Production Machining

DEC 2014

Production Machining - Your access to the precision machining industrial buyer.

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20 PRODUCTION MACHINING :: DECEMBER 2014 Te existing regulations about reporting injuries and ill- nesses are clear. Te duty of employees to report injuries and illnesses is clear. Tere is no need for OSHA to sow confusion by creating semantic puzzles over obligations versus rights. In the absence of any evidence beyond undocumented anecdotes, the idea that there needs to be further work on injury and illness reporting regula- tions is ridiculous. "Employers shall comply with occu- pational safety and health standards promulgated un- der this Act," and "Each employee shall comply with occu- pational safety and health standards, and all rules, regulations and orders issued pursuant to this Act which are applicable to his own actions and conduct," leave no doubt as to the obligations of all parties. Reporting injuries and illnesses is not a right. It is an ob- ligation of the employee to report and a responsibility of the employer to record, investigate and take appropriate remedial actions to retrain as necessary and to remove any hazards so identifed. Tis is why we provided our comments to OSHA on this ridiculous proposal, if we are to maintain safe shops and reduce hazards, everyone (employers and employees) needs to meet their obligations under the OSHA Act. For employees, it's the duty to report. For employers, it's the obligation to take corrective action to eliminate hazardous conditions that might be identifed by employee injury and illness reporting. Te regulations needed are already on the books. No need to make injury and illness reporting more confusing by calling it a right. It is a duty. Tat's why they call it the General Duty Clause. You can fnd the General Duty Clause at: Continued from page 17 Paying attention to safety was how we sustained our business, by protecting the health and well-being of our employees. standards, and all rules, regulations and orders issued pur- suant to this Act which are applicable to his own actions and conduct." 29 U.S.C. ยง 654, 5 (b) (1). Why is this issue of importance to you and your shop? What if it is a right and not an obligation? One key issue is that rights may be waivable: that is, one may choose not to exercise their right, for exam- ple, to vote, or their Miranda Rights. Rights are diferent from obligations. Te reason there is an obligation to report is so that the employer can recognize hazardous conditions that con- tributed to the injury or illness as well as to take correc- tive actions to eliminate them. Reporting also allows the employer to provide retraining to the injured worker, when needed. If the employee has discretion to not report (since it is their right to report, which implies a right NOT to report), the company may not learn of the hazard. Te number of hazards and hazardous conditions in work- places could proliferate. Reasons why an employee might prefer not to report include embarrassment, not wanting to admit they failed to follow the safe work instructions, desiring to avoid retraining, and so on.

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