Safety & Health
Director: David Mullen
OSHA's Interpretation of Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses Standard
The memorandum addresses an employer's reporting procedure, drug and alcohol testing employees who report work-related injuries or illnesses, discipline for employees who report injuries or illnesses and safety incentive programs.
Read the OSHA Memo here. OSHA Compliance guidelines.pdf
NEW OSHA SAFETY & HEALTH PROGRAM GUIDELINES ISSUED
OSHA is releasing its new S&H program Guidelines (which they are calling Recommended Practices for S&H Programs).
The guidelines replace OSHA’s 1989 guidelines and are much more comprehensive. The new recommended practices have a major focus on worker participation in the program, finding and fixing hazards and include provisions to address multi-employer work sites and temporary employment. However, these guidelines do not cover construction, but OSHA will be addressing that in a companion document which is expected to be released soon.
In conjunction with the release of the new recommended practices, OSHA is initiating a “Safe and Sound” campaign to promote the implementation of S&H programs
The IBEW, the AFL-CIO, and other unions have strongly supported the issuance of a binding OSHA S&H Program Standard and will keep pushing for the adoption of such a requirement. In the meantime these new guidelines will be helpful in promoting the establishment of S&H programs at work sites that focus on finding and fixing workplace hazards with the full and active participation of workers in the process.
2017 NATIONAL ELECTRICAL SAFETY CODE IS PUBLISHED
IEEE and the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) announces the release of the 2017 National Electrical Safety Code® (NESC®). The NESC is the authoritative code for ensuring the continued practical safeguarding of persons and utility facilities during the installation, operation and maintenance of electric supply and communication facilities.
Some impactful changes to the code include adding definitions for communication and supply space, adding exceptions for underground cable grounding requirements, revising and reorganizing the guy insulator placement rules, revising and reorganizing the Grades of Construction application rules and revising the Part 4 worker safety rules to align with changes in the OSHA work rules made to 29 CFR.
The 2017 NESC introduces new, helpful tools so users can more easily access and utilize NESC content. Later this fall, IEEE will be offering a series of new educational online courses based on the NESC 2017 Edition, as well as introducing a mobile app for enhanced access to NESC content in the field.
NESC will be conducting a workshop October 18-19, 2016 in San Antonio, TX. A review of the changes in all sections of the code will be presented on the first morning. Additional segments will discuss renewable energy generation, microgrids, distributed energy resources, and interconnection as new technologies to be considered for future iterations of the code. Registration for the NESC Workshop is open now on the NESC website.
The 2017 NESC and handbook are available for purchase at the IEEE Standards store and available for subscription at the IEEE Xplore digital library.
OSHA DELAYS EFFECTIVE DATE FOR ENFORCING EMPLOYEES' RIGHTS TO REPORT WORKPLACE INJURIES & ILLNESSES
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is delaying enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions in its new injury and illness tracking rule to conduct additional outreach and provide educational materials and guidance for employers. Originally scheduled to begin Aug. 10, 2016, enforcement will now begin Nov. 1, 2016.
Read the entire Trade Release from OSHA here: Trade Release
Information regarding the new injury and tracking rule can be read in the article below.
FINAL RULE to IMPROVE TRACKING of WORKPLACE INJURIES & ILLNESSES
OSHA announced their Final Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses on May 11, 2016. The new rule, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2017, requires certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness data that they are already required to record on their onsite OSHA Injury and Illness forms. Analysis of this data will enable OSHA to use its enforcement and compliance assistance resources more efficiently. Some of the data will also be posted to the OSHA website. OSHA believes that public disclosure will encourage employers to improve workplace safety and provide valuable information to workers, job seekers, customers, researchers and the general public. The amount of data submitted will vary depending on the size of company and type of industry.
The rule also prohibits employers from discouraging workers from reporting an injury or illness. The final rule requires employers to inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation; clarifies the existing implicit requirement that an employer’s procedure for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses must be reasonable and not deter or discourage employees from reporting; and incorporates the existing statutory prohibition on retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses. These provisions become effective August 10, 2016.
The new reporting requirements will be phased in over two years:
Establishments 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.
Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries* must submit information from their 2016 Form 300A by July 1, 2017, and their 2017 Form 300A by July 1, 2018. Beginning in 2019 and every year thereafter, the information must be submitted by March 2.
OSHA State Plan states must adopt requirements that are substantially identical to the requirements in this final rule within 6 months after publication of this final rule.
OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) requesting data and information concerning the prevalence of moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The FMCSA is reviewing a wide range of risks factors leading to OSA to determine which employees may require evaluation & treatment by a healthcare professional with expertise in OSA.
IBEW members with CDL licenses will be affected by the rule proposed by FMCSA on this subject. The Safety Department, along with all branches of the IBEW, will hold discussions to determine a position and provide input to the FMCSA to ensure any final rule is reasonable and fair to IBEW members.
Click here to read the entire ANPRM.
IBEW Safety Caucus
The IBEW convenes an exclusive IBEW only safety caucus twice yearly. Both meetings are held in conjunction with the National Safety Council Labor Division’s regularly scheduled meetings - first in the spring, and again in the fall. The spring meeting program is set for one and a half days, and because of time constraints the fall meeting program is scheduled for one day. The safety caucus provides the 100-plus IBEW members that regularly attend the caucus necessary time to discuss issues that are critical in furthering occupational safety and health for IBEW members.
International President Stephenson continues to affirm the commitment from his office to the future of the caucus, and directs delegates to align their focus toward an advisory role to the international office on safety matters affecting IBEW members.
For more information about the meetings or the NSC, you may contact IBEW Safety Director David Mullen at 202-728-6040 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Safety & Health Department:
The Safety and Health Department is assigned responsibilities related to safety and health involving all trade jurisdictions of the IBEW. The department’s primary focus is occupational safety, although home, community, and personal safety and health issues frequently require departmental attention.
Local unions are required to report serious lost time accidents and fatalities using the web based accident reporting system.