Regulatory Roundup, January 29, 2016

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

Texas Mutual

Woody Hill takes to the airwaves to promote safe driving
Texas Mutual wants every worker to get home safely at the end of the day. Too often, distracted driving, driver fatigue, speeding and failure to wear seatbelts hinder our efforts. On Thursday, February 4, we will host our annual Safe Hand, Texas summit in Lubbock. The campaign’s core message: Safe-driving principles save lives. Woody Hill, vice president of safety services, promoted the event on Lubbock airwaves this week…MORE

‘Tis the season for OSHA recordkeeping
OSHA requires employers to post their OSHA 300 logs between February 1 and April 30 of every year. This week’s blog post features FAQs our safety services support center fields as recordkeeping season ramps up…MORE

Oil and gas safety roundtable rolls out short-service employee program
From the Permian Basin to the Eagle Ford Shale, the oil patch is rife with fresh talent. New employees bring energy, enthusiasm and innovation. They also bring an increased risk of on-the-job injuries. The oil and gas safety roundtable encourages employers to customize this short-service employee program to protect their employees and their bottom line…MORE 

Chemical Safety Board (CSB)

Public still not safe from West-style industrial blasts: CSB
emergencyLimited regulatory oversight, inadequate emergency planning and the proximity of the facility to so many homes contributed to the severity of the 2013 fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, according to a report issued this week by the CSB. The incident inspired lawmakers to implement reforms during the last legislative session. Still, Texas is home to 43 facilities that sell 5 tons or more of ammonium nitrate fertilizer. Furthermore, 19 of those facilities are within a half-mile of a school, hospital or nursing home…MORE

Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)

Rule to reduce coal dust exposure survives industry challenge
Industry claimed it would be unable to comply with the MSHA’s rule designed to reduce exposure to respirable coal mine dust. Sampling results, however, show industry compliance is at 99 percent. This week, an appeal’s court denied industry’s challenge to the rule, which requires the use of a continuous personal dust monitor…MORE

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Combustible dust: Small particles, big hazard
OSHA is in the early stages of developing a rule on combustible dust. In the meantime, employers should look no further than the National Fire Protection Association for guidance…MORE

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

NTSB seeks to lower legal blood alcohol limit
drunk drivingDrunk driving accounts for 100,000 deaths per year. A new NTSB proposal would lower the legal blood alcohol limit from .08, where it has stood since 1999, to .05. It would be up to each state to turn the proposal into law…MORE

UL Standards

UL publishes standard for integrating safety and health in the workplace
The standard allows companies to translate the impact of employer safety and health programs in three core dimensions: economic, environmental and social…MORE

Studies, News, Resources

NATE encourages tower workers to inspect fall protection equipment daily
According to the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE), a comprehensive fall protection inspection checklist should include fall arrest systems, positioning lanyards, gloves, boots and hard hats. Fatalities among cell tower workers increased from two in 2012 to 14 in 2014. Safety professionals attribute the trend to increased demand for faster data downloads…MORE

Three 1-person safety teams share their tips for working effectively
One-person safety teams should stay visible and hands-on; implement smaller, more frequent changes that lead to a larger goal; and leave work at work to avoid burnout…MORE

The eyes have it, and technology is here to protect them
Safe workerIn 2014, employees suffered nearly 24,000 eye injuries that caused them to miss work. Bifocal safety eyewear, better anti-fog and glare technology, and the ability to “marry” protective eyewear with other PPE are among the promising developments in eye protection…MORE

4 things to know in the snow
Cold weather can cause a range of health issues collectively called cold stress. This time of year, people who make their living outdoors should take frequent breaks, use fall protection when clearing snow from roofs and learn how to walk on slick surfaces…MORE

“Game conditions” aren’t always ideal for industrial athletes, either
In 1967, the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys squared off in the NFL championship game. With temperatures dipping to 15-below at Lambeau Field, otherwise known as “The Frozen Tundra,” even the toughest players dressed for the elements. Oil rig workers and other industrial athletes need to do the same…MORE

Wellness issues contribute to workplace injuries
healthy livingWhen it comes to workplace injuries, what employees do off the clock is as important as what they do on the job, according to a recent study of French railroad workers. The study found that smoking, sleep disorders and lack of physical activity increase employees’ susceptibility to workplace injuries …MORE

Phoning it in: Presenteeism costs businesses $150B a year
When an injury or illness causes an employee to miss work, productivity suffers. That’s an undeniable principle of productivity. But the blow to the bottom line is just as costly when the ill employee reports to work at less than 100 percent….MORE




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