The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has revealed the criteria it relies on to target employers for COVID-19 investigations along with naming those who received citations and the penalties they were assessed.
The agency also recently issued a new COVID-19 guidance for employers addressing ventilation standards they should adopt for their workspaces.
OSHA has come under intense criticism this year, particularly from labor unions, for relying on the General Duty Clause to support enforcement actions after declining to create Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). The criticism also has come from politicians such as President-elect Joe Biden and Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia.
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National Steel City Among First In Nation To Use Breakthrough Proximity Trace Technology As Part Of COVID-19 Response Protocol Rollout, an Industrial Info News Release
SUGAR LAND, Texas, Aug. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Researched by Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas)--National Steel City (NSC), one of the nation's leading self-perform Structural/Mechanical contractors, today announced it is among the first in the nation within its specialty construction category to use a breakthrough technology to achieve effective social distancing for its workers on job sites.
Made possible through a longtime partnership with United Rentals, the world's largest equipment rental company, NSC has deployed Triax's Proximity Trace technology to ensure its workers maintain a minimum of six feet of social distancing and is in active use at its Kansas City International Airport New Terminal project, where NSC is erecting the structural steel provided by its client, ADF. The project is managed by developer Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate and design-builder Clark | Weitz | Clarkson. Click here to read the entire article.
As the number of novel coronavirus cases continues to rise nationwide, the recurring message from many public health experts and doctors has been simple: Wearing masks saves lives.
“We are not defenseless against covid-19,” Robert R. Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in July. “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting.”
But as face coverings have become increasingly commonplace in American life, so have questions about efficacy — and now a group of researchers from Duke University are aiming to provide some answers. Click here to read the entire article.
In order to maintain social distancing on site, steel erector National Steel City of Plymouth, Mich., is using the Proximity Trace wearable sensor from Triax Technologies on the $1.9-billion Kansas City International Airport (KCI) single-terminal reconstruction project.
Proximity Trace tags are easily clipped to hardhats. “The alert goes off when two of the workers are within 6 ft of one another. They get a beep. If they don’t move, the beep goes faster and then it doesn’t stop,” says Bob Dunn, CEO of National Steel City. “Triax had a relationship with United Rentals, who we’ve had an alliance of 20 plus years with. Within a very short period of time, they got information and the sensors to us and we were able to deploy them at the site.” Click here to read the entire article.
As the country begins to slowly reopen from the COVID-19 lockdown, many people are heading back to work. While this is great for the nation’s supply chains and overall economy, a growing concern exists for an increase in the risk of transmission and the likelihood of cluster outbreaks within the workforce. This has the potential to not only compromise the health of staff members, but close facilities for weeks at a time and halt operations.
In an effort to mitigate this, many management teams are working to produce health and safety guidelines, like the mandatory wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) and social distancing protocols to reduce the risk of cluster COVID-19 outbreaks. These guidelines, however, can only go so far, as it takes strict enforcement to ensure that personnel adhere to them--and compliance teams may already be stretched thin.
Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and the IoT have enabled a number of technologies to emerge that have the potential to keep workplaces healthier and safer through PPE detection, safety zoning and thermal imaging capabilities. Click here to read the entire article.
Opening and operating a business during this pandemic presents problems few have been trained to address. The goal of our businesses is to earn a profit while keeping our employees and customers safe. Local, state and federal public health authorities have issued guidance that covers almost every conceivable situation. All include sanitizing and disinfecting the workplace and providing for frequent hand washing (sometimes called “hand hygiene”).
Few of the guidance documents tell you how to select or use disinfecting chemicals and methods. Few discuss the regulatory framework you must abide by. This article attempts to fill-in that gap. Click here to read the entire article.
The new guidance outlines the differences between cloth face coverings, surgical masks and respirators. It further reminds employers not to use surgical masks or cloth face coverings when respirators are needed. In addition, the guidance notes the need for social distancing measures, even when workers are wearing cloth face coverings, and recommends following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance on washing face coverings. Click here to read the entire article.
Industry advocates are advising against the requirement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) at this time in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Such a requirement is included in the COVID -19 Every Worker Protection Act of 2020 (H.R. 6559, included as Division L, Title III in H.R. 6800).
The Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) says that instead OSHA should continue with its current approach of issuing industry -specific guidance based on the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as this approach provides a more nimble and effective solution than issuing a rigid, one -size -fits -all standard. Click here to read the entire article.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Monday hoped “the Senate will soon take up and pass legislation that just passed the House” designed to loosen restrictions on how loans provided small business through the coronavirus Paycheck Protection Program can be spent, repaid and forgiven. Demand for the incredibly popular loans has eased as shifting guidance on how they are to be forgiven or repaid has shifted small business owners' attention from the loans' rewards to their risks. Click here to read the entire article.
As officials across the United States give the green light to retail, restaurant and other businesses to reopen their doors, OSHA has announced it will bolster its in-person inspections.
OSHA stated that the newly-issued enforcement guidance to increase inspections "reflects changing circumstances in which many non-critical businesses have begun to reopen in areas of lower community spread." Staff has been directed to prioritize COVID-19 inspections as well as utilize all enforcement tools "as OSHA has historically done." Click here to read the entire article.