It seems like a year that just wouldn’t end, but 2020 is finally coming to a close.
From OSHA’s silica rule to COVID-19 (and everything about respirators), there’s been a lot to cover over the past 12 months. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 articles published on our website this year.
Hopefully, we’ve been able to help you stay up-to-date along the way. Thanks for reading, and we look forward to helping stay safe and healthy in 2021!
10. OSHA Fines Ohio Company $40K For Violating Respiratory Standard
OSHA cited an Ohio healthcare company for alleged serious violations of respirator regulations following an inspection initiated after the company reported the coronavirus-related hospitalization of seven employees.
OSHA proposed $40,082 in penalties after inspectors found that the employer committed two violations of the respirator standard. Though N95 respirators were provided to the healthcare workers, it’s important for employers to remember that OSHA regulations extend beyond simply providing PPE.
9. OSHA Says COVID-19 is a Recordable Illness
On May 19, OSHA issued two revised enforcement policies to ensure employers are taking action to protect their employees.
The first focused on increasing in-person inspections, and the second made coronavirus a recordable illness under OSHA’s record-keeping requirements.
8. How to Fit Test an N95 Mask For Workplace Use
For many businesses, that meant temporarily shutting the doors or having employees work from home. For companies that continued with on-site work, proactive measures needed to be taken to reduce the spread of the virus. Those measures included symptom screen and respirator use plus fit testing.
7. What to Know About OSHA’s Silica Standard Enforcement Guidance
In an effort to create more uniformity for the enforcement of silica standards, OSHA published an updated instructional inspection procedures for compliance safety and health officers.
The new “playbook” went into effect on June 25.
6. OSHA COVID-19 Fines Surpass $1.2 Million
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited 85 businesses for coronavirus-related violations between the beginning of the pandemic and Oct. 8, 2020.
The overwhelming majority of cited companies were located in the eastern portion of the United States. At that point, proposed penalties totaled a staggering $1,222,156.
5. 3 Effective Ways to Decontaminate N95 Masks for Reuse
To help conserve masks during the COVID-19 pandemic, OSHA released a memo on using expired respirators and other alternatives.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommended three methods to decontaminate N95 facepieces for reuse after researchers at the agency successfully tested the effectiveness of these methods, as well as the function of the masks after repeat decontamination.
4. OSHA Releases Most Common COVID-19 Violations
By better understanding which workplace hazards are the most common source of violations, employers can ensure they are adequately protecting workers and staying compliant.
3. OSHA Tells Employers to Prepare for Coronavirus Outbreak
In March, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a guidance on preparing workplaces for a COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. The guidance broke down risk categories and recommendations on how employers could reduce workers’ risk of exposure.
Each category had corresponding recommendations for engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protection equipment to keep employees from contracting the virus.
2. Flu Shots More Important Than Ever in 2020
Medical experts recommend getting the flu shot every year.
However, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more crucial than ever to get this yearly vaccine. With the U.S. health system already overwhelmed with cases of COVID-19, getting a flu shot, and doing so early, will help reduce the burden on hospitals, healthcare workers, and the health system in general.
1. The OSHA Silica Standard is About to Get More Strict
OSHA’s medical surveillance requirements for employees exposed to respirable crystalline silica have been in effect since June 2018.
On June 23, 2020, those requirements got even more stringent. Employers are now required to assess exposures for employees who will be occupationally exposed to respirable crystalline silica, at or above the action level (AL) for 30 or more days per year.
So, how big of a deal is that?