SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings has revised its Disciplinary Action Criteria (DAC) to establish sanctions for SSPC-certified contractors who have a workplace fatality.
SSPC added the policy Sept. 20 “to clarify what happens and what is required when a fatality occurs,” according to the association’s website.
The new policy requires immediate written notification of every workplace death and imposes suspensions for work-related deaths caused by negligence or disregard for safety.
The new policy applies to all SSPC QP1, QP2, QP3, QP6, QP8, QP9 and QS1-certified contractors.
The policy defines the process for disciplining contractors for “critical faults” incurred under the SSPC Contractor Certification Program. This procedure will be used by SSPC when a critical fault is suspected and by contractors when responding to or appealing SSPC disciplinary actions.
Critical faults are contractor actions that violate the requirements of the DAC. They are classified as serious, very serious, severe, and very severe.
The new policy requires SSPC-certified contractors to notify the SSPC Certification Manager or Program Administrator in writing of “each and every instance of a fatal incident in connection with one of its painting projects.”
Reportable incidents include the death of an employee or worker under the contractor’s supervision; a bystander; or a member of another trade or representative of another organization at the job site.
Exemptions may be requested for acts of terrorism, incidents involving third parties not under the contractor’s control, and several other contingencies.
Failure to provide written notification will result in a Warning to the contractor after five calendar days, Probation after 14 calendar days, and an automatic one-year Suspension after 30 calendar days. These sanctions are independent of others assessed in the process, the policy says.
An independent board of three PCCP-certified contractors will determine whether the fatality was caused by simple or gross negligence; deviation from an equipment manufacturer’s operating procedures; or a violation of federal, state or local safety regulations.
Watch List and Corrective Action
Upon notification of the incident, SSPC will place the certified contractor on the SSPC DAC Watch List for a minimum period of one year.
The contractor has 60 calendar days from the date of the death to submit a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) to SSPC. The plan must fully describe the incident, the events that led to it, and any contributing factors. If the contractor contends that the death was not caused by gross negligence or deliberate disregard for safety, he or she must explain the reason and provide supporting evidence.
The contractor must also agree to obtain an independent review of the CAP by a certified safety professional (CSP) experienced in industrial painting operations and include that review in its submission.
The contractor must agree to revise any Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) policies, procedures, and work practices as recommended by the CSP and include these changes in the CAP.
If the contractor or company has a second reportable death with a painting project within five years, SSPC will suspend the contractor's certification for one year.
A third death within 10 years of the first one will result in a two-year revocation of the contractor's certification.
Multiple fatalities stemming from one incident will be considered one fatality for disciplinary purposes, the policy states.
Contractors may appeal any disciplinary action by providing documented proof by a coroner, law enforcement agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration representative or other independent authority that the death was not the result of a work-related incident. The new DAC document supercedes the first policy issued in January 1998 and is available at www.sspc.org.