Risk Management White Papers

Safety Matters HeaderCoronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It has spread from China to many other countries around the world, including the United States. Depending on the severity of COVID-19’s international impacts, outbreak conditions—including those rising to the level of a pandemic—can affect all aspects of daily life, including travel, trade, tourism, food supplies, and financial markets.

To reduce the impact of COVID-19 outbreak conditions on businesses, workers, customers, and the public, it is important for all employers to plan now for COVID-19. For employers who have already planned for influenza pandemics, planning for COVID-19 may involve updating plans to address the specific exposure risks, sources of exposure, routes of transmission, and other unique characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 (i.e., compared to pandemic influenza viruses). Employers who have not prepared for pandemic events should prepare themselves and their workers as far in advance as possible of potentially worsening outbreak conditions. Lack of continuity planning can result in a cascade of failures as employers attempt to address challenges of COVID-19 with insufficient resources and workers who might not be adequately trained for jobs they may have to perform under pandemic conditions.

On March 25, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule regarding respirable crystalline silica. Under this rule, employers are subject to new standards for protecting workers. The rule became effective on June 23, 2016.

However, employers in the construction industry had until Sept. 23, 2017, to comply with the rule. Employers in the maritime and general industries had until June 23, 2018, to comply.

On May 12, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule that requires certain establishments to report information from their injury and illness records to OSHA electronically.

The final rule also solidified anti-retaliation protections for employees. The 2016 rule did not create additional recordkeeping obligations, but instead requires some entities to electronically submit already-required records to OSHA. These requirements became effective on Jan. 1, 2017, but the initial compliance deadlines were phased in through 2019.

OSHA’s cranes and derricks operator certification standard became effective on Nov. 10, 2018.

Employers that use cranes and derricks in construction must comply with this standard. Employers should also become familiar with this standard if their employees work in areas or sites where cranes and derricks are in use. Finally, crane lessors that provide operators or maintenance personnel with the equipment they lease also have duties under the standard. This Compliance Overview presents some frequently asked questions and answers compiled by OSHA regarding operator and signal person qualifications and operator certification. Download complete "OSHA Cranes and Derricks Operator Certification Information"

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) requires employers to provide a safe work environment for their workers.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for creating workplace safety standards and enforcing compliance with the OSH Act. OSHA enforces compliance with the OSH Act by conducting inspections, gathering evidence and imposing penalties on non-compliant employers.

Each year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) collects work-related injury and illness data from employers. This data collection is called the OSHA Data Initiative (ODI).

The data provided is used by OSHA to calculate establishment-specific injury and illness incidence rates. An incidence rate is the number of recordable injuries and illnesses occurring among a given number of fulltime workers (usually 100 full-time workers) over a given period of time (usually one year).