OSHA’s Dan Hobelman Provides OSHA Update in November
by Renee Witherspoon, CSP, CIH, CHMM, Past-President (2012-2015)
On November 15, 2016 the ASSE South Plains Chapter hosted Mr. Dan Hobelman, Compliance Officer with the Lubbock Area OSHA Office for the annual OSHA Update.
Dan provided an update on several issues including:
- Final rule on tracking of injury and illness data.
The January 1, 2017 implementation requires certain employers (see below) to electronically submit injury and illness data that they are already required to record on their onsite OSHA Injury and Illness forms. The rule also prohibits employers from discouraging workers from reporting an injury or illness.
Who are these “certain employers?”
Company’s with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the recordkeeping regulation must submit information from their 2016 Form 300A by July 1, 2017. These same employers will be required to submit information from all 2017 forms (300A, 300, and 301) by July 1, 2018.
Beginning in 2019 and every year thereafter, the information must be submitted by March 2. For more information see https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/finalrule/index.html
- Adjustment of OSHA penalties as of August 2016.
The new penalties took effect August 2, 2016. For more information see: https://www.osha.gov/penalties/
|Violation||Current Maximum Penalty||New Maximum Penalty|
|$7,000 per violation||$12,471 per violation|
|Failure to Abate||$7,000 per day beyond the abatement date||$12,471 per day beyond the abatement date|
|Willful or Repeated||$70,000 per violation||$124,709 per violation|
There was a question and discussion on OSHA delaying rule enforcement related to post-incident drug testing, a AGC.org article was referenced. OSHA delayed the anti-retaliation provision in it’s injury and illness reporting rules until December 1, 2016. OSHA’s intention was to enforce polices that could restrict mandatory post-incident alcohol and drug testing. AGC (The Associated General Contractors of America) has called on Congress to withdraw its position on this.
In 2017 OSHA Region VI which includes Lubbock will be focusing on an initiative in an effort to decrease amputations, increasing their inspections in those industries that may have amputations, including Metal Fab industries having machines with machine guarding.
In conclusion, he finished up with a review of OSHA’s Top 10 in General Industry and Construction and Q&A session.
Key is the Final Rule update in General Industry for Walking and Working Surfaces and Fall Protection. The rule will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
The new rule benefits employers by providing greater flexibility in choosing a fall protection system. For example, it eliminates the existing mandate to use guardrails as a primary fall protection method and allows employers to choose from accepted fall protection systems they believe will work best in a particular situation. For more information see: https://www.osha.gov/walking-working-surfaces/index.html and Fact Sheet https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3903.pdf
- Ensure workers are trained on fall hazards (6 months),
- Ensure workers who use equipment covered by the final rule are trained (6 months),
- Inspect and certify permanent anchorages for rope descent systems (1 year),
- Install personal fall arrest or ladder safety systems on new fixed ladders over 24 feet and on replacement ladders/ladder sections, including fixed ladders on outdoor advertising structures (2 years),
- Ensure existing fixed ladders over 24 feet, including those on outdoor advertising structures, are equipped with a cage, well, personal fall arrest system, or ladder safety system (2 years), and
- Replace cages and wells (used as fall protection) with ladder safety or personal fall arrest systems on all fixed ladders over 24 feet (20 years)
On behalf of the South Plains Chapter we would like to thank Mr. Hobelman for providing an excellent summary and update. He can be reached at: Hobelman.Daniel@dol.gov
A copy of his program is available here: top-10-violations-fy-16