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OSHA Written Programs Available for Free Download

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, May 8, 2019

IAMU offers members free OSHA compliance programs that may be downloaded and customized to your city/utility.

To access the downloadable materials, you must first sign in as a member. The OSHA Written Programs page is the first link under Safety Services, which you can find under the Services tab in the top navigation bar. The materials are available to utility and affiliate members. 

When using these IAMU programs or programs supplied by other entities, remember there are many responsibilities for employers and employee under each of the programs. Read and understand not only the responsibilities but the entire program. Then, train your employees. 

Additionally, many times, there are requirements within the safety programs to develop processes to support the various programs. For example, under the Energy Control (Lock Out/Tag Out) Program, employers are required to develop machine-specific lock out/tag out procedures. The program is not completed until these procedures are developed.

Questions? Call one of our Safety staff members at (515) 289-1999.

IAMU does offer a fee-for-service that can help you customize your written safety programs. Our Safety & Health Management Services is another IAMU service to help you in the longer task of developing supporting procedures and processes within the written programs. 

Contact David Hraha, Director of Members Services, at (515)-289-1999 to discuss the Safety & Health Management Services.

Tags:  OSHA  Safety Services  Written Programs 

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National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction May 6 – 10

Posted By IAMU, Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Falls are still the leading killer of workers doing construction activities and have been so for the past 20 years. To bring awareness to fall hazards and fall prevention, OHSA has partnered with other construction organizations and union groups to develop the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction.

For the past five years, employers, work organizations, unions, and other agencies have held conversations about correcting fall hazards and other workplace hazards to which employees have exposure.

This year, IAMU is taking part in the week-long stand-down by encouraging our members to conduct Toolbox Talks or other safety activities such as conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, or discussing job specific hazards.

Here are links to two ladder-related Toolbox Talks:

IAMU has ordered 1,000 hardhat stickers for members’ teams who participate. If you are interested in receiving stickers for your team, you may contact IAMU at 515.289.1999.

Tags:  OSHA  Safety  Safety Services  Stand-Down  Toolbox Talk 

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OSHA Final Rule on Electronic Reporting of Injury and Illness Data

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Last month, the U.S .Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released the following statement:

“To protect worker privacy, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is amending the recordkeeping regulation by rescinding the requirement for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from OSHA Forms 300 and 301. These establishments will continue to be required to maintain those records on-site, and OSHA will continue to obtain them as needed through inspections and enforcement actions. In addition to reporting required after severe injuries, establishments will continue to submit information from their Form 300A. Such submissions provide OSHA with ample data that it will continue seeking to fully utilize. In addition, OSHA is amending the recordkeeping regulation to require covered employers to submit their Employer Identification Number electronically along with their injury and illness data submission, which will facilitate use of the data and may help reduce duplicative employer reporting. Nothing in the final rule revokes an employer's duty to maintain OSHA Forms 300 and 301 for OSHA inspection. These actions together will allow OSHA to improve enforcement targeting and compliance assistance, decrease burden on employers, and protect worker privacy and safety.

By preventing routine government collection of information that may be quite sensitive, including descriptions of workers’ injuries and body parts affected, OSHA is avoiding the risk that such information might be publicly disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This rule will better protect personally identifiable information or data that could be re-identified with a particular worker by removing the requirement for covered employers to submit their information from Forms 300 and 301. The final rule does not alter an employer’s duty to maintain OSHA Forms 300 and 301 on-site, and OSHA will continue to obtain these forms as needed through inspections and enforcement actions."

The rule is only applicable to employers with 250 or more employees and only applies to the information gathered and recorded on the 300 log and the 301 form (Illness and Injury Incident Form) that accompanies each entry on the log.

This rule became effective on February 25, 2019. For more information or to determine whether this rule applies to you, call Margret Meade at 515.210.6617 or email her at

Tags:  OSHA  OSHA 300  OSHA 301 

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OSHA's Latest Emphasis Program: Trenching & Excavation

Posted By IAMU, Monday, December 17, 2018

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (the agency responsible for tracking occupational illness, injury and fatality data), deaths from trench cave-ins have hit an all-time high. With 23 lives lost in 2016, the trench and excavation-related fatalities were nearly double the average of the previous five years. Although 2017 saw only 17 deaths, when combined with injuries reported to OSHA involving trenches, it was the most dangerous year for trench safety in recent history.

This past October, OSHA re-affirmed its commitment to reducing the number of injuries and fatalities due to unprotected trenches and excavations by renewing the National Emphasis Program (NEP) on Trenching and Excavations. This emphasis program covers all states, including state OSHA programs, and requires that Compliance Officers initiate inspections under this NEP whenever they observe an open trench or an open excavation, regardless of whether a violation is readily observed. This program also allows the Compliance Officer to expand the inspection to include the entire jobsite if other violations are observed.

The OSHA regulations regarding trench and excavation safety are very specific.

  • They require that a competent person, who is qualified to recognize hazards and has the authority to take quick action to eliminate the hazard, inspect the trench for hazards and determine the specific type of protective system to be put in place.
  • Correcting the hazard can include stopping the work, if necessary.
  • The competent person must have specific training in, and be knowledgeable about, soil analysis, the use of protective systems, and the requirements of OSHA’s Excavation standard.

An important part of the program is the emphasis placed on training and education. OSHA has updated its trenching and excavation fact sheets and quick cards. Links to educational materials and videos are available at . Common Ground Alliance’s Best Practices Guide is among other industry educational materials in its resource list LINK.

Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU) has been conducting Trench Safety workshops for its members for 25 years. Contact IAMU’s Safety Services department if you need this training. If you have questions regarding trench safety, contact Margret Meade or 515.210.6617. 

Tags:  OSHA  Safety 

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Crane Operator Final Rule

Posted By IAMU, Monday, December 10, 2018

Now that November 10, 2018 has come and gone, the technical skills and knowledge provisions of the crane operator certification in 1926 Subpart CC is now a regulatory requirement. Several revisions and clarifications have taken place with the publication of OSHA’s final rule, Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Operator Qualifications, effective December 10, 2018. One purpose of these revisions is to change the requirement that crane operator certification be based on equipment type and capacity and instead now permits certification be based on type OR type and capacity. OSHA found no statistics or research that proved an additional safety benefit for certifying by anything other than type. In fact, OSHA believes that it restricts the potential for some crane operators to obtain certification. Certification criteria, which requires a written certification test and a practical test, remains unchanged.

OSHA has also revised the two additional sections of the crane standard that address operator training and competency. However, OSHA still requires that operators re-certify every 5 years and that accrediting bodies have a re-certifying component to their program that allows for operators to be tested to ensure that they have retained safety knowledge and they are up to speed with the latest regulatory and technical developments. The certification issuing entity (like NCCER) must be accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency (such as ANSI or ASME) so as to be sure that industry-recognized criteria for written testing materials, practical examinations, test administration, grading, facilities/equipment, and personnel have been met. By meeting such protocol and upon completing a successful audit, Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities was certified as an Accredited Assessment Center through NCCER.

Another change in the final rule of the crane standard is the clarification of the employer’s obligation to evaluate the competency of the operator and their ability to work safely. Just as an employee’s driver’s license does not guarantee the employee’s ability to drive all vehicles safely in all conditions of the employee’s workplace, certification does not ensure that the crane operator has sufficient knowledge and skill to operate all cranes and other lifting equipment safely. The employer evaluation of a crane operator’s ability, experience and competency is a fundamental part of workplace safety. This evaluation part of the rule goes into effect on February 7, 2019 and states that employers must conduct an evaluation of each operator to ensure that they are qualified by a demonstration of the skills and knowledge necessary to operate the equipment safely and the ability to recognize and avert risks associated with that operation. The evaluation must also include the operator’s ability to perform the hoisting activities required for the work that they are assigned, including blind lifts, personnel hoisting and multiple lifts.

Skills and knowledge, as addressed by OSHA, include those types of safety devices, operational aids and software the crane is equipped with. The evaluation must also take into account the size and configuration of the crane as the manufacturer has designed it to function; including lifting capacity, boom length and radius, attachments and counterweight configuration. The evaluation must be documented and must include the printed names and signatures of the operator and the evaluator, the date of the evaluation and the make, model and configuration of the crane used in the evaluation. Re-evaluations are required whenever you provide retraining to an operator but should only focus on the areas which the retraining covered. You must retrain an operator whenever you believe it’s necessary based on an operator’s performance or an evaluation of the operator’s knowledge.

OSHA’s final rule now clarifies restrictions for operators-in-training. Those employees must be provided with sufficient training, through a combination of formal and practical instruction, to ensure that they develop the skills, knowledge, and ability to recognize and avert risk necessary to operate the equipment safely for assigned work. These employees may operate cranes but they must be continuously monitored by their trainer. There are, however, restrictions on the duties in which operators-in-training who are not yet certified are not allowed to operate cranes:

(1) If any part of the crane, load line, or load (including rigging and lifting accessories), if operated up to the crane’s maximum working radius in the work zone could get within 20 feet of a power line that is up to 350 kV, or within 50 feet of a power line that is over 350 kV.

(2)  Hoisting personnel.

(3)  Multi-crane lifts.

(4)  Over a shaft, cofferdam, or in a tank farm.

(5)  Multiple-lift rigging operations (unless the operator’s trainer determines that the operator-in-training’s skills are sufficient).

The final rule, with the exception of the evaluation and documentation requirements, will become effective on Dec. 9, 2018. The evaluation and documentation requirements will become effective on February 7, 2019.

IAMU has two mobile crane operator examination and certification classes during the weeks of January 7th and February 11th, 2019. Go to this LINK to register for either class.

Tags:  Mobile Crane  OSHA 

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