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Safety News

March, 2020
Safety News

 

OSHA Region VIII Compliance Assistance Newsletter Spring 2020 Edition (COVID-19)

Sample Pandemic Flu Policy Template Available to NUCA Members

With the breaking news about the COVID-19/Coronoa virus dominating our nation's headlines, NUCA has assembled a sample pandemic flu policy template for our members to use. 

This template can be customized for your own company's uses. While the template will not fit all situations, especially those in states and regions with declared public health emergencies, this document will help you and your employees think about the next steps forward to protect your employees and your business.

This NUCA members-only benefit can be downloaded here.

OSHA Provides Guidance on Recording Workplace Exposures to COVID-19

OSHA recordkeeping requirements at 29 CFR Part 1904(link is external) mandate covered employers record certain work-related injuries and illnesses on their OSHA 300 log.

COVID-19 can be a recordable illness if a worker is infected as a result of performing their work-related duties. However, employers are only responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if all of the following are met:

 

  1. The case is a confirmed case of COVID-19 (see CDC information(link is external)on persons under investigation and presumptive positive and laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19);

  2. The case is work-related, as defined by 29 CFR 1904.5(link is external); and

  3. The case involves one or more of the general recording criteria set forth in 29 CFR 1904.7(link is external) (e.g. medical treatment beyond first-aid, days away from work). 
    For More Information Click Here

National Emphasis Program for Silica

On February 5, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a revised National Emphasis Program (NEP) for Respirable Crystalline Silica to identify and reduce or eliminate the dangerous health effects from occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica.  Through this Silica NEP, OSHA will target workplaces with occupational exposures to respirable crystalline silica that are causing (or are capable of causing) occupational illnesses.  Inspections under this program are set to begin on May 5, 2020 after a 90 day period of outreach.

Inhalation of elevated levels of respirable crystalline silica is a health hazard that can cause diseases including silicosis, an incurable lung disease, and lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and kidney disease.   Crystalline silica is a common mineral found in many naturally occurring materials and industrial products and can be generated by operations like cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling and crushing stone, rock, concrete, brick, block, and mortar and when abrasive blasting with sand.  Exposure can also occur during manufacture of products such as glass, pottery, ceramics, bricks, concrete, countertops and artificial stone and as a result of foundry and hydraulic fracking operations. 

The Silica NEP combines enforcement and outreach efforts to raise awareness among employers, workers, and safety and health professionals of the serious health effects associated with occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica.  We have attached some resources including a letter from OSHA to facility managers, a copy of the NEP, and a silica information resource list. Please assist us in protecting affected workers by sharing the information about the Silica NEP with your members. 

Please be aware that employers in these industries are eligible for assistance from one of the listed On-Site OSHA Consultation Programs found at: https://www.osha.gov/consultation/directory-text.  These programs are operated separately from OSHA’s enforcement program.  The service is free and confidential, and there are no citations or penalties.  Designed primarily for smaller employers, the consultation program can help identify hazards in workplaces and find effective and economical solutions for eliminating or controlling them.  A consultant from this program can assist employers in developing and implementing effective safety and health management systems for their workplaces. 

If you are interested in additional silica outreach such as a presentation or Q&A session with your staff or membership, or have any questions about OSHA’s NEP for Respirable Crystalline Silica, please contact me at 720-264-6586 or olaechea.john@dol.gov.

Safety Calendar 2020

February 27-28 ASAC Safety Summit
https://asacolorado.com/event-calendar/#!event/2020/2/27/asac-7th-annual-health-safety-summit  

April 20-24 Workzone Awareness Week
https://www.workzonesafety.org/meetings-and-events/wz-awareness-week/

April 28 - OSHA Worker Remembrance Day

May 4-8 - Construction Safety Week
https://www.constructionsafetyweek.com/

June 15 - 19 - NUCA Trench Safety Stand Down Week

August 27-28 Rocky Mountain Safety Conference
https://www.coloradosafety.org/page/CallforSpeakers    

September 15 - CO811 Mock line Strike - GJ Mesa County Fairgrounds

September (annual) NAXSA OSHA CO Trench Safety Summit

November (annual)  Sherman & Howard OSHA/MSHA Update 

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