Jackson Kelly PLLC

Workplace Safety and Health News Alert


February 26, 2018

For clients and friends of Jackson Kelly PLLC
Volume 14, Number 4
©2018 Jackson Kelly PLLC

Herb Gibson, Area Director for the Denver Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) office, spoke at the February meeting of the Colorado Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers (“ASSE”). At that meeting, he listed the priorities for the Colorado OSHA offices for 2018, and also discussed the most frequently cited violations in Colorado.

The most frequently cited standards for Colorado have remained fairly consistent over the past few years. The list includes: 

  • fall protection
  • hazcom
  • general safety under § 1926.20(b)(2)
  • scaffolding
  • eye and face protection
  • ladder safety
  • machine guarding
  • respiratory protection 

The average penalty has remained consistent at approximately $3,700.00. Mr. Gibson stated that most of OSHA’s inspections involved employers who have less than 20 employees. The Denver office inspections, at this time, are being driven almost 100 percent by incidents and complaints.

On the Federal level, the National Emphasis Programs (“NEP”) also remain fairly consistent for this year. Those NEPs include amputations in manufacturing, hexavalent chromium, process safety management, dust, and trenching. Interestingly, silica is not on the list.

For Colorado, the emphasis programs include: 

  • falls in construction
  • roadway/work zone
  • oil and gas
  • grain handling
  • workplace violence in residential facilities 

In addition, the Englewood, Colorado office has added its own emphasis programs which include hazards in the automotive services, asbestos abatement, aircraft support and maintenance, and beverage handling.

Mr. Gibson emphasized that the new standards that will be in enforcement this year include the walking and working surfaces for general industry. He stated that OSHA is finding that many general industry employers are not aware that they must comply with essentially the same fall protection requirements as construction. The silica standard for general industry will go into effect in June 2018. In July 2018, the electronic recordkeeping rule will require all three OSHA recordkeeping forms for large employers to be submitted electronically to OSHA.

Lastly, Mr. Gibson commented that with respect to the reporting rule, his office sends Rapid Response Investigation letters to approximately 70 percent of the employers who report under the reporting rule, leaving approximately 30 percent of those reports receiving inspections. He stated that those receiving inspections are typically driven by whether the incident fell into one of the national or regional emphasis programs identified above.

Denver, Colorado

Responsible Attorney
Karen L. Johnston

The Jackson Kelly PLLC Occupational Safety & Health News-Alert is for informational purposes only and not for the purposes of offering legal advice or a legal opinion on any matter. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any statement in the Jackson Kelly PLLC Occupational Safety & Health News-Alert without seeking advice from qualified legal counsel on the particular facts and circumstances involved.

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