CoatingsPro Magazine

JUL 2015

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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Page 31 of 84

COATINGSPRO JULY 2015 31 WORK IT SAFE The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) gives workers and their representatives the right to see informa- tion that employers collect on hazards in the workplace. Workers have the right to know what hazards are p r e s e n t i n t h e w o r k p l a c e a n d h o w t o p r o t e c t t h e m s e l v e s . M a n y O S H A s t a n d a r d s r e q u i r e various methods that employers must use to inform their employees, such as warning s i g n s , c o l o r - c o d i n g , s i g n a l s , a n d t r a i n i n g . Workers must receive their normal rate of pay to attend training that is required by OSHA standards and rules. The training must be in a language and vocab- ulary that workers can understand. RIGHT TO KNOW ABOUT CHEMICAL HAZARDS The Hazard Communication standard, known as the "right-to-know" standard, requires employers to inform and train workers about hazard- ous chemicals and substances in the workplace. Employers must: � P r o v i d e w o r k e r s w i t h e f f e c t i v e i n f o r m a t i o n a n d t r a i n i n g o n hazardous chemicals in their work area. This training must be in a language and vocabulary that workers can understand; � Keep a current list of hazardous chemicals that are in the workplace; � Make sure that hazardous chemical containers are properly labeled with the identity of the hazardous chemical and appropriate hazard warnings; � Have and make available to workers and their representatives Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) (formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets, or MSDSs) for each substance that provide detailed information about chemical hazards, their effects, how to prevent exposure, and emergency treatment if an exposure occurs. Under the Right to Information, workers also have the right to know about laws and their rights, to get copies of workplace injury and illness records, to get exposure data, and to have access to their medical records. For more information, contact: OSHA, safety manual as soon as he or she is hired. Tese sorts of documents should be fled at the home ofce and can be incredibly helpful if you ever need to defend an OSHA citation. Disciplinary Records OSHA routinely requests documents pertaining to company disciplinary policies following an inspection. Te frst step to defeating an OSHA inspection and possible citation involves present- ing a well-written disciplinary policy for safety violators. Every contractor needs to maintain a written policy, but you must also adhere to that policy. For example, if your company manual has a three-strikes-and-you-are-out policy for safety violators, it will be very damaging to your case against OSHA if there is evidence of repeated violators who are not terminated for their conduct. Te best course of action is to keep forms of written reprimands on site with each supervisor who may issue these reprimands if he or she discov- ers safety violators. Copies should be given to the violator and also kept in a permanent ofce fle. Te most common and successful disciplinary policy we normally encounter includes a written reprimand and warning for frst-time violators, an unpaid suspension for a second violation, and termination upon a third safety violation. It is import- ant for your disciplinary policy to escalate as the seriousness of the safety infraction increases. One of the most damaging scenarios a contractor can experience occurs when OSHA reviews a written disciplinary policy and is then able to uncover evidence that this policy was not followed. Tis can quickly defeat any chance the company has to beat an OSHA citation. Spanish Manual A ll members of your crew require company safety policies and documents that they can understand and abide by. Tat includes Spanish speakers or crewmembers who speak anything else as their only language. At the onset of any OSHA employee interview, one of the frst of many questions asked usually involves whether or not safety documents are provided to the crew in both English and Spanish. It is there- fore essential for any contractor who employs Spanish-speaking or bi-lin- gual crews to publish and implement a Spanish Safety Manual. Tis has become especially relevant in recent years due to OSHA's use of written statements gathered at jobsites. A popular tactic of many OSHA inspectors involves questioning Spanish-speaking crewmembers during an inspection, and then requiring the crewmember to sign of on sworn At the onset of any OSHA employee interview, one of the frst of many questions asked usually involves whether or not safety documents are provided to the crew in both English and Spanish. Safety Watch

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