Important Updates and Changes of OSHA Compliance 2024 for Workplace Safety

Important Updates and Changes of OSHA Compliance 2024 for Workplace Safety

OSHA, a department of the United States Department of Labor, sets guidelines to offer basic health and safety protection in American workplaces. OSHA is referred to as Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the mission of OSHA is to ensure healthy & secure working conditions for employee safety through the establishment and enforcement of regulations as well as through outreach, education, training, and support. 

What is OSHA Compliance? 

The goal of OSHA is to ensure that workers have a healthy and safe workplace.

OSHA compliance aims to ensure a safe work environment, prevent accidents, and comply with legal obligations, protecting employee well-being, minimizing risks, and fostering a safe workplace culture. Finding and solving hazards at work, offering training, keeping records, and abiding by safety equipment, hazard communication, and emergency planning regulations are all part of OSHA compliance which by developing and implementing rules and by providing assistance, knowledge, training, and outreach. 

This safety compliance lowers financial and legal risks for businesses and workplace safety. Employers must adhere to all necessary OSHA regulations. Additionally, they have to accept the OSHA Act’s General Duty Clause, which mandates that employers maintain their workplace free from major recognized dangers.

Benefits of Maintaining OSHA Compliance In The Workplace 

OSHA guidelines help business owners and employers by preventing work-related injuries, fostering a safer work environment, and lowering the death rate in high-risk workplaces.

  • Prevent illness, and accidents, or even prevent loss of life at the work site.
  • Identify and eliminate risks from your place of employment.
  • Overcome hardship and financial difficulty that may impact employees, their families, or even the employers.
  • Develop a positive perception of a company among suppliers and customers.
  • Enhance worker’s morale.
  • Improve business sense by lowering the cost of workers’ compensation, lowering the number of lost workdays as well as product and equipment damage in business.

Updates from OSHA for 2024

The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is implementing various initiatives for OSHA Compliance 2024, in which the final rules are now in effect, and proposed rules are open for review and are published in OSHA Posters 2024. Additionally, an outline is provided for potential future rules. Employers should stay updated on all initiatives, some of its important initiatives are discussed below.

1. Amendments to Injury and Illness Submission Forms

OSHA has amended its occupational injury & illness record keeping regulation to mandate entities with 20 or more employees in designated industries to submit electronic injury and illness information annually. Employers with over 10 employees in most industries are required to maintain records of occupational injuries & illnesses at their workplace.

Starting January 1, 2024, entities with 20 or more employees in certain industries must electronically submit OSHA-approved information annually, with specific requirements varying based on employment. This same in affected industries are advised to review the final rule before its effective date on January 1, 2024.

2. Amendments to Establishing Three-Year National Emphasis Program (Warehouse and Distribution) 

OSHA has implemented a three-year nationwide emphasis program to address the significant growth in the warehousing industry over the past decade. OSHA mandates the National Emergency Plan due to the significant safety and health risks associated with warehousing and distribution centers. Hazards in the workplace include struck-by, caught-in-between, slips, trips, falls, and blocked passageways, means of door, powered industrial vehicles, heat hazards, and ergonomic issues.

The NEP will involve inspections of warehousing, distribution center operations, mail/postal processing, parcel delivery/courier services, and certain high-injury-rate retail establishments. The NEP also mandates comprehensive safety inspections for industries like retail, focusing on workplace hazards like powered vehicles, material handling, egress means, and fire protection.

3. Deep Clarification On Construction Industry’s Safety Gear Requirements 

For the construction industry, OSHA has proposed a rule that would require employees to wear personal protective equipment that fits properly. The proposed rule clarifies the current policy; it does not make significant changes, and employers should expect a similar final rule shortly. 

4. Deep Clarification On Incidents to Refer to as Workplace Violence

According to a standard interpretation letter from OSHA, injuries brought on by workplace violence are nonetheless subject to reporting requirements even if the incident doesn’t take place at work. The letter is about OSHA’s guidelines for maintaining records of sickness and injuries sustained at work.

Workplace violence refers to incidents where an employee’s work is a causal factor in the injury or illness, whether at the employer’s workplace or while traveling for work. Employers should keep this norm in mind when reviewing relevant cases in the future.

5. Potential Elements Of Heat Sickness Prevention Standard

OSHA has provided a preliminary outline of potential elements for a proposed rule on heat sickness prevention standards. OSHA plans to establish a standard that could mandate employers to develop a strategy for assessing and controlling heat hazards in their workplace. The proposal presents various control measures based on NIOSH’s criteria, state standards, and stakeholder feedback, aiming to provide small businesses with feasible options for protecting workers from dangerous heat.

OSHA plans to develop a proposed rule based on feedback on heat injury prevention, hazard identification, control measures, medical treatment, worker training, record keeping, and communication on multi-employer sites.

The outline provides a roadmap for employers on OSHA’s future direction in workplace heat hazards, if Democrats retain control in 2024.

Bottom Line 

By understanding the concept of OSHA, it’s easy to adhere to its safety regulations, which helps to clarify why and how manufacturing organizations can lower the chance of accidents, illnesses, and injuries in the workplace. No matter the size of the business or industry, your frontline teams can maintain worker safety and health while streamlining OSHA compliance processes by deploying the appropriate technologies. Take action now to safeguard your workforce and enhance workplace safety!

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