Regulatory Roundup, December 11, 2015

Regulatory Roundup is Texas Mutual’s weekly compilation of EHS-related news.

Texas Mutual News

Work safe, Texas is open for business
December enhancements to worksafetexas.com include a stress management video, tips for protecting temporary workers, and 10 tips for investigating accidents and near misses…MORE

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE)

High-risk offshore oil and gas facilities to face special inspections
The BSEE will inspect five facilities as part of a pilot program. Inspectors will scrutinize design, operating and environmental characteristics that may correlate to a greater likelihood of experiencing an incident…MORE

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)

Following recent train derailments, officials eye worn rails as safety issue
trainU.S. officials have blamed rail wear as the direct cause of 111 derailments causing $11 million in damage since 2000. Currently, each railroad maintains its own rail wear standards. The FRA has its sights set on universal standards…MORE

Federal Legislation

Is U.S. (finally) on the verge of chemical safety reform?
The bill would mandate safety reviews for all chemicals in active commerce; require a safety finding for new chemicals before they can enter the market; replace TSCA’s cost-benefit safety standard with a pure, health-based safety standard; and require protection of vulnerable populations like children and pregnant women. The U.S. adopted the TSCA 40 years ago, and it has never been reformed…MORE

New highway law opens door to 18-year-old big-rig drivers
Semi TruckThe law creates a pilot program to put drivers as young as 18 behind the wheel of a big rig if they have received military training to operate a similar vehicle. It also removes truck safety ratings from a public Department of Transportation website and slows efforts to raise the insurance requirements for big rigs…MORE

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Slip-resistant shoes reduce food service workers’ compensation claims
A four-year NIOSH study of 15,000 food service workers showed an 80 percent reduction in workers’ compensation claims related to slipping on liquid- or grease-contaminated surfaces…MORE

Local Legislation

Dallas passes mandatory breaks for construction workers
The ordinance requires construction workers to take 10-minute breaks every four hours worked. According to OSHA statistics, there were four heat-related construction fatalities in Texas between Oct. 1, 2014, and Sept. 30, 2015. Austin passed a similar ordinance in 2010…MORE

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

NTSB report cites deficiencies in tire recall system
Although dealers and distributors controlled by the tire manufacturer are required to register newly purchased tires on consumers’ behalf, no such requirement exists for independent dealers and distributors, which is where most Americans purchase tires…MORE

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

NHTSA rule would improve trailer, semitrailer under-ride protection
The rule would require more robust rear impact guards on trailers and semitrailers. The goal is to improve under-ride protection in high-speed crashes…MORE

Holidays bring big risks of buzzed, drunk driving
drunk drivingBetween 2009 and 2013, 3,857 people died during December in motor vehicle crashes involving drivers who had high blood alcohol levels. To raise awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence, the NHTSA will launch its annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign on December 16…MORE

NHTSA imposes civil penalty on Harbor Freight Tools for failure to recall trailer kits
The $1 million fine penalizes the company for failing to issue a timely recall of more than 800,000 after-market trailer light kits that violate federal safety standards…MORE

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

FMCSA proposed rule would require all commercial truck passengers to use safety belts
African American man driving truckThe rule would require passengers in property-carrying commercial motor vehicles to use safety belts. Approximately 275 occupants of large trucks killed in crashes in 2013 were not wearing their safety belts…MORE

FMCSA final rule requires electronic logging devices for truck and bus drivers
The rule will go into effect two years after the Federal Register publication date. FMCSA estimates the final rule will save 26 lives and prevent 562 injuries per year…MORE

Studies, news, resources

Five tips for keeping contractors safe
The temporary and contract worker industry has added more U.S. jobs in the last three years than any other industry. Unfamiliarity with the hazards of the job, combined with lack of training, doubles contract workers’ risk of getting injured. Prequalification, pre-job task and risk assessment, training and orientation, job monitoring and post-job evaluation are critical to keeping contract workers safe…MORE 

The science behind the great multitasking myth
distracted-driver-2If you think you’re a proficient multitasker, you’re probably wrong. Research shows that a mere 2.7 percent of the population can effectively do multiple things at once. When it comes to juggling visual tasks like texting and driving, the great multitasking myth can have fatal consequences…MORE

Ads tout fun flavors, but many e-cigarettes contain harmful chemicals
Many of the best-selling e-cigarette flavors include diacetyl, a chemical that contributes to lung disease…MORE

British authorities confiscate thousands of unsafe hoverboards
Scottish officials examined more than 17,000 hoverboards at entry ports and confiscated 88 percent over concerns such as safety issues with the plug, cabling, charger, battery, or the cut-off switch in the board…MORE

UL workplace health & safety releases free fire and extinguisher safety course
The free e-learning course teaches students to address fires in non-residential settings. Students learn to decide whether to flee or fight a fire, choose an appropriate fire extinguisher, inspect fire extinguishers and maintain them…MORE

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