PR OSHA has a local emphasis program covering warehousing and storage industries with programmed safety
inspections. During fiscal year 2008, PR OSHA inspected 18 establishments and 14 were cited with 72 violations
– 37 serious and 35 classified as "other." PR OSHA also has a local emphasis program covering public sewage and
water treatment plants with programmed health inspections. PR OSHA inspected 33 establishments and cited 13
with 128 violations - 97 serious and 31 classified as "other."
Domestic workplace violence inspections: Recently we have seen how domestic violence has transcended Puerto
Rican homes and affected our work centers. For that reason, PR OSHA (through Act No. 217 of 2006) approved
a Domestic Workplace Violence Directive that requires employers to develop and implement a protocol for
the Management of Domestic Violence Situations in the Workplace. Not complying with the directive exposes
employers to a $500 penalty for lack of a written protocol and a $500 penalty for not training employees.
During fiscal year 2008, the Bureau of Inspections conducted two investigations of domestic violence in the
workplace: the murder of an employee by her husband and an employee shot in the parking lot at his workplace.
In the first investigation, the compliance officer found that the employer had knowledge of the situation and
acted to protect her; no citations were issued. In the second investigation, the employer was cited for not
following the protocol and not training employees.
The Bureau of Inspections issued 211 citations to employers for not developing and implementing a domestic
violence protocol and 101 citations to employers for not training their employees.
Inspections and discrimination complaints: PR OSHA conducted 1,358 inspections and issued 27 repeat and
1,036 serious violations during fiscal year 2008. In the construction industry, PR OSHA investigated 10 fatalities
and issued 12 serious and 12 other-than-serious violations.
PR OSHA received and completed 31 discrimination complaints during fiscal year 2008. All 31 investigations were
completed within 90 days. Twenty-two were dismissed, six were settled, one was withdrawn, and two were under
Worker’s World Safety and Health Day: In April 2008, PR OSHA celebrated the first Worker’s World Safety and Health Day, which was established by Act No. 94 of 2007 to create awareness among citizens about the importance of workplace safety and health. PR OSHA invited employers to celebrate Worker’s World Safety and Health Day by doing the following:
- Read a prayer or a safety and health message in their workplace
- Provide safety and health training sessions
- Light a candle as a remembrance of the workers that were injured or killed in their workplaces
- Participate in safety and health training sessions provided by PR OSHA
- Make a poster or a message for promoting safety attitudes
- Conduct safety and health inspections at their workplace
Training and Education: Training and education services offered by PR OSHA target a wide array of industries.
Most training sessions are free. Eighty-four training sessions were delivered at the request of employers. Participants
included 1,015 employer representatives, 1,290 employees, 244 students, and 312 from the public.
PR OSHA presented 38 open training sessions in Hato Rey, Ponce, and Humacao. Participants included 1,315
employer representatives, 833 employees, 28 students, and 15 from the public.
PR OSHA also participates in radio programs, providing safety and health information for general industry and
construction, including domestic violence in the workplace.
VPP and SHARP: During fiscal year 2008, PR OSHA evaluated and approved one new site in the Guanín (Star
equivalent) level. PR OSHA now has 14 VPP sites, all participating at the highest level - the Guanín. SHARP
participation continued growing during fiscal year 2008. Five new establishments were added for a total of 19.
A second two-year term was approved for four sites and two sites were approved for one-year terms.
Door to door initiative: The purpose of this initiative is to provide employers with a complete hazard assessment
by a safety and health consultant without being cited or penalized. Because the initiative was well-received by the
construction industry, PR OSHA extended it for two years. General contractors who participate agree to abate all
identified hazards, receive three additional consultation visits per year, and post a banner in a conspicuous place
at the project that says, "PR OSHA is Safety." Participants are deferred from programmed inspections for one year.
There were 15 projects participating during fiscal year 2008.
Alliances: PR OSHA continues to work with federal OSHA and the American Industrial Hygiene Association. The
alliance was renewed on May 8, 2007. One of the alliance’s goals is to increase the number of certified safety and
health professionals in Puerto Rico who can help employers and employees control workplace hazards. During
fiscal year 2008, 200 individuals received information or were trained.
On Jan. 31, 2008, PR OSHA signed an alliance with the 3M Corporation. This alliance provides employers and
employees in general industry and construction with information, guidance, and training. The emphasis is on
preventing exposure to respiratory hazards and noise; hand, eye, face and head protection; confined space
hazards; emergency response; and flu pandemic concerns. 3M and PR OSHA worked together providing training
on personal protective equipment for welders, respiratory protection for students of the Colegio de Técnicos Automotriz, avian flu preparedness, and information for solder workers.