Tuesday, October 13, 2015

OSHA announces new system that gives greater weight to complex, time-consuming inspections

All OSHA inspections aren't equal...

OSHA logo
OSHA has moved to a new enforcement weighting system that assigns greater value to complex inspections that require more time and resources. The new system will allow for more strategic planning and measurement of inspections, and ensure that all workers are equally protected, regardless of the industry they work in. The system assigns "Enforcement Units" to each inspection. Routine inspections count as one unit, while those requiring greater resources — such as those involving musculoskeletal disorders,chemical exposuresworkplace violence, and process safety management violations — count as up to nine units. The values are based on historical data and will be monitored and adjusted as necessary.
OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels announced the change at the National Safety Council conference in Atlanta earlier this week. "All inspections aren't equal — some are complex and require more time and resources — and many of those inspections have the greatest impact," he said. "This new system will help us better focus our resources on more meaningful inspections."
Inspections are one of the fundamental tools OSHA uses to encourage employers to abate hazards. Strong evidence from several recent studies shows these that injury rates decrease at an establishment in the years following an OSHA inspection.
Inspection Priorities
OSHA seeks to focus its inspection resources on the most hazardous workplaces in the following order of priority: 
1. Imminent danger situations—hazards that could cause death or serious physical harm receive top priority. Compliance officers will ask employers to correct these hazards immediately or remove endangered employees. 
2. Severe injuries and illnesses—employers must report:
   • All work-related fatalities within 8 hours.
   • All work-related inpatient hospitalizations, amputations, or losses of an eye within 24 hours.

3. Worker Complaints—allegations of hazards or violations also receive a high priority. Employees may request anonymity when they file complaints. 
4. Referrals of hazards from other federal, state or local agencies, individuals, organizations or the media receive consideration for inspection. 
5. Targeted inspections—inspections aimed at specific high-hazard industries or individual workplaces that have experienced high rates of injuries and illnesses also receive priority. 
6. Follow-up inspections—checks for abatement of violations cited during previous inspections are also conducted by the agency in certain circumstances.
Make certain that your staff, patient interactions and facility are up to OSHA standards for the safety of everyone involved. OSHA compliance training should not only be a yearly refresher training course but a daily activity in the awareness and practice of safety policies and procedures.

For more information on this and other topics related to HR, HIPAA, OSHA, and Medicare, please emailsupport@hcsiinc.com or visit our website at http://www.hcsiinc.com
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