safety devices used on full-revolution clutch power presses. These devices require simultaneous operation of two trigger buttons outside the press’s “danger zone.” Triggering a machine stroke requires only one action with a trip control, while a two-hand control requires continuous pressure. This device also ensures the operator’s hands are away from the point of operation.
Here are the OSHA standards for two-hand tripping devices, from 29 CFR 1910.217(c)(3)(viii):
- If more than one operator uses a press, each operator should have a two-hand trip. The trip must require both operators to work the slide simultaneously too.
- Two-hand trips must follow specific construction requirements. Learn more about these by checking out 29 CFR 1910.217(b)(6).
- You must use the safety distance formula to determine the correct distance between the two-hand trip and the point of operation.
- The position of two-hand trips must be secured so that the controls can only be moved by a supervisor or safety engineer.
Electronic Safety Devices
Electronic safety devices include rubber-insulating blankets, matting, covers, gloves, and sleeves. These devices prevent unintended contact with live parts, particularly if the voltage exceeds 50 volts. One way to protect against electronic hazards is by securing the equipment in a room, vault, elevated platform, or site 8ft (or higher) from the floor, along with sturdy screens acting as guards.
Signs must be posted near entrances to alert people to electrical hazards and restricted access for unauthorized personnel. Grounding is an additional measure to reduce the risk of electric shocks. Circuit protection devices such as fuses, circuit breakers, ground-fault circuit interrupters, and arc-fault interrupters limit or stop current flow in case of overloads, ground faults, and short circuits.
Read the full standard, 1910.137(a)(2), to learn more about electronic safety devices.
Tips for Success
While machine guarding is a complex topic, a few rules of thumb can help employers remain compliant and keep employees safe from hazards. They are:
- Machine guards shouldn’t create unnecessary complications. For example, if a machine guard creates a new hazard, makes it difficult to clean, lubricate, or inspect a machine, or requires extra steps to be used properly, there’s probably an alternative method for guarding that’s much safer.
- When possible, a guard should completely prevent contact. Many of the OSHA standards (for example, the “maximum width” rule for openings) concern preventing human contact with a hazardous or moving part. If communication is possible, a guard is ineffective.
- A guard shouldn’t hinder the operation of the machine. If a guard keeps a machine from functioning, it should be repaired or replaced.
Learn more about machine guarding against our Machine Safeguarding website page. We offer helpful courses and materials that remind your workplace about safety and keep OSHA standards top-of-mind.
New York now requires all employers to provide an electronic version of all mandatory labor law posters to their employees. Assembly Bill A7595 was signed by Governor Hochul of New York on December 16, 2022, and became effective immediately. While New York is the first state to require digital versions for all employees, it most likely will not be the last. Many states are likely to follow this trend. In fact, some states including New Jersey already allow certain of their required posters to be delivered electronically.
Labor laws play an important role in protecting employees. Both Federal and State laws mandate employer responsibilities to their employees. They are intended to protect both individuals and companies. The primary way employee rights and protections are communicated is through labor law posters which are required to be displayed in a clearly visible area within the workplace. These posters summarize important details of the laws intended to protect both employees and employers. The electronic versions of these posters do not replace the physical posters in the workplace, they are just one more way for employers to keep their employees informed of their rights.
Due to the recent shift to remote work for many employees, the typical workplace has seen significant changes. Many of those changes are here to stay. One seemingly permanent change includes the demand for offsite employees. With this increase of remote workers, the need for providing electronic versions of the required labor law posters must be addressed. Many businesses have already began providing electronic versions of required labor law posters to their remote employees and the next logical step is to provide digital copies to all employees.
Many companies realized the need for digital posters a couple of years ago and began asking questions about how best to meet the requirements for remote employees. The US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division created a Field Assistance Bulletin to provide guidance regarding the posting of required notices electronically. Many of the regulations for labor law posters require the posting of a notice “at all times,” or require employers to “post and keep posted, ” such notices. In order for digital posters to meet this standard, employers must insure that employees have easy access to the electronic posting at all times. Employers can accomplish this through an electronic database and regular notifications. The DOL bulletin makes it clear that the employer must take steps to inform employees of where and how to access the notices electronically. The standard being that the electronic notice must be as effective as a hard copy posting.
The guidance further explained, where an employer has both on-site and remote employees, the employer may supplement the hard copy posting requirement with an electronic posting. Employers should establish an easy-to-access location for these notices and inform workers where to find them. As physical labor law posters are updated for onsite workers, employers should also communicate any mandatory updates of notices on their electronic posting site.
The main way employee rights and protections are communicated is through labor law posters and now that so much of the workforce does their work remotely, it makes sense for posters to be readily available in a digital format to all employees. While New York is the first state to require employers to provide this to their employees it likely will not be the only state to do so, doubtlessly many others will see the benefits and follow suit.
The busy holiday season brings with it many challenges for keeping employees safe. Extra hours, increased demand, and potentially, even seasonal employees can all increase safety concerns. It is vital for employers to be vigilant in training employees about hazards in the workplace and safety protocols this time of year.
The importance of safe and healthy workplaces never takes a break. Keeping this in mind will help employers stay focused on one of the most vital responsibilities they have, which is providing a safe work environment for all employees.
The holiday season can also bring added stress to the workplace. Employers should be providing employees with tools to manage stress. While there are many things in life that induce stress, unfortunately, work can be one of those factors. However, workplaces can also be key places for resources, solutions, and activities designed to improve well-being.
At National Safety Compliance we offer the tools and information businesses need to create safe, efficient, and compliant workplaces. OSHA’s website also offers a variety of resources to assist employers in helping and informing their employees of ways to stay safe at work.
Helpful OSHA Resources:
Holiday Safety Topics:
- Crowd Management
- Forklift Safety
- Safe Driving
- Temporary/Seasonal Workers
- Winter Weather Hazards/Precautions
- Warehousing Safety
- Workplace Stress
- Young Workers
Sometimes seasonal employees are young workers and also temporary workers. Host employers must treat temporary workers as they treat existing workers. It is especially important to include adequate training for young temporary workers. Temporary staffing agencies and host employers share control over the employee and are therefore jointly responsible for the employee’s safety and health.
Often temporary or seasonal workers are workers supplied to a host employer and usually paid by a staffing agency, whether or not the job is actually temporary. All workers have a right to a safe and healthy workplace, whether temporary or permanent. Actually, the staffing agency and the host employer are temporary workers’ joint employers; therefore, both are responsible for providing and maintaining a safe work environment for those workers.
The staffing agency and the host employer must work together to ensure that all OSHA requirements are fully met. OSHA recommends that the temporary staffing agency and the host employer set out their respective responsibilities for compliance with applicable OSHA standards in their contract. This is to ensure that there is a clear understanding of each employer’s role in protecting employees. In order to clarify the employer’s obligations, including such terms in a contract will help avoid confusion as well as ensure that each employer complies with all relevant regulatory requirements.
All year long, employers must ensure that every worker is properly trained. Employees must be equipped to recognize and prevent job hazards and implement safe work practices. The busy holiday season is no exception, safety is too important to neglect.
Fatal injuries in confined spaces average 92 fatalities per year, according to the US Department of Labor. That’s almost two per week. Many workplaces contain spaces that are considered confined. The configuration of these places hinders the activities of employees who must enter, work in, and exit them. A confined space has limited or restricted means for entry or exit.
Confined spaces include, but are not limited to underground vaults, tanks, storage bins, manholes, pits, silos, process vessels, and pipelines. Workers in many industries are required to access them in order to obtain equipment, make repairs, and perform routine maintenance.
The most common risks of working in confined spaces include:
- Limited entrances or exits
- Poor air quality
- Inadequate oxygen
- Exposure to gases and dangerous toxins (which are more likely to build up to dangerous levels in confined spaces)
- Extreme temperatures
- Structural dangers
- Risk of fires or explosions
- Electrical hazards
- Drowning risk in trenches, pipelines, or water tanks
Construction workers often perform tasks in confined spaces. However, the risk is not limited to construction workers. Agricultural workers, electricians, and maintenance workers are also at high risk of being injured in confined spaces. Spaces such as pits, manholes, and crawl spaces are not designed for continuous occupancy. It can be very tricky to exit these. An emergency makes escaping even more difficult. Confined spaces can present life-threatening hazards. Hazards such as toxic substances, electrocutions, explosions, and asphyxiation. Exposure to these hazards can largely be prevented if addressed prior to entering the space to perform work.
By definition, a confined space is not designed for continuous employee occupancy. According to OSHA, it is the employer’s responsibility to evaluate the workplace to determine if any spaces are confined spaces. Indeed, worker training is essential to the recognition of what constitutes a confined space and the hazards that may be encountered in them. For instance, if it is a confined space, the next step is to determine if it is a permit-required confined space.
Permit-Required Confined Space Characteristics:
- Contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
- Contains a material that has the potential to engulf an entrant
- Has walls that converge inward
- Has floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area
- Could trap or asphyxiate an entrant
- Contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress
In general, the Permit-Required Confined Spaces Standard requires the employer, to evaluate the workplace to determine if any spaces are permit-required confined spaces. If workers are authorized to enter permit spaces, a comprehensive permit spaces program must regulate employee entry into permit spaces. OSHA provides detailed specifications of the elements of an acceptable permit spaces program.
Further, permit spaces must be identified by signs. Entry must be strictly controlled and limited to authorized persons. An important element of the requirements is that entry be regulated by a written entry permit system. In addition, proper atmospheric evaluation and testing of the space before and during any entry by workers. Further, an entry must be monitored by an attendant outside the space. Additionally, a rescue plan is required in the event of an emergency. In order for a rescue to be successful, the confined space safety plan must be quickly accessible to all employees.
Worker training is vital to keeping workers safe. In fact, OSHA outlines training requirements and specific duties for authorized entrants, attendants, and supervisors. According to OSH Online, Eighty-five percent of fatalities in confined spaces were among people who hadn’t been trained. Therefore, it is clear, proper training can save lives. In the same way, the reality is with proper training and equipment, the loss of workers in confined spaces can be prevented.
Our Confined Space Entry Training Course topics include:
- Contents of OSHA Standard 1926 Subpart AA
- Confined space definition
- Hazards of confined spaces
- Confined space entry procedures
- Training for entrants, attendants, and supervisors
- Acute or chronic effects of working in confined spaces
- Permit-required confined spaces
- Emergency rescue from confined spaces
- Personal Protective Equipment in Confined Spaces
This training is appropriate for any workers who will work in or around confined entry spaces. As a result of completing this training, workers will be certified in the OSHA Standard 1926 Subpart AA and should be able to use sound judgment and work within confined spaces safely. Thus, this training is also suitable for supervisors, and managers. Similarly, it is effective to train the trainer or as a refresher course for seasoned employees.
Preventing many laboratory safety risks is possible. In general, laboratories tend to have more health and safety risks than other workplaces. According to OSHA, there are more than 500,000 workers employed in labs in the U.S. The laboratory environment can be a hazardous place to work. Consequently, it is vital to train lab workers to recognize hazards in their workplace. Furthermore, workers must protect themselves from those hazards by following safety practices in order to address the hazards that are present. Often workers are unaware of the potential hazards in their work environment. Unfortunately, this makes them more vulnerable to injury. Many hazards found in laboratories seem easy to spot; however, many are frequently overlooked.
Common Types of Laboratory Hazards Include:
- Toxins, Flammables, & Corrosives
- Fire, Malfunctioning Equipment, & Shock
- Microbes, Plants, & Animals
- Projectiles, Heating Devices, & Slipping
Many labs are more hazardous and risk-filled than the average workplace which makes understanding the hazards that are present in this work the first step to creating a safe environment for workers. Indeed, it is vital that all lab employees understand each and every hazard of the laboratory. Knowledge and clear safety practices can help protect workers from harm caused by hazards in the laboratory.
There are several specific OSHA standards that apply to laboratories. The Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories standard (29 CFR 1910.1450) was created specifically for non-production laboratories. Other additional OSHA standards provide rules that protect workers from various aspects of laboratory activities and hazards in laboratories.
Employers’ Responsibilities for Keeping Lab Workers Safe:
Thanks to the OSHA Laboratory Standard, effective safety and training programs have been implemented to train laboratory personnel in safe practices. A crucial component of chemical education is to nurture attitudes so that safety is included in all laboratory activities. Particularly, preventing laboratory safety risks is needed to be most effective, safety and health must be incorporated into all laboratory processes. Strong safety culture is the result of positive workplace attitudes, involvement, and buy-in, of all members of the workforce.
Additionally, employers are required to develop and carry out a written Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP). A CHP is a written program stating the policies, procedures, and responsibilities. These policies serve to protect employees from the health hazards associated with the hazardous chemicals used in that particular workplace. Overall, the CHP contains work practices, procedures, and policies that should provide a safe and healthy environment.
Laboratories present many challenges. It is easy to overlook worker health and safety. However, we can prevent both job-related illness and injury with proper guidance and training. With the many types of hazards found in Laboratories, safety training is especially important. In order to meet the need for safety training, National Safety Compliance offers several lab-specific training courses.
Laboratory-Specific Training We Offer:
- Orientation to Lab Safety Training
- Compressed Gas Cylinders in the Lab Training
- Laboratory Hoods Training
- OSHA Formaldehyde Standard Lab Training
- Safety Showers & Eye Washes in the Lab Training
- Eye Care Safety Game
- Safe Handling of Glassware in the Lab Training
- Preventing Contamination in the Lab Training
- Planning for Lab Emergencies Training
- Laboratory Ergonomics Training
- GHS Safety Data Sheets in the Lab
- Flammables & Explosives in the Lab Training
- Electrical Safety in the Lab Training
Eye injuries in the workplace occur daily. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), about 2,000 U.S. workers per day sustain job-related eye injuries that require medical treatment. However, safety experts and eye doctors believe proper eye protection can prevent 90% of these eye injuries.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires workers to use eye and face protection whenever there is a reasonable probability of injury. Personal protective eyewear, including goggles, safety glasses, face shields, and sometimes even full-face respirators must be used when an eye hazard exists.
Chemicals or foreign objects in the eye and scratches on the cornea are common eye injuries that occur at work. Other common eye injuries come from fluids splashed in the eye, burns from steam, and ultraviolet or infrared radiation exposure. In addition, health care workers and other workers may be at risk of acquiring infectious diseases from eye exposure. This can occur through direct contact with splashes of blood, respiratory droplets generated during coughing, or from touching the eyes with contaminated fingers or other objects.
Other occupations with a high risk for eye injuries include:
- Auto repair
- Electrical work
It is vital for employees to know the requirements for their work environment. The type of eye protection needed depends on the workplace hazards. Safety glasses with side shields are appropriate for a workplace with particles, flying objects, or dust. However, goggles are required when working with chemicals. In a workplace with hazardous radiation (welding, lasers, or fiber optics) special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields, or helmets designed for that specific task provide better protection for workers’ eyes. It is important to note that side shields placed on conventional glasses do not offer enough protection to meet the OSHA requirement for many work environments. In addition, employers need to take steps to make the work environment as safe as possible.
The type of necessary eye protection depends upon:
- The type of hazard
- The circumstances of exposure
- Other protective equipment used
- Individual vision needs
Two main reasons for eye injuries at work include not wearing proper eye protection and wearing the wrong kind of protection for the job. A Bureau of Labor Statistics survey of workers who suffered eye injuries revealed that nearly three out of five were not wearing eye protection at the time of the accident. Most of these workers reported that they believed protection was not required for the situation.
Steps for preventing eye injuries in the workplace:
- Assess: Inspect all work areas and equipment for hazards to the eyes. Identify operations and areas that present eye hazards
- Protect: Select protective eyewear designed for a specific duty or hazard. Protective eyewear must meet the current standards.
- Fit: Workers need protective eyewear that fits well and is comfortable. Provide repairs for eyewear and require each worker to be in charge of his or her own gear.
- Plan for an Emergency: Set up first-aid procedures for eye injuries. Have eyewash stations that are easy to get to, especially where chemicals are used. Train workers in basic first-aid and identify those with more advanced training.
- Educate: Conduct ongoing educational programs to highlight the need for protective eyewear. Add eye safety to your regular employee training programs and to new employee orientation.
- Support: Management support is key to having a successful eye safety program. Management can show their support for the program by wearing protective eyewear whenever and wherever needed.
- Review: Regularly review and update your accident prevention policies. Your goal should be NO eye injuries or accidents.
We offer an Eye Safety Training Course that will familiarize your staff with good eye safety practices. The topics included in our eye safety training class are potential eye hazards, hazard assessment, and implementing an eye safety protection program. Further, this training will cover appropriate OSHA-approved personal protective equipment and how to use it and assess eye danger in various situations appropriately.
Worried about noise exposure on the job? Work is one of the most common places people will be exposed to harmful levels of noise. Consequently putting them at risk of noise-induced hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent and often progressive. Indeed it often takes years to develop. That’s why it’s so essential to protect employees hearing throughout their working years.
OSHA requires employers to determine if employees are exposed to excessive noise levels. It is estimated that 30 million workers in the U.S. are exposed to hazardous noise. When employees are subjected to excessive noise levels, administrative or engineering controls must be used. The incidence of noise-induced hearing loss can be reduced or eliminated through the successful application of engineering controls and hearing conservation programs. Where controls are not sufficient, employers must implement an effective hearing conservation program.
Exposure to Noise is measured in units of sound pressure levels called decibels, using an A-weighted sound level (dBA). There are several ways to control and reduce workers’ excessive noise exposure in the workplace. Engineering controls involve modifying or replacing equipment, or making related physical changes at the noise source or along the transmission path to reduce the noise level at the worker’s ear. Administrative controls are changes in the workplace or schedule that reduce or eliminate the worker’s exposure to noise.
Examples of inexpensive, effective Engineering Controls:
- Choose low-noise tools and machinery
- Maintain and lubricate machinery and equipment (e.g., oil bearings)
- Place a barrier between the noise source and the employee (e.g., sound walls or curtains)
- Enclose or isolate the noise source
Examples of Administrative Controls:
- Operate noisy machines during shifts when fewer people are exposed
- Limit the amount of time a person spends at a noise source
- Provide quiet areas where workers can gain relief from hazardous noise sources
- Control noise exposure through distance is often effective (Specifically, for every doubling of the distance between the source of noise and the worker, the noise is decreased by 6 dBA.)
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 14,500 work-related hearing loss illness cases in private industry, in 2019. Roughly 75 percent of those injuries occurred in the manufacturing industry. Including 2,000 cases in transportation equipment manufacturing and another 1,800 in food manufacturing, and 11,400 in fabricated metal product manufacturing.
Some other jobs carry a high risk for hearing loss, such as:
- Airline ground maintenance
- Jobs involving loud music or machinery
- Military jobs that involve combat, aircraft noise, or other loud noise posts
In order to provide the proper hearing protection, employees must have a good knowledge and understanding of noise exposure as well as protective measures. Furthermore, companies must have a solid hearing conservation program in place. Our Hearing Conservation Training Course includes all the necessary materials for running a successful training class. It is ideal for new hire orientation. Additionally, seasoned employees would benefit from refresher training. This training is also important for environmental health & safety managers, manufacturing managers and supervisors, construction managers, and anyone who works in or manages employees in a noisy environment. Furthermore, this training is suitable for use to train the trainer.
Safety Data Sheets are critical to keeping employees informed of the identities and hazards of the chemicals present in their workplace. Specifically, OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires the development and dissemination of important hazardous chemical information. In addition, this vital information must be available and understandable to workers. All employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces must have labels and safety data sheets for their exposed workers. Furthermore, they must train them to handle the chemicals appropriately.
An important component of this workplace standard is the nine pictograms. Each pictogram consists of a symbol on a white background framed within a red border and represents a distinct hazard(s). The pictogram on the label is determined by the chemical hazard classification. The pictograms help alert workers of the types of hazards they are dealing with. The pictograms will also enhance worker comprehension. As a result, workers will have better information available on the safe handling and use of hazardous chemicals.
In addition to the pictograms, the Safety Data Sheets are valuable in communicating information regarding hazardous chemicals in the workplace. These sheets have a specified 16-section format. Sections 1 through 8 contain general information about the chemical, identification, hazards, composition, safe handling practices, and emergency control measures . Therefore this information should be helpful to those that need to get the information quickly. Sections 9 through 11 and 16 contain other technical and scientific information, such as physical and chemical properties, stability and reactivity information, toxicological information, exposure control information, and other information including the date of preparation or last revision. The SDS also contains Sections 12 through 15 which include the information required in order to be consistent with the UN Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.
Specific Sections of Safety Data Sheets:
- Section 1: Identification
- Section 2: Hazard(s) Identification
- Section 3: Composition/Information on Ingredients
- Section 4: First-Aid Measures
- Section 5: Fire-Fighting Measures
- Section 6: Accidental Release Measures
- Section 7: Handling and Storage
- Section 8: Exposure Controls/Personal Protection
- Section 9: Physical and Chemical Properties
- Section10: Stability and Reactivity
- Section 11: Toxicological Information
- Section 12: Ecological Information (non-mandatory)
- Section 13: Disposal Considerations (non-mandatory)
- Section 14: Transport Information (non-mandatory)
- Section 15: Regulatory Information (non-mandatory)
- Section 16: Other Information (This section indicates when the SDS was prepared or when the last known revision was made.)
Employers must ensure that the SDS are readily accessible to employees for all hazardous chemicals in their workplace. This is done in a variety of ways. For example, employers may keep the SDS in a binder or on computers as long as the employees have immediate access to the information without leaving their work area when needed. Furthermore, employers may want to designate a person responsible for obtaining and maintaining the SDS.
Employers are required to train their employees to recognize the nine GHS Pictograms. Our Safety Data Sheet binders make compliance easy because the SDS binder is printed with the GHS Pictograms. It is designed to allow easy reference for any employee accessing SDS records. The pictograms are printed on the inside of the binder along with the SDS Requirements.
Labor law poster changes seem to appear overnight. As such, keeping up with labor laws can be intimidating. We are closely monitoring the changes so you don’t have to.
Often, those changes are considered minor such as address changes, website address changes, department personnel changes, and changes in design. However other changes are considered major such as increases in minimum wages, newly enacted laws, and major changes to the text of existing laws.
While January is the most common month for updates, many states update various laws throughout the year. As a general rule changes to federal labor laws do not happen quite as frequently as those at the state level. Changes often occur midyear. As is typical, mid-year labor law poster changes this year vary from state to state.
Types of changes happening this year
Minimum wage increases are one of the more common updates both at the beginning of the year and also mid-year. This year is no exception as the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, and New Jersey each have updated minimum wage and/or overtime laws.
While the changes in Connecticut and Utah relate to health and unemployment insurance information. New Jersey’s Family Leave Act has been updated. In New Mexico, the Paid Sick Leave requirements have changed. Likewise, Louisiana’s Earned Income Credit rates have been updated. Illinois has reformatted employee rights under ISERRA. In addition to the updates already mentioned for Oregon changes for that state also include equal pay, breaks, meals, sexual harassment, domestic violence, sick time, and family leave.
Periodically states not only have mid-year updates but will also have new postings required. This year Virginia enacted a new required poster highlighting seizure first aid. Meanwhile, the new additional poster in New York is titled Prohibited Retaliatory Action by Employers.
Click on the state below to order updated posters
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
Keeping up with changes in labor law requirements can often seem like one more thing to try to manage. In light of that, we are carefully monitoring changes and strive to keep you informed of major changes that affect your business.
National Forklift Safety Day is June 14
In 2014, the Industrial Truck Association founded National Forklift Safety Day to highlight the safe use of forklifts. An additional motivation was to serve as an annual reminder of the value of training and equipment checks in every industry that relies on forklifts. Forklifts are an essential piece of equipment in many workplaces. For example, warehousing and manufacturing depend on forklifts. These vehicles make work more efficient. However, they can also pose serious hazards to those operating or working near them. With this in mind, we can prevent forklift hazards. Properly trained workers that follow safe practices are the best prevention.
Steps that protect workers on forklifts
- Always wear seatbelts when operating a forklift.
- Never exceed the rated load, and ensure loads are balanced.
- Make sure you have enough clearance when raising and loading materials.
- Watch for pedestrians and observe speed limits.
- Keep a safe distance from the platform and ramp edges.
OSHA’s Powered Industrial Trucks – Forklifts page provides additional ideas for keeping workers safe. Every year, forklift accidents result in an average of 85 deaths and 34,900 serious injuries. Therefore, training is vital in reducing the number of injuries and deaths. All employers have an important role in the safety of their employees.
Some additional safety measures for operating forklifts
- Dress For Safety
- Know Your Forklift
- Conduct Daily Forklift Safety Checks
- Never Operate a Damaged Forklift
- Only Work in Well-Lit Locations
- Never Touch The Mast During Forklift Operations
- Refuel with Caution
- Never Stand Beneath a Forklift Load
OSHA provides specific safety rules for operating forklifts. Therefore, employers are expected to conduct training for all employees working forklifts. Then operators must pass a test and recertify at least once every three years. Finally, ongoing supervision is essential to ensure forklift safety rules are enforced so that employees are kept safe.