The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) “Medical Services and First Aid Standard” requires employers to provide their employees with ready access to medical attention, including treatment and consultation, in the event of an occupational injury or illness. (29 CFR 1910.151). These services can be made available onsite, or at medical facilities in “near proximity” for use by injured employees. This Standard has not been revised since OSHA adopted it in 1998, but the agency has updated and expanded compliance guidance in the intervening 25 years; this includes OSHA’s “Best Practices Guide: Fundamentals of a Workplace First-Aid Program” (2006). The rest of this note discusses these requirements.Read More
Audit, Compliance and Risk Blog
On March 9, the Biden Administration issued its budget proposal for federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 (October 1, 2023 through September 30, 2024). The administration proposes a $738.7 million budget for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a 17% ($106.3 million) increase above OSHA’s adopted 2023 budget of $632.4 million (the Administration had proposed $701 million), and adopted 2022 budget of $610 million (the Administration had proposed $665 million). Congress is likely to cut the President’s proposals once again, but it’s still worth reviewing the Administration’s ongoing priorities, so I will summarize the latest proposal in the rest of this note.
Recent enforcement actions provide reminders that young workers are subject to special legal protections – special requirements apply to workers 14-24 and prohibit most employment of even younger people. As an example of these actions, on March 21 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued citations against a Pennsylvania contractor after a 17 year old employee fell off a roof (his employment violated “hazardous occupations” prohibitions). As another example, in November 2022 the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) filed for a nationwide injunction against the nation’s largest food sanitation company (Packers Sanitation Services) after finding 31 children ages 13-17 in “hazardous occupations” including cleaning dangerous powered equipment during overnight shifts.
Since 1982, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has administered “Voluntary Protection Programs” (VPPs) to encourage employers to establish and implement worker Safety and Health Programs that exceed minimal efforts to comply with applicable OSHA standards. OSHA designs VPP eligibility to encourage employer/employee/OSHA cooperation, and to reward such cooperation by granting employers increased flexibility and reduced likelihood of inspection. OSHA presently oversees three programs (which I described in more detail HERE), and is undertaking a “VPP Modernization” initiative to evaluate ways for “modernizing, improving, and expanding” these efforts. On February 16 OSHA posted questions about possible changes, which I discuss in the rest of this note.Read More
On February 1, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued citations to Amazon company warehouses in three states, continuing investigations into the company’s practices in other states. OSHA is asserting that the company is violating the Employer’s General Duty Clause by failing to protect warehouse workers from low back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders. Although California enforces specific ergonomics requirements (which I’ve written about HERE), OSHA and other states instead regulate ergonomics violations by targeted industries through their General Duty Clauses. The remainder of this note discusses these recent OSHA efforts to protect warehouse workers.Read More
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires most employers to prepare and maintain records of occupational injuries and illnesses (I&I Logs) as they occur. OSHA also requires employers to post an annual I&I Summary in each “establishment” within their workplace by February 1, summarizing that workplace’s I&Is during the previous calendar year. Delegated state-run programs impose comparable requirements. Furthermore, OSHA requires some employers to submit their summaries electronically to OSHA – this year by March 3, 2023. The rest of this note summarizes the current requirements.Read More
Is your organization hiring "temp" workers —to hedge your labor costs while gearing back up after COVID-19 perhaps? If so, occupational safety and health agencies consider your employer to be the “host employer” of these workers, and provides requirements to protect them against occupational hazards. Last year I summarized the latest US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidance (HERE). Last month, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) issued a new guidance, “Protecting Temporary Workers: Best Practices for Host Employers.” The remainder of this note summarized this NIOSH guidance, which is primarily organized into three sections.Read More
On February 7, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a reminder to employers to protect employees from workplace carbon monoxide (CO) risks, particularly those associated with wintertime use of portable generators and heating equipment inside enclosed spaces. That reminder includes links to OSHA’s “Carbon Monoxide Fact Sheet,” which outlines hazards and appropriate employer responses. The rest of this note discusses OSHA’s explanation of these risks and how to manage them.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides additional non-regulatory guidance for the evaluation and reduction of workplace hazards that aren’t directly regulated by its standards. For example, OSHA provides a resource webpage on Seasonal Flu, which it recently updated with provide additional guidance and links to other health agencies’ resource pages.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is best known for its regulatory standards, but also provides additional non-regulatory guidance for the evaluation and reduction of workplace hazards that aren’t directly regulated. As an example, OSHA provides a resource webpage on Workplace Stress, which it has recently emphasized in its outreach efforts.The rest of this note summarizes OSHA’s information.Read More