Cover this during OSHA conference
Cover this during OSHA conference
If a violation is noted during an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection, first have an informal conference with OSHA to decide if the company will contest the violation and settlement, says Mary Gene Ryan, executive director of MGRyan & Co. Inc., an occupational health and safety consulting firm in Ventura, CA. During this meeting, Ryan says to cover the following:
a. ) Obtain clarification regarding the violations cited;
b. ) Understand fully the standards the OSHA inspector is applying;
c. ) Provide a forum for negotiation, to optimally agree to an informal Settlement Agreement;
d. ) Discuss correction measures and permanent control measures for violation;
e. ) Agree and discuss correction abatement dates, or request an extended abatement date;
f.) Discuss any issues noted with employee safe work practices;
g.) Resolve any disputes with citations and/or penalties;
h.) Obtain answers or receive consultation on any further questions noted.
Act now to strengthen ties with emergency services
When a serious motor vehicle accident occurred at Detroit, MI-based General Motors Corporation's Milford Proving Ground location, a life flight helicopter was on site less than ten minutes after the incident. Joel R. Bender, MD, PhD, MSPH, FACOEM, the organization's corporate medical director, credits this response with the "very strong relationship established with the local emergency services providers."
"Had this relationship not existed and the employee been evacuated via ground transportation, the critical treatment that the employee required would have been delayed," says Bender. "Just getting an ambulance to the correct location presents a challenge at this site due to the fact that it covers an area of greater than six square miles, with 135 miles of roads and 126 separate buildings."
It's not something the occupational health manager utilizes in day-to-day operations, but in the event of an emergency, the relationship - or lack of one - established with local emergency services providers suddenly becomes crucial.
"At General Motors, we strongly encourage building relationships with local emergency providers for a variety of reasons," says Patrick Stover, MD, senior medical director at General Motors Corporation in Detroit. "The availability and connection to community resources is considered a critical component of the pre-hospital plan of action." He recommends the following steps:
Arrange on-site visits with your local fire and police departments and paramedics.
Depending on the location of the worksite emergency, providers may need to contend with multiple entrances, difficult access points, moving assembly lines, or deafening background noise. "In an emergency situation, this has the potential for the delay of administering what could be life-saving measures," says Stover. "Onsite visits allow providers to consider the best means for addressing these challenges."
Consider the need for airlifting serious injuries.
At some of General Motors' locations, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-designated helicopter landing areas are used for this purpose. "Locations with these services have necessitated building relationships with the FAA and the airlift service provider," says Stover. "This includes a requirement that the airlift service provider participate in on-site training activities on a yearly basis."
Do table-top exercises at least annually.
General Motors' Emergency Response Coordinating Team members work with community emergency responders during drills involving responses to mock incidents. "This ensures smooth integration with community entities in the event of an actual emergency," says Stover.
The exercises determine if the correct resources are available and highlight areas that need improvement. "A tornado devastated an Oklahoma manufacturing site a few years ago, but countless lives were saved because in the week before the disaster the site had conducted a live exercise on how to respond to severe weather conditions such as a tornado," says Stover.
For more information on building strong relationships with local emergency services providers, contact:
Joel R. Bender, MD, PhD, MSPH, FACOEM, Corporate Medical Director, General Motors Corporation, Detroit, MI. Phone: (313) 665-1642. Fax: (313) 665-1652. E-mail: [email protected]
Mary D. C. Garison, RN, COHN-S, CCM, COHC, FAAOHN, Angleton, TX. E-mail: [email protected]
Patrick Stover, MD, Senior Medical Director, General Motors Corporation, Detroit, MI. E-mail: [email protected].If a violation is noted during an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection, first have an informal conference with OSHA to decide if the company will contest the violation and settlement, says Mary Gene Ryan, executive director of MGRyan & Co. Inc., an occupational health and safety consulting firm in Ventura, CA.
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