Regulatory Roundup, Feb. 9

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

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

New fact sheet offers guidance for safety inspections

OSHA released a new fact sheet, Safety Walk-Arounds for Managers, which provides tips for identifying hazards in the workplace and communicating them to workers. Guidance is provided for pre-inspection activities, items to check during inspections and post-inspection activities…MORE

Free silica presentation available March 5-9

The Region VI OSHA office and education centers are offering a free presentation on silica awareness, which will cover compliance information for general and construction industries as well as best practices. The webinar is free and will be available, after registering, March 5-9…MORE

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Up to 21 percent of asthma-related deaths could be due to workplace exposures

The CDC recently released a report on asthma-related deaths, showing that occupational exposures may have contributed to between 11 and 21 percent of them. Research also showed that the construction industry had the most asthma-related deaths for men, while health care had the highest number for women. Cleaners, disinfectants, antibiotics, natural rubber latex, welding fumes and isocyanates (found in paint) all pose asthma risks to these groups…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

Safe + Sound Campaign offers first live, free webinar

The Center for Construction Research and Training is hosting a free webinar on Feb. 21 at 1 p.m. CST. The webinar, Tools for a Successful Workplace Safety & Health Program, will cover new Foundations for Safety Leadership resources…MORE

Fidgeting at your desk may burn more calories than standing

A recent study showed that “modest” movement, such as moving your feet back and forth, elevated metabolic rates 17 percent more than sitting at a desk and 7 percent more than using a standing workstation. This means that even those who don’t use standing workstations can counteract a sedentary lifestyle…MORE

Regulatory Roundup, February 2

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

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA sued over injury records

Public Citizen has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Labor and OSHA, alleging that the agencies violated the electronic recordkeeping rule by denying requests for data. In November, OSHA denied requests for injury and illness data, saying that the information would disclose techniques and procedures of the agency. However, Public Citizen argues that it is requesting the same information that should be publicly disclosed under OSHA’s final rule…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

STEPS reveals new website

The National Service, Transmission, Exploration & Production Safety (STEPS) Network recently announced its new website. The site houses information on the alliance with OSHA and NIOSH, current initiatives, pertinent events and a variety of resources…MORE

NIOSH, OSHA and the BLS receive call to action from National Academies

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a report requesting collaboration between OSHA, NIOSH and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to enhance occupational safety and health surveillance programs. The report lists 17 specific recommendations centered around using advanced analytical technology to strengthen surveillance efforts and organize education and training…MORE

Changing the focus for eye safety

NIOSH estimates that 2,000 eye injuries occur daily in the workforce. Occupational Health and Safety magazine posted an article arguing that employers need to start taking a holistic view of eye safety that accounts for safety equipment manufacturers, innovations and workers in order to succeed in reducing these injuries. A list of attributes is provided for use when finding a safety glasses manufacturer, as well as a list of tips for educating the workforce…MORE

Recommendations issued for fatigue management in EMS workers

Research shows that over half of EMS workers report mental and physical fatigue at work in addition to poor sleep quality and recovery between shifts. The University of Pittsburg Medical Center and the National Association of State EMS Officials released five guidelines for fatigue risk management for EMS workers…MORE

Regulatory Roundup, January 26

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

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Reminder to post 2017 OSHA Form 300A by Feb. 1

Employers required to maintain injury logs must post a summary of the injuries and illnesses (OSHA Form 300A) recorded from the previous year. The summary must be posted in a visible area of the workplace by Feb. 1 until April 30…MORE.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

NHTSA launches new drugged driving initiative

NHTSA has launched a new initiative to combat the growth in drugged driving incidents. While driving under the influence of drugs is against the law, NHTSA views the national opioid epidemic and legalized marijuana in some states as a contributing factor to drugged driving incidents. NHTSA is hosting a summit on March 15 to lead the conversation on ways to address this issue…MORE. 

Studies, resources, trends, news

Smoking rates continue to decline

A study from the CDC found that cigarette smoking among U.S. adults declined from 20.9 percent in 2005 to 15.5 percent in 2016, continuing a downward tred over the last several decades. The CDC points out that while rates have declined, nearly 38 million Americans still smoke…MORE.

Accidental deaths on the rise

The National Safety Council found preventable deaths rose by 10 percent, reaching a record high with a reported 161,274 deaths in 2016. These rates indicate that every three minutes, an American is killed by a preventable injury. Drug overdoses and motor vehicle accidents contributed to the increase…MORE.

Study of asthma deaths related to occupational exposures

The CDC released a study into asthma related deaths and suggests that 11 to 21 percent of asthma-related deaths might be attributed to occupational exposures. Deaths may have been averted with respiratory protection…MORE.

Regulatory Roundup, January 19

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

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Mugno receives second approval from HELP Committee

Scott Mugno, Trump’s nominee for assistant secretary of labor, was approved for the second time by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. His nomination now awaits full Senate confirmation…MORE

Injury and illness summary must be posted by Feb. 1

Employers are reminded that their company’s 2017 OSHA Form 300A must be posted in a visible location by Feb. 1. This form summarizes the OSHA 300 injury and illness log that most employers are required to maintain…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

Small businesses could increase recruiting edge with workplace safety

A survey of small business employees found that about 17 percent had never received workplace safety training and about 40 percent were not aware of the required OSHA signage being posted in their workplace. Workplace safety is one of the top factors considered when small business employees evaluate a new job. Four tips for maintaining workplace safety include: establish a culture, assess potential hazards, educate and remind employees about safety practices and enforce, listen and evaluate safety procedures…MORE

Centers for Disease Control: watch for these basic and emergency flu symptoms

During this year’s active flu season, it’s important to learn about symptoms and educate your workforce. The CDC provides information on basic and emergency symptoms as well as treatment guidelines…MORE

Regulatory Roundup, January 12

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

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA struggles to fill inspector positions

As of Oct. 2016, OSHA had lost 40 inspectors with no effort underway to fill the vacancies. Since then, OSHA has acknowledged the need for more manpower, hired several inspectors and is currently recruiting over 24 more. However, the previous hiring freeze and uncertainty about future funding are making it more challenging to staff the positions…MORE

Trump resubmits Scott Mugno’s nomination

Trump has resubmitted Scott Mugno’s nomination to head OSHA as the assistant secretary of labor. This move was required due to the Senate not confirming the appointment before the end of the legislative term last month. Mugno will once again appear before the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to present his case…MORE

OSHA fines increase to adjust for inflation

The maximum OSHA and Mine Safety and Health Administration penalties have been increased about one percent due to inflation. This introduces a new maximum penalty of $12,934 to several OSHA violations: serious, other than serious, failure to correct and violation of posting requirements. Willful and serious violations can now be penalized up to $129,336…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

Seattle business owner faces manslaughter charges after trench collapse

The owner of a Seattle construction company was charged with second-degree manslaughter stemming from a 2016 incident in which one of his employees died in a trench collapse. This is the first time that a workplace fatality in Washington has led to a felony charge, and shows employers that they can be held criminally accountable. The owner also faces a gross misdemeanor for violating a labor safety regulation, resulting in death…MORE

Workplaces see expansion of health and wellness offerings

According to a survey of HR managers, about 66 percent of companies have broadened health and wellness options in the past five years. Several innovative ways companies are focusing on wellness were noted, including providing free massages, offering onsite personal trainers and offering onsite exercise and cooking classes. Based on these trends, not offering health and wellness benefits could put a company at a disadvantage in recruitment and retention…MORE

Regulatory Roundup, January 5, 2018

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

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Industry challenges to silica rule are rejected

Industry groups petitioned for review of five issues regarding the silica rule that went into effect last year. Their objections centered around whether there was substantial evidence to support the stricter regulations, but all five objections were rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals…MORE

Second annual Safe + Sound Week scheduled for August

The second annual Safe + Sound Week has been scheduled for Aug. 13-19. OSHA, the National Safety Council and NIOSH are among the organizations teaming up to promote awareness. Employers are encouraged to host events and promote safety and health programs during that week…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

Trump administration pushes for lessening of offshore drilling regulations

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement published new regulations for devices used during offshore oil production. Many oil and gas officials applauded the decision, and have previously said that the Obama administration overreached on the rules put in place after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The proposal does not reverse all existing regulations, but minimizes some of the industry’s obligations. There is a 30-day comment period on the proposed changes…MORE

Tips for fall protection

Four out of the top 10 most common OSHA violations during 2016 involved falls. Occupational Health & Safety magazine posted an article explaining different strategies for fall protection training and what types of challenges manufacturers are facing…MORE

Safety infographic released for the oil and gas industry

The fatality rate in the oil and gas industry was seven times higher than any other industry from 2003-2010. Graphic Products has released an informative infographic showing statistics and safety tips…MORE

Regulatory Roundup, Dec. 22

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

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

ITA will remain open until the end of the year

Due to the amount of user confusion, OSHA has announced that the injury tracking application (ITA) will remain open through midnight on Dec. 31.  Any employers that still need to submit their Form 300A must do so before January…MORE

OSHA will propose changes to electronic submission requirement

OSHA has proposed making 300A forms the only ones required for electronic data submission. As it stands now, employers with 250 or more employees would be required to submit the 300, 300A and 301. The proposed change stems from concern about the possible release of personally identifiable information…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

Workplace fatalities at the highest level since 2008

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report on fatal workplace injuries, showing that 5,190 workers died in 2016. This marks a seven percent increase from 2015 and the highest number since 2008. Texas had the highest number of deaths…MORE

A different approach to the top 10 list

Lifeline Strategies posted an article arguing for a more in-depth approach to the top 10 violation list that OSHA releases each year. The article argues that although it is important to be aware of safety trends, the violations may not encompass all safety concerns at your company. It also explains that the number of violations and amount of fines tell more about what’s going on with OSHA enforcement than within businesses. For instance, the total violations have decreased 15 percent since 2015…MORE

Regulatory Roundup, December 15

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

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA administrator nomination moves forward in Senate

This week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted to move forward with Scott Mugno’s nomination to become OSHA’s next administrator. During his confirmation hearing, Mugno emphasized that teamwork is crucial in achieving worker safety…MORE

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

Guidelines for occupational health and safety management systems reachfinal draft stage

Upcoming international standard ISO 45001 has reached the final draft international standard stage and the public can currently submit feedback on the draft. The final publication is expected to be released in March 2018 and will cover guidelines for adopting an occupational health and safety management system…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

Workers’ comp costs down 63 percent in 12 years

The Texas Department of Insurance reports that workers’ compensation premiums in Texas have fallen 63 percent since 2005, and more companies are choosing to provide insurance. Additionally, there has been a 28 percent decline in employees filing claims. The agency believes this is due to an improvement in care through health care networks, a drug formulary, safer workplaces and other reforms from the Division of Workers’ Compensation…MORE

Podcast releases top 3 safety challenges

The 25th episode of the EHS on Tap podcast covered the top three workplace safety challenges and ways for employers to address them. The topics were based on a survey of environmental health and safety professionals and included supervisor participation in safety programs, employees breaking safety rules and employee engagement…MORE

Tips to winterize your vehicles

Traction control and other technologies are making it easier to drive in winter weather, but the National Safety Council (NSC) reminds drivers that we are our cars’ best safety feature. The NSC provides information to handle the winter weather, including tips on winterizing your vehicle, avoiding a crash and what items to store in your car…MORE

Regulatory Roundup, December 8

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

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

What to do after an OSHA citation

The Business Journals released an article outlining the three things you need to do after receiving a citation from OSHA. The article explains proper procedures for posting a copy of each citation, carefully reviewing each citation and its associated penalty, and then working on abatement…MORE

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Proposed respirator leakage standards rule withdrawn

Due to evidence provided during the public comment period, NIOSH withdrew a notice of proposed rulemaking that would have established standards for total inward leakage of half-mask air-purifying particulate respirators. Stakeholder input said that the requirements might not improve performance of NIOSH-approved respirators and could remove well-performing respirators. There was also concern that the cost could outweigh any benefits. NIOSH has decided to pursue improvements through developing national and international consensus standards instead…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

Graphics available on transportation fatalities

The National Transportation Safety Board revealed that 39,339 people died in transportation accidents in 2016 – 2,030 more than in 2015. Highway, marine and railroad sectors saw increases, while aviation saw a slight decline. The board released charts showing a breakdown for each mode…MORE

Tips for preventing a cold and the flu

Each year, about one billion colds are caught and five to 20 percent of the U.S. population catches the flu. The National Safety Council provided a 5-minute safety document containing tips on staying healthy, symptoms of the flu and  colds, as well as how to stop the spread of germs if you do become ill…MORE

Tips for warehouse safety

Fatality, injury and illness rates for warehouse workers are above the national average for other industries. The EHS Daily Advisor released an article detailing the most common injuries and hazards in warehouses, including forklift accident, unsafe lifting, slips and falls and struck-by injuries. The article also provides tips on how to prevent them…MORE

More CMV drivers are wearing seatbelts

A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration survey found that 86 percent of commercial truck and bus drivers wore seatbelts in 2016. This statistic is up by 21 percent from 2007 and two percent from 2013. However, the administration is still adamant that the number should reach 100 percent…MORE

Regulatory Roundup, December 1

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

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Two-week extension provided for electronic reporting

OSHA has announced a two-week deadline extension for employers to electronically submit their injury and illness data because of website downtime in August. Affected employers must submit their data by Dec. 15…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP) improves safety performance by 87 percent

The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) announced that its safety benchmarking and improvement tool led to as much as an 87 percent reduction in total recordable injury rates for participating businesses. The Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP) gives employers a roadmap using six specific leading indicators to show how the organization is approaching its safety culture…MORE

Employees report elevated stress during holidays

A recent survey found that 35 percent of people feel more work-related pressure during the holiday season. Balancing holiday events, work obligations and increased workload were highest among the factors causing stress. Surveyed employees said that higher year-end bonuses, more flexible work schedules and more paid vacation would be helpful changes…MORE

Safety and health budgets expected to increase in 2018

A recent international study of environmental health and safety (EHS) directors showed that budgets will increase by about 5.4 percent in 2018 due to investments in technology. Reportedly, the areas of focus will be in technology spending, worker safety, EHS consulting and reducing greenhouse gas emissions…MORE

Tips for working in the cold

Winter weather can bring hazardous conditions for outdoor workers. Three main factors to consider are temperature, wind and moisture. Limiting exposure to cold temperatures can help prevent cold stress, frostbite, hypothermia and trench foot…MORE

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