OSHA Listens

Recently OSHA held a public meeting “OSHA Listens”, asking for public feedback on key issues the agency faces. The following nine questions were the different topics discussed:

 

What can the agency do to enhance and encourage the efforts of employers, workers and unions to identify and address workplace hazards?

What are the most important emerging or unaddressed health and safety issues in the workplace, and what can OSHA do to address these?

How can the agency improve its efforts to engage stakeholders in programs and initiatives?

What specific actions can the agency take to enhance the voice of workers in the workplace, particularly workers who are hard to reach, do not have ready access to information about hazards or their rights, or are afraid to exercise their rights?

Are there additional measures to improve the effectiveness of the agency’s current compliance assistance efforts and the on site consultation program, to ensure that small businesses have the information needed to provide safe workplaces?

Given the length and difficulty of the current OSHA rule making process, and given the need for new standards that will protect workers from unaddressed, inadequately addressed and emerging hazards, are there policies and procedures that will decrease the time to issue final standards so that OSHA may implement needed protections in a timely manner?

As we continue to progress through a new information age vastly different from the environment in which OSHA was created, what new mechanisms or tools can the agency use to more effectively reach high risk employees and employers with training, education and outreach? What is OSHA doing now that may no longer be necessary?

Are there indicators, other than work site injuries and illness logs, that OSHA can use to enhance resource targeting?

In the late 1980s, OSHA and its stakeholders worked together to update the Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) (exposure limits for hazardous substances; most adopted in 1971), but the effort was unsuccessful. Should updating the PELs be a priority for the agency? Are there suggestions for ways to update the PELs, or other ways to control workplace chemical exposures?

There was some great discussions out in the blog & twitter world in response.  What would your advice to OSHA be?  Are there any suggestions in the area of safety glasses or fall protection in particular?

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Workplace Safety & Our Youth

Every year in the U.S. youth are either injured or die from work related injuries. Approximately 70,000 youth end up in the ER with work related injuries while another 70 die every year. It is most common for these injuries to occur in the first 6 months of the job. Many injuries are due to job duties that are illegal for them to do or from inadequate training.

Age Restrictions (Laws that protect teens from doing dangerous work)

No Worker Under 18 May:

-Drive a motor vehicle as a regular part of the job or operate a forklift at anytime.

-Operate many types of powered equipment (like meat slicer, circular saw, bakery machine)

-Work in wrecking, demolition, excavation or roofing.

-Work in mining, logging or a sawmill.

-Work in meat packing or slaughtering.

-Work where there is exposure to radiation.

-Work where explosives are manufactured or stored.

 

No Worker 14 or 15 Years May:

-Bake or cook on the job (except at a serving counter)

-Operate power-driven machinery, except certain types which pose little hazard such those used in offices.

-Work on a ladder or scaffold.

-Work in warehouses.

-Work in construction, building or manufacturing.

-Load or unload a truck, railroad car or conveyor.

Resources: NIOSH & OSHA

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/adoldoc.html

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