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OSHA is reminding covered employers to post OSHA's Form 300A, which summarizes the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred during 2013 and were logged on OSHA's Form 300, the log of work-related injuries and illnesses. The summary must be posted between Feb. 1 and April 30, 2014, and should be displayed in a common area where notices to employees are usually posted.
Employers with 10 or fewer employees and employers in certain industries are normally exempt from federal OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping and posting requirements. Visit OSHA's Recordkeeping Web page for more information on recordkeeping requirements.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has released a new Prevention through Design paper on Preventing Falls through the Design of Roof Parapets (PDF*). The paper details the fall hazards to workers during the design stages of building construction. NIOSH recommends that parapets, or wall extensions, which act as barriers at a roof's edge, be used to reduce the risk of falls during the preliminary stages of construction work. The institute also recommends that parapets meet the OSHA height requirements for guardrails and reminds employers to consider the cost-savings advantage of constructing parapets for the design phase.
NIOSH's Prevention through Design initiative promotes the concept of "designing out" or addressing and minimizing occupational hazards and risks early in the design process. An increasing number of businesses recognize the importance of adopting PtD as a cost-effective means to enhance the safety and health of their employees.
A recent agency memo provides OSHA compliance safety and health officers with guidance on determining whether manufacturers and importers have properly classified their products for combustible dust hazards under the Hazard Communication (HazCom) Standard.
OSHA released its revised HazCom Standard, aligning it with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), in March 2012.
Because GHS does not currently contain a classification for combustible dust hazards, OSHA amended the definition of “hazardous chemical” to include combustible dust in its HazCom Standard to maintain coverage of combustible dust hazards.
According to the memo, where there is evidence that a product has been involved in a deflagration or dust explosion event, it should be classified as a combustible dust. Further, if results of accepted tests are available for a product, it should be classified in accordance with those results. But if a product has not been involved in a deflagration or explosion event and test data is unavailable, manufacturers and importers may use published test data on similar materials or use information on particle size to determine a product's combustible dust hazard. Read the memo on OSHA's website.
For more information about combustible dust, log in to the Risk Control Customer Portal at the top of this page and search “combustible dust” in the Keyword Search.
As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to protecting America’s critical infrastructure, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced the release of new tools to strengthen protection of the nation’s oil and natural gas infrastructure and the electric grid from cyber attack. The new versions of the Cybersecurity Capability Maturity Model, which help organizations assess their own cybersecurity capabilities and identify steps to help strengthen their defenses, include a version that can be used by industries outside of the energy sector.
The new Oil and Natural Gas Subsector Cybersecurity Capability Maturity Model (ONG-C2M2) leverages the Electricity Subsector Cybersecurity Capability Maturity Model (ES-C2M2) which was launched in 2012 as part of a White House initiative to support the private sector and utilities in assessment and enhancement of their own efforts. Maturity models identify an organization’s strengths and weaknesses, using best practices to improve performance, efficiency and quality. Development of the ONG-C2M2 involved a series of workshops with the private sector to draft a maturity model that can be used to better protect the oil and natural gas infrastructure. A voluntary ONG-C2M2 program, similar to the current ES-C2M2 program, will provide stakeholders with free guidance, an evaluation toolkit, and facilitated self-evaluations.
In addition to the ONG-C2M2 and an updated version of the ES-C2M2, the Energy Department is releasing a sector-neutral version of the model that can be used by any business or organization, regardless of size, function, or ownership structure. Organizations can modify the model according to their own sectors’ needs. All three models are available now for downloading.
The Energy Department has a long history of working closely with Federal partners, including the Department of Homeland Security, and private partners on cybersecurity of critical energy infrastructure. All versions of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model align with the Roadmap to Achieve Energy Delivery Systems Cybersecurity, which was developed by industry, facilitated by the Energy Department, and released in September of 2011.
For more information about cybersecurity, visit Risk Control’s new Cyber Risk Management Portal. Simply log in to the Risk Control Customer Portal and click on Cyber Risk Management in the left-hand navigation bar. Also, be sure to view the Travelers’ Prepare and Prevent cyber threats page.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 150 people in the U.S. die annually from accidental non-fire related carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning associated with consumer products. These products include faulty, improperly-used or incorrectly-vented fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, water heaters, portable generators and fireplaces. Read these safety tips and view an infographic from the CPSC.
To view more Risk Control information about carbon monoxide prevention, log in to the Risk Control Customer Portal and search “carbon monoxide poisoning” in the Keyword Search.
As severe winter weather continues to pummel the U.S., the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), a Travelers alliance and national research and communications organization, offers a severe winter weather maintenance checklist for property owners impacted by freezing weather. Find out how to help reduce damage to your property from freezing weather by visiting http://www.disastersafety.org/freezing_weather/.
IBHS FREEZING WEATHER MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST:
Stay Safe and Warm
Alternative heating is a great way to stay warm during the cold weather, but its use comes with risks. Check IBHS’ advice before selecting or installing an alternative heating source.
Build a Plan for a Power Outage
Heavy snow and high winds are a recipe for widespread power outages. It’s important to prepare a plan now before a possible outage. Learn how you can use alternative heat sources and generators safely during a power outage.
Prevent Roof Collapse
Significant snowfall can put a strain on a roof that could cause significant damage and even potential collapse. Unless your roof structure is damaged or decayed, most residential roofs, regardless of the location of the house, should be able to support 20 pounds of snow per square foot of roof space before they become stressed. Determine how much the snow/ice on your roof weighs by using IBHS' information. When there is too much snow on your roof, find out how to safely remove it by visiting http://www.disastersafety.org/freezing_weather/prevent-roof-collapse/.
Prevent Ice Dams
During freezing weather, heat from your home or business can escape through your roof and melt snow on your roof. The snowmelt can then trickle down to the roof’s edge and refreeze, creating an ice dam that leaves additional snowmelt with no place to go but possibly under your roof. IBHS’ guidance can help reduce your risk of ice dams. Discover additional ways you can prevent costly ice dams at http://www.disastersafety.org/freezing_weather/preventing-ice-dams-on-homes/.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes are one of the biggest risks of property damage when the temperature drops. In fact, a burst pipe can result in more than $5,000 in water damage, according to IBHS research. Prevent costly water damage caused by frozen pipes by using the following guidance.
Install Weather Stripping and Seals
Prevent freezing temperatures from entering your home or business by installing weather stripping and seals. This offers two major benefits – it will keep severe winter weather out of your home or business and sealing your property shut also greatly increases energy efficiency by limiting drafts and reducing the amount of cold air that enters. Inspect the following areas of your home or business for leaks to determine possible areas to seal:
Learn how to install weather stripping and caulking at https://www.disastersafety.org/freezing_weather/installing-weather-stripping-seals/.
To view more Risk Control information about preventing property damage in freezing weather, log in to the Risk Control Customer Portal and search “winter weather” in the Keyword Search. Also, be sure to check out our winter weather resources on the Travelers Prepare and Prevent web page.