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, November 11, 2013

Safety News Briefs - OSHA Proposes Changes To Reporting Requirements

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.

OSHA Proposes New Rule For Tracking Workplace Injuries And Illnesses

Last Thursday OSHA issued a proposed rule that will change workplace injury and illness reporting, putting employer's illness and injury reports online.

OSHA is proposing to amend its current recordkeeping regulations to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information on a quarterly basis. This new requirement will apply to businesses with more than 250 employees.

OSHA is also proposing that establishments with 20 or more employees, in certain industries with high injury and illness rates, be required to submit their summary of work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA electronically once a year. Currently, many such firms report this information to OSHA under OSHA's Data Initiative wich surveys about 80,000 workplaces annually.

A third part of the proposed new requirement is that OSHA will require any size employer, in any industry, to submit their Part 1904 injury and illness reports electronically, if they are notified by OSHA to do so.

OSHA plans to post this data online, as encouraged by President Obama's Open Government Initiative. Timely, establishment-specific injury and illness data will help OSHA target its compliance assistance and enforcement resources more effectively by identifying workplaces where workers are at greater risk, and enable employers to compare their injury rates with others in the same industry. Additional information on the proposed rule can be found at:


Yahoo News is reporting that it appears industry groups will strongly oppose this change.  In an article published last Wednesday Yahoo News reported that industry groups say:

...raw injury data can be misleading or contain sensitive information that can be misused.

Marc Freedman, executive director for labor policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the mere recording of an injury does not tell the full story about the circumstances surrounding it or whether the company has a good safety program.

"Making company-specific data on injuries available for all to see would be a major problem and would likely lead to companies being targeted by outside groups who want to characterize these employers as having bad safety records," Freedman said.

Read the Yahoo News story here.

Graphic Products Issues Lockout/Tagout Guide

As I read the OSHA announcements about the latest citations that have been issued I've been noticing that citations related to LOTO seem to be becoming more frequent. I've not done an actual count, so this is just a gut feel. However, I did review the seven significant citations OSHA announced last week, and four of them included LOTO violations.  They are not always listed using the words "Lockout/Tagout, for example the citation will often be for a "lack of energy control procedures. But, it's the same thing, just different words.

A new guide from Graphic Products, announced in Virtual-Strategy Magazine, may be of help. The Virtual-Strategy announcement describes the guide as including:

"chapters about how accidental start-ups occur, a definition of stored energy, steps to install and remove lockout gear, a case study from an environmental health and safety professional plus an overview of commonly used LO/TO products and services. There’s also a section about reducing the number of potential injuries and fatalities possible from entrapment in confined spaces such as tanks and tunnels."

You can request a free copy of this LOTO guide here.

Static Charge Causes Dust Explosion In Vacuum

Although I monitor local news reports about workplace injuries, I usually do not report on them. However, this one concerns a different type of dust explosion and a hazard that may go unnoticed until more people are injured. So I thought it worthwhile to mention it so that others can take steps to protect against this type of dust explosion.

Last week a man was critically injured in East Woburn, MA. He was using a vacuum to clean up metal dust.  A spark in the vacuum ignited the dust inside the vacuum resulting in a significant dust explosion in the vacuum. The Woburn Advocate reported that:

One man was critically injured and airlifted to a Boston hospital by MedFlight shortly after the first emergency call came in at 12:27 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5. A worker from a neighboring company attempting to help the man suffered minor injuries, and a police officer was also treated as a precaution.

Read the story here.

Clifford Nass, Who Revealed The Workplace Hazards of Multi-Tasking, Dies At Age 55

Stanford professor Richard Nass conducted extensive research on multitasking in the workplace. What he found was that most people think they are very good at multi-tasking, but in reality they are not.  The results of his research showed that multi-tasking at work could be hazardous.

An article in The Chron states:

"His 2009 research on multitasking is borne out in increasing evidence that always-on technology makes us less focused and less able to deal with long-form information."

Read The Chron article, which includes a summary of his research, here.

Related past posts:
OSHA's Exposure Limit Resource
Must You Comply With Consensus Standards
How To Spot A Psychopath In Your Workplace

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