Regulatory Roundup

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

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Deputy assistant secretary of labor appointed

Loren Sweatt is the first OSHA appointee under the Trump administration. She fills the role of deputy assistant secretary of labor, previously held by Jordan Barab. OSHA has yet to fill positions for assistant secretary, chief of staff and senior advisers…MORE

Second meeting to be held for updating VPP

OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) emphasize cooperative actions among government, industry and labor to address worker safety. The agency aims to reshape VPP to leverage partner resources, recognize long-term participants and support growth. The second meeting will take place on Aug. 28 and the public comment period will expire on Sept. 15…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

Viewing the solar eclipse safely

On Monday, Texans will experience a partial solar eclipse lasting two to three hours. However, looking directly at the sun without proper protection (not just sunglasses) will cause serious eye injuries. It’s important to wear special-purpose solar filters meeting the ISO 12312-2 international standard and to avoid counterfeits…MORE

Recommendations for static positions at work

Research shows that prolonged sitting could contribute to diabetes, heart disease and other conditions. A manufacturer in Europe has published an e-book examining these health effects, as well as infographics containing helpful tips for safe sitting and standing during work…MORE

Safety tips for table saws

There are an estimated 38,000 table saw injuries each year, ranging from small lacerations to amputations. A recent blog post provides crucial tips for staying safe while using these tools…MORE

Regulatory Roundup, August 11

August 11, 2017

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

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

New online whistleblower complaint form

OSHA has released a revised online whistleblower complaint form, which will help ensure that complaints are filed with the appropriate federal agency. The form is available in English and Spanish and includes new features, such as pop-up boxes when agencies besides OSHA would be best able to address an issue…MORE

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Lifting app can help reduce back injuries

The NIOSH Lifting Equation mobile app can be used to calculate the risk index for single and multiple manual lifting tasks. This can help employees evaluate lifting tasks and will hopefully lead to a reduction in lower back injuries. NLE Calc can be downloaded on iTunes or Google Play…MORE

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

New chemical backlog is eliminated

When EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt took charge of the agency, one of his first challenges was to reduce the backlog of 600 new chemicals in the review process. Pruitt has now announced that, six months later, the backlog has been eliminated. The agency accelerated the process by increasing staff, streamlining the work process and implementing a voluntary pre-submission consultation process…MORE

ANSI approved as accreditation body for formaldehyde rule

The EPA has approved the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as an accreditation body for the Formaldehyde Emissions Standards for Composite Wood Products rule. The rule is intended to reduce exposure to formaldehyde emissions from certain imported or domestically produced wood products. ANSI is one of four organizations recognized to provide accreditation services…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

The impact of wearables on oil and gas

Oil and gas workers face many hazards including falls, toxic fumes, explosions and motor vehicle accidents. The safety world is already looking toward the future of wearable technology, and there are many ways that it could be used to help this historically hazardous industry. New devices could monitor stress levels at heights, sensors that would pick up miniscule amounts of toxic gas and glasses that could measure fatigue based on eyelid movement…MORE

Regulatory Roundup, Aug. 4

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

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Injury Tracking Application now available

OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application (ITA), which many employers will need to use to submit injury and illness records, is now available. OSHA’s recent notice of proposed rulemaking extended the submission deadline to Dec. 1, 2017. This year, companies with 20 to 247 employees in certain industries and companies with 250 or more employees will need to submit their 2016 Form 300A…MORE

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

New video on gauging and sampling

NIOSH released a new video regarding the severe hazards associated with manually gauging or collecting fluid samples on production tanks. The video describes hazards such as hydrocarbon gases and vapors, oxygen-deficient atmospheres and fires or explosions. It also explains steps that both employers and workers can take to work safely…MORE

National Safety Council (NSC)

According to the NSC’s 2014 Injury Facts report, more than 20 percent of the workforce has misused prescription painkillers. The NSC encourages employers to educate their own employees about the hazards associated with prescribed drugs, enforce a written policy and promote available employee assistance programs…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

Driving safety video wins Telly Award

The American Trucking Association received a bronze Telly Award for its “Share the Road” instructional video. The video is intended to educate drivers about how to be safe around big rigs. It includes topics such as staying out of truckers’ blind spots, maintaining a safe distance, not cutting in front of a truck and navigating highway construction zones…MORE

Motor vehicle crashes on the rise

About 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes last year, marking a six percent increase over the previous year. Remember that all employees are at risk; even if they don’t drive a company car, they still commute to work. Texas Mutual policyholders have access to free online defensive driving and distracted driving courses. Email for more information.

Struck-by injuries are highest in the construction industry

A report from the Center for Construction Research and Training shows that there were 804 construction worker fatalities attributed to struck-by incidents between 2011 and 2015. The report also showed that 52 percent of those fatalities involved workers being struck by an object or equipment, while the other 48 percent involved a vehicle…MORE

Recall issued for aerial lifts

Genie Industries issued a safety recall for certain aerial lifts due to platforms potentially dropping because of premature wear of the upper wear pads. The manufacturer discovered that weld debris could trigger early corrosion of the pads and have made replacement wear pad kits available for order…MORE

Regulatory Roundup, July 28

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

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA abandons combustible dust, noise and backing regulations

OSHA recently released its spring regulatory agenda, which includes abandoning efforts to regulate combustible dust exposure, noise exposure for the construction industry and vehicles backing up in factories and construction sites. The agency cited resource constraints and competing priorities as reasons for its decision…MORE

New webpage promotes HAZWOPER safety

OSHA created a webpage to help construction and general industry businesses with the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard. The page includes resources for general businesses, worker preparedness and training…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

NTSB presents recommendations for speeding

More than 112,500 people died in speed-related crashes from 2005 to 2014, but according to the National Transportation Safety Board, not enough attention is given to the issue. At a board meeting this week, the NTSB presented 19 recommendations  to reduce speeding. They involve speed limits, camera enforcement, GPS and other types of sensors…MORE

NSC releases report on fatigue

The first report in a new series from the National Safety Council estimates that 97 percent of workers have at least one workplace fatigue risk factor and 80 percent have more than one. Research shows that the potential for injuries on the job increases with more than one risk factor, and furthermore, about 13 percent of workplace injuries can be attributed to fatigue…MORE

Window cleaning industry group releases safety guide

The International Window Cleaning Association released a safety guide outlining the hazards and best practices for window cleaners in residential, commercial and construction work. The guide is intended to help workers identify and avoid common hazards and it also provides requirements for personal protective equipment under the walking-working surfaces standard…MORE

Regulatory Roundup, July 14

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

Texas Mutual Insurance Company News

Safety and wellness grants available now

This week, Texas Mutual began accepting applications for the 2017 safety and wellness grant program. There are two types of grants available to Texas Mutual policyholders: safety grant recipients will receive reimbursement of up to $1,500 toward the purchase of safety equipment and wellness grant recipients will receive a one-year workplace wellness program…MORE                

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA releases new fact sheet for residential construction

OSHA released a new fact sheet aimed at protecting residential construction workers who work in confined spaces such as attics, basements and crawl spaces. The fact sheet explains that employers need to ensure that a competent person identifies the types of confined spaces before each project and includes information about employer obligations regarding personal protective equipment, training, and rescue plans…MORE

Texas Department of Insurance (TDI)

Regional safety summit comes to Austin

The Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation is hosting a series of regional safety summits that provide information on preventable injuries in the workplace as well as upcoming regulations. The summit will be offered in Austin on July 18 and includes presentations on forklift training programs, occupational driving safety programs, OSHA recordkeeping and avoiding maintenance hazards …MORE

TDI provides tire blowout tips

Tire blowouts can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles and be involved in serious accidents. To help drivers understand how to handle a blowout, TDI released a quick training resource containing five tips…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

The CSB continues the fight to avoid elimination

The Chemical Safety Board is continuing its fight to avoid elimination from a loss of funding. On July 11, the House Appropriations Committee allocated $11 million for the agency for fiscal year 2018, matching its funding for fiscal year 2017. The bill was approved by the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittees, but still needs approval from the full House and Senate Appropriations Committees as well as both chambers of Congress…MORE

Safe driving kits from the NSC

According to the National Safety Council, someone is injured in a car crash every 15 minutes. In response, the NSC is offering a free, downloadable online safe driving kit to help employers protect their workers. It contains numerous resources for teaching employees about driving safely, including videos, fact sheets and activities…MORE

Tips for preventing common oil and gas injuries

Oilman magazine recently released an article that covers injury prevention for the oil and gas industry. The article details common injuries – struck-by, driving and welding flash burns – and provides recommendations for protecting against them…MORE

CVSA releases brake safety data

Earlier this week, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance announced results from its May 3 unannounced brake safety enforcement event. Results showed that 79 percent of vehicles did not have any critical item vehicle violations, but 12 percent of inspections resulted in a vehicle being pulled out of service for brake-related violations. The alliance is holding another brake safety enforcement event on September 7, 2017…MORE

Regulatory Roundup, July 7

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

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA issues temporary enforcement policy for monorail hoists in construction
OSHA has found that current safety standards do not fully address monorail hoists. As a result, OSHA announced that it will determine safety standards for monorail hoists in construction operations. Until then, OSHA will not cite employers as long as certain standards are followed…MORE.

National Safety Council (NSC)

Music video reminds drivers to reduce distractions behind the wheel
The NSC released a music video, Everybody Just Drive Tonight, Everybody Get Home Tonight, in its recent campaign for safe driving. The song is set to the catchy beat of “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” by Wang Chung and shows drivers multitasking behind the wheel…MORE.


NSC grades each state on safety
The NSC released a State of Safety report to bring awareness to the number of preventable deaths in the United States. Each state is graded based on safety policies and legislation in place to help reduce preventable deaths. See how each state ranked…MORE.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Opioid prescriptions falling, but remain high
The CDC reported an overall decline in the amount of opioids prescribed in the United States, but the amount of opioids being prescribed remains very high. A new fact sheet illustrates opioid prescription rates across the country, offers solutions for safer opioid prescription, and provides alternative options for pain management…MORE.

Studies, resources, trends, news

Survey finds workers not trained in first aid and CPR

A recent survey from the American Heart Association found that more than half of workers are not trained in CPR or first aid, and about half did not know where to find the company’s AED. Additionally, more than 90 percent of workers would take training if it was offered by their employer…MORE.

Regulatory Roundup, June 30

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

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA proposes new recordkeeping deadline

OSHA has proposed a rule that would delay the electronic recordkeeping enforcement date from July 1 to December 1, 2017. The agency has stated that the delay would provide the Trump administration with more time to review the requirements. It also includes plans for launching the data collection website in August, giving employers four months to submit their records…MORE

Annual heat safety campaign launched

According to OSHA, more than 65,000 emergency room visits occur annually due to extreme heat exposure. The administration has launched its annual Water. Rest. Shade. campaign, reminding employers and employees about the dangers of working outdoors in the heat…MORE

OSHA proposes rollback of beryllium ruling

Beryllium is an industrial material linked to chronic beryllium disease, estimated to kill 100 people annually. Last week, OSHA issued a proposal that would require shipyards and construction companies that use coal slag to meet the same maximum exposure limit as other industries. However, it also proposes that the two sectors be exempt from requirements such as medical monitoring and other safety measures, citing that a review indicated no additional benefits…MORE

Acting assistant secretary reaches retirement

Dorothy Dougherty, the acting head of OSHA, retires this week. The White House has not yet nominated a replacement, but Tom Galassi is considered the likeliest candidate. As far as naming an OSHA chief, Scott Mugno remains the most talked-about candidate, but nothing has been announced…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

As we prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July, it’s a good time to review OSHA’s publication on fireworks safety for both sales and display operators…MORE

Safety 2017 expo indicates big shift in technology

Industrial Safety & Hygiene News magazine reports that the recent Safety 2017 expo showcased technology in a big way. Twenty-eight vendors showcased mobile applications ranging from tracking devices to mobile inspection software. The future of safety technology could likely include all workers being connected via web-based mobile devices, allowing safety departments to collect worker data and push data out to workers…MORE

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