OSHA Conducts over 700 Region VI Inspections in June 2015

0 Comments

OSHA‚ Region VI, which encompasses Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico, conducted approximately 714 inspections last month. Most of these inspections occurred in Texas.

June 2015 Reg 6 Insp by State Chart

 

 

 

 

The chart below depicts the continuing trend of Planned/Program Related majority inspections in OSHA‚ Region VI in June 2015.

June 2015 Reg 6 Insp by Type Graph

 

 

 

 

 

Please note that not all OSHA inspections are reported on OSHA‚ inspection database website.

If your worksite is inspected, OSHA will generally issue citations from any given inspection within six (6) months from the beginning of the inspection. In federal OSHA plan states, you only have 15 working days to contest the citation, including the proposed penalties and abatement periods set forth therein, from once it is received. If you participate in an informal settlement conference, this participation may not toll the time in which you must issue a notice of contest. If a timely notice of contest is not provided, you may lose your right to contest the proposed citations, including the attendant penalties and abatement periods. Once your notice of contest is received, OSHA or its state-plan equivalent will initiate the prosecution of the proposed OSHA citations by filing a complaint against your company. We invite you to contact Tom Ullrich or Derek Brostek with any questions you may have regarding the OSHA citation defense process.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Over 1,000 OSHA Inspections Conducted in the Month of June in Region IV

0 Comments

For June 2015, OSHA reported 1,087 inspections conducted in Region IV, which encompasses Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.

15009736.DOC

 

 

 

 

 

OSHA generally conducts inspections on the following bases:

  • Complaint or Referral: Generally lodged by an employee who reports purportedly unsafe working conditions to OSHA or from the media due to reports of an incident (e.g, accident involving injuries) taking place at the worksite;
  • Catastrophes and Fatal Accidents: These investigations usually take place as a result of self-reported fatalities or injuries taking place at the facility (e.g., employer contacts OSHA pursuant to regulations mandating reporting certain incidents)
  • Programmed/Planned: These inspections are typically aimed at industries identified by OSHA as specific high-hazard industries, workplaces, occupations, or health substances, or other industries identified in OSHA‚ current inspection procedures. OSHA selects industries for inspection on the basis of factors such as the injury incidence rates, previous citation history, employee exposure to toxic substances, or random selection. OSHA develops special emphasis programs that are local, regional, or national in scope, depending on the distribution of the workplaces involved. Programmed inspections may take place because the employer appears on a list created by OSHA relating to an emphasis program it has undertaken, including National Emphasis Programs (e.g., fall protection, chemical issues (PSM-related processes));.
  • Follow-up: A follow-up inspection determines if the employer has corrected previously cited violations. If an employer has failed to abate a violation, they will be subject to Failure to Abate violations, which may involve proposed additional DAILY penalties until the employer corrects the violation.

 

Please see the chart below which demonstrates that, consistent with OSHA‚ current enforcement priorities, most of OSHA‚ Region IV inspections in June 2015 were planned/program related.

15009744.DOC

 

 

 

 

 

Please note that not all OSHA inspections are reported on OSHA‚ inspection database website.

If your worksite is inspected, OSHA will generally issue citations from any given inspection within six (6) months from the beginning of the inspection. In federal OSHA plan states, you only have 15 working days to contest the citation, including the proposed penalties and abatement periods set forth therein, from once it is received. If you participate in an informal settlement conference, this participation may not toll the time in which you must issue a notice of contest. If a timely notice of contest is not provided, you may lose your right to contest the proposed citations, including the attendant penalties and abatement periods. Once your notice of contest is received, OSHA or its state-plan equivalent will initiate the prosecution of the proposed OSHA citations by filing a complaint against your company. We invite you to contact Tom Ullrich or Derek Brostek with any questions you may have regarding the OSHA citation defense process.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

OSHA Expands Use of Enforcement Resources in Healthcare Inspections

0 Comments

On June 25, 2015, OSHA issued a memorandum establishing guidance for inspections of inpatient healthcare facilities hospitals, nursing, and residential care facilities. OSHA has directed its Compliance Safety & Health Officers (CSHOs) to focus on:

  • Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) relating to patient or resident handling
  • Workplace violence
  • Blood borne pathogens
  • Tuberculosis
  • Slips, trips, or falls
  • Exposure to multi-drug resistant organisms, such as Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  • Exposures to hazardous chemicals, such as sanitizer, disinfectants, anesthetic gases, and hazardous drugs

 

Of particular note is OSHA‚ heightened focus on MSDs and workplace violence. In citing healthcare facilities under this enforcement guidance, OSHA intends to continue and expand its practice of alleging violations of the General Duty Clause which requires employers to provide workplaces free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees. OSHA uses the General Duty Clause to support citations for hazardous ergonomic conditions as well as potential workplace violence hazards.

Recently, OSHA has been aggressive in pursuing citations related to MSDs in other industries such as poultry processing, and with this new memorandum OSHA signals its intent to expand this aggressive approach to healthcare as well.

MSD Inspections

At the beginning of the inspection, CSHOs will ask for the maximum census of patients/residents and the existing census at the time of inspection. CSHOs also will ask about the degree of ambulation of the patients/residents, to assist in evaluation of the degree of ergonomic (MSD) hazards that may be present. The CSHO also will assess whether the establishment has implemented a process to address ergonomic hazards. If so, the CSHO will examine that program to determine whether it is appropriately managed and implemented and that employees have been properly trained in recognition of ergonomic hazards, and proper work technologies to avoid MSDs.

Workplace Violence

The CSHOs are directed to investigate for the potential or existence of violence hazards. Among other things, CSHOs will want to see hazard assessments, whether a workplace violence prevention program is in place, the identity of all employees in charge of security, and information regarding employee training programs and methods used to inform workers of the potential for, and prevention of, workplace violence.

Although some of these focus hazards were a part of OSHA‚ National Emphasis Program Nursing and Residential Care Facilities, there can be little doubt that this newly issued enforcement guidance signals a likely expansion of OSHA‚ inspections of healthcare facilities, particularly given OSHA‚ assertion that inpatient healthcare settings have some of the highest rates of injury and illness in the nation, and have high incidences of workplace violence.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather