Presentation on theme: "Surviving an OSHA Inspection OSHA Now and In The Future &"— Presentation transcript:
Surviving an OSHA Inspection OSHA Now and In The Future &
Occupational Safety & Health Act Enacted 4/29/71 Prior to OSH Act State factory laws Federal legislation –Walsh-Heatly –Construction Safety Act –Workers’ Comp Voluntary employer programs Reasons for OSH Act Failure of existing programs –State programs limited –Federal programs partial Injuries & illnesses increasing
Purpose of the OSH Act “.. to assure … every working man and woman in the nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources..
Democratic OSHA Reform The May 12, 2008 Issue of Inside OSHA reports that much-needed OSHA reform may soon be on its way if Senator Kennedy has anything to say about it: Senate labor committee Chair Edward Kennedy (D-MA) plans to push separate sections of his OSHA reform bill this year if he cannot get the entire bill passed, a source close to the issue told Inside OSHA.
During an April 29 hearing on OSHA’s outdated penalty structure, Kennedy heard suggestions from AFL-CIO, a former employee of the Department of Justice, and a victims’ representative group on how to strengthen the enforcement provisions in his bill, The Protecting America’s Workers Act (PAW Act)....
The possible Future! S. 1244, The Protecting America's Workers Act This legislation is supposed to "reform" OSHA by increasing civil and criminal penalties for certain OSHA violations. In reality, this legislation would revert back to the failed OSHA policies of the 1970s.
The bill arbitrarily increases civil penalties and imposes new criminal penalties which could land an employer in jail if a serious accident or death occurs. Minimum penalties of $50,000 per violation for fatalities or serious injuries, with maximum penalties up to $250,000
–Even if an employer was to do everything possible to prevent a workplace accident, s/he could still end up in jail. –The new, untested definitions in this bill are vague and ambiguous. –The bill makes it more likely that small businesses will have to hire an attorney to deal with the expanded OSHA enforcement actions. –The government attempts to create new criminal penalties that would seek to punish employers rather than assist them to create safer workplaces.
This bill makes employers subject to more workplace inspections. –It gives employees expanded powers to call in an OSHA inspector. –Unions could use these unsubstantiated complaints as a reason to organize a non- union small business. –In addition to employees, non-employees and competitors are given an unfair opportunity to issue complaints with OSHA.
This bill requires employers to pay for an employee's personal protective equipment. (this has already been accomplished by an update to the OSHA PPE standard in 2008)
This bill expands OSHA and gives them the ability to investigate claims instead of the Justice Department. –The bill requires OSHA to investigate all safety complaints, even those from non-employees. –This bill expands OSHA's coverage to some federal and state employees. –By expanding OSHA, it simultaneously opens the door to organized labor and gives unions one more step in their efforts to organize small businesses.
The “General Duty” Clause XOSH Act – Public Law Dec. 29, 1970 Section 5 (a) (1): “Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause, death or serious physical harm to employees”
Definitions Qualified Person One who, by having a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing or who by extensive knowledge, training, & experience, has successfully demonstrated his ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the work
Definitions Competent Person One who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authority to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.
Competent Person Requirements in 1926 Standards XFall Protection XScaffolding XTrench & Excavation XRespirator Use XCranes & Derricks XAsbestos XLadders XHearing Protection XWelding & Cutting XAccident Prevention XSlings & Rigging XElectrical XPersonnel Hoists XConcrete forms & Shoring XDemolition Preparation XCompressed Air Use XUnderground Const. XLead XIonizing Radiation
Types of Compliance Inspections XGeneral Scheduled (Random) XProgrammed (high hazard industry) XComplaint XPost-Incident(1 fatality or 3 injuries from 1 event ) XReferral XSpecial Emphasis XFocused (looks at 4 main hazards) XFollow-up (post citation)
Focused Inspections Program Overview: Allows compliance officers to spend less time on the sites of good contractors and more time on the sites of not-so-good contractors XYou must have a written safety program & implemented by a competent person
Focused Inspections XHazards Focused on (90% of fatalities) –Falls (floors, work platforms, roofs) 33% –Struck by(falling objects, vehicles) 22% –Caught in-between (cave-ins) 18% –Electrical (overhead lines, tools) 17%
Types of Citations XOther than Serious - A violation that would not cause death or serious injury XSerious - A violation where there is a high probability of death or serious injury occurring XWillful - A violation where death or serious injury could occur and employer knew or should have known the hazard existed. XRepeat - A violation of any standard or rule where upon re-inspection a similar violation is found XFailure to Abate - A violation from failure to correct a previous citation in a timely manner
Citation Penalties XOther than Serious - $0 - $7000 XSerious - $7000 XRepeated - Up to $70,000 XWillful - $70,000 (per employee exposed) XFailure to abate - (per calendar day $7000 to maximum $210,000) XFailure to report fatality - $5000 XFailure to post citation - $3000 XFailure to post to 300 log - $1000 / case
Comprehensive –A complete walk through inspection of an entire construction site or establishment, with the exception of areas, such as offices, that are obviously low-hazard Partial –A walk through limited to certain areas, operations, or conditions that does not include all potentially hazardous areas. (Focused Inspection). Records Only –A safety inspection limited to an examination of an establishment’s injury and/or illness records and an evaluation of compliance with the hazard communication standard. Inspection Categories
Surviving an OSHA Inspection “An OSHA inspector is here! What do I do now?”
Compliance Officer arrives Opening conference Walk Through Closing conference Citations Settlement agreements “The Inspection”
OSHA Form 200/300 (OSHA Log) Accident Reports Material Safety Data Sheets Self Inspection Forms Training (Meeting Minutes) Hazcom Program Your Safety Program Documentation
Receiving the Compliance Officer Upon arrival of the OSHA Compliance Officer, the jobsite Superintendent (or other employer representative) should greet the individual and check/verify the Compliance Officer’s credentials.
Opening Conference Compliance Officer will usually cover the following topics during his briefing: Nature & purpose of visit - Routine inspection or employee complaint, if applicable Scope of Inspection - Areas to be inspected, employee interviews, etc. Records to be reviewed Invitation to participate in the inspection - Employer and subcontractor personnel. Distribution of OSHA materials - Copies of the Act, standards, promotional materials, etc.
Walkaround Inspection The inspection shall be conducted within reasonable limits and in a reasonable manner during regular working hours except when mutually agreed upon by the parties concerned. The Compliance Officer shall comply with all company safety and health rules during his/her inspection, including the wearing of required personal protective equipment.
Walkaround Inspection (cont’d) During the course of the inspection, the Compliance Officer may: –Agree to the participation of more than one employer representative and one employee representative in the walkaround. –Interview, question or invite comments from a reasonable number of employees. If consultation unduly hinders work activity, he may arrange for off-duty interviews at a location other than the workplace. Written statements may be taken under certain conditions
Walkaround Inspection (cont’d) During the course of the inspection, the Compliance Officer may: –Receive complaints from employees regarding possible violation(s) of the standards, provided there is no interference with the inspection The Compliance Officer may take photographs.
Walkaround Inspection (cont’d) During the course of the inspection, the superintendent or representative should: –Accompany the Compliance Officer at all times during the inspection. –Take detailed notes of inspection activities (comments, samples/tests taken, records given/reviewed, location of photos taken, etc.) –Photograph anything that the Compliance Officer photographs (if a camera is convenient). –If requested, ensure that the Compliance Officer is permitted interviews with jobsite employees.
Walkaround Inspection (cont’d) At the conclusion of the walkthrough, the Compliance Officer will ensure that employee reps are informed of the apparent violation(s), if any, found during inspection.
Closing Conference At completion of the inspection, a closing conference will be arranged to permit the Compliance Officer to advise the company and/or any subcontractor representatives of any alleged violation(s) observed during the inspection.
Closing Conference (cont’d) The Compliance Officer should indicate the applicable section(s) of the standards which are alleged to have been violated and provide information on the following: Alleged violation(s), which may be the basis of a citation Methods used to establish abatement period(s) Penalty determination procedures.
Closing Conference (cont’d) Appeal and contest procedures. Abatement letters and follow-up inspections Variance procedures. Availability of an informal conference with the area director. Distribution of OSHA Material (if not done at the opening conference
“The Citation” Normally arrives by mail (certified). Tells what type of violations were noted: –Serious (fine up to $7,000) –Other (normally no fine) –Repeat (fine up to $70,000) –Willful (fine up to $70,000/day) Shows inspections date(s) and location/site
“The Citation” (cont’d) Lists Information of Each Violation Type –Standard of Act violated –Description of violation –Abatement date for each violation –Penalty (if any) for each violation
Penalty Adjustment Factors u Size Employees more Percent Reduction None
Penalty Adjustment Factors u Good Faith Percent Reduction Effective written program which includes: –management commitment & employee involvement; worksite analysis; hazard prevention & control; and safety & health training –all applicable programs required under OSHA standards Effective program showing minor deficiencies Otherwise
Penalty Adjustment Factors u History Percent Reduction 10 0 Employers who have not been cited for serious, willful or repeated violations in past 3 years Otherwise
No Contest –Notify OSHA by letter as to corrective action –Pay fine(s)/penalties Contest –Must be done within 15 working days (by letter) –Can contest Penalty Amount Type of Citation Abatement Date(s) Actual Violation Options after the Citation arrives
Informal Conference –Must be arranged within 15 working days of receipt of citation –Can negotiate same items as contest Formal Contest Must be done within 15 days after reciept of citation or 15 days after results of informal conference. Most likely legal council needed. Options after the Citation arrives