2019 OSHA Updates For Manufacturers
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Posted by Michael S. on April 11, 2019 in Manufacturer Focus

You’re busy—Acuity understands that and wants to help. With technology and regulations continually evolving, one of our goals is to keep you up to date on industry trends, emerging issues, and regulations that may affect your business. This April, we’re taking a look at recent Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) developments.

 

Maximum Penalties

Safety is an important component of the manufacturing industry. We know you strive for complete and total safety in the workplace. Unfortunately, accidents can happen to even the most cautious. Be aware that OSHA raised its maximum penalties allowable for 2019 due to inflation. Willful or repeated violations may now be cited up to $132,598 per violation. That’s an extra three grand that could come out of your company’s pockets. The maximum penalty for serious, other-than-serious, or inadequate posting violations has increased to $13,260 from last year’s amount of $12,934. Further, you could be fined that amount per day if you fail to abate, fix, or remedy a previously reported violation.

 

Electronic Form Submittals

You may have heard of a controversial rule requiring companies with 250 or more employees to electronically submit a report each year disclosing every employee injury and illness that occurred in the prior year. OSHA has removed the requirement to electronically submit OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report). Now, companies must maintain the reports on their premises only. OSHA cited privacy concerns as the reasoning behind its revocation of the divisive requirement. Note that OSHA Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) must still be submitted electronically by March 2 of the year after the calendar year covered by the form. Form 300A must also be posted in the workplace each February 1 through April 30. All three forms should be kept in your company’s records for five years at each individual premises.

 

Silica Exposure Levels

Last June, OSHA began enforcing its revised exposure levels for respirable crystalline silica. Crystalline silica is a carcinogen found in sand, stone, concrete, mortar, and artificial stone. It can cause silicosis, a chronic disease that involves scarring of the lungs. OSHA estimates that 2.3 million workers are exposed to silica dust each year. The revised standards require employers to lower the amount of exposure its workers encounter. The 8-hour time-weighted average permissible exposure limit is now 50 micrograms per cubic meter, down from 100. The new action level is 25 micrograms per cubic meter. Employers must demonstrate that employees will not be exposed to silica at or above this level in any foreseeable circumstances. If silica exposure could reach this action level, additional requirements are imposed on the employer that may include:

 

  • Silica exposure assessments
  • A written exposure control plan
  • Respiratory protection
  • Medical surveillance
  • Hazard communication
  • Recordkeeping of silica exposure results and medical exams

 

If your business exposes its employees to silica, check out the helpful 64 question and answer document OSHA released to guide compliance for general industry standards.

 

Now that you’ve read up on the latest from OSHA, keep up the good work in making your business safe!

 

This post is intended as a summary of recent developments only. The information listed may be different depending on your state’s occupational safety and health program or if you are in the construction industry. Please consult with your compliance professionals to ensure total compliance with your business’s safety requirements.

 

Sources:

[1] https://www.osha.gov/penalties/ (Note: States that operate their own Occupational Safety and Health Plans are required to adopt maximum penalty levels that are at least as effective as federal OSHA standards.)

[2] https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/

[3] https://www.osha.gov/dsg/topics/silicacrystalline/

Michael S. is our Manufacturing guru
I have over 30 years experience in a broad range of manufacturing areas. Starting with an apprenticeship in Germany I’ve worked my way through a variety of positions within the manufacturing field. I got my start as a Tool and Die maker. I next became a supervisor of a class A tool room, then manager of a machining department. I was exposed to lean manufacturing in the mid 90s and adapted the lean philosophy. Loving and teaching the lean approach, I moved on to become a Continuous Improvement manager which led to a job as a manufacturing manager. I joined Acuity in 2015 as their manufacturing expert. I hope to evolve how manufacturers deal with and think about insurance companies, as well as be a resource to my fellow employees – enabling them to better understand the unique needs of manufacturers.


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