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Non-profit organizations face many of the same regulations as for-profit concerns, including those that pertain to employee safety in the workplace. Holding non-profit status or having a small number of employees does not exempt a business from OSHA compliance; unless a facility is municipal- , state-, or federally-owned, it is subject to OSHA regulations so long as it has employees.

That means that many non-profits, too, need to understand their responsibilities to employees, identify and attempt to prevent hazards, and provide training to employees on their rights with respect to safety on the job. Fortunately, in mid-May OSHA announced the availability of the 2014 Susan Harwood Training Grant Program. The initiative provides $7 million under to support the creation of in-person, hands-on training and educational programs as well as materials for workers and employers in small businesses; industries with high injury, illness, and fatality rates; and workers who are underserved, have limited English proficiency or who are temporary.

The grants are available to nonprofit organizations including community and faith-based organizations, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor/management associations, and colleges and universities and can be used to fund training and education for workers and employers to identify and prevent workplace safety and health hazards. OSHA has said two types of safety and health training grants will be awarded: Targeted Topic Training and Capacity Building, with funding split evenly for each grant fund.

According to OSHA, Targeted Topic Training grants support the development of quality training materials and programs for addressing workplace hazards and prevention strategies. The Targeted Topic Training grants require applicants to address occupational safety and health topics designated by OSHA. Targeted Topic Training grants may be eligible for one additional follow-on grant, based on satisfactory performance. The deadline to submit Targeted Topic Training grants (SHTG-FY-14-01) is Monday, June 30, 2014.

Capacity Building grants focus on developing and expanding the capacity of an organization to provide safety and health training, education, and related assistance to target audiences. Grant recipients are expected to increase occupational safety and health competence and improve organizational capacity to assist workers and employers on an ongoing basis by ensuring that services continue beyond federal financial support. Capacity Building Developmental grant recipients may be eligible for additional 12-month follow-on grants, based on satisfactory performance. The cutoff for Capacity Building grants (SHTG-FY-14-02) is Thursday, June 26, 2014.

All applications must be submitted electronically and are due no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on each grant’s due date – no extensions of the deadline will be granted.

The solicitation for both grant applications is available at http://www.grants.gov, where new applicants need to register and returning applicants must ensure their registration is accurate and current.

More information on the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, including access to a proposal webinar to assist prospective applicants in understanding the application process, is available on OSHA’s website at https://www.osha.gov/dte/sharwood/index.html.

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Under OSHA Recordkeeping regulation (29 CFR 1904), covered employers are required to prepare and maintain records of serious occupational injuries and illnesses, whether they are direct employees or those working through a staffing agency. According to OSHA, the agency’s new Temporary Worker Initiative will use enforcement, outreach, and training to make sure that temporary workers are protected in the workplace.

The agency announced the initiative to raise awareness and compliance with requirements that temporary workers receive the same training and protection that existing workers receive. Part of that effort is a new educational resource that focusing on requirements for injury recording of temporary worker injuries and illnesses. The measures were prompted in part by OSHA investigations in recent months into reports of temporary workers suffering serious or fatal injuries, many of which occur within their first few days on the job.

The new Recordkeeping Bulletin (https://www.osha.gov/temp_workers/OSHA_TWI_Bulletin.pdf) explains the requirements for both the staffing agency and the host employer and addresses how to identify who is responsible for recording work-related injuries and illnesses of temporary workers on the OSHA 300 log.

Covered employers are required to record on that log any recordable injuries and illnesses of all employees on their payroll, whether those workers are classified as labor, executive, hourly, salary, part-time, seasonal, or migrant workers. Covered employers must log also any recordable injuries and illnesses that occur to employees who are not on the company payroll if these employers are supervised on a day-to-day basis.

OSHA says that the temporary worker Recordkeeping Bulletin is the first in a series of guidance documents to be released to support the initiative to raise awareness about compliance with OSHA requirements for temporary workers.

A construction worker fatality at East Georgia State College in Swainsboro, Ga. has resulted in five safety violations against Smiley Plaster Co. The company faces $57,000 in penalties. The 42-year-old worker fell approximately 19 feet off scaffolding to his death while applying stucco to a pre-existing building that was being renovated as a college dormitory. OSHA’s investigation into the Sept. 20, 2013 fatality found that the company failed to provide fall protection to employees who work from scaffolding at heights over 10 feet.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_logo_astm.jpgThe American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has announced that a new international standard will be used to provide a uniform international method for recording occupational injuries and illnesses. The goal to make global performance comparisons of companies in keeping workers safe, the society said. Known as ASTM E2920, Guide for Recording Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, the method developed by Subcommittee E34.80 on Industrial Health, part of ASTM International Committee E34 on Occupational Health and Safety.

In effect, ASTM E2920 establishes a common denominator system that includes injuries most countries already record, albeit with variations that do not always allow for direct comparison.

By using this approach, the ASTM says, no new system will need to be developed and existing records can be used to establish historical trends by identifying those cases that qualify under the new criteria.

According to an ASTM news release, “ASTM E2920 will be especially helpful to multinational companies by leveling the playing field by its use, regardless of company or country, and enabling globally consistent safety performance evaluation.”

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b2ap3_thumbnail_logo_osha.pngThe U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found Grand Trunk Western Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad Co. in violation of the Federal Railroad Safety Act for suspending and/or disciplining five workers following the reporting of workplace injuries or illnesses.

The department has ordered the companies to pay back wages, along with interest, punitive and compensatory damages, and attorney’s fees. The companies will also be required to remove disciplinary information from the employees’ personnel records and must provide whistleblower rights information to workers.

Read entire article - https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=25710

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