Utilizing Regulator Compliance Letters for Client Services
Safety Consultant with Sheldon Primus
Utilizing Regulator Compliance Letters for Client Services
June 13, 2022
In this episode, Sheldon talks about using the EHS regulators compliance enforcement letters as a roadmap and tool for client services. When you understand the compliance letters, then you will see how regulators look for vulnerabilities in safety management systems. Understanding CPL's can also help your client avoid costly citations, give you webinar training material, and increase service offerings.
Keywords: Safety Consultant, Consulting, Sheldon, Primus, Sheldon Primus, Safety FM, EHS, Health and Safety, OSHA, OSHA Compliance, CSHOs, Regulation, US government, Global EHS, Government, agencies, Health and Safety, Joe Biden, America, American regulations, democrats, republicans

[00:00:07] spk_0: this episode is powered by safety FM.

[00:00:16] spk_1: Mhm. Welcome to the safety consultant podcast. I'm your host, Sheldon Primus this podcast where I teach you the business of being a safety consultant, also review some safety and health. Yeah, just topics, industry things, stuff to keep our chops up because we're safety. Welcome. Welcome to another episode. And I'm so glad that you guys have been here with me. We're rounding into the 200 episode mark since I'm a weekly show in that daily. It takes me a little longer to hit those milestones. So, but we're getting close this year. Should be in, should get into that. That'd be awesome. Wow. I am going to go over something this week that I I think I have went over before, but maybe not as much detail this week. We're gonna talk about the national emphasis programs of local emphasis programs and compliance letters in general. And the angle that we're going to use for this one is this is information for you. We're going to seek this out as information and we're going to glean as much information as we can get for product and services from the national emphasis programs, local emphasis programs, regional local emphasis programs, whatever they are. Mm So we're going to show you that. And by we I mean me, I am just me. I had to get away from the we a long time ago and here I'm going back to it. So what I do want to say though is if you have not subscribed to the podcast historically speaking and scientifically speaking, most people will be listening to the show and have not subscribed to the actual podcast. So wherever you're listening to me at just go ahead and subscribe to this podcast, it'll be awesome. And it means a lot, especially if you share it with some friends and write a review that be so good. It would help me so much. It's free to you and it's going to be so helpful to me. Those three steps help grow the show. So thank you. Thank you a lot. I appreciate it. That's the kind of guy I am because I do appreciate that. So let's get into the show. So this is going to be an episode where I'm going to talk to you a lot about. I just really wanted to help you with your chops, help you with some of the things that you really should know should understand as a safety consultant that's going to help you. I'm going to do this through the eyes of ocean in the U. S. Bayside. However, I'm sure for the country you're in, if it has a formal regulatory agency for safety and health, there's gonna be some rules that the compliance officers will have to look for themselves and do themselves and usually that's going to be housed in some sort of documentation. So it's easier for the agency to train people and also for defensible information. So you could go back and say this is what was required of me by law And this is what the compliance officer did not see. So it's a playbook of sorts. So for OSHA, that playbook is housed in two major places. One will be the preamble to the laws and the preamble. Zor the pathway that the laws took in order for them to get into the federal register to be housed there and to be canonized if you will or codified into the rules. That's where you get your parts and construction 1926, industry 1910 and OSHA standards and so on and so forth. Right? So in order to get there, it goes through some processes. Some steps to preamble is where that's going to be housed. The other thing is going to be the compliance letters that you're going to be able to see and get a good understanding and the compliance letters is a set of rules and just it outlines how a compliance officer should do their job when they're inspecting this specific thing. So first, OSHA has really, um, to understand OSHA, they're a reactionary by nature. However, they do do some proactive ideas and proactive things for safety and health or at least encourage that. But for the most part, as an entity of enforcement, sometimes by nature. They have to be reactive because you can't regulate something that someone doesn't do. So you need the action. So the action is going to lead to you doing a regulation after an action. So you're a reactionary agency at that point they do have again some proactive things that you could see that OSHA has put in part for compliance assistance which is great but not just compliance assistance. They're actually looking for uh welcome for your clients and for your companies and everything else. You're not looking just for compliance assistance. You're looking to go beyond that. But for the talk that we're going to do today, we're just thinking of how are you going to understand the regulator's role on what they're going to do when they show up to say I'm doing this type of inspection. So as always I'm going to lead you on a verbal a verbal path to finding this on the ocean website. However if you're in the car, don't do this on your phone or on your computer, you want to go home listen to this now get the information. So when you hear it, when you get back in your desk or wherever you are now you can find the information when you listen to this episode a second time and be able to really click along with me. So those of you that are in the right position, you're safe, you're at home, you're in your office, go ahead. Open that browser, you're gonna go to OSHA dot gov forward slash enforcement or its last directives. And to make it easier just go to forward slash any P. And that stands for national emphasis program. So the complete U. R. L. OSHA dot gov forward slash enforcement for slash directives forward slash N. E. P. So when you get there you're on the page I'm looking at right now as I'm talking to you in this podcast episode. You there yet? Come on man, step two get to type in you one finger wonder. So as you're scrolling down and you're looking at this page, you're looking at the words directive national emphasis programs. You're going to see a tab underneath a paragraph that tells you what a national emphasis program is which is temporary programs that focus on O'shea's resources that focus oceans, resources on particular hazards and high hazard industries existing and potential new emphasis programs are evaluated using inspection data, injury and illness data, National institute, occupational Safety and health NIOSH reports, peer review literature, analysis of inspection findings and other information sources. So that's where the choice for national emphasis comes from. Currently on the list is combustible dust, coronavirus. Has this material Heat X. Chrome led primary medal in industries, process safety management, ship breaking rest rubble, crystalline silica trenching and excavation. So those activities are currently on the national emphasis program in the US. So let me give you for instance, I do a lot of uh compliance issues with trenching excavation, silica for construction. Those are the two things that you'll see often. Um The heat is another one that is a big one that I see process safety management. Especially for those with chlorine gas because that's my specialty. So in those areas then yes, I see those. So for instance, let's say I am going to I'm going to have a client and I want to instruct them about how is she going to be looking for compliance on let's say trenching excavation. So I would click on that national emphasis program. There's a pdf hyperlink on the page. That's the one I usually click on. First thing I look for is how many pages in that directive. And this one is just 10 pages right on top. It tells you the purpose this instruction national emphasis program. A trenching and excavation describes policies and procedures for continued implementation of an OSHA National emphasis program to identify and to reduce hazards which are causing or likely to cause serious injuries and fatalities during trenching excavation operations. So right here you're seeing Just different wording that oh she's telling you why they're using this particular word for trenching excavation. A little further down still on page one tells you cancelation. So this is important to understand. So this will let you know which document has jurisdiction or say which document currently is the one that is the guiding document for the agency. So you wanna look at other compliance layers. They'll tell you C. P. L. 020069. This instruction will supersede that compliance letter and a few other things that it's going to supersede because this one is the most recent. So that's the first thing I'm going to look for in this national emphasis program and then you want to know any kind of significant changes between the current national emphasis program and the one that is replacing. So you can understand now that there's either an update in the data or updated technology or something that OSHA says we need to change the old compliance letter to this new thing. So the next thing you're going to see with the compliance layers as you scroll down, I'm going to do this one through the table of contents. So you guys get a nice understanding purpose scope references, cancelations, aspiration Nate office actions, state plan impact background procedures recording in the O. I. S. Which is the Ocean Information System and then outreach. So those are the headings in the table of contents. I'm going to scroll down to the procedures which is going to be in your number nine in their compliance letter and it's actually going to be on page three but the procedure is going to tell you the compliance officer's procedure. So I'm going to start with a and I'm just going to read what this kind of looks like to you so you can get an idea of what this compliance letter will mean to you when you get a hold of it and you really understand it. So now when it's your turn to advise a client who's doing this activity or exposed to this hazard, you now could be able to speak to them in the terms that they know the ocean will speak to them in or your regulatory agency for your country. So here's a in their procedures, compliance officers co shows here as U. C. C. E. S. H. O. With a little lower case S on the bottom. Co shows shall initiate inspection under the National emphasis program whenever they observe an open trench or an open excavation, regardless of whether or not a violation is readily observed. So therefore in the very first sentence in the procedure, you already know something about the compliance officer's directives on trenching excavation. They shall initiate an inspection if they see something that's observable or not as being a violation. If just the mere fact of senior excavation initiates that they must stop. Does all inspections and compliance officers stop? Uh now, but this is the directive from this National emphasis program tells you that they shall initiate inspections under this National emphasis program whenever they observe an open trench or an open excavation, regardless of whether or not a violation is readily observed. 1st 1st 1st, 1st thing that in itself should tell you that it's important, right? So it is truly one of those things that you're going to have to look for in any of these compliance letters. What is the detail? The procedure is a big one. Another thing. Same paragraph in a cell G these observations may occur during the course of a normal workday travel or engaged in programmed unprogrammed inspections, trenching excavation operations will also be assigned to inspections as a result of incidents referrals and complaints so that right there is telling you why OSHA will be there. Why are they showing up? Uh, and then later on in here they tell you a little bit about everything be tells you in this trenching excavation example when co show observed trenching excavation operation but are unable to begin immediate inspection. They shall notify an area office of their observation kosher shall provide the area office with the following information. So they want to know where everything is the state and condition of the operations. They want to know who is the contractor, how many workers. And then also they're gonna know something about trenching excavation because they're also required to kind of do like a little sketch or some photography or something to let the person who's going to take over the case, get a good understanding of what's going on. And so bunch of all the rules and ranks that the compliance officer needs to do. But what you're really looking for is a good understanding of what the rules are of engagement. That's the way I'm going to say the rules of engagement and this document is going to help you. So once you do End up understanding this document for one item, good at the next good in the next. Whatever your specialties are, you may have a specialty in these particular constituents, process industry or whatever it is. But you may not know how a regulator is looking for these things. You may only know what you are. And then if you're in a certain area, you can now look at your region and that's going to be a regional local emphasis program. You click on that. And right now I'm in Florida. So I'm in region four in OSHA. It's telling me there's an emphasis in construction emphasis on ship, boat build and repair industries falls in construction, electrical hazards, landscaping, poultry processing, um, a few other things here in my region. So let's say I wanted to target landscapers as being my clients. It's a regional emphasis program according to my, my notes right here. When I clicked on the directives. And as I'm looking at the pdf for pages. All right. Not a whole bunch of regulation on it, but four pages is telling me that ocean is not only looking for looking for some hazards related to landscaping, but it's also telling me since it's four pages, it's almost cut and dry the regulation side. So that means that it's going to be pretty much easy to understand that. So I would go into that. I click on the PdF and then I read the PDS and then I want to understand what will be the procedures that OSHA is going to be looking for. What's the compliance officer needs to do is he directed to stop any time in the course of his day in traveling. If you witnesses conditions of landscaping either where the workers are just exposed to the actual landscaping activity or does that need to be a hazard observed before they stop? That's all in here. So you really should be looking at the document, getting an understanding. I've been known to print these things out and actually just went ahead and at lunch or whenever I'm just, I know as I'm saying this, the nerd alert thing is just going off in my brain. You know, I am just like all kinds of like nerdy just by saying this one here. But as nerdy as I am, it's still the truth. You have to understand this stuff deeply. If you're going to be the trusted advisor, the consultant to help someone else. So that's the secret sauce information right there compliance letters and look for compliance letters. Look for regulatory compliance And again, that's going to be basics. It's going to be baseline. You're not going to be excelling in safety and health. However, you're going to keep yourself out of hot water with the regulator and not get fined. So that's the benefit to everything there. So honestly, that is truly what I wanted to go over today. There was just so much in my brain about what you needed to learn, what I haven't talked about in a while and this is one of the things I was thinking about. Oh yeah. Regional and local emphasis programs. You could use this thing a line, another quick thought on this one that you could use it for is truly you could understand this thing to such a detail that you start teaching people on it and you can make it a product where you could use it as a webinar, you can teach your specific service how to understand this thing and have compliance guidance for specific industry using this document, you can do courses, do webinars seminars, whatever the documents here for that. It's public facing somebody as well. Right, So that is our episode for today. Thank you so much for being part of the show. Go get them.

[00:19:53] spk_0: This episode has been powered by safety FM. The views and opinions expressed on this podcast or broadcast are those of the hosting its guests and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the company. Examples of analysis discussed within the past hour are only examples. They should not be utilized in the real world as the only solution available as they are based on very limited and dated. Open source information, assumptions made within this analysis are not reflective of the position of the company. No part of this podcast or broadcast may be reproduced stored within a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means mechanical, electronic recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of the creator of the podcast or broadcast, Sheldon Primus.

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