Posts Tagged ‘Occupational Health and Safety Administration’

OSHA Mulls Changes to Powered Truck Rules

It may be time to reconsider a decades-old standard for powered industrial trucks, federal safety regulators said.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is requesting information as the Agency considers rulemaking to update the powered industrial trucks standards for general, maritime, and construction industries. The standards became effective in 1971, and were based on industry consensus standards from 1969. Since then, national consensus standards have been updated several times.

OSHA is requesting information on: the types, age, and usage of powered industrial trucks; maintenance and retrofitting; how to regulate older powered industrial trucks; types of accidents and injuries associated with operating these machines; costs and benefits of retrofitting the machines with safety features; and other components of a safety program.  OSHA will use the information received in response to this request to determine what action, if any, it may take to reduce regulatory burdens and create jobs while improving worker safety.

Comments must be submitted on or before June 10, 2019. Comments and materials may be submitted electronically at, the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal, or by facsimile or mail. See the Federal Register notice for submission details.

Powered industrial trucks include forklifts, fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks, and other specialized industrial trucks powered by an electrical motor or an internal combustion engine.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

My thanks to Jon Hyman for featuring this blog post among others in his weekly blog roundup of March 15.

Pa. Company Fined $106K for Trench Violations

A construction company in Pennsylvania learned there’s a cost to be paid for exposing its workers to unsafe trenches.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Spear Excavating LLC – based in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania – for exposing employees to trenching hazards at a worksite in Malvern, Pennsylvania. The company faces $106,057 in proposed penalties.

OSHA initiated an inspection on August 2, 2018, after receiving a complaint alleging the hazards. Inspectors determined that employees were working in an excavation that was accumulating water and did not have proper protection from cave-ins.

“Spear Excavating LLC willfully exposed its employees to cave-in hazards by putting production ahead of safety,” said OSHA Philadelphia Area Office Director Theresa Downs. “Trench collapses and cave-ins continue to be among the greatest risks to construction workers’ lives.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

OSHA Finalizes Rule for Handling Retaliation Complaints From Transit, Railroad Workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforces whistleblower provisions of 22 laws. This week the nation’s workplace safety overseer issued a final rule establishing procedures and time frames for handling employee retaliation complaints under two of those laws–the National Transit Systems Security Act and the Federal Railroad Safety Act.

NTSSA establishes protections against retaliation for public transportation agency employees who engage in whistleblowing activities related to public transportation safety or security. FRSA provides protections against retaliation for railroad carrier employees who report a work-related injury or engage in other whistleblowing.

FRSA was amended in 2008 to prohibit railroad carriers from denying, delaying or interfering with employees’ medical or first aid treatment. The FRSA amendments also require that injured employees be promptly transported to the nearest hospital upon request.

According the agency’s announcement, the final rule incorporates recent case law under the statutes and updates the rules to improve both employees’ and employers’ access to information about the case during OSHA’s investigation and their ability to participate in OSHA’s investigation.

The rule was published in Monday’s Federal Register, the same day the rule took effect.

Here’s OSHA’s press release on the rule.



OSHA Gives Public Until Oct. 28 To Submit Comments on Workplace Injury Reporting Rule

You’ve got about another two weeks to submit comments to the U.S. Department of Labor on the proposed rule that clarifies an employer’s continuing obligation to make and maintain an accurate record of each recordable injury and illness.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued the proposed rule “to clarify its long-standing position that the duty to record an injury or illness continues for as long as the employer must keep records of the recordable injury or illness. The proposed amendments add no new compliance obligations; the proposal would not require employers to make records of any injuries or illnesses for which records are not already required.”

OSHA extended the comment period in a Sept. 21 announcement. October 28 is the last day to submit comments.

Number of Workplace Deaths Virtually Unchanged From 2009

Staying with BLS for a moment, the government data gathering agency also reported recently that the number of workplace fatalities in 2010 was about the same as 2009.  The number actually went down by 4, from 4,551 to 4,547.

I suppose that’s considered good news, but think about it for a moment. That’s more people than died on 9/11. Alot of these deaths are preventable through some simple safety measures and by making safety a priority.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration has a wealth of training materials to help us get that number down. And there are lots of private vendors out there with training programs to make your workplace safer.