July 1 Deadline to Electronically Submit Injury and Illness Data Rapidly Approaching

June 11, 2018

OSHA’s electronic reporting rule, which took effect Jan. 1, 2017, requires certain employers (see discussion below) to electronically submit injury and illness data that they are already required to record on their onsite OSHA Injury and Illness forms. Analysis of this data will enable OSHA to use its enforcement and compliance assistance resources more efficiently. Some of the data will also be posted to the OSHA website. OSHA believes that public disclosure will encourage employers to improve workplace safety and provide valuable information to workers, job seekers, customers, researchers and the general public. The amount of data submitted will vary depending on the size of company and type of industry.

OSHA has provided a secure website that offers three options for data submission. First, you have the option to manually enter data into a webform. Second, you can upload a CSV file to process single or multiple establishments at the same time. Finally, if you have an automated recordkeeping system, you can transmit data electronically via an API (application programming interface). The Injury Tracking Application (ITA) is accessible from the ITA launch page, where you are able to provide the Agency your 2017 OSHA Form 300A information. The date by which certain employers are required to submit to OSHA the information from their completed 2017 Form 300A is July 1, 2018.

The rule also prohibits employers from discouraging workers from reporting an injury or illness. The final rule requires employers to inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation, which can be satisfied by posting the already-required OSHA workplace poster. It also clarifies the existing implicit requirement that an employer’s procedure for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses must be reasonable and not deter or discourage employees from reporting; and incorporates the existing statutory prohibition on retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses. These provisions become effective August 10, 2016, but OSHA has delayed their enforcement until Dec. 1, 2016.

The new reporting requirements were phased in over the past two years. The anti-retaliation provisions become effective August 10, 2016, but OSHA delayed their enforcement until Dec. 1, 2016.

Covered establishments with 250 or more employees are only required to provide their 2017 Form 300A summary data. Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries are required to submit information from their 2017 Form 300A by July 1, 2018. Beginning in 2019 and every year thereafter, the information must be submitted by March 2. See answers to more frequently asked questions on the rule.

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Make One Change for Safety This National Safety Month

June is National Safety Month, an opportunity to help prevent unnecessary injuries and deaths at work, on the roads, and in our homes and communities. With this year’s theme, “No 1 Gets Hurt,” the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has encouraged us to think of at least one change we can make to improve safety.

New Disclosure Program in NY for Chemicals in Household Cleaning Products

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the release of New York's final policy and form for manufacturer disclosures under the State's Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program. Introduced in Governor Cuomo's 2017 State of the State, the Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure program requires manufacturers of cleaning products sold in New York to disclose chemical ingredients, as well as other information, on their websites. New York will be the first state in the nation to require such disclosure and the State's program goes beyond initiatives in other states by requiring the robust disclosure of byproducts and contaminants, as well as chemicals with the potential to trigger asthma in adults and children.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Protecting New Yorkers and the environment from harmful chemicals is of the utmost importance to the state, and Governor Cuomo is leading the nation by requiring these manufacturers to disclose information about all of the chemicals that might be found in household cleaning products, including byproducts and other impurities. The Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program will help the state better understand what chemical hazards the public is exposed to, especially from products made in countries with less protective environmental laws than the United States, and reduce exposure to chemicals of concern."

Overseen by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program requires manufacturers to disclose the name and unique chemical number of all intentionally added ingredients, including fragrances; all byproducts, such as 1,4 Dioxane, including those present in trace quantities that appear on state, national or international lists of identified chemicals of concern; and any impurity due to environmental contamination present in trace quantities that appear on such lists and are present above levels found in well-regulated public water systems located in the US.

Additional disclosures required by the program include a prominent statement regarding the nature and extent of information being withheld as confidential business information; the listing of ingredients in order of predominance by weight; a clear method of indicating that a chemical has been identified as a chemical of concern; the provision of a toll-free number to answer consumer requests for more information; and the posting of studies the manufacturer has conducted on the health and environmental effects of any of its products and ingredients.

The Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program is the result of extensive discussions with a variety of stakeholders, including industry, private citizens, state agencies, and advocacy groups, as well as a lengthy public comment period. Significant changes were made to DEC's original proposal to better address concerns raised by the stakeholders. In addition to this information appearing on manufacturer websites by July 1, 2019, DEC is working with the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse to develop and maintain a database of links to the disclosed information for ease of consumer access. More information about the Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program and the certification form can be found on DEC's website.

"We thank Governor Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation for this leadership action. New York's new cleaning product ingredient disclosure program is both years in the making and incredibly timely. It will help workers and families identify which products are healthiest. Coupled with a recent law in California, it creates a strong national model and will benefit not only New Yorkers, but all Americans. We look forward to the Governor's continued leadership on product ingredient disclosure for personal care products," said Kathleen Curtis, Executive Director of Clean and Healthy New York.

It is expected that New York's approach to cleaning product ingredient disclosure will serve as an example that can be expanded into other sectors of public disclosure or mirrored by other governments.

Senate Committee to Evaluate CEFATS Program

The Subcommittee on Environment, chaired by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), has scheduled a hearing for Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing is entitled, “The Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards Program (CFATS) – A Progress Report.”

In 2014, Congress granted the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program a four-year authorization, which is set to expire on January 17, 2019. This hearing will provide #SubEnvironment members an opportunity to review the progress of the CFATS program, including with respect to both program implementation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as well as action items and overall achievement of benchmark objectives identified in the past by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). In addition, members will be able to listen to and ask about the perspectives of regulated stakeholders and other interested persons.

“The early years of the CFATS program were marked with a number of growing pains, some more painful than others. Hopefully the program has taken steps to clean up its act and strengthen the places that needed more work. I look forward to next week’s discussion of this critical program and the progress being made in securing these high-risk facilities against terrorism,” said Chairman Shimkus.

EnviroTech Services Cited by OSHA after Employee Death

OSHA cited EnviroTech Services Inc., based in Greeley, Colorado, after an employee died due to lack of oxygen while cleaning the inside of a railcar. A second employee who tried to rescue the co-worker was also overcome, but survived. EnviroTech Services Inc. faces $64,857 in proposed penalties.

OSHA cited the chemical manufacturer for failing to provide respiratory protection; properly ventilate a confined space; implement a permit-required confined space program; and have an emergency rescue plan in place.

“This fatality could have been prevented if the employer had complied with confined space requirements and provided protective equipment,” said Herb Gibson, OSHA Denver Area Office Director.

EnviroTech Services Inc. has held an informal conference with OSHA’s area director to discuss the citations in an attempt to enter into an informal settlement agreement. 

BYK USA, Inc. in Louisville Presented Governor’s Safety and Health Award

Workplace Standards Commissioner Ervin Dimeny visited BYK USA, Inc. in Louisville today to present a Governor’s Safety and Health Award for the 300,000 production hours worked without a lost-time incident by employees.

“On behalf of Governor Bevin and the Labor Cabinet, congratulations on earning this prestigious award,” Acting Secretary Mike Nemes stated. “Today should be a day of great celebration for BYK USA, not only for what you have achieved, but what you represent as a shining example for workplace safety across the Commonwealth. It’s imperative we have companies like yours who recognize the importance instilling a safety culture that ensures employees return home safe and sound each day. You provide an example for other businesses to follow, and I wish to thank you for your hard work and dedication.”

The BYK Louisville facility is part of BYK USA, an ALTANA company, with headquarters in Wallingford, Connecticut. The Louisville facility was constructed in 1980 and includes operating sites and laboratories for the development, manufacture, and testing of organoclays and associative thickeners. These products are used in the paint, coatings, ink and personal care industries to improve the flow properties of commercial products.

“This award reflects an exceptional achievement in the area of health and safety standards by the employees at the BYK Louisville site,” Site Manager Bob Weis said. “The attention to detail, teamwork, and performance brings distinct credit upon all employees, Local ICWUC 15c, BYK USA, ALTANA, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”

“This award reflects the growth and great work being done at BYK USA, Inc. in Louisville,” State Sen. Harper Angel, of Louisville, said. “Our community looks forward to their continued success and congratulate them on this outstanding accomplishment.”

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet presents the Governor’s Safety and Health Award to highlight outstanding safety and health performance in Kentucky’s workplaces. A business may qualify for the award if its employees achieve a required number of hours worked without experiencing a lost-time injury or illness. The required number of hours is dependent upon the number of employees.

According to a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Kentucky employers reported the lowest incident rate for nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in the state’s history. Based on a mathematical calculation that describes the number of recordable incidents per 100 full-time employees, Kentucky’s rate improved from 3.7 in 2015 to 3.4 in 2016, reflecting the latest available data. This rate has steadily declined since it was first calculated in 1996, when a rate of 8.4 was reported.

For more information on the Governor’s Safety and Health Award, click here

Black Lung Benefits Fund in Deepening Debt as Epidemic Surges

A new study from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) finds that the federal fund supporting coal miners with black lung disease could be in financial trouble without congressional action. As NPR has reported, the GAO found that the fund’s debt could rise dramatically at the same time that black lung disease is surging.

Disaster Healthcare Resources Available in Spanish

In response to several technical assistance requests, The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) at the Department of Health and Human Services developed a list of healthcare resources available in Spanish. Topics include chronic illnesses, disaster behavioral and mental health, and emergency preparedness. This page also includes a link to the presentation and recording of the recent ASPR & American Academy of Pediatrics webinar, held mostly in Spanish, where speakers highlighted disaster-related resources on small business restoration, preparedness, and mental health services in Puerto Rico.

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