The final rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses prohibits employers from discouraging workers from reporting an injury or illness. The final rule requires employers to inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation; clarifies the existing implicit requirement that an employer' s procedure for reporting workrelated injuries and illnesses must be reasonable and not deter or discourage employees from reporting; and incorporates the existing statutory prohibition on retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses. These provisions under§ 1904.35 become effective August 10, 2016.

In order to provide the opportunity to conduct additional outreach to the regulated community, we have decided to delay enforcement of these provisions until November 1, 2016. We are currently developing educational materials for employers and enforcement guidance for your staff that will be made available shortly. Please instruct your staff to provide these materials to employers that are subject to the requirements under § 1904.35 and to provide guidance on what steps the employers can take to ensure that they are in compliance with the new provisions when enforcement begins on November 1, 2016.

CLICK HERE for the official memo

OSHA 6 20 7 20 2016Have 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 6/20/16 to 7/20/16. In this month, OSHA has:

On October 29, 2009, Employee #1 was performing pressures tests on 30-pound fire extinguisher bodies, using a test machine run in automatic mode. Employee #1 loaded four bodies/cylinders into the machine and started the test cycle by activating the two-hand control. The machine submerged the fire extinguishers into a water bath, and the bodies were to be pressurized to approximately 640 psi. As Employee #1 was observing for water bubbles, which indicated that the body did not pass the pressure test, one fire extinguisher body ruptured. The 0.375-inch-thick Lexan cover/guard, used as an observation port, blew apart. Piece(s) of the cover/guard and/or air pressure struck Employee #1 in the face and head. Employee #1 sustained multiple facial fractures and was hospitalized.

Sources:

NBIC

OSHA

As a result of a 2012 inspection, Respondent was cited for five repeat violations, which were issued on March 27, 2013. The citations upon which the repeat violations were based were issued to Wynnewood Refining while owned and operated by Gary Williams Energy (GWE), most of which became final orders of the Commission in April of 2007. Respondent contends that the present citations are not properly characterized as repeated on three separate bases...

In 2015, Congress passed the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act to advance the effectiveness of civil monetary penalties and to maintain their deterrent effect. The new law directs agencies to adjust their penalties for inflation each year using a much more straightforward method than previously available, and requires agencies to publish “catch up” rules this summer to make up for lost time since the last adjustments.

As a result, the U.S. Department of Labor announced today two interim final rules to adjust its penalties for inflation based on the last time each penalty was increased.  

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.

 
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