Regulatory Roundup, April 21

Regulatory Roundup is a weekly compilation of employee wellness and safety news.

Texas Mutual News

$260 million dividend distribution approved

This week, Texas Mutual received approval from the Board of Directors to distribute $260 million in dividends to our policyholders. Recipients are determined based on loss ratio, customer loyalty and board approval. Distribution will begin in late June…MORE

$1 million in grants awarded to colleges

Texas Mutual wants every worker to get the training they need to work safely. That’s why we partner with community colleges in Texas to provide informative safety courses. Texas Mutual has previously awarded grants to risk management programs at College of the Mainland in Texas City, Midland College, Kilgore College, Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, El Paso Community College and Amarillo College. We are now excited to announce the addition of four new campuses: Angelina College in Lufkin, Lamar Institute of Technology in Beaumont, Lee College in Baytown and Texarkana College…MORE

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Infographics show the significance of fall hazards

New infographics are available for the National Campaign to Prevent Construction Falls. They show the severity of fall hazards using 2015 and 2016 data and are available for download…MORE

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA hosts stand down for landscaping industry

Sixty four people died from workplace injuries in the landscaping industry from 2012 to 2016. OSHA wants to make sure workers are being trained for the hazards they face on the job, so on April 17 and 18 the administration hosted a stand down event focused on industry hazards…MORE

Workers’ Memorial Day to be observed next week

April 28 marks an annual observance of Workers’ Memorial Day, aimed at honoring workers who have died on the job. It also marks the day that OSHA was established (46 years ago) and serves as a reminder to recommit to workplace safety and health. OSHA’s website lists available events by region…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

Researchers recommend ergonomics focus for overweight workers

Researchers from Texas A&M and the University at Buffalo have found that workplace ergonomics guidelines are less effective among overweight or obese workers. Those individuals tested worse in movements that are linked with higher numbers of workplace injuries – shoulder flexion and trunk extension. Therefore they recommend increased focus on those groups…MORE

5 reasons to try e-Learning

E-LearningMaking safety a part of your company culture is a team effort, but it starts with leadership providing the right tools and training for employees. From wearing proper gear to maintaining equipment to receiving proper training, the foundation of safety is laid by employers. That’s why Texas Mutual Insurance Company works hard to give employers the resources and tools they need to help keep their workforce safe, and it’s why we recently introduced a free online learning management system called e-Learning. The e-Learning system, an online training tool with video courses and comprehension quizzes, is a refreshing and innovative new way to teach workplace safety.

Here are five reasons you should start taking advantage of this free tool in your workplace:

  1. Training that fits your business. With more than 200 courses to choose from, e-Learning lets you pick the training that benefits your employees the most. If you have a number of employees who are regularly behind the wheel, you can assign driving safety courses to them specifically. Or, if only a couple of team members operate equipment in the warehouse, e-Learning courses can give them the training they need. We are continually adding new courses to the e-Learning catalog.
  2. Assign at your convenience. You can assign training when you have the time to, and set deadlines that fit your employees’ schedules. They can log in to the learner portal at any time and manage their own training. Courses average about 20 minutes per session, so it’s easy to fit into a busy schedule.
  3. Keep your employees engaged in safety. e-Learning courses are designed to keep users engaged throughout a session with interactive content and visuals. Periodic check-ups in the course keep your employees focused on the content, so you can feel confident they are getting the information they need to perform their job safely.
  4. Track progress. Each session is accompanied by a quiz at the end, so you can see how employees performed. You can view their progress and download training reports, which can help with OSHA reporting requirements, as well as maintaining your company’s own records.
  5. Find areas for improvement. When you conduct safety meetings or training, it can be difficult to know who is absorbing the content and who isn’t. With e-Learning, you can easily identify where employees are having trouble, and which team members need some extra training. In-depth reports show how long an employee spent on training, and you’ll have access to other progress-tracking tools. With this information, you can tailor in-person training to meet specific needs.

Ready to give e-Learning a try? Login to, click the Safety Resources tab and choose e-Learning. For further assistance, call Texas Mutual’s safety services support center at 844-WORKSAFE.

Regulatory Roundup, April 14

Regulatory Roundup is a weekly compilation of employee wellness and safety news.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

NIOSH seeks feedback on occupational exposure banding

NIOSH is looking for feedback on a draft document concerning occupational exposure banding, which entails quickly categorizing chemicals. The organization has specified 11 issues that reviewers should consider and they need comments by June 13…MORE

National Safety Council (NSC)

NSC shares five-minute disaster talk

For many states, spring marks the start of tornado season. The NSC urges employers to take this opportunity to evaluate their emergency action plans for any type of disaster. The council also provides a five-minute safety talk for helpful tips…MORE

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

A new study evaluates American workers’ sleep time

The CDC recently conducted a study across more than 90 occupation groups and multiple states. Results from the study showed that production workers are getting the least amount of sleep, followed by those in healthcare, food preparation and serving, and protective service. On the other end of the spectrum, education, training and library workers as well as farming, fishing and forestry groups, are getting the most sleep…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

Workforce development organization aims to overhaul oil and gas training

OPITO is a workforce development organization that is working to create online safety and training standards for safety-critical emergency response training in the oil and gas industry. More than a dozen training providers have already signed up in support of the program. The launch is scheduled for later this year…MORE

Army ammunition plant explosion kills 1, injures 4

On Tuesday, an explosion occurred at Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Missouri. The blast killed one employee and injured four others. OSHA is currently investigating, along with The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. OSHA fined the plant in 2008, 2011 and 2012…MORE

ASSE promotes 2017 safety campaigns

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) released a poster to promote five major national safety and health campaigns. They also have a video to help companies create a successful stand-down…MORE

Worker input leads to improved safety and employee satisfaction

Workplace eye injuries cost about $300 million per year. This month, ISHN magazine shared an inspiring story about an international manufacturing company, Greenbrier, which found a solution for its employees. Not only did the company research costs and their work environment, but they also took into consideration feedback from employees regarding the comfort and efficiency of current PPE. The solution has led to a safer and more loyal workforce…MORE

Regulatory Roundup: April 7, 2017

Regulatory Roundup is a weekly compilation of employee wellness and safety news.

National Safety Council (NSC)

NSC promotes Distracted Driving Month

In 2016, about 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes. A recent NSC study revealed some of the risky behaviors that drivers are engaging in: texting, speeding, and driving while impaired. April is distracted driving month and the National Safety Council (NSC) is promoting free resources to raise awareness…MORE

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Enforcement for silica standard is delayed

On April 6, OSHA announced a delay in the enforcement of the crystalline silica standard for the construction industry. It was originally set for June 23 but has been pushed to September 23 while the agency considers additional guidance. In the meantime, OSHA does expect employers to take steps either to come into compliance with the new permissible exposure limit or implement controls…MORE

OSHA ramps up for this year’s stand-down

Falls accounted for about 38 percent of deaths in the construction industry in 2015, and are consequently named one of the fatal four hazards. This May will mark the fourth annual National Fall Prevention Stand-Down and OSHA is already promoting the cause and providing resources. Employers are urged to take a work break and focus on fall hazards and fall prevention with their employees…MORE

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

The Nation focuses on work zone safety

In 2015, 700 people lost their lives in U.S. roadway work zone crashes. For the last 18 years, National Work Zone Awareness Week has been promoting the safety of motorists and workers around work zones. This year, the event was hosted by Maryland and the theme was “Work Zone Safety is in Your Hands.” Information on this year’s event, previous events and work zone safety in general can be found on FHWA’s website…MORE 

Studies, Resources, Trends, News

The first week of April is designated as National Asbestos Awareness Week

A recent CDC study showed that 45,221 people died between 1999 and 2015 due to malignant mesothelioma. Worse, the study also showed that deaths increased from 1999 to 2015. In light of this, the U.S. Senate designated the first week of April as National Asbestos Awareness Week. The goal is to educate Americans on the risks and realities of asbestos exposure…MORE

Zika testing recommended for Lower Rio Grande Valley

As the 2017 mosquito season begins, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has issued a health alert for residents of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. There is expected to be an increase in local transmissions of the Zika virus and testing is recommended for any pregnant residents of the area. Testing is also recommended for any other residents that experience a rash and one other symptom of Zika (fever, joint pain, eye redness)…MORE

A team effort promotes recovery and saves business

If you look forward to going to work every day, oftentimes it’s because of the people you work with. That’s how it was for Josh Paulin. As a valued member of the Classic Construction team, Josh’s special relationship with his employer provided the momentum for his successful return-to-work story. While sealing a roof on the job, Josh fell and nearly lost his life. Josh’s coworkers watched the traumatic accident in devastation as paramedics fought to save him.

When you’re faced with a life-changing event like Josh was, the best outcome is getting back to the life you love. For Josh, getting to that point required learning to walk, talk and read again. Watch Josh’s story and see how Texas Mutual Insurance Company and his employer were by his side every step of the way.

Josh’s story is a perfect example of how valuable a return-to-work initiative is for businesses and injured workers. As a seasoned employee, Josh’s employer was eager to get him back on the team. While continuing rehabilitation, Josh went back to work with modified job duties. He was able to contribute his unique expertise to the company surrounded by coworkers who supported his ongoing recovery. Meanwhile, Josh’s employer had peace of mind over the future of his business.

When a worker sustains life-changing injuries, coming to terms with the new way of life can be a challenge, but a return-to-work program provides countless benefits. Employees can focus on their recovery rather than stress about their financial situation. By being surrounded by team comradery, they avoid isolation from peers and symptoms of depression. Giving injured workers purpose and surrounding them with familiar faces to celebrate recovery milestones promotes quicker healing.

2017-04-05_16-34-45For employers, implementing a return-to-work program maintains production by keeping experienced workers on the job. Bringing on a temporary employee or hiring someone new requires time and effort. Meanwhile, the business loses productivity. Employers who invest in return to work can minimize lost productivity and control workers’ compensation costs, while also encouraging the ongoing recovery of a valued employee.

It was a team effort getting Josh back on the job after his traumatic accident, but it made all the difference. For more resources on return-to-work programs and implementing them in your business, visit the Return-To-Work page at

Regulatory Roundup, March 31

Regulatory Roundup is a weekly compilation of employee wellness and safety news.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Workplace skill use could impact health

A new study shows that employees may be more productive and healthy if they have opportunities to use their skills in the workplace. Workers that had high skill utilization at work were more likely to eat healthy foods and exercise regularly, which correlates with lower risks for hypertension and high cholesterol.

The study suggests a positive chain of events where employees have opportunities to do their best, experience success, cultivate self-confidence and engage in healthy behaviors, all of which ultimately makes them healthier … MORE

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The EPA rejects ban of chlorpyrifos

Chlorpyrifos is a pesticide that was deemed potentially dangerous during the Obama administration due to links to neurological effects, developmental disorders and autoimmune disorders. A couple of days ago, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt signed an order denying a petition to ban chlorpyrifos because of uncertainty about the risks. He stated that the U.S. needs to provide regulatory certainty to farms, while protecting health and the environment … MORE

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Women’s History Month ends, but NIOSH still aims to inspire

NIOSH has spent the past month sharing inspiring stories of women from its laboratories. Although Women’s History Month is coming to an end, NIOSH encourages young women to follow their dreams and has a Women in Science video series available to help … MORE

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

FMCSA withdraws proposed rule for safety fitness
A few days ago, the FMCSA withdrew a proposed rule to change the safety fitness determination process for commercial motor vehicle carriers. The administration was previously in pursuit of new methods to determine whether motor carriers are fit to operate based on investigations and/or on-road safety data. Now, FMCSA will wait for a final report from the National Academies of Science to determine if changes are still necessary … MORE

Studies, Resources, Trends, News

Work Zone Awareness Week is April 3-7

As everyone ramps up for Work Zone Awareness Week starting Monday, published a graphic showing the trends of work zone fatalities:

Increasing construction requires more focus on training

In 2015, 937 construction workers were killed on the job, with 602 of those deaths caused by the “focus four” hazards: caught-in or between, electrocutions, falls and struck-by. With the construction business booming, many firms are reporting plans to hire more people, but this also increases the presence of inexperienced workers. Safety professionals say that training and education are crucial to protecting the workforce, and that more outreach needs to happen with small- to medium- size businesses that may not be aware of all the training materials they can access … MORE

EHS points out five safety culture mistakes

EHS Daily Advisor released an infographic this week that presents five key mistakes companies make when building safety cultures. Their list of common mistakes includes: using too many buzzwords, having a programmatic approach, thinking safety competes with productivity, ignoring culture and being too focused on failure … MORE

Regulatory Roundup, March 24


Regulatory Roundup is a weekly compilation of employee wellness and safety news.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Senate votes to repeal the Volks rule

courtThe U.S. Senate voted earlier this week to repeal the latest recordkeeping rule that extended OSHA’s ability to cite recordkeeping violations from six months to five years. The House passed its own bill to repeal the rule about a month ago. Employers must still keep records and the electronic recordkeeping requirements are still in effect…MORE

Outreach program receives positive feedback from accountability report

Last year, OSHA’s Outreach Training Program educated about 900,000 workers on hazard recognition and prevention. A recent Government Accountability Office report determined that the program is operating efficiently and no recommendations were made to OSHA…MORE

U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB)

With looming budget cuts, the CSB strives to market its value

The CSB is among 18 other agencies that were recently proposed for elimination in the federal budget. This week, the agency has been promoting its previous work and how lessons learned have saved countless lives…MORE

Studies, Resources, Trends, News

Calculator shows employers the cost of substance useNarcotics with Prescription Warning Label

The National Safety Council (NSC) and Shatterproof, a national nonprofit, released a cost calculator that shows employers the cost of substance use in their workplace. The calculator considers prescription drugs, alcohol, opioids, heroin, marijuana and other illicit drugs and is based on the number of employees, industry and state…MORE

Virginia Tech studies the effects of caffeine on truckers

Truck on freewayThe Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) recently conducted a study on caffeine and truck driving to measure the relationship between caffeine use, sleep and critical safety events. Results showed that caffeine did not interrupt sleep for habitual caffeine users. As far as safety, the study found that there was a six percent reduction in the rate of critical safety events for every eight ounces of caffeinated drink consumed…MORE

Major construction site fires prove need for fire safety programs

FireAccording to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), U.S. fire departments responded to about 830 fires occurring in multi-unit residential properties that were under construction from 2007 to 2011. This year, three major fires have occurred in apartments that were currently under construction. One building was even inspected three days before the fire. Professionals say that the fires highlight the need for fire safety programs and the designation of a fire prevention manager during construction…MORE

ASSE recognizes anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire

On March 25, 1911, 146 workers died while trying to escape a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York. As a result of the tragic disaster, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) was formed and legislation was passed to require improved factory safety standards. ASSE encourages workers to pay tribute to those that lost their lives…MORE

Utah passes a new legal limit for alcohol

Last year, 40,000 people were killed on U.S. roads, and alcohol continues to be a leading factor. Recently, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed new legislation that establishes 0.05 as the legal limit for alcohol. Utah is the first state to do so and NSC applauded their efforts…MORE

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