Regulatory Roundup, November 23, 2015

Regulatory Roundup is Texas Mutual’s weekly digest of occupational health and safety news.

Texas Mutual News

Employees don’t always check substance abuse at the door
About 70 percent of the estimated 14.8 million Americans who use illegal drugs are employed, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Inc. This week’s blog post offered tips for employers who understand that substance abuse has no place in the workplace…MORE

Texas Mutual partners with Valley radio to promote temp worker safety
As part of our relationship with KURV, The Valley’s News/ Talk station, we post a series of safety messages on the station’s Facebook page. This week’s message: If you hire temporary employees, remember they have the same right to a safe workplace as your permanent employees. For more safety tips, visit worksafetexas.com.

Federal Legislation

House Democrats introduce bill on immigrant worker safety
The bill would protect immigrant workers who report unsafe working conditions from deportation…MORE

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Despite decrease in lost-worktime rate, injury severity may be on the rise
In 2014, Americans missed fewer work days because of injuries than they missed in 2013. But those who did miss work were out longer, according to a BLS report…MORE

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

Truck driver’s synthetic drug use led to fatal accident
A Texas truck driver who crashed into a bus and killed four people was likely under the influence of a synthetic drug, according to an NTSB report. Federal regulations require testing for only a few impairing substances…MORE


Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

QuickTakes features new resources for agriculture, maritime workers
The resources focus on tractor hazards and hazards associated with repairing refrigeration systems…MORE

OSHA clarifies rules on injuries sustained during business travel
Injuries and illnesses that occur to an employee while on travel status are work-related if, at the time of the injury or illness, the employee was engaged in work activities “in the interest of the employer, according to OSHA. Injuries or illnesses are not considered work-related if they occur while the employee is on a personal detour from a reasonably direct route of travel…MORE

OSHA publishes first update of OSH program management guidelines in 26 years
The new guidelines build on the previous version, as well as lessons learned from successful approaches and best practices under OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program and Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program…MORE

Accident investigations in Indiana take far too long: OSHA report
The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration takes an average of 72 days to investigate accidents, according to an OSHA review. The national standard is five days…MORE

Studies, news, resources

Advancements in video tech increasing safety in oil, gas
Video technology advancements reduce risk by allowing staff to control field environments from safe, centralized locations.…MORE

Safety and health curriculum coming to U.S. classrooms
The one-hour, interactive teaching module covers hazard recognition and control, emergencies and other workplace safety basics…MORE

CDC offers solutions to the top 5 challenges facing businesses
Workplace injuries, chronic conditions, work-related stress, and an increase in temporary and older workers are the top five challenges facing businesses. This user-friendly CDC infographic provides practical solutions to each challenge…MORE

Stretching, resistance training programs could limit MSDs
Researchers from the Institute for Work & Health found “strong evidence” that resistance training aids neck, shoulder, arm, elbow, wrist and hand health. They also found “moderate evidence” that stretching programs, workstation forearm supports and computer mouse vibration feedback prevents and manages upper-extremity MSDs…MORE

Wearable chemical monitor could make big impact on safety
Similar to a Fitbit, the silicone band is designed to be worn by a single user for anywhere from 24 hours to a month. When the desired monitoring period is up, the user mails the band to the manufacturer, which analyzes it and sends the user a list of all chemicals they have been exposed to, and at what levels…MORE

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