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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced a proposed rule aimed at lowering worker exposure to crystalline silica, which kills hundreds of workers and sickens thousands more each year. The proposed rule, which includes a separate standard for the construction industry versus “general industry,” establishes a new exposure limit for respirable crystalline silica and details widely used methods for controlling worker exposure, conducting medical surveillance, training workers about silica-related hazards, and keeping records.

OSHA will accept public comments on the proposed rule for 90 days following publication in the Federal Register, and it will then hold public hearings. Find additional information on OSHA’s Rulemaking on Crystalline Silica online, including a video, procedures for submitting comments, and public hearings.

Developing and maintaining good safety habits and attitudes is fundamental to workplace safety. Building on this foundation you can minimize hazards, prevent accidents, and create a safer, healthier workplace. There are simple steps safety managers can take to make safety a greater value to management and front-line employees. Read more

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Heat-safety-OSHAHeat illness can be deadly. Every year, thousands of workers become sick from exposure to heat, and some even die. These illnesses and deaths are preventable. OSHA’s nationwide Heat Illness Prevention Campaign aims to raise awareness and teach workers and employers about the dangers of working in hot weather and provide valuable resources to address these concerns. Begun in 2011, the Heat Illness Prevention Campaign has reached more than 7 million people and distributed close to half a million fact sheets, posters, quick cards, training guides and wallet cards.

OSHA has available numerous resources that can be used to prevent heat illnesses:

  • The Educational Resources section links to information about heat illnesses and how to prevent them.
  • The Using the Heat Index section provides guidance to employers to develop a heat illness prevention campaign.
  • The Training section includes a guide/lesson plan for employers and others to use in instructing workers on heat illness. There are links to additional resources in other languages.
  • The Fatality map shows locations of outdoor worker, heat-related fatalities between 2008 and 2012. It is not an exhaustive list of all worker fatalities from heat exposure.

Click here to download OSHA’s Heat Safety Resources.

 

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The economic impact is pretty easy to project. If an insurance company is forced by law to pay over 150% more on high value claims, where do you think they are going to recoup that money? The answer is premium and rate increases, of course. This is exactly what can be expected in light of the February 28, 2013 First District Court of Appeal (DCA) decision regarding a case called Westphal v. St. Petersburg.
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Real change in safety performance will come about with a change in the safety culture of an organization. Think about the change in the use of seat belts from 30 years ago to now. What got people to put them on without even thinking about them? Gory accidents? Probably not. It was leadership backing up a change in behavior, and then repetitive education, enforcement, and encouragement. Change in culture requires consistent leadership and repetition. A systematic change in the values of the target audience is needed, not a new priority that comes and goes with funding priorities. There are certain steps safety managers can take to make safety a greater value to management and front-line employees. Here are nine steps to a successful safety culture: Read more

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