Regulatory Roundup, April 8, 2016

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

Texas Mutual News

Work Safe, Texas is open for business in April
Work SafeApril enhancements to our website include six things you need to know about OSHA, information about OSHA’s new confined space rule and an article on the importance of allowing workers to acclimatize to hot weather…MORE

Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)

2015 was safest year in mining history
In 2015, 28 miners died, down from 45 in 2014, and the industry recorded a fatal injury rate of 0.0096. MSHA credits mine site compliance improvements, a reduction in chronic violators, and record low levels of respirable coal dust and silica for contributing to historically low fatalities…MORE

National Safety Council (NSC)

Opioids being prescribed for too long
Narcotics with Prescription Warning LabelNinety-nine percent of doctors prescribe opioid pain medication for longer than the three-day timetable recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a new NSC survey. Opioids can impair workers, so the NSC recommends employers prohibit employees from taking them on the job, especially if they work in safety-sensitive positions…MORE

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Take advantage of OSHA’s regulatory guidance material
Did you hear OSHA released a new silica rule in March? Were you aware that OSHA requires employers to provide clean, accessible restrooms for workers? You can access all of OSHA’s recent guidance material from this handy list…MORE

Do employers have to relabel old chemical containers?
PrintChemical manufacturers and distributors, as well as employers who use chemicals, must comply with all components of OSHA’s revised hazard communication standard by June 1, 2016. On that date, employers might still have chemicals with labels that are not in compliance with the revised standard. Employers are not required to relabel those chemicals. They should, however, explain to employees that they might see different labels on chemicals and ensure employees handle all chemicals safely…MORE

Construction industry challenges OSHA’s silica rule
OSHA’s new silica rule will cost the construction industry $5 billion per year to implement, much more than OSHA’s $500 million estimate. Besides being cost-prohibitive, the rule’s medical evaluation component may expose workers to discriminatory hiring practices, according to construction industry experts. This week, eight major construction industry groups filed a legal challenge to OSHA’s new silica rule…MORE

OSHA joins forces with the Shipbuilding Group to protect workers
Under the two-year alliance, OSHA and the Shipbuilding Group will focus on protecting shipyard workers from electrical, ergonomic, struck-by and slip, trip and fall hazards…MORE

Studies, Resources, Trends, News

Insurance Council of Texas focuses on causes of distracted driving
distracted-driver-1“Driving a two-ton vehicle at any speed is not the time to take your eyes off the road,” said Mark Hanna of the Insurance Council of Texas (ICT). Punctuating Hanna’s point, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that in 2014, 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers across the U.S. In recognition of distracted driving awareness month, Hanna and the ICT offered tips to avoid becoming a statistic in the epidemic…MORE

4 steps to complying with OSHA’s first aid requirement
OSHA requires employers to provide first aid training that addresses the unique hazards their employees face. Employers can follow a four step-process to create a first aid program or streamline an existing program: information, preparation, assessment, response…MORE

Farm workers, hairdressers among professions linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Solvents used in certain industries, along with exposure to mold, wood dust and formaldehyde, increase workers’ risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma, according to a recent study…MORE

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