Federal law mandates your workers are entitled to a safe workplace. You must provide a workplace free of known health and safety hazards. Your workers have many rights, including the right to proper training in a language they understand; the right to work on machines that are well-maintained and safe; and the right to report an injury or illness that takes place on the job site.
In addition, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has its own set of regulations which are frequently updated along with standard interpretations. For this reason, we are shining the spotlight on a few newer mandates that insurance agents and business owners should understand.
Workplace violence, privacy concerns about electronic reporting, and new rules for crane operators have all recently been in the spotlight.
If your employees are at any risk for violence, OSHA says you must implement practical preventative steps. For example, for those in the security industry, employers should make it mandatory their security guards wear body armor.
You may recall last year; a healthcare industry field worker was fatally stabbed by a mental health client during a home visit. The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission ruled that the OSH Act general duty clause obligates employers to protect their workers from workplace violence. OSHA went on to suggest adopting policies that would reduce employee exposure to violence, including:
According to Lexology, the decision in this case will also likely renew calls for OSHA to adopt a standard that addresses workplace violence.
A 2016 electronic reporting rule put in place by the Obama administration is being scrapped. Six states are suing the government over the rule, saying it violates worker privacy. OSHA has lifted the annual electronic reporting requirement for Form 300 and OSHA Form 301. However, businesses with 250 or more employees will still have to maintain the completed forms with information on their sites and make them available for OSHA inspectors if called to do so. These companies are still expected to electronically submit Form 300A, which is a summary of work-related injuries and illnesses that do not contain detailed logs. (Occupational Health & Safety Online)
Last November, OSHA finalized changes to the certification requirements for crane operators. The final rule is a revision to a 2010 provision and says employers must train operators as necessary to perform assigned crane work, evaluate the operators, and document the completion of the evaluations. It also requires crane operators to be certified or licensed and to continue to receive training as needed to operate any new equipment. As of February 9, there are also new requirements for employers to provide ongoing training and verification of operators. (LBM Journal)
At Normandy Insurance, we specialize in workers’ compensation claims. Our professionals focus on workers’ comp insurance, from loss prevention to claims management, allowing you to focus on your business. And because we’re experts in claims handling, we help keep your costs down and efficiency up with our expert management of all workers’ compensation insurance claims. Get in touch with us today if there’s anything we can do for you.