Audit, Compliance and Risk Blog

California continues temporary requirements for COVID vaccination and testing

Posted by Jon Elliott on Mon, Jun 06, 2022

As public and occupational health agencies around the world continuously reevaluating their responses to the developing COVID-19 pandemic, California has again weighed in on the side of continuing formal controls. Effective May 5, 2022, California has revised and extended its COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) until January 1, 2023. (I wrote about the most recent previous iteration adopted in February HERE). The ETS is presented as 5 rules, which are administered by California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH, but universally called Cal/OSHA). The remainder of this note summarizes these revised standards, which appear in Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR):

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Tags: Health & Safety, OSHA, Safety and Health at Work, Covid-19, workplace safety, California, Vaccination, Healthcare

OSHA launches National Emphasis Program to address workplace heat hazards

Posted by Jon Elliott on Tue, May 24, 2022

On April 8, 2022, the US federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) established a National Emphasis Program (NEP) to focus enforcement resources on “Outdoor and Indoor Heat-Related Hazards.” The NEP is OSHA’s latest step to manage and reduce heat illness in workplaces. Earlier actions include “Inspection Guidance for Heat-Related Hazards” on September 1, 2021 (I wrote about it HERE), and an “advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM)” on these topics issued on October 27, 2021 (which I wrote about HERE). The remainder of this note summarizes the NEP.

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Tags: OSHA, workplace safety, Heat Wave, Heat

OSHA proposes to revise Injury and Illness reporting requirements

Posted by Jon Elliott on Mon, Apr 11, 2022

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires most employers with 10 or more employees at an “establishment” to prepare and maintain records of occupational injuries and illnesses (I&I) as they occur (I&I Logs). OSHA also requires employers to post an annual I&I Summary in each workplace “establishment” by February 1, summarizing that workplace’s I&Is during the previous calendar year. In addition, beginning in 2017 OSHA requires some employers to submit some of this I&I information electronically to the agency. (I wrote about the initial electronic reporting requirements HERE). On March 30 OSHA proposed to update and revise these electronic reporting requirements, which the remainder of this note summarizes.

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Tags: Health & Safety, OSHA

California Injury and Illness Prevention Program requirements

Posted by Jon Elliott on Mon, Mar 14, 2022

Although the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) only recommends that employers create comprehensive safety and health programs, California and a handful of other states require employers to do so. (I wrote about OSHA’s latest recommendations HERE). The remainder of this note summarizes California’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) requirements, which are administered by the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH; known universally as Cal/OSHA).

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Tags: Health & Safety, OSHA, Safety and Health at Work, workplace safety, California, Healthcare

OSHA laboratory standard

Posted by Jon Elliott on Mon, Mar 07, 2022

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), half a million Americans work in “laboratories.” For more than 30 years, OSHA has administered its “Occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals in laboratories” standard – usually just called the Laboratory Standard – to protect employees “engaged in the laboratory use of hazardous chemicals” (29 CFR 1910.1450). The rest of this note discusses these requirements.

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Tags: Health & Safety, OSHA, Hazard Communication

After more than 50 years, OSHA proposes newer and more flexible standards for forklifts

Posted by Jon Elliott on Mon, Feb 28, 2022

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed revisions to its Powered Industrial Trucks Standard – more often referred to as the “Forklift Standard” since those are the most common types (29 CFR section 1910.178 (general industry) and 1926.602 (construction)). OSHA first adopted the standard in 1971, and most recently revised it in 2017. However, as discussed below, OSHA has never updated the Standard’s principal technical standards during more than half a century. The remainder of this note summarizes the existing requirements, and identifies proposed revisions.

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Tags: Health & Safety, OSHA

California continues temporary requirements for COVID vaccination and testing

Posted by Jon Elliott on Mon, Feb 07, 2022

Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been forced by court action to convert its would-be “emergency temporary standard (ETS)” under which large employers would have been required to protect unvaccinated employees from COVID-19 infections into a proposal (I wrote about the initial ETS HERE), some states can and are moving ahead with similar requirements. Notably, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH, but universally called Cal/OSHA) recently revised and renewed its own COVID-19 ETSs. The remainder of this note summarizes these standards, which cover five sections of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR):

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Tags: Health & Safety, OSHA, Safety and Health at Work, Covid-19, workplace safety, California, Vaccination, Healthcare

OSHA Voluntary Protection programs

Posted by Jon Elliott on Mon, Jan 31, 2022

 The US federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) administers “Voluntary Protection Programs” (VPPs) to encourage employers to establish and implement voluntary worker Safety and Health Programs that exceed minimal efforts to comply with applicable OSHA standards.  As its name states, participation in any VPP is voluntary.  They are designed to encourage employer/employee/OSHA cooperation, and to reward such cooperation by granting employers increased flexibility and reduced likelihood of inspection. VPP sets performance-based criteria for a managed safety and health system, invites sites (and discrete mobile workforces) to apply, and then assesses applicants against these criteria. OSHA provides for full participation (the “Star” program) for sites/workforces that meet all criteria, conditional participation where an employer claims to meet some VPP criteria by non-standard methods (the “Demonstration” program), and qualified participation where the employer fully meets some VPP criteria and has definite plans to meet others (the “Merit” program).

The remainder of this note summarizes VPP criteria and provides additional information about the status of the programs.

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Tags: Health & Safety, OSHA, Safety and Health at Work, workplace safety, VPP

OSHA compiles guides to Holiday Worker Safety

Posted by Jon Elliott on Fri, Dec 17, 2021

The US federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has added a portal to its webpage compiling “Holiday Worker Safety” guidance. These cover obvious retail and delivery workplaces that are likely to be especially busy during the holidays, as well as links to generalized resources and guidance intended to be useful to all workplaces. The remainder of this note identifies and summarizes OSHA’s pointers.

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Tags: Health & Safety, OSHA, Safety and Health at Work, workplace safety

OSHA emergency temporary standard for COVID vaccination and testing – issued but stayed by litigation

Posted by Jon Elliott on Tue, Nov 23, 2021

On November 5, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published an “emergency temporary standard (ETS)” specifying steps that employers with 100 or more employees must take “to protect unvaccinated employees” from COVID-19 infections in their workplaces. The ETS requires targeted employers to comply with most provisions by December 6, and with requirements for testing of unvaccinated employees by January 4, 2022; it remains in place for 6 months.

However, at least a dozen major lawsuits have been filed against the rules, the effectiveness of which are stayed as of this writing by an order issued by a panel of judges in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. On November 16, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation resolved the overlaps by assigning the Sixth Circuit (based in Ohio) to hear the consolidated cases. Depending on the outcome of the litigation, the ETS may or may not ever become effective … but it does illuminate OSHA’s thinking about appropriate employer responses to the ongoing COVID pandemic.

The remainder of this note describes OSHA’s ETS requirements, and the scope of the special authority OSHA is using to adopt it.

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Tags: Health & Safety, OSHA, Safety and Health at Work, Covid-19, workplace safety, Vaccination, Healthcare