OSHA's General Industry Standards

1) Medical Services and First Aid General Industry Standards

The OSHA requirements relating to an employer's obligation to make first aid products available for its workers are clear. The specific requirement appears below and is quoted from the General Industry Standards, Medical Services and First Aid, 29 CFR, 1910.151, Subpart K . For more information, visit the OSHA web site at www.osha.gov.

(a) The employer shall ensure the ready availability of medical personnel for advice and consultation on matters of plant health.

(b) In the absence of an infirmary, clinic, or hospital in near proximity to the workplace which is used for the treatment of all injured employees, a person or persons shall be adequately trained to render first aid. Adequate first aid supplies shall be readily available .

(c) Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use. (Revised June 18, 1998)

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2) Construction Standards

The construction industry is subject to an industry-specific set of OSHA requirements. Following is the Construction Standard as it relates to first aid:Requirements from the Construction Standards, Medical Services and First Aid, CFR 29, 1926.50, Subpart D

(a) The employer shall ensure the availability of medical personnel for advice and consultation on matters of occupational health.

(b) Provisions shall be made prior to commencement of the project for prompt medical attention in case of serious injury.

(c) In the absence of an infirmary, clinic, hospital, or physician, that is reasonably accessible in terms of time and distance to the worksite, which is available for the treatment of injured employees, a person who has a valid certificate in first-aid training from the U.S. Bureau of Mines, the American Red Cross, or equivalent training that can be verified by documentary evidence, shall be available at the worksite to render first aid.

(d)(1) First aid supplies shall be easily accessible when required.

(d)(2) The contents of the first aid kit shall be placed in a weatherproof container with individual sealed packages for each type of item , and shall be checked by the employer before being sent out on each job and at least weekly on each job to ensure that the expended items are replaced.

(e) Proper equipment for prompt transportation of the injured person to a physician or hospital, or a communication system for contacting necessary ambulance service, shall be provided.

(f) In areas where 911 is not available, the telephone numbers of the physicians, hospitals, or ambulances shall be conspicuously posted.

(g) Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.

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3) PPE General Industry Standards

29 CFR , 1910.132 (a)
Application. Protective equipment, including personal protective equipment for eyes, face, head, and extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices, and protective shields and barriers, shall be provided, used, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition wherever it is necessary by reason of hazards of processes or environment, chemical hazards, radiological hazards, or mechanical irritants encountered in a manner capable of causing injury or impairment in the function of any part of the body through absorption, inhalation or physical contact.

1910.132(d)(1)
The employer shall assess the workplace to determine if hazards are present, or are likely to be present, which necessitate the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). If such hazards are present, or likely to be present, the employer shall:

1910.132(d)(1)(i)
Select, and have each affected employee use, the types of PPE that will protect the affected employee from the hazards identified in the hazard assessment.

To review the entire Standard, visit www.osha.gov.

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4) Eye Safety General Industry Standards

Portions of the OSHA General Industry Standard relating to eye safety are reprinted below for your convenience. Review the entire Standard on the OSHA web site at www.osha.gov.

29 CFR, 1910.133(a)(1)
The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation.

1910.133(a)(2)
The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses eye protection that provides side protection when there is a hazard from flying objects. Detachable side protectors (e.g. clip-on or slide-on side shields) meeting the pertinent requirements of this section are acceptable.

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5) Hearing Protection General Industry Standards

The OSHA Standard regulating hearing protection can be reviewed on the OSHA web site. The Standard appears at 29 CFR, 1910.95, Subpart G.

? Noise Levels Information Page (Occupational Noise Exposure)
When is noise too loud for safety? When it's above 85dBA. But we don't all walk around with a meter, do we? For a quick test, use your arm! If you're one arm's length from someone (two to three feet) and it takes effort to communicate (e.g. you must raise your voice to be heard) then the noise level is at least 85dBA and hearing protection is needed.

NRR = Noise reduction rating. These ratings appear on earplugs and muffs and are an indication of a hearing protector's noise reduction capability.

Attenuation is the protection provided by a Hearing Protection Device (HPD). noise levels.pdf

? Hearing Checklist: Record keeping Update for Hearing Loss Injury

On December 17, 2002 , OSHA modified Recordkeeping Form 300 to include an occupational hearing loss column. Employers must begin to use the modified forms on January 1, 2004 . You can access these forms by using the link below which refers to Calendar Year (CY) 2004 and beyond. The record keeping forms appropriate for 2002 and 2003 can also be accessed at the link below.

recordkeepingforms.pdf
hearing checklist.pdf

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6) Respiratory Protection and OSHA

In 2003, violations of the Respiratory Standard were among the top ten most frequently cited OSHA Standards , with a total of 3,939 violations reported.

CFR 29, 1910.134 directs employers to establish and maintain a respiratory protection program to protect employees. The Standard includes requirements for proper respirator selection, employee training and fit testing and respirator cleaning, maintenance and repair.

RESPIRATORY PROTECTION AND OSHA
According to OSHA, there are about 5 million respirator wearers working in an estimated 1.3 million workplaces in the United States . OSHA also estimates that compliance with the Respiratory Protection Standard will avert hundreds of deaths and thousands of illnesses annually. The standard applies to general industry, construction, shipyard, long shoring, and marine terminal workplaces and requires employers to establish or maintain a respiratory protection program to protect their respirator-wearing employees.

Respiratory Protection Standard Excerpt (29CFR, 1910.134)

This section applies to General Industry (part 1910), Shipyards (part 1915), Marine Terminals (part 1917), Long shoring (part 1918), and Construction (part 1926).

1910.134(a)(2)
Respirators shall be provided by the employer when such equipment is necessary to protect the health of the employee. The employer shall provide the respirators which are applicable and suitable for the purpose intended. The employer shall be responsible for the establishment and maintenance of a respiratory protection program which shall include the requirements outlined in paragraph (c) of this section.

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7) Head Protection General Industry Standards

OSHA CFR 29, 1915.155(a) lays out the requirements for providing workers with head protection such as hard hats and bump caps. An excerpt from the Standard appears below:

1915.155(a)(1)
The employer shall ensure that each affected employee wears a protective helmet when working in areas where there is a potential for injury to the head from falling objects.

1915.155(a)(2)
The employer shall ensure that each affected employee wears a protective helmet designed to reduce electrical shock hazards where there is potential for electric shock or burns due to contact with exposed electrical conductors which could contact the head.

Protective helmets purchased after August 22, 1996 shall comply with ANSI Z89.l-1986, "Personnel Protection -- Protective Headwear for Industrial Workers-Requirements," which is incorporated by reference, as specified in Sec. 1915.5, or shall be demonstrated by the employer to be equally effective.

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8) Hand Protection General Industry Standards
The OSHA requirements for General Industry relevant to hand protection appear in 29 CFR, 1910.138. Following is an excerpt:

1910.138(a)
General requirements. Employers shall select and require employees to use appropriate hand protection when employees' hands are exposed to hazards such as those from skin absorption of harmful substances; severe cuts or lacerations; severe abrasions; punctures; chemical burns; thermal burns; and harmful temperature extremes.

1910.138(b)
Selection. Employers shall base the selection of the appropriate hand protection on an evaluation of the performance characteristics of the hand protection relative to the task(s) to be performed, conditions present, duration of use, and the hazards and potential hazards identified.

Safety in the workplace isn?t just a good idea, it?s the law. Bringing your business or work site in line with the OSHA rules and regulations is a mandatory step towards achieving a safe and healthy work environment. OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Act) was initiated in 1970 and provides guidelines, rules and regulations for different industries to ensure a safe workplace and prevent occupational injuries and illnesses.

Depending on the type of business you are in there are specific health and safety standards that must be met according to OSHA so that your company is in compliance with the law. Both employers and employees have rights in regards to workplace safety and acting in accordance with the OSHA rules and regulations is paramount to reducing workplace injuries and illnesses. For a complete listing of all OSHA compliance standards refer to the OSHA web site: www.osha.gov.

Prior to 1970 there were little or no compliance standards for employers and occupational hazards were considered part of the job. OSHA was enacted to not only institute a series of laws and guidelines but also to enforce those rules so that employers and employees were protected from a variety of workplace hazards including dangerous chemicals, fire and asbestos, to name only a few. Since the passing of OSHA occupational injury and illness rates have dropped nearly 60% while the number of workers has doubled.

Under OSHA employees have specific rights to ensuring they work in a safe and healthy environment. Some of these rights include: notifying an employer or OSHA of workplace hazards; requesting an OSHA inspection and asking OSHA to keep your name confidential; filing a complaint with OSHA for any retaliation or discrimination by an employer for making a safety complaint; the right to see any and all citations issued by OSHA to an employer; and the right to copies of any and all medical records of exposure to toxic and/or harmful substances or conditions.

Employers are required by law to post any and all occupational hazards in a specific workplace environment as well as any and all citations or notifications from OSHA for violations of the OSHA rules and regulations. Failure to do so can result in a series of penalties. OSHA can and will conduct routine inspections of businesses and workplace sites to ensure that all rules and regulations are in compliance with the specific laws regarding particular industries.

Rather than wait or even worse take a chance it is best to contact OSHA, find out what safety rules and regulations apply to your business or work site and immediately bring your company in line with the law. OSHA offers a variety of training courses, publications, posters and notices to assist with achieving a safe and healthy workplace environment.