Nominee for OSHA Lead Advances for Senate Approval

President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is one step closer to taking over after the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved Scott Mugno’s nomination on December 13, 2017.

The vote for Mr. Mugno, who has worked as the vice president for safety, sustainability and vehicle maintenance at FedEx Ground among other positions at the company, was split along party lines with all of the Republican senators in support, according to EHS Today.

If approved, Mr. Mugno would become the assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. His nomination will now be sent to the full U.S. Senate. No date has yet been set for the final vote.

According to OSHA’s organizational chart, Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt currently serves as the administration’s highest ranking official as of December 15.

In total, the HELP committee approved seven nominations in the Departments of Education and Labor on December 13, 2017.

Kick off the Holidays with the 12 Days of PPE

Here at SCT, the safety experts are getting in the holiday spirit with a safety-focused rendition of the classic song “12 Days of Christmas.”

While we may not win any awards for our singing talent, we nonetheless hope you enjoy our “12 Days of PPE” video below and use it as an entertaining reminder to always follow proper workplace safety procedures, including wearing the right PPE for the job.

Be sure to check out for all of your safety gear needs. Use code HOLIDAY2017 for 10% off your order of $100 or more.

OSHA’s Electronic Reporting Deadline Looms

The extended deadline for affected employers for OSHA’s electronic reporting system is coming up on Friday, December 15, 2017.

Who needs to electronically report?

Establishments with 250 or more employees that are currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, and business with 20 to 249 employees in specific industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses. Keep in mind that certain states have OSHA-approved State Plans that have not, as of yet, adopted the requirement to submit electronic OSHA injury and illness reports. Businesses in these states — California, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming — are not currently required to submit electronic data to OSHA through the Injury Tracking Application (ITA).

What is the ITA’s purpose?

The ITA’s intent is to improve the overall tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses, and provide better recordkeeping management to affected establishments. According to a press release, OSHA is currently reviewing other provisions of the new final rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, and will published proposed reconsiderations or revisions to portions of its rule in 2018.

Check out our video OSHA’s Electronic Reporting and what it means for your business:

For all your occupational safety and health needs contact the experts at SCT at 1-800-204-1729 or email us using the contact form below!



OSHA Releases Final Numbers for Top 10 Cited Standards in 2017

The counts are in, and OSHA has released the final numbers in their annual Top 10 Violations for the 2017 fiscal year. Preliminary numbers were released at the National Safety Council Congress and Expo in Indianapolis in September 2017.

The final numbers for the top 10 OSHA violations did not change the preliminary rankings of the top 10. Fall Protection remained well secured in the top spot with more than 2,200 more citations than the second highest violation, Hazard Communication.

Watch our breakdown of the 2017 Top 10 OSHA Violations in our latest safety video below!

OSHA’s Top 10 Most-Cited Violations for Fiscal Year 2017

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements: 6,887 violations
    • Standard: 1926.501
    • Fiscal Year 2016 Ranking: 1 (6,906 violations)
  2. Hazard Communication: 4,652 violations
    • Standard: 1910.1200
    • Fiscal Year 2016 Ranking 2 (5,665 violations)
  3. Scaffolding: 3,697 violations
    • Standard: 1926.451
    • Fiscal Year 2016 Ranking: 3 (3,900 violations)
  4. Respiratory Protection: 3,381 violations
    • Standard: 1910.134
    • Fiscal Year 2016 Ranking: 4 (3,573 violations)
  5. Lockout/Tagout: 3,131 violations
    • Standard: 1910.147
    • Fiscal Year 2016 Ranking: 5 (3,406 violations)
  6. Ladders: 2,567 violations
    • Standard: 1926.1053
    • Fiscal Year 2016 Ranking: 7 (2,625 violations)
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks: 2,349 violations
    • Standard: 1910.178
    • Fiscal Year 2016 Ranking: 6 (2,855 violations)
  8. Machine Guarding: 2,109 violations
    • Standard: 1910.212
    • Fiscal Year 2016 Ranking: 8 (2,448 violations)
  9. Fall Protection – Training Requirements: 1,724 violations
    • Standard: 1926.503
    • Fiscal Year 2016 Ranking: Was Not Ranked
  10. Electrical – Wiring Methods: 1,530 violations
    • Standard: 1910.305
    • Fiscal Year 2016 Ranking: 9 (1,937 violations)

Need to abate any of these hazards at your workplace? Contact us today at 1-800-204-1729 or complete the contact form below.


SCT earns spot on 2017 Weatherhead 100 list

CLEVELAND, OHIO — SCT broke into the top 40 of the fastest growing businesses in Northeast Ohio, earning the 36th spot on the 2017 Weatherhead 100 List, a jump of 35 places from 2016’s 71st position.

The list is an annual recognition of the top 100 fastest growing businesses in Northeast Ohio as compiled by representatives from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Representing SCT at the November 30, 2017, awards presentation was President Gail Grueser and Office Manager/Controller Annette Plavny.

“I am thrilled that the efforts of our dedicated employees have boosted our growth so much,” Ms. Grueser said. “We’ve experienced such growth from just this past year, and it feels wonderful to be recognized as one of the area’s fastest growing companies.”

The Weatherhead 100 is based on revenue from the past five years, 2012-2016, with a minimum of $100,000 in sales in 2012. Winners must also be a for-profit organization that is not a franchise or a subsidiary of another company, and must be headquartered in one of the following counties: Ashland, Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, or Wayne.

Like the growth in 2016, 2017 has also proved a banner year for SCT. A second physical location was opened in Chicago, Illinois, and satellite offices were established in Boston, Massachusetts; Peoria, Illinois; and Tampa, Florida.

As she said last year, Ms. Grueser added that employers continue to recognize the benefits of having a proactive safety program.

“Employees are a company’s most valuable resource. A successful business should do everything it can to keep them healthy and safe, which will make them more productive.”

DOT drug testing to include synthetic opiods

The Federal Department of Transportation has added four semi-synthetic opioids to its drug testing regimen. As of January 1, 2018, affected employees with five federal agencies will be subjected to the expanded DOT drug testing measures.

Those agencies include the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), and the U.S. Coast Guard. Read more about the specific employees covered under DOT Testing Regulation 49 CFR Part 40 here.

The four semi-synthetics opioids new to the DOT drug testing panel include: oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone. All are used for moderate to severe pain management or pain relief. Common names for these semi-synthetic opioids include OxyContin®, Percodan®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Lortab®, Norco®, Dilaudid®, and Exalgo®.

The final rule was published in the November 13th edition of the Federal Register.

According to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 33,000 Americans died from opioid-related overdoses in 2015.

“The opioid crisis is a threat to public safety when it involves safety-sensitive employees involved in the operation of any kind of vehicle or transport,” Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao said when the final rule was published in November. “The ability to test for a broader range of opioids will advance transportation safety significantly and provide another deterrence to opioid abuse, which will better protect the public and ultimately save lives.”

The occupational health experts at SCT stay current on all updates and expansions when it comes to different regulations from federal, state, and local partners. SCT can meet all your drug testing needs. If you’re located in our home state of Ohio, SCT can help businesses navigate the Ohio BWC application for the Drug Free Safety Program, which can earn companies a 4 or 7 percent rebate on workers’ compensation premiums.

If you’re interested in taking part in the Ohio BWC Drug Free Safety Program, now’s the time to act! All testing, training and reporting is due by the last business day in March 2018. Watch our DFSP video for more information & contact us using the contact form below to get started on your DFSP today!



Electronic Injury Submission Delay Comes Closer

The Office of Management and Budget completed its review of OSHA’s proposed final rule for the compliance date of electronic injury and illness data submission.

In November 2017, OSHA submitted a final rule to extend the compliance date to December 15, 2017. The original compliance date was July 1, 2017. According to Safety and Health Magazine, the last step to enact the change is publication in the Federal Register. 

Employers are already required to record this injury and illness data, but now must submit the date in an online application that will then be publicly available in a standardized format.

OSHA believes that this will encourage employers to improve their workplace safety, while also allowing researchers a way to easily examine data to identify new workplace hazards before they become widespread. Plus, the rule has anti-retaliation protection, which will encourage employees to report workplace hazards.

Many companies, but not all, are required to comply with this standard. Businesses with 250 or more employees must electronically submit information from the OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301. Businesses with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk injuries must submit data from OSHA Form 300A.

Safety and Health Magazine also reported that in a Nov. 15 committee meeting, Secretary of Labor R. Alexander Acosta said OSHA is still improving the rule.

“We are balancing the issues of privacy – because it was asking for some information that was very detailed and that identified individuals – with the needs (sic) to get information so that we can engage in appropriate and targeted enforcement,” he said.

The electronic injury submission website has hit a few bumps this year. In August 2017, OSHA shut down the application after a potential security breach. A further scan found that no breach occurred and no user data was compromised. The application was shut down for about two weeks.

To ensure your recordkeeping practices are up to standard, contact our team of OSHA experts today at 1-800-204-1729.

Remembering Road Traffic Victims

On the third Sunday of November, the United Nations recognizes the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

Overall, road traffic is the ninth leading cause of death worldwide and is the leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds. About 1.25 million people are killed and millions more are injured. About 100 people die each day in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

In the world of occupational health and safety, OSHA reported that 1,264 people were killed in “roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles” in 2015. This was a 9 percent increase from the 2014 mark and accounted for more than a quarter of all fatal occupational injuries.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

One of the easiest ways to help prevent motor vehicle deaths is to always buckle up. Seat belts save 14,000 lives in the U.S. each year and cut the risk of death for people riding in cars by 45 percent.

Additionally, an employee cell phone policy can help curb distracted driving, which is estimated to be a factor in about 25-30 percent of all traffic crashes. Check out our blog post from earlier this year for more details about creating a successful employee cell phone policy.

OSHA has provided a guide to get employers started on developing an effective worker driving program:

  1. Senior Management Commitment & Employee Involvement
  2. Written Policies and Procedures
  3. Driver Agreements
  4. Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) Checks
  5. Crash Reporting and Investigation
  6. Vehicle Selection, Maintenance and Inspection
  7. Disciplinary Action System
  8. Reward/Incentive Program
  9. Driver Training/Communication
  10. Regulatory Compliance

As winter closes in, safe driving strategies are more important than ever. Make safe driving a priority so that every worker makes it home safely at the end of the day.

For all your occupational safety and health needs, contact SCT at 1-800-204-1729. Businesses who expect the best turn to SCT.

Workplace Injury Rate Falls Again in Private Industries

Continuing a decade long trend, the nonfatal workplace injury and illness rate in private industries fell in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The rate of 2.9 cases per 100 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers was .1 cases lower than in 2015. Even with the decline, this still amounted to 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses, which was 48,500 fewer than the previous year.  Except for 2012, the injury rate has declined every year since 2004.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Finance and insurance, while having a low rate of injuries and illnesses at .6 cases per 100 FTE workers, was the only industry sector that saw a nonfatal workplace injury rate increase compared to 2015. Construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and retail trade all saw “statistically significant” decrease in workplace injuries and illnesses. The rate was unchanged in the 14 other industry sectors.

The BLS looked deeper into the statistics of the manufacturing industry, which saw a decrease in both the total count and incidence rate of injuries that caused the employee to miss days away from work (DAFW). DAFW cases fell by 4 percent in manufacturing to a total of 118,500 in 2016. The incidence rate fell from 99.0 cases per 10,000 FTE workers to 94.9 cases.

Sprains, strains and tears were the most common injury type, accounting for 30 percent of injuries, followed by: cuts, lacerations, and punctures; soreness and pain; and fractures.

In December, the BLS will release the data for fatal injuries.

While the continued downward trend of workplace injuries and illnesses is something to celebrate, we at SCT know we can do better. All workplace injuries are preventable with proper education, training, and policies. By working together, we can reach the ultimate goal of zero workplace injuries.

Contact our team of experts today to ensure your workplace safety program is the best that it can be. Call us at 1-800-204-1729 or use the contact form below.


Crane Operator Certification Compliance Required by November 2018

Construction employers now officially have one more year to comply with a crane operator certification requirement.

A few months back, we wrote about the rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) when it was proposed in early September 2017. OSHA accepted public comment on the proposal throughout the month.

With the new final rule now in effect, employers must comply with the certification requirement by November 10, 2018. Originally, this deadline was scheduled for November 2017.

According to OSHA’s Cranes and Derricks Rule, there are four options for crane operator certification:

  • Certification by an independent testing organization accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting organization
  • Qualification by an employer’s independently audited program
  • Qualification by the U.S. military
  • Compliance with qualifying state or local licensing requirements

In 2015, cranes were listed as the primary or secondary source in 44 fatal worker injuries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Cranes and Derricks final rule was issued in August 2010, and then, in response to stakeholder concerns, the separate certification rule was published in September 2014.

OSHA’s Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) recommended delaying enforcement of the certification requirement and extending the employer assessment responsibilities for the same period, according to an OSHA news release.

 The week of January 22, 2018, SCT will host a multi-day crane operator certification course at our office in Middleburg Heights, OH. Space is limited, so be sure to reserve your spot as soon as possible. Contact us at 1-800-204-1729 or use the contact form below.