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R&R Insurance Blog

OSHA Launches Program Targeting High Injury and Illness Rates

Posted by the knowledge brokers

OSHAEffective October 16, 2018, OSHA launched a "Site-Specific Targeting (SST) inspection program".  The goal of the program is to ensure that employers provide safe and healthful workplaces by directing enforcement resources to those workplaces with the highest rates of injuries and illness.  Read the full OSHA notice here

Targeted Employers or Workplaces for SST Inspection Program:

  • All industries EXCLUDING construction, schools, or municipalities
  • 20+ employees
  • Injury and illness information submitted calendar year 2016 under 29 CFR 1904.41

How can you prepare for a potential OSHA visit?

  1. Awareness: do your company have a plan if OSHA would come knocking? 
  2. Benchmark: how does your company's injury and illness rates compare to industry peers?  Are you a red flag for OSHA? 
  3. Review applicable OSHA compliance programs compared to your company practices.

Preparing for any type of OSHA audit takes commitment from leadership.  The best success are organizations with safety teams to champion safety 24/7.  R&R Insurance can help support safety personnel with self-audits, policy review, training content, and much more.  Start the conversation with an email: safety@rrins.com.

 

Topics: Safety, OSHA

OSHA's Top 5 Most Popular Videos

Posted by the knowledge brokers

OSHAAs of 2018, the videos below are ranked as the most popular by OSHA and the US Department of Labor.

Whether you're looking to train employees, or just share knowledge with members of your organization - these videos provide insight into serious safety topics.

  1. Five Ways to Prevent Workplace Falls
  2. Stop Silicosis (Inhalation of Silica Dust)
  3. Excavation in Construction: Trenching
  4. OSHA Heat Illness Prevention
  5. Falls in Construction: Floor Openings

For more information on any of these topics, contact safety@rrins.com.

Topics: OSHA

Prevent Heat Illness With OSHA's Heat Safety App

Posted by the knowledge brokers

OSHAWhile it may be mid-summer, there are plenty of hot days ahead of us. And studies show that working in direct sunlight can increase the heat index by 15 degrees. If you or your employees are working in the heat, OSHA's Heat Safety App is an important one to have at your fingertips.

According to OSHA, the App allows workers and supervisors to calculate the heat index for their worksite, and based on the heat index, display a risk level to workers.

With a simple click, you can also receive reminders about:

  • Protective measures that should be taken at specific risk levels
  • Drinking enough fluids
  • Scheduling rest breaks
  • Planning for emergencies
  • Adjusting work operations
  • Monitoring each other for symptoms of heat-related issues

Click here for more information about OSHA's App and for download instructions.

Topics: OSHA

OSHA 300 Log Electronic Reporting Deadline: July 1, 2018

Posted by John Brengosz

OSHA.jpgDeadline approaching: employers have until July 1, 2018 to submit their OSHA 300 log data electronically directly to OSHA.

Reporting Requirements
  • Companies with 20-249 employees and in select NAICS codes (primarily construction and manufacturing) need to submit their OSHA 300 data by July 1, 2018 for their 2017 OSHA 300 log totals. 

“Covered establishments with 250 or more employees are only required to provide their 2017 Form 300A summary data. OSHA is not accepting Form 300 and 301 information at this time. OSHA will issue a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to reconsider, revise, or remove provisions of the "Improve Tracking of Workplace Injury" rule, including the collection of the Forms 300/301 data.

Covered establishments with 20-249 employees must electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A." – www.osha.gov

Submission Year

 Establishments with 250 or More Employees

 Establishments with 20-249 Employees

 Submission Deadline

 2017

 Form 300A

 Form 300A

 July 1, 2018

2018

Forms 300A, 300, 301

Form 300A

March 2, 2019


How can we help?

The world of OSHA reporting can be complex and confusing, specifically when it comes to electronic reporting. R&R’s Professional Services team can help you navigate not only when to have your 300 submitted, but also what should be included on the log.  Many companies actually over-report injuries on their 300 log which results in inflated incident or Frequency rates.

We invite you to listen to a previously recorded webinar regarding OSHA 300 hosted by John Brengosz. For additional information and resources contact Safety@rrins.com.

Topics: OSHA

2018 OSHA & ITA Regulation Updates

Posted by Alyssa Merget

OSHA.jpgWith the new year come new updates on regulations. Wisconsin employers are being reminded of the important OSHA and Injury Tracking Application (ITA) items listed below.

OSHA Updates:

  1. OSHA has increased its penalties as required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act.  Penalty levels increased approximately 2 percent. The new penalty levels will apply to all violations occurring after November 2, 2015, with penalties assessed after January 2, 2018. 
  2. Employers can now submit their OSHA Form 300A data for 2017 to the ITA.
  3. Employers will not have to submit their OSHA 300 and 301 information for 2017 to the ITA.


ITA Updates:

Employers can now begin to electronically report their Calendar Year (CY) 2017 Form 300A data to OSHA through the agency’s Injury Tracking Application. All covered establishments must submit the information by July 1, 2018. Employers can view their submitted CY 2016 Form 300A summary information, but they cannot edit or submit additional 2016 data on the ITA website.

Establishments that meet any of the following criteria DO NOT have to send their Form 300A data to OSHA. Remember, these criteria apply at the establishment level, not to the firm as a whole.

  • The establishment’s peak employment during the previous calendar year was 19 or fewer, regardless of the establishment's industry.
  • The establishment’s industry is on thislist, regardless of the size of the establishment.
  • The establishment had a peak employment between 20 and 249 employees during the previous calendar year AND the establishment’s industry is noton this list.

Covered establishments with 250 or more employees are only required to provide their 2017 Form 300A summary data. OSHA is not accepting Form 300 and 301 information at this time. OSHA will issue a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to reconsider, revise, or remove provisions of the "Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses" final rule, including the collection of the Forms 300/301 data. OSHA is currently drafting that NPRM and will seek comment on those provisions. 

For more information, contact a Knowledge Broker at safety@rrins.com.

Topics: OSHA

Your Naked Loading Dock is Worth $12k to OSHA

Posted by Mike Payne

Loading Docks 1.jpgIt’s a common sight at any industrial park, but five open loading dock doors in front of a moody OSHA inspector could land your company a $63,375 fine!

The rules have changed. Welcome to 2017.

If your company hasn’t been waiting on bated breath for the latest regulations, on January 17 OSHA added wording to statute 1910.28. All unprotected sides and edges suspended 4 feet or more in the air must have approved fall protection in place. Violations could cost as much as $12,675 per occurrence.

Either word hasn’t travelled fast enough, or many businesses are ignoring the new regulation.

Driving through an industrial park last week I stopped counting the open loading docks when I ran out of fingers. By my calculation, 1/3 of the open dock doors were compliant, 1/3 had inadequate fall protection, and 1/3 had no fall protection at all. An overzealous OSHA inspector could take the same drive I did and rack up fines in the hundreds of thousands without leaving the comfort of his air conditioned Prius.

Who isn’t getting a raise this year, because Johnny left the dock door open on a hot day?

Every year Fall Protection is the number one hazard cited by OSHA. Of the 6,906 citations issued related to Fall Protection in 2016, most came from the residential construction industry (roofing). OSHA’s top priority is to get these numbers down, but the new rules are hitting general industry in ways many are not aware of - and in more ways than just loading docks.

Guardrail 1.pngOSHA’s new ruling requires edges 4 feet or more in the air to have one of three methods of protection:

  • A guardrail system
  • Safety net system
  • Personal fall protection

For loading docks, practicality eliminates a safety net and personal fall protection system. That leaves two options:

  1. Keep the loading dock doors shut when the truck is away
  2. Install an OSHA approved guardrail system.

 

Don’t expect a thin chain or strip of highlighted caution tape to do the job. The guardrail must be able to take up to 200lbs of horizontal pressure and be highly visible. Two or more chains MAY be acceptable if they are spaced at both a “high” and “mid” tier level and visible, but the single chain is not kosher.

Guardrail 2.png

If keeping dock doors shut at all times isn’t practical, there are still many ways to stay OSHA compliant. The ideal solution might look like a Rite-Hite Dock-Guardian Safety Barrier which can handle up to 30,000lbs of horizontal pressure and is highly visible. Other methods used include a Vestil Safety Swing Gate or Uline Scissors Security Gate.

Ladder 1.pngAnother target of the January 17 language is guarding on fixed ladders. Stationary ladders must have a guard at their opening in order to be complaint. OSHA would frown on the ladder below.

Safety chains atop fixed ladders may have been okay in the past, but are now out. To remain complaint a spring loaded self-closing gate is needed. The reasoning behind this decision is that a safety chains do not close themselves. They require a worker to stand on the ladder while using one hand to reattach the chain with his back is to a hazard. A self-closing gate requires no such action and is OSHA compliant.

Fall protection is not required when using portable ladders however, OSHA still encourages employers to provide additional protection.

Ladder 2.pngThe January rule changes also call for a Walking Worker Surfaces Inspection. These inspections are to be done “on a regular schedule” and “when necessary”. These inspections are to be adequate enough to identify slip, trip, and fall hazards. Employers are mandated by the new rules to have a scheduled WWS inspection and to conduct more when conditions or events occur that warrant an additional check.

Don’t let OSHA catch you with a naked loading dock. Slip, trip, and fall regulations have been revised and employers are responsible for keeping up with the language. Especially when a violation is visible from the roadside, it’s probably worth fixing right away.

 

Topics: OSHA

OSHA 300 Log Electronic Reporting - Due Dec. 1, 2017

Posted by John Brengosz

OSHA.jpgNew Information Surrounding OSHA 300 Log Electronic Reporting

Over the summer, OSHA announced beginning August 1, 2017 employers can submit their OSHA 300 log data electronically directly to OSHA, via the OSHA website.  Although the OSHA website will allow companies to upload injury data starting August 1, 2017 the deadline for uploading this data remains December 1, 2017.

What does this mean for you?

Essentially, companies with more than 20 employees and in select NAICS codes (primarily construction and manufacturing) would need to submit their data between August 1 and December 1 of 2017 for their 2016 OSHA 300 log totals. 

“Covered establishments with 250 or more employees must electronically submit information from OSHA Forms 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses), 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses), and 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report). Covered establishments with 20-249 employees must electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A.” – www.osha.gov

How can we help?

The world of OSHA reporting can be complex and confusing, specifically when it comes to electronic reporting. R&R’s Professional Services team can help you navigate not only when to have your 300 submitted, but also what should be included on the log.  Many companies actually over-report injuries on their 300 log which results in inflated incident or Frequency rates.

With this most recent update, R&R recommends taking the reporting process slowly and not feeling pressured by the December 1, 2017 date. We invite you to listen to a previously recorded webinar regarding OSHA 300 Logs or attend our upcoming webinar on November 7th hosted by John Brengosz.

Click here to register for the live webinar or email Safety@rrins.com for additional information and resources.

Topics: OSHA

OSHA Delays Enforcement of Crystalline Silica Standard

Posted by John Brengosz

On April 6, 2017 the U.S. Department of Labor’s OccupationalOSHA.jpg Safety and Health Administration announced a delay in enforcement of the crystalline silica standard that applies to the construction industry in order to conduct additional outreach and provide educational materials and guidance for employers.

The agency has determined that additional guidance is necessary due to the unique nature of the requirements in the construction standard. Originally scheduled to begin June 23, 2017, enforcement will now begin Sept. 23, 2017.

OSHA expects employers in the construction industry to continue to take steps either to come into compliance with the new permissible exposure limit, or to implement specific dust controls for certain operations as provided in Table 1 of the standard. Table 1 matches common construction tasks with dust control methods, so employers know exactly what they need to do to limit worker exposures to silica.

Construction employers should also continue to prepare to implement the standard’s other requirements, including exposure assessment, medical surveillance and employee training.

For more information, visit www.osha.gov or contact a Knowledgebroker.

Topics: Construction, OSHA, OSHA Compliance, OSHA standards

R&R's Hottest Headlines of 2016

Posted by the knowledge brokers

Its hard to believe that 2016 has come and gone. Wnew year.jpgith another year in the books, we took a look back at the top 5 most popular R&R articles of last year.

We hope you have a happy, healthy new year and look forward to serving you throughout 2017!

Follow the links below to view these articles.

1) Preparing for Changes to the Wisconsin Workers Compensation Act

2) Update on Wisconsin Cell Phone Laws While Driving 

3) Workers Compensation Audit Noncompliance Charge | Effective January 1, 2017

4) OSHA | New Electronic Recordkeeping Requirements

5) Criminal Hackers Targeting Payroll Data

Topics: blog, Cell Phone Usage and Driving, Work Comp, OSHA, Cyber Crime

Establishing and Implementing a Safety & Health Program

Posted by Tricia Dretzka-Kaye

group-of-professionals.jpgAccording to OSHA, establishing a safety and health program in your workplace is one of the most effective ways of protecting your most valuable asset: your workers. Losing workers to injury or illness, even for a short time, can cause significant disruption and cost to you as well as the workers and their families. It can also damage workplace morale, productivity and turnover.

While beneficial, implementing these programs can be a daunting task. OSHA recommends the following steps to simplify the process and create structure for your program.

Getting Started:

  1. Set safety and health as a top priority
  2. Lead by example
  3. Implement a reporting system
  4. Provide training
  5. Conduct inspections
  6. Collect hazard control ideas
  7. Implement hazard controls
  8. Address emergencies
  9. Seek input on workplace changes
  10. Make improvements

Core Elements Needed:

  1. Management leadership
    • Creates a culture of safety, facilitates trust, and reinforces the core elements
  2. Worker Participation
    • Results in improved design, implementation and evaluation
  3. Hazard Identification and assessment
    • Identifies and documents all known suspected hazards
  4. Hazard Prevention and control
    • Prevents injuries using hierarchy of controls: engineering, work practices, administrative, PPE
  5. Education and Training
    • Ensures all workers understand safe work practices, are familiar with hazards and know how to participate.
  6. Program Evaluation and Improvement
    • Assesses program effectiveness and modifications as needed.
  7. Multiemployer worksites: Communication and coordination for host employers, contractors and staffing agencies.
    • Ensures communication and coordination to protect all workers onsite.

Preventing workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths as well as the suffering and financial hardship these events can cause for workers, families and the employers is incredibly valuable. Businesses with Safety and Health programs typically see an improvement in product, process and service quality, improved workplace morale and employee recruiting and retention, and a more favorable image and reputation among the community.

For more information on the development or improvement of your Safety and Health program, contact a Knowledge Broker at R&R Insurance.

Information provided by www.osha.gov/shpguidelines.

Topics: OSHA, Health Program, Safety Program, Safety Programs, Health and Safety