Tuesday, November 26, 2013

No more weekly inspections of mechanical power presses?

Link to full news release here. Link to Federal Register notice here.

OSHA's most recent national news release discusses outdated or obsolete regulations.

On November 20, 2013, OSHA issued a rule with a notice of proposed rule-making to revise the requirement for weekly inspections of mechanical power presses.

These presses are used to punch holes in and form/assemble metal and other materials. When the presses are not properly maintained or damaged, workers operating the presses can experience injuries on their hands, and arms.

Per the Federal Register notice: "OSHA is revising a provision that requires employers to develop and maintain certification records of periodic inspections performed on the presses by adding a requirement that they develop and maintain certification records of any maintenance and repairs they perform on the presses during the periodic inspections. [...] OSHA is removing the requirement from another provision that employers develop and maintain certification records of weekly inspections and tests performed on the presses." 

OSHA believes that removing the requirement for documented weekly inspection and test certifications will save 613,600 hours of unnecessary paperwork time for businesses. Pending no significantly adverse comments, the final rule will become effective on February 18, 2014.

If this raises your hackles, you may submit comments electronically at www.regulations.gov.

The proposed rule-making would modify the existing standard's maintenance and repair requirements to be in line with the ANSI standard for mechanical power presses. ANSI B11.01-2009 requires that
 maintenance and repair be completed before the press is operated, and that the entire machine be "certified" as being maintained and repaired properly prior to use.

Thoughts on OSHA's proposed new rule for improved tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses

See the full news release from OSHA here.

After the release of the 2012 Occupational Injuries and Illnesses report was released earlier this month, OSHA posted a news release about a proposed new rule relating to record keeping.

The 2012 Occupational Injuries and Illnesses report estimated that 3 million workers were injured on the job during 2012. 

In the proposed rule, OSHA wants to add a requirement for businesses with more than 250 employees, who already keep records of workplace injuries and illnesses, to electronically submit their injury and illness records to OSHA each quarter.  OSHA also wants to add a requirement for businesses with 20 or more employees in high-hazard industries to submit their summary of work-related injuries and illnesses (OSHA Form 300A) electronically every year.

These efforts to improve the transparency of government are interesting.

From a faculty/educator perspective, if the government is able to publish the injury and illness data more than once per year, it will allow safety and industrial hygiene students and educators to focus their attention and perhaps lead to some interesting research or meta-analyses.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Telepests and National Safety Council Infographics

I learned a new term today: telepest.

Since launching my new website for Spore Consulting, I have been receiving all sorts of fun calls to the number I listed on my WHOIS domain registration, which is to be expected. Each time I receive one of these calls, I look the phone number up on the internet to make sure it is not a potential client.

The number I received a call from today had a bunch of listings and complaints as a "telepest." Apparently a telepest is informally known as an annoying phone number that calls you frequently (i.e. robot telemarketers and unsolicited/spam calls).

Who knew? There's a word for everything. :)

Have also been catching up on my reading and wanted to share the following National Safety Council (NSC) infographic on the "Top 10 Most Frequently Cited OSHA Violations." Download your own copy off the NSC Blog. There was supposed to be a way to embed the infographic on my blog, but I am not enough of a Blogger ninja to figure that out.

NSC Infographic about the Top 10 Most Frequently Cited OSHA Violations.
In order of least to most citations (per NSC):

10 - Machine Guarding
9 - Electrical: General Requirements
8 - Lockout Tagout
7 - Ladders
6 - Powered Industrial Trucks
5 - Electrical: Wiring Methods
4 - Respiratory Protection
3 - Scaffolding
2 - Hazard Communication
1 - Fall Protection

In other news, my research into coal mining in Lancashire in the 1890's has been super-enjoyable. The character development and storyline mapping for my alternative history/steampunk series fiction that incorporates the history of industrial hygiene and workplace safety is underway.

While preparing for my first OSHA 30-hour for General Industry course, I also discovered the CDC Small Business Resource Guide. This CDC website has documents from Federal OSHA, state OSH programs, and international resources (Ireland and UK) to help small businesses develop an effective safety and health program.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Feeding my indie beast...big changes ahead!

Exciting news: the Industrious Hygienist has decided to take the plunge and venture out on her own in the perilous world of consulting. Meet Spore Consulting, LLC.

Why Spore?

Spore Consulting, LLC ("Spore" for short) embodies the idea of a microbial spore. Bacteria form spores to help them get through tough times and fungi have spores as part of their reproductive cycle. In fungi, spores are small biological particles that contain everything the fungi needs to reproduce when conditions are right. 

So, we figured Spore stands for: small, resilient, everything you need for success. 

In addition to occupational and environmental health & safety consulting, the Industrious Hygienist will be working more on creative (i.e. nerdy) things:

  • Sock Puppet Safety 
    • Safety educational videos featuring sock puppets, to be posted on YouTube
  • Steampunk fiction featuring the Industrious Hygienist 
  • Safety checklists and safety posters that are visually appealing
  • Industrious Hygienist mangas
So stay posted and watch for more fun stories and cartoons. 
Mushrooms = fungi. Photoshop is a dangerously fun thing.