It’s Getting Hot Out! | OSHA & Heat Stress

With Independence Day just a week away, temperatures are on the rise across the country and some areas have already seen record-breaking heat this summer. Although OSHA does not have specific regulations concerning the management of employee heat stress, the General Duty Clause of the 1970 OSHA Act has been used to cite employers that have allowed employees to be exposed to potential serious physical harm from excessively hot work environments.

In a 2001 Letter of Interpretation, OSHA notes that the following “feasible and acceptable methods can be used to reduce heat stress hazards in workplaces”:

  1. Permitting workers to drink water at liberty;
  2. Establishing provisions for a work/rest regimen so that exposure time to high temperatures and/or the work rate is decreased;
  3. Developing a heat stress program which incorporates the following:
    1. A training program informing employees about the effects of heat stress, and how to recognize heat-related illness symptoms and prevent heat-induced illnesses;
    2. A screening program to identify health conditions aggravated by elevated environmental temperatures;
    3. An acclimation program for new employees or employees returning to work from absences of three or more days;
    4. Specific procedures to be followed for heat-related emergency situations;
    5. Provisions that first aid be administered immediately to employees displaying symptoms of heat-related illness.

OSHA has also created a page where employers can find more information on occupational heat exposure.

Additionally, NATA offers, as part of its Safety 1st program, an OSHA training module on heat stress. This online training module:

  1. Explains how your body handles heat
  2. Helps employees understand how hot environments increase likelihood of accidents
  3. Explains how and why your body cooling system may fail
  4. Identifies the types of heat-related illnesses
  5. Explores the environment factors and unique personal factors causing heat illness
  6. Reviews the basic preventative measures to reduce the risk of heat stress

For more information on the NATA Safety 1st OSHA module on heat stress visit www.nata.aero/safety1st or email us at safety1st@nata.aero

Are You Ready for the June 1 GHS Compliance Deadline?

By June 1, 2016 all aviation businesses and other firms, must be fully compliant with the OSHA rule regarding the use of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of labeling chemicals, including training all employees on the use of the GHS system. Compliance with the GHS hazard communication rule requires that aviation businesses:

  • Update old Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) with the new Safety Data Sheets (SDS) utilizing the GHS system
  • Revise required Hazard Communications Programs to include the GHS system
  • Have provided training to all employees on reading and understanding GHS labels

Aviation Businesses can obtain copies of new SDS from the manufacturer chemicals, which include items such as aviation fuel, oil, hydraulic fluid and others.

Providing your employees the required training is also easy, by using the NATA Safety 1st Hazard Communication training module. This module covers the new aspects and labels used in the GHS as well as the foundations of the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard. The NATA Safety 1st Hazard Communication module is $24 per trainee and there are volume discounts for larger organizations.

For more information or to purchase the Hazcom Training module please visit: www.nata.aero/hazcom.

OSHA Announces FY 2015 Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards

In a press release from the National Safety Council, the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration released its top 10 most frequently cited standards. According to the NSC, the FY 2015 top 10 are:

  1. Fall Protection (1926.501) – 6,721
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200) – 5,192
  3. Scaffolding (1926.451) – 4,295
  4. Respiratory Protection (1910.134) – 3,305
  5. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) – 3,002
  6. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) – 2,760
  7. Ladders (1926.1053) – 2,489
  8. Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305) – 2,404
  9. Machine Guarding (1910.212) – 2,295
  10. Electrical – General Requirements (1910.303) – 1,973

Click here to learn more about OSHA Standards.

Click here to read the full NSC Press Release.