Regulatory Roundup, April 1, 2016

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

Texas Mutual News

Silica: Why all the fuss?
After nearly 15 years and countless conversations with stakeholders representing every conceivable side of the issue, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced a new rule on silica exposure last week. Now that the dust is settling, let’s look at why OSHA invested so much of its time and scarce resources addressing silica exposure…MORE

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Take the bite out of outdoor work
Mosquitos infect seven million people annually and account for between two and three million fatalities. That’s enough to earn them the dubious distinction as the world’s deadliest animal. Employers can protect workers by eliminating standing water, removing debris from ditches and following these other tips offered by NIOSH experts…MORE

Get tips for preventing the leading cause of workplace fatalities
Investigating a car wreckDid you know motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of work-related fatalities? And have you considered the possibility that failing vision and hearing, slower reaction times, compromised motor skills and other byproducts of the aging process affect older workers’ driving ability? If you’re an employer who wants to keep their employees safe behind the wheel, read the March edition of NIOSH’s Behind the Wheel at Work newsletter…MORE

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Reporting rule violation fines set to increase 400 percent
OSHA recently sent a memo to its staff recommending a $5,000 penalty for employers who fail to comply with the agency’s revised injury reporting rule. That’s up from $1,000 under OSHA’s previous guidance. The memo also gives OSHA area offices the green light to conduct monitoring inspections of certain employers who reported injuries and promised to correct associated hazards…MORE

OSHA updates eye, face protection standards
The new rule updates the references in OSHA’s eye and face standards to reflect the current edition of the ANSI/International Safety Equipment Association eye and face protection standard. The new rule becomes effective April 25, 2016…MORE

National Safety Council (NSC)

Don’t share opioids
pills and stethescopeEvery day, 52 people die from opioid pain medications. Experts agree opioids are overprescribed, but approximately 70 people who have abused prescription painkillers got them from friends or relatives. The NSC reminds everyone that sharing opioids is a felony…MORE

Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)

MSHA promotes safety during industry’s deadliest month
Mines that lay dormant during the winter are getting set to fire up in April. The annual spring startup will be powered workers who are new to the industry. An inexperienced labor pool is one reason April has been the deadliest month in the metal and non-metal mining industry since 2000. In anticipation, MSHA launched a safety campaign built on a simple, salient tagline: “Think. Plan. Train…Before You Begin Work!”…MORE

Studies, Resources, Trends, News

In this 60-second video, Texas Mutual’s Woody Hill explains how to keep your hands, eyes and mind on driving. For more videos in our safe-driving series, visit

Get free training material during Distracted Driving Awareness Month
During 2014, distracted driving caused an estimated 3,179 deaths and 431,000 injuries. The Texas Department of Insurance, National Safety Council, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other stakeholders are promoting the importance of distracted-free driving in April, and they need your help. National Distracted Driving Awareness Month kicks off today, and the public has access to a variety of free educational resources.

AGC offers 13 tips for protecting construction workers
Construction industry fatalities increased 18 percent between 2011 and 2014. With 71 percent of construction firms planning to hire this year, it is critical for employers to identify and control hazards. The Associated General Contractors of America offers 13 tips for building a strong safety culture and opening communication between management and employees…MORE

Innovative smart vests have construction workers’ safety at heart
The vest uses sensors to measure a worker’s body temperature and heart rate. It then sends the data to a smartphone app…MORE

Kicking wellness out of the workplace
Sick teddyThe median rate of adoption for workplace wellness programs is an underwhelming 40 percent. If employers want to move the needle, they have to engage employees inside and outside the workplace. Only then can wellness initiatives inspire employees to make sustainable changes…MORE

Onward through the fog – with clear vision
Engineering controls are the best way to protect workers from any hazard, and foggy eye protection is no exception. When de-humidifies and temperate regulation aren’t possible, safety professionals can lean on two types of anti-fog technology…MORE


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