Posted on Leave a comment

OSHA is Switching From Traditional Hard Hats to Safety Helmets

OSHA announces switch from traditional hard hats to safety helmets. The goal is to better protect agency employees from head injuries.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that the agency is replacing traditional hard hats used by its employees with more modern safety helmets to protect them better when they are on inspection sites.

In 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports head injuries accounted for nearly 6 percent of non-fatal occupational injuries involving days away from work. Almost half of those injuries occurred when workers were struck by an object or equipment and about 20 percent were caused by slips, trips and falls.

Traditional Hard Hats Need an Upgrade

Dating back to the 1960s, traditional hard hats protect the top of a worker’s head but have minimal side impact protection and do not have chin straps. Without the straps, traditional hard hats can easily fall off a worker’s head if they slip or trip, leaving them unprotected. In addition, traditional hard hats lack vents and trap heat inside.

Along with this announcement, OSHA published a Safety and Health Information Bulletin detailing key differences between traditional hard hats and more modern safety helmets. The bulletin highlights advancements in design, materials, and other features that help protect workers’ entire heads better. Additionally, today’s safety helmets may also offer face shields or goggles to protect against projectiles, dust, and chemical splashes. In fact, some more advanced helmets even offer built-in hearing protection and/or communication systems to enable clear communication in noisy environments.

The agency recommends safety helmets be used by people working in the construction industry and the oil and gas industry; in high-temperature, specialized work and low-risk environments; performing tasks involving electrical work and working from heights; and when required by regulations or industry standards.

Recommended Uses for Safety Helmets Instead of Hard Hats

  • Construction Sites: Especially those with high risks of falling objects and debris, impacts from equipment, or slips, trips, and falls.
  • Oil and Gas Industry: In these sectors where workers face multiple hazards, including potential exposure to chemicals and severe impacts.
  • Working from Heights: For tasks or jobs that involve working from heights.
  • Electrical Work: For tasks involving electrical work or proximity to electrical hazards.
  • High-Temperature Environments: In high temperatures or where there is exposure to molten materials.
  • Specialized Work Environments: Jobs that require integrated face shields, hearing protection or communication devices benefit from safety helmets designed with these features or the ability to add them on.
  • Specific Regulatory Requirements: Where safety helmets are mandated by regulations or industry standards, employers must comply with these requirements to ensure worker safety compliance.
  • Low-Risk Environments: Even in settings with no overhead hazards, safety helmets provide comprehensive protection.

In OSHA’s Safety and Health Information Bulletin they present the key differences between safety helmets and traditional hard hats. Including the advancements in design, materials, and protective features that help to protect the worker’s entire head. As well as providing instructions for properly inspecting and storing both safety helmets and traditional hard hats.

Properly storing head protection is crucial to maintain its structural integrity and to prevent damage. It is important to inspect head protection before each use. This will identify signs of wear, damage, or expiration. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for care, use, and storage.

Recommendations on How to Properly Care for Head Protection:

  • Clean and dry head protection before storing.
  • Inspect shell and suspension system for cracks, dents, or other signs of damage. Examine the headband and chin strap for wear and tear ensuring it is free from any signs of damage.
  • Check for labels and certification marks. Make sure that the labels are legible and not tampered with.
  • Verify date of manufacture and refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for the recommended lifespan of your specific head protection model.
  • Examine accessories and attachments. If your head protection has additional accessories or attachments inspect them for damage or signs of wear. Make sure they are securely fastened to the head protection and functioning correctly.
  • Check for proper fit. Adjust the suspension system to achieve a snug fit without excessive pressure points. Head protection should not be too loose or too tight.
  • Evaluate for damaged or loose parts by gently shaking your head (with the head gear on) to check for any loose or rattling components.
  • Inspect interior cushioning for wear or compression. If it shows signs of deterioration, contact the manufacturer for replacement options.
  • Assess previous impact damage. If your head protection has experienced an impact or has been subjected to a significant force, retire it immediately. Head protection is designed for single-use impact protection and may not retain its full effectiveness after an incident.
  • Keep records: Maintain a record of each inspection, noting the date, any findings, and actions taken. Regularly document the date of purchase and any relevant information about the head protection to track its lifespan accurately.

At National Safety Compliance we offer everything you need for safety training compliance. A thorough understanding of both types of head protection options allows employers and workers to make informed decisions on which type to use. OSHA wants employers to make safety and health a core value in their workplaces and is committed to doing the same by leading by example and embracing the evolution of head protection.

Posted on Leave a comment

Safeguarding Compliance: The Importance of Keeping Labor Law Posters Up-to-Date 

In the fast-paced world of business, compliance with labor laws is not just an ethical responsibility; it’s a legal necessity. One often-overlooked aspect of this compliance is the role of labor law posters. These seemingly simple displays serve as crucial tools for businesses to inform employees about their rights and ensure adherence to labor regulations. In this comprehensive exploration, we’ll delve into the significance of labor law posters and why keeping them up-to-date is paramount for businesses. 

The Basics: Labor Law Posters 

Labor law posters are not mere office decorations; they are a legal mandate. These posters consolidate essential information about federal, state and local labor laws, presenting it in a clear and accessible manner for employees. For instance, they may cover minimum wage requirements, workplace safety guidelines and anti-discrimination laws, offering a comprehensive guide for both employers and employees. 

Key Elements Covered by Labor Law Posters 

Minimum Wage Requirements 

  • State-specific minimum wage rates 
  • Any recent changes or upcoming adjustments 
  • Information on tipped employees and applicable wage rates 

Workplace Safety Guidelines 

  • Emergency contact information and procedures 
  • Safety protocols for specific job roles or hazardous conditions 
  • OSHA regulations pertinent to the industry 

Anti-Discrimination Laws 

  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policies 
  • Guidelines against workplace discrimination based on gender, race or disability 
  • Contact information for relevant agencies to report discrimination 

Customization Based on Locale is Critical 

  • Different states have unique labor laws, and posters must reflect these distinctions. 
  • Tailoring posters to the specific industry helps employees understand regulations relevant to their work. 
  • Regular updates ensure that any changes in laws are accurately communicated to employees. 
     

Why Up-to-Date Posters Matter 

Labor laws are dynamic and subject to change. Businesses must adapt swiftly to remain compliant. Outdated posters not only pose legal risks but also compromise employee awareness and protection. Changes in minimum wage, safety protocols or other regulations may occur, and businesses need to reflect these adjustments promptly. 

Consider a scenario where there’s an update to a workplace safety regulation. Without a timely update to the corresponding labor law poster, employees might remain unaware of critical safety procedures, exposing both the workforce and the business to unnecessary risks. This underlines the urgency of ensuring that posters are consistently up-to-date. 

Expanding on the consequences of non-compliance, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) plays a pivotal role in enforcing workplace safety standards. OSHA mandates that certain businesses display specific posters to inform employees of their rights and ensure a safe working environment. Failure to comply with OSHA requirements can result in significant penalties, including fines that could potentially cripple a business financially. 

In the Trenches: Understanding the True Cost of Non-Compliance 

There are many reasons not to let non-compliance happen, particularly when it comes to labor law posters. Penalties for not displaying the required workplace posters can include hefty fines, which often vary based on the size of a business and whether the violation is a repeated offense. 

Broader Implications of Non-Compliance 

Beyond financial penalties, the repercussions of non-compliance extend to the very fabric of a business. An unsafe or non-compliant workplace can also lead to: 

Employee Dissatisfaction 

  • Employees may feel unprotected or undervalued when workplace regulations are not prioritized. 
  • Dissatisfaction can result in decreased morale and productivity. 

High Turnover Rates 

  • Non-compliance contributes to an unfavorable work environment, prompting valuable employees to seek alternative employment. 
  • High turnover rates disrupt business continuity and strain resources. 

Negative Public Image 

  • The public perceives businesses as stewards of ethical practices. 
  • A negative image due to non-compliance can impact customer trust and loyalty. 

 
By emphasizing these broader implications, businesses gain a more comprehensive understanding of the holistic importance of labor law poster compliance. It transcends avoiding fines – it’s about fostering a workplace culture that prioritizes employee well-being and contributes to long-term organizational success. 

NSC: Your Convenient Compliance Partner 

National Safety Compliance recognizes the challenges businesses face in staying abreast of labor law poster compliance. With a pre-order option for 2024 posters and a convenient yearly subscription, NSC simplifies the often cumbersome task of poster management. An NSC subscription not only guarantees up-to-date posters but also provides an added layer of security through poster “insurance.” 

In the event of any mandatory labor law changes, NSC takes a proactive approach, promptly shipping a new, updated poster for free. This not only saves businesses the effort of monitoring legislative changes but also ensures that compliance is maintained without any additional financial burden. 

With the pre-order option for 2024 posters, businesses can plan ahead and seamlessly integrate compliance efforts into their operational strategies. This forward-thinking approach aligns with OSHA’s emphasis on preventive measures, reinforcing NSC’s commitment to helping businesses avoid penalties and legal issues. 

Don’t just meet the minimum requirements; exceed them with NSC’s commitment to accuracy, convenience and proactive support. 

Choose NSC for your labor law poster needs. 

Posted on Leave a comment

Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

The holiday season is here, and safety hazards don’t take a vacation. Keeping workers safe is everyone’s responsibility all year long. In a helpful video the US Department of Labor offers nine tips for protecting workers during the holidays. Additionally, OSHA provides resources on their website to help with holiday workplace safety.

Employers must ensure that all workers are trained to recognize and prevent job hazards and implement safe work practices. Making safety a priority begins with excellent training and education. These elements of a strong injury prevention program help employers find and fix workplace hazards before workers get hurt. During the holidays, when the number of temporary workers is typically higher, it is important to ensure that new workers have the required skills and knowledge to safely do their work. Evidence shows that those who are new on the job have a higher rate of injuries than more experienced workers.

9 tips to protect workers this holiday season:

provided by the DOL
  • Train workers in a language they speak and understand.
  • Provide hands-on training on properly using equipment.
  • Wear bright, visible clothing for delivery and warehousing workers.
  • Proper stack materials and making sure workers stand clear when doors are opened.
  • Create a staffing plan that reduces workplace stress.
  • Have an emergency plan for crowds.
  • Mark entrance and exit locations clearly.
  • Encourage workers to report safety and health concerns.
  • Remember that seasonal workers have the same rights as full-time workers.

OSHA’s website features guidance for specific industries as well as resources that are applicable to any industry. These include warehousing safety, forklift safety, package delivery, trucking, crowd management, and temporary or seasonal workers. The most important thing to remember is that all employees have the right to a safe workplace and as employers, it is our responsibility to provide that safe workplace.

Proper training is the starting place and at National Safety Compliance, we offer many training courses and resources to help you provide the training needed.

Posted on Leave a comment

OSHA’s 2023 Top 10 Released

During the 2023 NSC Safety Congress & Expo in New Orleans, Eric Harbin, OSHA’s Region 6 administrator, announced for the 13th consecutive fiscal year, Fall Protection – General Requirements is OSHA’s most frequently cited standard. Fall Protection was followed by Hazard Communication and Ladders.

As a whole, the Top 10 cited standards remain unaltered from 2022. While the number one spot remains firmly in place, the other spots saw some shifting this year. Notably, Powered Industrial Trucks moved into the top five and Respiratory Protection, which had previously been fourth, fell to seventh.

Top 10 Most Cited Standards for 2023

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501): 7,271 violations
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200): 3,213
  3. Ladders (1926.1053): 2,978
  4. Scaffolding (1926.451): 2,859
  5. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178): 2,561
  6. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147): 2,554
  7. Respiratory Protection (1910.134): 2,481
  8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503): 2,112
  9. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (1926.102): 2,074
  10. Machine Guarding (1910.212): 1,644

While progress is constantly being made to keep workers safe there continues to be the same type of citations year after year. Understanding these violations and the associated risks is essential for preventing accidents and creating safer workplaces. Lorraine M. Martin, NSC President and CEO, challenged industry leaders at the 2023 NSC Safety Congress & Expo, “As a safety community, we must come together to acknowledge these persistent trends and identify solutions to better protect workers.” Paying attention to this list of violations can highlight areas that workplaces can improve safety and prevent future accidents. These are key areas in need of improvement.

Interestingly, the overall quantity of violations for the top 10 increased in 2023. Since OSHA’s out there and busier than ever employers and employees need to focus on making safety a top priority. All companies should seek to prevent worker injuries and as a bonus avoid OSHA fines. Whatever the safety training need, at National Safety Compliance we offer training for all of your staff from industrial worksites to office personnel with our easy and comprehensive training programs.

Posted on Leave a comment

Equipping New Employees to Embrace Safety

Research shows that more than one-third of workplace injuries occur within the first year of employment. Those injuries account for one-third of workers’ compensation claim costs. “Safety training programs and practices should start before an employee’s first day and continue throughout the employee’s time at an organization,” said Chris Hayes, of Travelers Insurance. Clearly, it is critical that employers have clearly communicated practices and safety training programs in place. New employees must know who to go to with safety questions and concerns. Further, it is imperative that they are empowered to stop work with out fear of reprisal.

5 Ways to Equip All Employees

  1. Integrate Safety into the Hiring Process
  2. Onboard and Continuously Train Employees
  3. Conduct a Job Safety Analysis
  4. Implement an Accident Analysis Program
  5. Continue Supporting Employees Throughout Their Careers

It is vitally important to show new employees that your company takes safety seriously. For example, consider making it part of the performance evaluations for supervisors. “The most common mistake is not including risk and safety/health goals in the performance evaluation process for managers,” Scott Smith, director of safety management at Selective Insurance. “Having risk and safety/health goals for managers that impact their performance evaluation sets expectations and establishes the organization’s safety culture.” Another “significant, commonly observed mistake is management’s failure to intervene when they observe employees failing to follow sound risk management or safety,” he added. 

Additionally, how you manage injuries can significantly impact your business. Employers should be prepared before an injury takes place. Including having a plan that helps injured employees return to work as soon as medically appropriate. For example, a transitional duty program can help employees remain engaged and connected at work during their recovery.

When workers are injured, it might be possible to temporarily assign them to different tasks that are less physically demanding. “There are pros and cons to having an injured employee perform in a light-duty position while recovering,” Smith said. “They can stay engaged in the business during this interim period, which might help with overall absenteeism and maintain positive employee morale, as remaining workers will see the employee returning to work.”

A Transitional Duty Program Can Help in 3 Ways:

  1. Employees to receive prompt, quality medical care.
  2. Keep employees at work, allowing the company to get meaningful, productive work done while the employee recovers.
  3. The employee, employee’s medical provider, employer and insurance professional to work together to help the employee to return to work as soon as possible.

Following an injury on the job, it is important to have a plan for returning employees to work as soon as they are medically able to return.

According to Rich Ives, vice president of business insurance claims at Travelers Insurance, “We stress to our customers the importance of maintaining contact with the injured employee, checking on how they are feeling and setting up a modified duty program as they recover,” he added. “By focusing on what they can do, rather than on their pain or limitations, conversations about their return to work can help an injured employee stay engaged, feel productive and look ahead.” 

At NSC we provide a safety orientation course that is an excellent resource for new hires in any industry. It is designed to foster positive safety attitudes and raise awareness of potential workplace hazards and emergencies. Safety in the workplace starts with having the right attitude about safety and taking the right steps to prevent safety incidents. This training course is designed to make you aware of just a few of the possible hazards which you might encounter at work. It is a quick overview to provide you with some basic understanding of each area and to set you on the right path towards a safe and healthy work day. We also offer safety orientation courses specific to janitorial, construction, foodservice, and healthcare industries.

Posted on Leave a comment

Beat the Heat with “Water.Rest.Shade.”

Every day, millions of U.S. workers are exposed to heat in their workplaces. Although illness from exposure to heat is preventable, every year, thousands become sick from occupational heat exposure. Sadly, some cases are fatal. Hazardous heat exposure can occur indoors or outdoors. As a result, OSHA is sponsoring a “Beat the Heat Contest” to raise awareness of the dangers and hazards of heat exposure in both indoor and outdoor workplaces.

OSHA’s Beat the Heat Contest has four main goals:

  1. Educate stakeholders, especially workers and employers, about heat hazards in the workplace.
  2. Prevent heat illness by creating an awareness campaign that increases the public’s knowledge about this issue.
  3. Highlight the dangers of heat; and
  4. Motivate employers and workers to take action to prevent heat illness.

Tragically, every year, dozens of workers die and thousands more become ill while working in hot or humid conditions. To combat this, OSHA created a Heat Illness Prevention campaign in 2022 to educate employers and workers on the dangers of working in the heat. Whether you work outside, or inside in a hot and humid environment, you’re at risk of enduring a heat illness. “Our goal is to make it safe for workers in hot indoor and outdoor environments, so that they can return home safe and healthy at the end of each day,” said Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker. “Working together, we can ensure workers know their rights and employers meet their obligations in order to protect workers from the growing dangers of extreme heat.”

Some industries where workers have suffered heat-related illnesses:

  • Agriculture         
  • Bakeries, kitchens, and laundries
  • Construction – especially, road, roofing, and other outdoor work
  • Electrical utilities, boiler rooms  
  • Fire Service
  • Landscaping       
  • Iron and steel mills and foundries
  • Mail and package delivery           
  • Manufacturing
  • Oil and gas well operations          
  • Warehousing

What are heat illnesses? A heat illness is one caused by high temperatures and humidity. In a warm environment, the human body relies on its ability to get rid of excess heat to maintain a healthy internal body temperature. Heat dissipation happens naturally through sweating and increased blood flow to the skin. If heat dissipation does not happen quickly enough, the internal body temperature keeps rising and the worker may experience symptoms that include thirst, irritability, a rash, cramping, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke.

The four most common heat illnesses include:

  • Heat rash, which is a stinging skin irritation that turns your skin red.
  • Heat cramps, which are painful spasms in your muscles.
  • Heat exhaustion, which is caused by too few fluids and long hours in high temperatures, causes heavy sweating, a fast and weak pulse and rapid breathing.
  • Heat stroke happens when your temperatures rise above 106 degrees very quickly -within minutes. This is a life-threatening illness.

Heat illness is serious, but we can work together to prevent it.

Employer’s Responsibility

Employers can keep workers safe in the heat. Employers should create plans to protect workers from developing heat-related illnesses. Keeping workers cool and well-hydrated are the best ways to protect them when working in hot environments. If you or your employees are working in a hot work environment, it is vital to understand how to address heat-related illnesses to keep everyone safe.

Heat-related illnesses can be prevented. The first step in prevention is for employers and workers to recognize heat hazards. Management should commit to:

  • Protect new workers.
  • Train all employees to recognize heat hazards.
  • Determine whether total heat stress is too high.
  • Implement engineering and administrative controls to reduce heat stress.
  • Provide sufficient rest, shade, and fluids.

Unfortunately, most outdoor fatalities occur in the first few days of working in warm or hot environments because the body needs to build a tolerance (acclimatization) to the heat gradually over time. Lack of acclimatization is a major risk factor for fatal outcomes. Our bodies sweat to cool ourselves. Sometimes, sweating isn’t effective enough.

In fact, OSHA encourages water, rest, & shade as prevention as well as treatment for heat-related illness. In addition, engineering controls such as air conditioning, can make the workplace safer. Other options include making changes to workload and schedules. For example, scheduling work for the morning or shorter shifts with frequent rest breaks in the shade. Encourage workers in warm, humid environments to drink hydrating fluids. At a minimum, all supervisors and workers should receive training about heat-related symptoms and first aid. The best scenario in workplaces at high risk of heat illnesses would be a formal Heat Illness Prevention Program.

Heat Illness Prevention Program key elements include:

  • A Person Designated to Oversee the Heat Illness Prevention Program
  • Hazard Identification
  • Water. Rest. Shade. Message
  • Acclimatization
  • Modified Work Schedules
  • Training
  • Monitoring for Signs and Symptoms
  • Emergency Planning and Response

Worker Information

It is important to understand workers’ rights and vital information about heat illness. Clearly, some workers are more susceptible to heat-related illness. Personal risk factors include medical conditions, lack of physical fitness, previous episodes of heat-related illness, alcohol consumption, drugs, and use of certain medication. Management should commit to preventing heat-related illness for all employees. In accordance with their heat tolerance levels. Measurement of heart rate, body weight, or body temperature can provide individualized data to aid decisions about heat controls.

Training workers before work in extreme heat begins is just the first step in keeping workers safe. Additionally, tailoring the training to worksite conditions is key. Employers should provide a heat stress training program for all workers and supervisors that include the following:

  • Causes of heat-related illnesses and steps to reduce the risk.
  • The importance of acclimatization.
  • Recognition of the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses and administra­tion of first aid.
  • The importance of immediately reporting any symptoms or signs of heat-related illness.
  • Proper care and use of heat-protective clothing and equipment.
  • The added heat load caused by exertion, clothing, and per­sonal protective equipment.
  • Effects of other factors (drugs, alcohol, obesity, etc.) on tolerance to occupational heat stress.
  • Procedures for responding to symptoms of possible heat-related illness.
  • Procedures for contacting emergency medical ser­vices.

While heat related illnesses are dangerous, they are also preventable with the right knowledge and plan in place. Employees can be prepared and protected while working in less than perfect environments. At NSC, we are here to help. Our Heat Stress Training Program encourages employees to have a positive attitude about heat fatigue safety, learn the symptoms of heat exhaustion and how to recognize if their body is overheating to prevent heat fatigue.

Posted on Leave a comment

Renewed Focus on Enforcement

In recent years, the Department of Labor, DOL for short, has renewed its commitment to enforce labor laws, promoting the safety and health of American workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA for short, was created in 1970 to ensure safe and healthy conditions for all workers. It is OSHA’s responsibility to set and enforce safety standards that employers must comply with in order to provide employees with the safest workplace possible. Just last month, OSHA issued two memorandums indicating that they are stepping up their focus on the enforcement of labor laws. In Fact, both memorandums were issued by OSHA’s Directorate for Enforcement Programs. 

According to the DOL, OSHA “has issued new enforcement guidance to make its penalties more effective in stopping employers from repeatedly exposing workers to life-threatening hazards or failing to comply with certain workplace safety and health requirements.”

The first memorandum, Application of Instance-by-Instance Penalty Adjustment, gives OSHA Regional Administrators and Area Office Directors the authority to cite certain types of violations as “instance-by-instance citations.” This includes cases where the agency identifies “high-gravity” serious violations of OSHA standards specific to certain conditions. Specifically when the language of the rule supports a citation for each instance of non-compliance. The purpose of this change is to encourage OSHA personnel to apply the full authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Act where increased citations will in fact discourage non-compliance. 

Conditions Where Instance-by-Instance Citations May Apply:

The second memorandum, Exercising Discretion When Not to Group Violations, states that it is “intended to reiterate existing policy that allows Regional Administrators and Area Directors discretion to not group violations in appropriate cases to achieve a deterrent effect.” Instead they should cite them separately, with the goal of effectively encouraging employers to comply with the the OSH Act.

This updated guidance covers enforcement activity in general industry, agriculture, maritime and construction industries, and becomes effective 60 days from Jan. 26, 2023. Since the current policy has been in place for more than 30 years and applies only to egregious willful citations, these aggressive changes make it clear that OSHA is focused on deterring employers from ignoring their responsibilities to keep workers safe.

Doug Parker, Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health explained the changes this way, “Smart, impactful enforcement means using all the tools available to us when an employer ‘doesn’t get it’ and will respond to only additional deterrence in the form of increased citations and penalties. This is intended to be a targeted strategy for those employers who repeatedly choose to put profits before their employees’ safety, health and wellbeing. Employers who callously view injured or sickened workers simply as a cost of doing business will face more serious consequences.”

OSHA has delivered remarkable progress in improving the safety of America’s work force. Workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities have fallen dramatically over the years. OSHA has tackled fatal safety hazards and health risks by establishing common sense standards and enforcing the law against those who put workers at risk. OSHA standards and enforcement actions have saved thousands of lives and prevented countless injuries and illnesses. Looking to the future, OSHA is renewing its commitment to protecting workers by promoting best practices that can save lives.

Posted on Leave a comment

OSHA Regulation Books: Updated for 2023

OSHA’s general duty clause states, “Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees; shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act. Furthermore, each employee shall comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued pursuant to this Act which are applicable to his own actions and conduct.” With this in mind, keeping up with all OSHA standards, rules, regulations, and orders can be a daunting task for both employers and employees. Two helpful resources to ensure workplaces are informed and in compliance are our OSHA 29 Regulation books.

Our published OSHA 29 CFR 1910 General Industry Regulations  and CFR 1926 Construction Regulations books provide quick and easy access to critical safety guidance at all times. Clearly, this important reference will help employers and employees both quickly identify potential safety concerns and hazards on any job. In order to best serve the needs of everyone, we provide the updated books in two types of binding and in electronic formats. With accessibility in mind, perfect bound book includes 2-color tab end of the book displaying both regulation title and number. Additionally, our premium version of the book is ideal for those that take notes and highlight on their regulations. It’s bound in a loose-leaf, 3-ring, 2″ binder with tabs and it allows for easy navigation to the regulations you use most. These updated books contain all changes to the standards through January 1, 2023.

Features of 29 CFR 1910 and 1926 Industry Regulation Books: 

  • Record of recent edits and changes
  • Most frequently cited standards
  • Additional relevant parts of Title 29 
  • OSHA General Duty Clause
  • Two-color layout makes navigating and reading regulations easier
  • Includes all 1910 regulations
  • 1903 regulations covering inspections, citations and penalties,
  • 1904 regulations covering record keeping and reporting occupational injuries and illness
  • Easy-to-find regulations changes for the period between book releases
  • Easy-to-find OSHA interpretations icon shows which page and which regulations have interpretations to reference
  • Contains OSHA Form 300 and OSHA’s Cancer Policy
  • Most Frequently Cited Standards preceding relevant Subparts

Workplace compliance is challenging. For this reason, National Safety Compliance is working hard to help employers and employees meet this requirement and stay safe at work. Staying on top of compliance begins with being aware of all the safety standards that apply to your workplace. Which is why NSC has compiled our 1910 and 1926 regulation books. Given that there is so much information to keep track of, having OSHA regulations accessible and aesthetically pleasing benefits everyone.

Posted on Leave a comment

Updated for 2023: Hearing Conservation Training Course

Occupational hearing loss is preventable and hearing conservation programs work. According to the Centers for Disease Control, at least 22 million workers are exposed to damaging noise levels at work. Exposure to loud noise can kill the nerve endings in the inner ear and over time can result in permanent hearing loss. Hearing loss due to work hazards is known as occupational hearing loss. The good news is this type of hearing loss is 100 % preventable. To help prevent occupational hearing loss, OSHA requires employers to implement a hearing conservation program whenever noise exposure is at or above 85 decibels averaged over 8 working hours, or an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA). While many industries have a noisy work environment, some industries have an increased risk of exposure to dangerous noise levels.

Industries with an increased risk of excessive noise exposure include:

  • Entertainment/Music: noise from instruments, concerts, loudspeakers, and equipment
  • Airline: ground maintenance workers are particularly at risk
  • Farming/Agriculture: noise from tractors, power tools, and machinery
  • Mining: noise from drills, excavating, blasting, and operating plants
  • Manufacturing: noise from machines
  • Sports venue: whistles and cheering
  • Construction: noise from power tools and manual tools
  • Carpentry: noise from power tools and other tools
  • Military: noise from live fire, explosions, and aircraft noise

In workplaces where excessive noise is present, employers are responsible to monitor the level of noise exposure in the workplace, provide training and free hearing protection, conduct regular evaluations of the adequacy of the hearing protections in use, and provide annual hearing exams. One of the most important components of protecting workers is training. Even workplaces that do not have dangerously high levels of noise can put workers at risk if there is a loud (but not classified as dangerous) noise that continues for long periods of time. Employees must be aware of all the risks at their workplace so they are equipped to protect themselves at work.

The NIOSH Sound Level Meter (SLM) app is a helpful tool for monitoring noise exposure. It was developed by experienced acoustics engineers and hearing loss experts and is available to the public from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The NIOSH Sound Level Meter (SLM) app was developed to help workers make informed decisions about their noise environment and promote better hearing health and prevention efforts.

Protecting workers’ health and safety should be a top priority for all employers. Hearing conservation programs have several goals which include preventing initial occupational hearing loss, preserving and protecting remaining hearing, and equipping workers with the knowledge and hearing protection devices necessary to safeguard themselves. At National Safety Compliance our Hearing Conservation Training Course has been updated for 2023, it will help you prepare your employees to protect their hearing in any work environment.

Hearing conservation course topics include:

  • The Ear
  • Hearing loss
  • Definitions
  • Types of Hearing Loss
  • Effects of Excessive Noise Exposure
  • Evaluating Noise Exposure Levels
  • Hearing Conservation Program
  • Hearing Protection

A top priority for hearing conservation programs is reducing the amount of exposure to noise. Thankfully, there are several ways to control and reduce workers’ excessive noise exposure in the workplace. First, 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. Next, administrative controls are changes in the workplace or schedule that reduce or eliminate the worker’s exposure to noise. Finally, personal hearing protection devices that are provided to employees free of charge significantly reduce exposure to harmful levels of noise.

Our Hearing Conservation Training Course trains workers in the OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.95 & 1926.52 & .101. Employees who take this course will understand the importance of a hearing conservation plan and should be able to apply its standards to workplace hazards and situations. Employers who take this course will have a better understanding of how to develop a training plan and what steps should be taken to protect their workers’ hearing. This training is also an excellent resource to train the trainer.

Posted on Leave a comment

10th Annual National Safety Stand-Down

The National Safety Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries. A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees. In addition to the annual event, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that its Occupational Safety and Health Administration has begun a National Emphasis Program to prevent falls, which is the violation cited most frequently in construction industry inspections.

“This national emphasis program aligns all of OSHA’s fall protection resources to combat one of the most preventable and significant causes of workplace fatalities,” said Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker. “We’re launching this program in concert with the 10th annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction and the industry’s Safety Week. Working together, OSHA and employers in all industries can make lasting changes to improve worker safety and save lives.”

In fact, any workplace can hold a stand-down by taking a break to focus on Fall Hazards. Reinforcing the importance of fall prevention is another way to be proactive in reducing falls. Additionally, employers of companies not exposed to fall hazards, can also use this opportunity to have a conversation with employees about the other job hazards they face, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies and goals.

Past Stand-Down Participants Include:

  • Commercial construction companies of all sizes
  • Residential construction contractors
  • Sub- and independent contractors
  • Highway construction companies
  • General industry employers
  • U.S. Military
  • Unions
  • Employer’s trade associations
  • Institutes
  • Employee interest organizations
  • Safety equipment manufacturers

This event is open to anyone who wants to prevent hazards in the workplace. Companies can conduct a Safety Stand-Down by taking a break to have a toolbox talk or another safety activity. For example, discussing job specific hazards, conducting safety equipment inspections, or developing rescue plans. Managers are encouraged to plan a stand-down that works best for their workplace.

OSHA is partnering with key groups to assist with this effort, including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), OSHA approved State Plans, State consultation programs, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), the National Safety Council, the National Construction Safety Executives (NCSE), the U.S. Air Force, and the OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers.

OSHA offers some suggestions for a successful Stand-Down which include:

  • Try to start early. 
  • Think about asking others associated with your project to participate in the stand-down.
  • Consider reviewing your fall prevention program.
  • Develop presentations or activities that will meet your needs.
  • Decide when to hold the stand-down and how long it will last.
  • Promote the stand-down.
  • Hold your stand-down.
  • Follow up.

It is important to decide what information will be best for your workplace and employees. The meeting should provide information to employees about hazards, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies, goals and expectations. Hands-on exercises like a worksite walkaround, equipment checks, etc. can increase employee engagement. It is important to make it interesting to employees. Some employers find that serving snacks increases participation. In Addition, make it positive and interactive. Let employees talk about their experiences and encourage them to make suggestions. If you learned something that could improve your fall prevention program, consider making changes. At NSC we offer resources to help with Fall Prevention Training.