KMCL has noted that OSHA has been very aggressive in its enforcement efforts and in seeking large penalties over the last several months.  As described below, the initiatives the agency has recently announced signal that this intensity will continue to ratchet up over the coming months and likely beyond.  As a result, employers should consider evaluating whether they are prepared for an OSHA inspection; the days of the proverbial slap on the wrist appear to be over.

This posting is a demonstration as to how OSHA (State of IN OSHA) can/will issue citations against BOTH the host facility and it's contractor for the same OSHA violations.  In this case, the contractor doing the work, did so using TAGOUT without any additional measures that would make "tagout" equally effective as "lockout" (e.g. Tag +).  Below are the exact same citations issued to both the host and its contractor...

We see this argument from time to time, hence I am sharing this OSHRC decision from last week as a discussion "starter" at facilities, especially food facilities where safety glasses are not used for whatever reason(s).  This case involved a chicken processing facility that chose to NOT use safety glasses on a "chicken deboning line".  The facility had one previous eye injury on the line and the second eye injury is what brought OSHA in as it was a hospitalization.  The company used several arguments to justify the lack of eye protection: infeasible, they fog up, not needed, safety glasses would create a greater hazard, safety glasses create a food safety hazard, and "employee misconduct".  The ALG was NOT impressed, to say the least, with any of the defenses and sided with OSHA.  Of course, this case may go before the full OSHRC and get reversed.  Here are the details...

Employees working on the debone line wear protective equipment. Each wears a gown over street clothes, cut-resistant gloves and sleeves, hearing protection, a hair net (and beard net where applicable), an apron, and rubber boots. Although used in other parts of the facility, employees on the debone line do NOT wear eye protection. According to unrebutted statements made by employees to the CSHO, employees are provided safety glasses by the temporary employment staffing agency but are prohibited from wearing them on the debone line by the host company.

The new rule, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2017, requires certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness summary (Form 300A) data.  The amount of data submitted will vary depending on the size of company and type of industry.  The new reporting requirements will be phased in over two years.  Establishments in the following industries with 20 to 249 employees must submit injury and illness summary (Form 300A) data to OSHA electronically...

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Have you ever wondered just how busy is OSHA? How many inspections does OSHA do in a single month? What are they working on? Who are they visiting? Why are they visiting certain workplaces and not others? Are they "picking on anyone"? etc. Well, have a look into a month of inspection history from 4/20/16 to 5/20/16. In this month, OSHA has:

Last week OSHA published their "spring agenda" and this gives us a very good idea as to which standards OSHA has on their radar screen.  Here is their agenda...

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