Workplace Safety Article Roundup - November 2015

Workplace Safety Roundup

Welcome to the latest monthly edition of news about workplace safety.

Indiana Man Starts Website to Teach Safety

Summary: An online agricultural safety course makes it easier for farmers to train employees and family members on safe practices.

Don Tyler, an Indiana native and president of Good Days Work LLC, created the company in response to his clients' needs for a more structured safety program. This July, he launched the online program with all the tools needed to teach Occupational Safety and Health Administration compliant safety practices. The website includes information about OSHA, OSHA regulations and a variety of 15-minute training videos.

U.S. Lawmakers Call For More Oversight Of Workers’ Comp

Summary: Ten prominent Democratic lawmakers, including presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, are urging the U.S. secretary of labor to come up with a plan to ensure that state workers’ compensation programs are properly caring for injured workers.

An investigation by ProPublica and NPR found that more than 30 states have cut workers comp benefits to injured workers, created daunting hurdles to getting medical care or made it more difficult for workers with certain injuries and illnesses to qualify. This is what prompted Democratic lawmakers to send their letter to the secretary of labor.

New Program Encourages Workplace Safety for Older Workers

Summary: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has launched a virtual center to promote safety among older workers.

Hosted by the NIOSH office for Total Worker Health, the National Center for Productive Aging and Work will
help employers address the needs and challenges of aging workers by providing them with interventions and best practices, the institute said in a statement last week.

Large Retailers Join Forces to Transform Global Labor Conditions

Summary: Nike, Target, H&M and other major retailers have launched a social and labor convergence project in an effort to improve working conditions in apparel manufacturing across the world.

On Oct. 21, a new initiative led by the world’s best known brands, retailers, industry groups, and humanitarian organizations was launched to improve working conditions in apparel manufacturing across the world. The project seeks to achieve real, sustainable change through the collective development of an industry-wide, standardized methodology for social and labor performance assessment in the apparel and footwear supply chains.

Safety Incentive Programs: Ready or Not, Here Comes OSHA!

Summary: Over the past few years, OSHA has become increasingly worried that employers are under reporting injuries and accidents partly due to employer incentive programs based on the number of workplace accidents and injuries.

OSHA has stated it will issue a final rule in the fall of 2015 that may make certain safety incentive programs illegal under OSHA standards and, just recently, OSHA sent such a proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for review. If the Agency does issue this final rule, it may change the landscape for many employers who have had success with such programs in the past.