In June, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a final rule detailing new requirements to submit records and reports electronically. Those requirements go into effect on January 1, 2017. Other requirements go into effect as soon as August 10. If you are in the manufacturing business, now is the time to make sure you’re covered by a Central Florida Manufacturing Insurance Policy.
Policies Manufacturing Businesses Should Review As Soon As Possible
Do not become a victim of failing to heed the fine print. Make sure these new requirements are met before August 10:
- Most manufacturers already have employee handbooks or clearly written policies directing employees to report workplace injuries or illnesses as soon as they occur. Beginning August 10, OSHA will require employers to use an approximation of the following language in its employee materials: “employees have the right to report injuries and illnesses without fearing that an employer will discriminate or terminate an employee for making a report.”
- Another soon-to-be-effective OSHA ruling is that it will have up to 180 days to cite an employer for whistleblower claim – even without an employee filing a claim. Currently, employees are required to file whistleblower complaints within 30 days of an alleged incident. Soon, OSHA will be able to enforce whistleblower claims through citations.
- Employers are advised to reevaluate policies requiring automatic drug and alcohol tests of all injured or ill employees. OSHA argues that this automatic testing policy may cause injured or ill employees not to report for fear of a positive drug or alcohol test. OSHA urges employers to bypass testing in cases when drugs and alcohol are deemed unlikely to have been a factor to the illness or injury.
- Arguing that offering financial incentives for X number of days without an injury gives injured employees a reason not to report their injuries, OSHA suggests employers reconsider these. OSHA may rule such compensatory programs “retaliatory” in nature if they’re found to discourage reporting.
If you have questions about your manufacturing business practices as they relate to OSHA enforcement and your insurance policy, contact us at Newman Crane & Associates Insurance, (407) 859-3691 for assistance.