Stricter OSHA Rulings Will Result in More Record Keeping and Safety Moments
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has just released the list of the top 10, most frequently cited workplace safety standard violations for 2014. It seems to be the same repeat offenders from previous years at the top of the list again, which means OSHA is going to have to up its preventative safety measures to reverse this harmful trend. safety moment, safety meeting, OSHA injury reporting, electronic record keeping
The list of safety violations from OSHA.gov is as follows:
- Fall Protection – 6,143 violations
- Hazard Communications – 5,161 violations
- Scaffolding – 4,029 violations
- Respiratory Protection – 3,223 violations
- Lockout/tagout – 2,704 violations
Rise in Lockout/Tagout Violations
The biggest change was lockout/tagout moving from 8th spot up into 5th. It’s concerning that something so simple to combat such as having a proper tagout system in place could be on the rise so dramatically. The Daily Safety Advisor explains Lockout/tagout accidents at are not only needless, but can be very serious. They result not just in minor cuts and bruises, but often lead to amputations, serious fractures or death. Any type of energy source from electrical, hydraulic or gas can be fatal if not properly controlled. A lockout system will not be effective if approached with a hit-or-miss attitude. All workers must be absolutely sure about lockout/tagout procedures whether performing the lockout, or even just in the area. This rising issue only highlights again the importance for regular safety moments to discuss the site specific procedures to avoid these injuries.
New OSHA Record Keeping Rule
In September, OSHA reporting requirements changed, in order to increase the types of work-related injuries that employers must report to the federal agency. Effective Jan. 1, 2015, it will require employers to notify OSHA when an employee is killed on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye.
Employers will have to now notify OSHA of work related fatalities within eight hours, and work related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye within 24 hours. Reporting single hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye was not required under the previous rule. OSHA reporting will be completed by employers who will submit incidents electronically via a web portal they are developing. “With these new requirements in place, it will help OSHA focus its resources and hold employers accountable for preventing them.” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez.
Streamline Daily Logs & Reports
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that nearly 4 million serious occupational injuries and illnesses occur each year, which will result in a major increase in reporting for employers. It is estimated by officials that each incident of OSHA injury reporting will take at least 30 minutes to log and report using a traditional clipboard method. Completing these reports on paper and having to re-enter the data a second time to send it electronically to OSHA is an unecessary loss of time and resources for companies.
More companies are realizing the benefit of electronic record keeping for all safety moments and incidents in the field, on mobile devices. Not only does this provide the most accurate data as events happen, it will help companies easily comply with the new time restraints in getting the data sent to OSHA. It will also help eliminate the risk of lost or illegible paper forms which could end up in missed deadlines and result in major fines.
OSHA has expressed commitment to work with employers to determine the cause of injury and what steps will be taken to address the hazard. The data collected in these investigations should be used to identify common mistakes that lead to these incidents. This would provide an opportunity to educate through developing safety moments that would be available on a monthly basis for employers to address these issues with their employees.
Photo Credit: Flickr US Department of Labor