All businesses in the state must display the Maine OSHA 300 form from February 1, 2008 to April 30, 2008.
OSHA sources emphasize, “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 the standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health.”
A portion of each employer’s responsibility is to display the OSHA 300 log along with the OSHA-It’s the Law Poster.
The OSHA 300 forms provide a recap of all work-related illnesses or accidents that happened in 2007. The form also lists the causes of those accidents. Once it has been completed, the form should be posted in an area that is easily accessible to all employees. Some of the more popular locations include near the time clock, and the employee break room.
Currently, there are no regulations that require the Maine OSHA 300 form to be publicly posted.
The point in posting the 300 form is to try to prevent future problems from occurring. If a company keeps track of the different types of accidents that happen most frequently, then managers and employees will be able to focus their efforts on preventing those types of accidents.
It is important to note that OSHA is intolerant of noncompliance. The prominent posting of the 300 form is required by law. Any business not displaying the required poster in a proper manner will be subject to fines. The health and safety of employees is important to OSHA, and the organization makes continuous efforts to try to inspire the same sentiment in employers.
OSHA offers free safety consultations, as well as advice. They also perform inspections, and enforce all worker safety laws and regulations.
According to Maine OSHA officials, preventing and reducing workplace accidents is a primary goal. Companies, of course, must do their own part by making sure that employees follow safety precautions. They should also make sure that they remind their coworkers about the importance of health and safety.
There is a set of regulations regarding job safety and health standards that have been established by the federal government. More than half of all states follow these regulations. There are 22 states, however, that opted out of the federal OSHA program. In order for states to have their own OSHA plan, federal regulations stipulate that those plans have to be at least as effective as the federal regulations.
Even those states that have their own version of OSHA often still require their own type of OSHA 300 form. The state government in Washington makes it a requirement for employers to post a Washington OSHA form. The reason for this is to keep track of work-related injuries and illnesses. According to law, the form has to be posted from February 1 to April 30 of each year. The purpose of the form is to review all work-related illnesses and injuries. This way, employees can see the overall safety of their company for the previous year.
When states have their own OSHA program, such as Washington, that state’s OSHA conducts its own safety inspections instead of the federal government. The state programs also offer health training and occupational safety programs. The Washington OSHA, just like the federal program, provides on-site consultations in order to help employers learn how to identify and correct any workplace hazards. It should be noted that this service is free.
California also has its own worker safety organization, but they take the process one step further. California makes public workplace hazards that the federal OSHA standards do not cover. Most states only make public workplace hazards that are stated in federal standards.
Updating the Maine labor law posters should be on every employer’s to do list as 2008 approaches.
Compared to many other states, Maine requires employers to display only a few posters. California requires employers to provide the most information, with every employer mandated to display a dozen posters. However, there are still a few posters that employers are required to display.
An employer who does not display the proper 2008 Maine labor law posters may face penalties and fines.
The official list of updated 2008 Maine labor law posters is:
- Child Labor/Family Medical Leave/Wage Payment
- Minimum Wage
- Whistleblowers’ Protection Act
- Discrimination Notice
- Video Display Terminal Law
- Workers’ Compensation
In addition, every employer in Maine must display a number of labor law posters required by federal law. For the most part, these posters address statutes that are nationwide. They 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
Labor law poster serve as a handy reminder for supervisors and employees alike.
They provide important information on the minimum wage, worker safety, medical leave and child labor laws.
Under both federal and state law, these posters must be updated each time there is a change in legislation.
A change in the federal minimum wage on July 24, 2007 required that the Federal Minimum Wage posters be updated. On that date, the federal minimum wage increased for the first time in more than a decade. The rate went from $5.15 per hour to $5.85 per hour, an increase of 70 cents.
The federal minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13 an hour. Kentucky, Indiana, and Nebraska among others follow the federal law. Some offer slightly higher rates – North Carolina at $2.43, Wisconsin at $2.33, Michigan at $2.65, and Massachusetts at $2.63.
Kansas’ rate is only $1.59 an hour for tipped employees.
Washington State offers no tip credit. There, tipped employees will get $8.07 an hour starting January 1. Hawaii’s tip credit is 25 cents. In other words, tipped employees get $7 an hour instead of the usual $7.25. Colorado tipped workers will get $4.02 in 2008.
Federal overtime laws require an overtime premium of 1.5 times the normal hourly rate for every hour over 40. Some states rely on federal law – Florida, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, and Arizona among them. The federal overtime law covers most, but not all, workers.
Nebraska extends both the federal minimum wage and overtime laws to all businesses with 4 or more workers. Kansas requires overtime after a 46-hour week and Minnesota after a 48-hour week.
California offers overtime after working 8 hours in a single day or 40 hours in a week. Employees who must work 7 days consecutively get overtime on the 7th day, and those working 12 or more hours in a day receive “double time.” Double-time is also offered after 8 hours on the 7th consecutive working day.
In Kentucky, workers get overtime either after 40 hours, or on the 7th consecutive day of work regardless of the number of hours they have put in. Colorado workers get overtime after 12 hours a day or 40 hours in a week. In Connecticut, only restaurant and hotel workers get overtime on the 7th day.
It’s one of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S.
When you hear that sentence, do you think of highway construction crews? If not, you may be in for a surprise.
More than 20,000 highway workers are injured annually, and, tragically, more than 100 are killed, according to Maine highway worker safety statistics. That’s why it’s important for drivers to be careful and drive slowly in highway and street construction zones, watching out for workers along the roadsides.
The first week in April of every year is National Work Zone Awareness Week. This year focuses on workers in highway construction sites. The theme is “Signs for Change,” intended to draw attention to the work zone signs that every driver should heed. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Roadway Work Zone Safety and Health Partners Alliance have teamed up to stress this awareness, along with promoting concern for other highway worker health issues.
“There were 1,100 work zone fatalities last year – that is a tragedy,” said Edwin G. Foulke Jr., Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA. “I am hopeful that campaigns like this will help reduce those numbers.” He said the effort needs the support of “everyone who gets behind the wheel on a daily basis.”
Acute trauma is the leading cause of highway workers’ deaths, and that often occurs when a worker is hit by a car. Half the injuries suffered by highway crew members, however, are a result of being hit by a truck or a piece of construction equipment right on the site. OSHA stresses that highway construction workers should wear reflective, easy-to-spot vests.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSHA), part of the Centers for Disease Control, has issued a report saying drivers should be alert for warning signs and slow down in road construction zones.
“As we enter the busy spring construction season,” said Jeffrey P. Koplan, M.D., M.P.H., the director of the CDC, “NIOSH’s new document offers practical and comprehensive advice for reducing workers’ risk of injury.”
The safety campaign kicked off April 3 on a site near Alexandria, Virginia.
The use of asbestos was banned by the US government many years ago. However, traces of the deadly substance still remain and continue to pose a health risk to anyone handling it today.
The automotive industry once used asbestos in the clutch and brake systems of cars and trucks and many older model vehicles still contain asbestos-containing parts. These potentially dangerous parts are the subject of a safety warning recently issued by the Maine Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The Maine worker safety alert addresses the risk of asbestos-related health problems that automobile mechanics face when working on the brake and clutch systems of these older model vehicles. Asbestos is composed of tiny, fibrous particles, invisible to the human eye, that are easily airborne and can contaminate the air throughout a mechanic’s shop or other repair facility. Anyone in these areas is at risk of exposure, not just the mechanic handling the parts.
Four safe-handling procedures are recommended in the Maine worker safety alert. Listed as “best practices” are the HEPA vacuum / negative pressure enclosure system and the wet cleaning / low pressure methods.
For job sites routinely performing no more than five brake or clutch repair jobs in a week, OSHA allows the wet method of control although it is less effective than the two described as “best.” In some situations, the solvent / spray can measure is acceptable, too.
In addition to these four procedures for asbestos control, the Maine OSHA alert urges anyone working in an area where brake and clutch systems are being repaired on older model vehicles to act as if asbestos is, in fact, present and to adhere to all safety procedures. Wetting any parts that may contain asbestos will minimize the number of deadly airborne particles and storing parts in tightly sealed, clearly labeled bags is highly recommended.
Ten thousand Americans die every year because of illnesses caused by asbestos exposure. Asbestosis, named after the substance itself, is one very crippling and painful disease that contributes to the list of fatalities. Other diseases known to be caused by asbestos exposure are mesothelioma and certain cancers of the lungs and gastrointestinal tract.
Forklifts are used extensively in industry, but many employers and employees are not aware of the risks involved, or do not know the correct and safe way of operating them.
The Maine OSHA has reported that there are approx 1.5 million working g forklift operators in the United States, and a recent safety magazine article highlights the dangers of not taking note of the latest federal and Maine forklift standards.
There are a few names in use for Forklifts, these include Powered Industrial Trucks, or PITs, and fork trucks. All are common in industry, as are the use of the machines. But workers and employers must take notice of the correct way to operate the forklifts and understand how some working practices can cause the machine to become unstable. One of the most common causes of fatalities and injuries among workers comes from the incorrect use of forklifts in industry.
Forklifts can be fitted with many attachments to increase their efficiency. Some of the attachments used are hoppers, rug rams, boom extensions, drum carriers, cylinder caddies, drum grippers and drum rotators. Some of these are more common in the manufacturing industry.
Any attachment has the potential to affect the stability of the forklift. This in turn has an impact on the safety rating of the vehicle. Each time an attachment is changed, or the machine is modified in any way, the operation and maintenance instruction plates (decals, or tags) and the trucks new capacity must be changed to show the changes in usage of the equipment.
Usually it is down to a forklift manufacturer to approve the changes to a truck, but some will not approve an attachment that they are not familiar with. In other cases, the employer applies to the manufacturer for approval but receives no reply. A qualified RPE (Registered Professional Engineer) may give approval. However it is not automatic, and should only be given after the RPE has conducted a safety analysis and looks at the structural and safety issues regarding the modification. In cases where the manufacturer has specifically not given approval for an attachment, the RPE must look at all the safety issues and reasons for non approval in the manufacturer’s report before they can give approval.