Proposal could help workers’ advocates with inspections
- OSHA is reviving a discontinued enforcement policy that would allow employee advocates to join inspections of nonunion workplaces.
- For example, allowing workers to be represented during inspections would benefit more than 90% of private-industry workers in places like Georgia.
- These advocates would not have to be employees to take part in the inspections.
- OSHA is hoping to enact the new standard by May but it will likely be challenged in the courts.
OSHA provides demolition guidance
- OSHA mandates that an engineering survey be conducted before any demolition to ensure there is no threat of an unplanned collapse.
- All electric, gas, water, steam, sewer, and other service lines must be shut off, capped, or controlled.
- If any power, water, or other utilities need to be maintained during demolition, such lines should be temporarily relocated as necessary and protected.
- Employers have to determine if any type of hazardous chemicals, gases, explosives, flammable materials, or similarly dangerous substances have been used in any pipes, tanks, or other equipment on the property.
Possible new standard for workplace violence
- OSHA will form a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel for its potential Prevention of Workplace Violence in Healthcare and Social Assistance rule.
- The panel is scheduled to convene on March 1 and will conclude with a final panel report by May 1.
- If passed, the rule would apply to employers whose employees face an increased risk of workplace violence from their patients, clients, residents, and/or facility visitors.
- Those employees include those who work in hospitals, ambulatory medical care or substance abuse treatment centers, freestanding emergency centers, residential care facilities, home healthcare, EMS, and social assistance.
Utility company fined after death
- OSHA proposed $333,560 in penalties against Eversource Energy for five workplace safety violations after an arc flash and blast killed a 31-year-old worker in Boston.
- Eversource employees were doing maintenance work on electrical equipment in an underground electrical vault when the incident happened, according to investigators.
- As one employee set the equipment back into place, an arc flash and arc blast occurred causing fatal burns to the worker.
- The utility did not fully de-energize the electrical equipment or follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations when employees conducted maintenance.