Regulatory Roundup, February 26, 2016

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

Texas Mutual news

Getting started with functional fitness
Fitness shoesReady to ditch curls, bench presses and triceps extensions in favor of practical exercises that prepare your body for everyday life? You don’t need high-tech tools to reap the benefits of functional fitness…MORE

Chemical Safety Board (CSB)

Ammonium nitrate should be regulated under the Clean Air Act, says CSB
In its final report on the West Fertilizer Company explosion, the CSB recommends the Environmental Protection Agency add fertilizer-grade ammonium nitrate to the list of substances regulated under the Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Program (RMP). The RMP requires facilities with threshold amounts of dangerous gaseous and liquid substances to take precautionary actions…MORE

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)

Feds to states: Make sure traffic lights connected to railroad crossings work
trainAcross the United States, there are nearly 5,000 railroad crossings interconnected with traffic lights. The FRA urges states to make sure those lights are synced with adjacent railroad crossing signals. The goal is to reduce the number of railroad crossing fatalities. The FRA has also partnered with Google to pinpoint railroad crossings and add alerts to map applications…MORE

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Do NFL players live longer than the rest of us?
For most of us, high body mass index correlates with high body fat. And high body fat is a risk factor for myriad conditions, including heart disease. Is the same true for elite athletes, who might register high BMIs simply because they have more muscle than the rest of us? A new NIOSH study seeks to answer that question and more about the guys who suit up on Sundays…MORE

Are you ready for the final phase of OSHA’s haz comm rollout?
PrintJune 1, 2016 is the final deadline in the four-year phase-in period for OSHA’s 2012 revisions to the hazard communication standard. By that date, employers must be in compliance with all aspects of the revised regulation, including employee training, or risk being fined by OSHA…MORE

NIOSH wants to protect workers from robots
Last summer, an industrial robot at a German Volkswagen assembly line gripped a worker, pressed him against a metal plate and crushed his chest. With humans and robots increasingly sharing workspace, NIOSH issued a list of tips for preventing similar clashes between the two…MORE

Portable lab brings research to oil and gas field
OilfieldNIOSH researchers are using a new portable field laboratory to determine if workers at oil and gas wells are exposed to harmful levels of potentially toxic materials. The portable lab empowers researchers to collect real-time data 24 hours a day, without the delays involved in sending samples to an offsite lab for analysis…MORE

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA issues draft guidance for ‘weight of evidence’ approach
The weight of evidence process is intended to help employers evaluate scientific studies on chemical hazards, which can in turn be used to determine what information needs to be included on chemical labels and Safety Data Sheets, as required under the revised hazard communication standard…MORE

Studies, Resources, Trends, News

Gunman kills at least 4 at manufacturing plant where he works
Police line-victimFour people are dead, including the shooter, and at least 14 are injured after an employee opened fire at the Kansas manufacturing plant where he worked. The incident, and the scores of others like it in recent months, underscores the importance of putting controls in place to protect employees…MORE

UL report compares financial impact of workplace injuries, health conditions across states
Texas businesses with 500 employees or more spent an average of $5 million on health care, lost productivity and missed workdays associated with workplace accidents and adverse health conditions in 2012, according to a new Underwriting Laboratories report. The Lone Star State’s workplace injury rate was slightly worse than the national average in 2012, as were our rates of smoking, obesity and related conditions. On a positive note, Texans were less likely to smoke and suffer from heart disease and stroke than their counterparts in other states…MORE

Sad or mad? Stay out of the car!

Two firefighters investigating wrecked car on its side

Drivers increase their crash risk nearly tenfold when they get behind the wheel while observably angry, sad, crying or emotionally agitated, according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. Drivers more than double their crash risk when they choose to engage in distracting activities that require them to take their eyes off the road…MORE

6 ways employers can help cancer victims return to work
Nearly three-quarters of cancer patients and survivors want to work. But they must deal with fatigue and other challenges that affect their performance. Driver-related factors that include fatigue, error, impairment and distraction were present in nearly 90 percent of the crashes included in the study…MORE

Texas tornadoes trigger closer look at building construction, codes
During the 2015 holiday season, a string of tornados tore across the Dallas area and cause an estimated 1.2 billion in damage. Now, engineers are advocating for tornado-resilient structures across “tornado alley,” which stretches from North Texas through South Dakota…MORE

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