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OSHA: There’s a New Sheriff in Town – Part II


Part 1 Here

connecticut osha constructionSo, every day we hear of another construction site being visited by an OSHA inspector……all to review OSHA logs and data!   It appears this is number one on OSHA’s radar screen and could end up costing Connecticut contractors big bucks!

The two areas on the OSHA logs that it appears are being targeted are the Location and the Injury Description.   Although for many years, most everyone has merely used job numbers for the location, it appears that OSHA is looking for a lot more information.  An OSHA employee recently told us that area should be specific, i.e. 2nd floor of condo building, unit 22A, kitchen.   A little more than just job#C156!

More than likely your entries in the Injury Description area have been “broken ring finger” or “Burn to left hand”.  Again, OSHA is looking for much more a description then just the body part.  They want the when, how, etc.  An example would be “employee was securing light fixture in ceiling when slipped out of hand, striking and breaking finger”.   Pretty detailed, but at this point it looks like the more information you enter the less likely you are to be fined!

So, we suggest you beef up the information you enter and hopefully you will avoid the New Sheriff.  

OSHA: "There's a New Sheriff in Town"


hilda solis, OSHA"There's a New Sheriff in Town"was the statement made by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis  as she commented on the new commitment to worker safety and health.  OSHA is increasing its emphasis on enforcement, proposing new changes and employers better get on board or be prepared to pay the fines!

The first step we have seen is the increased activity on reviewing contractor’sosha300 log OSHA logs. If the recordkeeping isn’t being done properly they aren’t hesitating to enforce fines.  Unfortunately just following the directions on the OSHA site isn’t necessarily fulfilling the requirements, at least not in the eyes of the inspectors.

OSHA has proposed ergonomic recordkeeping requirements (yes, again). The proposal is to add the MSD injury column, as they attempted to once before.  However, this time if the proposal goes through and you have an MSD injury on your log you had better also have a company ergonomics program in place as this will likely be a requirement.  Without the ergonomics program where one is determined to be needed, employers may face “serious” or “willful” citations.  No final decision has been made on this change to recordkeeping requirements but we suspect it’ll be coming in the first quarter of 2011.

Another proposal is that the fines levied on Connecticut contractors may be on the increase!   Fines haven’t been increased in over 30 years and there is a bill pending that would increase the maximum “serious” penalty from $7,000 to $12,500 and the maximum “willful” penalty from $70,000 to $250,000! Aside, from the pain in your wallet, consider what this could do to your Risk Profile next time your Connecticut construction insurance renews!

List of Top 10 Citations for Contractors

So, where do you start?   All jobs and jobsites should have JHAs (download the OSHA Job Hazard Analysis) performed regularly.  This will provide information to you as an employer of where MSD injuries might occur (as well as all other types of injuries) and will give you a “heads up” of where programs and additional training may need to be established.  The more programs and training you have in place, the less likely you are to have a recordable incident!  Better to invest your company dollars in these then paying substantial fines to OSHA!

Stay tuned….we’ll be updating you more in the coming months on the “New Sheriff”!

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