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!








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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!








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How Your Beard Impacts Respiratory Protection

Source: NIOSH

As the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health notes, during November many people participate in campaigns to raise money for various causes by growing out their facial hair. But if your job requires a tight fitting respirator, many different facial hair styles are a no-go.

The graphic above (produced by NIOSH) highlights dozens of facial hair styles and if they would interfere with a proper respirator seal. A respirator needs to seal tightly against the face, or else harmful gases, vapors, or particles can enter the lungs.

According to NIOSH, some studies have shown that even a day or two of stubble can reduce the protection that a respirator provides. Facial hair under the seal can cause causes 20 to 1000 times more leakage compared to clean-shaven individuals.

But this graphic should only be used as a guide. A respiratory fit test needs to be performed to ensure that a respirator fits a worker properly. Our team of experts here at SCT conduct hundreds of fit tests each year to help keep our clients safe on the job.

Respiratory protection has received a renewed focus in workplace safety with the updated silica standard in construction going into effect in September 2017. Check out our video below to learn a bit more about silica protection and what to expect from a respiratory fit test.

Need a respiratory fit test for you or your employees? Call us at 1-800-204-1729 or complete the contact form below.








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FedEx Vice President Nominated to Lead OSHA

President Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate Scott Mugno to be the Assistant Secretary of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), established by the OSH Act in 1970, is a federal agency tasked with ensuring the safety and health of workers across the United States.

Mugno is currently the Vice President for Safety, Sustainability and Vehicle Maintenance at FedEx Ground in Pittsburgh, PA. Previously, he was the Managing Director for FedEx Express Corporate Safety, Health and Fire Protection in Memphis, TN. He has been employed at the company since 1994.

Mugno also twice received the company’s highest honor, the FedEx Five Star Award, for his safety leadership, according to the White House’s statement.

According to EHS Today, Mugno oversees 200 EHS and maintenance employees across four departments who are “focused on creating a safe work environment for 95,000 team members and the public.”

If Mugno’s nomination is approved, he will replace Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt, who has held that position since July 2017.

6 Components of a Drug-Free Workplace (Infographic)

We’re wrapping up our focus on the benefits of a drug-free workplace with a look at the 6 major components of a successful program. This spotlight on drug free programs aligns with National Drug-Free Work Week, an annual event that raises awareness about the importance of drug-free work environments.

National Drug-Free Work Week is sponsored by the National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance.

Want help creating a drug-free workplace program and policy for your workplace? Contact the Occupational Safety & Health experts at SCT at 1-800-204-1729!

Hidden Economics of Drugs in the Workplace (Infographic)

Though the health effects of drugs are devastating, the economic impact of drugs can also prove harmful.

Setting aside the emotional and physical tolls that drugs have on a user, the abuse of drugs–both legal and illicit–have serious financial repercussions in business. Costs associated with drugs–usually related to crime, loss of productivity, absenteeism, and health care–account for about $700 billion annually, according to results from the National Survey on Drug Use & Health.

We’ve created an infographic that highlights the overall costs of substance abuse in the workplace, breaking it down into costs associated with alcohol ($224 billion/year), tobacco ($295 billion/year), and illicit drugs ($193 billion/year).

Additionally, the infographic depicts the industries that see the highest rates of substance use and abuse, including general construction, mining, general manufacturing, transportation and warehouses, and hospitality and food service.

Check out the National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance website for more information and statistics regarding the impact of drugs in the workplace.

To talk to an Occupational Safety and Health expert about crafting a Drug Free Program or Policy for your workplace, contact SCT at 1-800-204-1729, or contact us via the electronic form below.








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SCT Recognizes National Drug-Free Work Week

This week marks the 11th annual recognition of National Drug-Free Work Week.

Started by the U.S. Department of Labor as a way to improve safety and health in the construction industry, National Drug-Free Work Week now highlights the importance of keeping substances out of all workplaces and encourages workers with a drug or alcohol problem to seek help.

According to the latest statistics from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which uses data from 2008 to 2012,  an annual average of 8.7% of full-time workers aged 18 to 64 used alcohol heavily in the past month, 8.6% used illicit drugs in the past month, and 9.5% were dependent on or abused alcohol or illicit drugs in the past year.

Mining (17.5 percent)  and construction (16.5 percent) saw the highest rates of past month heavy alcohol use, while the food services industry had the highest past month rate of illicit drug use.

In Ohio, home to our headquarters in Middleburg Heights,  the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation offers premium discounts to companies that participate in its Drug Free Safety Program.

At SCT, our Occupational Health experts have decades of experience in guiding companies through the requirements of the Ohio BWC’s drug free program. The deadline for companies to complete all drug testing, training and reporting is approaching at the end of March. The final application is due at the end of May.

Having a Drug Free Safety Program brings many additional benefits to a business, including fewer workplace accidents and injuries, reduced absenteeism and employee turnover, and increased productivity.

Watch our video below to learn more about how we can help your company can encourage employees to live healthy lives while also improving your bottom line.

To get your Drug Free Safety Program started, contact SCT today online or call us at 440-449-6000. Our experts are ready to help you reach all of your safety goals.

And did we mention that flu shots are in stock? Learn more by clicking here. 

Ohio BWC Drug Free Safety Program Offers Premium Rebates

If your company is located in Ohio, the state’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has a program that could both save you money and help you decrease workplace accidents.

Watch our video above to learn all you need to know about the Ohio BWC Drug Free Safety Program, which offers a four to seven percent discount on workers’ compensation premiums.

At SCT, we can guide you through all the requirements, deadlines, and paperwork to make the process as easy as possible. Our Occupational Health experts, led by SCT President Gail Grueser, guide dozens of companies through the program each year and teach you and your employees the skills to keep your DFSP running smoothly for years to come.

Don’t hesitate: the March 30th deadline for private employers will be here before you know it. Contact SCT today online or give us a call at 440-449-6000.

Prevent Employee Hearing Loss with Simple Solutions

Occupational hearing loss is the most common workplace injury, with most cases occurring in the manufacturing sector, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Do you know how to keep yourself and your employees safe? Watch the second video in our Protecting Workers with Occupational Health series that’s all about protecting those ears. You will learn a number of strategies to ensure that your employees will work safely without damaging their hearing.

Miss any of our videos? Want to be alerted as soon as we post a new one? Subscribe to our YouTube channel or Like us on Facebook! 

Protect Your Workers with Flu Vaccines from SCT

It’s that time of year yet again! Flu season is right around the corner, and getting your employees vaccinated is the best way to prevent the flu from taking over your workplace.

Each year, the flu causes 111 million missed days of work and about $7 billion in lost productivity, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Watch our video below to find out the importance of the flu vaccinations and learn some other habits that can go a long way in keeping your workplace free of sickness.

Want to get your employees vaccinated or avoid the long lines at the pharmacy? At SCT, we have flu shots available with no insurance needed. We can also bring our services directly to you with our mobile medical unit, so your employees won’t even have to leave the office. Contact us today online or call 1-800-204-1729.