Workplace Safety Handbook with OSHA Requirements next to A First Aid Kit, Respirator Face Piece, Hart Hat, and Safety Gloves

A Quick Guide on OSHA Safety Requirements

Weeding through letters of interpretation or researching OSHA standards for a quick answer can eat up precious time. This is why UASC’s safety consultants and training department wanted to provide you with a quick reference guide on our most commonly asked OSHA reporting, recording, and training questions.

Breaking Down What OSHA Wants

OSHA can be ambiguous in what they want in some cases. This is done intentionally so that workers have the most protection possible. However, there are some things that are black and white for employers to follow to help ensure the minimum requirements are being met. It’s important to ensure that your company is operating as safely as possible and our team is ready to help provide you with written health and safety plans (HASP), training, consulting, or a safety manager. In the meantime, here’s the bare minimum.

Companies are required to have a written safety program no matter what sector or industry they’re in. These help their employees work in the safest manner possible, and, per OSHA, must include the following topics:

  • Emergency Action Plan (EAP)
  • Fire Prevention Plan
  • Hazard Communication Program (HazComm)
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Lock-out/Tag-out (LOTO)

Beyond this, established safe work practices are required for all tasks. Additional written plans or supportive documentations may be required, which depends on the task(s), duties, or environment. A professional safety consultant can easily walk you through these steps to ensure full compliance, but this is a great starting point.

Simplifying Company Safety Plans

There are also required written safety programs when they’re applicable to your company’s work environment. If your employee’s job requires them to use any of the following, then you need to have a written safety plan.

  • Respirator Program
  • Bloodborne Pathogens Plan (BBP)
  • Firearm Safety Program
  • Firearm Range Safety Program
  • Aerial Lift Program
  • Trench Safety Program
  • Permit Required Confined Spaces Program
  • Asbestos Management Plan
  • Hearing Conservation Program
  • Arc Flash Program

Maintaining Up-to-Date Training Certifications

Once the safety plans and programs are written, you now need to teach them to your employees to ensure full understanding and compliance. Some of these areas require specific training to ensure full compliance, which often comes with a required “retraining” date to ensure all employees have a refresher to maintain the information. Should you make any of your policies, even if they just had the training a few weeks ago, then a new training session needs to happen to ensure complete compliance. Many companies choose to hire a third party instructor to deliver the content to their employees so that it’s coming from an outside source who has experience with OSHA regulations and training, such as UASC.

TopicFrequency
Asbestos Cement Pipe (water/sewer)Every 5 Years
Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP)Annual
Fire Extinguisher Annual
Forklift Training (PIV or PIT) Every 3 Years
Hazardous Waste Annual
Hearing ConservationAnnual
Respirators Annual

*An OSHA 10 or 30 Hour course does not satisfy job-specific training as it is simply an overview and not specific to job tasks. Looking to fulfill your training needs? Visit our calendar full of upcoming public courses, or check out our online and private course catalogs.

In addition to written safety manuals/policies and job specific training, inspections play a key part in keeping a worker safe. These inspections need to happen prior to each use with proper documentation, showing it’s been completed and the condition of the item is noted. OSHA requires the following items to always be routinely inspected and removed from service if they’re deemed damaged in any way.

Routine Inspections

Chains and SlingsFire Extinguishers
Cranes/HoistsLadders
Electrical GFCIMachine Guard
Emergency Detection
(lights, alarms, monitors, etc.)
Emergency Supplies
(First Aid, AED, eyewash, etc.)
Personal Arrest Fall ProtectionVehicles and Equipment

OSHA Assistance and Resources

These lists are provided as a courtesy to help understand what is required of companies per OSHA and OSHA may change their requirements at any time; thus, it is always important to have a safety consultant on hand to ensure complete compliance. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have regarding your safety manuals, policies, training, or inspections by visiting our website or giving us a call (774-302-4305). Providing a safe work environment ensure your employees go home to their families each day.

Active Shooter Holding Gun Behind Back

Complete Your Safety Manual by Including an Active Shooter Program

Just like you can’t prevent a workplace injury, you can’t predict an active shooter incident, which seems to be more rampant in recent years. Companies have in place safety manuals to reduce workplace injuries, consistent job hazard analysis (JHA’s) that lists the hazards with precautions to prevent them, and training for various job tasks to ensure safety. But where does active shooter fall into place? It isn’t something that should be included in your company safety manual, right?

Profiling Active Shooters and Targets

Wrong. The current belief is that active shooter trainings and policies/procedures should be included as part of the safety training in an effort to reduce and diffuse potential situations as 45% of active shooter incidents occur in the workplace. Active shooters are difficult to profile because it’s usually an irrational, random target. Profilers share that active shooters tend focus on “soft targets”, which includes crowded open spaces and a lack of security. This makes construction sites, lumber yards, and the likes a bit more of a potential target.

Active Shooter Training Reduces Injury and Fatality Outcomes

When there’s an injury on a job-site, the staff is often trained to handle the situation, including tourniquet use. Active shooter training is similar. It presents how to respond in the situation, such as the 4 Steps That Can Save Your Life If Confronted By An Active Shooter. Also, what NOT to do in the situation, and how to mitigate the effects through expert input. By having this training, the fatality and injury outcome is potentially reduced. Even better, some incidents may be avoided by looking for key signs that many active shooters exhibit.

Importance of Employee Assistance Programs in Place for Active Shooter Events

Just like with other safety training and policies, it’s important to include how a company plans to handle the aftermath of an event. These devastating scenarios often require trained employees helping to treat the injured, but it goes beyond that as well. Will the company offer counseling options through an Employee Assistance Program? Will they hire on a trained mental health provider? This seems to be the area where many companies are falling behind in the active shooter safety policies. It’s critical to ensure how the aftermath will be handled by the company for employees to reference.

OSHA’s Stance on Preparing for Active Shooters in the Workplace

In short, providing necessary training for employees can help reduce injuries and fatalities in the event of an active shooter situation and harness them with the ability to potentially survive the devastating event. By incorporating a game plan for the aftermath of an event, employees can easily know how their company will support them within the months after an event, just as they do for every other injury. Plus, there’s different schools of thought on whether the OSHA General Duty Clause 5(a)(1) comes into play, but the general consensus is that it does. The General Duty Clause states that employers must provide employees with a place of employment that is “free from recognizable hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious harm to people.” Once an employee has showed signs indicating possible workplace violence, the employer needs to take action. Having the training and plan ready to go, falls into that category.


While active shooters are unpredictable, your safety manual and training doesn’t have to be. Be sure to work with a seasoned training company who can help you with either onsite or public training, as well as the policy for your safety manual. Together, we can mitigate reduce the devastating possibility.

Man cutting wood with a saw.

A “Cutting” Issue

Do you use chop saws?  Is the saw is sending clouds of silica dust into the air? Do you know the potential hazard for breathing dust from cutting stones, masonry, bricks, some tiles, glass, or CMU? Chop saws can pose a potential “cutting” issue for employees working in the construction industry.

Dangers of Saw Dust

Saws can generate dust of all particle sizes, and you should assume some of the particles are small enough to get deep into the lungs of all people nearby.  Cutting, drilling or grinding many materials, can release crystalline silica.

Some materials are processed in a way that creates crystalline silica.  This is the more dangerous form of silica and is associated with heat.  However, substances that were not crystalline before the cut can become crystalline when you go to cut it. This is because the heat generated from the process

Also, the smaller the particle size, the greater the risk for the dust particles of crystalline silica to get into the deepest parts of the lungs.  Once there, they cause damage that can include silicosis over time.  In addition, the more crystalline silica in someone’s lungs, the greater the risk of damage. This can become life threatening, in the form of silicosis and other diseases.

OSHA Standards on Crystalline Silica

Whenever there is a life threatening occupational risk, employers must diminish the risk. Employers can do this by training employees on the hazard and implementing controls or avoidance methods. Next, employers must test these controls that they are used properly and are effective.  For handheld power saws and many other types of equipment in the construction field, OSHA has developed a standard that makes it simple to minimize the risk to respirable crystalline silica.  Generally, integrated dust control systems are required to be part of the equipment.  These generally use water or HEPA vacuum systems to capture the dust.  The standard also defines when the systems are not sufficient requiring that respirators will also need to be worn.

Resources for Employers

Additionally, OSHA just posted a handy video for employers to use to better understand the ways to control the silica dust risk, and follow the table to determine the minimum options for equipment and respirator use.

If you need to provide training on silica hazards and respirator use, but don’t know where to start, call United Alliance Services. We can provide the annual training with documentation, consultation with management on options to create a safer workplace, and survey your job sites to identify these and other risks. For more information, visit our website to learn more.

drug and alcohol program enforcing a sign "notice: this a drug free workplace"

Why Employers Need a Drug Testing Program

Having a drug and alcohol policy, along with a formalized drug testing program is essential in minimizing risk within an organization. All across the United States, the use of illicit drugs has increased substantially. Out of the estimated 25 million people who use some kind of illicit drugs, 75% of users are employed. On average, 10% of employees use drugs. What does this mean for business owners? A fairly large percent of their employees use drugs and may be a risk to their company.

State and Federal Laws Impacting a Company Policy

State and federal laws dictate a large part of what business owners can and cannot do when it comes to drug testing. But, not having a drug and alcohol policy or testing program at all may create more harm than good. Some states allow pre-employment drug testing, while some forbid random or post-accident drug testing. But, to drug test at all, employers should have a written policy that outlines their company policies and testing procedures.

4 Steps to Develop a Policy

So, how do employers know what to put in their company policies? It is important business owners, human resource managers, and other supervisory staff stay up to date with state and federal laws regarding drugs and alcohol. The second step is to consult with an expert in the field to write the company policy. Companies who specialize in writing drug and alcohol policies can provide a second set of eyes on how you can reduce liability and eliminate risk. It is recommended that all drug and alcohol policies are reviewed by either the company’s legal department or an attorney before implementing or enforcing the policy. The final step is to train company employees on the policy and ask for feedback. Employers should consider revising their policy from the input received from their employees.

The Cost of Implementing a Drug & Alcohol Policy

Once an employer had a drug and alcohol policy developed, the quality of work and productivity may improve. Drug and alcohol users in the workplace have demonstrated higher absenteeism, increased accidents and injuries, workers compensation, turnover and healthcare costs and the risk of losing the market to a competitor. When you compare the cost of a drug and alcohol program to the cost of damages to a business, it’s worth spending the money on a testing program.

OccuMed of New England, United Alliance Services Corporation’s sister company, specializes in writing drug and alcohol policies, as well as providing other drug testing services. For more information, visit their website or call 833-622-8633.

Worker using fall protection gear as a safety precaution he learned in em 385 training

UASC filling in EM385 FP Training lack in Northeast

It’s a training requirement that has hit many construction supervisor or project manager’s site; yet, it still seems to be one of those trainings that is not widely offered, even here in the Northeast. The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has a 900-page manual that outlines the safety regulations for their job-sites, with many of the requirements being a bit stricter than OSHA regulations. Every contractor and subcontractor on a UASCE-overseen job-site must have at least one person who is trained and competent on the specifics buried within those 900 pages of their Engineer Manual (EM) 385-1-1. There’s no getting out of it.

PM’s Need for EM 385 Training

Given the amount of daily phone calls we receive from PMs who need the training ASAP in order to return to work, the UASCE has become more stringent on ensuring this training is completed. They are also doling out some hefty fines as well as issuing stop orders until the mandates are met – especially if you don’t have designated safety personnel on-site. Thankfully, we have several highly competent and trained construction professionals who have poured over the complete 900 pages and have designed a training program that ensures compliance. Our EM 385 Compliance training, often referred to as 24 Hour Competent Person Fall Protection, is one of our most sought out trainings – often after being kicked off a job site. Those same trainers are able to also assist on meeting the requirements of having a Site Safety and Health Officer (SSHO) and Quality Control Manager, Quality Assurances Manager (QA/QC) on-site quickly.

Federal Bid Requirement

If you’re planning on bidding on a federal contract that takes place in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey or on any of the bases listed below, be sure to reach out to us to secure your training. This will no doubt save your company money, fines, and lost work-time and make you the star employee of the week. We can promise you that somewhere, tucked away in the fine print, the USACE requires you to have at least one person training in EM 385, 24 Hour Competent Person Fall Protection on your site at ALL times. There aren’t any loopholes or fast-talking yourself out of the requirement. It also doesn’t exempt you from following OSHA regulations and our course clearly outlines the differences between the two. Because of this, we strongly recommend that all persons in our EM 385 training also have completed their OSHA 10 Hour Construction training. For an added peace of mind, we strongly recommend you train multiple employees to ensure that you always have someone available in case of injury, illness, or time off requests.

We’ve clocked thousands of hours of training on this topic at various bases and our experts can help your team members understand the complexities of the UASCE requirements, ensure their fall arrest systems are safe and in compliance, and know their responsibilities on a job site.

Projects on Bases

If you have any upcoming projects in VT, NH, MA, RI, CT, NY or NJ at any of these bases*, be sure to call us today to secure your training dates or SSHO and/or QA/QC needs:

Massachusetts

Barnes Air National Guard Base, Westfield, MA
Otis Air National Guard Base, Buzzards Bay, MA
Hanscom Airforce Base, Bedford, MA
Westover Air Reserve Base, Chicopee, MA
Fort Devens, Devens, MA
AIRSTA Cape Cod, Buzzards Bay, MA
AIRSTA Salem, Salem, MA
Aviation Station Ten Pound Island, Gloucester, MA

Rhode Island

Quonset Point Air National Guard Station, North Kingstown, RI
NS Newport, Newport RI

Connecticut

Marine Safety Center Marine Base in Groton, CT
Research And Development Center Coast Guard Groton, CT
Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT
Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, CT

New York

Fort Drum Army Base in Jefferson, NY
Fort Hamilton Army Base in Brooklyn, NY
US Military Academy Army Base in West Point, NY
Watervilet Arsenal Army Base in Watervilet, NY

New Jersey

McGuire Air Force Base in New Hanover, NJ
Fort Dix Army Base in Burlington, NJ
Fort Monmouth Army Base in Monmouth, NJ
Picatinny Arsenal Army Base in Morris County, NJ
Loran Support Unit Coast Guard Base in Wildwood, NJ
Training Center Cape May Coast Guard Cape May, NJ
NWS Earle Navy Base in Colts Neck, NJ
NAES Lakehurst Navy Base in Lakehurst, NJ

*This is not a complete list of military bases

To sign up for an EM385 24 Hour Fall Protection Training Class, visit our website. To sign up for the next public class offering at United Alliance Services Corporation, visit our online calendar. For more information, call 774-302-4305.

a yellow image with black text stating "join the fam. we're hiring!" with a woman walking beside the image.

We’re Hiring: Multiple Positions

United Alliance Services Corporation (UASC) is growing quickly and we’re looking to expand our team! UASC is a woman-owned small business and full-service provider of occupational health and safety consulting and training services. We understand the compliance issues that effect the business owner, manager, contractor, insurer and broker. Our aim is to develop solutions to assist our client’s management team in reaching and exceeding their health and safety goals.

UASC has multiple locations, with our corporate office being located in East Wareham, MA. With our company growing exponentially over the past few years, we are looking for excited and hungry individuals to help grow it even more. If you are self-motivated and positive, apply
today to one of the positions that’s right for you!

Current Job Openings:

How To Apply

To apply for any of the current job openings at United Alliance Services Corporation, please email your updated resume, cover letter, and list of 3 professional references to bmaloney@uascor.com. For more information or assistance, please call 774-302-4305. To learn more about our company, please visit our website by clicking here.

OccuMed of New England Careers

Interested in UASC’s health and wellness division, OccuMed of New England? Visit our sister website and view the current job openings by clicking here.

an american flag waving for veterans day

Thank You Veterans! Discount on Classes

Veterans save 50% on United Alliance Services of New England’s open enrollment courses now through December 31, 2018.

Thank You!

We would like to take the opportunity to thank Veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country, and our safety by offering 50% off of all open enrollment courses from now through the end of the year.

(Offer Expires 12/31/2018. Must provide military ID.)

United Alliance Services of New England is a proud supporter of US Military service members. In order to show that support we offer a 25% discount year round on all open enrollment training classes to active military and veterans. This is a small way of saying thank you for all that you do.

Almost half of our staff are veterans, and we are so proud of everything that they have done to serve our country. Please spread the word about this great discount to your military friends and family.

Open Enrollment Courses

To register for any of the classes listed below, please visit our open enrollment calendar on www.unitedallianceservices.com or call (833) 622-8633.

OSHA 30 Hour General Industry

November 12, 2018 – November 15, 2018 – 8:00 am – 4:30 pm – Wareham, MA (4 Days)

OSHA 10 Hour General Industry

November 12, 2018 – November 13, 2018 – 8:00 am – 4:30 pm – Wareham, MA (2 Days)

Fall Protection – 24 Hour EM 385

December 5, 2018 – December 7, 2018 – 8:00 am – 4:30 pm – Wareham, MA (3 days)

OSHA 30 Hour General Industry

December 10, 2018 – December 13, 2018 – 8:00 am – 4:30 pm – Wareham, MA (4 Days)

OSHA 10 Hour General Industry

December 10, 2018 – December 11, 2018 – 8:00 am – 4:30 pm – Wareham, MA (2 Days)