Regulatory Roundup, April 28

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

Texas Mutual news

Registration is open for Work Safe, Texas summit

Texas Mutual is hosting a Work Safe, Texas summit in Houston on May 16 from 7:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The lineup consists of a panel of industry experts, OSHA updates and inspection information as well as the reveal of a new virtual reality safety app. Breakfast is included…MORE

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

NIOSH presents a new study on oil and gas workers

Sixty-three oil and gas extraction workers died from falls between 2005 and 2014, making falls a leading cause of death in the industry. NIOSH recently published a study showing that the majority of falls occurred in derrickmen positions, where the worker was at 30 feet or higher. Specific reasons included equipment failure and harnesses not being attached to anchor points. Employers are urged to invest in a strong fall protection plan and ensure its implementation on work sites…MORE

The National Safety Council (NSC)

The NSC focuses on dangers of fatigue

According to the NSC, productivity loss from fatigued workers costs employers $1,200 to $3,100 for each employee every year. Fatigue affects us at work and on the road, and can even decrease our overall health. Employees who work rotating shifts are especially vulnerable because their internal clocks can’t adjust to an alternative sleep pattern. The NSC and other industry leaders want to educate the public on the importance of sleep and are encouraging employers to do the same…MORE

Crash reports fail to show true causes of crashes

According to the NSC, no state fully captures all of the data required to understand the true causes of motor vehicle crashes. This means that neither safety nor government organizations can effectively address problems. The NSC identified 23 factors that should be captured on police reports, but right now Kansas and Wisconsin are leading the nation by including only 14 of them…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

HHS will administer $485 million for the opioid fight

According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), opioids were responsible for 33,000 deaths in 2015. Secretary Tom Price, M.D., announced that the opioid crisis is one of the department’s top three priorities, and the agency will be providing $485 million in grants to all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. The funding will go toward prevention, treatment and recovery…MORE

A new alliance is created for distracted driving

The National Transportation Safety Board hosted a roundtable this week about the dangers of distracted driving and during the discussion, created the National Alliance for Distraction Free Driving. The (NADFD) brings together legislators, law enforcement officers, traffic safety leaders, industry figures and victims of distracted driving in order to create a cultural change. The alliance wants to connect experience, information and resources because they believe the issue of distracted driving is too vast for any one organization to tackle by itself…MORE

NWRA promotes heat illness prevention

The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) held its annual “Water. Rest. Shade.” stand-down this week to promote heat illness prevention and recovery. Workers in the waste and recycling industry experience all types of weather conditions while performing physically demanding jobs, and the campaign began in 2011 to raise awareness of these dangers. OSHA also has many resources to help…MORE

Regulatory Roundup, April 21

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

Texas Mutual News

$260 million dividend distribution approved

This week, Texas Mutual received approval from the Board of Directors to distribute $260 million in dividends to our policyholders. Recipients are determined based on loss ratio, customer loyalty and board approval. Distribution will begin in late June…MORE

$1 million in grants awarded to colleges

Texas Mutual wants every worker to get the training they need to work safely. That’s why we partner with community colleges in Texas to provide informative safety courses. Texas Mutual has previously awarded grants to risk management programs at College of the Mainland in Texas City, Midland College, Kilgore College, Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, El Paso Community College and Amarillo College. We are now excited to announce the addition of four new campuses: Angelina College in Lufkin, Lamar Institute of Technology in Beaumont, Lee College in Baytown and Texarkana College…MORE

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Infographics show the significance of fall hazards

New infographics are available for the National Campaign to Prevent Construction Falls. They show the severity of fall hazards using 2015 and 2016 data and are available for download…MORE

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA hosts stand down for landscaping industry

Sixty four people died from workplace injuries in the landscaping industry from 2012 to 2016. OSHA wants to make sure workers are being trained for the hazards they face on the job, so on April 17 and 18 the administration hosted a stand down event focused on industry hazards…MORE

Workers’ Memorial Day to be observed next week

April 28 marks an annual observance of Workers’ Memorial Day, aimed at honoring workers who have died on the job. It also marks the day that OSHA was established (46 years ago) and serves as a reminder to recommit to workplace safety and health. OSHA’s website lists available events by region…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

Researchers recommend ergonomics focus for overweight workers

Researchers from Texas A&M and the University at Buffalo have found that workplace ergonomics guidelines are less effective among overweight or obese workers. Those individuals tested worse in movements that are linked with higher numbers of workplace injuries – shoulder flexion and trunk extension. Therefore they recommend increased focus on those groups…MORE

5 reasons to try e-Learning

E-LearningMaking safety a part of your company culture is a team effort, but it starts with leadership providing the right tools and training for employees. From wearing proper gear to maintaining equipment to receiving proper training, the foundation of safety is laid by employers. That’s why Texas Mutual Insurance Company works hard to give employers the resources and tools they need to help keep their workforce safe, and it’s why we recently introduced a free online learning management system called e-Learning. The e-Learning system, an online training tool with video courses and comprehension quizzes, is a refreshing and innovative new way to teach workplace safety.

Here are five reasons you should start taking advantage of this free tool in your workplace:

  1. Training that fits your business. With more than 200 courses to choose from, e-Learning lets you pick the training that benefits your employees the most. If you have a number of employees who are regularly behind the wheel, you can assign driving safety courses to them specifically. Or, if only a couple of team members operate equipment in the warehouse, e-Learning courses can give them the training they need. We are continually adding new courses to the e-Learning catalog.
  2. Assign at your convenience. You can assign training when you have the time to, and set deadlines that fit your employees’ schedules. They can log in to the learner portal at any time and manage their own training. Courses average about 20 minutes per session, so it’s easy to fit into a busy schedule.
  3. Keep your employees engaged in safety. e-Learning courses are designed to keep users engaged throughout a session with interactive content and visuals. Periodic check-ups in the course keep your employees focused on the content, so you can feel confident they are getting the information they need to perform their job safely.
  4. Track progress. Each session is accompanied by a quiz at the end, so you can see how employees performed. You can view their progress and download training reports, which can help with OSHA reporting requirements, as well as maintaining your company’s own records.
  5. Find areas for improvement. When you conduct safety meetings or training, it can be difficult to know who is absorbing the content and who isn’t. With e-Learning, you can easily identify where employees are having trouble, and which team members need some extra training. In-depth reports show how long an employee spent on training, and you’ll have access to other progress-tracking tools. With this information, you can tailor in-person training to meet specific needs.

Ready to give e-Learning a try? Login to, click the Safety Resources tab and choose e-Learning. For further assistance, call Texas Mutual’s safety services support center at 844-WORKSAFE.

Regulatory Roundup, April 14

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

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

NIOSH seeks feedback on occupational exposure banding

NIOSH is looking for feedback on a draft document concerning occupational exposure banding, which entails quickly categorizing chemicals. The organization has specified 11 issues that reviewers should consider and they need comments by June 13…MORE

National Safety Council (NSC)

NSC shares five-minute disaster talk

For many states, spring marks the start of tornado season. The NSC urges employers to take this opportunity to evaluate their emergency action plans for any type of disaster. The council also provides a five-minute safety talk for helpful tips…MORE

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

A new study evaluates American workers’ sleep time

The CDC recently conducted a study across more than 90 occupation groups and multiple states. Results from the study showed that production workers are getting the least amount of sleep, followed by those in healthcare, food preparation and serving, and protective service. On the other end of the spectrum, education, training and library workers as well as farming, fishing and forestry groups, are getting the most sleep…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

Workforce development organization aims to overhaul oil and gas training

OPITO is a workforce development organization that is working to create online safety and training standards for safety-critical emergency response training in the oil and gas industry. More than a dozen training providers have already signed up in support of the program. The launch is scheduled for later this year…MORE

Army ammunition plant explosion kills 1, injures 4

On Tuesday, an explosion occurred at Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Missouri. The blast killed one employee and injured four others. OSHA is currently investigating, along with The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. OSHA fined the plant in 2008, 2011 and 2012…MORE

ASSE promotes 2017 safety campaigns

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) released a poster to promote five major national safety and health campaigns. They also have a video to help companies create a successful stand-down…MORE

Worker input leads to improved safety and employee satisfaction

Workplace eye injuries cost about $300 million per year. This month, ISHN magazine shared an inspiring story about an international manufacturing company, Greenbrier, which found a solution for its employees. Not only did the company research costs and their work environment, but they also took into consideration feedback from employees regarding the comfort and efficiency of current PPE. The solution has led to a safer and more loyal workforce…MORE

Regulatory Roundup: April 7, 2017

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

National Safety Council (NSC)

NSC promotes Distracted Driving Month

In 2016, about 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes. A recent NSC study revealed some of the risky behaviors that drivers are engaging in: texting, speeding, and driving while impaired. April is distracted driving month and the National Safety Council (NSC) is promoting free resources to raise awareness…MORE

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Enforcement for silica standard is delayed

On April 6, OSHA announced a delay in the enforcement of the crystalline silica standard for the construction industry. It was originally set for June 23 but has been pushed to September 23 while the agency considers additional guidance. In the meantime, OSHA does expect employers to take steps either to come into compliance with the new permissible exposure limit or implement controls…MORE

OSHA ramps up for this year’s stand-down

Falls accounted for about 38 percent of deaths in the construction industry in 2015, and are consequently named one of the fatal four hazards. This May will mark the fourth annual National Fall Prevention Stand-Down and OSHA is already promoting the cause and providing resources. Employers are urged to take a work break and focus on fall hazards and fall prevention with their employees…MORE

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

The Nation focuses on work zone safety

In 2015, 700 people lost their lives in U.S. roadway work zone crashes. For the last 18 years, National Work Zone Awareness Week has been promoting the safety of motorists and workers around work zones. This year, the event was hosted by Maryland and the theme was “Work Zone Safety is in Your Hands.” Information on this year’s event, previous events and work zone safety in general can be found on FHWA’s website…MORE 

Studies, Resources, Trends, News

The first week of April is designated as National Asbestos Awareness Week

A recent CDC study showed that 45,221 people died between 1999 and 2015 due to malignant mesothelioma. Worse, the study also showed that deaths increased from 1999 to 2015. In light of this, the U.S. Senate designated the first week of April as National Asbestos Awareness Week. The goal is to educate Americans on the risks and realities of asbestos exposure…MORE

Zika testing recommended for Lower Rio Grande Valley

As the 2017 mosquito season begins, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has issued a health alert for residents of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. There is expected to be an increase in local transmissions of the Zika virus and testing is recommended for any pregnant residents of the area. Testing is also recommended for any other residents that experience a rash and one other symptom of Zika (fever, joint pain, eye redness)…MORE

A team effort promotes recovery and saves business

If you look forward to going to work every day, oftentimes it’s because of the people you work with. That’s how it was for Josh Paulin. As a valued member of the Classic Construction team, Josh’s special relationship with his employer provided the momentum for his successful return-to-work story. While sealing a roof on the job, Josh fell and nearly lost his life. Josh’s coworkers watched the traumatic accident in devastation as paramedics fought to save him.

When you’re faced with a life-changing event like Josh was, the best outcome is getting back to the life you love. For Josh, getting to that point required learning to walk, talk and read again. Watch Josh’s story and see how Texas Mutual Insurance Company and his employer were by his side every step of the way.

Josh’s story is a perfect example of how valuable a return-to-work initiative is for businesses and injured workers. As a seasoned employee, Josh’s employer was eager to get him back on the team. While continuing rehabilitation, Josh went back to work with modified job duties. He was able to contribute his unique expertise to the company surrounded by coworkers who supported his ongoing recovery. Meanwhile, Josh’s employer had peace of mind over the future of his business.

When a worker sustains life-changing injuries, coming to terms with the new way of life can be a challenge, but a return-to-work program provides countless benefits. Employees can focus on their recovery rather than stress about their financial situation. By being surrounded by team comradery, they avoid isolation from peers and symptoms of depression. Giving injured workers purpose and surrounding them with familiar faces to celebrate recovery milestones promotes quicker healing.

2017-04-05_16-34-45For employers, implementing a return-to-work program maintains production by keeping experienced workers on the job. Bringing on a temporary employee or hiring someone new requires time and effort. Meanwhile, the business loses productivity. Employers who invest in return to work can minimize lost productivity and control workers’ compensation costs, while also encouraging the ongoing recovery of a valued employee.

It was a team effort getting Josh back on the job after his traumatic accident, but it made all the difference. For more resources on return-to-work programs and implementing them in your business, visit the Return-To-Work page at

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