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OSHA moves on 300A data submission, silica rule, crane operator certification

This month marks the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s launch of the Injury Tracking Application (ITA), a web-based form allowing employers to electronically submit injury and illness data from their 2016 Form 300A. The agency published a notice of proposed rulemaking in June to extend the data submission deadline to December, affording affected entities sufficient time to familiarize the electronic reporting system and the Trump Administration an opportunity to review employers’ new requirements.

Data submission involves creating an establishment, adding and relaying 300A summary data, and reviewing a confirmation email. The secure ITA website offers three submission options: one enables users to manually enter data into a web form; another gives users the ability to upload a CSV file to process single or multiple establishments at the same time; a third allows users of automated recordkeeping systems to transmit data electronically via an application programming interface. The ITA webpage includes information on reporting requirements, a list of frequently asked questions, and link to request assistance with completing the form.

SILICA RULE COMPLIANCE

OSHA has released a Small Entity Compliance Guide for General Industry and Maritime to help small business employers comply with the agency’s Final Rule to Protect Workers from Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica. It describes the steps that employers are required to take to protect employees from hazards associated with silica dust in the workplace, including assessing worker exposures; using engineering and work practice controls to keep exposure levels below a specified safety threshold; and, offering medical exams to certain highly exposed workers. Enforcement of the final rule in general industry and maritime is scheduled to begin June 2018. Concurrently, OSHA has published a Small Entity Compliance Guide for Construction, developed for concrete and masonry contractors and their peers. The agency has a September 2017 target to enforce construction workplace compliance with revised silica exposure levels.

CRANE OPERATOR CERTIFICATION EXTENSION

As industry observers hoped and anticipated, OSHA moved the deadline for crane operator certification back a full year from a November 10, 2017 target. The compliance extension follows the agency’s early-July announcement that it would exempt operators of monorail hoists—also known as A frames and typically deployed in precast concrete delivery—from the certification rule.

The deadline extension and monorail operator exemption came after seven years of NPCA members and staff interfacing with OSHA. The former action gives precasters an additional year to pursue third-party certification for the crane operators who fall under the rule. “While this is no longer an urgent deadline, we still recommend that precasters continue with plans to train and certify their crane operators soon,” says National Precast Concrete Association President Ty Gable. “The new deadline is 16 months away and it would be wise not to wait until the last minute.”

NPCA crane operator certification resources are posted at www.precast.org/cranes.