Recommended Practices for Safety & Health Programs


OSHA has recently updated the Guidelines for Safety and Health Programs it first released 30 years ago, to reflect changes in the economy, workplaces, and evolving safety and health issues. The new Recommended Practices have been well received by a wide variety of stakeholders and are designed to be used in a wide variety of small and medium-sized business settings. The Recommended Practices present a step-by-step approach to implementing a safety and health program, built around seven core elements that make up a successful program.

The main goal of safety and health programs is to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths, as well as the suffering and financial hardship these events can cause for workers, their families, and employers. The recommended practices use a proactive approach to …

Guidelines for Safety and Health Programs

Read more and download the new “Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs”

Updates to 1910.269 Electrical Safety Standard

July 10th, 2014, OSHA updated the 1910.269 standard for electrical power generation, transmission and distribution installations.

Main points:

  • Workers must be adequately trained and training must match the degree of risk that workers will be exposed to.
  • Employers needs to do an assessment to determine the level of exposure that workers might have to flame and/or electrical arc flash.
  • Employers need to provide an estimate of the amount of energy potentially present in any arc flash for any and all jobs that employees might need to do. They have until January 1 of 2015 to document these estimates.
  • Employers must additionally provide any and all FR and Arc-Flash personal protective equipment that workers might need for protection against the flames and arc-flash hazards. This must be done by April 1, 2015.
  • Multiple crews working together need to have one central person who is in charge of deenergizing and reenergizing or have a system in place so that only all crews together can reenergize lines and equipment.

For more information visit the OSHA “electrical power” page.

OSHA Update to Electrical Standard

It’s been 40 years since OSHA updated the standard, but better late than never. Earlier this week OSHA announced that the long-overdue update to the standards for electric power generation, transmission and distribution was finally here.

From the press release on the OSHA site:

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced that it would be issuing a final rule* to improve workplace safety and health for workers performing electric power generation, transmission and distribution work.

“This long-overdue update will save nearly 20 lives and prevent 118 serious injuries annually,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “Electric utilities, electrical contractors and labor organizations have persistently championed these much-needed measures to better protect the men and women who work on or near electrical power lines.”

OSHA is revising the 40-year-old construction standard for electric power line work to make it more consistent with the corresponding general industry standard and is also making some revisions to the construction and general industry requirements. The updated standards for general industry and construction include new or revised provisions for host and contract employers to share safety-related information with each other and with employees, as well as for improved fall protection for employees working from aerial lifts and on overhead line structures. In addition, the standards adopt revised approach-distance requirements to better ensure that unprotected workers do not get dangerously close to energized lines and equipment. The final rule also adds new requirements to protect workers from electric arcs.

General industry and construction standards for electrical protective equipment are also revised under the final rule. The new standard for electrical protective equipment applies to all construction work and replaces the existing construction standard, which was based on out-of-date information, with a set of performance-oriented requirements consistent with the latest revisions of the relevant consensus standards. The new standards address the safe use and care of electrical protective equipment, including new requirements that equipment made of materials other than rubber provide adequate protection from electrical hazards.

The final rule will result in estimated monetized benefits of $179 million annually, with net benefits equal to about $130 million annually.

Additional information on the final rule is available at The final rule becomes effective 90 days after publication in the Federal Register. OSHA adopted delayed compliance deadlines for certain requirements.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

You can download the full 1607 page document from the OSHA website.

Cranes, Rigging and Personnel Lifting Rule

Effective as of February 1st 2012 (2 weeks ago now), the new crane rule went into effect.

In the wake of several crane accidents and fatalities, not to mention the cost of damages, OSHA has put together a new rule for crane inspection, maintenance and operation. If you haven’t been aware of this new rule, don’t panic yet. While it went into effect at the beginning of the month, you’ve got until July 31st, 2012 to comply.

To get a handle on the new rule as well as to get training, sample Accident Prevention Plans (APP) and a whole lot more, you can check out the resources available on the Department of Labor and Industries website under the construction crane resources section.

OSHA Blog… Today’s post, the Rule of Ten

There’s a blog that I want to call your attention to because it’s one that, if you have anything to do with safety, you should know about. It’s Written by a team of professionals, mostly related to OSHA laws and enforcement, it is updated pretty regularly and contains a lot of really great information regarding OSHA, OSHA enforcement and all the applicable laws and regulations that go with it.

Today’s blog post, for example, is about the so-called “Role of Ten” which many people mistakenly believe to mean that OSHA has no jurisdiction over businesses that have 10 or fewer employees. Eric J. Conn and Amanda R. Strainis-Walker put together an overview of what the Rule of Ten means and what it doesn’t mean.

Good stuff!

OSHA Enforcement Database Map

Who in your neighborhood has been fined by OSHA for a safety violation? What was the fine for?

OSHA has made a major improvement in its enforcement database by incorporating an interactive map into the enforcement database.

Zoom in or out to locate companies in your neighborhood. Click on the ! in a diamond to see which companies have been fined, how many times they’ve been inspected, how many fines they received and what the amount of the fine(s) was. Click inside the pop up box to get even more details.

View the Press Release from OSHA concerning this new feature and other updates to their enforcement database.

Access the interactive database to view companies your own neighborhood.

Proposed Fall Protection Changes by OSHA

Want an update to all the changes that OSHA is contemplating regarding the new fall protection standards? OSHA has been working to update the standard for several months now and, thanks to their website, you can see what changes they are thinking of implementing.

The proposed rules for the “Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection Systems)” can now be viewed online at:

Among the issues addressed are the following:

Issue 1 – Fall Protection on Rolling Stock and Motor Vehicles

Issue 2 -
				Fall Protection for Employees Standing or Climbing on Stacked Materials (e.g., Steel and Precast Concrete Products)
Issue 3--Qualified Climber
Issue 4--Building Anchorages for Rope Descent Systems
Issue 5--Technological Advances in Fall Protection and Fall Arrest

Be forewarned, this is a massive document (when copied and pasted into MS Word, it ended up being a 251 page document on my computer)

Enjoy a little light reading

OSHA updates the PPE Standard

This past Wednesday, September the 9th, OSHA issued its final rule “revising the personal protective equipment (PPE) sections of its general industry, shipyard employment, longshoring and marine terminals standards concerning requirements for eye- and face-protective devices, and head and foot protection.”

Because advances in technology have changed the nature of PPE, a new standard that incorporated those advances and changes was necessary.

Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab is quote on the OSHA website: “Workers exposed to occupational hazards requiring head, foot, or eye and face protection will now be provided protection based on a standard that reflects state-of-the-art technology and materials. This final rule is another step in OSHA’s efforts to update or remove references to outdated national consensus and industry standards.”

Among the most important changes is an amendment addressing the issue of filter lenses and plates for protection against radiant energy like light or infrared.

View the final PPE Rule here.