January 2015 Brings New OSHA Reporting Requirements

Under Construction by LKennart Tange via FlickrIt’s already 2015, and with the birth of the New Year it is time for new rules and reporting regulations from OSHA to go into effect. In this post we review new OSHA guidelines and what Portland demolition contractors can do to limit work related injuries. Our main focus are the new demolition site standards, and how this OSHA update might affect the demolition industry in general.

What is new in OSHA’s Standards? The main change in safety standards stipulates that employers must now report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours of an incident, using the OSHA 300 log. In addition, all in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and eye losses must be reported within 24 hours after incident discovery.

Previously, employers were required to report all fatalities and accidents involving more than 3 people. OSHA reports that the new reporting guidelines will not require more paperwork and are geared towards saving lives. The restructured rules allow employers and workers to identify and eliminate the most serious of workplace hazards.

How to report severe incidents and accidents to OSHA:

  • Call your local OSHA area office during regular business hours. The local Portland OSHA branch may be reached at 503-229-5910.
  • You can call the 24-hour national OSHA hotline (1-800-321-OSHA)

Exceptions. There are two major exceptions to the new recordkeeping rule. Employers who have 10 or fewer employees are exempt, as are certain low-hazard industries such as retail trade, finance, insurance and real estate. Service industry exceptions are granted if the 3-year average for their industry’s lost workday case rate was 75% below the overall 3-year average lost workday case rate for all private industry. Total lost workday rate for the major industry is 75% or less. For more information, visit OSHA’s FAQ page on the recent rule update and view the OSHA Recordkeeping Update Factsheet (PDF).

Improving Safety in Demolition & Other Industries. The new rules are designed to make worksites safer environments. Construction and industrial demolition are rife with potential hazards. Accidents are part of a somber reality that we all face. As an industry, we can dedicate ourselves to workplace safety and training to reduce the loss of life and limbs.

The key concept of OSHA standards is that hazards can be controlled and eliminated through active training, proper personal protection equipment, and compliance with safety codes. Demolition presents it’s own inherent set of dangerous challenges, such as exposure to hazardous or unknown chemical agents and weak structural components. Commercial and industrial demotion workers must be fully aware of their surroundings, educated on potential hazards, and trained on how to protect themselves throughout the workday.

[Photo by Lennart Tange via CC License]

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