Member Links for Safety Programs and Information

The following link will direct you to a video produced by Ben Bella.  The video addresses power line safety for drivers and may be a useful tool in your safety program.

Wisconsin Co-ops Launch ‘License to Live’ Educational Campaign for Drivers

Chuck Hickernell wanted to make QSI members aware of a link that contains a number of PowerPoint presentations and videos about a number of OSHA related topics.  The topics range from silica to traffic control.  The training materials is a result of the Susan Harwood Training Grant.  https://www.osha.gov/harwoodgrants

EPA Navigable Waters Defined

EPA Navigable Waters Defined

Today the EPA released the final rule defining Navigable Waters. It essentially narrows the definition of a waterway back to what it originally was. It had expanded over the years to be interpreted widely. The concern is that there are specific procedures for reporting spills of transformer oil (among other fluids) to the EPA (typically through the EMA) when they reach a “navigable waterway”. So this change in definition should make our lives a little easier, but it is important to talk with your local EPA and EMA person(s) to come to an understanding of what they are looking for when you have a spill.

This provides a good opportunity for you to bring it to your local EPA, EMA contact persons attention and have a discussion as it pertains to your operations. I would suggest that you skim through the doc to become generally aware with what has evolved over time and how it is now so you can review your SPCC plan and your PCB Spill Clean-up procedure to make sure the appropriate spills are being reported.

I have attached a copy of the Federal Register for your review. This rule goes into effect June 22, 2020 and replaces the rule published on Oct 22, 2019. Of note is the fact that specific waters are excluded as identified in paragraph (b). The definition of “waters of the United States” is specifically spelled out, including waters that are excluded from the definition in the background section of the text.

Navigable Waters Defined

 

DOL Issues Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of Covid-19

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Enforcement Guidance For Recording Cases of COVID-19

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued interim guidance for enforcing OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements (29 CFR Part 1904) as it relates to recording cases of COVID-19.

Under OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements, COVID-19 is a recordable illness, and employers are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19, if the case:

  • Is confirmed as a COVID-19 illness;
  • Is work-related as defined by 29 CFR 1904.5; and
  • Involves one or more of the general recording criteria in 29 CFR 1904.7, such as medical treatment beyond first aid or days away from work.

In areas where there is ongoing community transmission, employers other than those in the healthcare industry, emergency response organizations (e.g., emergency medical, firefighting and law enforcement services), and correctional institutions may have difficulty making determinations about whether workers who contracted COVID-19 did so due to exposures at work. Accordingly, until further notice, OSHA will not enforce its recordkeeping requirements to require these employers to make work-relatedness determinations for COVID-19 cases, except where: (1) There is objective evidence that a COVID-19 case may be work-related; and (2) The evidence was reasonably available to the employer. Employers of workers in the healthcare industry, emergency response organizations and correctional institutions must continue to make work-relatedness determinations pursuant to 29 CFR Part 1904.

OSHA’s enforcement policy will provide certainty to the regulated community and help employers focus their response efforts on implementing good hygiene practices in their workplaces and otherwise mitigating COVID-19’s effects.

For further information and resources about the coronavirus disease, please visit OSHA’s COVID-19 webpage.

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 help 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 www.osha.gov.

Extension of Compliance Date for Entry-Level Driver Training

Extension of Compliance Date for Entry-Level Driver Training

“DOT is committed to ensuring that information is available in appropriate alternative formats to meet the requirements of persons who have a disability. If you require an alternative version of files provided on this page, please contact FMCSA.PublicAffairs@dot.gov.”

Click above to read or download the Extension of Compliance Date for Entry-Level Driver Training pdf.

ACTION: Interim final rule with request for comment.

SUMMARY: FMCSA is amending its December 8, 2016, final rule, “Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators” (ELDT final rule), by extending the compliance date for the rule from February 7, 2020, to February 7, 2022. This action will provide FMCSA additional time to complete development of the Training Provider Registry (TPR). The TPR will allow training providers to self-certify that they meet the training requirements and will provide the electronic interface that will receive and store entry-level driver training (ELDT) certification information from training providers and transmit that information to the State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs). The extension also provides SDLAs with time to modify their information technology (IT) systems and procedures, as necessary, to accommodate their receipt of driver-specific ELDT data from the TPR. FMCSA is delaying the entire ELDT final rule, as opposed to a partial delay as proposed, due to delays in implementation of the TPR that were not foreseen when the proposed rule was published.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Mr. Richard Clemente, Driver and Carrier Operations Division, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001, (202) 366-4325, MCPSD@dot.gov. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Operations,

Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

This is an online database of drug and alcohol violations that an employer subject to Part 382 (CMV driver drug and alcohol testing) must register to use to verify driver eligibility. This is in addition to the annual BMV report.
There are two types of queries you need to run. The limited query is done when checking all drivers on an annual basis. The full query is done when hiring a new employee and when a limited query comes back as “noted.” Each query costs the same, $1.25.
Compliance Date: January 6, 2020

Before January 6, 2020
• Employer must register online (Need SAFER portal to register)
• Update drug and alcohol policy and procedures (382.601(b)(12)
• Collect signed receipt from CMV drivers to allow limited queries
• Train all affected employees

After January 6, 2020
• Employer must report any drug and alcohol violations
o Alcohol results 0.04 or greater
o Refusal to test
o Actual knowledge of a violation
o Any negative return-to-duty test results
o Successful completion of drivers follow-up plan
• Conduct full queries on prospective CMV drivers

• Continue to also collect safety performance history (SPH) from previous employers until January, 2023
• Query all CDL drivers annually (can be limited query)
o First query of current drivers before Jan 5, 2021
o If report is noted, conduct a full query within 24 hrs.
o Driver must authorize query
▪ Use original sign-off form for limited query
▪ Driver needs account to authorize full query
• Keep all queries for 3 years
• Keep the limited query release for 3 years after final authorized query
• After Jan 6, 2023 a valid registration fulfills this requirement

LINK TO OHIO STATEWIDE HANDOUT – thank you Steve Savon for the timely information!

OSHA RFI for Control of Hazardous Energy

OSHA issued a RFI for control of hazardous energy as regulated under LOTO.  They are seeking info regarding two areas where modernizing the standard might better promote safety in the areas of control circuit type devices and robotics.  The current standard specifies that Energy Isolating Devices (EID’s) be used to when doing maintenance on a machine. The definition of and EID does not include push buttons, selector switches and other control circuit type devices. Now OSHA recognizes that there have been advancements in these devices that may make them acceptable.  Also in the area of robotics there may be need for some changes in the standard based on advancements. It doesn’t seem to me that this will affect our industry but wanted to pass it along. – Steve Savon

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-05-20/html/2019-10247.htm

Crane Certification – Final Rule Issued by DOL

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a final rule today that clarifies certification requirements for crane operators, and maintains the employer’s duty to ensure that crane operators can safely operate the equipment. The final rule will maintain safety and health protections for workers while reducing compliance burdens.

Under the final rule, employers are required to train operators as needed to perform assigned crane activities, evaluate them, and document successful completion of the evaluations. Employers who have evaluated operators prior to December 9, 2018, will not have to conduct those evaluations again, but will only have to document when those evaluations were completed.

The rule also requires crane operators to be certified or licensed, and receive ongoing training as necessary to operate new equipment. Operators can be certified based on the crane’s type and capacity, or type only, which ensures that more accredited testing organizations are eligible to meet OSHA’s certification program requirements. The final rule revises a 2010 requirement that crane operator certification must specify the rated lifting capacity of cranes for which the operator is certified. Compliant certifications that were already issued by type and capacity are still acceptable under this final rule.

The final rule, with the exception of the evaluation and documentation requirements, will become effective on Dec. 9, 2018. The evaluation and documentation requirements will become effective on February 7, 2019.

OSHA Issues Memorandum on Safety Incentive Plans and Post-Accident Drug Testing

Under the previous administration OSHA produced a rule that left many of us scratching our heads about the implementation of safety incentive programs using prizes as motivators and how/when to conduct post-accident drug testing.  Last week OSHA clarified that 1904.35(b1)(iv) does not prohibit safety incentive programs or post-incident drug testing. By issuing the latest memorandum they have superseded all previous guidance.

Evidence that the employer consistently enforces legitimate work rules (whether or not an injury is reported) would demonstrate that the employer is serious about creating a culture of safety, not just the appearance of reducing rates. Action taken under a safety incentive program or post-incident drug testing policy would only violate 29 C.F.R. § 1904.35(b)(1)(iv) if the employer took the action to penalize an employee for reporting a work-related injury rather than for the legitimate purpose of promoting safety.

OSHA now recognizes that incentive programs can be an important tool to promote safety.  Employers that are earnest in their efforts to create a workplace culture that emphasizes safety, not just injury rates, should also include the following elements to ensure that employees actually feel free to report incidents without retaliation:

  1. An incentive program that rewards employees for identifying unsafe conditions in the workplace;
  2. A training program for all employees to reinforce reporting rights and responsibilities and emphasizes the employer’s non-retaliation policy;
  3. A mechanism for accurately evaluating employees’ willingness to report injuries and illnesses.

In addition, OSHA now says that most instances of drug testing are permissible.  Examples include:

  1. Random drug testing.
  2. Drug testing unrelated to the reporting of a work-related injury or illness.
  3. Drug testing under a state workers’ compensation law.
  4. Drug testing under other federal law, such as a U.S. Department of Transportation rule.
  5. Drug testing to evaluate the root cause of a workplace incident that harmed or could have harmed employees.  If the employer chooses to use drug testing to investigate the incident, the employer should test all employees whose conduct could have contributed to the incident, not just employees who reported injuries.

In my opinion, this shift provides clarity for our cooperatives when dealing with safety incentive programs and post-accident drug testing.  This does not mean that you have to change current policies, but instead allows you to consider rewarding employees for maintaining injury free records.  However, as many of the cooperatives have noted, instituting programs that do not penalize employees (even reward them) for reporting injuries and near-misses provides for more open conversation about incidents that occur in the workplace.  This has helped to change the culture at many cooperatives.

If you have any questions about this recent change in position or would like to discuss safety incentive programs that really work to create a safe culture, please feel free to contact me.

I have attached the OSHA memorandum below in its entirety.

https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/standardinterpretations/2018-10-11

How One Small Meeting Turned into a Big Idea

How One Small Meeting Turned into a Big Idea

54 years ago, a few electric utility safety professionals from four Midwestern states gathered together to share challenges and ideas in promoting safety and formed Quad State Instructors, Inc. Today, more than 120 QSI members hail from 22 states and the organization holds two conferences per year where attendees can exchange information and solutions, upgrade skills and collaborate on training programs and best practices. Members are primarily electric utility safety professionals serving electric cooperatives and municipal utilities.

Led by an elected executive team of four members, Quad State Instructors has a long-standing mission to collaborate, promote and continuously identify best practices in safety and risk management that will provide its members the tools and resources necessary to effectively enhance their individual organization and community safety programs. All QSI conferences, committees and projects are organized around the fundamental value of increasing safety awareness and education through a variety of trainings, discussions and presentations from experts in the safety field.

Membership continues to grow year over year, and members can earn 15 continuing education credits for attending a QSI conference. Networking and program sharing are the benefits that really set this organization apart. QSI also maintains an online archive with hundreds of programs developed for use in utilities. QSI members sit on many different committees and contribute to an array of different programs, making a difference in the safety of thousands of utility employees at cooperatives and municipalities across the United States.

“I’ve worked in the electric utility industry for over 30 years, and I’ve been involved with several groups that promote safe work practices and technical training. The Quad State Instructors is by far the most dedicated team I have been affiliated with.  QSI’s commitment to getting our utility personnel home safely each and every day is second to none,” remarked QSI vice chair Matt Pociask, who serves as a job training and safety instructor with the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives.

Over the years, QSI has collaborated with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), Federated Rural Insurance, and the National Utility Training & Safety Education Association (NUTSEA) on projects and ventures, including the original safety accreditation program, assisting in the development of annual inspection criteria with Federated Insurance, creating a model safety program, compiling a comprehensive list of job safety analyses, developing OSHA compliance documents, and various technical projects.

QSI continually works to develop relationships with vendors and manufacturers in the utility field; these partnerships keep members informed on trends and new technologies.

***The above was submitted to IP magazine for publication.

OSHA Updates Recordkeeping Regulation

Clarification of Employer’s Continuing Obligation To Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION: Final rule.

———————————————————————–

SUMMARY: Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress has passed, and

the President has signed, Public Law 115-21, a resolution of

disapproval of OSHA’s final rule titled, “Clarification of Employer’s

Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of each

Recordable Injury and Illness.” OSHA published the rule, which

contained various amendments to OSHA’s recordkeeping regulations, on

December 19, 2016. The amendments became effective on January 18, 2017.

Because Public Law 115-21 invalidates the amendments to OSHA’s

recordkeeping regulations contained in the rule promulgated on December

19, 2016, OSHA is hereby removing those amendments from the Code of

Federal Regulations.

DATES: This final rule becomes effective on May 3, 2017.

Analysis

This rulemaking is significant in that it defines OSHA’s authority as to when they can cite a company for not keeping their injury and illness records (i.e. Form 300) current Companies with 10 or more employees are still required to keep and maintain 5 years of injury and illness data. The impact of the legislation and rule recession does not change this requirement. What the legislation did was say that OSHA could not cite companies beyond the 6-month statute of limitation for not keeping the records current. OSHA was citing and fining companies for not keeping the records current over the 5 year retention period.

Therefore, OSHA can cite you for not having the records. They can’t cite you for not keeping them current, past the 6 month deadline. Since there is a 7 day window to record an injury, the period of time a company could be cited for not recording an injury or illness is 6 months and 7 days.

In addition, there are NO revisions in this notice to the following rules:

  • 1904.39 – Reporting fatalities, hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye as a result of work-related incidents to OSHA
  • 1904.41 – Electronic submission of injury and illness records to OSHA (due to start on July 1, 2017)