Following close on the heels of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Michigan Department of Consumer and Industry Services (CIS) Director Kathy Wilbur announced Nov. 16 that new recordkeeping rules to improve the system employers use to track and record workplace injuries and illnesses will go into effect Jan. 1, 2002. Video teleconferences are scheduled on Dec. 5, 2001, and Jan. 17, 2002, to help educate employers on the new rules.
"There is no more critical component to an employer's total safety and health effort, than accurate recordkeeping," said Wilbur. "This revision won't lessen an employer's recordkeeping responsibilities, but it will make it easier to meet the requirements."
The revised standard has two major goals: to improve the quality of records kept by employers, and to reduce the burden on employers by simplifying forms and regulations and providing clear guidance. CIS' Bureau of Safety and Regulation (BSR) revised the recordkeeping rules in accordance with the new federal OSHA standard.
BSR is responsible for administering the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSHA). According to BSR Director Doug Earle, keeping accurate records reduces injuries and illnesses by helping employers identify the hazards that cause them in the first place.
The new rule increases employee involvement, creates simpler forms, and gives employers more flexibility to use technology to meet regulatory requirements. Written in plain language using a question and answer format, the regulation for the first time uses checklists and flowcharts to provide easier interpretations of recordkeeping requirements.
For the first time in its history, MIOSHA is using state-of-the-art interactive video technology to reach employers. MIOSHA has partnered with community colleges at 16 sites across the state to sponsor two video teleconferences on Dec. 5, 2001, and Jan. 17, 2002, to educate employers on the new requirements.
The MIOSHA Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division has taken the lead in recordkeeping outreach. CET Safety and Health Consultants have developed PowerPoint presentations, record training materials, and flow charts with medical treatment examples. In addition to the video teleconferences, CET has scheduled 11 recordkeeping training seminars across the state, and will present a session at the Michigan Safety Conference.
MIOSHA has also established a Recordkeeping Breakout Page at www.cis.state.mi.us/bsr, under the MIOSHA Initiatives heading. This site will have extensive information on the rule, the changes, the forms, and training opportunities.
"I urge employers to take advantage of all the resources MIOSHA has available to understand the new requirements for recordkeeping and recording," said Wilbur.
The MIOSHA CET Division - in partnership with 10 community colleges and two Michigan Technical Education Centers - will sponsor two MIOSHA recordkeeping training interactive video teleconferences at 16 sites across the state. The teleconference sites include: Grand Rapids Community College, Jackson Community College, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Lake Superior State University, Lansing Community College, Monroe County Community College, Oakland Community College, Schoolcraft College, Alpena Community College, Bay College, Grand Rapids Community College, Henry Ford Community College, and Macomb Community College.
Each teleconference will consist of three hours of interactive video training in the morning, followed by hands-on practice at each of the sites in the afternoon. There will be a CET consultant at each site to facilitate the training. The cost of the teleconference is $50.00 for each participant, which includes lunch and training materials. Each session begins promptly at 8:30 a.m.
edited by Sandy Smith