The 2016 American Industrial Hygiene Conference & Expo is taking place May 21-26 at the Baltimore Convention Center in downtown Baltimore, Md.

New Standards, Enforcement Working, OSHA Chief Says

OSHA chief Dr. David Michaels discussed several enforcement initiatives of his agency May 24 at the AIHce 2016 conference

BALTIMORE -- OSHA chief Dr. David Michaels discussed several enforcement initiatives of his agency May 24 at the AIHce 2016 conference, including the new injury tracking regulation and the mandate to report amputations and hospitalizations of injured workers. During the first year the severe injury rule was in effect, OSHA received about 10,000 reports but did not inspect most of those workplaces, he said, choosing instead to call the employers and send them an accident investigation form. That has been very successful, he explained, and has brought some very severe cases to OSHA's attention at the agency otherwise would not have know about.

Michaels also supported the idea of vacating some outdated PELs where the limit that is in place is actually allowing unsafe exposures, he said, citing n-hexane as an example. Its PEL is 500, which is clearly too high to be safe, he said.

NIOSH's Dr. John Howard said nanotechnology is a good example of an area where his agency looks to international standards and beyond the current OSHA PELs for guidance. Both men agreed that he current model, proceeding chemical by chemical to write exposure limits is not useful in the 21st century, and both expressed support for the control banding approach, where limits are set for a group of similar substances of concern.

Howard urged the assembled industrial hygienists to participate in developing consensus standards, noting that the federal government's scientists are encouraged to do this.

Michaels said the injury tracking rule his agency recently issued and its revised silica exposure limits will be effective. As OSHA prepares to receive 400,000 companies' injury data and post it online, he said that will lead to better safety performance, likening it to a system used by New York City to give restaurants letter grades for hygiene and food safety. "This works," Michaels said.

Download Center

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide

    Use this handy buyer's guide to learn the basics of selecting online safety training and how to use it at your workplace.

  • COVID Return-to-Work Checklist, Fall 2021

    Use this checklist as an aid to help your organization return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and healthy manner.

  • SDS Buyer's Guide

    Learn to make informed decisions while searching for SDS Management Software.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Industry Safe

Featured Whitepapers

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - October 2021

    October 2021

    Featuring:

    • TRAINING
      On Route To Safe Material Handling
    • SAFETY CULTURE
      Normalization of Deviations in Performance
    • IH:INDOOR AIR QUALITY
      Arresting Fugitive Dusts
    • PPE:FOOT PROTECTION
      Safety Shoes Make the Outfit for Well-Protected Workers
    View This Issue