- Within the Department of Labor, the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) has an agency priority goal to, by 9/30/19, “reduce the percentage of initial opioid prescriptions and duration of new opioid prescriptions for federal employees with work-related injuries by 30 percent from the FY 2016 baseline.” OWCP’s Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation (DFEC), recently changed its opioid policy. More information on that decision is available here. (Please note that OWCP is another agency under DOL and is not a part of OSHA.)
- DOL’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has grant programs that address the opioid crisis. More information about the new National Health Emergency Dislocated Worker Demonstration Grant program (announced in March 2018) is available here. A news release is here. (Again, please note that ETA is another agency under DOL and is not a part of OSHA.)
- This topic is of increasing concern to OSHA. We are continuing to engage with our stakeholders, including OSHA’s sister agency, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), regarding the impact of opioid use in workplaces and potential occupational exposures to opioids (e.g., by first responders.)
- OSHA maintains a Safety & Health Topics Page on Ergonomic hazards and musculoskeletal disorders, and has issued guidance related to ergonomic hazards in a number of industry sectors, including:
- Poultry Processing (in English and Spanish)—see also the Safety & Health Topics page on Poultry Processing
- Retail Grocery Stores
- Nursing Homes. Safe patient handling has been identified as OSHA as one of five focus hazards in the healthcare industry (along with workplace violence (see also the Safety & Health Topics page), bloodborne pathogens, tuberculosis, and slips, trips and falls) and it is discussed at length on our Healthcare Safety & Health Topics Page and in our Worker Safety in Hospitals page, the latter of which contains resources developed by OSHA in conjunction with CMS.
OSHA Outreach Campaigns:
- The Fall Prevention Campaign is an ongoing initiative, and its sentinel event is the annual, week-long National Safety Stand-Down. Although the campaign focuses heavily on falls in construction, it is by no means restricted to that sector. The Stand-Down dates for 2019 have yet to be announced, but it is usually in early to mid-May. OSHA encourages companies to participate by holding events during that week such as toolbox talks, safety equipment inspections, or other activities centered around fall and other workplace hazards. We encourage organizations to let us know about events that are free and open to the public, and post them on our website. Participants can also get a certificate of participation from OSHA following the event. Related educational materials and resources are available on our website here and here. The Center for Construction Research and Training, or CPWR, also has a number of great resources here.
- The Safe + Sound Campaign for Safety and Health Programs is another ongoing initiative, and its sentinel event is the annual Safe + Sound Week. The campaign encourages every workplace in the U.S. to have a safety and health program that includes three core elements: management leadership, worker participation, and a proactive approach to finding and fixing hazards. The campaign takes its name from the idea that “safe” workplaces are “sound” businesses—in other words, successful safety and health programs can improve safety and health performance while helping businesses to save money and improve competitiveness. You can sign up for email updates here or become an official campaign supporter by emailing email@example.com. The full list of campaign supporter is here, and APTA is welcome to become one. We simply ask that supports agree to disseminate campaign information through existing communication channels and promote participation in the annual Safe + Sound Week (likely to be held in August 2019). The campaign offers periodic messaging and communications; free, live webinars; access to educational content from Campaign Organizers; and local events. Partners receive exclusive communications with news and resources as they become available. Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- The Heat Illness Prevention Campaign is a third ongoing initiative that is most active during the summer months, and we have a number of tools and resources on our webpage for raising awareness.
- Grain Handling and the Stand-Up for Grain Engulfment Prevention Week: The agency has also been conducting significant outreach, including with the National Grain and Feed Association, around hazards associated with grain handling, including explosions from grain dust accumulation, suffocation from engulfment and entrapment in grain bins, falls from heights, and crushing injuries and amputations from grain handling equipment. See the Safety & Health Topics page here. March 25-29, 2019 will be National Grain Safety Week. In 2018, it the event was centered around grain engulfment prevention; next year’s event will have a broader focus.
- Trenching and Excavation Hazards: OSHA’s Agency Priority Goal (target date: 9/30/19) is to “increase trenching and excavation hazards abated by 10 percent compared to FY2017 through inspections and compliance assistance” activities. Our Trenching and Excavation Safety & Health Topics page contains a variety of resources, including an informational poster and QuickCard. The Agency also just announced on 10/2/18 updates to the National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation Safety to increase education and enforcement efforts.
- Walking-Working Surfaces: You mentioned that APTA had shared information about this final rule (81 FR 82494) with its members, which we appreciate. Here is OSHA’s webpage on the final rule, which includes a fact sheet and FAQs. Other OSHA Cooperative Programs and Resources for Employers:
- On-Site Consultation Program: Completely separate from OSHA enforcement, this program offers no-cost and confidential occupational safety and health services to small- and medium-sized businesses in all 50 states, DC, and several territories, with priority given to high-hazard workplaces. Though largely funded by OSHA, programs are administered by local agencies or universities. A directory of programs by location is available here. All serious and imminent danger hazards that are identified must be corrected within a specific time period agreed upon by the consultant and the employer, but no fines or penalties are assessed as a result of the visit.
- Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program: The program recognizes small business employers who have used OSHA's On-Site Consultation Program services and operate exemplary safety and health programs.
- Voluntary Protection Program: APTA is already familiar with this program, but its purpose is to recognize employers and workers in the private industry and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries. To participate, employers must submit an application to OSHA and undergo a rigorous onsite evaluations every 3-5 years. Participants are exempt from OSHA programmed inspections while they maintain their VPP status.
- Alliance Program: Through this program, OSHA works with groups committed to worker safety and health to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries, and illnesses by developing compliance assistance tools and resources, sharing information with workers and employers, and educating workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities.
- OSHA has its own Twitter handle at @OSHA_DOL. You are more than welcome to follow us and to re-tweet any items that you feel may be of interest to your followers.
- OSHA QuickTakes is the agency’s bimonthly e-newsletter. We wanted to share the link for signing up.