DuraLabel's Weekly Safety News

Blog Author Angelique Sanders

Weekly safety news. Stay in touch with regulations from OSHA, NFPA, and other safety codes. Find out about other companies' best and worst practices. We scour the internet to provide you with helpful training resources and the latest safety information.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Safety News Briefs - OSHA's Top Ten For 2013 Announced

A regular news feature summarizing workplace safety related news.

We scan newspapers, magazines and the internet for safety news that isn't being reported elsewhere. The following are links to safety-related news and articles that came out during the past week. If you have safety news, or safety tips, send them to: duralabelpro@gmail.com.

Worker's Comp Payers Losing Billions of Dollars According To Study
New OSHA Certificate Program for Public-Sector Employees
OSHA's Top 10 Violations for 2013 Announced
Do I Have To Treat My Employees Like Kids? Uh.... Sometimes
Workplace Injury... Recordable or Not? A Step-by-Step Decision Guide

Worker's Comp Payers Losing Billions of Dollars According To Study

This report comes from Risk and Insurance. They are reporting that nearly $9 billion is being spent on unnecessary medical costs.  This is based on a study that is showing a significant variation in treatment among states. For example, the article reports that:

"One particular study undertaken by WCRI shows the variation in the prescribing patterns of opioids among states. While "most injured workers with pain medications received opioids," a study of 21 states showed marked differences.On the lower end was Connecticut, where just under 60 percent of injured workers with pain medications received opioids. On the high end was Arkansas, where about 80 percent received opioids."

There is also a variation in costs for the same services. Click to read the story here.

Are some states administering their WC programs inefficiently? Is there a variation in the type of work done in different states that impacts WC? For example, Connecticut's largest "industries" are service industries. Arkansas' economy, on the other hand, is heavily an agricultural and manufacturing economy. This could account for the differences in the number of injured workers receiving opioids. Read the article and then give us your thoughts using the comment link below.

New OSHA Certificate Program for Public-Sector Employees

OSHA is offering a new certificate program that provides public sector employees training on occupational safety and health to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities among workers in state and local governments.

The certificate programs are available in construction and general industry. Students can choose from a variety of courses, including occupational safety and health standards for construction or general industry, safety and health management, accident investigation, fall hazard awareness and recordkeeping. To earn a certificate, participants must complete a minimum of seven courses, consisting of three required courses and additional elective courses, totaling at least 68 hours of in-class training.
OSHA has created a new web page dedicated to this certificate program. The page provides course descriptions and prerequisites, program information and instructions on how to apply to the program.

All courses required to complete the program are available at OTI Education Centers nationwide. Students can use OSHA's searchable course schedule to find training courses for the certificate program at http://www.osha.gov/dte/ecd/course_otiec_search_public.html. Courses taken at different OTI Education Centers are transferrable and can count toward the certificate program.

OSHA's Top 10 Violations for 2013 Announced at National Safety Council Congress & Expo

Once again, Fall Protection tops the list of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s most-cited workplace safety violations. The presentation of the Top 10 was given before a crowded group of spectators today on the Expo floor at the 2013 National Safety Council Congress & Expo.

"We appreciate our colleagues at OSHA sharing their most recent data as we look toward Leading Safety into the Future," said National Safety Council President and CEO Janet Froetscher. "Today's presentation reminds us that it’s very important to learn from the past and address these top violations to help make our workplaces safer."

The preliminary figures for the FY 2013 Top 10 are (number of violations is given in parenthesis):
  • 1926.501 – Fall Protection (8,241)
  • 1910.1200 – Hazard Communication (6,156)
  • 1926.451 – Scaffolding (5,423)
  • 1910.134 – Respiratory Protection (3,879)
  • 1910.305 – Electrical, Wiring Methods (3,452)
  • 1910.178 – Powered Industrial Trucks (3,340)
  • 1926.1053 – Ladders (3,311)
  • 1910.147 – Lockout/Tagout (3,254)
  • 1910.303 – Electrical, General Requirements (2,745)
  • 1910.212 – Machine Guarding (2,701)

Do I Have To Treat My Employees Like Kids?
Uh.... Sometimes

The OSHA standards on PPE only require the employer to "furnish" or "make available" PPE. Yet OSHA issues citations when PPE is furnished, but not used. Is it the employer's responsibility to ensure employees to use PPE?

The answer is, yes.

This article, in Hotel, Travel and Hospitality News reports on a decision from the full Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC). The article states:

"this issue had been addressed 30 years earlier in Clarence M. Jones, (1983). In the Clarence M. Jones case, the Commission held that the regulations require an employer 'to ensure the use of eye and face protection.'"

Read the article.

Workplace Injury... Recordable or Not? A Step-by-Step Decision Guide

What is the process for determining if an injury is recordable?  OSHA has a four-part test to determine recordability.
  • An injury or illness must have occurred;
  • The injury or illness must be work-related;
  • The injury or illness must be a new case; and
  • The injury or illness must meet the general recording criteria.

An article in Safety.BLR provides an infographic that shows the process of determining whether or not an injury is reportable. Read the article here.

Related past posts:
Do Youy Know How To Manage An OSHA Inspection?
Whistleblower Complaints Become Easy To File
Seven Strategies For A Safer Workplace

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