OSHA Mandatory Electronic Injury and Illness Reporting Delayed

June 1, 2017

No Formal Announcement. Why?

No Entry in the Federal Register. Why?

No Official Statement. Why?

Just a tiny little update buried in the middle of the OSHA Injury and Illness reporting Web page. We discovered it while doing some fact checking to make sure that we gave our members advance notice of the new reporting requirements which would have been July 1, 2017! 

No Federal Register Entry, No Official Statement, just a sneaky little snippet buried without fanfare on a web page…

Since OSHA hasn’t even given us the courtesy of a formal statement, we have no idea how long the delay will last.

But here are some questions we’d ask the agency that threatens our shops  with fines and penalties for non-compliance with their dictates:

  1. Have you set up that electronic infrastructure (secure computer system) for our reporting to be entered that you assured us at the hearing would be available?
  2. Have you hired contractors to create  that secure computer system for our reporting to be entered?
  3. Have you tested the security protocols on this secure electronic system so that employers and their employees can be assured of the security of our data?

Note to shops- despite the Agency’s inability to hit its own deadlines, you can be assured that the retaliation provisions of this rule  and their  new take on “employee right to report” will remain enforceable. 

Our original post on this rule

Link to OSHA Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Page

Ten Points Worth Sharing- Cleveland Area OSHA Director Howie Eberts

August 25, 2016

We attended a presentation at WIRE-Net by Cleveland OSHA Area Director Howie Eberts. Howie did a great job of giving attendees a thoughtful, human view of how and why OSHA does what it does in his district.

Informative slides were the foundation of his talk, but the takeaways revealed some interesting insights into our joint  (Companies and OSHA) efforts toward employee safety.

We all have shared responsibility for safety.

We all have shared responsibility for safety.

1)      Safety is important- not just for ourselves, but also for our families that are counting on us.

2)      On the job fatalities have declined substantially from 1974 to the present- but there are still too many.

3)      Most OSHA inspections are conducted without notice.

4)      In Cleveland region, 85% of inspections are a result of employee complaints.

5)      Be very careful posting photos on your websites or literature- If someone is obviously in the shop without wearing their required PPE…

6)      It‘s your company-

  • Why wouldn’t you want to have a prepared written plan for how your company will respond to a serious injury or fatality?
  • It’s not unreasonable to assert your rights
  • You DESERVE to be treated with respect
  • So do our Field Agents
  • How you treat our officers is on you

7)      OSHA does have the right to interview your employees privately

8)      To prove employee misconduct you need to prove all four:

  • You have a work rule
  • The rule is communicated to all employees
  • You monitor compliance
  • You issue discipline for noncompliance

9) If the agent tries to expand the scope and you don’t understand why, ask them to clarify why, if you still don’t understand, ask to speak with Howie

10) The facts show that the most dangerous thing that any of us do involves a motor vehicle; roadway incidents alone accounted for nearly one out of every four fatal work injuries.

We took a number of specific actionable tips and insights away from his presentation that we’ll be sharing exclusively with our PMPA members.

Photo credit: http://www.medinacountysafetycouncil.com/

Wire-Net: https://www.wire-net.org/



Its About the Revenue- OSHA Fines to Increase About 80%

November 6, 2015

Wall Street Journal   Alexandra Berzon reported Wednesday that “Federal penalties for workplace-safety violations were increased this week for the first time since 1990, thanks to a little-noticed provision of the budget bill signed into law by President Barack Obama.”

“Workplace-safety experts said that they were caught by surprise by the new mandate, which they say will likely increase maximum fines for the most severe citations to $125,000 from $70,000 and for other serious violations to $12,500 from $7000.”

OSHA Penalties expected to increase 82%

OSHA penalties expected to increase 82% in 2016

According to PMPA’s retained labor law firm Fisher Phillips, “That’s when we learned that the Federal Budget Agreement, which was quickly worked out behind closed doors and signed the day before, includes surprise provisions authorizing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to increase penalties for the first time since 1990. To the surprise of almost all observers, the amount of the increase could be as much as 82%.”


“The initial penalty increases must become effective by August 1, 2016, but we can expect to learn well before then the extent to which OSHA will increase these amounts. The Federal Office of Management and Budget will issue guidance on implementing the bill’s provisions by January 31, 2016. Raising the maximum fines in line with the CPI for the catch-up boost requires OSHA to publish an interim final rule by July 1, 2016, allowing the adjustment to take effect by August 31.”

As manufacturers we can expect to receive the full attention of OSHA with our processes’ need for proper machine guarding, hazardous energy control, and lockout-tagout.

If creating a safety compliance culture has not been one of your top priorities, perhaps OSHA’s 82% higher fine and penalty structure will help you move Safety up on your list.

Thanks to the BBB for the photo

Revised OSHA Hazard Communication Standard Now In Effect

June 2, 2015

Starting yesterday, chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers are required to provide a common approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets.

HAZCOMM Overview

The June 1 deadline was established when OSHA aligned its Hazard Communication Standard in 2012 with the global standard for chemical product labeling.

Chemical manufacturers and importers must provide a label that includes a signal word, pictogram, hazard statement, and precautionary statement for each hazard class and category. Beginning in December, distributors may only ship containers labeled by the chemical manufacturer or importer if the labels meet these requirements.

Until then, your shop will likely see containers with old or new pictograms and information.

For more information, try the OSHA Hazard Communication WebPage

Small Business HAZCOMM Guide






PMPA Files Comments Opposing OSHA’s Expanded Workplace Rule

October 14, 2014

The Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA) filed official comments opposing an Administration proposal to place additional burdens on employers while loosening injury reporting requirements on employees.

Clarity, not confusion, should be the work product coming out of here.

Clarity, not confusion, should be the work product coming out of here.

On August 14, 2014, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a Supplemental Notice to a pending rule to make injury and illness reports public which becomes final in March 2015. The notice reframes Employee injury reporting as a “right” rather than a “duty.”

Reporting of injuries and illnesses is not a right. It is an obligation of the employee to report; and a responsibility of the employer to record, investigate, and take appropriate remedial actions to retrain as necessary and to remove any hazards so identified.

Employee Duty

Employee Duty

“We are very concerned that the as-yet unpublished regulatory text will actually become an obstacle to our ability to manage safety and hazard identification in manufacturing facilities,” said Rob Kiener, PMPA Interim Executive Director. “By changing the understanding of an employee’s “obligation to report injuries and illnesses” to a “right to report,” OSHA allows workers the discretion to not report while maintaining the burden on employers,” continued Mr. Kiener.

For these reasons, and the reasons given in our submitted letter, earlier comments, and testimony, the PMPA urged OSHA to withdraw both the proposed regulation and Supplemental Notice.

In the absence of actual regulatory text for us to review, OSHA creates only uncertainty regarding employers’ duties and obligations.

Furthermore, by ignoring OSHA’s own rule that employee compliance is a “duty,” OSHA potentially creates a means for employees to fail to report injuries and illnesses, with the proliferation of unrecognized hazards in workplaces across the country as a probable result.

Tracking Number: 1jy-8ex2-66lj

General Duty Clause Link

OSHA Temporary Citation Policy Electrical Power Standard

July 9, 2014

On June 20th, OSHA published a memorandum to Regional Administrators outlining its temporary enforcement policy for 29 CFR 1910.137(b) and 1910.269; and 29 CFR 1926.97(b) and Subpart V

29 CFR 1910.137(b) and 1910.269 are for general industry.

29 CFR 1926.97(b) and Subpart V are construction standards.

This subject of electrical protection is in keeping with all of the attention that Arc-Flash seems to have at OSHA these days.

OSHA Arc-Flash Interpretation


Here is the text of the OSHA Temporary Citation Policy memorandum:

June 20,2014

SUBJECT: Temporary citation policy for
29 CFR 1910.137(b) and 1910.269; and
29 CFR 1926.97 and Subpart V

The purpose of this memorandum is to establish a temporary enforcement policy for: 29 CFR 1910.137(b) and 1910.269; and 29 CFR 1926.97(b) and Subpart V. On April 11, 2014, OSHA promulgated a final rule revising the general industry and construction standards for work on electric power generation, transmission and distribution installations and for electrical protective equipment. The new standards become effective on July 10, 2014, although some provisions have compliance deadlines in 2015. For enforcement purposes, OSHA has determined that it will accept compliance with the prior version of 29 CFR 1910.269 (i.e., the version of that standard that was in effect on April 11, 2014) as compliance with revised 29 CFR 1910.269 and 29 CFR 1926, Subpart V until October 31, 2014. OSHA will also delay enforcement of paragraph (b) of revised 29 CFR 1910.137 and paragraph (b) of 29 CFR 1926.97 until October 31, 2014.

Therefore, beginning July 10, 2014, and continuing through October 31, 2014, the following policy applies:

  • no citations will be issued under 29 CFR 1910.269 or 1926, Subpart V to employers who are in compliance with the version of 29 CFR 1910.269 that was in effect on April 11, 2014, and
  • no citations will be issued under 29 CFR 1910.137(b) or 29 CFR 1926.97(b).

Paragraphs (a) and (c) of 29 CFR 1910.137 and 29 CFR 1926.97 become effective and enforceable on July 10, 2014 and are not affected by this policy. If, on or after July 10, 2014, an Area Director determines that an employer is not in compliance with the prior version of 29 CFR 1910.269, citations may be issued, as appropriate, for violations of any effective and applicable provision of revised 29 CFR 1910.269 and 29 CFR 1926, Subpart V. Any citation proposed to be issued under this temporary enforcement policy shall be forwarded to the Directorate of Enforcement Programs or the Directorate of Construction, as appropriate, through the Regional Office for clearance, which will include review by attorneys in the OSH Division of the Solicitor’s Office. Note that for purposes of this policy, employers engaged in construction work will be deemed in compliance with the prior version of 29 CFR 1910.269 only to the extent they are also in compliance with 29 CFR 1926, Subpart M requirements as they apply to fall protection in aerial lifts.

Please share this information with the State Plans and On-Site Consultation Projects in your region. If you have any questions regarding application of this memorandum in general industry, please contact Art Buchanan in DEP. And if you have questions related to application of this memorandum in construction, please contact Chuck Harvey in DOC.


New OSHA Recordkeeping Bulletin-Temporary Workers

March 19, 2014

Injuries and illnesses should be recorded on only one employer’s injury and illness log. 29 CFR 1904.31(b)(4).

In most cases, the host employer is the one responsible for recording the injuries and illnesses of temporary workers.

According to OSHA Release, injuries to Temporary workers go on the host employers, not the Temp Agency's OSHA 300.

According to OSHA Release, injuries to Temporary workers go on the host employers’, not the Temp Agency’s OSHA 300.

OSHA has released a new educational bulletin for staffing agencies and host employers on current requirements for recording injuries and illnesses of temporary workers. The new Recordkeeping Bulletin (PDF*), which is part of OSHA’s Temporary Worker Initiative, addresses how to identify which employer is responsible for recording these work-related injuries and illnesses on the OSHA 300 log.

“The Recordkeeping Bulletin is the first of many materials we are releasing and helps clarify which employers are responsible for reporting injuries and illnesses,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “These materials will provide valuable information for both host employers and staffing agencies on how they can work together to make sure their workers are properly trained and protected.”

The temporary worker Recordkeeping Bulletin helps businesses determine which employer is responsible for recording work-related injuries and illness on the OSHA 300 log. For more information, read the news release and visit OSHA’s temporary worker page.

Communication Tower Worker Deaths- Why Doesn’t OSHA Enforce Its Rules?

March 6, 2014

Employee safety is a responsibility of all of us- employers, employees, and even the regulators. We are puzzled as to why OSHA fails to enforce its existing rules  on fixed ladders  to protect the safety of Communication Tower Workers and Wind Generator Workers.

1910.1053 (a)(19) could have saved these lives

1910.1053 (a)(19) could have saved these lives

Four communications tower related deaths have already occurred in 2014 according to OSHA, and more were killed in 2013 than in the prior two years combined.
“Every one of them was preventable“- OSHA March 4 Quick Takes.

“We are very concerned about this sharp rise,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels in a Feb. 25 message delivered to the National Association of Tower Erectors. “The fatality rate in this industry is extraordinarily high—tower workers are perhaps 25 times more likely to die on the job than the average American worker.”

OSHA Press Release

In my problem solving practice, I ask three questions to get our remediation steps off in the right direction:

  • Is there a process?
  • Is it being followed?
  • Is it effective?

Lets see how this can be used to frame the 21 needless tower deaths  in the U.S from 2011-2013.

Is there a process? (In the OSHA case at hand, this might better be framed as “Is there a regulation that addresses this?”)

Is there a regulation?

YES! OSHA has a fixed ladder regulation on the books: 1926.1053(a)(19)

    • 1926.1053(a)(19): Where the total length of a climb equals or exceeds 24 feet (7.3 m), fixed ladders shall be equipped with one of the following:
    •  1926.1053(a)(19)(i): Ladder safety devices; or
    • 1926.1053(a)(19)(ii): Self-retracting lifelines, and rest platforms at intervals not to exceed 150 feet (45.7 m); or
    • 1926.1053(a)(19)(iii): A cage or well, and multiple ladder sections, each ladder section not to exceed 50 feet (15.2 m) in length. Ladder sections shall be offset from adjacent sections, and landing platforms shall be provided at maximum intervals of 50 feet (15.2 m).

Is the regulation being followed?

Great question. How many of the tower deaths involved workers working on ladders that were in compliance with 1926.1053(a)(19) (i) (ii)(iii)?

Is this regulation effective?

Not if it isn’t being enforced.

Safety of the people and processes under our authority is our greatest responsibility.

  • Why aren’t the fixed ladders on Communications Towers and  Wind Generators held to the same fixed ladder safety requirements as those in general industry?
  • Why doesn’t OSHA use the existing rules on the books to stop the death toll in this industry?

This doesn’t require new technology. Just enforcement of the existing proven effective regulation already on the books.

When I testified at OSHA last month I was asked, “Why does industry always come in against rules? Why doesn’t industry come in and say that they are for rules?”

I think all of us are for OSHA using its existing enforcement authority to assure that everyone abides by the demonstrated effective ladder safety requirements of 1926.1053 (a)(19)(i-iii).

I am certain that there are 21 families out there who would ask why their loved one wasn’t entitled to the same fixed ladder protections as everyone else in general industry seems to be.
Why doesn’t OSHA enforce 1926.1053(a) (19) (i-iii)?

GHS Globally Harmonized Standard Training Deadline Nears

October 16, 2013

The deadline for employers to train employees on the new GHS system is December 2013.

December 1, 2013

December 1, 2013

It is our pleasure to provide you with the essential links to the materials you need for providing the training your employees will need.

Final Rule : https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/GHSfinal-rule.pdf

OSHA Guide to GHS: https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/ghs.html

Training Requirements: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3642.pdf

Labels and Pictograms: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3636.pdf

Safety Data Sheets: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3514.pdf

And just a note, the GHS pictograms do NOT replace those  diamond shaped DOT labels we’re also used to seeing.

disodium flammy

By the way we posted on this originally in March of 2012.

Good News From OSHA Spring Regulatory Agenda.

July 31, 2013

The U.S. Department of Labor finally recently published its 2013 Spring Regulatory Agenda. Despite the extra time, a number of dates are still shown as “00” or undetermined / to be determined.

But hey, at least they’re not handling our healthcare…

It's not like they should be held accountable to deadlines like they do us, right?

It’s not like they should be held accountable to deadlines like they do us, right?

But tucked in the 67 pages of Spring Regulatory Agenda we found good news regarding two items affecting our precision machining industry.

Item 1, Cooperative Agreements

According to the Regulatory Agenda, OSHA has “withdrawn”  RIN # 1218-AC32,  effective 07/00/2013, (whatever “00” means) which would have-

  • eliminated exemptions from inspections for companies regardless of  participation in Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) exemption status;
  • allow Compliance Safety and Health Officers to proceed with enforcement visits resulting from referrals at sites undergoing Consultation visits and at sites that have been awarded SHARP status;
  • limit the deletion period from OSHA’s programmed inspection schedule for those employers participating in the SHARP program.

I guess someone figured out that there would be no incentive at all for companies to participate in these programs if their was no employer benefit at all.

Item 2, Revising Record Requirements in the Mechanical Power Press Standard

The other good news item  in the Spring Agenda was the notice that OSHA is Revising Record Requirements in the Mechanical Power Press Standard, RIN:  1218-AC80. Notice of proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and Direct Final Rule dated 07/00/2013:

“As part of the Department of Labor’s burden hour and cost reduction initiatives, OSHA will examine revoking requirements for employers to prepare and maintain periodic records certifying that the employer performed the required tests and inspections on machinery.  The purpose of revoking these records is to minimize paperwork burdens imposed on employers.  Recently, OSHA revoked requirements that employers develop and retain training records for a number of standards when the revocation did not adversely affect worker safety and health.”

The other 8 OSHA items have potential major impact on our shops. We’re analyzing them for reporting to our members.

We call our attention to regulatory issues “PMPA  Regulatory Assurance.”

Who is working on this for you? Where do you go for OSHA regulatory guidance? Are your HR people proactively working these issues?

Thanks to  EndUserSharePoint for the photo