Catching Up with the CI Networks

The Council of Industry network groups are an excellent resource for information and a great way to talk to other people in your field working in a variety of industries throughout the Hudson Valley. In April the EHS Network met to learn more about combustible dust and the CEO/ Executives Network met for a tour of Arconic Fastening Systems in Kingston. You can see what we have planned for May, June and beyond on our website calendar.

If your manufacturing process involves metal industries, food products, lumber or wood products you are probably aware of how dangerous and explosive dust can be but it is always smart to review the best practices necessary to stay safe and that why the Environment Health and Safety Network met on Friday, April 26th for a presentation on Combustible Dust by Nancy Garry, C.T. Male PC. Garry covered why this is an important topic, what industries need to be aware and what testing can be done. She covered the Dust Explosion Pentagon (conditions necessary for an explosion) and ways to prevent these from forming and hazard assessments that can be conducted. Attendees were also provided with reference tables and a few links to sites that offer further information on the topic.

On April 26 the Executives Network met for a tour of Arconic Fastening Systems in Kingston, NY. Arconic Fastening Systems is the premier designer and manufacturer of aerospace and industrial fasteners, latches, bearings, fluid fittings and installation tools. Their products are used nose to tail on commercial and military aircraft, as well as on jet engines, industrial gas turbines, automobiles, commercial transportation vehicles, wind turbines, solar power systems, and construction and industrial equipment. Arconic has been in business since 1933, and a Council of Industry member since 1967. The company was formerly known as Alcoa Fastening Systems and Huck Manufacturing Company. Their customers include Boeing, Airbus, Peterbilt, Kenworth and many more. We saw a variety of tools in all sizes and the process behind their production.

We take a break from Network meetings in May to focus on our Manufacturing Champions Award Breakfast on May 17th at the Powelton Club in Newburgh but we start back up in June. The Human Resources Network will meet on June 7th for a presentation on Wage & Hour Law from Douglas Gerhardt, Harris Beach PLLC. This presentation will cover the essentials of Wage and Hour issues including recent developments as well as compensable time such as “off the clock”, meals, rest, waiting and on-call time.  We will explore some exempt employee issues as well.  Attendees will walk away with a solid understanding (or refresher) on the key elements of wage and hour issues and be better prepared to address them in their workplace. We will also have another CEO/ Executives Network Tour, this time of McKesson Corporation Distribution Center in Montgomery. Our EHS Network will be back in the fall with a presentation on confined space and HR will have an I9/ Immigration update in September, watch our calendar and emails for more information on all of these.  


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A Smarter Way to Safety

From EHS Today By Dave Blanchard

Companies have long turned to technology to drive their productivity, but the dirty-little-secret nobody likes to talk about is that worker safety often takes a back seat to productivity. That trade-off, fortunately, may soon be a thing of the past thanks to a new breed of safety tech. With the emergence of such technologies as robotics, augmented reality, wearable devices and predictive analytics, organizations are discovering that it’s not only possible but preferable to adopt digital technologies that enhance the safety of the workplace.

Some are calling this movement Safety 4.0, a spin-off of Industry 4.0 (aka the Internet of Things). The IoT’s proponents have focused largely on connected devices that can monitor and communicate diagnostic data throughout an entire network, a boon for predictive maintenance on all types of computerized devices, from production machinery to hospital equipment to transportation vehicles. Taking that concept into the safety arena, though, shifts the focus from the machine to the worker. And the possibilities for improving employee safety are limited only by the imagination.

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Hard Hat Turns 100; Impact on Industrial Safety Never Gets Old

From, By John Hitch

Luckily for industrial workers everywhere, Lt. Edward Wheatley Bullard of the U.S. Cavalry climbed out of the French trenches with an idea that would spark the industrial safety movement: the hard hat. Bullard, the son of a mining equipment supplier, was inspired by the metal helmets doughboys wore to deflect the hail of bullets raining down on them courtesy of the Kaiser. When he returned home, he invented the first commercially available industrial hard hat, called the Hard Boiled hat. Prior to its invention and subsequent production in San Francisco, gold and copper miners in California and Nevada basically wore leather caps—which might not be all that good at stopping hail, let alone the rocks or tools potentially pouring down on them.

Now one hundred years later, Bullard’s great granddaughter, current Bullard CEO Wells Bullard, recounts how this now 100-year-old equipment was invented and how it redefined protecting the workforce.

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OSHA Update: Changes to Injury and Illness Reporting Requirements

From Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC, a Council of Industry Associate Member
By: Michelle R. Billington

On January 25, 2019, OSHA published a final rule that rescinded a requirement adopted in 2016 for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit to OSHA information from their OSHA Forms 300 and 301. Those establishments were already required to maintain Forms 300, 300A, and 301 and were already required to submit Form 300A to OSHA each year. The 2016 rule significantly expanded the scope of these reporting obligations by requiring submission of Forms 300 and 301 to OSHA, which contain detailed information about the employees who experienced a recordable injury or illness and about the circumstances of the injury or illness that occurred. The 2016 rule established a July 1, 2018 deadline for electronic submission of Forms 300 and 301 to OSHA. 

However, as this date neared, OSHA’s website advised employers that the agency was not accepting Forms 300 and 301. Then on July 30, 2018, OSHA issued a proposed rule to rescind the requirement and announced that it would not enforce the July 1 deadline that had already passed. 

Under the final rule issued January 25, permanently removing the requirement for employers to electronically submit Forms 300 and 301, establishments with 250 or more employees are still required to maintain OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301 on-site, and OSHA states that it will continue to obtain these records as needed during inspections and enforcement actions. These establishments also are still required to submit reports after severe injuries and to electronically submit to OSHA information from their Form 300A. The final rule also adds a new requirement that covered employers must submit their Employer Identification Number (“EIN”) electronically together with their annual injury and illness data submission.

OSHA identified three primary reasons for its decision to rescind the prior requirement for submission of data from Forms 300 and 301. First, OSHA determined that collecting the information contained in Forms 300 and 301—which include not only the employee’s name, date of birth, and job title, but also details about the nature of the medical treatment the employee received–would subject sensitive information “to a meaningful risk of public disclosure.” OSHA noted that its electronic collection of this large pool of data could incentivize cyberattacks and could compromise worker privacy in the event of a data breach, cyberattack, or malware. Second, OSHA concluded that enforcement and compliance benefits associated with collecting this data remains uncertain. Finally, OSHA found that collecting and reviewing this data would divert agency resources from existing priorities such as utilizing the Form 300A and severe injury reports that OSHA already collects and which have been useful for addressing areas of concern.

If you have questions about how this rule affects your recordkeeping and reporting obligations, one of our attorneys can assist.

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