OSHA announced in the Aug. 19 Federal Register that it is accepting public comments on a
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on personal protective equipment (PPE) and training standards.
The proposal clarifies that when an OSHA standard requires an employer to provide PPE or
training to employees, the employer must do so for each employee subject to the requirement,
and that each employee not protected may be considered a violation for penalty
purposes. [Bob D: emphasis added] For more information on the proposal and details on
how to submit comments, refer to the Federal Register notice.
Comments will be accepted until Sept. 18.
So if you have 10 employees and they should have been trained to use a
respirator and provided a respirator and you as the employer did not
provide this training or PPE then for each instance where you did not train
an employee or provide the required PPE you can be cited as an individual
violation. 10 employees = 10 violations, this could become 20 violations IF
they consider failure to train and failure to provide proper PPE separate
violations for each employee. Ouch!
Here's a snip from the Federal Register text (see link above) which sums it up pretty well:
Accordingly, OSHA has preliminarily determined to amend the
respirator and training provisions in the standards in parts 1910
through 1926 to: (1) Revise the language of the initial respirator
paragraphs adopted in the 1998 respiratory protection rule to
explicitly state that the employer must provide each employee an
appropriate respirator and implement a respiratory protection program
for each employee, (2) revise the language of those initial training
paragraphs that require the employer to institute or provide a training
program to explicitly state that the employer must train each employee,
and (3) add a new section to the introductory subparts of each part to
clarify that standards requiring the employer to provide PPE, including
respirators, or to provide training to employees, impose a separate
compliance duty to each employee covered by the requirement and that
each employee who does not receive the required PPE or training may be
considered a separate violation.
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[OSHA's words are in BLUE, mine are black. Bob D.]