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Category Archive: News

The Cost of OSHA Financial Penalties

financial penalties OSHASafety for it’s own sake should be a strong enough reason for safety compliance. But sometimes taking a look at the many financial penalties OSHA can assess also helps. Here are just a few:

  • Serious violation: A violation with substantial probability of death or serious physical harm: $1,500 to $7,000.
  • Willful violation: $5,000 to $70,000. Some of these fines can multiply rapidly. For example, if OSHA finds that violations are “egregious,” they can apply a penalty to every violation found or every employee exposed to the hazard.
  • Willful death conviction: Conviction in court of willful violation leading to death of employee: $250,000 for individuals; $500,000 for corporations, plus six months imprisonment.
  • Failure to correct a prior violation: $7,000 for every day past the abatement deadline.

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Wear Your Hard Hat For Protection From Falling Objects

wear your hard hat

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, 245 workers in the United States were fatally injured as a result of falling objects in 2013. That’s 34 percent of all fatal work injuries!

What OSHA Says

While not all of these deaths were a result of head related injuries, the majority involved some type of injury to the head. Many of these fatalities could have been prevented if the workers had been wearing a hard hat. As stated in OSHA regulation 1926.100(a), “Employees working in areas where there is a possible danger of head injury from impact, or from falling or flying objects, or from electrical shock and burns, shall be protected by protective helmets.”

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OSHA Changes to Workplace Accident Reporting

workplace accident reportingOn September 11, 2014, OSHA announced changes to workplace accident reporting standards. The new standards go into effect on January 1, 2015.

The recordkeeping changes impact two areas:

1. Industries exempt from keeping OSHA injury and illness records.

Many industries are required by OSHA to maintain records of serious occupational injuries and illnesses. This helps OSHA evaluate the safety of a workplace, understand new and existing hazards and implementing protective measures.

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The “Dreaded” OSHA Audit: What to Expect and What to Do

OSHA auditMost people don’t wake up in the morning hoping for an OSHA audit. But when it happens, the experience is much more pleasant if you know what to expect and what to do.

The Audit Process

While each OSHA audit is different, they do follow a standard structure:

  1. Opening conference. OSHA team members introduce themselves, define the scope of the review, set expectations, and explain what they will need from site personnel. Continue Reading

Useful Health and Safety Apps for Construction Workers

apps for construction workersThese days, it seems like there’s an app for every possible use, from music to social media to games.

But did you know there are also apps that help to promote workplace health and safety?

Recently, IHSFNA (Laborer’s Health and Safety Fund of North America) recommended five apps for construction workers. Here’s a quick overview of its recommendations:

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OSHA Changes to Electrical Power Work

electrical powerOn April 11th, OSHA revised construction standards for electrical power work. Employers who operate or maintain electric power generation, transmission, distribution or equipment must follow the new rules.

Rules surrounding construction standards for electrical power work hadn’t been revised in 40 years. The new rules are more consistent with general construction industry standards and are projected to save nearly 20 lives and prevent 118 serious injuries every year.

Summary of Changes

One of the main changes to the standard is the type of fall protection required when employees work from aerial lifts and poles/towers. Where before a body belt might have been deemed sufficient, employees now may need fall harnesses.

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