Happy New Year from the United Alliance – Top 3 OSHA Updates for MA, RI, CT and NY Employers to watch in for 2014!

From all of us in the United Alliance Services Corporation to all of you, happy holidays and Happy New Year! We wish you a holiday season filled with joy, and a safe, healthy and happy 2014. Thank you all for continuing to take time out of your busy schedules to read our articles and posts here on the United Alliance Workplace Health and Safety Blog.  As we celebrated the 10th Anniversary at United Alliance Services, we would like to continue to bring you another great year of fresh perspectives on important OSHA compliance regulations and , we would like to  thank you for all of your positive feedback, comments, and questions, which give us the energy and enthusiasm to keep our OSHA and United Alliance Workplace Health and Safety Blog current and applicable to employees and employers throughout northeast.Please contact us if you have questions about any of the content on the blog, ideas for other topics we should be covering, and of course, if there is ever anything our occupational health and safety specialist  can do to help you with solving your challenges of navigating OSHA compliance regulation or workplace safety and health issues.Top 3 OSHA Compliance Requirements to Watch in 2014:#1: OSHA Releases 2013 Top 10 Most Cited Standards:In October 2013 (start of FY2014) , OSHA unveiled its List of the 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for fiscal year (“FY”) 2013 (i.e., October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013).  The announcement came at the 2013 National Safety Council Congress and Expo. It should not be a surprise to employers and employees in 2014 if this list of 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards in 2013 becomes a major focus in 2014;10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2013:1.    1926.501 – Fall Protection (cited 8,241 times during FY 2013)2.    1910.1200 – Hazard Communication (cited 6,156 times during FY 2013)3.    1926.451 – Scaffolding (cited 5,423 times during FY 2013)4.    1910.134 – Respiratory Protection (cited 3,879 times during FY 2013)5.    1910.305 – Electrical, Wiring Methods (cited 3,452 times during FY 2013)6.    1910.178 – Powered Industrial Trucks (cited 3,340 times during FY 2013)7.    1926.1053 – Ladders (cited 3,311 times during FY 2013)8.    1910.147 – Lockout/Tagout (cited 3,254 times during FY 2013)9.    1910.303 – Electrical, General Requirements (cited 2,745times in FY 2013)10.  1910.212 – Machine Guarding (cited 2,701 times during FY 2013)Not surprisingly, Fall Protection remains the most cited standard again.  Of note is the fact that 3 out of the 10 top cited standards relate directly to the Construction Industry, namely Fall Protection, Scaffolding, and Ladders. Click here to compare to 2012.#2: OSHA Introduction to On-Line Filing Tool to Facilitate More Whistleblower Complaints:OSHA announced earlier this December 5, 2013 that employees protected by the whistleblower provisions in any one of the 22 statutes administered by OSHA, from claims of retaliation under the OSH Act based on workplace safety and health complaints, to financial fraud whistleblower retaliation under the Affordable Care Act or Sarbanes-Oxley, can now file their retaliation complaints with OSHA on-line.  Specifically, in a December 5, 2013 press release, OSHA revealed a new web-based tool available for whistleblowers to submit their complaints to OSHA directly on-line, and introduced the on-line complaint form itself.#3: OSHA Proposes Intrusive New Injury & Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Rule:On November 7th 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) put out a press release announcing a proposed new rule that would significantly increase employers’ injury and illness recordkeeping and reporting responsibilities.  OSHA first submitted its proposal to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (“OIRA”) two years ago, on November 22, 2011, but OIRA did not approve the proposed rule to advance through the rulemaking process until last month.Well there you have it the Top 3 OSHA compliance regulations we think you should be watching in 2014! This is only the beginning of 2014, so please check in with on United Alliance Workplace Health and Safety Blog from time to time for more updates. And as always if you have any questions you can contact us at 877-399-1698 or via e-mail at safetysolutions@unitedallianceservices.com