Category: Archived

OSHA Enforcement Guidance On Foreign Made Respirator Use

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released guidance to its regional administrators outlining enforcement discretion to permit the use of filtering facepiece respirators and air-purifying elastomeric respirators that are certified under certain standards of other countries or jurisdictions. The guidelines also address enforcement discretion to permit use when the equipment was previously certified under the standards of other countries or jurisdictions, but are beyond their manufacturer’s recommended shelf life. Essentially, OSHA compliance officers are being directed to verify that employers are:

  • Making a good faith effort to use the most appropriate respiratory protection available;
  • Ensuring that their respirator users are performing appropriate user seal checks;
  • Training their respirator users to discard respirators with compromised structural and/or functional integrity:
  • Inspecting, or requiring their respirator users to visually inspect the respirators for defects;
  • Avoiding co-mingling of products from different categories of equipment; and
  • Training employees on the procedures for the sequence of donning/doffing to prevent self-contamination.

OSHA ENFORCEMENT GUIDANCE

OSHA & CDC/NIOSH Release Guidance on N95 Respirator Extended Use and Reuse

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released guidelines to help combat supply shortages of disposable N95 filtering face piece respirators. The agency’s guidelines address alternatives to N95s, and extended use and reuse of the respirators. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which is the research arm of OSHA, also released N95 guidelines addressing extended use and reuse of the respirators, specifically for healthcare settings. The CDC/NIOSH guidelines are much more detailed than OSHA’s guidelines. Their recommendations are intended for use by professionals who manage respiratory protection programs in healthcare institutions to protect health care workers from job-related risks of exposure to infectious respiratory illnesses. However, the guidelines provide excellent information for anyone considering extended use or reuse of N95s. For example, the guidelines make the case that extended use is preferred over reuse of the respirators because extended use limits the number of times the respirators will be touched.  The guidelines address the risks of extended use and reuse, and provide independent sets of recommendations for extended use, and reuse.

OSHA GUIDELINES

CDC/NIOSH GUIDELINES

MCAA Safety Talk: COVID-19 Facility Cleaning and Disinfecting Guidelines

Whenever it’s feasible, it’s best to hire a reputable third party to perform facility cleaning and disinfection services. However, if it will be necessary for you or someone else from your company to perform the cleaning and disinfection service, the following guidelines may help protect that person from exposure to COVID-19. The best way to help protect yourself and others is to have all surfaces that may have been contaminated cleaned and disinfected. Cleaning refers to the removal of dirt and impurities. Disinfecting refers to the use of chemicals to kill the virus.

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Webinar #5: Implementing Paid Leave Requirements Under the New FFCRA – Michael P. Kreps and Katie Bjornstad Amin

The new Family First Coronavirus Response Act took effect April 1, 2020 and with it comes temporary requirements that will impact MCAA member companies who employ 500 or fewer employees. Katie Amin and Michael Kreps, both principals of Groom Law Group, along with John McNerney, MCAA general counsel, discuss which employers must adhere and who is eligible under the new act currently set to expire December 31, 2020.

Additional Resources:

This webinar was recorded Thursday, April 2, 2020.

20-Question Multiple Choice Trainee Test Corresponding with MCAA Safety Talk: COVID-19

MCAA developed a best practices guidance document to help protect mechanical construction and service workers from COVID-19 exposure. MCAA and the United Association partnered with several industry experts to gather all facts and proper procedures concerning this virus. Because MCAA members are using the safety talk for worker training, MCAA developed a 20-question multiple choice test and accompanying answer key to help members document that the training occurred, and that trainees understand the training content.

MCAA SAFETY TALK: COVID-19
MULTIPLE CHOICE TEST
ANSWER KEY

Webinar #4: Guidelines for COVID-19 to Help Protect Mechanical Industry Workers – Scott Hamilton

The UA, MCAA, ASSE and IAPMO have joined forces to bring our collective memberships information to be able to understand the risks of COVID-19 and show you the best ways to help prevent the spreading the virus among our pipefitters, plumbers, service technicians, sprinklerfitters, steamfitters and apprentices. Evaluating the exposures, understanding the risks and learning the most appropriate protective measures will help prepare you to establish an effective plan. Plumbers Local 75 member, Senior Director at IAPMO and ASSE, Scott Hamilton, describes the best-known safe work practices for helping mechanical industry workers avoid exposure to COVID-19.

Additional Resources:

This webinar was recorded Thursday, March 26, 2020.

Cohen Seglias Releases COVID-19 Resource Package 2.0

With the number of reported cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) increasing, governors in various states are taking varying measures to reduce the spread of the virus. In some states, construction is still considered an “essential business,” whereas in others, construction can only continue for “emergency repairs” or the “construction of health care facilities.” Across the board, however, the message is clear that proper precautions must be taken on job sites in accordance with the requirements and recommendations of the CDC. Unfortunately, not everyone is following these rules and are requiring construction companies to continue to work without a formal exemption and without the implementation of rules and regulations that help facilitate social distancing to the detriment of your employees’ health and safety.

Cohen Seglias’ Construction Contracts & Risk Management Group prepared sample notice letters for use on jobs where contractors and subcontractors are still ordered to work either in violation of shutdown orders or under unsafe work conditions that are contrary to the CDC guidelines.

Also, with many companies still bidding and entering into contracts for new work, Cohen Seglias is providing sample force majeure language that covers pandemics such as this as an unforeseen event entitling you to an extension of time and an increase in price caused by any resultant delays.

Understand that these forms may need to be revised to fit your particular circumstances.

Download now!

Webinar #3: Shifting Work from the Jobsite – Jonathan Marsh, James Benham, Sean McGuire and Josh Bone

The COVID-19 crisis is forcing contractors to perform work in challenging new ways. This webinar focuses on two scenarios that will become more likely in the weeks ahead – forced remote work with no job site activity and one in which job sites might be shut down and fabrication facilities remain open. We discuss how to prepare staff to work remotely, what work can be prioritized to be done remotely and how to utilize fabrication space safely to keep projects progressing. This panel includes Jonathan Marsh, MEP Innovation Lab; James Benham, CEO of JBKnowledge; Sean McGuire, MCAA Director of Innovative Technologies; and Josh Bone, Director of Industry Innovation at NECA.

This webinar was recorded Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

DOL Releases Field Assistance Bulletin 2020-1 & FFCRA Posters for Employers

The DOL Wage and Hour Division has updated their COVID-19 webpage to include Field Assistance Bulletin 2020-1, “Temporary Non-Enforcement Period Applicable to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA),” states that the DOL will not bring enforcement actions against any public or private employer for violations of the leave requirements in the FFCRA for a 30-day period ending on April 17, 2020, provided that the employer has made reasonable, good faith efforts to comply with the Act.

Separately, the Wage and Hour Division have released the posters that employers are required to display outlining the rights of federal employees and non-federal employees under the FFCRA. The Wage and Hour Division has also made available a FAQ addressing issues related to the posters (e.g., where the posters must be displayed, etc.)