January 27, 2021


Wednesday, January 27, 2021
7:30 AM – 9:00 AM
Hosted by IECRM

Watch the VIDEO RECORDING of today’s Safety Forum.  It will also be sent out through IECRM Membership communications.  If you are not currently receiving these important emails, let us know at

Safety Forums are held monthly.
Upcoming Safety Forum Dates:
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 – Electrical – Job Site Safety

Member Forums will be scheduled monthly.  Please watch your inbox for future dates.
Upcoming Member Forum Dates: 
Wednesday, February 10, at 7:30 AM – Bonding


Near Misses

  • With the changes in the weather and increased traffic on the roads, there has been an increase in traffic accidents. There seems to be a lot of distracted driving.
  • Slipping on ice-make teams aware of the hazards of ice when driving and when walking. Be sure ice melt is down to help prevent falls.
  • Be sure you are keeping your crew warm all day as they work outside.
  • Make sure that mask compliance is happening on the job sites.
  • Vehicle safety-make sure you know when to call it and get people off of the roads. Make sure they are fueled up and have supplies in case of an emergency.


John Olaechea  | CIH, CSP
Compliance Assistance Specialist
1244 Speer Blvd., Suite 551
Denver, CO  80204


  • New Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor
    • Jim Frederick – Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor
      • 30 years of safety and health experience
      • 24 years with the United Steelworkers Union
  • New Managers in Region VII
    • Nancy Hauter – Acting Regional Administrator replacing Rita Lucero who retired in July
    • Amanda Kupper – Area Director (Denver Area Office)-replacing Herb Gibson you retired
    • Chad Vivian – Area Director (Englewood Area Office ) – Dave Nelson Retired in December

New Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety (January 21, 2021) 

  • Most of the issues related to this executive order have to do with COVID.
  • OSHA to consider an emergency temporary standard. This is unusual because it usually takes many months or years to review and put in place.  Because of this order, OSHA has to consider an emergency temporary standard that may be issued by March 15, 2021.
  • 300A Summary data due by March.

FY 21 National Emphasis Programs

  • Most industries have a 6 -digit NEP code-lists how you get on the inspection list

Exception-trenching and excavation-if OSAH sees it or hears about it, an inspection will be conducted.

Regional Emphasis Programs

Fall Hazards in Construction or Roadway Work Zone Activities is more of a responsive nature.

  • In 2020, most complaints have been related to COVID, preventing a focus on the Emphasis Programs.
  • When the new Silica standards came out in 2016, there was some grace given to give employers a chance to become compliant. That has now expired.
  • The new program began in February 2020.

  • Compliance officers can add you to the list for inspections if they drive by and see any issues of non-compliance.
  • This is a health program. For health-based programs like Silica, smaller employers can be inspected as well.

The new Silica program will begin in May 2021-anything that stirs up dirt, rocks, concrete, etc. (all common construction materials) will likely be on the following list:

  • As an employer, you must conduct a level of exposure assessment and make sure you have a program in place to ensure that you’re never above the exposure level.
  • You must do Table 1 as it is laid out. These must be followed exactly.

These numbers will likely go up in 2021 and beyond because more inspections will be happening.

OSHA enforcement (COVID19) –

  • OSHA is working with employers to help them understand how to protect their employees.
  • For last year, no COVID standard has been established other than respiratory protection and PPE. They have been using their General Duty Clause that says that employers have to provide a safe and healthy environment that could potentially cause serious injury or harm.

  • Due to shortages of PPE during the pandemic, OSHA had discretion for some of its requirements:
    • Respiratory protection standard
    • Other health standards with respiratory requirements
    • Recording and reporting occupational injuries and illness
  • Regarding annual fit testing, employers must provide good faith efforts during the supply shortage due to the COVID pandemic.
  • Allowed the use of extended use and expired respirators during the pandemic due to shortage. Look for a link from NIOSH with model numbers and use)
  • Make sure you update your program and instruct your employees on when their respirator becomes too damaged to be used. Bolster your training so that the employee knows how to put on and take off the respirator without contaminating the mask.
  • Be aware, there are counterfeit masks that are not NIOSH approved.
  • Decontaminating respirators-if you decontaminate them, it voids their NIOSH certification. However, during this time, NIOSH is providing methods for decontaminating without damage.

Recording Work-Related COVID-19 Cases

  • Must have a severity that is high enough to be reportable.
  • Is it work-related? OSHA expects employers to conduct a reasonable investigation by talking to the employee about where they may have contracted COVID. If determined work-related, it would be logged on an OSHA 300 log.

  • If you know that the initial exposure happened at work, it needs to be reported.

  • There has been an uptick in work refusal. Keep in mind that as an employer, you cannot punish an employee who refuses to work:
  • If they meet all five of the conditions, they may have a good case for refusing to work.

OSHA Guidance on Returning to Work

Final questions:

Q:  Are the paper N95 masks a respirator that need medical clearance?

  • If requiring NIOSH masks, they must have a medical evaluation and must be fitted. The only thing that falls under the standard is those that are NIOSH certified.
  • If used voluntarily, no fit test is required but you must provide Appendix D to give the employee information about how to wear and care for their mask.
  • If it does not say NIOSH on it, it is not under OSHA.
  • Is it a respirator or is it not a respirator? If it is not, it is not governed by OSHA standards.

Upcoming OSHA Campaign, Events, and Initiatives

2021 IECRM Safety Forum Calendar

February 24, 2021– Electrical – Job Site Safety

March 31, 2021– Ladder Safety and Fall Prevention

April 28, 2021-Tyson from UL (the White Book)

May 26, 2021-Temp Worker Safety with Contractors (Garret Taylor)

June 30, 2021– Driver Distraction / Safety (Possibly a Federated  presentation)

July 28, 2021 – Job Site Tour-Suggested-Western Stock Show tour

August 25, 2021 – 2022 Scheduling

September 29, 2021 – Mental Health

October 27, 2021 – Winter Jobsite Heating / Signage

November 2021 – No meeting this month

December 15, 2021 – Administrative Controls / Engineering Controls for Safety