Annual OSHA Updates: What’s New

The Latest OSHA Updates for 2021

As part of our safety services for agents and policyholders, FFVA Mutual hosts an annual OSHA updates webcast to explore new insights, rule changes, and OSHA standards proposed by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). This past year has been one of the most challenging times for employers and the people they count on to keep everything running. The rapid shift to remote work and social distancing practices has been essential to protecting the health and safety of employees at every level, but it’s also introduced new complexities into the mix.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has been a major focus for OSHA and employers across the world, that’s why part of this year’s OSHA update webcast is dedicated to discussing the agency’s COVID-19 recommendations, standards, and violations and how they may impact your organization.

Here’s a review of the latest updates from OSHA:

OSHA’s Recordkeeping Requirements and Resources Related to COVID-19

It’s important for employers to know that OSHA has issued enforcement guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic for recording and reporting occupational injuries and illnesses. For more information, visit the enforcement memoranda section of OSHA’s COVID-19 Safety and Health Topics page here.

As OSHA explains on its website, employers should familiarize themselves with existing standards and directives that may apply to workers’ exposure to COVID-19. For example, OSHA standards for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I for general industry, and 29 CFR 1926 Subpart E for construction companies – are highly relevant to preventing the spread of the virus. To reduce the risk of transmission, workers should use gloves, eye and face shields, and respiratory protection “when job hazards warrant it.” To learn more, click here to view OSHA’s list of COVID-19 violations.

Currently, there are 28 OSHA-approved State Plans under review, which provide employers with specialized safety and health program standards based on their location and industry. Roughly 22 of these plans cover both private sector and state/local government workers, though some rules may not apply in all circumstances. To remain compliant, you’ll want to brush up on OSHA updates and recommendations related to COVID-19, including tips on workplace housekeeping and setting cleaning schedules.

Another important addition to OSHA’s standards worth noting is OSHA’s COVID-19 standards. Employers are now responsible for tracking work-related illnesses related to COVID-19. Of course, it can be difficult to determine whether an employee was exposed to coronavirus in the workplace, or if they contracted it elsewhere. Under the new OSHA requirements, employers must “make reasonable efforts, based on the evidence available to the employer, to ascertain whether a particular case of coronavirus is work-related.”

Alongside OSHA updates and revised enforcement guidelines for COVID-19, the annual webcast also covers strategies for identifying which rules apply to your industry and how to successfully implement them.

These are just a few key topics we’ll touch on during our OSHA update, yet they help illustrate just how wide-reaching this challenge is for employers and employees alike.

OSHA’s Most Frequently Cited Standards [Top 10 Violations]

Although COVID-19 is a key focus of the webcast, we also be discussing OSHA’s most frequently cited standards related to worksite inspections. We’ve been covering the top 10 OSHA violations for years, as we find it helps our policyholders weave a big-picture perspective into their safety programs. Understanding where other organizations are falling short can give you fresh ideas about hazard identification and allow you to develop new strategies that make a real impact on the lives and well-being of your most vulnerable workers.

While OSHA’s list of frequently cited standards doesn’t change too much from year to year, it’s still useful to know which health risks and safety challenges to look out for. Here’s a sneak peek at OSHA’s most recent top 10 violations from 2019:

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501) Citations: 6,010
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200) Citations: 3,671
  3. Scaffolding (1926.451) Citations: 2,813
  4. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) Citations: 2,606
  5. Respiratory Protection (1910.134) Citations: 2,450
  6. Ladders (1926.1053) Citations: 2,345
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) Citations: 2,093
  8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503) Citations: 1,773
  9. Machine Guarding (1910.212) Citations: 1,743
  10. Eye and Face Protection (1926.102) Citations: 1,411

View our infographic highlighting OSHA’s latest top 10 violations here.

What are the benefits of OSHA updates and workplace safety training?

Consistent employee workplace safety training is the cornerstone of effective safety programs: They help ensure every worker is informed, alert and focused on improving worksite conditions for themselves and their peers. Since OSHA’s regulations and standards are constantly changing, it’s important to offer your employees opportunities to expand their knowledge and skills when new information becomes available.

Our OSHA update webcast is now available on-demand to view anywhere at any time. The 50-minute webcast features an interactive format with a video featuring the speakers in addition to presenter slides, related links and downloadable resources. Attendees can also to engage in poll questions, obtain a digital certificate of completion and send OSHA compliance challenges and questions to our expert team of safety Solutionists.

No-Cost Workplace Safety Training

At FFVA Mutual, our policyholders and agency partners benefit from a growing catalog of no-cost safety training, delivered both online and in-person. We’re continuously updating our learning materials to ensure they’re relevant and timely, which helps employers stay one step ahead of new safety insights and OSHA requirements. This commitment to workplace innovation and proactive safety training is one reason why we have some of the highest policy retention rates in our industry.

When you join the FFVA Mutual family, you gain access to:

  • Short Safety Talks: These brief, on-demand videos explore a variety of key safety topics, from OSHA standards related to hazard communication to its recordkeeping guidelines and everything in between. The clips make a perfect companion to safety committee meetings and come with downloadable resources to help you lead more constructive conversations with your workers.
  • Safety Webcasts: Our catalog of free safety webcasts available on-demand is packed with engaging presentations that help add context to new safety best practices, OSHA updates, trending safety topics and more to improve your safety program. Even if you miss our live events, you and your employees can still access every webcast and download additional content tailored to today’s fast-paced business environments.
  • 10-Hour OSHA Compliance Training Courses: These comprehensive training courses provide a detailed overview of OSHA compliance, fall protection, personal protective equipment, health hazards and more. We offer both general OSHA training and courses specialized for the construction industry, which can be delivered online or in person at no additional cost to FFVA Mutual’s policyholders.
  • Safety Key: Through our online Safety Key portal, policyholders and agency partners have access to can download a variety of customizable tools aimed at improving their workplace safety programs and reducing on-the-job accidents. This includes safety program guides (both general and by industry), editable documents and other useful safety materials.

Building a proactive employee training program is the first step to reducing claim costs, eliminating workplace hazards and keeping your workers safe and healthy. To learn more about our training courses or to sign up for training for your employees, submit a request through our website.

We hope you have found these OSHA updated information and resources helpful! To view our annual OSHA update webcast, sign up now to start watching and share the link and information with your peers, management teams and employees to take your workplace safety program to the next level.