Is your facility prepared and compliant with OSHA requirements for 2019? In the coming year, the agency will focus on employer safety initiatives, training programs, and injury reporting requirements, which have been phased in over the last two years and will be in full force in 2019.
Building on its initiatives to increase employer engagement in safety training for workers, OSHA updated its Guidelines for Safety and Health Programs, first released 30 years ago. The revisions address workplace changes and new challenges that have occurred over the last three decades.
For example, new technology and robotics are now integrated into the workplace, introducing new types of hazards. There is also greater diversity in the workplace meaning that there can be language barriers that impede clear communication and safety.
Will OSHA be judging your safety training and procedures in 2019? Maybe. You never know when a workplace injury or incident could trigger an OSHA inspection and put current safety measures under scrutiny. You can help avoid this by being proactive in safety training, monitoring operator behavior, and enforcing the use of safety checklists and proper maintenance.
The right telematics platform can alert managers to equipment issues, repairs, or required maintenance before it poses any risk. The platform should also monitor and report on operator behavior and training needs and provide access to information in multiple languages.
Remember that you can translate training literature for employees facing a language barrier, but a large void in safety still exists if telematic checklists and safety reminders aren’t accessible in other languages. Software platforms like Totaltrax’s SX200 are accessible in Canadian French, Spanish, and German. This allows forklift operators to read the safety checklists in a familiar language so they can effectively complete the OSHA required checklist before they operate a forklift.
OSHA required reporting, now and in 2019
OSHA established a rule in January 2017, phased in over three years, that requires certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness data. This data was previously recorded only on onsite OSHA Injury and Illness forms.
In July of 2018, OSHA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to eliminate the requirement of the lengthy (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses), and OSHA Form 300 (Injury and Illness Incident Report) for establishments with 250 or more employees. Instead, these establishments are required to electronically submit information from form 300A, a shorter summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses.
Beginning in 2019, 300A forms are due four months earlier than last year. Businesses with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries must electronically submit information from their 300A to OSHA by March 2.
Putting workplace safety first in 2019 is one of the most effective ways of protecting your employees and avoiding OSHA violations. Your telematic system should make compliance easier, providing insight that identifies risky behavior and training needs and removing language barriers that impede safety.