December 2019 Workplace Safety News and Notes

Safety News

Here’s a collection of safety news from around the web:

Illinois Updates Restroom Gender Signage Rule

Effective January 1 for all places of public access, “each single-occupancy restroom shall be outfitted with exterior signage that marks the single-occupancy restroom as a restroom and does not indicate any specific gender (rather than exterior signage indicating “all-gender” or “gender-neutral”).” These provisions apply to any existing or future places of public accommodation or public buildings. Read the amendment.

OSHA Issues Temporary Enforcement Policy for Certifications from CIC

Until further notice, OSHA will not accept crane operator certifications or re-certifications from Crane Institute Certification (CIC) issued on or after December 2, 2019. OSHA requires crane operators engaged in construction activity to be certified by an entity accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency. CIC no longer holds such accreditation. Although CIC-issued certifications are not compliant with OSHA’s operator certification requirement, OSHA does not intend to cite employers for operating equipment that violates that requirement if their operators obtained CIC-issued certifications prior to December 2, 2019. Learn more.

2020 Labor Law Posters For Your State

Across the U.S., most employers are required to display state and federal labor / employment notices in a conspicuous location. Most states update posters annually. You can now order 2020 labor posters from the source you trust for safety signs: Just four states have not yet updated their posters: Colorado, Connecticut, New Mexico and New York. 
Select an updated labor poster for your state.

NIOSH Study Identifies Health Issues Among Patient Care Aides

Workers who provide basic care to patients in a variety of healthcare settings may need care themselves. A new study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that patient care aides have limited access to healthcare and high prevalence of some adverse health outcomes. Compared to clerical workers, patient care aides had lower levels of healthcare access and were more likely to have conditions that contribute to health issues. Read more.

The CDC Shares Important Information on Workplace Bathroom Breaks

Federal standards “require employers to make toilet facilities available so that employees can use them when they need to. The employer may not impose unreasonable restrictions on employee use of the facilities.” Despite these protections, many workers say they cannot use the bathroom when they need to. This increases the risk for a variety of health problems, as well as worker discontent. Teachers, nurses, poultry processors, bus operators and taxi drivers commonly report too-few opportunities to use a restroom. Read more at the NIOSH Science Blog.

OSHA Conducts Record Number of Inspections in 2019

Federal OSHA conducted 33,401 inspections in fiscal year 2019 – more than the previous three years. Additionally, OSHA’s free On-Site Consultation Program identified 137,885 workplace hazards and protected an estimated 3.2 million workers from potential harm. Learn more.

Upcoming Safety Webinars Presented by OH&S

  • Jan. 9 – How to Comply with OSHA’s Recordkeeping Requirements
  • Jan. 23 – The Role of the Health and Safety Professional in an Oil Gas Pipeline Release
  • Jan. 30 – 7 Electrical Safety Mistakes
  • Learn more or sign up.