While you are busy with the required Hazard Classification Training that we told you about last week, you might want to make time to review any safety incentive programs that you have in place.

OSHA has issued a controversial internal Memo on Employer Safety Incentive and Disincentive Policies. In a nutshell, OSHA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary gave Regional Administrators and Whistleblower Program Managers another target – employers who reward employees for safety!
Continue Reading

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a new Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) that is designed to enhance employee health and safety by aligning the classification and labeling of chemicals in the United States with international standards (as established by the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS)). As explained in more detail below, the first phase of compliance requires employers to provide training to employees, by December 1, 2013, with respect to the new HCS label elements and Safety Data Sheet formats. The new HCS and related training requirement apply to all employers, regardless of size or industry, with any hazardous chemicals in their workplaces.
Continue Reading

Homicide has consistently been one of the top four causes of work-related fatalities over the past decade, with an average of 590 incidents per year. Shockingly, in 2009, homicide was the leading cause of work-related death for women. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has addressed the hazard of workplace violence from time to time over the past fifteen years in various ways, including publication of specific guidelines for high-risk industries such as late-night retail, health care and social services. However, until now, there was no systematic approach to addressing this serious hazard.

The new OSHA Instruction regarding workplace violence does not change the law pertaining to workplace violence; however, it provides OSHA inspectors with a framework for analyzing this hazard in the workplace and for issuing citations under the general duty clause. Employers in industries with an inherent risk of violence, particularly those who employ workers that are exposed to the “known risk factors,” are well advised to study the OSHA Instruction and implement appropriate abatement measures.
Continue Reading