Regulatory Roundup, January 15, 2016

Regulatory Roundup is Texas Mutual’s weekly compilation of employee safety and wellness news.

Texas Mutual

Work Safe, Texas is open for business
Work SafeJanuary updates to our worksafetexas.com site include a streaming video on workplace violence; tips for a healthier, safer workforce; and a brief article on completing the OSHA 300 Log…MORE

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Oilfield fatalities underscore risks associated with hydrocarbon gases
OilfieldNIOSH examination of nine recent fatalities indicates exposure to hydrocarbon gases and oxygen-deficient atmospheres during manual tank gauging and monitoring can be life-threatening…MORE

NIOSH says new research supports OSHA fit-testing requirements OSHA’s standard requires fit testing every year and whenever an employee’s physical condition changes, such as facial scarring or an obvious change in body weight. NIOSH research confirms those requirements are appropriate…MORE

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

Are there exceptions/exemptions to the ELD mandate?
Semi TruckIndustry requested many exceptions to the rule, but the FMCSA granted few. The final rule allows exceptions to the electronic logging device requirement for short-haul drivers, drivers involved in driveaway-towaway operations and vehicles manufactured before model year 2000…MORE

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

NTSB issues wake-up call on fatigued driving
The NTSB included fatigue-related crashes on its list of “Most Wanted” safety improvements for 2016. The list is a roadmap to eliminating the 35,000 crash-related deaths that happen on American roads each year…MORE

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

PHMSA explosive materials transportation rule goes into effect 1/20/16
The rule authorizes the transportation of certain explosives, ammonium nitrates, ammonium nitrate emulsions and other specific hazardous materials in non-bulk and bulk packaging, which are not otherwise authorized under current regulations…MORE

Department of Justice (DOJ)

DOJ to use safety to bolster environmental cases
PrintFederal prosecutors are likely to start hunting for worker safety violations when pursuing environmental criminal charges to add an emotional punch to otherwise dry, technical cases. Similarly, companies accused of worker safety violations can expect their environmental records to be scrutinized as prosecutors seek to bolster their cases…MORE

Department of Transportation (DOT)

DOT regulatory agenda includes accelerating deployment of technology to reduce crashes
During 2016, the DOT will work with industry and stakeholders to develop guidance on the safe deployment and operation of autonomous vehicles. The agency will also provide a common understanding of the performance characteristics necessary for fully autonomous vehicles, as well as the testing and analysis methods needed to assess them. The DOT’s regulatory agenda is backed by a 10-year, nearly $4 billion White House investment…MORE

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Did you miss the latest hazard communication compliance date?
Safety data sheets (SDDs) recently took on a drastically different look. As of Dec. 1, 2015, OSHA requires all SDSs to comply with its updated hazard communication standard…MORE

OSHA to introduce more durable and secure outreach trainer and student cards
As of Feb. 29, 2016, completion cards for OSHA 10- and 30-hour classes will include authorizing logos, a watermark when copied and a QR code for authentication. Trainer cards will include trainer name, trainer ID number, expiration date, and the OTI Education Center where the trainer was authorized. Student cards will have student name, trainer name, date of issue, and the OTI Education Center that produced the card. OSHA designed the new cards to be more durable and reduce the risk of fraud…MORE

Studies, news, resources

North Dakota oilfield deaths dropped 70 percent in 2015
The 10 deaths that occurred in North Dakota oilfields represents a 70 percent reduction from 2013. It is unclear whether layoffs contributed to the drop in fatalities. What is clear is that established companies with strong safety programs and experienced workforces sent more employees home safely at the end of the day…MORE

Using common sense – and all five senses – to stay healthy in 2016
As flu season peaks, the safety experts at State Compensation Insurance Fund in California offer five tips for protecting yourself and your co-workers…MORE

Could an investment in safety pay dividends in the stock market?
Untitled-1We already know safety pays dividends at Texas Mutual – to the tune of nearly $2 billion distributed among qualifying policyholders since 1999. A new study suggests safety-conscious employers also fare better when it comes to stock market value…MORE

Are activity trackers accurate?
Activity trackers worn on the wrist score well when it comes to measuring steps taken throughout the day. They fall short, however, in measuring distance covered, calories burned and hours slept…MORE

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