NASF Report April 2015
New OSHA Reporting for 2015: Controversy Emerging over Agency Enforcement
In an alert in January, NASF reminded companies of OSHA’s new reporting and recordkeeping requirements for the 2015 calendar year. On its face, the agency’s new rule appears fairly straightforward, but controversy is emerging as employers are already raising questions about its implementation.
The new rule requires that, effective January 1, 2015, any work-related fatality, inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye must be reported to OSHA within strict timeframes. Previously, only fatalities and inpatient hospitalizations of three or more employees were reportable.
According to OSHA, the rule will allow the agency to better focus its efforts to prevent fatalities and serious work-related injuries. However, in recent days, an internal OSHA enforcement memo surfaced that outlines what types of information shared by companies in reports would trigger an inspection and likely violations.
Since January 1, OSHA has reportedly received more than 1,000 reports from across the country. OSHA area offices are apparently following up on companies that report under the new rule with, among other things, a “rapid response” investigation, starting with a two-page questionnaire for the employer, followed by a request for a root cause analysis of the incident to identify failures in safety procedures.
As a resource for employers, OSHA has issued a fact sheet of the rule as well as supporting materials on the agency’s website, including the actual regulatory language. In addition, OSHA has attempted to clarify several aspects of the rule, particularly for the definitions of amputation and eye loss incidents, in a December 2014 letter of interpretation (LOI) just released this month. Visit short.pfonline.com/NASF415 for resource links.
Attendance is Surging for NASF Washington Forum, so Register Today
The 2015 Washington Forum helps industry leaders gain actionable insights on emerging policy and supply chain developments and influence decisions that impact manufacturing and the future of your business. At the Forum, attendees will once again engage with top thought leaders on critical industry issues, access Capitol Hill to discuss the practical challenges of doing business, and talk strategy with industry leaders on how to successfully navigate a changing policy landscape.
In addition to national political analyst Amy Walter, former political director of ABC News and whose work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and The New York Times, the Forum will also host the U.S. Department of Defense, The Smithsonian's Air & Space Museum - Plating Operations, the Environmental Council of the States, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Nickel Institute & Nickel Producers Environmental Research Association.
In light of new European Union and United Nations-sponsored regulatory developments affecting metals and chemicals in coatings processes across the automotive, aircraft, electronics and other supply chains, the Forum will host a strategic panel discussion featuring EU finishing association (CETS) President David Elliott and UK plating executives along with North American finishing perspectives. This session will focus on global regulatory threats for finishing and effective advocacy to advance the vital role of surface technology in the manufacturing value chain.
Visit nasfwashingtonforum.com to view the full agenda and register online. We look forward to seeing you in the nation's capital.
Bill to Allow Employers to Give Unionized Employees Performance-based Raises
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) recently introduced legislation that would allow employers to provide financial incentives to individual employees based on their job performance, rather than based on seniority in a collective bargaining unit. If passed, the “Rewarding Achievement and Incentivizing Successful Employees (RAISE) Act” would amend the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which currently covers collective bargaining agreements for nearly 7 million workers. These agreements prevent employers for rewarding high job performance, instead creating “seniority ceilings” that force employers to provide raises to employees based upon their seniority.
New NLRB Election Procedures Subject of Senate Hearing
The Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee held a February hearing regarding the National Labor Relations Board new election rules, which, among other changes, shorten the length of time for a labor union certification election from a median 38 days to as few as 11 days. The rule is scheduled to go into effect April 14, 2015.
Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), HELP Committee Chairman, remarked that he “refers to this as the ambush election rule, because it forces a union election before an employer has a chance to figure out what is going on.” Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) accused Republicans of prioritizing big corporation’s profits over the needs of middle class workers, arguing, “When workers want to vote on whether to form a union, they aren’t looking for special treatment. They are simply trying to exercise their basic rights.”
A group of high-ranking Republican Congressmen have introduced a Congressional Review Act joint resolution to prohibit the election rule from being implemented. If passed in both houses, the President will likely veto the resolution.
NASF Celebrates Successful 2015 Management Conference
This year’s NASF Management Conference was a great success, joining leaders from throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico for four days to connect with colleagues on new industry developments and gain knowledge to help bring their businesses to the next level.
Conference attendees heard updates on the association’s continued positive growth and strategic initiatives, including presentations by NASF Board President, Erik Weyls of Coventya Inc. and Christian Richter. Keynote presenter Daniel Feiman, founder of “Build it Backwards” and noted expert in strategic planning, engaged attendees in an “executive workshop” setting to set the stage for long-term value creation for their organizations.
Mike Kelly of Asko Processing presented “Contingency Planning: Lessons Learned,” using the opportunity to share how his organization effectively managed its response to a major facility fire. Several social events provided opportunities to connect with colleagues and gain new knowledge, including a special dinner hosted at the Palm Springs Air Museum.
The NASF extends its thanks and congratulations to Conference Chairman Sam Bell and his wife Dana who worked closely with the NASF team to field a successful event. Plans are already well underway for the 2016 Management Conference to be held February 28 – March 3 in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. Save the date and visit nasf.org for future developments on speakers and registration.
Learn More About NASF
Ever wonder what NASF is all about? NASF.org is an industry-leading tool offering advocacy, regulatory and educational benefits to members of the surface technology community. The association’s news, events and educational portals are continually updated to help NASF members and non-members alike keep abreast of latest trends, insights and knowledge-based opportunities throughout the industry. Professionals interested in joining North America’s largest surface finishing association can also find complete membership information on nasf.org.
Upcoming NASF Events
Zinc & Zinc Alloy Plating Course
Online Sessions May 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27
This training program is designed to be beneficial for operators and supervisors of job shops and captive shops performing zinc and/or zinc alloy plating operations on a variety of substrates. The course can also benefit sales personnel at industry suppliers. The goal of this course is to provide the student with a broad range of information related to the metallurgy and corrosion behavior of zinc coatings.
NASF Sur/Fin 2015
June 8-10 Rosemont, Ill.
Now in its 97th season, SUR/FIN is the premier North American trade show and conference produced by NASF. This year, the event will focus on the future of surface technology, exploring emerging technologies, processes and product and service developments in the industry. Among the many program and exhibit offerings, SUR/FIN attendees will benefit from more than 80 presentations by top industry experts, a free sustainability summit, boot camps, a strategic management session, more than 160 exhibiting suppliers, and multiple networking receptions and lunches. A second keynote session has just been added to this year’s NASF SUR/FIN – in addition to John Deere’s Alan McGee, a veteran in the world of specialized finishes, deaf-blind adventurer Bill Barkeley will kick off the 2015 program on Monday afternoon. Visit nasfsurfin.com to register.
Electroplating & Surface Finishing Course (CEF)
June 8 – 11, Rosemont, Ill.
As the staple course of the AESF Foundation education program, this course will provide students with a broad range of information related to the fundamentals of electroplating, methods of preparing parts for surface finishing, and an understanding of a wide variety of electroplating and other finishing processes. Passing the exam for this course earns the test-taker their Certified Electroplater Finisher (CEF) credential and is a requirement to obtain Master Surface Finisher (MSF) certification.
Aluminum Finishing Course
June 8 – 11, Rosemont, Ill.
This training program is designed to be beneficial for employees and supervisors working in both captive and job shops performing anodizing and other finishes on aluminum. Trainees should have at a minimum a high school diploma. Some experience in processing parts for surface finishing is helpful but not required. The training materials and instructions are in English. Students are taught how to convert between the two systems of measurement. The goal of this course is to provide the student with a broad range of information related to metal finishing operations that are commonly conducted on aluminum.
2015 Home Study Courses
NASF’s training foundation has a Home Study program, which is an effective way to take the courses for those unable to attend in-person training or who wish to have more time to study the material. Materials include lessons as well as homework. Study is coordinated with the Foundation’s technical director, and is done at your own pace. The director will be your source to ask questions about the materials, grade homework, and offer suggestions to improve your work.