OSHA and the Affordable Healthcare Act (TRN Update)

Affordable Healthcare Act, OSHA, Healthcare, Healthcare 2013, TRN Staffing, The Reserves Network

From Cliff Gerbick, CSP (The Reserves Network Director of Safety)

With the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) coming into focus as provisions of the act start to become law, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has published an interim final rule in the Federal Register that governs whistleblower complaints filed under Section 1558 of the Affordable Care Act.

Title I includes a range of insurance company accountability policies, such as the prohibition of lifetime limits on coverage and exclusions due to pre-existing conditions.  If an employee registers a complaint against their employer for not providing the required provisions that employee cannot be retaliated against.  If an employee feels they have been retaliated against for voicing the complaint, they may file a complaint with OSHA.

The ACA tasks the Department of Labor with conducting investigations and making determinations based on the investigative findings.  Both of these tasks are driven by OSHA.  OSHA’s interim final rule establishes the procedures and time frames for the filing and handling of such complaints – including investigations by OSHA, appeals of OSHA determinations to an administrative law judge for a hearing, review of such decisions by the Administrative Review Board and judicial review of the secretary’s final decision.

The interim final rule can be viewed by (CLICKING HERE – PDF FILE)

Comments, which will be accepted for 60 days, may be submitted electronically via the federal e-rulemaking portal by (CLICKING HERE) or by mail or fax.

Cliff Gerbick is the Director of Safety for The Reserves Network, a provider of “Total Staffing Solutions” in the office, industrial, professional and technical markets. To contact Cliff, email cgerbick@TRNstaffing.com.

Visit the The Reserves Network’s website at www.TRNstaffing.com.

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OSHA Issues New National Emphasis Program (TRN Safety Alert)

From Cliff Gerbick, ASP (The Reserves Network Director of Safety)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a new National Emphasis Program (NEP) for chemical facilities. The NEP is focused on protecting workings from the risks associated with catastrophic releases of highly hazardous chemicals.

The new NEP replaces a 2009 pilot Chemical Facility National Emphasis Program which covered certain regions across the United States. The new program is a nationwide program that establishes updated polices and procedures for inspecting workplaces that are covered under OSHA’s Process Safety Management (PSM) standard. The PSM standard covers employees who have threshold quantities of highly hazardous chemicals in their workplaces. The purpose of the new NEP is to give inspectors better tools to conduct inspections of facilities that are likely to have highly hazardous chemicals in quantities covered by OSHA.

For further information on the National Emphasis Program and Process Safety Management, please visit www.osha.gov.

For information on additional OSHA National Emphasis Programs, please (Click Here for OSHA Programs)

Cliff Gerbick is the Director of Safety for The Reserves Network, a provider of “Total Staffing Solutions” in the office, industrial, professional and technical markets. To contact Cliff, email cgerbick@trnstaffing.com.

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