public policy

OSHA Issues

OSHA Rule Expanding List of Immediately Reportable Injuries Effective Jan. 1
(Posted December 23, 2014)
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) rulemaking, Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements - NAICS Update and Reporting Revisions, will go into effect on Jan. 1. Under the rule, all employers operating under the Federal OSHA plan must report any employee who is killed on the job (within 8 hours) or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye (within 24 hours). Previously, reporting single hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye was not required. Companies located in states that operate under a state OSHA plan should check with their state's website for implementation dates.

Those companies that have 10 or fewer employees are not exempt from the requirement to report severe injuries and illnesses. However, they continue to be exempt from the requirement to routinely keep records of worker injuries and illnesses.

Employers can report these events to the nearest OSHA Area Office, the 24-hour OSHA hotline 1-800-321-OSHA, or electronically at www.osha.gov/report_online. NPMA advices you to please check with your state for additional reporting requirements.

For more information about the final rule and a link to the updated list of exempt industries, click here.

 

NPMA Works to Fight Electronic Submission of OSHA Injury and Illness Reports
Under the current OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping regulation (29 CFR 1904), covered employers with 10 or more workers are required to prepare and maintain records of occupational injuries and illnesses, using the OSHA (or state specific) 300, 301 and 300A Logs. Currently, employers are not required to submit these records to OSHA, unless specifically asked to do so.

According to OSHA, in the November 2013 proposed rule, establishments with more than 250 employees would be required to electronically submit their injury and illness records to OSHA on a quarterly basis. In addition, establishments with 20 or more employees, in certain industries with high injury and illness rates, would be required to electronically submit their summary of work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA once a year. (For further information, visit the Improved Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses Rulemaking webpage. For comparison purposes you can find the current OSHA forms here.)

OSHA then intends to provide public, online access to the injury and illness records so that "the public, including employees and potential employees, researchers, employers, and workplace safety consultants, to use and benefit from the data."

 

NPMA Works Closely with CWS to Fight OSHA Proposal
OSHA's proposed rule is objectionable to the pest management industry for several reasons.

  1. The reported information is not a reliable measure of an employer's safety record and will be misconstrued and misused causing misallocation of resources and loss of business and jobs.
  2. Posting of sensitive information by employer, location, and injury-specific data raises business confidentiality and employee privacy concerns.
  3. The proposed rule abandons OSHA's "no-fault" approach to recordkeeping without justification or analysis.
  4. OSHA provides no supporting evidence that submission and publication of electronic records will in any way improve safety in the workplace.

Thus, last week NPMA submitted comments to fight the proposed changes to OSHA's injury and illness reporting requirements. In addition, NPMA is working directly with the Coalition for Worker Safety (CWS); a group that includes the National Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, plus a 100 other companies, to request OSHA withdraw the proposed rule or provide significant changes as well as benefits validation before moving forward. The substantive CWS's comments can be found here.

NPMA will continue to oppose these changes. In addition, we will continue to strategically partner with the Coalition for Worker Safety; including working directly on regulations or legislation, if it becomes necessary.

 

What Else is NPMA Doing to Help with OSHA Requirements?
NPMA is developing an OSHA toolbox to assist with sections 1904 and 1910 of the OSH Act that apply to almost all pest management companies. Each NPMA member company will have access to resources that will walk them step-by-step though posting and injury/ illness reporting requirements (state-by-state); first aid/medical services; respiratory fit testing and other required PPE; hazard communication, including a written plan and how to deal with training requirements; OSHA inspection and enforcement resources, plus several other topics.

If you want to find out more, be sure to attend the rollout of this incredible resource in October at PestWorld in Orlando. A special session on all the new NPMA benefits will include a full look at the "PMP OSHA Toolbox." If you are unable to join us in Orlando, look for more information in ePestWorld this winter!

Posted 3/18/14