Idaho Occupational Safety and Health Consultation Program
In response to Governor Brad Little’s “stay at home” order on March 25, 2020, and in addition to actions put in place by Boise State University, the Idaho OSHCon office is currently closed for the most part.
Our consultants are currently conducting limited onsite consultation visits to companies that have 25 employees or less, have a COVID-19 protection plan in place, and are within a 100 mile radius of our Boise office. We are not offering industrial hygiene services (noise and air sampling) due to the difficulty of maintaining social distance. Our consultants continue to conduct virtual initial limited service consultation visits to review employer written safety and health programs.
We have resumed limited in-office services and are sending and receiving mail on Tuesday and Thursday mornings only. Our offices remain closed to the public.
We will be monitoring email and voice mail, so if you have an urgent OSHA question, please call us at (208) 426-3283, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. We look forward to getting back to normal as soon as possible.
In the meantime, The Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Utah has created a free, online open enrollment course about the virus for employers. To enroll, visit the Novel Coronavirus COVID 19 registration form.
You can also visit the News and Updates section at the bottom of this page for further resources.
The Idaho Occupational Safety & Health Consultation Program (OSHCon) provides free occupational safety and health services to small businesses within the state to help them understand and follow the rules and regulations required by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).
We do this mainly through onsite consultation services and our DVD lending library. Once invited to your business, our consultants can help with hazard recognition, reduction and elimination; industrial hygiene monitoring; and written program requirements. Our lending library can help you with training, and increase your knowledge of occupational safety and health.
We are funded by OSHA through the Department of Labor, but are not involved in enforcement. Our consultants do not impose penalties or fines during a visit with your business.
You can find us on the Boise State University campus in the Chrisway Annex building at 2103 University Drive in Boise. Normal business hours are 8am – 5pm, and we follow the university’s schedule for holidays.
Not an Idaho business? Check with the consultation program in your state to see what services they offer small businesses like yours. You can contact your state’s program through the OSHA website.
Between September 1, 2018, and October 30, 2019 (our most recent financial year), OSHCon’s consultants visited 155 businesses throughout the state. Industries visited included Manufacturing, Construction, Agriculture, and the Service and Retail/Wholesale sectors.
During those 155 visits 2,195 serious hazards were identified, an average of 14.16 per visit. As a result of identifying those hazards, and the follow up undertaken by the employer, 11,215 people were removed from risk. Many employees were removed from multiple risks. A total of 13, 211 people were removed from risk of other than serious hazards that were identified by our consultants.
Improving workplace safety and health not only protects employees, it can reduce medical and insurance costs for employers, and increase productivity.
More information about how effective safety and health programs can save you money can be found on OSHA’s $afety Pays webpage.
Safety Fest Save the Date
In 2021, Safety Fest of the Great Northwest will be conducting its 16th year of free training conferences around the state.
Safety Fest is typically held at six locations across Idaho: Post Falls, Boise, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Pocatello, and Lewiston.
The upcoming 2021 event will be completely virtual. All six local events are joining together to offer three full days of classes.
September 14-18: 2020 National Safety Stand Down to Prevent Falls in Construction
Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 320 of the 1,008 construction fatalities recorded in 2018 (BLS data). Those deaths were preventable. The National Safety Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries.
For information about how to participate, and tools and resources to help you with your plans, visit OSHA’s National Safety Stand Down website.
The Center for Construction Research and training, CWPR, also has a website about the stand down.
If you decide to participate, we’d love to hear about it on social media! Use the hashtags #StandDown4Safety #StopFalls #Construction.
Sign Up For Safe + Sound Week
Safe + Sound Week registration is open!
From August 10-16, 2020, businesses across the country will participate in Safe + Sound Week, a nationwide event that recognizes the successes of workplace safety and health programs and offers information and ideas on how to keep America’s workers safe.
Visit the Safe + Sound Week webpage to register your activities and to learn how to participate.
Below you will find COVID-19-related information from several different agencies. The information isn’t comprehensive, but is offered as a resource for employers and employees.
Two official resources for Idaho are the Idaho Department of Labor (website), and Official Resources for the Novel Coronavirus (website). Both of these sites are State of Idaho sites.
The Idaho Department of Labor website has resources for employers and employees, including pandemic unemployment assistance and unemployment insurance, and food and shelter.
The office State of Idaho site includes information about Stay Healthy Orders, and the stages of reopening the state.
OSHA’s primary resource is the OSHA COVID-19 official webpage. This page is being updated routinely and we encourage you to review it frequently.
The site offers:
- An overview
- News and updates
- Hazard recognition
- Information about applicable OSHA standards
- Medical information
- Guidance about control and prevention
There is also a section that discusses the background of the virus, and a section for additional resources.
OSHA has published a workplace poster you might find helpful: Ten Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus (pdf). It’s available in 13 languages.
In addition, OSHA has released several memorandums related to enforcement during the pandemic. These memorandums are intended to be time-limited to the current crisis:
5/19/2020: Revised Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (web link), which supersedes the April 10 memo (web link)
5/19/2020: Updated Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (web link), which supersedes the April 13 memo (web link)
4/13/2020: Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (web link) for handling COVID-19-related complaints, referrals, and severe illness reports
4/8/2020: Expanded Temporary Enforcement Guidance on Respiratory Protection Fit-Testing for N95 Filtering Facepieces in All Industries During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic (web link)
4/3/2020: Enforcement Guidance for Use of Respiratory Protection Equipment Certified under Standards of Other Countries or Jurisdictions During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic (web link)
Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
WHD’s Primary Resource is its WHD COVID-19 official webpage, which provides information on the implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (web link) (FFCRA).
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
CDC’s primary resource is the CDC COVID-19 Official Webpage. This page is being updated routinely and we encourage you to review it frequently. Recent guidance released and housed on this page includes:
- CDC COVID-19 Guidance Documents (web link)
- Resources for Businesses and Employers (web link)
- Cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. (web link)
Additional Resources by Industry Sector
Healthcare Industry Resources
From National Institue for Occupational Safety and Heatlh (NIOSH)/CDC:
- Emergency Medical Services (web link)
- Healthcare Professionals (web link)
- Infection Prevention and Control (web link)
- Ambulatory Care (web link)
- Pharmacies (web link)
Transportation Industry Resources
- Package Delivery (English pdf)
- Package Delivery (Spanish pdf)
- Airline Operations (web link)
- Border and Transportation Security (web link)
- Solid Waste and Wastewater Management (web link)
- Transit Station Workers (web link)
- Transit Maintenance Workers (web link)
- Bus Transit Operators (web link)
- Airline Catering Truck Drivers and Helpers (web link)
- Aircraft Maintenance Workers (web link)
- Airline Customer Service Representatives and Gate Agents (web link)
- Airport Custodial Staff (web link)
- Rideshare, Taxi, Limo, and other Passenger Drivers-for-Hire (web link)
Retail, Service, and Manufacturing Industry Resources
- Retail Workers (English pdf)
- Retail Workers (Spanish pdf)
- Retail Workers and Employers in Critical and High Customer-Volume Environments (web link)
- Manufacturing Industry Workforce (English pdf)
- Manufacturing Industry Workforce (Spanish pdf)
- In-Home Repair Services (web link)
Construction Industry Resources
From CPWR- The Center for Construction Research and Training:
- Guidance on COVID-19 (English pdf)
- Guidance on COVID-19 (Spanish pdf)
- Toolbox Talk on COVID-19 (English pdf)
From The General Building Contractors Association:
- COVID-19 Recommended Job Site Protocols (English pdf)
- COVID-19 Recommended Job Site Protocols (pdf of a PowerPoint presentation)
Other Industry Resources
- Postmortem Care Workers (web link)
- Correctional Facility Operations (web link)
- Environmental Services (i.e. janitorial, cleaning services) (web link)
- Prepare your Small Business and Employees for the Effects of COVID-19 (web link)
- COVIDView: A Weekly Surveillance Summary of U.S. COVID-19 Activity (web link)
Need an OSHA Card? Here’s What You Should Know:
Many employers ask their workers to obtain an OSHA card. This often refers to the Outreach Training Program’s 10-hour and 30-hour safety courses. Unfortunately, there has been an increase in fraudulent activity related to these courses over the past several years. Knowing the facts can help workers avoid fraudulent trainers and courses.
FACT: Only OSHA-authorized trainers may teach 10- and 30-hour safety courses and issue OSHA student course completion cards.
The 10-hour safety course covers general safety and health hazards for entry-level workers. The 30-hour safety course provides a greater variety of safety subjects and in-depth, industry-specific training and is intended for supervisors and workers with safety and health responsibility. While fraudulent actors may advertise OSHA 10-hour training, only OSHA-authorized trainers can issue course completion cards at the end of the training.
FACT: OSHA publishes a public list of authorized trainers to help workers find legitimate training and avoid fraud.
OSHA provides a list of authorized trainers to find instructors for the 10- and 30-hour safety courses. The list provides trainer names and contact information, and denotes which course each trainer is authorized to teach (i.e., construction, general industry, maritime, disaster site worker). Courses are also available in Spanish and online from the appropriate authorized trainer.
FACT: Taking the course does NOT guarantee employment.
While OSHA believes this training is an important first step towards workplace safety, beware of advertisements “guaranteeing” jobs after taking the course.
FACT: OSHA does not require completion of these courses, but may require other training for workers that encounter certain workplace hazards. Although some states, cities, and job creators have mandated Outreach Training Program courses as a prerequisite to employment, OSHA does not require the training. In other cases, jobs may include workplace hazards that require training to meet OSHA standards, such as training on common chemical hazards encountered in the workplace, or operator training for specific powered industrial trucks on the jobsite. Be sure to check your local requirements and consult the relevant OSHA regulations.
Keep these facts in mind when searching for courses and trainers to ensure proper safety training and avoid fraudulent courses. If you come across any fraudulent actors, please contact the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General. For more information, visit the Outreach Training Program website.