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OSHA Requests Information on Possible Updates to the Lockout/Tagout Standard

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OSHA is requesting information on a possible update of Control of Hazardous Energy (LOTO) Standard.   Comments must be submitted on or before August 18, 2019. Comments and materials may be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal, or by facsimile or mail. See the Federal Register notice for submission details

Mugno withdraws from consideration as OSHA head: report

Washington – Already in its longest period without a permanent administrator, OSHA will have to wait even longer, as Scott Mugno has withdrawn from consideration as the agency’s assistant secretary of labor, according to a Bloomberg Law report published May 15.
A LinkedIn page for Scott A. Mugno was changed from “Awaiting Senate Confirmation for the Assistant Secretary of Labor” to “Nominee for the Assistant Secretary of Labor” from October 2017 to May 2019. Continue reading»

Sharing the road safely: New report details trucker concerns amid new marijuana laws

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Concerned about truck drivers sharing the roads with passenger vehicle drivers who are under the influence of marijuana in states where recreational and medicinal use is legal, the American Transportation Research Institute has released a report detailing methods to identify and deter impaired driving.

Published March 13, Marijuana Legalization and Impaired Driving: Solutions for Protecting Our Roadways also addresses safety issues related to marijuana-impaired driving, a top study priority of ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee. Continue Reading»

Long shifts, inexperience boost miners’ injury risk: study

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Long workdays and being new on the job are two factors that may heighten the risk of workplace injuries among miners, a recent study suggests.

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago analyzed nearly 546,000 Mine Safety and Health Administration Part 50 worker injury reports filed between 1983 and 2015. They found that 9.6% of the miners logged shifts of at least nine hours on the day they were injured, including 5.5% of miners in 1983 and 13.9% of miners in 2015.

Miners involved in shifts of such length were 32% more likely to suffer work-related fatalities and 73% more likely to be part of an incident that caused injuries to multiple miners. Risk factors associated with injuries related to working long hours include lack of routine, irregular schedules, specific mining activities and having less than two years on the job.

“Our findings are alarming given the shift toward hiring more contract workers and the adoption of more extended-hour workdays in the mining industry,” Lee Friedman, study lead author and associate professor at the UIC School of Public Health, said in an April 15 press release. “Our study should serve policymakers and industry leaders who need to consider the effects of longer shifts on things like fatigue and nutrition, and the potential of fixed schedules to alleviate some of the risks with longer shifts.”

MNM Serious Accident Alert Facility – Cement

Facility – Cement – On May 7, 2019, a miner suffered burns to his body when superheated gases carrying hot, fine, alkaline particles were forcefully expelled through an open process vessel door.The victim was on a platform 5-6 feet above other miners who were setting off a Cardox charge to free a blockage in the vessel. He opened the door around the same time they set off the charge.

Image of the accident area
Best Practices:
  • Wear appropriate protective clothing when working around superheated materials.
  • Develop and follow safe work procedures for performing hazardous tasks.
  • Ensure that equipment operators establish good communications between themselves and other miners that may be working around or near their work areas.
  • Stay out of the line of fire when unchoking vessels, chutes and hoppers.
  • Task train all persons to recognize all potential hazardous conditions and ensure they understand safe job procedures for elimination of the hazards.

Susan Harwood Training Grants

The U.S. Department of Labor announced that $10.5 million in Susan Harwood Training Grants are available in the areas of targeted topic training, training and educational materials development, and capacity building. Applications will be accepted from nonprofit organizations including community and faith-based organizations, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor/management associations, Indian tribes, and colleges and universities. Applications must be submitted online no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on July 2, 2019. Details on the grants and how to apply are available at Grants.gov.

Susan Harwood Training Grant Program - Grants

‘Remove the Risk’: New FDA campaign aims to rid homes of unused opioids

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As part of its effort to combat the nation’s opioid crisis, the Food and Drug Administration has launched a campaign to encourage Americans to safely remove and dispose of unused prescription opioids from their homes.

Through its “Remove the Risk” initiative, FDA hopes to decrease unnecessary exposure to opioids and prevent addiction. The campaign specifically targets women ages 35 to 64, who are most likely to be the primary health care decision-makers and gatekeepers of prescriptions in the household. Read more»

Asbestos: EPA issues final rule on ‘discontinued uses’ as agency critics push for total ban

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The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final rule on asbestos intended to keep manufacturers from reintroducing “discontinued uses” of the known human carcinogen into the market without EPA approval.

The significant new use rule, published in the April 25 Federal Register and set to go into effect June 24, would initiate a review process requiring EPA approval for entities seeking to start or resume uses that include – but are not limited to – adhesives, sealants, and roof and non-roof coatings; arc chutes; millboard; reinforced plastics; roofing felt; and vinyl-asbestos floor tile.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer links asbestos exposure to lung cancer and mesothelioma – a rare cancer that affects the body’s tissue, usually in the linings of the chest, lungs or abdomen – among other health problems. Read more»

‘Reattaching’ to work before clocking in may improve engagement, health: study

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Photo: natasaadzic/iStockphoto

Visualizing and planning for your workday may lead to better engagement and well-being, results of a recent study indicate.

Researchers from the United States and Germany surveyed 151 workers from a wide range of industries at the beginning and end of each shift over a five-day workweek. In the morning, participants were asked about experiences that helped them reconnect to work before starting the workday. In the afternoon, they answered questions about engagement and job control. Continue reading»

Proposed rule to amend trucker hours-of-service regs slated for publication in June, DOT says

June 7 is the target date for publication of a proposed rule intended to add flexibility to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hours-of-service regulations for commercial truck drivers, according to a Department of Transportation regulatory update released in May.

The comment period on the proposed rule is scheduled to conclude July 26. An FMCSA spokesperson confirmed to Safety+Health that the proposed rule, which was submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget on March 28, remains under OMB review. Read more»