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Idaho Occupational Safety and Health Consultation Program

COVID-19 Notice

OSHCon is back to normal! Our consultants are currently conducting onsite consultation visits to companies that request our services, including industrial hygiene services (noise and air sampling).  We are conducting some written safety and health program reviews virtually.

A COVID-19 protection plan is no longer required, but is encouraged.

Please be aware that the pandemic has created a backlog of requests. Our team is responding to them as quickly as they can.

Our offices are open to the public during regular business hours: 8am – 5pm, Monday-Thursday, except for holidays. We are sending and receiving mail on Tuesday and Thursday mornings only.

About Us

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.

Why Consultation?

Between September 1, 2018, and October 30, 2019 (our most recent full-service 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.

How Can We Help?

Onsite Consultation

Request a Visit From Us

Sample Written Programs

Download Written Programs

Borrow Safety and Health DVDs

Join Our Library

Learn About SHARP

Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program

Learn About Emphasis Programs

Emphasis Programs for Idaho and Our Region

News and Updates

ESI Hosts Safety Stand Down May 4, 2022, in Meridian

Each year in the U.S., nearly 400 construction workers are killed, and over 10,000 are seriously injured by falls. The National Fall Prevention Safety Stand‐Down is a voluntary opportunity for employers to stop work and provide training to employees on fall hazards, protective methods, and an employer’s safety policies, goals, and expectations.

The National Stand Down Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction is a joint effort by government, labor, and management to address the top cause of construction industry fatalities.

ESI is hosting the National Stand Down in Boise by conducting a training event on May 4, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Eagle View Landing, located at 936 West Silverstone Way, Meridian. ESI will stop work at the Eagle View Landing project and several other projects in the area to conduct a one‐hour fall protection training. Representatives from the Boise OSHA office and the BSU OSHA Consultation office will be present.

Please plan for all your workers to attend. A free lunch will be provided.

For more information visit the OSHA Stand Down website , or the Safety Stand Down website.

OSHA Starts Enforcement Program for Injury and Illness Data Submission

OSHA is initiating an enforcement program that identifies employers who failed to submit Form 300A data through the agency’s Injury Tracking Application (ITA). Annual electronic submissions are required by establishments with 250 or more employees currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, and establishments with 20-249 employees classified in specific industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses.

The program matches newly opened inspections against a list of potential non-responders to OSHA’s collection of Form 300A data through the ITA and reports all matches to the appropriate OSHA area office. If the area office determines that the establishment on the list is the same establishment where the inspection was opened, OSHA will issue citations for failure to submit OSHA Form 300A Summary data.

In addition to identifying non-responders at the establishment level, the agency is also reviewing the 2021 submitted data to identify non-responders at a corporate-wide level. This corporate level review is being conducted for the nation’s largest employers.

OSHA developed the program in response to recommendations from the Government Accountability Office to improve reporting of summary injury and illness data.  The initiative will begin in early April.

“OSHA believes that it is vital for the public to have access to illness and injury information that employers provide in their annual submissions,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker. “We are committed to enforcing this important requirement and will continue to look for strategies to reach full compliance.”

The agency is also posting ITA data as part of its electronic recordkeeping requirements for certain employers. By mid-March, 289,849 establishments had submitted their OSHA Form 300A information.

Public access to injury and illness data for industries, companies and establishments allows employers, workers, potential employees, and others to better understand workplace safety and health outcomes at an employer or industry, allowing them to make valuable insights and informed decisions. Employers of all sizes can use this data to benchmark with others in their industry or compare results across their operations. This accessibility will help identify and mitigate workplace hazards, and ultimately result in the reduction of occupational injuries and illnesses.

Learn more about OSHA’s injury and illness recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

Registration for 2022 Stand up 4 Grain Safety Week Opens

Registration for Stand Up 4 Grain Safety is now open. Topics for this year’s event include heat/cold stress and personal protective equipment. Registration is free. The event is virtual.

For more information, visit Stand Up 4 Grain Safety.

2022 Northwest Safety & Health Summit Comes to Boise

The 2022 Northwest Safety & Health Summit , presented by the Region X Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association (VPPPA) is being held in Boise on May 10-12.

This summit is designed for all industries and worksites, even if they are not in the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). All safety managers/coordinators and safety committee members can benefit from this workplace safety training and networking.

Further information, including a link to register and the conference program, can be found  on the VPPPA’s website.

OSHA Withdraws COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard

OSHA is withdrawing the vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard (ETS) issued on Nov. 5, 2021, to protect unvaccinated employees of large employers with 100 or more employees from workplace exposure to coronavirus. The withdrawal is effective January 26, 2022.

Although OSHA is withdrawing the vaccination and testing ETS as an enforceable emergency temporary standard, the agency is not withdrawing the ETS as a proposed rule. The agency is prioritizing its resources to focus on finalizing a permanent COVID-19 Healthcare Standard.

For more information, please refer to OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS webpage and Federal Register Notice.

Injury and Illness Data Collection for 2021 is Underway

OSHA is reminding employers that the agency began collecting calendar year 2021 Form 300A data on Jan. 2, 2022. Employers must submit the form electronically by March 2, 2022.

Electronic submissions are required by establishments with 250 or more employees currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, and establishments with 20-249 employees classified in specific industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses.

Visit the Injury Tracking Application Electronic Submission of Injury and Illness Records to OSHA for more information and a link to the Injury Tracking Application.

#KeepTeenWorkersSafe Campaign

The Keep Teen Workers Safe campaign provides information about workplace safety and health to teens who are, or will be, employed over the holiday season.

As part of the campaign, they are looking for teen workers to help create a public video and audio message for their fellow teen workers across the United States.  Recordings are due November 12, 2020.

For more information about the public service announcement, visit the PSA portion of the campaign website.

For more information about the campaign itself, visit Keep Teen Workers Safe.

Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace

OSHA has updated its guidance on COVID-19 in the workplace. The guidance is designed to help employers protect workers who are unvaccinated (including people who are not fully vaccinated) or otherwise at-risk (as defined in the text box below), including if they are immunocompromised, and also implement new guidance involving workers who are fully vaccinated but located in areas with substantial or high community transmission.   Full details can be found on the OSHA website.

Free Trenching and Excavation and Trenching Safety Training

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) in partnership with the Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety at the University of Washington is offering a comprehensive training program developed to educate on the hazards found in trench excavation work in the transportation construction industry.

What You Will Learn

  • Identify basic hazards associated with trenching and excavation.
  • Explain how protective systems work and how they protect workers.
  • Describe inspection requirements, duties of the Competent Person, and other safety considerations in trenching and excavation work.

Training Format

This course will be held via Zoom video conference. Participants are required to have a broadband internet connection, and a desktop or laptop computer with a microphone and camera.

Registered parties will receive information on creating a free zoom account, as well as webinar access instructions and course materials prior to the course dates.

Training Dates

  • Tuesday, June 15, 2021 (8:00am-12:00pm Pacific Time)
  • Thursday, June 17, 2021 (8:00am-12:00pm Pacific Time)
  • Thursday, July 1, 2021 – in Spanish! (8:00am-12:00pm Pacific Time)

Registration

Registration for this training is free. To get signed up, visit the University of Washington’s Continuing Education Center or email ce@ew.edu.

Prevent Heat Illness at Work

As part of its ongoing campaign to prevent heat illness, OSHA has released a new poster that covers the issues facing outdoor workers in hot weather, steps to prevent heat illness, and signs of a heat-related emergency. The poster can be downloaded for free from the OSHA heat campaign website.

For more information and resources about how to protect your employees during the summer, please visit OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention Campaign website.

April 28, 2021: Workers Memorial Day

Every year, on April 28, the nation recognizes Workers Memorial Day. This is the day we pay our respects to those who lost their lives on the job, and recognize the impact these tragic losses have on families, co-workers, and communities. This year, we also recognize that, more than a year into the pandemic, every day essential workers, many of whom are people of color and immigrants, have put their lives on the line during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many were sickened or died as a result of just going to work – for simply doing what they had to do to support their families. They were healthcare workers, grocery workers, meatpackers, nurses, delivery drivers, farmworkers, law enforcement officers, teachers, and sanitation workers. We remember and honor every worker who has lost their life to largely preventable fatal injuries and illnesses, and we commit ourselves to fighting to make sure that others do not suffer the same terrible fate.

May 3-7: 2021 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.

What is a Safety Stand-Down?

A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. Any workplace can hold a stand-down by taking a break to focus on “Fall Hazards” and reinforcing the importance of “Fall Prevention”. Employers of companies not exposed to fall hazards, can also use this opportunity to have a conversation with employees about the other job hazards they face, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies and goals. It can also be an opportunity for employees to talk to management about fall and other job hazards they see.

For information about how to participate, and tools and resources to help you with your plans, visit OSHA’s National Safety Stand Down website.

Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week,

March 29 – April 2, 2021

Registration is now open for Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week.

This free virtual event offers daily activities to raise awareness about storage hazards and provide information, education and training on best practices for safe grain handling!

Each day, at 10am CST, there will be a two-hour event with a different  focus and resources:

Monday: Standup Kickoff Event with livestreamed worker safety trainings, idea sessions and safety resources for industry use

Tuesday: Near Miss Reporting

Wednesday: Impact of Grain Quality on Safety

Thursday: Bin Safety

Friday: Emergency Action Plans

Register at 2021 Stand Up 4 Grain Safety.

Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week was first held in 2017 as a local event, and continues to grow as OSHA, NGFA, GEAPS and GHSC combine their talents, resources, and knowledge to develop more training and educational offerings, expand partnerships with other industry organizations and reach across the entire grain industry spectrum. For more information, visit the Stand Up 4 Grain Safety website.

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.

COVID-19 Resources

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.

Idaho

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

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)

4/24/2020: Enforcement Guidance on Decontamination of Filtering Facepiece Respirators in Healthcare During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic (web link)

4/16/2020: Discretion in Enforcement when Considering an Employer’s Good Faith Efforts During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic (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

4/10/2020: Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (web link)

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)

4/3/2020: Enforcement Guidance for Respiratory Protection and the N95 Shortage Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic (web link) [1910.134 App B-1]

3/14/2020: Temporary Enforcement Guidance – Healthcare Respiratory Protection Annual Fit-Testing for N95 Filtering Facepieces During the COVID-19 Outbreak (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:

Additional Resources by Industry Sector

Healthcare Industry Resources
From OSHA:
From National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)/CDC:
Transportation Industry Resources
From OSHA:
From NIOSH/CDC
Retail, Service, and Manufacturing Industry Resources
From OSHA:
Construction Industry Resources
From OSHA:
From CPWR- The Center for Construction Research and Training:
From The General Building Contractors Association:
Other Industry Resources
From OSHA:
From NIOSH/CDC:

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.

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