Have you posted your Form 300A? OSHA requires this summary of injuries to be posted from February through April of each calendar year for all injuries and/or illnesses reported in the prior calendar year (2018, in this case). This form must be posted, even if your organization had no reportable injuries or illnesses during the 2018 calendar year.
OSHA recently rescinded the requirement that businesses with 250 or more employees must submit Forms 300 and 301 electronically. The Final Rule can be viewed here and goes into effect on February 25, 2019. This rescission of the electronic filing requirement does not, however, remove the burden of reporting work-related injuries and illness from the employer.
Most businesses with 10 or more employees are required to report “serious” work-related injuries and/or illnesses to OSHA on Forms 300, 300A, and/or 301. Several businesses have been identified by OSHA as “low risk,” and have been exempted from this requirement. Among those exempted businesses are car dealers, numerous retail stores, florists, gas stations, pipeline transportation businesses, legal offices, and numerous other professional service businesses (including civic, medical, scientific, and educational services). Minor injuries requiring only first aid need not be reported. The following explanations and definitions can be very helpful in determining an employers’ recordkeeping and reporting needs.
How does OSHA define “first aid?”
OSHA defines first aid as any treatment limited to non-prescriptions medications such as over-the-counter pain relievers, ointments or creams, the use of standard bandages, gauze pads, or butterfly strips, elastic wraps, temporary slings or splints, and other minor treatments such as removal of a splinter or similar foreign item from the body or the removal of debris/foreign body from the eye with water/eyewash or a cotton swab. Cleaning of minor wounds (surface lacerations) and tetanus shots are considered first aid, whereas Hepatitis B, rabies vaccinations, and open wound cleaning are not. Most first aid is administered immediately after an incident or accident occurs, and may be the only treatment received by the worker. An injury of this type would rarely require ongoing medical treatment. An injury of this type would rarely require ongoing medical treatment. Minor burns or lacerations are often treatable under this definition of “first aid,” and require nothing more than the application of topical ointment, a Band Aid, and perhaps a dose of over-the-counter Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
What is a “serious” injury?
All fatalities, loss of consciousness, lost-time injuries, injuries requiring light duty restrictions, injuries requiring ongoing medical treatment, or broken bones or teeth are reportable. Work-related illnesses such as cancer and other irreversible and/or chronic diseases are also reportable. There are special requirements governing needlesticks, sharps injuries, hearing loss, TB, and other injuries more specific to the medical field. Many fall injuries qualify as “serious” under this definition, as they commonly require follow up medical care such as prescription drugs, chiropractic care, physical therapy, or surgical intervention.
FORMS 300, 300A, and 301
Form 301 – Injury and Illness Incident Report
Form 301 is the initial reporting form and is required to be completed within 7 calendar days of knowledge of an accident or injury. This form is a general incident report and is rather self-explanatory. It collects general information about the injured employee (name, address, physician information) and what the employee was doing, how the injury occurred, and the nature of the injury or illness. For example, a warehouse worker may suffer back strain due to improper lifting or may strain his or her neck reaching overhead to extract inventory. The injury would first be reported on Form 301, and the injured worker would detail what work was being performed at the time the injury occurred.
Form 300 – Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
Form 300 is a listing of injuries and illnesses for the employer’s place of business. This form collects information on injury severity, lost time, and light duty return-to-work data. The document also serves as a master log of workplace accidents and can be a valuable tool in identifying injury trends. This data is critical in developing revised work procedures and corrective action plans to reduce recurrences.
Form 300A – Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
Form 300A is completed annually, at the end of the year, and is required regardless of whether or not any injuries occurred during the year. The form tallies an employer’s average number of employees over the course of the calendar year and the total number of reportable incidents for that same time period. This figure is determined by following the instructions on the back of the form.
29 CFR 1904
Recordkeeping and reporting is governed by 29 CFR 1904, which outlines exemptions, record retention, variance requests, electronic submissions, and reporting protocols. This standard houses critical information such as:
• How to determine if an injury or illness is work-related (29 CFR 1904.5)
• What determines whether or not an injury is a “new case” (29 CFR 1904.6)
• Requirements for needlesticks and sharps injuries (29 CFR 1904.8)
• Criteria for work-related hearing loss (29 CFR 1904.10)
• Reporting requirements for fatalities, loss of eye or limb, and hospitalization (29 CFR 1904.39)
○ [NOTE: Fatalities (which may occur as much as 30 days from the date of the accident) must be reported within 8 hours; amputations, hospitalizations, and loss of eye must be reported within 24 hours]
• Retention requirements (29 CFR 1904.44)
Knowing what to expect, and what is expected of you, will help you respond confidently when an accident occurs. Reports of serious injuries may be made via telephone or online, so it is best to familiarize yourself with 29 CFR 1904 and be prepared to respond accordingly.
Are you responsible for OSHA recordkeeping and reporting for your organization? Are you responsible for workforce safety or risk management? Email us or give us a call at (816) 349-0850 to see how we can help design a safety and risk management plan that meets your unique needs.
Most businesses dread the thought of an OSHA inspection. Much of this dread may stem from misconceptions and lack of preparedness. Do yourself a favor by knowing how to respond before a compliance officer arrives at your door.
10 Things You Need to Know About OSHA Inspections
1. OSHA inspections are not random. Most inspections are the result of one of the
A. In response to a fatality or catastrophe;
B. In response to an employee complaint;
C. A “targeted” inspection, which is part of the national emphasis program (NEP) or local emphasis program (LEP); or
D. A result of an imminent danger observed by a compliance officer (commonly a fall from height or trenching exposure).
2. With few exceptions, OSHA inspections are not scheduled or pre‐announced. An OSHA compliance officer may arrive at your business unannounced, and will advise you of the nature of the inspection.
3. You do not have the right to refuse an inspection, but you do have the right to refuse entry to your property. Because your business is private property, you may refuse entry to the property and require OSHA to obtain a warrant in order to conduct their inspection.
4. You should always verify the credentials of the OSHA compliance officer. Are they from the proper jurisdiction governing your business (federal or state)? It is your responsibility to know which division has jurisdiction over your business.
5. There are three parts to every inspection:
A. Opening Conference
B. Walkthrough Inspection
C. Closing Conference
6. Once on site, OSHA’s Compliance, Safety, & Health Officers (CSHOs) have “line of sight” authority. If a hazard or condition is observable, it is citable. You determine the access route or path to the inspection area, even if that means taking the CSHO outside the front door, around the outer perimeter of a building, and into another entrance door with more direct access to the identified inspection area. You may control much of what the officer sees by limiting their access through the facility.
7. OSHA representatives will want to speak with your employees. Your employees have the right to speak with these officers freely, privately, and without fear of consequence or retaliation. Employees have the right to speak with CSHOs without management present, but may request the presence of a peer, a union officer, or another non‐management person. Your employee is not required to participate in any discussion, but you may not influence their decision.
8. OSHA has the right to view and obtain copies of your injury reporting logs (300, 301, 301A) while on‐site.
9. OSHA does not have the right to view or obtain copies of personnel files, inspection reports, or other internal documentation during the inspection visit. These documents may become discoverable at a later time, but the compliance officer does not have open access to your files and documentation during the inspection visit.
10. Your company should have a designated person to interact with OSHA and to respond to investigations and citations. Your staff should know who to contact on site if an OSHA compliance officer arrives, and know how to respond to an inspection request.
10 Steps to Outline Your OSHA Inspection Policy
An OSHA inspection response policy is worth its weight in gold. OSHA makes people nervous. Having a policy in place alleviates the pressure on your customer‐facing front office personnel and helps them remain calm and professional in the presence of an OSHA compliance officer.
At a minimum, your policy should include the following:
1. An OSHA compliance officer (CSHO) will arrive on site and state the intended purpose/scope of the inspection.
2. You should request to see the compliance officer’s credentials.
3. Seat the CSHO in a clean area at the front of your facility.
4. Call the company‐designated OSHA representative for the company.
5. Your company‐designated OSHA representative should:
a. Take the CSHO into a conference room or private office near the front of the facility for the opening conference, or
b. Refuse entry to the facility and request the CSHO obtain and return with a warrant to conduct the inspection.
6. The company‐designated OSHA representative should determine the path of access to the inspection area based upon the scope of the inspection identified by the CSHO. This may entail taking the CSHO out the front door and around the exterior of the building to another entrance with more direct access to the inspection area in order to limit and control the CSHO’s line‐of‐sight.
7. The CSHO should never have unaccompanied access to your facility. Your company‐designated OSHA representative should lead the CSHO to the inspection area and should remain with the CSHO at all times (except when the CSHO is speaking with an employee). If possible, there should be two or three company representatives who accompany the CSHO during this inspection.
8. Your company‐designated representative should always document the inspection. If the CSHO takes a photo, you should take the same photo. If the CSHO takes measurements, you should take measurements. If the CSHO expresses concerns or asks questions, these items should be noted. Your documentation should mirror the compliance officer’s documentation as closely as possible.
9. Be cooperative. Answer questions that are asked, but do not volunteer any additional information.
10. Upon completion of the walkthrough inspection, your company designated OSHA representative should lead the CSHO back to the conference room to conduct the closing conference. Make notes of the officer’s observations and concerns.
After the Inspection
The OSHA compliance officer will return to the local field office to prepare the final inspection report. OSHA has six (6) months within which to issue any citations. Your company has 15 days in which to respond to these violations. Your response may detail your OSHA‐compliant training policies, employee training attendance records, or some other proof of abatement.
Violations may be abated and/or dismissed, may be appealed, or the case may be tried in court. You should understand your right to appeal, your right to request an informal hearing, and your right to request a reduction of fines. Settlement should always be explored before proceeding to trial.
It is your responsibility to know your rights. Be prepared for the unexpected by establishing an OSHA inspection procedure before it is needed.
Do you know how to respond to an impromptu OSHA inspection visit? Are you responsible for workforce safety or risk management? Email us or give us a call at (816) 349-0850 to see how we can help design a safety and risk management plan that meets your unique needs.
Enforcement is the key to success.
We talk a lot on this blog about having risk management practices in place, having formal written safety policies, being prepared, and presenting a safe working environment for your employees. Policies alone, however, are never enough. Enforcement is the key to safety success.
I recently attended a workers compensation conference. One of the sections, presented a large Missouri work comp carrier, was about aggressively enforcing safe work practices. It was so good to hear this from a carrier. I speak with my clients all the time about policy enforcement and follow through. I am a believer in preventative maintenance and consistent, strong hiring processes. Hearing this philosophy from the carrier reinforces the importance of laying the right foundation and following through. Enforcement is necessary to achieve results. The best-written policies are useless if they are not enforced.
This conference speaker was spot-on and validated my thoughts precisely.
Enforcement is simple: Comply, or go home.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Is your safety manager willing to be unpopular? Do you have the right person in this position? Is this person willing to correct safety issues on the spot, issue write ups, and recommend corrective actions up to and including termination? You need to select your safety personnel very carefully. Many people, especially when they are promoted up through the ranks, are uncomfortable being the bad guy. Safety people, by nature, are the fun police. Do we want to be the bad guy? No, of course not. But sometimes, that is the job. If your safety personnel won’t stand up and enforce the policies, you will not see compliance and safety will not become part of your organizational culture.
Do you have formal, written safety policies in place? How long is the policy? Are there specific safety rules listed in the policy? Are you assuring that employees understand the rules or do you simply require them to sign an acknowledgment during orientation?
Can your core safety rules be summarized onto one page? How important is it to you that employees truly understand what is expected of them? How long do you think you can hold their attention? Keep it simple. Reduce the POLICY to a one-page bullet list of RULES that outline the high level safety rules. Create a one-page list of safety rules (10 to 12 bullet points) and hammer that into your staff. This list should be simple and sensible. Review it at every safety meeting. Post it on every bulletin board. Make this simplified list as common as clocking in at the beginning of the day.
Is your safety manager a desk jockey? Take a look around. The desk is your enemy. We all have administrative and managerial duties but your safety person needs to be on the floor, boots on the ground. Your workers need to know that they will see the safety manager walking around. Do not designate certain areas or times for these walk-throughs. Random appearances are not meant to be punitive; they are meant to identify areas in need of improvement, and to do so in real-time. If your safety person is not on the floor, observing workers, equipment, and processes, he or she cannot identify deficiencies. It is so important to see what takes place on a daily basis, by whom, and how in order to identify your weaknesses as well as your strengths. This information allows you to focus your efforts and your resources in the areas most in need of improvement.
What are you talking about at safety meetings? Are you strictly going down talking points or do you use the resources available through your carrier? Are you asking your staff what challenges they face in completing their work? Are you listening to their feedback and suggestions on how to improve processes or reduce hazards? These are the people doing the work, and these are the people who will be able to explain what works, what doesn’t, why it does or doesn’t work, and provide alternate ideas. Use this think tank.
Walkthroughs and real-time compliance should not be punitive if the situation can be corrected on the spot. Your goal is to correct problems or deficiencies in real-time. Corrective or disciplinary actions should be delivered only if employees fail to comply with safe work practices. If an employee complies upon request (EX: You see someone working without proper eye protection, point it out, and the employee puts on safety goggles), and continues to comply, then a simple correction during your walk-through is sufficient. You may note on an audit form that you observed 7 of 40 personnel not wearing proper eyewear on this date. You may even note who those 7 personnel were. When you return to the floor tomorrow and observe the same personnel again non-compliant, this is when you issue a verbal or written reprimand. There is a time and place for discipline. Allow your safety personnel some discretion, but require them to enforce safety policies, including disciplinary measures for repeat or serious violations.
Reinforce consistency and compliance. Recognize the workers who consistently set a good example for others. Create a culture where workers look out for one another and hold each other accountable for safety. Provide some recognition – free giveaways, a prime parking spot, t-shirts, hats, travel mugs, gift cards – anything that says “Way to go!” Show some appreciation. The ROI far exceeds the cost of these items.
Ultimately, your safety person must be empowered to say, “Comply or go home.” They need to have the authority to send someone home on suspension for failure to comply. Once your staff sees that you are willing to first coach without discipline, but are also not afraid to mete out disciplinary actions, they will realize that you are serious about safety, and you will gain employee buy-in.
If you are serious about the safety of your workers and serious about reducing injuries, get your safety people on the floor, correct safety issues in real time, be proactive and to the point with your workers. This is how you not only reduce injuries, but also reduce those high Worker’s Compensation premium dollars.
Speaking of Workers Compensation Premiums:
Let’s talk a little bit about Worker’s Compensation premium. There is no average premium amount. Let’s get that out-of-the-way first. Every industry, and every sector or subsector within an industry, has a different premium cost. Premiums are based upon job classifications, risk exposures, loss history, and experience mod. So much goes into the calculation of your Worker’s Compensation premium rate. Depending on your industry and the size of your business and amount of payroll, these premiums can be in the tens of thousands of dollars … or more … per year. These are real dollars. These are deep pocket dollars. Every injury that your company experiences costs you hard-earned dollars. When workers compensation premiums increase, businesses feel it. These premiums are big money.
Every dollar spent on worker’s compensation premium is a dollar of profit off your books. Injuries and lost time claims directly impact your balance sheet.
CRMKC is a safety and risk management company. We talk safety. We understand the direct relationship between safety and workers compensation premium dollars. We meet business owners every day who have a “less than positive” attitude toward insurance professionals. And that’s okay. I can handle it. I believe in what I do. I know that, every single time I walk onto a client’s location, I have the potential to make a life-or-death difference. That’s how strongly I believe in safety and compliance.
All safety professionals and executives for your company should share this attitude. They should have a heart for the people doing the work at your facility. They should have the goal of sending your workers home safely after each and every shift. If that is not the goal of your safety personnel, they do not understand the job.
I challenge you to have the guts to do what it takes to make safety a priority, to put the right people in the position, and to build an organization culture that includes safety in your long-term strategic plans.
Safety is not an accident. It is a culture that is developed. It requires commitment from the top. It requires resources and funding. It requires you to take a hard look at your organization, your processes, and your people to identify weaknesses and develop corrective actions. This consistent focus on safety and recognition of safe behaviors gains the respect of your workers and results in tangible ROI in the form of lower workers compensation premium dollars.
Are you ready to make the commitment and prioritize safety for your organization?
Does your company have formal safety policies in place? Are you responsible for workforce safety or risk management? Email us or give us a call at (816) 349-0850 to see how we can help design a safety and risk management plan that meets your unique needs.
September is National Preparedness Month
Developing an emergency response or business continuity plan is good practice regardless of the size or scope of your operations. Here in the Midwest, a tornado can wreak havoc in the blink of an eye. In other locales, it could be a hurricane or an earthquake. Workplace violence and terrorist attacks are real threats. None of us is immune.
The purpose of an emergency response or business continuity plan is to help you get back on your feet as quickly and efficiently as possible. A good emergency response plan defines essential personnel, tools, equipment, supplies, locations, call lists, chain of command, and much more.
Developing this plan requires you to take a close look at your business model. What is the workflow? How are work functions completed? Who is involved and what materials are required to assure quality and compliance? We live in a mobile society and laptops and cloud-based software platforms greatly enhance our ability to carry on outside the traditional office. We still may require certain office equipment to fulfill our business obligations. What suppliers and resources will we need to contact in order to obtain the materials, supplies, and equipment we need?
What about shelter-in-place policies? Have you thought about emergency supplies? Would your organization have fresh water and emergency blankets available in the event of a catastrophic physical event? Would there be some emergency food supply? Are first aid kits available?
In addition to identifying the physical and logistical needs of the business, identify employees with special skills such as nursing or EMT qualifications, CPR training, or multi-lingual skills. Any special skill sets that may be helpful during limited operations should be identified.
There are many considerations in developing an emergency preparedness and business continuity plan, and the time to do so is before you find yourself in need.
The High-Risk Division of Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO)
Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facilities perform every type of aircraft repair you can imagine – replacing interior seats and carpeting, rewiring electrical harnesses and gauges, and maintaining and repairing engines, wings, or landing gear – you name it, MRO facilities touch it. Multiple times.
Mechanical work is conducted both inside and outside the plane. Mechanics, painters, cleaners, and others are up and down ladders frequently throughout their day. They often perform work overhead or within very confined compartments. Mechanics are often required to contort their bodies into a number of tight spots to complete their work. Bending, squatting, stretching, pulling, pushing, lifting, and torquing on wrenches is the heart of a mechanic’s activity. These actions lead to a high number of reportable strain/sprain and laceration injuries each year.
Aircraft work may be conducted inside the hangar or outside on the tarmac. Struck by injuries are common due to low ceiling heights inside the aircraft. Outside the aircraft, many struck by injuries are attributed to personnel walking into a wing, striking the bottom of the engine compartment when working overhead, or even being struck by other moving equipment on the tarmac.
Additional high risks associated with MRO facilities are the frequent lifting and/or moving of heavy and awkwardly shaped or weighted parts, the use of both hand and power tools, exposure to jet fuel, chemicals, and paint fumes. Ventilation is a major concern, particularly if an MRO paints on-site.
The aviation industry, as a whole, suffers a high rate of slip, trip, and fall claims. While there are a number of contributing factors (air hoses and tools lying on the ground, the frequency of work on ladders, etc.), weather may be the most serious contributing factor. A large amount of mechanical work occurs outside. Much of that work is completed from a platform ladder. Rainy conditions, snow and ice, and falling temperatures can all change the physical condition of a platform, and the worker’s footing, in an instant. Inclement weather and ladders can be a deadly combination.
Water discharge from the aircraft while servicing a lavatory can pool at a worker’s feet and create a fall or electrocution hazard. There are so many unique exposures in this industry. While it is impossible to focus on every variable at all times – work at hand, maintaining a center of gravity and footing, confined spaces, moving equipment in the work area – it is critical to be aware of your surroundings, including weather conditions, at all times.
Rapidly changing weather conditions and fast-dropping temperatures can be a game-changer. The best-maintained facility cannot keep up with every shift in conditions, particularly when we are talking about black ice and fast-forming ice on platform surfaces. Awareness is critical and cannot be emphasized enough. Sudden movements can have disastrous consequences.
Unfortunately, this industry experiences both a high frequency and a high severity of injury claims. Electrical shock, falls from heights, eye injuries, hearing damage, strain/sprain, struck by falling objects, slips on ice – all are common claims in the aviation industry. Inclement weather serves only to heighten these exposures. Claims in this sector range from minor sprains and lacerations to brain injuries, paralysis, and even death.
Make safety the top priority at your MRO facility. Establish a formal safety program, create a formal safety committee with a designated leader, and conduct JSAs on all positions. As summer fades out to rainy autumn and icy winter, be sure to promote seasonal safety awareness early and often.
Does your company have formal safety policies in place? Are you responsible for workforce safety or risk management? Email us or give us a call at (816) 349-0850 to see how we can help design a safety and risk management plan that meets your unique needs.