OSHA’s Dan Hobelman provides Top 10 List of Frequent Violations at Chapter Meeting

Posted: Oct 31, 2017

By Renee Witherspoon, CSP, CIH, CHMM, South Plains Chapter Past President (2012-2015)

On October 25, 2017 the ASSE South Plains Chapter once again hosted Mr. Dan Hobelman, Compliance Officer with the Lubbock Area OSHA Office for the annual

Dan Hobelman, Compliance Officer with the Lubbock Area OSHA Office, speaks at the ASSE Chapter meeting in October 2017.

OSHA Update. ASSE members and guests met a new location, Red Zone Café in Lubbock.

During this year’s annual OSHA update, Dan provided an excellent presentation on FY17 preliminary data on OSHA’s Top Ten Violations and then provided a quick overview of OSHA’s new Silica standard for the Construction industry. The following is a summary of the Top 10:

#1 – Fall Protection in Construction Work (29 CFR 1926.501)

OSHA requires employers to provide fall protection when working at heights of 6 feet or more.  The type of fall protection system (guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems) used depends on the work being done.  Most OSHA violations were on fall protection in residential construction including working on roofs with unprotected edges and open sides. Read More

Getting into compliance with the New Emergency Preparedness Rule for Medicare/Medicaid Providers and Suppliers

Posted: Oct 23, 2017

By Renee Witherspoon, MS, CSP, CIH, CHMM, Past President (2012-2015) ASSE South Plains Chapter and Chair of the Lubbock County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC)

On September 8, 2016 the final rules on the Emergency Preparedness (EP Plan) Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Providers and Suppliers was published in the Federal Register.  With the compliance deadline a little less than a month away on November 15, 2017, providers are scrambling to get the last details of their emergency plans together to meet the four core elements of the regulation.

The four core elements are:

  • Risk Assessment and Emergency Planning
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Communication Plan
  • Training and Testing

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OSHA Begins Enforcement of the Crystalline Silica Standard for Construction: What will they be looking for?

Posted: Sep 26, 2017

By Renee Witherspoon, CSP, CIH, CHMM, South Plains Chapter, Past President (2012-2015)

Silica exposure during concrete block cutting/splitting (credit: OSHA)

As of September 23, 2017 OSHA began enforcement of its new Crystalline Silica standard (29 CFR 1926.1153) for Construction establishing an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of 50 µg/m3, an action level (AL) of 25 µg/m3, as well as other requirements.

During the first 30 days of enforcement, OSHA will continue to evaluate good faith efforts taken by employers to meet this new standard. According to a September 20 memorandum from Thomas Galassi, Acting Deputy Assistance Secretary for OSHA, they will provide “compliance assistance and outreach to assure that covered employers are fully and properly complying with its requirements.” In the memo he says that OSHA will focus on assisting employers in implementing the controls described in Table 1. If an employer is not making any efforts to comply, the OSHA compliance officer will conduct air monitoring and the employer may receive a citation. If a citation is proposed within this first 30 days, it will be required to be reviewed by the national office.

This memo also states that OSHA is in the process of developing interim inspection and citation guidance but as of September 26, the local Lubbock Area Office has not received this interim guidance on enforcement.  With use of phrases like “fully and properly” in this September 20 memo, it does provide some guidance on what OSHA will be looking for when doing a compliance investigation.

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