Things Are Improving …

Our nation’s labor market continued to register solid growth in the month of February. The economy added 233,000 private sector jobs last month, while the unemployment rate held steady at a three-year low of 8.3 percent. 

OSHA announces new online Outreach Training Program providers

Our good friends at OSHA have selected 10 authorized training providers. From the website:

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced its selection of 10 OSHA authorized training providers to deliver 25 online courses as part of its Outreach Training Program. The OSHA Outreach Training Program teaches workers how to identify, prevent, and eliminate workplace hazards. The program also informs workers of their rights, employer responsibilities, and how to file a complaint.

More on the Outreach Training Program here.

OSHA issues 2011 annual inspection plan for protecting workers in high-hazard workplaces

U.S. Department of Labor and OSHA issue 2011 annual inspection plan for protecting workers in high-hazard workplaces:

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued its annual inspection plan under the Site-Specific Targeting* 2011 (SST-11) program to help the agency direct enforcement resources to high-hazard workplaces where the highest rates of injuries and illnesses occur.
The SST program is OSHA’s main programmed inspection plan for non-construction workplaces that have 20 or more workers. High-hazard workplaces identified in the SST program reported above-average work-related injury and illness rates, based on data collected from a 2010 OSHA Data Initiative survey of 80,000 larger establishments in selected high-hazard industries. Establishments are randomly selected for inspection from a primary list of 3,700 manufacturing, non-manufacturing, and nursing and personal care facilities.
“By focusing our inspection resources on employers in high hazard industries who endanger their employees, we can prevent injuries and illnesses and save lives,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA David Michaels. “Through the SST program we examine all major aspects of these operations to determine the effectiveness of their safety and health efforts.”
Two changes have been made to this year’s SST program. In 2010, only those establishments in the selected industries with 40 or more employees were subject to inspections under the SST plan; this year, that number has been reduced to 20 or more. An evaluation study measuring the program’s impact on future compliance with OSHA standards has also been introduced for the 2011 program.

Incorrectly refurbished circuit breakers: electrical hazard alert from US DOL

Here’s a very useful electrical hazard alert from the US Department of Labor:

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently learned of a hazardous condition that may exist in certain molded-case circuit breakers modified by a third-party rebuilder. The breakers may have an actual rating of 600 volts AC (alternating current) (VAC) or less, but are labeled as 1,000 VAC and may contain incorrect parts that can cause the breaker to malfunction.

OSHA bases the details of this alert on an alert issued by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) entitled, “Hazardous 3rd Party Modified Circuit Breakers [66 KB PDF, 2 pages].”

Fall Protection Policies video from OSHA

Assistant Secretary of Labor Dr. David Michaels explains OSHA’s fall protection polices for residential construction here.