Effective August 1st (2016), companies with more than 250 employees can expect increased scrutiny and fines under OSHA's new enforcement and penalty policies. Area directors from OSHA can offer companies with fewer than 250 employees a fine reduction of 20%.
Under the new guidelines, fines for incidents increased by 80% to a maximum of $124,709 per citation. If multiple employees are involved - and the violation is deemed egregious by OSHA - the offending company can be cited for each employee at the full $124,709 per citation. The penalty for willful and/or repeat violations is now set at $12,470, and the timeframe for classifying a violation as willful or repeat was expanded by two years, from a 3-year period to 5 years.
Audits by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services accredited agencies can cause sleepless nights for those responsible for fire and life safety systems in healthcare occupancy types. Not only can the outcome lead to having to cut employees loose and steep fines, but because these audits results are reported publicly it can also have a negative impact from a public relations standpoint.
The fact is only 20% of facilities pass annually with zero discrepancies. To help facility management and maintenance better prepare for audits the CMS release a list of the top ten life safety discrepancies by the percentage of facilities cited. Keeping these in mind when preparing for an audit could help you become the one in five to pass your next audit rather than the exception.
A recent study by the NFPA uncovered some eye-opening statistics. In 2012, fire departments in the United States reported responding to over 2,238,000 false alarms. The majority, 46.6%, were unintentional calls, while 31.9% were attributed to system malfunctions. This represents a serious strain on emergency responders who not only risk their own safety trying to respond quickly, but it could also divert them from real emergencies.
How prepared are you for a fire inspection? Your local fire marshal can stop by to inspect your business anytime, so it is of grave importance to make sure your building is up to code at all times. But what exactly does “up to code” mean? After all, fire codes can be very complex and while many aspects of the inspection are ‘common sense’, there are some that can really offer trouble understanding.
BuildingReports, thanks to its massive network of independent inspection companies and facility users, has compiled the world's largest database of fire and life safety inspection reporting. But, with great success comes great responsibility. Often overlooked are the opportunities that arise with the advantages of big data. For those not familiar with the information technology term, big data refers to extremely large data sets that may be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations.
BuildingReports members using ScanSeries for Apple iOS devices can now update to version 2.8.7 via the Apple App Store. The latest release includes minor improvements, as well as a correction to fix a recent "Download Mistmatch" error reported from users in the field.
Members licensing SprinklerScan on iOS will also have access to new Pump Test Discharge Devices, including:
- BigBoy Hose Monster
- Hose Monster Model II
- Little Hose Monster
- Open Atmosphere - Pilotless Nozzle
- In-Line Hose Monster
BuildingReports advises members to keep their ScanSeries applications up to date with the current release to ensure field technicians have access to the latest features and enhancements.
In today's advanced technological landscape, smart phones (perhaps more accurately described as mobile computers) and the "Internet of Things" (devices, vehicles, buildings and other items which are embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity) are the norm. We can manage the temperature in a building remotely, we can start our cars with our cell phones and, in fact, those cars may be driving themselves before too long.
Given the fire and life safety industry has been relatively slow to adopt technology versus some other industries, it may not be surprising to learn there are a number of misconceptions about technology when it comes to code compliance and reporting. In fact, all primary Fire Codes now allow for electronic inspection reporting:
BuildingReports is pleased to announce the latest release of ScanSeries for Android. The latest update features a number of improvements and enhancements for the leading fire and life safety inspection application, including:
Inspector's Boot Camp, a leading training resource for the Fire and Life Safety industry, has announced 2016 dates for its week-long Basic Fire Alarm Inspection Training in Aiken, SC:
- March 13-18, 2016
- May 22-17, 2016
- November 6-11, 2016
As a result of frequent requests from healthcare format users using SprinklerScan, there is a NFPA 25 1998 edition year option now available for SprinklerScan on the Setup page and Building Edit page.