OSHA-Related Links

Frequently Asked Questions

Cranes

  1. Has OSHA extended the date for crane operator certification?

    OSHA is proposing to further delay the November 10, 2017 deadline for crane operator certification by one year to November 10, 2018 to address stakeholder comments and concerns and finalize a new rule.

Powered Industrial Trucks

  1. Where can I obtain forklift certification?

    You may contact the community college in your area for forklift training or Midlands Technical College in Columbia, SC.

  2. How long is the certification for?

    Forklift operators must be certified every 3 years.

  3. Do I need a driver’s license to operate a forklift?

    SC OSHA does not require a forklift operator to have a valid driver’s license. SC OSHA does require that every forklift operator be trained and certified to operate the powered industrial truck in the workplace, and that the operator’s performance be evaluated on the provisions of 1910.178(l)(3) every three years. The employer must have a record documenting that the driver has successfully completed the training.

Material Handling and Storage

  1. What is the maximum height I may stack items?

    There is no specific maximum height that materials may be stacked. Materials must be stacked, blocked, interlocked and limited in height so that they are stable and secure against sliding or collapse. If the building contains sprinklers, the minimum vertical clearance between sprinklers and material below shall be 18-inches (45.7 cm).

Recordkeeping

  1. What is SC OSHA’s position on the new electronic submission of OSHA 300 Forms?

    Federal OSHA has proposed a delay in the electronic reporting compliance date of the rule, Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, from July 1, 2017, to December 1, 2017. It is important to note that the State of South Carolina administers its own occupational safety and health program under provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the Act), with approval and monitoring by Federal OSHA. The Act requires states that administer their own OSH plans to promulgate regulations which are, "at least as effective" as the federal regulations, although they may be more stringent. Many State Plans adopt standards identical to Federal OSHA however; State Plans have the option to promulgate standards.

    South Carolina Code of Laws, provides that ‘‘the Commissioner of Labor may promulgate, modify or revoke rules and regulations which will have full force and effect of law upon being properly certified and filed for the purpose of attaining the highest degree of health and safety protection for any and all employees working within the State of South Carolina, whether employed in the public or private sector.’’ The changes would need to be approved by the SC General Assembly and we anticipate that this will not be on their schedule until the current legislative session. We are anticipating that the rules would be effective January 2018 for SC OSHA. Reporting would need to be submitted to SC OSHA electronically. The method for submission may include submission to the federal database, but is currently being finalized by the SC office. Any delays in enforcement put forth by Federal OSHA will be followed by SC OSHA once the rules have been adopted.

Walking-Working Surfaces

  1. Did OSHA publish a side-by side comparison of the Final Rule for the General Industry Walking and Working Surfaces-Fall Protection standard?

    There is not a side-by-side comparison.

  2. What are the compliance dates since the standard contains delayed compliance provisions?

    In South Carolina the final rule became effective on January 27, 2017. SC OSHA is also adhering to delayed or phased-in compliance dates for several requirements in the final rule, including the following:

    • Training workers on fall and equipment hazards -- May 17, 2017;
    • Inspection and certification of permanent building anchorages -- November 20, 2017;
    • Installation of fall protection (personal fall arrest systems, ladder safety systems, cages, wells) on existing fixed ladders (over 24 feet) that do not have any fall protection -- November 19, 2018;
    • Installation of ladder safety or personal fall arrest systems on new fixed ladders (over 24 feet) and replacement ladders/ladder sections -- November 19, 2018; and
    • Installation of ladder safety systems or personal fall arrest systems on all fixed ladders (over 24 feet) – November 18, 2036.

Hazard Communication

  1. Can SDSs be maintained in electronic format?

    Yes, provided there are no barriers to access such as passwords, inaccessible computers, locked doors, etc.

Sanitation

  1. We have problems with insects and bedbugs in the workplace; what can be done from an OSHA standpoint and must the employer tell us the source of the bedbugs, such as another employee, if known?

    OSHA’s 1910.141(a)(5) requires employers to have a continuing and effective extermination program when the presence of insects and bedbugs are detected in the workplace. Furthermore, it is advisable not to disclose the source, such as an employee. Confidentiality is one of the core values of OSHA and SC OSHA wants employers to create a trusting work environment by respecting the privacy of its employees.

Asbestos

  1. What is required for the removal of asbestos?

    Asbestos hazards and requirements are addressed in specific standards for general industry (1910.1001) and construction (1926.1101) employment.

  2. Where do I find a contractor to remove asbestos?

    SC DHEC maintains a list of licensed Asbestos Contractors and Consultants.

Blood Borne Pathogens

  1. Am I required to offer my employees the Hepatitis B vaccination?

    The requirements for hepatitis B vaccinations are covered under the Bloodborne pathogens standard 1910.1030 (see hyperlink). Section 1910.1030(f)(2)(i) of the standard states, “Hepatitis B vaccination shall be made available after the employee has received the training required in paragraph (g)(2)(vii)(I) and within 10 working days of initial assignment to all employees who have occupational exposure unless the employee has previously received the complete hepatitis B vaccination series, antibody testing has revealed that the employee is immune, or the vaccine is contraindicated for medical reasons.”

  2. What do I do if an employee declines the Hepatitis B vaccination offered?

    In accordance with section 1910.1030(f)(2)(iv) of the standard, “The employer shall assure that employees who decline to accept hepatitis B vaccination offered by the employer sign the statement in appendix A.”

  3. How do we dispose of regulated waste?

    In South Carolina the disposal or regulated or infectious waste is regulated by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, http://www.scdhec.gov/environment/LW/InfectiousWaste/.

  4. When a BBP exposure has occurred, is it required to test the source patient?

    The requirements for post exposure evaluation and follow-up are covered in section 1910.1030(f)(3) of the standard. Section 1910.1030(f)(3)(ii)(A) of the standard states, “The source individual's blood shall be tested as soon as feasible and after consent is obtained in order to determine HBV and HIV infectivity. If consent is not obtained, the employer shall establish that legally required consent cannot be obtained. When the source individual's consent is not required by law, the source individual's blood, if available, shall be tested and the results documented.” If the employer request from the source patient to be tested and the source patient does not consent, this information should be documented for employer records.

Respiratory Protection

  1. When an employee is required to wear a respirator, how often should a medical evaluation be performed?

    The employer shall provide a medical evaluation to determine that the employee's ability to use a respirator, before the employee is fit tested or required to use the respirator in the workplace. There is not a specific annual requirement for medical evaluations in the standard. However, the physician or other licensed healthcare provider (PLHCP) may prescribe annual tests to ensure employees' continued ability to wear a respirator.

Drug Testing

  1. Is post-incident drug testing allowed?

    OSHA does not prohibit drug testing of employees. It only prohibits employers from using drug testing, or the threat of drug testing, as a form of retaliation against employees who report injuries or illnesses. If an employer conducts drug testing to comply with the requirements of a state or federal law or regulation, the employer's motive would not be retaliatory and OSHA would not prohibit such testing.

Other

  1. Is my employer required to give me a break?

    Regrettably, there is no requirement under South Carolina law for an employer to provide employees with breaks or a lunch period. Lunch and break periods are labor-management negotiated matters. The SC Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (LLR) addressed this matter in the Frequently Asked Questions accessible at the provided hyperlink or you may visit the website at http://www.llronline.com/index.asp.

  2. How do I get a replacement OSHA 10-hour or 30 hour card?

    To obtain a replacement 10-hour or 30-hour card, contact your Outreach trainer. A replacement card can only be issued if the class was taken within the last five years. OSHA does not keep records of these classes and cannot provide a replacement card.