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.

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!



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.

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.


SCT VP Delivers Training at Conference on Glass Problems

Dragan Savic, SCT Vice President of Glass Technology and Safety Staff Augmentation, spent the first day of the 78th Annual Conference on Glass Problems in the classroom delivering a safety training short course.

His presentation, “Exploring the Safety Landscape of Silica, Confined Space and Hexavalent Chromium in the Glass Industry,” focused on the serious health consequences for workers, as well as any and all updated/new regulatory guidelines on the three content areas. Mr. Savic will also wrap up the Conference on Glass Problems by presenting at the GMIC Symposium on November 9th.

The majority of SCT’s traveling Occupational Safety and Health Technicians, who are directed by Mr. Savic, work within the Glass Manufacturing Industry as safety leaders and managers on glass furnace demolition and rebuild projects. With personnel on the front lines of glass projects, SCT’s safety experts regularly abate hazard exposures, and that includes those relating to silica, confined space, and hexavalent chromium.

Trainings, like Mr. Savic’s, are crucial for supervisors and workers within the glass manufacturing industry to receive, understand and share this important safety information.

We’ve written extensively about the importance of silica training before and have updated training courses that comply with OSHA’s 2016 new final rule. If it isn’t already, silica should be a major priority for all involved in any aspect of the construction sector and general industry going into 2018.

The confined space standard, which was updated a couple years back, covers another critical hazardous safety area in which employers need to be up to date on all relevant training. At SCT, we have both an in-house hands-on training facility and a mobile training simulator that prepares students with a rigorous practical curriculum on confined space and fall protection.

To talk with one of our safety experts about how SCT can help protect your employees and help your business flourish at 1-800-204-1729 or by filling out the contact form below!


SCT hires National Director of Risk Management

Chicago, IL – SCT continues to grow its world-class team of safety professionals, and we’re excited to welcome John Tuisl as the National Director of Risk Management Services.

Mr. Tuisl, who holds the ARM (Associate in Risk Management) and CRIS (Construction Risk Insurance Specialist) designations, will spearhead SCT’s risk management services and will assist our OSHA expert witness staff with litigation management, loss investigations, and claims management.

“We are very excited about the addition of John Tuisl to the SCT team. John brings a tremendous amount of experience to the table with over 22 years in the construction risk management and safety and health fields,” said Nick Walters, SCT Vice President of Safety Engineering Services.

“John has built risk management and safety departments from the ground up for heavy civil contractors, construction management, building contractors and project owners. His experience includes a unique blend of executive level leadership for both construction companies and one of the largest insurance brokers in the country.”

Mr. Tuisl began his career as a Combat Engineer in the U.S. Army from 1986 to 1989. He then went on to receive his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology with a minor in safety at Northern Illinois University in 1992.

Starting as a Risk Management Department Safety Engineer, Mr. Tuisl worked his way up the corporate ladder working in the public and private sectors as a Chief Safety Officer, Corporate Risk Manager, Area Executive Vice President, Director of Risk Management, and Vice President of Risk Management and Safety.

Most recently, Mr. Tuisl provided risk management support to construction clients and large project teams as Senior Vice President/Central Region Account Executive Leader at Aon Construction Services Group, which he joined in 2013.

Mr. Tuisl’s areas of expertise include OCIP/CCIP Project Solutions, Claims Resolution, Large Project Risk Management Solutions, Construction Risk Management and Safety, Contracts Evaluation, and Builders Risk and Casualty.
He is also a former 10-hour OSHA Outreach Instructor for the Chicagoland Construction Safety Council.

“We are confident that John’s experience will allow SCT to expand our footprint in the insurance and construction safety staff augmentation areas,” added SCT VP Walters.

OSHA Top 10 Violations for 2017 Released

At last week’s National Safety Council Congress and Expo in Indianapolis, the NSC released the preliminary OSHA Top 10 Violations list for the 2017 fiscal year.  The data includes violations through Sept. 4.

Once again, general fall protection requirements topped the list with more than 6,000 citations, almost 2,000 more than second-place hazard communication. The top five remained unchanged from 2016, with ladders moving up to sixth and powered industrial trucks falling to one spot to seventh.

Fall protection training is a new entry in the 2017 list, taking 9th place with 1,523 citations. General electrical requirements fell out of the top 10.

The full list according to the NSC:

  • Fall Protection; General Requirements (1926.501) – 6,072
  • Hazard Communication (1910.1200) – 4,176
  • Scaffolding (1926.451) – 3,288
  • Respiratory Protection (1910.134) –  3,097
  • Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) –  2,877
  • Ladders (1926.1053) – 2,241
  • Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) – 2,162
  • Machine Guarding (1910.212) – 1,933
  • Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503) – 1,523
  • Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305) – 1,405

“The OSHA Top 10 is more than just a list, it is a blueprint for keeping workers safe,” said NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman in a news release. “When we all work together to address hazards, we can do the best job possible to ensure employees go home safely each day.”

The finalized data is set to be released in December 2017.

At SCT, we can help your company identify and eliminate all of these hazards. Whether it’s through on-site workplace audits, complete safety program development, or refresher training for employees and supervisors, our team of experts will help you reach your safety goals.

Contact us today online or call us at 1-800-204-1729.

While you’re here, check out our video below that covers OSHA’s Top 10 Citations from FY2016. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel or Like us on Facebook so you never miss a new video from us.

Get a look inside our new Chicago Office

In 2017, SCT continued its expansion trend from 2016 with the opening of a brand new office in Chicago, Illinois. SCT staff members welcomed clients and friends at an open house for the new office in lat August 2017. Come explore the new office with SCT President Gail Grueser, Vice President Nick Walters, and Regional Director Tom Bielema.

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel so you never miss a video from us!

Fatal Four in Construction: Struck By and Caught In/Between

Continuing our quest to eliminate the Fatal Four hazards in the construction industry, we have a new video covering struck by and caught in/between hazards.

According to OSHA, in 2015 struck by and caught in/between hazards accounted for 9.6% and 8.6%, respectively, of all fatal construction incidents.

SCT Vice President of Safety Engineering Services Nick Walters covered Electrocutions last week. Today Mr. Walters, formerly the Regional Administrator of OSHA Region V, tackles two related hazards in struck by and caught in/between.

Check out our video below and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to make sure you never miss a video from us.


NIOSH updates ergonomics guide

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has updated its 20-year-old guide to ergonomics to reflect a stronger emphasis on the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs).

Though the 1997 primer “Elements of Ergonomic Program” remains an active document/reference guide for NIOSH, a new partner webpage increases the focus on WMSDs and the necessary steps employers and workers should take to prevent them and other injuries related to ergonomics.

In 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 31 percent, or 356,910 cases, of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses were caused by musculoskeletal disorders. Of those WMSDs, the median time away from work was 12 days for each affected employee. When compared to the median time away from work from other work-related injuries, which is recorded as 8 days, it is clear that poor ergonomics training and WMSDs cost businesses more than other injuries.

NIOSH’s strengthened ergonomics webpage offers a six-step program designed to help employers identify, implement, evaluate, and maintain ways to better protect workers against WMSDs.

In our July video series, “Safety Hurdles in Health Care,” one of the episodes focused on strains, sprains and other WMSDs often suffered by health care workers. Given the physicality involved in their jobs, workers in hospitals, assisted living facilities and other health care workplaces often face a greater risk of WMSDs. Check out our safety video below.

Ergonomics also comes into play with office workers. Here’s a Safety Minute Update video on 5 tips for better ergonomic posture at the office! Don’t forget to get up, stretch, and walk around during the day. Don’t sit behind a desk for 8 hours straight!

For ergonomics training and all other occupational safety and health needs, contact the safety experts at SCT at 1-800-204-1729.