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, including municipalities, 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)

  • 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.
  • 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 -

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