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July 18, 2017 · Volume 16, Issue 14
A twice monthly newsletter with information about workplace safety and health.
Top Story

OSHA announces $10.5M funding opportunity for Susan Harwood Training grants

Susan Harwood Training Grant Program

OSHA today announced the availability of $10.5 million in Susan Harwood Training Grants to fund training and education for workers and employers to help them identify and prevent workplace safety and health hazards. The grants are available for nonprofit organizations including community and faith-based organizations, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor/management associations, Indian tribes, and colleges and universities. Recipients will create in-person, hands-on training and educational programs and develop materials for workers and employers in small businesses; industries with high injury, illness and fatality rates; and vulnerable workers who are underserved, have limited English proficiency or are temporary workers. Harwood applications must be submitted online no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, Aug. 28. For more information, read the news release or visit Grants.gov.

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Cooperative Programs

OSHA alliance partners commit to better protect worker safety and health

Alliance Program logo - Alliance, An OSHA Cooperative Program

The OSHA Alliance Program fosters collaborative relationships with groups committed to worker safety and health. Alliance partners help OSHA reach targeted audiences, such as employers and workers in high-hazard industries, and give them better access to workplace safety and health tools and information.

Illinois company achieves safety excellence with help from On-site Consultation Program

Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). Consultation: An OSHA Cooperative Program

Mechanical contractor Corrosion Monitoring Services Inc. in St. Charles, Ill., contacted OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program after realizing the company had many gaps in its safety and health program. After consulting with OSHA, CMS developed and implemented a Worker-to-Rescuer Program to train workers to transition into a rescue team capable of responding to any confined space emergency. In 2015, safety improvements led the company to a more than 60 percent reduction in its rate of total recordable injuries compared to the national average for its industry, with no injuries resulting in lost work. The company’s commitment to safety earned CMS entry in OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. For more information, see the success story.

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Minnesota cites company for safety violations following worker fatality

Minnesota OSHA issued $52,800 in penalties to Rahr Malting Co. in Shakopee for safety violations identified after a worker was fatally injured in January. Inspectors issued four serious citations to the company after determining that it failed to control potentially hazardous energy and provide point-of-operation machine guarding; as a result, a worker was caught in a machine and suffered fatal injuries.

California cites explosives manufacture after worker suffers serious injuries in explosion


California OSHA cited explosives manufacturer Pacific Scientific Energetic Materials Company $293,235 for multiple serious and willful workplace safety violations following the investigation of an explosion in Hollister that seriously injured a worker. Cal/OSHA inspectors cited the company for violations that included failure to: protect the employee’s workstation from explosive hazards; evaluate and control hazards associated with handling explosives during manufacture; and provide clear written safety instructions. Pacific Scientific was cited in 2007 and 2015 following incidents that also resulted in workers being seriously injured. For more information, read the news release.

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Form for electronically submitting injury, illness data available Aug. 1

web-based form for submitting injury and illness data

On Aug. 1, OSHA will launch a web-based form that will allow employers to electronically submit required injury and illness data from their completed 2016 OSHA Form 300A. The webpage will offer three options for submitting data, and includes information on reporting requirements, a list of frequently asked questions, and a link to request assistance with completing the form.

OSHA published a notice of proposed rulemaking last month to extend the deadline for electronically submitting the data to Dec. 1, 2017. The proposed extension gives those affected sufficient time to familiarize themselves with the electronic reporting system, and provides the new administration an opportunity to review the new electronic reporting requirements prior to their implementation. For more information, read the news release.

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Safety and Health Resources
Small Entity Compliance Guide for General Industry and Maritime

New guide will help small businesses comply with OSHA's silica rule for general industry and maritime

OSHA has released a Small Entity Compliance Guide for General Industry and Maritime to help small business employers comply with the agency's Final Rule to Protect Workers from Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica. The guide describes the steps that employers are required to take to protect employees in general industry and maritime from the hazards associated with silica exposure. These requirements include: assessing worker exposures; using engineering and work practice controls to keep exposures below a specified safety threshold; and offering medical exams to certain highly exposed workers. Enforcement of the final rule in general industry and maritime is scheduled to begin June 23, 2018.

Be prepared for summer weather!

OSHA has resources to help protect workers from summer weather hazards

OSHA provides resources for workplace preparedness and response to severe weather emergencies that can arise during summer, including: hurricanes, wildfires and floods as well as severe heat. OSHA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration encourage employers to be aware of weather forecasts, train workers on severe weather plans and keep emergency supplies, including a battery-operated weather radio.

window cleaners

Window cleaning association creates safety guide for workers

Through its alliance with OSHA, the International Window Cleaning Association has developed an online field guide for protecting the safety and health of window cleaners. The mobile-friendly guide offers best practices on identifying and avoiding fall, chemical, electrical and other hazards workers face on the job.

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Social Media

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confined spaces tweet @OSHA_DOL Our new fact sheet explains requirements to protect residential #construction workers from confined space hazards: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3914.pdf

OSHA provides news and commentary on workplace safety and health from its senior leadership, staff and guest contributors on the DOL blog. See our latest posts:

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