"The New Phone Book is Here!"
"The new phone book is here!" It’s one of my favorite lines from Steve Martin in “The Jerk”, and it pops into my head every year when OSHA releases their Most Frequently Cited Violations. For me I almost get as excited as Steve Martin did, and flip through it looking for where OSHA is citing specific industries. For those in the nursing, eldercare and residential care industry, you can click HERE to find yours.
As you ready your safety committees, tap into your usual resources, or decide this is the year to focus on safety, it’s always great to know where OSHA is penalizing your peers (and hopefully not you) the most. For 2015, Bloodborne Pathogens once again topped the list in frequency, but Medical and First Aid took the blue ribbon in the cost per violation category. Workers in many occupations, including first responders, housekeeping personnel in some industries, nurses and other healthcare personnel, all may be at risk for exposure to bloodborne pathogens according to OSHA and the CDC, and for those with exposure potential, the proper written plan, training, vaccination series and other items must be in place. While you peruse the list and are thinking of how your program matches up, please, please, please make sure of three things.
- You have a written program (preferably dated/revised in last 12 months) AND your employees know that program
- You have trained (and retrained) employees as required, and you have documentation
- Employees can demonstrate they’ve been trained and it matches your program
While there are options for buying volumes of safety resources and thick binders, I always advocate for simple programs that are understood by employees. In the end the compliance arm of OSHA generally likes to see a program that meets the requirements, but just as importantly, they like to see that whatever is written is being practiced and is understood by the employees affected. Granted, sometimes that means a thick program, but just make sure it fits your organization. Here is a reference list of publications for small businesses.
If you have any questions on OSHA’s most frequently cited violations, please contact usat 603-352-2121.
The new phonebook is here