Compliance Solution LLC
Federal OSHA has been doing general industry
inspections in Hawaii for some time now.
So far, OSHA is giving out more citations as
well as higher penalties. Because of
the difference in HIOSH and OSHA inspection
procedures, some employers that were
recently inspected by OSHA were very
Federal OSHA is going to take over some of
HIOSH responsibilities starting Oct 2012.
In Hawaii, federal OSHA will enforce general
industries standards except transportation
and warehousing industries. HIOSH
inspectors will mainly focus on construction
industries. In the meantime,
HIOSH inspectors will undergo more training,
both formal and informal. For example,
a new HIOSH inspector may go out with a
federal OSHA inspector on an inspection.
In other words, once HIOSH inspectors finish
their training, they will be going out and
conduct inspections on their own shortly.
The debate is finally over after years of
heated discussions. Random inspections
improve workplace safety. A
study from Harvard Business school showed
that injuries dropped 9% for companies with
random inspections. The cost of
injuries dropped 26%. The random
inspections from OSHA did not have any
adverse effects on employment, earning, or
the survival of the companies.
For more information, see
HIOSH administrator Ms Jennifer Shishido
finally retired after over three decades of
civil services. The new
administrator is Ms. Daiantha Goo who
recently retired from federal OSHA Hawaii
office. Compliance officers will
be conducting more inspections under the new
HIOSH is going to fill up 12 vacancies.
Those 12 vacancies include 4 inspectors
in safety branch, 4 inspectors in health
branch, 1 manager in safety branch, 1
manager in consultation and training branch,
1 administrator, and 1 manager in
administration and technical service branch.
Given the poorly staffed situation and
performance, OSHA is not happy about HIOSH
performance. It is possible for OSHA
to step in and take over some of HIOSH's
functions. More to come.
research paper "A Water Damaged Home and
Health of Occupants: A Case Study" on
mold was recently published. It all
started from a very unusual mold inspection
in a single family house. The family
dog acted funny during the inspection.
The unborn baby (at the time of inspection)
was adversely affected too.
The recent jurisdiction change in HIOSH and
OSHA may affect your operations. If
you are working as a private contractor on a
military base, then you now fall under OSHA
regulations now, not HIOSH regulations
anymore. OSHA and HIOSH regulations
are almost identical, but not exactly the
same. For example, OSHA allows up to
15 business days to contest the citations.
On the contrary, HIOSH allows 20 calendar
days. By the way, the change is in
OSHA is going to improve Whistleblower
protection program. The idea of the
program is to protect employees who exercise
their legal rights without fear of
retaliation. The improvement includes
some major approaches. First, the
program will be placed under the assistant
secretary office directly.
Translation: direct and close supervision.
Secondly, more training will be provided to
the investigators as well as solicitors.
Translation: Were they trained
properly in the beginning?
Thirdly, the investigation manual will be
updated. The last update was back in
2003. A revision is way overdue.
Translation: Should the manual be
updated or at least reviewed regularly like
the Lockout/Tagout program?
Lastly, the data collection system and audit
program have been revised to ensure
complaints are processed timely.
Based on professional experience, we saw
some cases that were so delayed that
employees lost the right to file the
A report can be viewed at
In May, OSHA opened public record on
proposed record-keeping rule to add
work-related musculoskeletal disorders
ergonomic standards may come back alive
again. Few years ago, OSHA once tried
to enforce ergonomic standard, enforcement
guidelines were out, and compliance officers
were going through training, but OSHA later
cancelled it. It will be
interesting to see how far ergonomic
standards will go this time!
Ms. Jennifer Shishido has become the
administrator again for HIOSH.
Since she has been in charge, HIOSH has been
issuing more serious citations with higher
penalties. She was put on
special assignment when Linda Lingle was the
governor. During that period,
HIOSH reported to the labor department
director directly. Serious
citations were few, then.
HIOSH does not have enough inspectors to
conduct inspections. OSHA threatens to
take over the state plan. See the news
Safety gaps worry feds
- Hawaii News - Staradvertiser.com