Sherman Williamson, OSHA Department of Enforcement
As a 1988 graduate of Virginia Tech, the recent events in Blacksburg, Va., are very much on my mind. While OSHA has taken no position on this event other than to express sincere condolences to families affected, I thought it might be appropriate to write an article on workplace violence. Workplace violence is not a new concern for OSHA.
Recently, OSHA has been offering a series of seminars to national office employees called “The Business of Small Business.” These seminars offer a chance to learn what OSHA is doing to help small businesses, and provides opportunities for small businesses to present case studies of how they implemented safety and health programs, along with the results.
The last two columns have described the procedures and rules by which OSHA is bound when writing regulations. In this column, we’ll look at the policies and procedures for inspections. Though not as lengthy and time-consuming as writing regulations, there is an important process for conducting fair and comprehensive inspections.
Last time, I wrote about the standards-writing process in OSHA. This article will pick up the discussion where I left off, with the proposed rule published and OSHA staff ready for comments on their work. Concurrent with sending the proposed rule to the Federal Register for printing, OSHA must also send copies to the Small Business Administration, OSHA Regional Offices and State Plan states.
The news this week at OSHA involves the hearings on the proposed Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution; Electrical Protective Equipment standard. This proposed standard was published in the Federal Register on June 15, 2005. The proposed rule would update the standards on electric power generation, transmission, and distribution and on electrical protective equipment for gen...
OSHA's sanitation standard for general industry, 29 CFR 1910.141, requires employers to provide their employees with toilet facilities. An April 6, 1998 memorandum to the Agency's regional administrators and State Plan State designees explains the standard's requirements that employers make toilet facilities available so that employees can use them when needed.
The Site-Specific Targeting program is OSHA's main programmed inspection plan for non-construction worksites that have 40 or more employees. The SST directs enforcement resources to those worksites with the highest rate of injuries and illnesses as shown by the OSHA Data Initiative survey. The ODI survey collects calendar year injury and illness data annually.
As part of the U.S. Department of Labor's response to Hurricane Katrina, OSHA has deployed safety and health professionals to Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to provide technical assistance to recovery workers in their ongoing efforts along the Gulf Coast of the United States. OSHA has teams of professionals in the devastated regions to help ensure that the restoration of power and telecomm...