Regulatory Roundup, March 24


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

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Senate votes to repeal the Volks rule

courtThe U.S. Senate voted earlier this week to repeal the latest recordkeeping rule that extended OSHA’s ability to cite recordkeeping violations from six months to five years. The House passed its own bill to repeal the rule about a month ago. Employers must still keep records and the electronic recordkeeping requirements are still in effect…MORE

Outreach program receives positive feedback from accountability report

Last year, OSHA’s Outreach Training Program educated about 900,000 workers on hazard recognition and prevention. A recent Government Accountability Office report determined that the program is operating efficiently and no recommendations were made to OSHA…MORE

U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB)

With looming budget cuts, the CSB strives to market its value

The CSB is among 18 other agencies that were recently proposed for elimination in the federal budget. This week, the agency has been promoting its previous work and how lessons learned have saved countless lives…MORE

Studies, Resources, Trends, News

Calculator shows employers the cost of substance useNarcotics with Prescription Warning Label

The National Safety Council (NSC) and Shatterproof, a national nonprofit, released a cost calculator that shows employers the cost of substance use in their workplace. The calculator considers prescription drugs, alcohol, opioids, heroin, marijuana and other illicit drugs and is based on the number of employees, industry and state…MORE

Virginia Tech studies the effects of caffeine on truckers

Truck on freewayThe Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) recently conducted a study on caffeine and truck driving to measure the relationship between caffeine use, sleep and critical safety events. Results showed that caffeine did not interrupt sleep for habitual caffeine users. As far as safety, the study found that there was a six percent reduction in the rate of critical safety events for every eight ounces of caffeinated drink consumed…MORE

Major construction site fires prove need for fire safety programs

FireAccording to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), U.S. fire departments responded to about 830 fires occurring in multi-unit residential properties that were under construction from 2007 to 2011. This year, three major fires have occurred in apartments that were currently under construction. One building was even inspected three days before the fire. Professionals say that the fires highlight the need for fire safety programs and the designation of a fire prevention manager during construction…MORE

ASSE recognizes anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire

On March 25, 1911, 146 workers died while trying to escape a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York. As a result of the tragic disaster, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) was formed and legislation was passed to require improved factory safety standards. ASSE encourages workers to pay tribute to those that lost their lives…MORE

Utah passes a new legal limit for alcohol

Last year, 40,000 people were killed on U.S. roads, and alcohol continues to be a leading factor. Recently, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed new legislation that establishes 0.05 as the legal limit for alcohol. Utah is the first state to do so and NSC applauded their efforts…MORE

Chuy’s Story of Recovery and Success

When Jesus “Chuy” Duarte went to work in the oilfields of Odessa four years ago, he never imagined it’d be a day that would change his life forever.  Having been sent on a special job three hours away, he headed out in his vehicle and what he remembers next is waking up in a hospital a month later and being told he would never be able to walk again.

However, Chuy had a different idea of the direction his recovery would take, and Texas Mutual was there to support him as he took the journey. Take a look at Chuy’s story and see how his tenacity, and Texas Mutual’s support, got him to where he is today.

Accidents like the one Chuy experienced happen all too often across Texas, even though Texas Mutual and the employers we support work hard to prevent them. When these tragic events do happen, what’s important is maintaining a focus of getting back to a productive life. This requires perseverance from those hurt on the job, strong support and advocacy from Texas Mutual, and the commitment from employers to create return-to-work plans to help workers return to productive work when possible. Returning to a productive life is always in the best interests of those affected by workplace accidents.

chuy_1It has been four years since the devastating accident and Texas Mutual continues to be involved in ensuring Chuy’s wellbeing. Chuy attributes part of his recovery to the support he received from Texas Mutual. “That’s what got our family through the harsh times,” he said.

See more injured worker success stories here, and visit to download our free return-to-work tools for employers.

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, March 3

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)

Newest recordkeeping rule is closer to being overturned

The most recent OSHA recordkeeping rule clarified employers’ obligation to record workplace injuries and illnesses. If passed, it would allow OSHA to issue citations for inaccurate or missing entries at any point within the five-year retention period, instead of following the current six month statute of limitations. However, on March 1, the House of Representatives voted to block the ruling…MORE

Delay proposed for Beryllium rule’s effective date

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a proposed delay for the effective date of the beryllium rule from March 21, 2017 to May 20, 2017. The delay is in accordance with a White House memorandum issued in January that directed the department to review any new or pending regulations and temporarily postpone their effective dates. OSHA has stated that this delay will not affect the compliance dates of the rule…MORE

OSHA is still not accepting electronic submissions

Many people are patiently awaiting the new injury tracking application, which OSHA had previously said would be released February 2017. OSHA has finally updated their recordkeeping page, but only to state that they are not accepting electronic submissions at this time and updates will be posted when available…MORE

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

CDC supports World Hearing Day

According to the CDC, hearing loss is the third most common chronic health condition in the U.S. The World Health Organization celebrates World Hearing Day every year on March 3rd to bring awareness to the causes and impacts of hearing loss. This year’s theme is “Action for hearing loss: make a sound investment,” and the CDC is helping by releasing statistics, resources and other information about this health concern…MORE

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

NIOSH seeks input on PPE-Info Database

NIOSH’s Personal Protective Equipment Information Database (PPE-Info) serves as a compilation of regulations and standards for PPE. NIOSH plans to expand the functionality of the database and they are looking to users for improvement ideas. Comments must be received by April 13…MORE 

Studies, Resources, Trends, News

Professionals provide tips for workplace safety committees

Safety+Health magazine recently released an article pinpointing seven tips that make an effective workplace safety committee. The tips are a combination of guidance from the National Safety Council and from two other safety professionals with many years of experience. They explain everything from creating a curriculum to rotating out committee members…MORE

March is Ladder Safety Month

The American Ladder Institute has set six specific goals for National Ladder Safety Month. They include overall goals for the industry of decreasing the number of ladder-related injuries and fatalities and increasing the number of trainings and inspections. One of their more specific goals is to increase the usage of their free online training modules…MORE

This Week in Comp, February 24

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)

ladderOSHA holds symposium for ladder safety month

The American Ladder Institute has declared March 2017 to be the first annual Ladder Safety Month. In accordance, OSHA staff is holding a safety symposium next week, on March 2, to discuss their experience with ladder-related tragedies as well as accident prevention methods. The discussion will also be livestreamed online…MORE

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

New app allows users to access electrical codes on the go

A new app allows electricians and other professionals to access the NFPA 70: National Electrical Code (NEC) from an iOS or Android device. It costs $95 and includes search options, a table of contents, internal links and zoom and scroll functions, and even highlights the specific changes from the 2014 NEC…MORE

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

distracted-driver-1NTSB releases the most wanted list for 2017-2018

In 2015, about one in ten deaths on the nation’s highways were estimated to involve distracted driving. The NTSB highlights safety issues each year on its most wanted list, and has kept distracted driving on the list for the past four years. To put a stop to this dangerous trend, they urge a combination of education, enforcement and legislation to bring about a cultural change…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

Earlier kick detection could prevent oil and gas well incidents

During a recent forum hosted by the Ocean Energy Safety Institute, researchers presented a risk model arguing that earlier kick detection could help prevent loss of well control during offshore oil and gas operations. It is important to improve kick detection capabilities because even though many control loss incidents are resolved quickly, some trigger fires or explosions… MORE

cell-phoneNew apps for workplace safety and training

The Department of Labor & Industries released two new free apps for IOS and Android devices. The first is called WA-HSEQ and it provides a tool for prompt reporting of observations and near misses. It allows users to complete reports, include pictures and send them to others. The second app is called SafeMe and it provides entry level safety training…MORE

lightbulbThe key to lower rates of injury

EHS Today published a story recently about several companies that found ways to improve their employees’ morale and significantly reduce injuries by showing them that management was invested in their safety. One company stopped penalizing employees regarding personal protective equipment (PPE), instead teaching them how the PPE protected them and purchasing non-slip shoes for everyone. Another company bought lightweight garbage bags to prevent employees from overloading them and injuring themselves while trying to lift heavy bags…MORE

Utah company shares a safety success story

A company out of Utah implemented a management-based safety approach when they partnered with OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program and ended up reducing their incidence rate by 60 percent. Their success came from a combination of new training programs, increased employee involvement and improved corrective action after audits and investigations…MORE


This Week in Comp, February 17

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.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

earplugsCDC hearing loss page provides crucial information

About 40 million people have noise-induced hearing loss. The CDC’s hearing loss page contains statistics and noise level information in common terms in order to bring awareness to the potential of being affected. It also provides tips on how to prevent hearing loss and what healthcare providers can do to help…MORE

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

February Research Round is released

NIOSH releases a monthly bulletin on their research called Research Rounds. This month’s Research Round discusses core competencies for protecting young workers, ventilation during surgical procedures, lower back pain due to lifting and recommendations to minimize exposure to dry cleaning chemicals…MORE

FireNew workplace solutions for fire fighters

From 2001 to 2015, 81 fire fighter training-related fatalities were investigated. NIOSH recently released a five page document on the prevention of fire fighter deaths and injuries during training exercises. The document includes case studies as well as suggested controls and recommended practices for fire departments…MORE

American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA)

AIHA holds congressional briefing on silica ruling

About 2.3 million workers are exposed to silica dust, or respirable crystalline silica. On February 15th, AIHA hosted a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill to focus on the new silica rule and serve as a case study. Former AIHA president Daniel H. Anna, PhD, CIH, CSP and former OSHA assistant secretary of labor, David Michaels, PhD, MPH, addressed the attendees…MORE 

Studies, Resources, Trends, News

car-crash-emergency-workersMotor vehicle deaths are on the rise

Data from the National Safety Council (NSC) shows that about 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes last year. That’s a 14 percent increase over 2014 and the most escalated two-year change in 53 years. The NSC also released a survey this week showing the probable culprits of this rate increase: speeding, texting and driving while impaired by marijuana or alcohol…MORE

Preventing occupational skin disease

Occupational skin diseases, like dermatitis or skin cancer, are the second most common type of occupational disease. The majority of these diseases are caused by chemical agents, but luckily they can be controlled or prevented by substitution, administrative controls or personal protective equipment…MORE

Infographic on workplace injuries

The NSC produced an infographic on the number of injuries in American workplaces. It’s a visual reminder of the importance of increased workplace safety and shares information such as the common injuries that keep workers away from work and the top three events resulting in lost work days…MORE

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