Regulatory Roundup, March 17

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

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA training institute promotes grain engulfment prevention

Suffocation from engulfment is a leading cause of death in grain bins. During the week of March 27, the OSHA Training Institute’s education center at UT-Arlington will host a stand up for grain engulfment prevention event to get workers involved in preventing injuries and fatalities. They have plenty of ideas for company participation and even offer a certificate of participation…MORE 

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Exoskeletons are joining the workforce

Wearable exoskeleton devices have the ability to enhance the power of their users and potentially reduce musculoskeletal injuries. The market for industrial use of these devices is expected to increase over the next five years and NIOSH has plans to continue researching their benefits and risks…MORE

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

CDC creates new page for Zika

Recently, the CDC released a new webpage allowing users to search by location or click on a map for travel recommendations regarding Zika. Pop-ups contain information on the risk of Zika in that area as well as a link to the page for that country…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

Plans for automation in transportation

The Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation is working on plans for the future involving autonomous vehicles. Chris Spear, the president and CEO of the American Trucking Association and a member of the panel, explained that widespread adoption is still years away, but technology is headed in the right direction. Systems like stability control, lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking are improving safety and efficiency…MORE

TDI provides eye safety tips

March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month. The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) is helping by providing five eye safety tips to focus on this month. They include information on assessing the workplace, planning ahead, protecting workers, using corrective lenses and ensuring a good fit…MORE

Training tips for the aging workforce

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that 44 percent of the workforce is between 45 to 55 years old. Because older workers tend to have decreased strength, reduced fitness and poorer vision and hearing, EHS Today states that training programs may need to be revisited and tailored to their needs. Falls, musculoskeletal issues and ergonomics-related problems should receive greater focus…MORE

ASSE explains what the budget means for safety

The Trump Administration recently released its first budget for fiscal year 2018, which doesn’t target OSHA specifically, but could have other repercussions. The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) released an article explaining how the budget would specifically affect safety. …MORE

Regulatory Roundup, March 10

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)

Save the date for Safe+Sound Week

OSHA, NSC, AIHA, ASSE and NIOSH are sponsors for Safe+Sound Week, which is scheduled for June 12-18. It’s a week-long event, aimed at promoting the value of workplace safety and health programs. Employers are encouraged to host events and promote the core elements of health and safety programs…MORE

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

New version of EVADE software released

NIOSH originally developed its Enhanced Video Analysis of Dust Exposures (EVADE) software for use in the mining industry. The software is used to determine where occupational exposures are high and was designed to work with Helmet-CAM systems. The newest version of the software, EVADE 2.0 is able to match video footage and exposure data for dust, diesel, gases and sound. It’s now useful not only for the mining industry, but also construction and oil and gas…MORE

NIOSH will conduct free health screenings for coal miners

In response to the recent rise in pneumoconiosis (black lung), NIOSH will be offering free health screenings for coal miners starting March 26. The confidential testing will be done in mobile units at community and mine locations, and will consist of a chest radiograph, respiratory assessment questionnaire and spirometry testing…MORE

Studies, Resources, Trends, News

Spring forward, safely

This weekend, we will turn our clocks forward an hour for the start of daylight saving time. This small shift is known to throw off people’s sleep schedules and increase fatigue. Studies have detected increases in motor vehicle incidents and workplace injuries during the week after the time change …MORE

Distracted driving and walking make for a bad combination

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 3,477 fatalities involving distraction-related vehicle crashes in 2015 (the most recent year for which data collection is complete). Additionally, the number of pedestrians treated in emergency rooms after being injured while walking and using their phones doubled between 2005 and 2012. Researchers believe that the combination of distracted drivers and walkers is increasingly alarming and points to the need for a cultural shift…MORE

NSC survey shows impacts of drug misuse

Recently, the National Safety Council (NSC) surveyed employers about drug misuse in their company. About 70 percent of employers responded that prescription drug misuse has an impact on their workplace. The survey also showed that over 80 percent of participants are missing at least one critical element in an effective drug policy. The NSC offers resources to help employers with policies and other information…MORE

Honeywell director of hearing conservation explains hearing protection

Occupational Health & Safety Magazine spoke with the director of hearing conservation at Honeywell to identify critical steps for selecting, fitting and properly wearing hearing protection. The article discusses different types of hearing protection and explains the importance of teaching employees how to find a good fit…MORE

This Week in Comp, February 10

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.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

CDC releases a hazard scale for radiation exposure

The CDC has developed a tool for communication during nuclear and radiological emergencies. The radiation hazard scale provides a frame of reference for radiation hazards in terms that the general public can understand. It is designed for use when exact radiation exposures are not available for specific individuals…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

FireGet outreach materials for Burn Awareness Week

Burn injuries are one of the leading causes of accidental death and injury in the United States. Open flame burns, scalds, electrical burns and chemical burns account for the majority of these injuries. This week is Burn Awareness Week (February 5-11) and the U.S. Fire Administration is providing outreach materials for use at home and at work…MORE

The future of the safety industry

Workplace safety has increased tremendously over the past few decades, but we still have a long way to go. Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America released an article about what steps have been successful and where we should look for future improvements. It highlights the legislative model, but also explains the crucial connection between worker safety and public health…MORE

slipsResearch on slip-resistant footwear

A research organization, IRSST, produced a pamphlet offering guidance on choosing the best slip-resistant footwear for any given task and environment. The pamphlet details the necessary steps that should be taken before making a purchase, such as considering risk factors and finding the proper sole…MORE

New study on desks could lead to healthier workdays

Ergonomics has become a large concern over the past decade, especially with more sedentary offices. The Texas A&M School of Public Health has a research team studying the way people use their computers, from how many times people change positions down to where their eyes fall on the screen. The hope is that these metrics will help produce technology that will encourage ergonomically friendly behavior…MORE

The theory of back belts

In 2015, there were 155,740 back injury incidents on the job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many people are at odds over whether or not back belts are a safe solution. NIOSH has been fairly firm in their stance that they are not recommended and several studies have shed doubt on whether they offer protection…

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

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

Regulatory Roundup, Jan 6, 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)

gavelNew beryllium ruling set to be released
Exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds can cause disease and even lung cancer. OSHA is updating the existing standard to decrease the permissible exposure limit. The ruling is set to be officially released on Monday, January 9 …MORE

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

doctorContinued concerns of black lung disease resurfacing                                                                                                 Pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease, is an often-fatal disease caused by prolonged exposure to respirable coal mine dust. New investigations are being done regarding a spike in cases over the past two years, with one cluster of cases recently discovered by a radiology practice in Kentucky. Because this was not caught by the national surveillance program, it’s also causing concerns about the state of the program…MORE

New technology aimed at protecting coal miners                                                                                                                                                To combat the rising black lung disease cases, NIOSH has been developing a portable dust monitor that will warn miners when they encounter hazardous concentrations. The monitor allows miners to get real- time feedback instead of having to send samples to a lab for results…MORE

NIOSH urges workers to be aware of cold stress                                                                                                                                            Many Texans don’t feel the need to worry about cold stress, but in areas that are unaccustomed to winter weather, even near freezing temperatures can be dangerous. When the temperature drops and wind picks up, shivering and fatigue can easily turn into hypothermia. Be aware of the risks and how to protect yourself in the cold during these winter months…MORE

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

car-crash-emergency-workersCDC aims to protect teen drivers
The leading cause of death for teenagers is motor vehicle accidents. The CDC’s Graduated Driving Licensing Guide can help train teen drivers. All 50 states have adopted all or part of this guidance, which consists of three stages: learner’s permit, intermediate/provisional license and unrestricted license…MORE


Studies, resources, trends, news                                                                                                                                                                         

BLS results show a rise in deaths due to workplace injuries
Results from 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics data show a 0.3 percent increase in workplace deaths from 2014, with 4,836 deaths. This is the highest number since 2008. While the overall rate of fatal workplace injuries fell, the rise in the number of deaths is still alarming…MORE

construction-guyConstruction projects expected to continue to rise
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) reported that construction spending in November 2016 marked a 10-year high. This growth is expected to continue as the types of construction projects change. There has been an increase in office construction, while manufacturing and apartment construction have slowed down…MORE

New study conducted for fatigue
Fatigue can lead to errors on the job and major accidents. A recent study on occupational fatigue found that lack of sleep and poor working conditions are the main causes. Poor working conditions could be noise, vibration or even temperature…MORE

Mining deaths continue to drop
The number of deaths in US mines has steadily decreased since 2009. With 2016 results in, the new record low is 25. The results encourage safety and health professionals that they are on the right track to eliminate loss of life…MORE

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