OSHA-Related Links

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the effective date for crane operator certification?

    The newly issued Final Rule for Crane Operator Certification is now available!

    Under the final rule, employers must train operators as needed to perform assigned crane activities, evaluate them, and document successful completion of the evaluations. Employers who have evaluated operators prior to December 9, 2018, will not have to conduct those evaluations again, but will only have to document when those evaluations were completed.

    The rule requires crane operators to be certified or licensed, and to receive ongoing training as necessary to operate new equipment. Operators can be certified based on the crane's type and capacity, or type only, which ensures that more accredited testing organizations are eligible to meet OSHA's certification program requirements. The final rule also revised a 2010 requirement that crane operator certification must specify the rated lifting capacity of cranes for which the operator is certified. Compliant certifications that were already issued by type and capacity are still acceptable under the final rule.

    The final rule, with the exception of the evaluation and documentation requirements, will become effective on Dec. 9, 2018. The evaluation and documentation requirements will become effective on February 7, 2019. Employers and workers may visit OSHA's Frequently Asked Questions - Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Operator Qualification for compliance assistance.

Powered Industrial Trucks
  1. Where can I obtain forklift certification?

    For forklift training and/or certification, you may contact the community college in your area or SC Technical College System.

  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).

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

    South Carolina's Legislature formally adopted Federal OSHA's Injury Tracking regulation effective May 25, 2018. These regulations include a requirement to submit injury and illness records electronically via OSHA's Injury Tracking Application (ITA) accessible via the provided hyperlink: https://www.osha.gov/injuryreporting/index.html. Federal OSHA requires 2017 data to be submitted by July 1, 2018; however, South Carolina is granting SC employers 6 months to comply with the entire newly adopted rule. This results in an effective deadline of November 25, 2018. SC OSHA is urging employers to submit their data by July 1, 2018 if at all possible.

    Please also note that March 2, 2019 will be the deadline to submit 2018 records.

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.

  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.

  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.

Bloodborne 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.

  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.

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.

  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.

  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.

  3. Where can I find the requirements for AEDs when they are used in the workplace?

    If an AED is used in the workplace, compliance with South Carolina's Code of Law Annotated § 44-76-10 through 50 must be observed. Section 44-76-30 that covers training, maintenance, testing, use, and reporting requirements for automated external defibrillators states, "A person or entity that acquires an AED shall:
    (1) require its designated AED users to have current training in CPR and AED use by the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, American Safety and Health Institute, or National Safety Council, or training from a program that meets or exceeds the training standards of these organizations;
    (2) maintain and test the AED according to the manufacturer's operational guidelines and keep written records of maintenance and testing;
    (3) employ or obtain a health care professional to serve as its AED liaison;
    (4) have in place an AED program approved by its AED liaison which includes CPR and AED training, AED protocol or guidelines, AED deployment
    strategies, and an AED equipment maintenance plan;
    (5) include in its AED protocol or guidelines that a person who renders emergency care or treatment to a person in cardiac arrest caused by ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia by using an AED must activate the emergency medical services system or 911 as soon as possible; and
    (6) report any clinical use of the AED to the AED liaison."