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January 2022 – Safety Blog

Hello everyone, and welcome back to Safety Corner, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Division of Worker's Compensation (DWD/WC) safety blog! I'm using this forum to share some of the current, pertinent safety news and information that I receive from my network of workplace safety professionals and pass along to employers across Wisconsin.

Many businesses use the start of a new year to develop and launch their safety goals and objectives for the upcoming year. Thus, many employers take the opportunity to start off the first few months of the new year by focusing on their required, annual U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance "refresher" safety training.

In an effort to cover and prioritize OSHA required initial and annual safety training, it is often beneficial to be aware of and visit OSHA's ongoing field inspection and enforcement activities. A review of OSHA's recent "Top 10 Cited Standards" can be viewed at OSHA.gov - Top 10 Cited Standards (note – vetted and published OSHA fiscal year summary data typically runs 1-1.5 years behind current year activities, but remains fairly consistent in content and standards violations conclusions over their fiscal years).

Additional OSHA's most recent "Top 10 Cited Standards" with substandard breakdown details can be viewed at NSC S&H Mag - OSHA Top 10 Most Cited Violations - FY 2021 (typically published by the NSC's S&H Magazine in Nov. – Dec. each year).

While required annual OSHA "refresher" safety training varies widely by industry, operations, and exposures, most employers have the following annual "refresher" safety training obligations in common:

(*Select chemicals also have annual safe use/handling "refresher" training requirements, if applicable - Ethylene Oxide (ETO), Formaldehyde, Lead, Methylene Chloride, and Thirteen Carcinogens – see www.OSHA.gov - Standards - 1910.1003 – 1910.1016 for OSHA training specifics.)

Additional OSHA safety training requirements and related OSHA safety training resources can be accessed on OSHA's training site and through their Safety Training Library at OSHA.gov - Training Library - Resources.

Various OSHA standards training requirements methodology is also detailed in the OSHA 2254 publication at OSHA.gov - Training Requirements in OSHA Standards

While not intended to be a singular approach nor a sole means to meet one's OSHA safety training obligations, the OSHA website's A-Z Search – "Videos" have many excellent, free safety training videos available. These include key topics on HazCom, Machine Guarding and Safeguarding, LOTO, Respirators, Hearing Conservation Programs, and more. See OSHA.gov - OSHA Safety Training & Safety Education Videos.

Again, safety videos should supplement and never be considered the sole means nor singular approach to one's OSHA safety training obligations. Site specific machine and operational hazards safety control(s) policies and procedures are to be the primary safety training focus, with videos, PowerPoint presentations, literature, etc. merely used to supplement the primary core safety training.

Again, many employers schedule their annual "refresher" safety training topics over the first quarter months (Jan. – March) to allow adequate time and balance to the workplace demands stemming from the start of the new year's overall company goals and objectives. "New" or transferred employees starting after any annual OSHA "refresher" safety training are to be OSHA safety trained as soon as practical, as they begin their new job assignment duties.

Most Worker's Compensation Insurance agents, brokers, and underwriting carriers have risk management and loss control consultants, and various in-person and online safety training resources available to assist their policyholder clients in their OSHA training efforts.

A review of OSHA's annual Top 10 - Most Frequently Cited Standards can aid in identifying, focusing and prioritizing one's OSHA safety training activities. Additionally, available drill downs from the OSHA web site include:

In addition to the above mentioned OSHA's Top 10 - Most Frequently Cited Standards and NSC S&H Mag - OSHA Top 10 Most Cited Violations - FY 2021 guidance information, detailed sub-standard breakdowns can be viewed via the OSHA training PowerPoint (PDF) presentations:

Again – vetted and published OSHA fiscal year summary data typically runs 1-1.5 years behind current year activities, but remains fairly consistent in content and standards violations conclusions over their fiscal years.

As a last thought regarding OSHA violations, potential dollar amount penalties have been annually adjusted for inflation and potential civil forfeiture liabilities now reflect OSHA Violation Penalties:

Type of Violation Penalty
Posting Requirements
$13,653 per violation
Failure to Abate $13,653 per day beyond the abatement date
Willful or Repeated $136,532 per violation

Also see – OSHA.gov - Penalties - Annual Adjustments.

Finally, in addition to the above annual OSHA safety training thoughts, OSHA has revamped their Winter Safety homepage at OSHA.gov - Winter Weather Hazards. Seasonal topics of interest include:

As a look ahead, February is National Heart Health Month and includes Burn Awareness Week. First Aid, CPR, and AED training are also good continuations to one's new year OSHA compliance training activities. More to follow as we approach February.

Have a Safe Day, Always!!

Dave Leix, CSP, Safety & Risk Manager - Bio: Dave Leix - CSP, Safety & Risk Manager

Contact Information:

  • Mike Anamendolla

    Dave brings over 40 years of professional safety and health (EHS) consulting and managerial experience to his role as Safety & Risk Manager for DWD's Worker's Compensation Division. He presents at a variety of association/industry trade group safety and risk management training events. Full bio for Dave Leix.

    201 E. Washington Avenue - Room C100
    (608) 266-4541 – direct
    (608) 266-6827 - fax