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Solicitor Smith did not announce any positions that we have not discussed, but she confirmed our opinions on the Administration’s priorities and their intentions as they energetically finish their term.

We updated you about OSHA’s new Weighted Inspection Program in our October 3 post, “What’s the Real Effect of OSHA’s Revamped Inspection Process, the Enforcement Weighing System?” A Bloomberg BNA piece tonight summed up the processes’ effect:

The new measurement method—the “enforcement weighting system”—has replaced the OSHA practice of simply counting inspections and assigning each inspection the same degree of importance when measuring enforcement activities. The new system ranks inspections based on the time and resources needed to conduct evaluations, with complicated inspections receiving more points than those requiring no assistance from additional OSHA staff.

On August 13, 2015, OSHA announced its updated National Emphasis Program (NEP) for Amputations will now include all industries that contain machinery or equipment which may cause amputations. Under the new National Emphasis Program, OSHA is using current enforcement data and statistics from the Bureau of Labor’s injury data report to assist with all site selection targeting.

Every week we see reports of amputations and deaths or OSHA Press Releases about big dollar penalties relating to guarding, lock-out and training. Should we conclude that many employers don’t care or that employees themselves are usually at fault? Probably not.

 

No. I’m not proposing a Mad Max road war against highway workers. However, we’ve got to expand our analysis and look for struck-by hazards in work settings other than road work. We must recognize the frustrating variety and unpredictability of stuck-by hazards. The variety is near limitless. Below are a few examples:

· Backed over by a delivery truck or a dump truck;

· Struck by an auto chassis moving on an auto assembly monorail conveyor;

· Hit by a ...

This is the first post of a several part series which will deal with OSHA concerns for distributors, including OSHA ergonomic citation efforts. The distributor’s biggest OSHA compliance challenges are routine items. Once the distributor is cited for one of these common violations, this violation may serve as the basis for a “Repeat” OSHA citation of up to $70,000 for five years at any of the employer’s locations in any other Fed-OSHA state. If the distributor has multiple locations, there is a substantial risk that a common error may occur in this five year period. That’s why many relatively safe retailer chains have recently been receiving six-figure OSHA citations.

On September 4, the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee (WPAC) unanimously voted in favor of several revisions to the OSH Act that would expand protection for workers who are retaliated against for raising health and safety concerns at their workplace.

On July 15, 2014, Thomas Galassi, OSHA’s Director of Enforcement Programs, released a memorandum addressed to all OSHA regional administrators regarding OSHA’s Temporary Worker Initiative—a program developed to increase the agency’s focus on the safety of temporary workers. The purpose of the memo was to clarify the responsibilities of staffing agencies and host employees and to remind OSHA field staff of the enforcement policy with respect to temporary workers.

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