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Showing posts from June, 2021

OSHA Has $21 Million in Grants for Non-Profits

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) currently has over $21 million in funding available for non-profit organizations through the Susan Harwood training grants, according to a June 24th  release . The main purpose of these grants is to help non-profits properly identify and prevent the spread of work-related diseases such as COVID-19, fund training, and development of educational materials to prevent workplace hazards. Susan Harwood Training Grant Program History:  OSHA established a discretionary grant program in 1978, ‘New Directions.’ Grantees were awarded for up to five years. In 1990, reductions in funding caused grants to be restructured. In 1997, the program was renamed to honor Susan Harwood, former director of the Office of Risk Assessment for OSHA, who passed away in 1996. Types of Grants Offered:  Capacity Building grants: focus on developing or expanding the capacity of an organization to provide safety and health training. Any organization that receives

Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to the ACA’s Individual Mandate

  The United States Supreme Court recently rejected a lawsuit that challenged the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate. The ACA’s individual mandate  requires  “most Americans to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty unless you qualify for an exemption.” In 2018, 18 states filed a lawsuit as a result of a 2017 tax reform law that eliminates the individual mandate penalty. The Supreme Court previously upheld the ACA in 2012 on the basis that the individual mandate is a valid tax. On June 17th, 2021, the Supreme Court officially rejected the lawsuit from 2018 in a  7-2 ruling . What does this mean for the ACA? The Supreme Court ruled that the states did not have a legal right to sue in this case. The Court did not decide on the validity of the individual mandate or the ACA as a whole. The case is now over, with the  ACA remaining as it exists today . The Supreme Court kept ACA as it is today because allowing a lawsuit to “attack an unenforceable statutory provision would a

Safety Considerations for PEO and Small Business Work Environments

  As life slowly turns back to normal, employers must decide whether to uphold changes that have been implemented in the workplace this past year or revert back to the previous ways of doing business. James Buscarini, a blog writer for PEO Compass, recently compiled a list of ten considerations each employer should make when deciding upon how to run their business in a post-covid world. There is no one-size-fits-all approach  Communication is not a one-way street Proper work-life balance impacts mental health   Play by the same set of rules – that means everybody Be mindful of each other’s responsibilities  Tap into available consultative and training resources Put safety policies front and center  Make health and safety part of your organization’s culture  Do they understand your expectations  Get creative about getting input from office and field staff  This list and its recommendations are something each employer should consider when evaluating their business, employees, and themsel

Exits in the Workplace

What is the appropriate number of exits for a given workspace? Well, it may depend on the common path of travel or the exit route for a specific room. The common path of travel can be defined as the  distance  occupants must travel before they have a choice of paths to continue toward an exit. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the common path of travel phrase from the National Fire Protection Association’s  NFPA 101: Life Safety Code . Typically, by  OSHA’s standards , every workspace must have at least two exit routes; an exit route is a  continuous and unobstructed  path of exit within a workplace to a place of safety.  What is the difference when looking at the two phrases?  Common path of travel : depending on the size of the room and the occupancy, the work area may not need two exits as typically required. According to the NFPA, the common path of travel can only be 20 feet in these rooms. So, if a room for 100 people is more than 20 feet in width

Osha’s Updated COVID-19 Guidelines for Employers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration ( OSHA ) recently updated its  COVID-19 guidelines  to help employers navigate a world with vaccinated and unvaccinated employees. In its updated guidelines, OSHA has emphasized guidelines for non-healthcare-related industries that typically involve close-quartered contact for extended periods, such as retail, food-service, and other essential positions. OSHA has stated that fully vaccinated people do not need to take all of the precautions that unvaccinated employees must. The guidance focuses mainly on identifying those employees who are at-risk in the workplace and unvaccinated. Who are the at-risk workers? Those who have conditions that prevent them from having a full-immune response to vaccinations. Workers with disabilities; under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), workers with disabilities may be entitled to accommodations to protect themselves from contracting COVID-19.  Those workers that cannot be protected from a vacc

The Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Texas Mutual Insurance Over Private Equity Companies

  Air ambulances became  available to citizens in the 1970s ; since then, they have become increasingly more common and important when saving someone’s life. However, this life-saving innovation also brought greed along with it. Large privately-owned companies were able to decide the cost of the flight, no matter the case. Since 2012, Texas Mutual Insurance along with the Attorney General and other insurance providers, fought against these large businesses to achieve a rate for air ambulances that is reasonable. Large companies such as  PHI Air Medical , naturally fought against the state of Texas to overturn a previously passed law that says PHI was to only receive fair and reasonable funds. Not the ones that they decide upon on their own. Texas workers’ compensation law prohibits medical providers from charging injured workers when they require medical treatment. "The issue has now been fully and fairly litigated," said Mary Nichols, senior vice president and general counse