Friday, June 15, 2018

NEW OSHA Reporting Rule - Starting July 1st, 2018


MNOSHA has adopted the federal rule requiring annual reporting of injury and illness data. All high-hazard Minnesota industries with 20 or more employees are now required to electronically submit their data to federal OSHA by July 1, 2018. When counting employees, include all that are compensated such as seasonal, part-time, temporary, or volunteers.

If you have 20 to 249 employees, you are required annually to submit OSHA 300A Summary forms electronically. This is the same form that’s posted in your city/utility offices from February 1 through April 30.

If you have 250 or more employees, you are required annually to submit OSHA recordkeeping forms (Forms 300, 300A, and 301) electronically.

So, how do I do this?

First, be sure to check who the person is in your organization responsible for OSHA/injury records. They will more than likely be the person to set up the account and input annually.

Have a copy of your city/utility 2017 300A Summary in front of you (and 300 & 301 completed forms if you have 250 or more employees).

You’ll be inputting the data in the Injury Tracking Application (ITA)  www.osha.gov/injuryreporting/index.html

  • Click on create an account, fill in your name, title, phone, email, and create a username.
  • You will be sent a link to change password to one of your choosing.
  • Use the “Manual Data Entry” choice to create an establishment.
  • When filling in establishment details, treat “establishment(s)” and “company” as one in the same. DO NOT break down your city/utility into separate establishments (we are following MNOSHA instructions, not Federal).
  • Use NAICS code of 921190, “Other General Government Support”.
  • Select “General Public Administration”.
  • Click the “Yes – Local Government” button, and choose the total employee count.
  • After completing establishment details, continue to enter 300A Summary data.
  • Submit to OSHA when complete.

For 2018 the reporting date is July 1 but in 2019 and beyond, the date moves to March 2 of the year after the calendar year covered by the form(s).

Your League Loss Control Consultant is available for assistance, or visit MNOSHA Compliance for more information and free training resources to help improve recordkeeping - www.dli.mn.gov/osha/Recordkeeping.asp.


By: Julie Jelen, Loss Control Consultant




Friday, June 8, 2018

Be Accessible


As I am sure many of you are aware, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility has become more of a focus at all levels of government over the past several years. Many of you may have even had the state, or your county, redo some of your sidewalks to make them ADA compliant while performing street projects on their roads that run through your city.

We all strive to ensure our facilities are ADA accessible not just because some federal grants may be contingent on it, or even just because it’s the law, we do it because it is the right thing to do for our communities. It is estimated that 1 in 5 Americans have a disability, so we want to make sure that our parks, playgrounds, streets, and public buildings are all accessible so that we are not unconsciously excluding that 20% of our populations.

It is because of this that the League has spent the past year compiling resources to assist our members in ensuring that their city facilities are ADA accessible.  We developed a training, which many of you may have participated in at our 2018 Spring Loss Control Workshops, and also have begun rolling out a Loss Control Survey, where your LMCIT Loss Control Consultant will come to the city and help you find areas where you can improve accessibility for your residents. If you have an upcoming project ranging from restriping a parking lot to designing a new playground please feel free to reach out to your Loss Control Consultant and we would be more than happy to send you the relevant information you are looking for, or even stop by your city to discuss in more detail. The resources we can share with you also include self-checklists for the most common ADA issues we have seen in parks and municipal liquor stores (two areas where LMCIT has seen several ADA claims arising recently).

Another resource for ADA guidance that you may be interested in is the US Access Board’s new YouTube Channel. The channel’s videos have informational animations that can assist you in visualizing how to be compliant in your own facilities. The Access Board also has their Online Accessibility Guide to help you understand some of the ADA’s core concepts.

Lastly, be sure to check out this article about ADA from the March-April 2017 edition of Minnesota Cities Magazine.


By: Cody Tuttle




Friday, June 1, 2018

Who Foots the Bill for Safety Shoes?

A question we often get asked in loss control is whether or not the employer needs to pay for some of the employee’s footwear.  The answer to this question is Yes in Minnesota.  This includes ALL employees regardless of full time or seasonal/temporary employment. Current interpretation of this requirement is that the employer is responsible for providing at least the minimum cost of PPE that is of a type necessary for the job being performed. If employees want more expensive PPE, the employer has the option to pay the entire cost or have the employee pay the difference between the minimum type necessary to provide the protection and the option the employee is selecting.  

Where there may be some confusion is with the differences in the Federal and Minnesota OSH Acts requirements pertaining to PPE. Federal rule states that where equipment is personal in nature and may be used by workers off the job, the matter of who pays for the PPE may be left to labor-management negotiations. Under the Federal rule, examples of PPE that is personal in nature and often used away from the worksite includes non-specialty safety glasses and safety shoes. However, shoes or outerwear subject to contamination by carcinogens or other toxic or hazardous substances which cannot be safely worn off-site must be paid for by the employer. This federal interpretation does not apply in Minnesota. Minnesota Statutes182.655 subd. 10(a) requires employers to pay for all necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), including safety shoes.

Since we’re talking about safety footwear, it’s also important to note they must meet ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) minimum compression and impact performance standards in ASTM F2413-17 (Standard Specification for Performance Requirements for Protective (Safety) Toe Cap Footwear) or provide equivalent protection.  All ASTM approved footwear has a protective toe and offers impact and compression protection, but that doesn’t mean that the type and amount of protection is the same.  Safety footwear protects in different ways, so it is important to check the product’s labeling or consult the manufacturer to make sure the footwear will protect the user from the hazards they face.
 

By: Julie Jelen, Loss Control Consultant



Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Public Works Week


It’s Public Works Week, and that means around the state cities and residents are celebrating all of the things you do to keep our cities functioning. We at the League of Minnesota Cities would like to once again thank you for taking care of our streets, sidewalks, water, wastewater, and parks. Thank you!
 

By: League of Minnesota Cities

 

 

Monday, May 7, 2018

DNR Grant Available: Managing Emerald Ash Borer

MN DNR invites Minnesota communities to apply for grant funds, up to $30,000 to reduce the impact of emerald ash borer (EAB) on community forests. Projects should help communities manage and protect ash or reduce the loss of tree canopy caused by EAB.

Eligibility

Any local unit of government within Minnesota is eligible including but not limited to tribal communities, municipalities, and county agencies.
 

Eligible activities include:

  • Tree inventory.
  • Development of management plans that include an EAB component.
  • Ash removal and stump grinding.
  • Protection of valuable ash with non-neonicotinoid injectable insecticide.
  • Tree planting.
  • Gravel beds building.
  • Community EAB education and engagement.

Pre-Application Due by June 15, 2018

 

By: Joe Ingebrand

 

 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Civil Engineering Day

Did you know that this Saturday, April 28th, is Civil Engineering Day at the Science Museum of Minnesota? From noon to 4pm the Science Museum will be helping the public understand how civil engineering affects everything from the roads they drive on to the water they drink. It's a great chance to educate the public on the important role Public Works and Civil Engineers play in making our cities work!
 
Find out more information on the Science Museum of Minnesota’s website here: https://www.smm.org/civilengineering


By: LMCIT Loss Control


Friday, March 16, 2018

You can’t blame gravity for falling. Think again about ladder safety!

I know what you’re thinking. It’ll never happen to me. I do much more dangerous tasks on the job than climbing a ladder. Reality is that most ladder deaths are from falls of 10 feet or less. The point is, ladders can be dangerous if not used properly.

Since March is Ladder Safety Month, let’s discuss portable ladders.
1)      The first way to ensure your safety is to use the right ladder for the job. How high are you going? Does it require a step ladder or an extension ladder? How much do you weigh? The weight includes if you’re wearing a tool belt or tool vest! Are there electrical wires nearby? All ladders receive a rating based on their maximum intended or working load – the total weight that they can safety support:

Type IAA: Rugged
Special Duty
375 lbs.
Type IA: Industrial
Extra Duty
300 lbs.
Type I: Industrial
Heavy Duty
250 lbs.
Type II: Commercial
Medium Duty
225 lbs.
Type III: Household
Light Duty
200 lbs.
 

2)      Once you have the correct ladder, inspect it. There are all sorts of ladder inspection checklists out there. Part of a ladder inspection is verifying the labels are visible as it’s important to read the safety information labels on the ladder. The climber is not considered qualified or adequately trained to use the ladder until familiar with this information. 

3)      Speaking of training, the employer is responsible in making sure that each employee who uses a ladder is trained by a competent person on how to use a ladder correctly, how to recognize the hazards related to ladders, and the procedures they must follow to minimize these hazards.
 
4)      After inspecting your ladder, be sure you’re using it properly. How to properly use an extension ladder and step ladder will be covered in training, but here are the basics regardless of the type of ladder:

  • First, always face the ladder. Grab the ladder with both hands and ascend while facing it, ensuring that you have three points of contact on the ladder at all times. To maintain three points of contact, you must not be carrying anything. Items should be on a tool belt or tool vest.
  • Make sure the ladder is locked into place before ascending and always make sure the to check the ladder’s stability before placing your weight on it. Never move or adjust a ladder while somebody is on it.
  • While ascending, your center of gravity should be between the side rails. Do not overreach or lean while working so that you don’t fall off the ladder sideways or pull the ladder over sideways while standing on it.
  • As tempting as it may be, the top of ladder should never be used as step. In fact, ladder manufacturers recommend never standing above the third highest step.
  • Footwear also plays a part in falls from ladders. Wearing slip resistant shoes with heavy soles to prevent foot fatigue, and cleaning the soles of the shoes to maximize traction is important before climbing. 


Ladder accidents are preventable. Safety training, ladder awareness, and education tools will help prevent people from being industry statistics. Why not use March to raise awareness in ladder safety in your organization? 

For more ladder information, please visit these links:





 
 

By: Julie Jelen