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OSHA watch

Preliminary list of top ten violations released

For the fifth year in a row, the fall protection standard is the most frequently cited standard. The preliminary list covers fiscal year 2015:

A new inspection protocol

A new Enforcement Weighting System will guide inspections in FY 2016. Under the new system, routine inspections are valued as one Enforcement Unit, while more complex categories are valued up to eight Enforcement Units. For example, process safety management inspections are seven units, workplace violence inspections are three units, and inspections involving a chemical for which there is no permissible exposure limit are also three units. Typically 40,000 inspections are made annually; under the new plan, the target will be measured in enforcement units.

Confined space resource released

New guidance helps small businesses comply with the agency's Confined Spaces in Construction Standard. Full enforcement of the standard for non-residential construction employers is in effect, but full enforcement for residential construction is delayed until Jan. 8.

The publication outlines several aspects of confined spaces in construction, including:

Updated guide on trenching, excavation features info on bidding for jobs

The guidance on trenching and excavation activities is updated to include a section on the employer bidding process.

Enforcement of new PSM policy delayed

A July 22 memorandum revised the interpretation that exempted retail facilities from Process Safety Management (PSM) requirements. The new interpretation states that only facilities with North American Industry Classification System codes of 44 and 45 will be exempt; however, lawmakers feel the interpretation is arbitrary and there should be a formal rule making process. A new policy that will last through July 22, 2016 will focus efforts on compliance assistance and, in most cases, will not cite newly non-exempted facilities for failing to comply with the PSM rule.

New injury reports flood office

The revised reporting requirements, effective Jan. 1, added a new requirement that employers report the hospitalization of a single employee - rather than three or more employees as previously required - as well as all amputations and loss of an eye. The result is the agency is receiving 200 to 250 new reports each week on top of the roughly 40 reports it already received under continuing rules.

Updated statistics from OSHA show:

MIOSHA launches emphasis program on exterior building contractors

Michigan OSHA has launched a Local Emphasis Program targeting enforcement activities on industries that recently have experienced an increase in injuries and illnesses. From Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, 2016, MIOSHA intends to inspect more than 50 siding, structural steel and pre-cast contractors at various jobsites.

Recent fines and awards







New York



Detailed descriptions of the citations above and other OSHA citations can be found here.