It’s that time of year again when employers need to post and submit last year’s injury and illness data. Here is a list of timeframes and more information about which companies this affects:
Posting Injury and Illness Data
All employers who are required to maintain OSHA logs must post a copy of their OSHA 300A log from February 1 through April 30. This needs to be placed in a common area where an employee can easily see it. Make sure you have a company executive sign and certify it before posting.
Electronic Submittals to OSHA
Employers with more than 250 employees and employers with 20-249 employees under certain NAICS codes are required to submit their 300As to OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application (ITA) website. Here’s a list of those special industries covered by the recordkeeping rule: Covered Industries.
In order to post to the website, you’ll need two separate accounts. First is an account with the Injury Tracking Application website. The other, new as of October 2022, you’ll have to have an account at Login.gov, a secure website the federal government uses for many different applications. You need to make sure you use the same email address for both so that the records can be connected.
Information can be manually uploaded, uploaded via a CSV file (available as a template from the OSHA ITA website), or transmit it electronically through an API.
If your company has multiple locations, or establishments as they are referred to, you need to report for each establishment, but can use the same ITA account to do it. A third party can help do this for you, but accuracy and completeness of data is still your company’s responsibility.
Even if you have 0 recordables, you still need to report, and if you miss the March 2 deadline, you can still submit at any time of the year. Just be aware you’re not compliant until you do. If you submit early and find out there was an injury last year that became recordable, they would like for you to update the information, but it’s not required.
What’s Recordable, What’s Not?
If you have questions or need help in determining what’s recordable and what’s not, iSi can help. We can advise on a case-by-case basis, and we have conducted presentations that cover some of the trickier examples that we can provide through our training program. Contact us for pricing on either of those.
Here are a few recent headlines from the world of safety:
Federal Judge Rules OSHA 300 Info is Not Confidential
A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for Northern California has ruled that OSHA injury and illness log information is not confidential. The ruling comes as a part of a lawsuit where news organization the Center for Investigative Reporting made a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to OSHA for records and OSHA denied the claim under FOIA exemptions for “law enforcement” and “trade secrets”.
The judge ruled that because employers are required to post this information annually and keep it on file for up to 5 years so that current and former employees can review them, these employees can freely share this information. Thus, it’s readily observable and can be made public anyway.
The Center for Investigative Reporting was pleased with the ruling, saying that it would help keep the “dangerous” employers accountable and encourage them to improve safety while giving workers a better understanding of the risks involved in the job.
MSA Warns of Shortage of White Tychem, Tyvek
Personal protective equipment company MSA Safety has issued a notice regarding a shortage of the white DuPont Tychem hoods used for powered air purifying respirators. DuPont notified MSA that there would be shortages of white Tyvek, including Tychem, materials until early 2021.
MSA will be substituting white hoods with yellow Tychem hoods. They say that the yellow Tychem is just as protective as the white. However, some companies have policies requiring the white, and those policies may need to be altered for a while until the supply is restored.
Respirator Posters Available in 16 Languages
OSHA’s poster “Seven Steps to Correctly Wear a Respirator at Work” has now been published in 16 different languages. These include English, Spanish, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), French Creole, Hmong, Korean, Kunama, Polish, Russian, Somali, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese.
Recently published guidance from OSHA clarifies that workplace-contracted COVID-19 can be a recordable illness. That is, a recordable if it was contracted as a result of work duties.
Illnesses such as the flu and colds have always been, and continue to be, exempt from recordable illnesses recordkeeping. However, COVID-19 is NOT exempt from being a recordable, even though it contains some of the same symptoms as the flu and cold.
When COVID is Recordable
Use the following guidelines when determining if a case of COVID 19 is a recordable illness:
Is confirmed as a coronavirus illness,
Falls under one or more of the typical recording criteria such as medical treatment beyond first aid, hospitalization, or days away from work, and
Determining if it’s work related will take some investigation on your part as there’s a possibility that exposures can occur outside of work as well. OSHA expects employers to make reasonable efforts, based on the evidence available to make that determination. A best practice is to ensure you have documentation of your investigation, including all the steps you took to come to your findings, and what led you to choose why to count or not count that illness.
Like with other recording requirements, companies with 10 or fewer do not need to make a recording unless it is work related and results in a hospitalization, amputation, loss of an eye or a fatality.
Have a Plan
Some workplaces and worker tasks are considered to have a higher risk for employee exposure. Most workplaces will have a low exposure risk. Those in healthcare, death care, airline, border protection, solid waste management and wastewater treatment are considered to be in the high risk category. Workers who are required to work within 6 feet of each other would fall in the medium risk exposure level because the virus is spread through person-to-person droplet contact within that 6-foot range.
As a result, OSHA says it is important for workplaces to take measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and have a plan for dealing with it. OSHA’s guidance specifically says there is currently no standard that covers COVID-19, but it would fall under the General Duty Clause that requires employers to provide workers with “…a place of employment which is free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm.” They also mention the PPE standards (1910 Subpart I) which covers usage of gloves, eye protection, face protection and respirators and the Bloodborne Pathogens standard (29 CFR 1910.1030) which covers exposures to body fluids and blood.
Depending on work tasks and potential exposures, workers may need to wear masks, goggles, face shields, and/or respirators. In the guidance document, OSHA says that workers, including those who work within 6 feet of patients known to be, or suspected of being, infectedand those performing aerosol-generating procedures, need to use filtering facepiece or better respirators. Remember that if your workers are wearing respirators, you must have a comprehensive respiratory protection program that has its own complete set of requirements. You can find the respirator standards at 1910.134.
Hierarchy of Controls
OSHA’s guide contains ideas for identifying and isolating sick people, where appropriate.OSHA also draws on the Hierarchy of Controls, just as it does for all other safety concerns. For example:
High-efficiency air filters
Increased ventilation rates
Negative pressure ventilation in areas where aerosols are generated
Encouraging sick workers to stay home
Virtual or teleconferenced meetings rather than face-to-face
Alternating days or extra shifts to reduce the number of employees in the building, increasing work distances
Discontinuing non-essential travel
Emergency communication plans
Safe Work Practices
Promote personal hygiene with tissues, no-touch trash cans, hand soap, alcohol rubs and wipes, disinfectants and disposable towels
Required regular hand washing or alcohol hand rubs, especially after removing PPE
Post handwashing signs in restrooms
Select based on hazard to the worker
Ensure proper fit and refit
Consistent and proper wear
Regular cleaning, maintenance and repair
Proper storage and disposal
OSHA says PPE recommendations are likely to change depending on location, current PPE effectiveness and the nature of the job, so check in with OSHA and the CDC website for updates on recommended PPE.
OSHA has a dedicated webpage covering COVID-19 and they have published a guidance document in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services. Both of these address measures on how to protect workplaces and workers at low, medium and high exposure risks and those who work in the specifically targeted high risk industries above. Below are links to resources for COVID-19 planning and information:
As part of the President’s Executive Order for agencies to improve regulations and conduct regulatory reviews, OSHA has been working on reviewing their standards to remove outdated, duplicate, and inconsistent parts of their standards. The latest round of reviews and updates, called Standards Improvement Project – Phase IV, will go into effect on July 15, 2019 and it updates 14 different OSHA standards at a projected $6.1 million/year savings.
Updates range from clarifications and deletions, to updates for current technology, to good news for cats.
Social Security Numbers 29 CFR Parts 1910, 1915, 1926
OSHA is eliminating the requirement to collect worker social security numbers in 19 of its standards. Any social security numbers already collected on previous forms can remain on those forms, and if employers want to continue to collect numbers, they may do so.
Medical Services and First Aid 29 CFR 1926.50
Current standards require posting of physician, hospital and ambulance phone numbers where 911 service is not available. At the time, 911 was a relatively new concept, but many of today’s 911 services for landlines can pinpoint the caller’s location. If your area has landline auto-location for 911, you no longer have to post the additional information.
However, the auto-location feature isn’t always available for cell phones in remote locations. The new rule requires employers, in areas where 911 auto-location for wireless phones is not available, to post the latitude and longitude of the current location in a conspicuous place so that emergency services may locate the worksite. Employers are also to ensure that the communication system they are relying on to use to report an emergency is working and is effective.
Medical Surveillance Requirements 29 CFR part 1910, subpart Z
Employers will no longer be required to conduct periodic chest x-rays of their employees for lung cancer purposes. This is a requirement in asbestos, cadmium, coke emissions, inorganic arsenic, and acrylonitrile standards. Medical data has been found that periodic x-rays don’t make much of a difference in reducing lung cancer. However, periodic x-rays are still required for asbestosis determinations, and initial baseline x-rays are still required as well. Digital radiographs will be allowed as well as different sizes of x-ray films.
Occupational Hearing Loss 29 CFR 1904.10
The recordkeeping rule now clarifies physicians must use the standards of 29 CFR 1904.05 to make the determination if a hearing loss is work-related. Previously, employers have been able to not record hearing loss as an injury when a physician determines the loss was NOT work related. However, no guidance was given for physicians in that determination. A cross-reference from 1904.05 will be added to 1904.10 to help make that determination. Get more info on iSi’s work area noise surveys & sampling.
OSHA is changing the minimum breaking strength of lifelines from 5,400 lbs. to 5,000 lbs. to align with the most recent ANSI/ASSE standards.
Process Safety Management (PSM) 29 CFR 1926.64
Rather than having a separate PSM standard for construction, this standard will now reference the general industry standard 1910.119.
Coke Oven Emissions 29 CFR 1926.1129
OSHA has determined coke oven emissions does pertain to construction work, and will be deleting the standard. Any construction worker exposures to coke oven emissions will fall under the General Duty Clause.
Signs, Signals and Barriers 29 CFR 1926, Subpart G
Employers will now be required to comply with the 2009 version of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices to better align with DOT’s requirements. OSHA feels the newest version adds better safety controls. These included high visibility safety apparel, stop/slow signage (not just hand signals), the use of automated flagger assistance devices, and crashworthy temporary traffic barriers and lane channelization. Confusing language will be removed from the traffic signs section, and the barricades and definitions sections will be deleted because they’re duplicates.
Materials Handling and Storage 29 CFR 1926.250
Currently, posting of maximum safe load limits of floors in storage areas is required. However, in residential buildings, heavy materials are not placed in areas above floor or slab on grade. Thus, this requirement no longer applies to construction of “single-family residential structures and wood-framed multi-family residential structures.” iSi’s safety assistance services
Underground Construction 29 CFR 1926.800
Mobile diesel-powered equipment used in “other than gassy operations” must now meet the most current MSHA requirements of 30 CFR Part 7, Subpart E.
Occupational Health and Environmental Controls, Gases, Vapors, Fumes, Dusts and Mists 29 CFR 1926.55
“Threshold limit values” will change to “permissible exposure limits” and references to ACGIH standards will be removed. OSHA is also cleaning up phrases such as “shall be avoided”, deleting the terms “inhalation, ingestion, skin absorption, or contact”, will change Appendix A to Tables 1 and 2, and will correct inconsistent and errant table headings, footnotes, cross references and asterisks. iSi’s workplace sampling program development services
Shipyards 29 CFR 1915.80
Feral cats will no longer be considered vermin and thus, no longer a health and safety hazard.
Rollover Protective Structures, Overhead Protection 29 CFR 1926, Subpart W
OSHA is removing test procedures and performance requirements and replacing them with the current standards of ISO 3471: 2008. They will also be making some other technical error revisions.
OSHAelectronic reporting of injuries and illnesses rules have undergone another change, and this time it’s to account for worker privacy. The new final rule was published in the Federal Register on January 25, 2019 and iseffective February 25, 2019.
What Has Changed?
Employers with more than 250 employees were to begin including OSHA Forms 300 and 301 with their electronic submittals starting in 2019. These forms name the particular workers affected, along with the body parts injured, date of birth, date of hire, address, and treatment. This information could have made it to the online, searchable database, compromising sensitive employee information.
The new rule removes this requirement in order to protect worker privacy.Employers with more than 250 employees are still required to submit their 300As.
In addition, OSHA is requiring employers to submit their Employer Identification Numbers with their electronic submissions.OSHA feels this new requirement will help better organize and track submissions and avoid duplications.
Below is a revised table of requirements. Are you required to submit OSHA electronic reports? If you have questions, please contact us!
Electronic injury and illness reporting is required annually by July 1st for select companies depending on size and industry. What gets reported is also dependent on size, that is, companies with 250 or more employees submit the 300, 300A and 301 while companies with 20-249 employees submit only the 300A. The following table summarizes the requirements for electronic reporting. Immediately after the table is a link to the NAICS industry codes which are included in the requirements.
Injuries and illnesses will need to be completed through OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application website. If you are in an OSHA-approved state program such as California, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, you are not required to participate in electronic reporting.
For those who do need to report, you’ll be able to enter your data through three different methods.
First, you can enter data in manually through a web form.
If you have multiple records and multiple establishments, the second option allows you to upload a database file to the system. It will need to be saved as a csv file. You can create csv files from Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. OSHA has csv templates on their site, but these templates are more or less a list of the column names for your spreadsheet and examples of what needs to go into each.
The third option is for those of you who use automated recordkeeping systems. For those systems, OSHA will have the ability for you to transmit that data electronically through an application programming interface (API).
If you need help submitting, or help in determining if you need to, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help you.
How can iSi help your company with OSHA recordkeeping?
The deadline to submit your injuries and illnesses for 2016 electronically through the new OSHA Injury Tracking Application website is December 1. However, recent actions by OSHA suggest this rule has the potential to look differently next year.
In January, a lawsuit against the rule was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. The court stayed its ruling to allow OSHA to review the rule. As a condition of the stay, the court required OSHA to file status reports with the court. In the final status report recently issued, OSHA acknowledged they had reviewed the rule, have drafted regulatory text, summaries and explanations for proposed changes, and their economists are currently working on the economic impact analysis of the proposed changes.
Thus, the electronic recordkeeping rule is likely to be changed, but there are no indications of what will be changed or when. The two most contentious parts of the rule have been making injury/illness data for each company publicly available online and additional anti-retaliation rules which affect certain types of employee safety incentive programs and post-accident drug testing procedures. There is some thought that both of these previsions may be altered or removed from the rule.
In the meantime, if your company is required to submit electronically, the rule stands as-is and you will need to get your data uploaded by December 1. Who is required to submit electronically? Check out our previous blog describing which companies are affected and what the process for submitting electronically entails. Need help with the data upload or sorting this all out? Contact us today!
Need help with OSHA recordkeeping issues? Let us help!
We have a few OSHA updates today, one regarding electronic recordkeeping and the others regarding crane compliance.
OSHA has proposed a new date for electronic recordkeeping. The original date had been postponed until July 1, then OSHA issued a statement which for all purposes said “we’ll let you know.” Now the deadline has been proposed for December 1, 2017. This new date would still allow for a four-month window to get your records in. However, no method for submitting has been announced. We’ll keep you posted on these developments.
In the areas of cranes, there has been movement on a couple of items.
Crane Operator Training Delay
The deadline to get your crane operators officially certified has been continuously delayed since the rule became law in 2010. The most recent compliance certification November 10, 2017. However, OSHA is proposing to move this date once again. They haven’t issued an official date, but it’s thought to be November 10, 2018. UPDATE: The new compliance deadline for operator certification has indeed been set to November 10, 2018.
Monorail Hoist Compliance Change
OSHA has announced a change to its enforcement policy for monorail hoists. Monorail hoists are like those pictured above and are often used to place storage tanks for propane and oil, engines, commercial generators, precast concrete components such as septic systems and vaults, electrical transformers, temporary storage units, and other components.
Until recently, monorail hoists were enforced under the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard. OSHA, along with a number of stakeholders, realized that while still a safety issue, these hoists did not operate in the same way other equipment enforced under this standard did.
Until a better option can be found, OSHA will not be enforcing the crane standard when it comes to these devices as long as your company…
Complies with 1926.554 Overhead Hoists for Construction or the General Duty Clause for General Industry;
Trains operators to safely use them;
Makes determinations that each operator is qualified to safely use them per 1926.20, General Safety and Health Provisions; and,
Follows the OSHA construction standards applicable to each vehicle or support system when your monorail hoists are mounted to work vehicles, utility trailers, scaffolding systems, or other mobile or stationary supports.
More info on the monorail hoists enforcement policy can be found here.
How can iSi help your company with safety compliance? Check us out!