Regulatory Roundup, June 17, 2016

Regulatory Roundup is a weekly compilation of employee wellness and safety news.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

More than 5 million U.S. workers using e-cigarettes
e-cigaretteAbout 5.5 million working adults in the United States used electronic cigarettes in 2014, with the prevalence highest among workers in the accommodation and food services industry, according to new CDC research. The research recommends employers enforce policies that ban tobacco use, offer tobacco cessation programs and partner with health departments to inform workers about the adverse health effects of tobacco use…MORE

25 percent of opioid users get addicted: CDC
Narcotics with Prescription Warning LabelOne in four patients who receive opioids long term in a primary care setting get addicted, according to the CDC. Opioid use has reached epidemic proportions, claiming nearly 19,000 lives annually. The CDC recommends patients discuss pain management alternatives with their doctors and divulge history of drug or alcohol abuse before taking opioids…MORE

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

NIOSH, NSC co-host safe-driving Twitter chat
The chat, part of the annual National Safety Month observance, will take place June 28 from 1-2 p.m. EST. The public can tweet using the #DriveSafe4Life hashtag and follow @NIOSH_MVSafety and @NSCsafety for road safety tips during the chat.

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)

FRA expands alcohol, drug testing to cover track maintenance workers
trainEffective June 12, 2017, a new FRA rule will extend drug and alcohol testing to maintenance-of-way (MOW) workers. MOW workers are currently exempt from testing unless they die as a result of an accident…MORE

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA reminds Texas employers to protect workers from the heat
OSHA_Poster_fromOPA_English_042711lowresproofWith temperatures soaring in Texas this week, OSHA shared its simple, three-part formula for protecting workers from heat illness: Water. Rest. Shade…MORE

Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA)

Senate sends pipeline safety bill to president’s desk
The bill directs the PHMSA to regulate underground natural gas storage, sets reasonable PHMSA authorization levels and directs PHMSA to complete the regulatory mandates under the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty and Job Creation Act of 2011.…MORE

Texas Department of Insurance (TDI)

Wake up!
Few would argue drunk driving is dangerous driving. But did you know fatigue can affect your ability to operate a vehicle as much as alcohol can? The June edition of TDI’s newsletter shares tips for staying awake and alive behind the wheel…MORE

Studies, Resources, Trends, News

“Smart drugs” finding their way into the workplace
It’s not uncommon for students to lean on Adderall, Ritalin and other attention deficit disorder drugs to improve their concentration. Nowadays, adults are turning to these “smart drugs” to get a leg up in the workplace, as well. Besides the potential safety issues, employers have to consider whether smart drugs give users an unfair advantage…MORE

Needle stick infects lab worker with Zika virus
needle stickZika virus is primarily spread through bites from infected mosquitos. But in another unusual twist in the Zika epidemic, a lab worker contracted the virus via a needle stick. OSHA recently issued guidelines to protect health care professionals and outdoor workers from Zika…MORE

Legionnaires’ outbreaks nearly quadrupled in 15 years
Cases of Legionnaires, a water-borne, severe form of pneumonia, quadrupled between 2000 and 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health care professionals point to an aging population, more people with chronic illnesses, older plumbing infrastructure, increased use of diagnostic testing and more reliable reporting as reasons for the increase. Most cases of Legionnaires can be prevented by proper use of disinfectant, the right water temperature and other water-treatment measures…MORE

Get your personal safety snapshot
The National Safety Council rolled out a tool that empowers users to get a snapshot of their highest health risks. Simply enter your gender, age, occupation, what state you live in and your children’s ages, and the tool takes it from there…

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