Regulatory Roundup, April 22, 2016

Regulatory Roundup is a weekly digest of employee wellness and safety news from around the world.

Texas Mutual News

Texas Mutual urges roofers to work safely in wake of Wylie hail storm

OSHA will promote the importance of preventing falls during its annual Stand Down for Safety campaign, May 2-6.

OSHA will promote the importance of preventing falls during its annual Stand Down for Safety campaign, May 2-6.

A hail storm recently pummeled cars, shattered windows, toppled trees and punched holes in roofs and skylights in Wylie, a suburb of Dallas. One resident found pieces of his roof in a nearby shopping center. In the wake of the storm, Texas Mutual urged professional roofers and do-it-yourselfers to follow fall protection best practices…MORE

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Worker fatalities reached 7-year high in 2014: BLS report
Things are looking up in the world of workplace fatalities, and that’s not a good thing. In 2014, 4,821 people died in work-related accidents, the most since 2008, according to revised BLS data. The new data also shows 144 oil and gas workers died on the job, a record-high
for the industry…MORE

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSSE)

BSSE issues offshore oil and gas drilling rules
The BSSE’s goal is to prevent the type of equipment failures that caused the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion. The explosion killed 11 workers and spilled a record amount of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The new rules tighten controls on blowout preventers, add tougher requirements to undersea well design, and require real-time monitoring of subsea drilling and spill containment…MORE

Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)

MSHA cautions employers about stockpile hazards
safety alert
The safety pros at MSHA know you can learn as much from a near-miss as from an actual accident. In 2015, there were seven incidents in which a dozer fell into a “hidden cavity” under a bridge of material when material under the bridge was taken away. None of the incidents caused injuries, but they could have, according to an MSHA safety alert…MORE

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA shipbreaking safety initiative targets non-English speaking workers
OSHA recently instructed its inspectors to verify employers in the shipbreaking industry deliver safety training to non-English speaking workers in a language they understand. The directive is part of OSHA’s renewed National Emphasis Program (NEP). OSHA designed the NEP to reduce workplace hazards in the shipbreaking industry…MORE

Foundry industry joins chorus of voices against new silica rule
Law Book
Dust levels fluctuate so much in foundry operations that employers would have to achieve levels typical of clean room operations to comply with OSHA’s new silica law. That was the message one stakeholder delivered to Congress this week. Within 10 days of OSHA releasing its new silica rule, stakeholders filed seven petitions for review. The construction industry has represented the rule’s most vocal opponent, labelling its requirements financially impractical at best and impossible to comply with at worst…MORE

Employers must record intoxicated employee injuries: OSHA
If an employee is injured while under the influence of alcohol, the employer must record the injury under OSHA’s recordkeeping rule. OSHA grants an exemption to the rule if self-medication for a non-work-related condition causes the injury. Alcohol use does not qualify under the exemption…MORE

Studies, Resources, Trends, News

Is saving 5 minutes worth your life?
2 secondsMotorists can drive up to 85 miles in some states, including Texas. All that freedom comes with a price. A new study found that a 5 mph increase in state speed limits accompanied an 8 percent increase in fatality rates on interstates and freeways…MORE

There’s nothing artificial about technology’s impact on safety
In 1997, a computer made history by beating the world chess champion at his own game. At the time, artificial intelligence (AI) was a neat party trick with limited real-world application. But with the first fully-autonomous vehicles set to hit the streets by 2019, it’s clear that AI is changing all aspects of our lives, including workplace safety. In the near future, computer-powered robots will be recognizing risk, interpreting near-misses and finding safer ways to work, all in a fraction of the time it takes humans…MORE

Seat belts should never have time off
Effective workplace initiatives deliver benefits to employers and employees. Take seat belt policies, for example. Drivers and passengers who take two seconds to buckle up reduce their chances of dying in a crash by 50 percent. Meanwhile, crashes involving failure to wear seat belts cost employers $5 billion a year in lost productivity and other crash-related expenses. A new educational campaign helps employers make seat belt use part of their safety culture…MORE

History of falls in older drivers increases crash risk by 40%
How’s this for a catch-22? The more often senior citizens suffer falls, the less likely they are to engage in exercise and other physical activity that could cause future falls. Conversely, physical activity is one way to keep driving skills sharp and reduce the risk of crashes. A new study shows a history of falls in older drivers increases their crash risk by 40 percent…MORE

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