Heat illness, infectious disease and workplace violence are still on OSHA’s radar for its Spring 2022 Regulatory Agenda, with rulemaking efforts continuing, albeit slowly.
Violations involving these three hazards have typically been enforced via the General Duty Clause – with enforcement efforts already in place for 2022 on heat illness and COVID-19 – and the agency has announced its intentions of creating specific standards for each of them over the past several years.
Likewise, the inclusion of electronic submissions for Form 300 injury and illness data on this year’s agenda should come as no surprise since OSHA has been eager to restore the Obama-era rule that had been mostly withdrawn by the Trump administration.
With all of that in mind, here are the highlights from OSHA’s Spring 2022 Regulatory Agenda:
Make sure all employees are aware of the hazards of noise-induced hearing loss, so they can take steps to protect against them.
Loud noises in the workplace can lead to permanent hearing loss among workers. Banging, drilling and other mechanical processes can produce loud noises that can damage a person’s eardrum. The types of sounds, noise intensity and duration of exposure can all contribute to hearing loss.
Symptoms may take years to develop, but even brief exposure to loud noises can have a major effect on a person’s life, limiting their ability to hear the world around them. Once noise-related hearing loss occurs, it is irreversible, so it’s crucial to protect your hearing when on the job and off, including when attending concerts and using loud tools or equipment at home.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set clear rules regarding noise pollution in the workplace. If these sounds pass a certain threshold, managers should imple
When at work, nearly every employee is compelled to do good and make a positive contribution to their team and organization. But sometimes their knowledge, or lack thereof, can hinder their ability to do just that.
When there’s a lack of knowledge or an information deficit, it can lead to wasted time:
Have you ever been in an environment that was so hot that you felt like basic functioning would take tremendous effort? Extreme heat can envelop you, enclosing you in an uncomfortable case that impacts your ability to move, to breathe and even to see if you are in it long enough.
This is a scenario that millions of workers must face when they go to work in the hot summer months and the heat isn’t cooling down. In fact, research shows that the temperatures in the United States will only continue to go up over the next decade after reaching a historic high in 2021.
Managing the risks involved in the working environment is always necessary in order to protect workers and to maintain compliance with health and safety legislation. In terms of thermal protection, a wide range of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) clothing exists typically produced from inherently heat and flame resistant materials.
Three intended safety standards available to manufacturers producing PPE garments protecting workers against heat and flame hazards cover the following:
• EN ISO 11612:2015 – Protective Clothing against Heat and Flame
• EN ISO 11611:2015 – Protective Clothing for use in welding or allied processes
• EN ISO 14116:2015 – Protective Clothing against Flame, Limited Flame Spread materials, material assemblies and clothing
Note that these dual “EN ISO” standards also hold a “presumption of conformity” within the European Union provided the manufacturer also adheres to the requirements of the European PPE Re