SAFETY SOLUTIONS: Facts About the Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
Information has been requested from many readers to share insight about OSHA as well as State Occupational Safety & Health programs. My past employers include both Federal OSHA and the State of Arizona Department of Occupational Safety and Health? (ADOSH) in the capacity of a compliance officer.
Readers have asked; "How can I deal with OSHA after a "visit" and when I am facing a potential citation?"
Let’s discuss OSHA’s prime mission, which is to ensure safe and healthful workplaces in America. Since the agency was created in 1971, workplace fatalities have been cut in half and occupational injury and illness rates have declined 40 percent. At the same time, U.S. employment has doubled from 56 million workers at 3.5 million worksites to 111 million workers at 7 million sites.
In Fiscal Year 2002, OSHA’s employees numbered 2,316 including 1,123 inspectors, and the agency’s budget is $443 million. Sharing the responsibility for workplace safety and health are 26 states that administer their own programs with 3,105 employees, of which 1,378 are inspectors.
Under the Bush Administration, OSHA is focusing on four strategies:
Strong, fair and effective enforcement
Outreach, education and compliance assistance
Worker Injuries/Illnesses/Fatalities for 2000
In 2000, occupational injury and illness rates dropped to the lowest level, 6.1 injuries per 100 workers, since the U.S. began collection this information, contributing to an eight-year downward trend. There were 5.7 million injuries/illnesses among private sector firms, about the same number as in 1999, but rates still declined since there was a two percent increase in hours worked.
There were 5,915 worker deaths in 2000, two percent fewer than in 1999. Fatalities related to highway incidents, electrocutions, fires and explosions and contract with objects or equipment all declined. Deaths from both job-related falls and homicides increased slightly.
Standards Cited for SIC Major Group 30; 1-99 Employees
Major Group 30 Rubber and Miscellaneous Plastics Products
Listed below are the standards, which were cited by Federal OSHA for the specified SIC during the period October 2000 through September 2001. Penalties shown reflect current rather than initial amounts. For more information, see definitions.
Top Ten Citations:
The Control of Hazardous Energy, Lockout, Tagout & Tryout – 29 CFR 1910.147
Hazard Communication – 29 CFR 1910.1200
Electrical Wiring Methods – 29 CFR 1910.305
Machine Guarding General Requirements – 29 CFR 1910.212
Respiratory Protection – 29 CFR 1910.134
Personal Protective Equipment – 29 CFR 1910.132
Powered Industrial Trucks – 29 CFR 1910.178
Electrical System Design, General – 29 CFR 1910.303
Mechanical Power Transmission Guarding – 29 CFR 1910.219
Log & Summary of Occupational Injuries – 29 CFR 1904
Most of the standards cited were related to physical safety items. Exposure to Methylene Chloride was also cited many times and I will address this substance in the next issue of this column.
Separately, I recently joined the staff of Lovegreen Risk Management LLC, located in Eagan, Minnesota. This Risk Management, Safety, Health and Environmental Company teams with other established Lovegreen Companies to provide a full service base for our clients. The companies that comprise the Lovegreen Family of Services are:
Lovegreen Industrial Services, a third generation company including: Industrial Millwrights, Equipment Rigging, Custom Fabrication as well as equipment installations, plant moves, maintenance and repair services nationwide. Another area of the Lovegreen myriad of services includes Lovegreen Mechanical Services, a full service HVAC Company.
We look forward to answering your questions and discussing Safety & Health endeavors with you and appreciate your continued readership.
For more information, click on the Author Biography link at the top of this page.