ORC HSE Viewpoints


Category archive of ORC HSE Viewpoints

A Blow to OSHA Enforcement

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has dealt a serious blow to OSHA’s long-standing authority in determining the appropriate scope of safety and health inspections.

ORC HSE Comments to OSHA on Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

ORC HSE Partner Steve Newell and colleagues have submitted comments on OSHA’s Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” that appeared in the July 30 Federal Register.

Cardinal Rules, Employee/Management Collaboration, and Improving Safety Performance

Cardinal Rules have been around for a long time and can go by a variety of names, such as Golden Safety Rules, fundamental rules, critical rules, etc. Simply put, they are usually a set of rules about the behavior of frontline employees that the employer has identified as important to good safety performance and accident prevention in their operations. Some can be common across companies like “always de-energize equipment before working on it”, while others may be very specific to a particular company and its operations. Historically, they have often been implemented with some form of “zero tolerance” policy that says something like “if you violate these rules you will be disciplined, up to and including termination”.

PPE Hazard Assessments – Are you meeting all of the requirements?

An Amazon Fulfillment Center is contesting an Other-than-Serious (OTS) citation with a $1,000 penalty for not meeting all of the requirements in the personal protective equipment (PPE) hazard assessment regulation – specifically 29 CFR 1910.132(d)(2). Ask almost any EHS professional and they will say, of course we know PPE hazard assessments are required. What may be forgotten, however, is the level of documentation that is also required.

Webinar: Traps in Operational Decision Making: How Cognitive Biases Put Our Decision Making at Risk

This webinar will discuss the most prevalent cognitive biases affecting how we process information and make decisions in the workplace, explain how they work, and review steps that can be taken to protect ourselves and our organizations from them.

Webinar: Highlights & Key Lessons Learned at the 2018 HOP Summit.

Join us Thursday, June 28, 2018, 10:00 – 11:30 am Eastern Time

Did you miss the opportunity to attend the 2018 HOP Summit, held in Houston, TX on Feb. 27 – Mar. 1, 2018? Do you want to learn about Human and Organizational Performance (HOP) and how this risk-based operating philosophy is a key part of achieving safety and operational excellence? Then this webinar is for you!!

OSHA & Repeat Violations

In the March 8th, 2018 edition of the National Law Review, it was reported that on February 14th, 2018 the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued a summary order upholding the characterization of a citation as “Repeat” even though the prior citations in a contested case were issued over four years prior.

Sidney Dekker’s Presentation: a few Highlights

We were fortunate to hear Sidney Dekker speak at our Asia Pacific Forum meeting in Sydney, Australia on March 14. He focused on rules and regulations and their relationship to injury experience. I had heard references to this work in presentations by other speakers, but hearing from Sidney helped me to understand what he was really getting at.

Missile Alert Gone Awry: Disciplinary Action and Learning – does “ready, fire, aim” really get us to good corrective actions?

Recently we read about the incident where a Hawaii civil defense employee sent an Emergency Alert that a ballistic missile threat was headed for Hawaii, and that residents should seek shelter. It was a mistake, a human error, and it took 38 minutes to get it corrected. We all heard about the panic that resulted, and the predictable questions started to be asked about who should be disciplined for messing up. But we have not heard much about the questions that should have been asked.

2017 Annual Report

For more than 45 years, ORC HSE has been helping companies achieve HSE performance excellence by providing thought leadership and fostering constructive working relationships with leaders and policymakers in government, labor, industry, and key professional organizations. And this past year was no different ‒ 2017 was another banner year for the organization.