Safety Focus

Vol. 9, Issue 4 - Spring 2017

Safety Focus

Vol. 9, Issue 4 - Spring 2017

OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping and reporting requirements

By: Mike Huss, Loss Control Supervisor

Lack of required recordkeeping has been a frequently cited violation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) since the standard was introduced, almost always ranking among the top ten violations cited nationwide for any given year.  As an employer, you are required under the standard to prepare and maintain records of work-related injuries and illnesses that occur in your place of business.  OSHA defines a recordable injury or illness as:

  • Any work-related fatality.Close-up of businesswoman's hand
  • Any work-related injury or illness that results in loss of consciousness, days away from work, restricted work, or transfer to another job.
  • Any work-related injury or illness requiring medical treatment beyond first aid.
  • Any work-related diagnosed case of cancer, chronic irreversible diseases, fractured or cracked bones or teeth, and punctured eardrums.
  • There are also special recording criteria for work-related cases involving: needle sticks and sharps injuries; medical removal; hearing loss; and tuberculosis.

OSHA defines first aid as:

  • Using a non-prescription medication at non-prescription strength.
  • Administering tetanus immunizations, cleaning, flushing or soaking wounds on the surface of the skin.
  • Using wound coverings such as bandages.
  • Using hot or cold therapy.
  • Using any non-rigid means of support, such as elastic bandages, wraps, non-rigid back belts, etc.
  • Using temporary immobilization devices while transporting an accident victim.
     
  • Drilling of a fingernail or toenail to relieve pressure, or draining fluid from a blister.
  • Using eye patches.
  • Removing foreign bodies from the eye using only irrigation or a cotton swab.
  • Removing splinters or foreign material from areas other than the eye by irrigation, tweezers, cotton swabs or other simple means.
  • Using finger guards.
  • Using massages.
  • Drinking fluids for relief of heat stress.
OSHA regulations require certain employers to routinely keep records of serious employee injuries and illnesses. However, there are two classes of employers that are partially exempt from routinely keeping records; First aid kit

  • Employers with ten or fewer employees at all times during the previous calendar year.  
  • Establishments in certain low-hazard industries e.g., retail, finance, real estate, etc. Certain low-risk industries are exempted.

Maintaining and posting records
The records must be maintained for at least five years. Each February through April, employers must post a summary (Form 300A) of the injuries and illnesses recorded the previous year. Regulations require the posting to be in a conspicuous place that is readily available to employees.  Employers complete the summary with information from Log 300 that is used to record work-related incidents.  The form must be completed and posted even if there were no injuries or illnesses.  Copies must also be sent to employees that do not regularly report at least weekly to the worksite where the posting is located.  Required data includes the total number of cases that resulted in lost work time, job transfers and restrictions.  The form also lists the number of injuries, skin disorders, respiratory conditions, poisonings, hearing loss or other illnesses.  Also, if requested, copies of the records must be provided to current and former employees, or their representatives.  Get recordkeeping forms 300, 300A, 301, and additional instructions

Reporting fatalities and severe injuries

By: Mike Huss, Loss Control Supervisor

All employers (including those exempt from standard record keeping or reporting requirements) must report in person or by telephone to OSHA;

  • any work-related accident resulting in a fatality within 8 hours.
  • any work-related inpatient hospitalization, amputation or eye loss within 24 hours.

Employers have three options for reporting the event:  

Learn details and how to report online or by phone   

Employers must report the following information;

  • Establishment name
  • Location of the work-related incident
  • Time of the incident
  • Type of reportable event
  • Names and the number of employees who suffered the event
  • Contact person including phone number
  • Brief description of the work-related incident

Severe weather planning

By: Mike Huss, Loss Control Supervisor

Is your workplace ready for severe weather?
Severe weather can happen in many places and take many forms, threatening the safety of your workforce and customers.  Each year there are severe weather outbreaks across the country including; tornadoes, hurricanes, severe thunderstorms, floods, and other extreme weather events that result in roof collapses, dangerous flying debris, and other hazards. People need to be protected before, during and after major weather events to ensure their safety.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have teamed up to address the unique hazards that severe weather poses. They encourage employers to; stay aware of weather forecasts, train workers on workplace severe weather plans, and keep emergency supplies including a battery-operated weather radio on hand to be better prepared when severe weather strikes. Employers must also ensure that workers involved in response and recovery are protected from potential safety and health hazards.

Terms for severe weather safety!

If you have severe weather in your area, keep these safety terms in mind:

TornadoWATCH: Meteorologists are monitoring an area or region for the formation of a specific type of threat (e.g. flooding, severe thunderstorms, or tornadoes).

WARNING: Specific life and property threatening conditions are occurring and imminent. Take appropriate safety precautions.

 

For more information on protecting workers from severe weather events, visit OSHA and/or the Department of Homeland Security which provides resources on workplace preparedness and response for severe weather emergencies.

Safety-news

By: Kim Coonrod, Director, Loss Control

Sleepy driver

Report: Less than 7 hours' sleep raises auto accident risk
People who drive after getting five to six hours of sleep have nearly double the likelihood of being involved in a crash compared with drivers who have slept at least seven hours, says the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. "If you have not slept seven or more hours in a given 24-hour period, you really shouldn't be behind the wheel of a car," says Jake Nelson of AAA.

NIOSH creates app for measuring workplace noise exposure
Washington – NIOSH has developed a sound level meter mobile app designed to measure noise exposure in the workplace.  The app, available for Apple devices, provides noise exposure metrics that are of “importance for proper occupational noise measurements,” NIOSH states in a Jan. 17 blog post.

The app supplies instantaneous sound levels in A-weighted, C-weighted or Z-weighted decibels, as well as parameters intended to aid with lowering occupational noise-induced hearing loss. Users can save and share measurement data and receive general information about noise and hearing loss prevention.

NIOSH recommends using the app with an external microphone and acoustical calibrator for better accuracy. The app is not intended to be used for compliance or as a substitute to a professional sound level meter or a noise dosimeter, the agency cautions.

Temp Worker Safety: New OSHA bulletins clarify requirements

As part of its Temporary Worker Initiative, OSHA has released guidance documents intended to clarify training requirements and hazard communication responsibilities for employers of temporary workers.  One bulletin explains that the host employer and staffing agency share responsibility for training temp workers.  The second bulletin directs the host employers and staffing agency to complete hazard communication training before the temp worker starts, and communicate when that training is done.

OSHA, NOAA release fact sheet on lightning
Lighting boltWashington – Lightning is a frequently overlooked occupational hazard, according to a recently released fact sheet developed by OSHA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  Employees who work outdoors in open spaces, on or adjacent to tall objects or near explosives or conductive materials are vulnerable to lightning strikes, the fact sheet states.  At-risk industries include construction, telecommunications and landscaping.

Employers of outdoor workers should include in their emergency action plans a safety protocol for lightning, according to the fact sheet.  This includes information about how workers will be notified about lightning warnings and locations of safe shelters.  Employers also should post safety information about lightning at outdoor worksites and train workers on following the plan.


Reference:
NPR - npr.org

Lessons from losses

By: Courtney Rosengartner, Sr. Loss Control Specialist

A young painter / drywall installer was working on a ten foot scaffold, putting up sheetrock, when a forklift drove by pulling the extension cord from his drill, causing the scaffold to fall. He jumped off as it was falling and suffered multiple injuries; a fractured knee, wrist, ankle and nose as well as broken teeth. His wrist required surgical intervention with plates and screws. He had a ten day hospital stay and endured a lot of pain, which required extensive physical therapy. The cost of this workers compensation claim was over $200,000.

Fortunately, this worker made a near full recovery after months of pain and suffering. Many scaffolding incidents can be controlled by compliance with Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) standards. OSHA estimates that informed employers and workers, in compliance with correct safety standards, can save as many as 50 lives and prevent 4,500 accidents every year. This employee should not have run the extension cord over an active driveway. In fact, it was reported he was warned two times prior. He should have been given disciplinary action after the first warning. He did not appear to understand the possible repercussions of his decision. Thorough safety training and explanation of expectations should have taken place at the start of the employment and each job.


Sample Lesson Plan – Construction Training Program – Topic: Scaffolds

Standard – Scaffolds 1926.451 General Requirements