Every employer in the state must display a Delaware OSHA 300 form from February 1 to April 30, 2008. The OSHA 300 form for 2008 will contain the incidents and their causes for all of 2007.
Regulations mandate that this form be posted in an area accessible to all workers. The employee break room and areas near the time clock are popular spots for the OSHA 300 form. Failure to post this form can result in fines for the employer.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is the federal agency that determines and enforces regulations regarding workplace health and safety. According to OSHA, “Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA’s role is to assure the safety and health of America’s workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health.”
One of the regulations OSHA imposes to keep the workplace healthy and safe is the posting of the OSHA 300 form. This form is a record of the company’s work-related illnesses and injuries for a particular year, along with what caused these incidents.
The point of the OSHA 300 is to help prevent future problems in the workplace. By keeping track of the incidents that occur most often, the company can pinpoint which areas require the greatest focus for the coming year. Posting the OSHA 300 form also gives employees an overall picture of their company’s health and safety record.
One of OSHA’s priorities is the prevention of accidents in the workplace. To help meet this goal, it offers training for employers in occupational safety and health. The agency conducts workplace inspections, too. OSHA also conducts on-site evaluations, at no charge to the employer, to aid in detecting and repairing dangers in the workplace.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) determines and regulates safety and health of employees in the workplace. A major focus of their work is preventing workplace accidents.
To help in this mission, employers are required to post an OSHA 300 form, which keeps track of all injuries and illnesses in the workplace. OSHA regulations require this form to be posted every year. Posting this form allows employees to understand and gauge the safety of their company for a certain year.
Employers can also assist in preventing accidents in the workplace by reminding workers of the importance of safety and health, and to follow all safety precautions.
OSHA sets health standards and job safety for the entire country. Some states, however, have set up their own safety and health agencies. These agencies then regulate employee health and safety standards instead of the federal OSHA. Currently, twenty-two states have set up their own safety and health agencies.
Washington is an example of a state with its own safety and health agency, WOSHA (Washington Occupational Safety and Health Administration.). Though this agency is independent of the federal OSHA, regulations require the agency to be at least effective as the federal agency. Also, before the state agency can begin operation, it must be approved by the federal government.
Getting approval for a state agency begins with a developmental plan, which the federal government approves, and ends with certification. To obtain certification, the state agency must assure the federal OSHA that it will be able to effectively run its agency within 3 years.
WOSHA, just like the federal agency, conducts free on-site workplace evaluations, performs inspections and provides occupational safety and health training programs.
Most state safety and health agencies are like Washington’s and mirror the federal program. Some states take the regulations one step further. For example, California’s state agency protects employees beyond OSHA’s standards, by not only posting the federal’s list of workplace hazards, but also by posting additional hazards as well.
December brings holiday parties, gifts, busy shopping malls, and the time for employers to update their Delaware labor law posters.
There are a number of changes to the 2008 Delaware labor law posters. Every employer is required by law to display these posters in a prominent position, where they can be seen by employees and applicants alike. Popular choices are the break room, near the time clock or in a back hallway.
Employers who fail to display posters face penalties and hefty fines.
It is especially important that employers display the updated 2008 Delaware labor law posters, since the state minimum wage is due to increase on January 1, 2008. On that day, the state rate will increase by 50 cents from $6.65 to $7.15 per hour. This follows a 70-cent increase in the federal minimum wage, from $5.15 to $5.85 per hour, in July 2007.
For 2008, the Delaware labor law posters are:
- Child Labor
- Discrimination Notice
- Unemployment Poster
- Minimum Wage
- Payment of Wages
- Workers’ Compensation
These posters must be displayed by every employer in the state.
In addition, federal law mandates a number of posters having to do with labor laws on the national level. These include:
- USERRA – Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
- Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law
- Federal Minimum Wage
- Employee Polygraph Protection Act
- Family and Medical Leave Act
- OSHA-Job Safety & Health Protection
The labor laws covered by labor law posters vary widely from state to state within the country. Overtime laws and the minimum wage rates for tipped employees are two areas of labor law that vary widely from one state to another.
When it comes to minimum wage rates for tipped workers, some states don’t have their own laws, so they are automatically covered by the federal law. Some are slightly more generous, while others equal or are nearly equal to the states’ own minimum wages. Kansas, on the other hand, at $1.59 an hour, is the lowest.
The federal rate is $2.13 an hour. Nebraska, Kentucky, and Indiana follow the federal rate. Michigan’s on the other hand is $2.65. Massachusetts is $2.63, Wisconsin is $2.33, and North Carolina is $2.43.
But there is no “tip credit” for employers in Washington State. In other words, tipped workers’ minimum wage is the same as for other workers. It will be $8.07 an hour starting January 1. In Hawaii, it’s just 25 cents an hour below the usual minimum wage. Tipped workers get $7 an hour, while other workers get $7.25. Colorado’s rate in 2008 will be $4.02 an hour.
Some states have no overtime laws of their own, and are covered by the federal law. Others have passed laws mirroring or extending the federal laws.
Federal law requires workers be paid an overtime rate of 1.5 times their normal hourly wage for any hour over 40. Florida, Georgia, Arizona, Delaware, and Idaho have no overtime laws. Federal law is operable.
Nebraska mirrors the 40-hour federal rule, but extends it to all businesses with 4 or more workers. Others mirroring the 40-hour guide are Massachusetts, Michigan, and Illinois.
Overtime does not kick in until after 46 hours in Kansas, or 48 hours in Minnesota.
In Kentucky, workers get overtime after 40 hours and on the 7th consecutive workday regardless of the number of hours put in on that day. Colorado employees receive overtime after a 40-hour week or a 12-hour day.
California workers can get overtime for more than 8 hours in a day, 40 hours in a week, or the 7th day of 7 consecutive days.
Operators of forklift trucks are required to retraining anytime they operate a forklift in a careless manner. If the operator is part of an accident with the forklift or commits an error because of a negligence behavior, he or she is obliged to go through forklift training once again. The standards of Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, require regular evaluation and retraining of forklift operators.
In the U.S. about 1.5 million employees operates forklifts, according to a Delaware OSHA article. The article written by a safety consultant analyzes the risks of incorrect operation of forklifts at work. It focuses on measures to reduce deaths and injuries, and propose to enhance the training process of forklift operators.
Forklifts are in use in several industries. Some people refer to them as Powered Industrial Trucks, or PITs, and others as fork trucks, or forklift trucks. They are not difficult to operate, but if they are not properly used, they can become risky. Some of the most common mistakes are to overload them or load them with improper balance. If an operator overlooks these precautions, the forklift can turn over.
A number of items must be included in any training operating program, recommends OSHA. Some of them are the hazards in the workplace, the operator skills, the operator prior knowledge, and the type of fork truck to operate.
It is a regular practice in the industry to improve the functionalities of the forklifts adding different attachments. Some of them are boom extensions, rug rams, hoppers, drum rotators, drum carriers, drum grippers and cylinder caddies.
The manufacturer should approve in advance any modifications introduced to the truck. The weight of the attachment and the fork extension reduces the maximum capacity of forklift loading. The maintenance and operation labels of the forklift must be update and must include the new characteristics added to the equipment.
Company-owned automobiles can be a big expense for an employer. The wise business owner will maintain a fleet of vehicles in tip-top shape and keep them operating effectively for as long as possible. It’s the older model cars and trucks on the job that are the subject of a recent safety alert which warns of the hazards of asbestos that might be hidden in some parts of these older vehicles.
A Delaware worker safety alert issued recently warned of the environmental dangers of working with older vehicles that may still contain asbestos in the brake or clutch systems. Asbestos is made of tiny, invisible particles that are so lightweight they become airborne and spread throughout a mechanic’s shop or other workplace. Inhalation of these parts is a grave danger to the mechanic and to anyone else who happens to be sharing the same workspace.
The industrial use of asbestos was discontinued years ago after the disastrous effects of exposure to it were documented. It was a commonly used material in the building and construction industries but, since it was banned, builders have quit using it and it was removed from most buildings that contained it. The automotive industry quit using it, too, once it was banned but older vehicles may still contain mechanical systems that have asbestos-containing parts.
The recent Delaware worker safety alert recommends handling the parts of the brake and clutch system on older model vehicles as if they do in fact contain asbestos. Employers using older model vehicles are charged with the responsibility of establishing asbestos-handling procedures. It is also the employer’s responsibility to train staff members and enforce the use of the asbestos safety procedures.
Even years after the asbestos ban, more than 10,000 Americans die every year due to illness caused by asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer are three crippling and deadly diseases related to asbestos exposure. Gastrointestinal cancers also contribute to the death rate from exposure to this dangerous substance.
In an effort to enhance Delaware highway worker safety, OSHA is joining forces with the Roadway Work Zone Safety and Health Partners Alliance. The two organizations will work to increase the public’s awareness of the need to exercise caution near highway worker safety zones.
Moreover, OSHA has designated the first week of April as National Work Zone Awareness Week. The campaign this year is entitled “Signs for Change.” This campaign will work to raise driver awareness of the need to be cautious and slow down around highway worker safety areas.
The number of injured highway construction workers each year totals 20,000. Of those, many die. The campaign hopes to prevent these terrible accidents.
As Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, explains, “Employees who work in highway zones have one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States and these employees need not only OSHA’s support, but the support of everyone who gets behind the wheel on a daily basis.” According to Foulke, “There were nearly 1,100 work zone fatalities last year — that is a tragedy. I am hopeful that campaigns like this will help reduce those numbers.”
This year’s campaign was kicked off at an event held at a construction site in Alexandria, Virginia. The event took place on Interstate 495 on April 3.
Drivers need to obey the warning signs posted around highway worker safety zones. Specifically, drivers need to slow down and pay attention. Recently, a Center for Disease Control division, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, issued a report on this very topic.
The Director of the Center for Disease Control, Jeffrey P. Koplan, M.D., M.P.H., stated, “Every day, when orange traffic cones prompt us to slow down and drive carefully near work zones, we are reminded that highway and street construction is hard and potentially hazardous work. As we enter the busy spring construction season, NIOSH’s new document offers practical and comprehensive advice for reducing workers’ risk of injury.”