The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has undertaken a public service messaging effort to remind workers that the agency is committed to ensuring their safety and health during the coronavirus pandemic.
OSHA is using public service audio announcements in English and Spanish, as well as bilingual digital and print billboard messaging, to encourage employees to contact OSHA with their concerns about workplace safety amid the coronavirus pandemic. Billboards will appear in states under federal OSHA jurisdiction.
The billboards and announcements are OSHA’s latest efforts to educate and protect American workers and help employers provide healthy workplaces as the coronavirus pandemic evolves. OSHA has published numerous alerts and advisories for various industries, including Guidance on Returning to Work, which assists employers as they reopen businesses and employees return to work.
Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 320 of the 1,008 construction fatalities recorded in 2018 (BLS data). Those deaths were preventable. The National Safety Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries.
PT Oklahoma Investment Casting (PT-OIC) is an investment casting foundry that manufactures metal components for a broad range of industrial applications. In 1995, PT-OIC learned about the OSHA On-Site Consultation Program, which offers no-cost and confidential occupational safety and health services to small and medium-sized businesses. Shortly thereafter, they began collaborations with the Oklahoma Department of Labor, OSHA Consultation Services, an experience they credit with bolstering the company’s commitment to building its safety and health program and maintaining a “safety first” focus at all levels of the company.
With the encouragement of consultants, PT-OIC decided to take its safety and health program to the next level required to participate in the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP), which recognizes small business employers who have used the OSHA On-Site Consultation Program services and operate an exemplary safety and health program. After receiving their SHARP certification in 1997, PT-OIC set an ambitious goal: to sustain their SHARP certification for the long term. Since 1997, PT-OIC has achieved SHARP recognition nine times.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has ordered JHOS Logistics and Transportation Inc. to reinstate an employee terminated for refusing to drive what the employee reasonably believed to be an overweight vehicle at the company’s Wilmington, California facility. OSHA also ordered the company to pay more than $190,000 in back wages, $25,000 in punitive damages, $5,000 in compensatory damages and attorney’s fees.
OSHA investigators determined JHOS Logistics and Transportation Inc. violated the whistleblower provision of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) when the company terminated the employee. Two months prior to the termination, the employee received a violation for operating an overweight commercial motor vehicle. The size of the previous load was similar to the size of the current load, which led the employee to reasonably believe the commercial motor vehicle was overweight.
In addition to the monetary penalties, the company must also train managers and post a notice informing their employees about workers’ rights under the STAA. JHOS Logistics and Transportation Inc. may appeal the order to the Department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges.