The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is authorized to inspect regulated workplaces, although it generally limits its inspections to workplaces deemed highly hazardous (often targeted sector-wide through National Emphasis Programs (NEPs) or their regional or state equivalents), or in response to complaints or reported incidents of injury or illness (I&I). OSHA regulations include inspection procedures (29 CFR 1903), which OSHA proposed on August 30, 2023 to clarify and revise slightly. The rest of this note summarizes OSHA’s procedures briefly, including the proposed changes.Read More
Audit, Compliance and Risk Blog
On June 8, Mexico’s Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social (STPS)) published Official Mexican Standard (Norma Oficial Mexicana (NOM)) NOM-037-STPS-2023 Telework-Safety and Health Conditions at Work (“NOM-037” or "Standard"), which will take effect on December 5. The new Standard will require employers to take specific measures to protect workers who spend at least 40% of their worktime operating in what the Standard calls the “teleworking modality.” The remainder of this note summarizes these new requirements.Read More
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, 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 July 21 OSHA updated and revised these electronic reporting requirements (finalizing a proposal I wrote about HERE). The remainder of this note summarizes these changes.Read More
Canada has ratified International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 190, the “Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019” (also referred to as C190). Ratification was made on January 30, 2023, to become effective January 30, 2024. Canada will consider ILO’s “Recommendation 206,” which provides guidelines on how to apply C190, accounting for complementary roles by governments, workers and employers, and their respective organizations. Readers should note that Canada was intimately involved in the development of C190, proving the chair of the ILO Standard-Setting Committee on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work at the 2018 and the 2019 International Labour Conference.Read More
The US federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations specify the formats of workplace warning signs and tags to alert workers to the presence of a variety of physical and health hazards. OSHA’s Accident Prevention Signs and Tags Standard (29 CFR 1910.145) specifies wording, colors, shapes—even requiring sign corners to be rounded off. OSHA sets up a hierarchy of hazards, and associated warnings. In addition, many of OSHA’s targeted standards include specific requirements for signs and tags.Read More
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):Read More
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.Read More
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).Read More
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):Read More
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.