Regulatory Roundup, January 27

Regulatory Roundup is a weekly compilation of employee wellness and safety news. Please share this information with your policyholders as appropriate. For suggestions, contact Ashley Mikytuck at ext. (512) 224-3986.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

moneyIncreased penalties take effect

In August 2016, OSHA penalties increased about 78 percent, marking the first time they had been updated since 1990. In accordance with inflation, the penalties were raised again. As of January 13, 2017 the fines have increased about 1 percent…MORE

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

noNIOSH issues final documentation for chemical carcinogens

NIOSH published a final document a couple of weeks ago regarding carcinogens in the workplace. The new policy does not use the well-known term, “recommended exposure limit (REL),” but instead references a starting point for control, called the “risk management limit for carcinogens” (RML-CA). The change is attributed to the underlying idea that there is no safe exposure level to a carcinogen and that elimination or substitution are the primary ways to prevent occupational cancer…MORE

lockWearable sensors introduce ethics concern

As technology continues to advance and workplace health concerns grow, wearable sensors have been increasingly popular. They can provide real-time readings and keep workers safer, but there are concerns about the accuracy and security of the data. A proposed ethics framework should help ensure that innovation does not outpace ethical considerations by examining the benefits, intrusiveness and potential consequences of monitoring programs…MORE

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)

New ruling for pre-shift examinations

A new rule has been issued to continue improving the safety of miners on the job. It is scheduled to become effective on May 23, 2017 and will require competent persons to examine the jobsite before work and fill out an examination record before the end of each shift. Additionally, operators will be required to quickly notify miners if there are conditions that could potentially harm their safety or health…MORE

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 

declineAnnual analysis shows fewer  toxic chemicals released into air

The EPA’s annual Toxics Release Inventory National Analysis showed that releases of toxic chemicals into the air at industrial facilities dropped 56 percent since 2005. In particular, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, toluene and mercury showed significantly lower releases. The data shows that regulatory actions are working to improve toxic air emissions. The report also provides citizens with information about what chemicals are in their area and how companies are working to prevent pollution…MORE

Studies, Resources, Trends, News

hands-inNew model can help teams better adapt to change

Teamwork and change are more prevalent in the workplace than ever before. Because of this, a research team presented a model that includes four key steps to help teams effectively adapt to change. They include recognizing the change, reframing the cognitive approach, responding by implementing the new approach and then reflecting on the change…MORE

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Regulatory Roundup January 23, 2017

Regulatory Roundup is a weekly compilation of employee wellness and safety news. Please share this information with your policyholders as appropriate. For suggestions, contact Ashley Mikytuck at (512) 224-3986.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA issues recommended practices for anti-retaliation programs

As promised, OSHA has released their final version of the Recommended Practices for Anti-Retaliation Programs to assist employers in complying with the 22 whistleblower protection laws. The program outlines five key elements that employers should implement in order to create a successful program…MORE

courtFinal ruling set for recordkeeping clarification

On January 18, 2017, a final ruling came into effect that serves to clarify employers’ obligation to maintain accurate records of recordable injuries and illnesses. This ruling does not add compliance obligations, but does clarify that employers must maintain records for five years. It also requires employers to review their logs at the end of each year to verify that an OSHA 301 Incident Report matches with each entry in the Form 300A…MORE

New quick card for slips, trips and falls during disaster response

OSHA released a new quick card resource for protecting workers from slips, trips and falls during natural and man-made disaster response. It pinpoints pre-incident planning, hazard assessments, personal protective equipment and training…MORE

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

earplugsNew mobile app for sound levels

About 22 million workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels per year. To help, NIOSH released a new mobile application, NIOSH SLM, for measuring sound levels in the workplace. Users can measure, save and share real-time noise exposure data by using the built-in microphone or connecting an external microphone. The app also provides education on safe noise levels and hearing loss prevention…MORE

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Zika prevention efforts continue

Although we are hearing about it on the news less and less, the Zika virus is still a major concern across the world. As of this week, more than 800 global deployments have been made by the CDC of diagnostic kits, samples and even personnel to assist. The largest deployments have been to Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Colombia…MORE

Studies, Resources, Trends, News

cash-flyingSerious, nonfatal injuries amount to $60 billion per year

A recent study found that more than $1 billion is spent by companies each year in workers’ compensation costs for serious, nonfatal injuries. The study also pointed out the ten most costly injuries in an attempt to show companies where to focus safety efforts. The top three include overexertion, falls on the same level and falls to a lower level…MORE

Worksite intervention study drastically reduces violence to hospital staff

Patient-to-worker violence is a major concern in the healthcare industry. A recent study showed that data on violent events can reduce this exposure significantly. The researchers placed workers in different units: intervention units that received data and control units that received nothing. Intervention units received unit-level data on violent events in order to develop their own plan of action. Within two years, the risk of violent injuries was 60 percent lower than the risk for control groups…MORE

Steps to ban mesothelioma-causing asbestos

In the United States, about 3,000 people die from mesothelioma every year, and the clal for a blanket ban on asbestos is growing. Since the passing of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act this year, the EPA now has authority to review dangerous chemicals and ban them. The EPA has begun meetings to prioritize chemical substance reviews, but groups hope asbestos will be on the top of the list…MORE

workplace-worker-cartoonEmployee needs are expected to top workplace trends

The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology polled members about predictions for workplace trends in 2017. The results show a movement toward the importance of employees’ needs and differences. Employee health and wellness made the top ten, and “the changing nature of performance management,” and “effective adaptation to change” came in at first and second…MORE

Regulatory roundup, January 17, 2017

Regulatory Roundup is a weekly compilation of employee wellness and safety news. Please share this information with your policyholders as appropriate. For suggestions, contact Ashley Mikytuck at (512) 224-3986.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

osha-logoDr. David Michaels leaves OSHA

Tuesday, January 10 was Dr. David Michaels last day as the Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA. As his final action, he accepted a petition for the creation of an OSHA standard for workplace violence in healthcare. Jordan Barab will be the interim assistant secretary until January 20, while we await the transition of the agency…MORE

doctorsResources for safe patient handling

As of 2013, U.S. hospitals recorded 6.4 injuries and illnesses out of every 100 full-time employees. Thirty four percent of the injuries that resulted in days away from work were patient-handling related. OSHA has online resources available for developing a safe patient handling policy and training program…MORE

Steelworkers’ union strongly supports beryllium standard

After decades of plans to update the beryllium standard, the permissible exposure limit has finally been reduced and control measure requirements heightened. The United Steelworkers (USW) fully support the ruling and the protection being given to general industry, construction and maritime workers who are exposed to beryllium and beryllium compounds…MORE                                                           

OSHA provides toolkit for chemical substitution

American workers suffer 50,000 deaths annually due to chemical-related exposures. To help combat this, OSHA has a toolkit containing seven steps for substituting safer chemicals. Not only will employees have a healthier workplace, but employers can potentially see cost savings and increased efficiency using this guide…MORE

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

sneakersCDC releases guidance for recess in schools

Recess can benefit students in many ways, including increasing physical activity and improving concentration in the classroom. CDC released two guides: one for recess strategies and one for recess planning in schools. Additionally they provide a template for schools to design their own plan…MORE

cell-phoneMobile app provides health information on the go

CDC redesigned their application to work on smartphones so that users can receive timely health information wherever they are. It provides news stories, videos, podcasts, journals and blogs. The homepage is even customizable based on preferred topics…MORE

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

ANSI announces newer, safer lockout/tagout standard

For the past two years, ANSI has been working on a new lockout/tagout standard to reflect changes in technology and address practicality. There was a large participation by companies and labor groups, and over 3,000 comments were reviewed during the creation process of the new standard. OSHA representatives were also involved and the agency has been asked to adopt the standard as well…MORE

Studies, Resources, Trends, News

January is National Radon Action Month

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. It is a hazardous gas that can leak into your home through cracks or gaps. Luckily, your home can be tested for radon with an at-home kit…MORE

truckSurvey results show truck drivers parking illegally

A recent study shows that truck drivers lose an average of $4,600 in wages annually trying to find parking. In the study, 9.5 percent of drivers said that they were forced to park illegally on a daily basis due to lack of capacity, time limitations on spaces or customers who wouldn’t allow drivers to park in their facilities…MORE

declineU.S. hearing loss rate is in decline

As the population of older Americans increases, studies are showing that the hearing loss rate has consistently decreased over the last few decades. This decline in hearing loss is probably attributed to a mixture of better health and medical care as well as fewer manufacturing jobs and the use of hearing protection…MORE

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