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Personal Protection - Storage, Maintenance and Care (Sep/Oct-12)
Machine Safeguarding (Jul/Aug-12)
Is Your Lockout & Tagout Program Working? (May/Jun-12)
Getting Familiar with OSHA (Mar/Apr-12)
Is Your Piping Systems Properly Marked? (Jan/Feb-12)
Accident Prevention, Does Your Company Have An Effective Program? (Nov/Dec-11)
Defining FR – Flame Resistant Fabrics (Jul/Aug-11)
OSHA's Flammable & Combustible Liquids (May/Jun-11)
Safety & Health Program Check-up (Jan/Feb-11)
OSHA Is My Friend (Nov/Dec-10)
OSHA Standard for Control of Hazardous Energy Sources? (Sep/Oct-10)
Lockout/Tagout Program (Jul/Aug-10)
Safe Handling of Compressed Gas Cylinders (May/Jun-10)
What You Should Know about OSHA and Plastic Working Machinery (Mar/Apr-10)
Fasten Those Forklift Seat Belts (Jan/Feb-10)
My Back Hurts (Nov/Dec-09)
Fall Protection Program (Sep/Oct-09)
Accident Prevention & Investigation (Jul/Aug-09)
OSHA & Machine Safeguarding (May/Jun-09)
Carbon Monoxide Hazards (Mar/Apr-09)
OSHA Electrical Safety and Training (Jan/Feb-09)
Free Forklift ANSI Standards (Nov/Dec-08)
Worksite Fire Emergencies (Sep/Oct-08)
Machine Safety (Jul/Aug-08)
Ladder Safety (May/Jun-08)
Is Your Company on OSHA's Hit List?
OSHA Notifies Workplaces with High Injury and Illness Rates (Mar/Apr-08)
Safety Means . . . Never Having to Say You're Sorry (Jan/Feb-08)
Flammables and Combustible Liquids (Nov/Dec-07)
Designing-In Safety NOT Retrofitting Safety (Sep/Oct-07)
Back Safety and Lifting (Jul/Aug-07)
Machine Guarding (May/Jun-07)
Your Hearing Keep it for a Lifetime (Mar/Apr-07)
Light Up the Holidays the Safe Way (Nov/Dec-06)
Would You Risk Your Employee's Life? (Sep/Oct-06)
How to Control Workers' Compensation Costs (Jul/Aug-06)
Compliance with 70E Electrical Standards (May/Jun-06)
OSHA Is on the Move (Mar/Apr-06)
Workplace Violence (Jan/Feb-06)
The Aging Workforce (Nov/Dec-05)
The Safety Paradox (Sep/Oct-05)
Machine Guarding (Jul/Aug-05)
Effective Risk Management (May/Jun-05)
Safety Is Everyone's Business (Mar/Apr-05)
New Year's Resolution Safety (Jan/Feb-05)
Safe Driving (Nov/Dec-04)
Terror In The Skies Revisited (Sep/Oct-04)
How They Got Hurt (Jul/Aug-04)
In-Plant Air Monitoring & Analysis (May/Jun-04)
Safety on the Job and Complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act (Mar/Apr-04)
Link to Article Archive (Jan/Feb-04)
A Supervisor's Duty (Nov/Dec-03)
Machine Safety – Are Your Machines Safe to Operate? (Sep/Oct-03)
Summer is Here (Jul/Aug-03)
Working Safely On Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklifts) (May/Jun-03)
Does Your Safety and Health Workplace Program Contain All of These Elements? (Mar/Apr-03)
Methylene Chloride (Jan/Feb-03)
Safety Signs & Labels - Does Your Facility Comply? (Nov/Dec-02)
Indoor Air Quality (Sep/Oct-02)
When OSHA Arrives (Jul/Aug-02)
Facts About the Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) (May/Jun-02)
Workplace Fire Safety (Mar/Apr-02)
OSHA 300 Form (Jan/Feb-02)
Preparing for Disaster (Nov/Dec-01)
How Much is a Life Worth? (Sep/Oct-01)
Material Handling Programs (Jul/Aug-01)
It's Up To You To Protect Your Skin (May/Jun-01)
When You’ve Been Handed the Responsibility for Safety (Mar/Apr-01)
A Fresh Look at Machine Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-01)
Safe Work Habits (Nov/Dec-00)
The Importance of Material Safety Data Sheets (Sep/Oct-00)
Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (Jul/Aug-00)
Lockout/Tagout Program (May/Jun-00)
OSHA Violations, Citations and Penalties for 1998 (Mar/Apr-00)
Erogonomics and Machinery Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-00)
General Machine Principles (Nov/Dec-99)
SAFETY SOLUTIONS
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SAFETY SOLUTIONS: OSHA Is My Friend

This month I would like to bring to your attention that OSHA has many free resources for the small business owner. These benefits can be found on the OSHA website which is located at www.osha.gov.

Should you be afraid of OSHA? Well, the answer is no if you are following their safety standards. I currently teach for a couple of major OSHA Training Institutes. California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) and College of Southern Nevada (CSN). When I teach at these training institutes, my students always ask where they can obtain free safety, health or environmental resources they can use at their places of employment. So when I thought about this month’s newsletter, I thought that I would share this information with you.

Benefits and Resources

OSHA’s Free On-site Consultation Program OSHA’s free On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. On-site Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing safety and health management systems.

Compliance Assistance Specialists (CAS)

Each OSHA Area Office in states under federal jurisdiction has a Compliance Assistance Specialist. These staffers respond to requests for help from a variety of groups, including small businesses. CASs put on seminars and workshops for small businesses and other groups. They promote OSHA’s cooperative programs, OSHA’s training resources and the OSHA website. To read more about Compliance Assistance Specialists and find a directory of them in your area,

Penalty Reductions

OSHA considers the size of the employer, among other factors when determining the penalty to be proposed for any violation. The Agency has always had detailed procedures in place for making this determination: they are currently in the OSHA Field Operations Manual (FOM) (OSHA Instruction CPL 02-00-148 [PDF* - 3 MB]), which is conveyed to and followed by all compliance staff.

The FOM provides that proposed penalties will be reduced by the following percentages in considering employer size:

  • 60% penalty reduction may be applied if an employer
  • has 25 employees or fewer; 40% if the employer has 26-100 employees; and
  • 20% if the employer has 101-250 employees.
OSHA’s Cooperative Programs

OSHA offers cooperative programs under which businesses, labor groups and other organizations can work cooperatively with the Agency to help prevent fatalities, injuries and illnesses in the workplace. For help on deciding which cooperative programs are right for you, see Find a Cooperative Program. If you are located in a State with an OSHA-approved State Plan, please contact your state agency for information about cooperative programs. All States with OSHA-approved programs have their own cooperative programs.

Hispanic/English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) Coordinators

OSHA's Hispanic/English-As-Second-Language (ESL) Coordinators assist a variety of groups, including small businesses, trade associations, union locals and community and faith-based groups with outreach, education and training to Spanish-speaking workers. The coordinators are available for Hispanic-related seminars, workshops and speaking events. They promote cooperative programs, such as the Alliance Program, as well as Spanish/other than English training materials, compliance assistance resources, and tools available on the OSHA website. There is one Hispanic/ESL Coordinator in each of the ten OSHA Regions.

Training and Education

OSHA’s Training Institute (OTI) and OSHA’s Training Education Centers across the country provide basic and advanced courses in safety and health. OSHA’s area offices offer information services, such as audiovisual aids, technical advice and speakers for special engagements. In addition, the Training Centers have begun offering one-day or one-half-day seminars to increase opportunities for small business employers to attend safety/health training.

Susan Harwood Training Grants Program - Training and educational programs for small businesses is a priority for the grants program. The program has funded Small Business Development Centers. This site has many free training programs.

Electronic Tools and Resources

OSHA eTools are "stand-alone", interactive, web-based training tools on occupational safety and health topics. They are highly illustrated and utilize graphical menus. Some also use expert system modules, which enable the user to answer questions, and receive reliable advice on how OSHA regulations apply to their work site.

OSHA’s Safety and Health Management Systems eTool provides guidance for employers looking to build effective safety and health management systems at their worksites.

OSHA Safety and Health Topics Pages provide access to selected occupational safety and health information. The subjects of these pages include specific workplace hazards, as well as individual industries.

Record-keeping, Injury and Illness Resources

OSHA's Compliance Assistance Quick Start is a tool to introduce employers and employees, especially those at new or small businesses, to the compliance assistance resources on OSHA’s website.

OSHA's $afety Pays Program is an interactive expert system to assist employers in estimating the costs of occupational injuries and illnesses and the impact on a company's profitability. This system uses a company's profit margin, the average costs of an injury or illness, and an indirect cost multiplier to project the amount of sales a company would need to generate in order to cover those costs.

Frequently Cited OSHA Standards is a query tool which allows the user to determine the most frequently cited Federal and State OSHA standards for a given SIC code. The SIC code may be determined by accessing the online SIC Manual.

Publications

OSHA has many publications, including specific topics for small businesses that are available or can be ordered online.
Additional resources of information on safety-related topics and programs include:

  • National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health - www.cdc.gov/niosh
  • Canadian Center for Occupational Health & Safety - www.ccohs.ca
  • National Safety Council - www.nsc.org
  • American Society of Safety Engineers - www.asse.org
  • Podojil & Associates (www.podojilconsulting.com) also has free safety topics, training materials, monthly toolbox talks, safety checklists and PowerPoint programs that you can download free.
The holiday season is fast approaching so please take time out of your busy schedule to place an emphasis on safety. Until next month, stay safe.

For more information, click on the author link at the top of the page.

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