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ASSE Government Affairs Update 8.7.14

ASSE Participates in OSHA Stakeholder Meeting on Emergency Response and Preparedness

On July 30, Jim Ramsay, Chair of ASSE’s Educational Standards Committee and Chair of the Department of Security Studies and International Affairs at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, participated for ASSE in OSHA’s Stakeholder Meeting on Emergency Response and Preparedness held as the first step in the rulemaking process towards a possibl

Executive Order Requires Fed Contractors to Disclose Safety and Other Labor Violations

On July 31, President Obama signed an Executive Order (EO) titled Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces that requires federal contractors to enter into a new federal database any violations over the last three years of 14 federal statutes and equivalent state laws, including violations of the OSH Act.
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Rulemaking Process on OSHA Infectious Disease Standard Moves Forward

As this note from the SBA Office of Advocacy indicates, the next step in the regulatory process – the convening of SBREFA panels of small businesses to review a proposal – that could lead to an OSHA standard on infectious diseases has been announced.
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MSHA Publishes Proposed Rule on Civil Penalties

From MSHA – MSHA publishes proposed rule on civil penalty assessments Proposal simplifies process, improves consistency with emphasis on more serious conditions ARLINGTON, Va. – The U.S.
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OSHA Makes Available Policy Background on Temp Worker Initiative

OSHA has made a point of sharing a memorandum recently issued to its Regional Administrators on Policy Background on the Temporary Worker Initiative intended to remind field staff of its “long standing” general enforcement policy for temporary workers.
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OSHA Issues Directive on Communication Tower Safety

From OSHA at https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.
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Fiberdome Settlement Affirms General Duty Citation for Exposures Below OSHA PEL

The following is a memo prepared for ASSE members by Adele L. Abrams, Esq., CMSP of the Law Office of Adele L. Abrams PC that sets out the significance of a recent settlement OSHA entered into with Fiberdome, Inc.  OSHA’s press release on the settlement can be found at https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.
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EPA Requests Info on Accidental Release Prevention Risk Management Programs

EPA, in response to Executive Order 13650 Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/08/01/executive-order-improving-chemical-facility-safety-and-security) requests comment on potential revisions to its Risk Management Program regulations and related programs.
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PHMSA NPRM on Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), is proposing new operational requirements for trains transporting a large volume of Class 3 flammable liquids, improvements in tank car standards, and revision of the general requirements for offerors to ensure proper

PHMSA ANPRM on Oil Spill Response Plans for High-Hazard Flammable Trains

In conjunction with its NPRM on Hazardous Materials: Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains published the same day, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) seeking comment on potential revisions to its regulations

Senate Republican Report Finds Chemical Security a Mess

From US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs Republicans at  http://www.hsgac.senate.gov/media/minority-media/federal-chemical-security-program-in-shambles-new-report-says Wednesday, July 30, 2014 Federal Chemical Security Program in Shambles, New Report Says Wednesday, July 30, 2014  (WASHINGTON, D.C.
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Tales from DC: Latest OSH Reg Update from SBA OSHA/MSHA Roundtable Meeting

From the Law Offices of Adele Abrams, Esq.: On July 25, I represented ASSE at the bimonthly meeting of the Small Business Administration’s OSHA/MSHA Roundtable. The first topic of discussion was OSHA’s forthcoming proposed rule on Infectious Diseases, which is scheduled for a SBREFA panel in the next month or so.
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CSB Releases Report on 2010 WV Metal Recycling Plant Dust Explosion

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released its final report, safety recommendations and an accompanying safety video on the fatal combustible dust explosion at AL Solutions’ metal recycling facility in New Cumberland, West Virginia, in late 2010.  http://www.csb.
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Join NIOSH in Marking September 5 as N95 Day!

From NIOSH – Friday, September 5, 2014 is N95 Day! The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the federal agency responsible for testing and approving personal protective equipment, will celebrate N95 Day by emphasizing the importance of properly using NIOSH-approved N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFR).
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US Nuke Plants Must Seek Out Risks, National Academies’ Fukushima Study Concludes

A report by National Academy of Sciences (NAS) mandated by Congress has concluded that the overarching lesson learned from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident is that nuclear plant licensees and their regulators must actively seek out and act on new information about hazards with the potential to affect the safety of nuclear plants.
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New NIOSH Resource Helps OSH Practitioners Assess Postural Stress

From NIOSH –
New Resource Helps Practitioners Enhance Posture Assessment Practices in the Workplace
 The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in partnership with the Canadian Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders, has released a new report that can help occupational health and safe

PHMSA NPRM on Requirements for the Safe Transportation of Bulk Explosives

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend its Hazardous Materials Regulations by establishing standards for the safe transportation of bulk explosives.
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CSB Reminds of Its Hot Work Resources after Mississippi Fatality

From CSB – Safety Videos, Safety Bulletin and Accident Investigations Call Attention to the Hazards of Welding or Cutting Near Storage Tanks Washington, DC, August 6, 2014 – The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) today emphasized the hot work safety resources available free of charge through the agency’s website at www.csb.gov.
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EPA Proposes Adding Certain Fluorinated Gases and Fluids as Global Warming Potentials

EPA is proposing adding chemical-specific and default global warming potentials (GWPs) for a number of fluorinated greenhouse gases (GHGs) and fluorinated heat transfer fluids (HTFs) to the general provisions of the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule.
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NIOSH Expands Coal Worker Health Surveillance Program

From NIOSH – The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is taking an important step in expanding the Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program with today’s publication of an interim final rule in the Federal Register (https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-18336).
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DOE Seeks Info on Possible Gas Compressor Energy Conservation Standard

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is considering establishing energy conservation standards for commercial and industrial compressors.  To date, DOE has proposed to consider energy conservation standards only for compressors intended to compress air, rather than gas.
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UAB Study Finds Biggest Impact on Texting from Teen Primary Enforcement Laws

See the entire press release at http://www.uab.
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GAO Stuff on FAA and Fracking Fluids

Aviation Safety: FAA’s Efforts to Implement Recommendations to Improve Certification and Regulatory Consistency Face Some Challenges, GAO-14-728T, July 23 http://www.gao.
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ASSE on the June Fall Protection Stand-Down

If you are an ASSE member, you should have gotten this email – http://www.asse.org/broadcasts/Safety-Stand-Down-5-24-14.html – from now former ASSE President Kathy Seabrook urging every member’s participation in the June 2-6 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction led by ASSE’s partners OSHA and NIOSH.
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Republican House Leaders Call for Ouster of CSB Chair

Following a June 19 hearing where testimony from US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) Chairman Moure-Eraso was heard, key Republican House leaders sent a letter to the White House called for a change in leadership at the CSB.  From the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee at http://oversight.house.
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Latest DoL Semiannual Reg Agenda

The Department of Labor (DoL) has released its latest Semiannual Reg Agenda.  The following summary was prepared by Adele Abrams, Esq.: The Obama Administration’s Spring 2014 Regulatory Agenda was released May 23, 2014.  This continues a trend of releasing the agenda on the eve of a holiday.
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OSHA Launches Online Video Game for Identifying Workplace Hazards

OSHA has made available online, game-based Hazard Identification Training Tool for small business owners, workers and others interested in learning core concepts of hazard identification.
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NIOSH Announces PtD Tool to Incorporate Fall Prevention into Building Design, Renovation and Construction

From Dawn Castillo, Director, Division of Safety Research; Christine Branche, Director, Office of Construction Safety and Health; and Paul Schulte, Director, Education and Information Division –
Dear ASSE Colleagues:
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is pleased to announce a new Workplace Design Solutions, Preventi

OSHA Delays Electric Rule Compliance Date by Nearly Four Months

OSHA has published an interim enforcement policy for its new final rule on Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution; Electrical Protective Equipment, which became effective July 10, 2014.  The policy delays enforcement of most new requirements for employers who are complying with the existing General Industry rule.
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OSHA Stakeholder Meeting on Possible Standard to Protect Emergency Responders

Jim Ramsay, Chair of ASSE’s Educational Standards Committee under the Council on Professional Affairs and Program Director of Embry-Riddle University’s Homeland Security Program, will be representing ASSE at the meeting. From OSHA at https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.
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FMCSA Reg Guidance on Records of Duty Status Generated by Logging Software

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has revised its regulatory guidance concerning records of duty status (RODS) generated by logging software programs on laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones.
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Federal Agencies Release Status Report on Improving Chem Facility Safety and Security

The Department of Labor, led by OSHA, together with the agencies of the Department of Homeland Security and the Environmental Protection Agency have released a status report (https://www.osha.
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MSHA Final Rule on Lowering Miner Exposure to Coal Mine Dust Including Continuous Personal Dust Monitors

MSHA has announced that OMB has approved the information requirements contained in the final rule on Lowering Miners’ Exposure to Coal Mine Dust, Including Continuous Personal Dust Monitors published May 2014 in the Federal Register.  The effective date of the final rule and the related information collections is August 1, 2014. http://www.
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FMCSA Offers Regulatory Guidance on Commercial Drive Records of Duty Status Generated by Logging Software Programs

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has revised its regulatory guidance concerning records of duty status (RODS) generated by logging software programs on laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones.
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Comments Sought on Updated National HazMat Route Registry

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published a notice and request for comment on its updated National Hazardous Materials Route Registry (NHMRR), which is a listing of all designated and restricted road and highway routes for highway route controlled quantities (HRCQ) of Class 7 (radioactive) materials (RAM) (HRCQ/RAM) and

PHMSA HazMat Final Rule on Compatibility with International Atomic Energy Agency Rules

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), in coordination with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, has published a final rule amending requirements in the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) on the transportation of Class 7 (radioactive) materials based on recent changes contained in the International Atomic Energy Agency

EPA Direct Final Rule on SNURS for Thirteen Chemical Substances, with Two Identified as Nanomaterials

EPA has published a Direct Final Rule to promulgate significant new use rules (SNURs) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for 13 chemical substances that were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMNs). Three of these chemical substances are subject to TSCA section 5(e) consent orders issued by EPA.
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EPA Provides Tool to Help Communities Protect Against Flooding

EPA has created a Flood Resilience Checklist to help communities prepare for, deal with, and recover from floods. The tool offers communities strategies including conserving land in flood-prone areas, directing development to safer areas; and using green infrastructure approaches, such as installing rain gardens, to manage stormwater.
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NIOSH Documents 15 Years of Agriculture Injury Data and Research in New Publication

From NIOSH –
 Down on the Farm; Fifteen Years of Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention
July 1, 2014
 A new publication from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) summarizes fifteen years of childhood agricultural injury data and highlights the agency’s extramural research in childhood agricultural injury prevent

New “Buy Quiet” Resources from NIOSH

From NIOSH – NIOSH Rolls-out New Web Resources to Support Buy Quiet Programs Figuring out how to turn down the noise in the workplace just got easier with the release of new Buy Quiet web resources from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
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NIOSH Makes Funds Available to Improve State Workers’ Comp Surveillance and Intervention

ASSE members who may have relationships with their state’s workers’ compensation program may want to share the availability of this funding opportunity from NIOSH –
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Announces
Workers’ Compensation Surveillance Funding Opportunity
The purpose of this cooperative agreement is to compi

Latest Compliance Assistance Resources from OSHA

From OSHA’s Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs – Please see below for our monthly update on new OSHA compliance assistance resources, including Web resources and publications. See the New Compliance Assistance Products page for a continually updated listing of new resources.
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CSB Approves Draft Report on Deepwater Horizon

From CSB at http://www.csb.
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California Report Urges More Rail Inspectors, Better Spill Response for Oil Shipped by Rail

A report by a group brought together by the California Governor’s Office has found that the state is not prepared to protect adequately the public and the environment from the risks of increased oil shipments by train.  The report along with an interactive Rail Risk and Response Map can be found at http://www.caloes.ca.
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Mizzou Research Finds Possible Link between Drilling, Health

A scientist from the University of Missouri recently published research suggesting a possible link between gas drilling spills and elevated levels of hormone disrupting chemicals in the gas patch areas of Garfield County in Colorado.  The study can be found at http://medicine.missouri.edu/news/0214.
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NIOSH Video Highlights Research on Cops Riding Safer and Noseless Bike Seats

NIOSH has produced a video for YouTube to highlight its research on potential health effects from prolonged bicycling in police bicycle patrol units.  The video can be found at http://is.
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UN GHS e-Learning Course Available

From OSHA’s Kathy Landkrohn, Health Scientist – Dear Stakeholders, We have just returned from the July session of the UN Sub-committee of Experts on the GHS.  While there, our colleagues from the UN Institute of Training and Research announced that they will run their GHS e-learning course from September 15 to November 23, 2014.
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GAO Stuff on Alcohol Ignition Locks, CDC Lab Safety, Aviation Safety and Climate Change

Traffic Safety: Alcohol Ignition Interlocks Are Effective While Installed; Less Is Known about How to Increase Installation Rates. GAO-14-559, June 20.  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-559  Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/664282.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 5.23.14

Watch for Email from ASSE President Kathy Seabrook on Stand-Down for Falls Campaign

From Jim Thornton, CSP, CIH, Chair of ASSE’s Government Affairs Committee: In the next couple of days, every ASSE member should be receiving an email from ASSE President Kathy Seabrook urging participation in the June 2-6 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction.
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ASSE Backs Illinois Safety Consultant Immunity in Proposed WC Change

Breaking News:  On Tuesday, May 20, The Illinois House voted to pass SB 3287, following the Senate’s lead.  The bill still needs to be signed by Governor Pat Quinn to become law.  The bill should reach the Governor’s desk by mid-June, after which he has 90 days to sign it.
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ASSE and Friends of NIOSH Fight for NIOSH ERC and AgFF Research Programs

ASSE joined with 158 other Friends of NIOSH to urge leaders in both the Senate and House Appropriation Subcommittees on Labor, HHS, and Education to include in the Fiscal Year 2015 federal budget at least the Fiscal Year 2014 program level of $332.86 million for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
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ASSE, AIHA and NSC Join Together to Back OSHA and NIOSH FY 2015 Funding

In letters to US Senate and House of Representatives appropriations subcommittees with funding oversight for OSHA and NIOSH, ASSE joined with AIHA and NSC to back adequate funding for the agencies, including a rejection of the Administration’s repeated proposal to cut funding for NIOSH Education and Research Centers and the NORA Agriculture,

ASSE Gov’t Affairs Committee 2014 Capitol Hill Visits

From http://www.asse.org/en/index.
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Latest Developments on OSHA-Arizona Residential Fall Protection Faceoff

Thanks to ASSE’s Arizona Chapter and member Jeremy Bethancourt for contributing to this update – The ongoing drama between federal OSHA and the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH) over enforcement of OSHA’s 6-foot residential fall protection standard continues.
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OSHA Final Rule on Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution

From OSHA’s Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs –
As part of our efforts to keep you informed of OSHA activities, we wanted to let you know that OSHA announced today (see press release below) that it will be issuing a final rule to improve workplace safety and health for workers performing electric power generation, transmission, and

What You Need to Know About OSHA’s New Rule on Electric Power

From the Law Offices of Adele Abrams, Esq. – OSHA’s Final Rule on Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution is published in the April 11, 2014, Federal Register. (79 Fed.Reg. 20316 et seq.).  Most parts of the rule become effective 90 days after publication, on July 10, 2014.
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OSHA Announces 2014 Heat Campaign

From Doug Kalinowski, Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs – OSHA is launching the 2014 Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Workers.  Thank you for all of your assistance in previous years, you have done a great job in helping us reach over 10.7 million workers and employers in over 4,000 meetings and trainings.
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FTA Seeks Comments on Proposed Interim Safety Certification Training Program

The DoT’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has published a notice seeking comments on a proposed interim safety certification training program for federal and state safety oversight personnel and their contractor support who conduct safety audits and examinations of public transportation systems not otherwise regulated by another federal agen

NIOSH Releases New Center for Motor Vehicle Safety 5-Year Strategic Plan

The NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety has released its new 5-year strategic plan.  You can find the plan at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2014-122 and http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/updates/upd-05-01-14.html).
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MSHA Issues Final Rule on Respirable Coal Dust

From MSHA – ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration today announced the release of a final rule to lower miners’ exposure to respirable coal mine dust in all underground and surface coal mines.
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OSHA Announces FY14 Susan Harwood Training Grant Program

OSHA has announced the availability of approximately $3.5 million for Susan Harwood Training Program Targeted Topic Training grants in two categories:  Targeted Topic Training and Targeted Topic Training and Educational Materials Development.  Also announced was the availability of approximately $3.
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NACOSH Nominations Sought

OSHA has published a request for nominations to its National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH).  OSHA states that terms of 8 current members end on May 21, 2014, and the terms of the other 4 members end January 22, 2015.
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GAO Weighs in on Responses to West

At the request of Congress, the General Accountability Office (GAO) studied possible responses to the April 2013 West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion.
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NIOSH on Semi-Autonomous Vehicles

NIOSH’s Center for Motor Vehicle Safety has posted a blog on the emergence of semi-autonomous vehicles and their implications for employer policies for fleet management.  You can find NIOSH’s contribution to fleet safety at http://blogs.cdc.
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OSHA Publishes Court-Ordered Remand of Vertical Tandem Lift Final Rule

OSHA has implemented a court-ordered remand of certain portions of its standard for vertical tandem lifts (VTLs).
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OSHA Confirms Final Rule on Mechanical Power Press Standard

On November 20, 2013, OSHA published in the Federal Register a direct final rule that revised records contained in the Mechanical Power Press Standard.
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OSHA Publishes Four Letters of Interpretation on Hazcom Rule

OSHA has published four letters of interpretation on its revised Hazard Communication Standard.  One letter provides guidance on how to classify health hazards of petroleum streams under the new rule.  The others address combustible dust, hazards not otherwise classified, and classification criteria for Single Target Organ Toxicity.
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DOL OIG Report on MSHA Efforts to Deter Underreporting

The DoL’s Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) Office of Audit conducted a performance audit of MSHA actions to detect and deter underreporting of accidents and occupational injuries and illnesses from 2010 to 2012.
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Tales from DC: May 5 MSHA Stakeholder Meeting

From the Law Offices of Adele Abrams, Esq. – The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) convened a stakeholder meeting on May 5, 2014 to discuss trends in mine-related metal/non-metal fatalities since October 2013. Joe Main stated that these fatalities are an unacceptable trend that needs to be reversed.
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Tales from DC: PHMSA Workshop of Safety Management Systems

On February 27, the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration held a workshop on safety management systems prompted by the API’s release of its draft draft recommended practice for pipeline safety management system requirements.  An API presentation explains the context.
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A Ton of New Compliance Assistance Resources from OSHA

From OSHA’s Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs – As part of our efforts to keep OSHA’s cooperative program participants informed of OSHA’s compliance assistance resources, I am pleased to provide you with the attached quarterly update of new OSHA compliance assistance products, including Web resources and publications.
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Chemical Safety Board Approves Tesoro Refinery Investigation

From CSB.  More info can be found at http://www.csb.
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Tales from DC: Latest SBA OSHA/MSHA Roundtable

From the Law Offices of Adele Abrams: On May 16, the Law Offices of Adele Abrams represented ASSE at the bi-monthly meeting of the Small Business Administration’s OSHA/MSHA roundtable.
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DOT Takes Emergency Action to Keep Crude Oil Shipments Safe

From Department of Transportation at http://www.dot.gov/briefing-room/us-dot-takes-new-emergency-actions-part-comprehensive-strategy-keep-crude-oil WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S.
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FRA and PHMSA Issue Safety Advisory on Tank Cars Used to Transport Crude Oil by Rail

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) have published a Notice of Safety Advisory to those who transport in tank cars by rail in commerce to, from or within the US, a bulk quantity of UN 1267, petroleum crude oil, Class 3, that originates in or is sourced from the Bakken form

GAO Stuff

Reexamining Regulations: Agencies Often Made Regulatory Changes, but Could Strengthen Linkages to Performance Goals. GAO-14-268, April 11.  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-268  Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/662518.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 3.28.14

ASSE Urges OSHA to Withdraw Electronic Reporting Proposed Rule

In comments submitted for the record, ASSE urged OSHA to withdraw its proposed rule Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses until it develops clearer objectives and a stronger rationale for requiring establishments with 250 or more employees to submit quarterly electronically their injury and illness records and summary data annu

JOIN THE EFFORT: ASSE, AIHA and NSC Back OSHA and NIOSH FY 2015 Funding

In letters to US Senate and House of Representatives appropriations subcommittees with funding oversight for OSHA and NIOSH, ASSE joined with AIHA and NSC to back adequate funding for the agencies, including a rejection of the Administration’s repeated proposal to cut funding for NIOSH Education and Research Centers and the NORA Agriculture, Fore

ASSE Testifies at OSHA Silica Hearing

At the March 21, 2014 session of OSHA’s informal public meeting for its proposed rule on occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica, Adele Abrams, Esq., represented ASSE with testimony that summarizing ASSE’s full comment for the record of the rulemaking.
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OSHA Announces June 2-6 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction

ASSE members and, especially, its chapters, will be hearing more from ASSE about OSHA’s June 2-6 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction.  ASSE fully supports this effort and wants to encourage ASSE members to spread the word and encourage organizations throughout the nation to participate.
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CSB Shares FY 2015 Budget Justification

From CSB – The US Chemical Safety Board’s budget justification requests $12.25 million for fiscal year 2015. The requested funds will continue to allow the CSB to investigate high consequence chemical accidents, perform chemical safety studies, and advocate for effective safety recommendations.
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OSHA Releases Temp Worker Compliance Bulletin

OSHA has created a resource,  Temporary Worker Initiative Bulletin No. 1: Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Requirements, providing information on compliance with safety and health requirements when temporary workers are employed.  Requirements for both the staffing agency and the host employer are included.
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OSHA Issues 2014 Site-Specific Targeting Plan

From OSHA – Feb. 26, 2014 WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued its annual inspection plan under the Site-Specific Targeting 2014* program to direct enforcement resources to workplaces where the highest rates of injuries and illnesses occur.
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OSHA 2014 Site Specific Targeting (SST) Plan and Strategic Partnerships

OSHA has issued a directive, effective March 3, 2014, implementing its 2014 Site-Specific Targeting inspection plan.  Below is a memorandum from the Law Offices of Adele Abrams, Esq. providing some further explanation of that directive, which can be found at  https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/Directive_pdf/CPL_02-14-01.
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OSHA Seeks Nominations for Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee

From OSHA – March 13, 2014  WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced that nominations are being accepted for members to serve on the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee.
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Latest Compliance Assistance Resources from OSHA

From OSHA’s Directorate of Compliance and State Plans – Please see below for our monthly update on new OSHA compliance assistance resources, including Web resources and publications. See the New Compliance Assistance Products page for a continually updated listing of new resources. Temporary Workers  Temporary Worker Initiative Bulletin No.
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NIOSH Total Worker Health Program Calls for Abstracts for October Symposium

NIOSH’s Total Worker Health Program announced that abstracts are being accepted for the International Symposium to Advance Total Worker Health (conference information) that will take place October 6-8, 2014, at the Natcher Conference Center on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, MD.
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PHMSA Adoption of Certain Special Permits and Competent Authorities into HazMat Regs

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published a final rule amending the Hazardous Materials Regulations to adopt provisions contained in certain widely used or longstanding special permits and certain competent authority approvals with established safety records.
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OSHA Alliance-Sponsored Webinar on OSHA Emergency Response Standards

From OSHA Director, Office of Outreach Services and Alliances –
Subject: Invitation to attend an OSHA Webinar “A Review of OSHA Standards for Emergency Action Planning and Response” – Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Through the OSHA and American Supply Association (ASA) Alliance, ASA has extended an invitation to Alliance Program participants

MSHA Issues Guidance on Post-Accident Wireless Communication

From MSHA – Who needs this information? This PPL is a general statement of policy that provides mine operators guidance in implementing: (1) post-accident wireless two-way communication between underground and surface personnel and (2) electronic tracking systems, both of which are required by the MINER Act.
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GAO Stuff on Whistleblower Program, Climate Change and Fed Rulemaking

Climate Change: Energy Infrastructure Risks and Adaptation Efforts. GAO-14-74, January 31.  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-74  Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/660559.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 2.26.14

Tales from DC: February 4 House Hearing on Changing OSHA Policies Outside Rulemaking Process

From the Offices of Adele Abrams, Esq. – Date:  February 4, 2014 Re:     House Committee on Education and the Workforce – Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Hearing: “OSHA’s Regulatory Agenda: Changing Long-Standing Policies Outside the Public Rulemaking Process” Participants: Chairman Rep. Tim Walberg, Rep. Jim Courtney, Rep.
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Fix Rulemaking Process and Begin with PELs, ASSE Tells House Subcommittee

In a letter to Subcommitee on Workforce Protections Chairman Tim Walberg for the record of its February 4 hearing on OSHA policies and the rulemaking process, ASSE urged the adoption of specific measures to improve the rulemaking process.
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Maryland Bills to Require Contractor Safety Prequalification Backed by ASSE

ASSE, on behalf of its members in Maryland, supported bills in the Senate and House of Delegates to require the Maryland Department of Labor to develop and adopt a safety questionnaire and a safety rating system for use by the state’s public sector employers determine if bidders on public sector construction projects are committed to workplace s

OSHA Proposes Extending for 3 Years Cranes and Derricks Operator Certification

OSHA has proposed extending by 3 years the deadline for operator certification under its August 2010 standard establishing requirements for cranes and derricks used in construction work.  The new deadline would be November 10, 2017.
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OSHA Announces New MACOSH Membership

OSHA has announced the latest members of its Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (MACOSH).   Jim Thornton, Chair of ASSE’s Government Affairs Committee has been reappointed and will continue to serve as Chair of MACOSH.  Jim is also the former president of AIHA.  Other members are Karen I.
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Tales from DC: February 12 NACOSH Meeting

From the Law Offices of Adele Abrams, Esq. – On February 12, 2014, Adele Abrams, Esq., represented ASSE at a meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH). Due to an impending storm, the meeting was ended early and only 10 members were present (plus one via conference call).
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FMCSA Proposes Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to establish a Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, a database administered by FMCSA that would contain drug and alcohol test result information for CDL holders.
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NIOSH Revises Buddy Breather Policy

In a February 18 letter to interested parties, NIOSH’s National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory announced it is revising its policy on the use of Emergency Breathing Support Systems (EBSS), also known as “Buddy Breathers.
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California Announces March 13 Meeting on Proposed Changes to Repeat Violations

Cal/OSHA announced a March 13 meeting to discuss proposed changes to the definition of “repeat violation” in California regulations.  The changes to section 334(d) would increase the statute of limitations for a repeat violation from 3 years to 5 years.
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OSHA Sets Whistleblower Complaint Rules under Food Safety Act

OSHA has published an interim final rule governing the employee protection (whistleblower) provision found at section 402 of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.
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HIOSHA Takes Back Manufacturing in Revised Agreement with OSHA

In a final rule, OSHA has announced revisions to the Operational Status Agreement between itself and the Hawaii state plan (HIOSH) specifying respective areas of federal and state authority, under which Hawaii will reassume coverage ceded to federal OSHA under a previous agreement in 2012.
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California’s Final Refinery Safety Report Backs Inherently Safer Technologies

California’s Interagency Working Group on Refinery Safety released its final report with recommendations for state actions intended to prevent major incidents like the August 2012 pipe failure at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, which prompted the working group’s creation.
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CSB Responds to California Refinary Safety Report

Statement from CSB Board Chair Rafael Moure-Eraso at http://www.csb.
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PHMSA Public Workshop on Pipeline Safety Management Systems

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has announced a one-day public workshop to discuss a rapidly evolving safety management system (SMS) national consensus standard. At this workshop, diversely comprised panels will discuss key concepts underlying this standard.
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CSB Applauds Code Revisions to Address Gas Blows

From CSB at http://www.csb.gov/csb-chair-applauds-changes-to-icc-codes-addressing-gas-blow-pipe-cleaning-operations-and-hot-work-/ – Washington, DC, February 6, 2014 ­– The chairperson of the U.S.
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DOL’s Inspector General Releases 2014 Audit Workplan

The Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General has published its workplan (http://www.oig.dol.gov/public/reports/oa/2014/FY-2014-Audit-Workplan.pdf) for conducting audits of DoL agencies during the 2014 fiscal year.  Audits involving OSHA and MSHA that will begin or continue include – Review of MSHA Labs—New.
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EPA Proposes Changes to Environmental Radiation Standards for Nuke Power Operations

EPA has published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking requesting comment and information on potential approaches to updating its “Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Nuclear Power Operations” (40 CFR part 190).
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GAO Stuff on Nanomanufacturing, FMCSA and Drinking Water

Nanomanufacturing: Emergence and Implications for U.S. Competitiveness, the Environment, and Human Health, GAO-14-181SP, January 31 http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-181SP Podcast – http://www.gao.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 1.31.14

ASSE Comments on OSHA’s Silica Proposed Rule

In comments submitted for the record, ASSE generally supported OSHA’s proposed rule on Occupational Exposure to Crystalline Silica.  If adopted, a new standard would lower OSHA’s PEL for exposures to silica in the workplace to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air (µg/m3), putting into place a long-standing NIOSH recommendation.
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ASSE Nominates Ron Sokol to ACCSH

ASSE nominated Ron Sokol to OSHA’s Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH).  Along with his significant professional accomplishments, Ron is a current member of ASSE’s Government Affairs Committee and former Administrator of ASSE’s Construction Practice Specialty.
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Less Dollars for OSHA in Deal on 2014 Fed Spending

On January 17, President Obama signed into law H.R.3547, commonly known as the 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill.  the bill sets spending for the remainder of the 2014 fiscal year.  The following is a memo from the Law Offices of Adele Abrams, Esq.
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OSHA Publishes Its 2014 Reg Intentions

On January 7, OSHA published its regulatory flexibility schedule for 2014, which can be found at https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=FEDERAL_REGISTER&p_id=24161.
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OSHA Seeks Input on Chem Safety Standards for Possible Rulemaking

In response to the Obama Administration’s Executive Order 13650 https://www.osha.gov/chemicalexecutiveorder/index.
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MSHA Releases 2013 Preliminary Fatality and Injury Data

From Department of Labor – [01/06/2014] MSHA releases preliminary fatality and injury data for 2013 Mining deaths sharply higher in 4th quarter, following record low fatality rates ARLINGTON, Va. — According to preliminary data released by the U.S.
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Tales from DC: Latest SBA OSHA/MSHA Roundtable Meeting

The following is a memo from the Law Offices of Adele Abrams, Esq., reporting on the latest regular meeting held by the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy to allow stakeholders to discuss the latest OSHA/MSHA regulatory developments.
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SDOs Sue to Protect Voluntary Consensus Standards Copyright

The ongoing struggle over the availability of voluntary consensus standards cited in government regulations has moved into a new arena with the filling in August 2013 of lawsuit by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), ASTM International (ASTM), and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) a

CSB Releases Draft Report on 2010 Tesoro Refinery Fatal Explosion

From CSB at http://www.csb.
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OSHA Extends Comment Period on Electronic Reporting Proposed Rule

OSHA extended the comment period on the proposed rule “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses,” which would amend the recordkeeping regulations to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness records employers are already required to keep under OSHA’s regulations for recording and reporting occupa

NIOSH Seeks Comment on Standard Criteria Document on Exposure to Heat and Hot Environments

NIOSH has announced the availability of a draft Criteria Document entitled Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Heat and Hot Environments for public comment.  The notice and related materials can be found at http://www.regulations.gov.  Enter CDC-2013-0025 in the search field and click Search.
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NACOSH Meeting February 12

OSHA’s National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) will meet February 12 and a NACOSH Work Group on February 11in the afternoon at the Department of Labor in Washington, DC.  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-01-16/html/2014-00677.
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OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee to Meet March 11

OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee (WPAC) will meet March 11 WPAC Work Groups will meet on Monday, March 10, 2014, at the Department of Labor in Washington, DC.  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-01-23/html/2014-01308.
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EPA Publishes Final Rule to Implement Haz Waste Electronic Manifest System

From EPA – Release Date: 01/15/2014 WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued a final rule that is a crucial step in the development of a national electronic manifest (e-Manifest) system, which will upgrade the current paper-based system of tracking hazardous waste to an electronic one.
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FMSCA Final Rule on Patterns of Safety Violations by Motor Carrier Management

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published a final rule amending its regulations to enable it to suspend or revoke the operating authority registration of for-hire motor carriers that show egregious disregard for safety compliance, permit persons who have shown egregious disregard for safety compliance to exercise control

NYCOSH Says More Needed to Protect Emergency Responders in Disaster

In a report released December 30, 2013, the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) says that the nation is not prepared to protect emergency response workers’ safety and health if another 9/11-scale disaster occurs.
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PHMSA Rulemaking to Adopt ASME and National Board Inspection Codes

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend the Hazardous Materials Regulations applicable to the design, construction, certification, recertification and maintenance of cargo tank motor vehicles, cryogenic portable tanks and multi-unit tank car tanks (ton tanks) i

PHMSA Advisory Bulletin on Preparing Oil Spill Facility Response Plans

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued an Advisory Bulletin to remind all onshore oil pipeline operators of the circumstances of the Marshall, Michigan, pipeline accident and the need to update FRPs every five years from the date of last submission or the last approval according to its significant and substant

FCC Proposes Rule on Expanding Mobile Wireless on Aircraft

In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposes to revise outdated rules and adopt consistent new rules governing mobile communications services aboard airborne aircraft.
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GAO Stuff on Cruise Vessels and Clean Water

Cruise Vessels: Most Required Security and Safety Measures Have Been Implemented, but Concerns Remain About Crime Reporting. GAO-14-43, December 20.  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-43  Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/659898.pdf  Podcast: http://www.gao.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 12.20.13

NIOSH Searching for PtD Coordinator

Prevention through Design (PtD) is a significant, cutting-edge safety program (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/ptd/) that NIOSH undertook with the involvement of some leading ASSE members in the field.  ASSE has a strong interest in helping make sure the PtD program succeeds.
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OSHA Seeks Input on PSM Standard

In response to President Obama’s Executive Order 13650, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security (http://www.whitehouse.
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Whistleblower Complaint Filing Now Online

From OSHA – December 5, 2013 Whistleblowers can now file complaints online with OSHA Agency launches online form to provide workers a new way to file retaliation complaints WASHINGTON – Whistleblowers covered by one of 22 statutes administered by the U.S.
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OSHA Publishes Fall 2013 Reg Agenda

From the Law Office of Adele Abrams, Esq., ASSE’s Federal Representative – OSHA and MSHA Post Plans for Additional Regulations Under Executive Orders in effect since 1993, two times a year, spring and fall, the federal government is supposed to publish a “unified agenda” of planned actions on regulations.
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Republican Senators Call for New Silica SBRFA Panels

From Senate HELP Committee website at http://www.help.senate.
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OSHA Publishes Direct Final Rule to Revise Mechanical Power Presses Standard

OSHA is making two main revisions to its Mechanical Power Presses Standard.
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Harkin Unveils Investigation on Fed Contractor Labor and Safety Law Violations

Press Release from Senator Harkin’s Office, available at http://www.harkin.senate.gov/press/release.
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CSB Calls for Safety Case Approach in California Refineries

From CSB at http://www.csb.
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Incorporation by Reference Rulemaking Comment Period Extended

On November 18, 2013, the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) published an extension of the comment period for our proposal to amend our regulations governing the approval of agency requests to incorporate material by reference into the Code of Federal Regulations.  OFR has corrected the date of that extension.
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FMCSA Provides Reg Guidance on Partial Short Haul Driver Rest Breaks

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published regulatory guidance to address the application of the 30-minute break rule to interstate drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) who begin their duty days as “short haul” drivers exempt from the break rule but who occasionally exceed the short haul distance or tim

CSB Develops Resource for High School Chem Lab Safety

From CSB – CSB Releases Safety Message Focusing on Preventing Accidents in High School Chemistry Labs Washington, DC, December 10, 2013—The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) today released, “After the Rainbow,” a video safety message focused on potential dangers in high school chemistry laboratories.
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PHMSA HazMat Final Rule to Enhance Enforcement Procedures

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published a final rule to put into effect provisions of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2012 related to enhanced inspection, investigation, and enforcement authority established by the law.
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PHMSA 2014 Minimum Rand Drug Testing Percentage

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published in the Federal Register its notice that the minimum random drug testing rate for covered employees will remain at 25 percent during calendar year 2014.
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Electronic Reporting Under the Toxic Substances Control Act

EPA has issued a final rule amending reporting requirements promulgating under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to require the use electronic reporting.
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GAO Stuff on Rail Safety, DHS, and Oil and Gas Resources

Rail Safety: Improved Human Capital Planning Could Address Emerging Safety Oversight Challenges. GAO-14-85, December 9.  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-85  Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/659537.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 11.19.13

Electronic Reporting of Injury and Illness Data Proposed by OSHA

In a November 7 teleconference for news media and leading stakeholders, OSHA announced a proposed rule to amend its recordkeeping standards to require employers to submit electronically the injury and illness data OSHA already requires them to keep.  The proposal was published the next day.
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Public Meeting on Recordkeeping Proposed Rule

OSHA has announced an informal public meeting on the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses proposed rule. The purpose of the public meeting is to allow interested persons to provide oral remarks regarding the proposed rule.
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ACCSH Request for Nominations and December Meeting Announcement

OSHA’s Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) will meet December 5-6, 2013, in Washington, DC. And OSHA has announced the Assistant Secretary of Labor has requested nominations for membership on ACCSH. ACCSH will meet from 1 to 4 p.m., e.t., Thursday, December 5, 2013, and Friday, December 6, 2013.
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OSHA Resources to Encourage Safer Chemicals and Better PELs

From OSHA – October 24, 2013 OSHA releases new resources to better protect workers from hazardous chemicals  WASHINGTON – Each year in the United States, tens of thousands of workers are made sick or die from occupational exposures to the thousands of hazardous chemicals that are used in workplaces every day. The U.S.
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OMB Says Shutdown Halted Hundreds of OSHA Inspections and Consultations

In a report  that summarizes the overall impact of the 16-day government shutdown, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said that OSHA missed about 1400 inspections, conducted about 16 percent of the inspections it conducted in the same period the year before, and missed providing consultative services to about 500 businesses.
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OSHA Urges Retailers to Take Black Friday Workplace Safety Precautions

From OSHA – 11/18/2013   WASHINGTON – In advance of the holiday season, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is encouraging retail employers to take precautions to prevent workplace injuries during major sales events, including Black Friday.
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FACOSH Announces Meeting

OSHA’s Federal Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health (FACOSH) has announced a meeting  on December 5, 2013, in Washington, DC.  FACOSH will meet from 1 to 4:30 p.m., Thursday, December 5, 2013.  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-11-15/html/2013-27382.
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Tales from DC: Latest SBA Labor Safety Roundtable

Prepared by the Office of Adele Abrams, Esq., ASSE’s Federal Representative: The every-other month Small Business Administration Labor Safety (OSHA/MSHA) Roundtable had a heavier than usual agenda for this meeting.
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Tales from DC: 50th Meeting of Railroad Safety Advisory Committee

From Law Offices of Adele Abrams, Esq., ASSE’s Federal Representative – On October 31, 2013, I represented ASSE at the 50th meeting of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee in Washington, DC.
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OSHA Publishes New Tech Manual Section on Noise

From OSHA Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs – As part of our efforts to keep you informed of new workplace safety and health resources, we wanted to let you know that OSHA has published OSHA Technical Manual (OTM), Section III: Chapter 5 – Noise. The new chapter, effective August 15, 2013, can be downloaded from the OSHA Web site.
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MSHA Seeks Comments on Revised Instructions for Coal Mine Rescue Teams

MSHA has requested comments on revised instruction guides for coal mine rescue team training.   MSHA prescribes training materials through the issuance of instruction guides.  Existing standards for coal mine rescue teams include criteria for mine operators to certify the qualifications of the teams.
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A Veritable Ton of OSHA Compliance Assistance Resources Made Available

From OSHA’s Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs –
As part of our efforts to keep OSHA’s cooperative program participants informed of OSHA’s compliance assistance resources, I am pleased to provide you with the attached quarterly update of new OSHA compliance assistance products, including Web resources, publications, and success s

Obama Orders Fed Agencies to Prepare for Climate Change

By Executive Order, President Obama has ordered federal agencies to present plans to combat climate change “to strengthen their resilience to extreme weather and prepare for other impacts of climate change.
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NTSB Questions FMCSA Effectiveness

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has sent a letter to DoT Secretary Anthony Foxx recommending an audit of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
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OSHA Adopts Final Rule Updating Signage Standards Based on National Consensus Standards

On June 13, 2013, OSHA published a direct final rule that revised its signage standards for general industry and construction by updating references to ANSI national consensus standards.  OSHA also published a companion proposed rule to move forward if it received adverse comments.
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Public Citizen Says Safety Training Reduces Construction Injuries and Fatalities

A Public Citizen report  prepared to bolster efforts to pass a York City ordinance to ensure training for all construction workers on taxpayer-funded projects concludes that on-the-job safety training has been proven to reduce construction industry injuries and fatalities.
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NIOSH Study Reinforces Connection Between Fire Fighting and Cancer

A NIOSH study on mortality and cancer incidence in career fire fighters has demonstrated an elevated risk of cancer compared to the general U.S. population.  Published in Occupational & Environmental Medicine, the study population included fire fighters Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco.
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Quebec Researchers Offer Workplace Carcinogen Guide

A Quebec scientific research organization, The Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST), has published, “Are There Carcinogens in Your Workplace?” a 14-page resource addressing how to identify carcinogens and reduce exposure in the workplace.  The document can be found at http://www.irsst.qc.
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EU-OSHA Study Anticipates Green OSH Risks

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work has published a “foresight study” that identifies possible future scenarios for occupational safety and health in green jobs under different economic and social conditions.
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PHMSA Proposed Rule on Failure To Pay Civil Penalties

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has proposed amending its hazardous material procedures to prohibit a person who fails to pay a civil penalty or abide by a payment agreement from performing activities regulated by the Hazardous Materials Regulations until payment is made.  Comments are due November 25, 2013.
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PHMSA Safety Advisories on Unauthorized Filling of Compressed Gas Cylinders

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a Safety Advisory Notice to notify the public that PHMSA has confirmed that Komer Carbonic Corp.
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BSEE Extends Comment Period for Production Safety Systems Proposed Rule

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has extended the comment period for its production safety systems proposed rule published in the Federal Register on August 22, 2013.  BSEE received multiple requests from various industry representatives to extend the comment period.  Comments are due December 5, 2013.  http://www.gpo.
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BSEE Updates Fees

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has published a final rule updating service fees for oil and gas and sulphur operations in the Outer Continental Shelf.  The final rule became effective on October 1, 2013. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-10-01/html/2013-23874.
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NIEHS Develops Nanomaterial Research Program

In support of National Nanotechnology Initiative, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) has developed an integrated, strategic research program, “ONE Nano: NIEHS’s Strategic Initiative on the Health and Safety Effects of Engineered Nanomaterials” to increase understanding of how engineered nanomaterials (ENM) interac

California Adopts Regulations to Require Safer Chemicals

On October 1, California adopted new regulations designed to create safer substitutes for hazardous ingredients in products sold in the state.  An article written by The Center for Effective Government outlines the new California regulations.
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EPA Proposes New Emission Standards for Flexible Polyurethane Foam Production

EPA has proposed amendments to the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Flexible Polyurethane Foam Production to address the results of the residual risk and technology review.
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GAO Stuff on Security and Nuclear Power

Supply Chain Security: DHS Could Improve Cargo Security by Periodically Assessing Risks from Foreign Ports, GAO-13-764, September 16  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-764 Nuclear Power: Analysis of Regional Differences and Improved Access to Information Could Strengthen NRC Oversight. GAO-13-743, September 27.  http://www.gao.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 9.27.13

ASSE Comments on NIOSH Strategic Goals for Traumatic Injury Research

ASSE provided comments in response to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) proposed Strategic Goals for its Traumatic Injury Research and Prevention Program.
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OSHA Publishes Proposed Rule on Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica

ASSE’s initial response to the proposed rule, by President Kathy Seabrook, can be found at  http://www.asse.org/en/index.php/govt_affairs/asse-president-kathy-seabrook-comments-on-announcement-of-silica-proposed-rule/.  An ASSE task force of members will be developing a comment on the proposed rule.
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BLS Preliminary 2012 Workplace Fatality Data Released

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has issued its preliminary data on 2012 workplace fatalities.  The BLS news release outlining the results can be found at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cfoi.pdf.  Below is a statement from the new Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez. August 22, 2013  Statement by Secretary of Labor Thomas E.
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EPA, OSHA and ATF Issue Chemical Advisory on Ammonium Nitrate

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and OSHA have issued a chemical advisory providing information on the hazards of ammonium nitrate storage, handling and management.
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NIOSH PtD Program Releases Education Modules

From NIOSH athttp://www.cdc.gov/niosh/programs/ptdesign/pubs.html The Prevention through Design Program is pleased to announce the release of four education modules, consisting of an Instructor’s Manual and a slide deck.
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OSHA Establishes Public Sector Safety and Health Fundamentals Certificate Program

From OSHA at https://www.osha.gov/dte/public_sector/index.html The certificate program in Public Sector Safety & Health Fundamentals supports OSHA’s mission by training public sector employees in occupational safety and health to reduce incident rates for workers in state and local governments.
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BSEE Proposed Rule on Oil and Gas and Sulphur Production Safety Systems

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has proposed to amend and update the regulations regarding oil and natural gas production by addressing issues such as: Safety and pollution prevention equipment lifecycle analysis, production safety systems, subsurface safety devices, and safety device testing.
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NIOSH Research Finds Higher Risk of Older Workers on the Road

As part of the ongoing work of NIOSH’s Center for Motor Vehicle Safety, Stephanie Pratt, PhD, and Rosa L. Rodríguez-Acosta, PhD, of NIOSH’s Division of Safety Research, have determined how much higher risk older workers face at work on the highway.
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Professional Safety Interviews NIOSH’s Transportation Safety Expert Stephanie Pratt

Stephanie Pratt is project coordinator of the NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety.  She is interviewed about her work addressing the number one risk of workplace fatalities in the September 2013 issue of Professional Safety, at http://www.asse.org/professionalsafety/ps-asks2.
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NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety Develops Young Driver Factsheets

From NIOSH at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/updates/upd-09-04-13.html – A new set of fact sheets is now available to help young drivers stay safe on the job.
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CSB Calls for Reactive Chemical Regulation in Response to West Fertilizer Plant Explosion

On August 20, 213, CSB Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso called for regulatory coverage of reactive chemicals following the ammonium nitrate explosion that killed at least 14 people and devastated West, Texas in April.  CSB’s press release can be found at http://www.csb.
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GAO Criticizes USDA for Pilot Projects on Speeding Up Meat Processing Lines

In a report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) failed to evaluate properly three pilot programs used as the basis for a proposed rule to increase line speeds in poultry-processing facilities.
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OSHA Awards Harwood Grants

From OSHA – 9/16/13 $10.1 million in Susan Harwood safety and health training grants awarded to 70 organizations by US Department of Labor’s OSHA WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration today awarded $10.
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FAA Finalizes Policy on Sharing Regulation of Flight Crews with OSHA

In December 2012, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published a draft policy statement in the Federal Register for public notice and comment on the regulation of some occupational safety and health conditions affecting cabin crew members on aircraft in operation by OSHA.  That policy can be found athttp://www.faa.
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NIOSH Free Online Workplace Violence Prevention Course for Nurses and Direct-Care Providers

From NIOSH – August 12, 2013  On-Line Course Trains Nurses on Preventing Workplace Violence A new free on-line course aims to train nurses on recognizing and preventing workplace violence.
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Nominations to FACOSH Sought

The Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA has invited interested individuals to submit nominations for membership on Federal Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (FACOSH).  Nominations of federal employees for FACOSH must be submitted by November 5, 2013.  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-06/html/2013-21663.
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PHMSA Announces Update of Regs with Consensus Standards

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), in a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), has proposed to amend its pipeline safety regulations to incorporate by reference (IBR) all or parts of new, updated, or reaffirmed editions of voluntary consensus standards that are available on the Internet, free-of-charge, to the public

PHMSA Rulemaking on Improving Safety of Railroad Tank Car Transportation

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) that would revise the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to improve the regulations applicable to the transportation of hazardous materials by rail.
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PHMSA Advisory Bulletin on Leak Repair Clamps Recall

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued an Advisory Bulletin to alert pipeline operators of a T.D. Williamson, Inc. (TDW) Leak Repair Clamp (LRC) recall issued by TDW on June 17, 2013.  The recall covers all TDW LRCs of any pressure class and any size.
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OSHRC Seeks Comments on Possible Alternative Dispute Resolution at Review Level

The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) has invited the public to comment on the potential development of an alternative dispute resolution program at the review level.  Comments are due October 21, 2013.  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-22/html/2013-20526.
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EPA Reconsideration of Final Rule on Reciprocating and Stationary Internal Combustion Engine Emissions

In January 2013, EPA finalized amendments to the national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants for stationary reciprocating internal combustion engines and the standards of performance for stationary internal combustion engines. Subsequently, the EPA received three petitions for reconsideration of the final rule.
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PHMSA Final Rule on Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safe Clearance

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have amended the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs) to prohibit a driver of a commercial motor vehicle or of a motor vehicle transporting certain hazardous materials

GAO Stuff on EPA Child Health, Nuke Security, Cargo Tanks Trucks and Food Safety

Environmental Health: EPA Has Made Substantial Progress but Could Improve Processes for Considering Children’s Health. GAO-13-254, August 12.  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-254  Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/656921.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 8.12.13

ASSE President Kathy Seabrook Congratulates New Labor Secretary on Confirmation

New Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez has been appointed and is on the job.  You can find out more about Secretary Perez from the Department of Labor website at http://www.dol.gov/_sec/.  ASSE responded with the following statement from President Kathy Seabrook on his confirmation by the Senate, at http://www.asse.org/en/index.
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ASSE Supports Executive Order on Chemical Facility Safety and Security

On August 1, President Obama issued an Executive Order that is intended to bring OSHA, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies together to address various issues related to the safety and security of chemical facilities.  The order can be found at http://www.whitehouse.
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ASSE Comments on CSB Call to Update OSHA Chem Standards, Vote on Most Wanted Chem Standard

On July 25, the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) held a meeting to reiterate its concern over several recommendations to OSHA the Board has made over the years to encourage OSHA to amend and adopt certain standards related to chemical safety but have not been addressed.
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Department of Labor Issues Semiannual Agenda of Regulations

OSHA has published its required Regulatory Plan, a subset of its regulatory agenda, which lays out the regulatory priorities and the regulatory actions the Department wants to highlight as its most important and significant.  The plan can be found at  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-07-23/html/2013-17064.htm.
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OSHA Requires Federal Agencies to Report Injury and Illness Data to BLS

From OSHA – Aug.
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OSHA Hears Stakeholders and Withdraws Proposed Consultation Program Changes

From OSHA – Aug. 7, 2013 OSHA withdraws proposed rule to amend On-site Consultation Program WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced its decision to withdraw a proposed rule to amend its regulations for the federally-funded On-site Consultation Program.
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DOT Responds to Lac-M[eacute]gantic Railroad Incident

DOT’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a Notice of Safety Advisory and announced an Emergency Meeting of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee in response to the catastrophic Canadian railroad accident that occurred when an unattended freight train containing haza

MSHA Requests Info on Refuge Alternatives for Underground Coal Mines

MSHA has published a request for information seeking data, comments, and information on issues and options relevant to miners’ escape and refuge that may present more effective solutions than the existing rule during underground coal mine emergencies.
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Audit Reveals OSHA and State Plans’ Use of Recovery Act Funds

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, passed to provide economic stimulus at the height of the recession, gave $13.6 million to OSHA.  Of that amount, $6.4 million was never spent, for various reasons.  The report on use of funding written by the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General can be found at http://www.oig.dol.
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Next ACCSH Meeting August 22-23 in DC

From OSHA – OSHA will hold a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) Aug. 22-23, 2013, in Washington, D.C.
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OSHA and NIOSH Issue Hazard Alert on 1-Bromopropane

From OSHA –   July 31, 2013 OSHA and NIOSH issue hazard alert on 1-bromopropane, urge efforts to safeguard workers from exposure to toxic chemical WASHINGTON – The U.S.
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OSHA and Canadian Department of Health Sign MOU to Align HazCom Standards

From OSHA – June 19, 2013 OSHA and Canadian health department sign Memorandum of Understanding to align hazardous communication standards  WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch of the Department of Health of Canada.
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PHMSA Guidance on Heating Rail Tank Cars for HazMat Unloading or Transloading

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published safety advisory guidance providing safety precautions and recommended guidance for persons responsible for unloading or transloading hazardous materials from rail tank cars.
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PHMSA Final Rule Revises Fireworks Regs

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has revised its Hazardous Materials Regulations applicable to the approval of Division 1.4G consumer fireworks (UN0336 Fireworks) and establishing DOT-approved fireworks certification agencies that provide an alternative to the approval process for Division 1.4G consumer fireworks.
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Tales from DC: Latest SBA OSHA/MSHA Roundtable Meeting

The SBA OSHA/MSHA Roundtable Meeting is a good resource for information on directions occupational safety and health regulation is heading.  This report is by Adele Abrams, Esq., ASSE’s Federal Representative. August 9, 2013 On July 26, 2013, I represented ASSE at the bimonthly meeting of the SBA’s OSHA/MSHA Roundtable.
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PHMSA Safety Alert on Risks of LP Gas Odor Fade

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a safety alert to notify the public of the risks associated with the under-odorization of Liquefied Petroleum Gases (LPG). The alert advises shippers and carriers of the recommended procedures to ensure that LPG is properly odorized by all modes of transportation.
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PHMSA Reminds of Requirements for Utility LP-Gas and LPG Pipeline Systems

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued an Advisory Bulletin to remind owners and operators of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and utility liquefied petroleum gas that, although they must follow the ANSI/NFPA standards 58 or 59, they must also follow certain sections and requirements of Part 192.  http://www.
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PHMSA Issues Advisory Bulletin on Potential for Flooding Damage to Pipeline Facilities

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued an advisory bulletin to all owners and operators of gas and hazardous liquid pipelines to communicate the potential for damage to pipeline facilities caused by severe flooding.
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EPA Final Rule on Emission Standards for Petroleum Refineries

EPA has issued a final rule amending the national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants for heat exchange systems at petroleum refineries.
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PHMSA Final Rule on Safe Transport of Air Bag Inflators and Modules, Seat-Belt Pretensioners

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has amended the Hazardous Materials Regulations applicable to air bag inflators, air bag modules, and seat-belt pretensioners. The revisions incorporate the provisions of two special permits into the regulations.
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New DOT Driver Hours-of-Service Rule Began July 1

From DOT at http://go.usa.gov/bJcG Monday, July 1, 2013 New Hours-of-Service Safety Regulations to Reduce Truck Driver Fatigue Begin Today WASHINGTON — The U.S.
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British Columbia Trucking Safety Group Conducts Research on Falls from Trucks

From @NIOSHTransport @TruckSafe, comes a report on falls from non-moving vehicles produced by SafetyDriven, the Trucking Safety Council on British Columbia.  The reports states: “Falls from Non-moving vehicles make up approximately 46% of all falls experienced by all truck drivers or about 12 % of all injuries experienced.
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GAO Stuff on Climate Change, Pipeline Safety and NOAA

GAO Stuff Climate Change: Various Adaptation Efforts Are Under Way at Key Natural Resource Management Agencies, GAO-13-253, May 31  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-253 Gas Pipeline Safety: Guidance and More Information Needed before Using Risk-Based Reassessment Intervals, GAO-13-577, June 27  http://www.gao.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 6.18.13

ASSE Backs CSB FY 14 Budget Request, Asks Help in Setting Investigation Priorities Among Fed Agencies

In a letter to the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, ASSE stated its support for the Administration’s proposal to fund the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB). The Administration proposed funding CSB at $11.484 milion, an 8.
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Florida Governor Scott Signs ASSE-Backed Texting Ban Into Law

On May 28, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law a bill to ban texting while driving actively supported supported by ASSE and its members in Florida. ASSE joined in a state-wide, bipartisan effort to pass the bill that was led by the FL DNT TXT+DRIVE COALITION, as the press release announcing Governor Scott’s action indicates.
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Highlights of ASSE GAC Annual Hill Visits in DC

ASSE’s Government Affairs Committee (GAC) conducted its annual Capitol Hill visits and meeting in Washington, DC, May 4-7 in conjunction with ASSE NAOSH Week activities hosted by OSHA at the Department of Labor.  The GAC meets twice a year, in the spring in DC and in the fall in Des Plaines, typically.
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Good Year for GA at Safety 2013 in Las Vegas

2013 is a very good year for government affairs at the PDC, and you are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities to hear from those who help make the decisions in DC that impact your practice. Four either current or past federal safety agency leaders are participating.
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OSHA Sets New Policy for VPP Fatalities

On May 29, OSHA issued VPP Policy Memorandum #7: Further Improvements to the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) to set new policy and procedures for fatalities and catastrophes at VPP or a Mobile Workforce (MWF) site, effective immediately.
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OSHA Direct Final Rule Updates Signage Standards

OSHA has issued a direct final rule to update its general industry and construction signage standards by adding references to the latest versions of the ANSI standards on specifications for accident prevention signs and tags, ANSI Z535.1-2006(R2011), Z535.2-2011 and Z535.5-2011.
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NIOSH Creates Ladder Safety App

From NIOSH – We are pleased to announce the availability of a new free application (app) for mobile phone devices aimed at improving extension ladder safety.  The NIOSH Ladder Safety phone app has an angle of inclination indicator making it easy to set an extension ladder at the proper angle of 75.5 degrees.
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NIOSH Releases Nail Gun Safety Publication

From NIOSH – As part of our efforts to keep you informed of new workplace safety and health resources, we wanted to let you know that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has released an innovative new publication titled Straight Talk About Nail Gun Safety [DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No.
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OSHA Final Cranes and Derricks in Construction Rule Revising Exemption for Digger Derricks

In November 2012 OSHA published a direct final rule and proposed rulemaking to broaden the exemption for digger derricks in its construction standard for cranes and derricks.  OSHA received a significant adverse comment on the direct final rule during the comment period, and as a result, OSHA withdrew the direct final rule on February 7, 2013.
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OSHA Announces Intent to Extend Crane Operator Certification Compliance Date

From OSHA – May 22, 2013 OSHA announces intent to extend compliance date for crane operator certification requirements WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced that it will propose to extend the compliance date for the crane operator certification requirement by three years to Nov. 10, 2017.
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California Reports on Worker Lead Exposure

A new report from the California Occupational Blood Lead Registry has found a continued risk of lead exposure to workers in the state.  The largest numbers of workers with elevated BLLs live in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, and Alameda counties.
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WHO Proposes New Pandemic Flue Alert System

Based on lessons learned during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has proposed a new pandemic alert system that is designed to focus more on the risk of the disease than on its geographic spread.  The WHO’s proposal can be found at  http://www.who.
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EPA Final Rule Updates NCP Priorities List

CERCLA of 1980 requires that the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (“NCP”) include a list of national priorities among the known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants throughout the US.  This is the National Priorities List (NPL’).
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EPA Proposed Rule on Formaldehyde Emissions for Composite Wood Products

EPA has proposed new requirements under the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act (Title VI of the Toxic Substances Control Act [TSCA]).
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GAO Stuff

Worker Safety and Health at Department of Energy Sites, GAO-13-497R, May 29 http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-497R Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Lobbying Policies and Monitoring for Program to Reduce Obesity and Tobacco Use. GAO-13-477R, April 30.  http://www.gao.
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ASSE Urges Obama to Advance l2P2 Rule as Fitting Response to West Explosion and 13 Deaths Daily in US Workplaces

In a May 16 letter, ASSE urged President Obama to direct his Administration to move forward OSHA rulemaking on an injury and illness prevention program (I2P2) standard as an appropriate response to the April 19 fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, that took 15 lives as well as the nearly 13 lives lost each day in US workplaces.
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ASSE Joins 221 Stakeholders in Fight for NIOSH ERCs and Ag, Farm and Fishing Research Program

For the third year in a row, the Obama Administration has proposed eliminating funding for the National Insitute for  Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Education and Research Centers (ERCs) and the NORA Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (AgFF) research program.
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Nearly Six Years for Fake Haz Waste Training and Impersonating an OSHA Official

Connie M. Knight, formerly of Belle Chasse, La., has been sentenced to serve 57 months in prison in New Orleans federal court for providing fraudulent hazardous waste safety training in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill.  Ms.
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OSHA Says Union Can Rep Employee in Walkarounds in Non-Union Workplaces

On February 21, OSHA issued a guidance letter answering the question “whether workers at a workplace without a collective bargaining agreement may authorize a person who is affiliated with a union or a community organization to act as their representative under” the OSH Act, including “’representing the employee(s) as a personal represe

OSHA Issues Memo on SVEP Removal Criteria

OSHA has issued a memorandum (http://www.osha.gov/dep/enforcement/memo_SVEP_removal_criteria_082012.html) that sets out criteria for employers to be removed from the Severe Violator Enforcement Pro­­gram (SVEP).
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NIOSH Issues Bulletin on Nanotubes and Nanofibers

In April, NIOSH issued a Current Intelligence Bulletin (CIB) on occupational exposure to carbon nanotubes and nanofibers.
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CSB Investigating West Explosion

Along with various other agencies jockeying for priority in carrying out their investigations, the US Chemical Safety and Hazards Investigation Board (CSB) is in West, Texas, to investigate the explosion that took 15 lives.
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New ACCSH Appointed

Various ASSE members typically belong to ACCSH and the other OSHA advisory committees.  Two notable ASSE members are included here.  Jeremy Bethancourt recently received the ASSE Triangle Award for Heroism at NAOSH Week events hosted by OSHA at the Department of Labor.
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Texting with Voice as Dangerous as Texting with Fingers Study Says

A study sponsored by the Southwest Region University Transportation Center and conducted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute has found that using voice to send text messages while driving is just as dangerous as texting.  You can find the report at http://tti.tamu.edu/group/cts/texting-and-driving/.
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NTSB Offers Targeted Interventions to Combat Drunk Driving

On May 14, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a report containing targeted interventions to eliminate alcohol-impaired driving crashes. The interventions include setting blood-alcohol limits at .
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House Dems Ask GAO to Examine Oversight Gaps at West and Similar Facilities

From House Committee on Education and the Workforce Democrats – Reps. George Miller (D-Calif.) and Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) this week requested that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigate gaps in regulatory oversight of the West, Texas fertilizer plant where an April 17 explosion killed 15 and injured more than 200.
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Free GHS Webinar through OSHA Alliance

From OSHA’s  Office of Outreach Services and Alliances – As part of our efforts to keep you informed of the agency’s activities, you should know that, as part of its Alliance with OSHA, the Society of Chemical Hazard Communication (SCHC) will host a free webinar on Thursday, July 25, 2013 from 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM (EST).
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OSHA Final Rule on Cranes and Derricks in Underground Construction and Demolition

In August 2012, OSHA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking and companion direct final rule that proposed applying the requirements in OSHA’s 2010 cranes and derricks construction standard to underground construction work and  demolition work.
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OSHA Announces Harwood Grant Availability

From OSHA – US Department of Labor’s OSHA seeks applications for $1.5 million in Susan Harwood safety and health training grants WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is soliciting applications under the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, through which a total of $1.
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MACOSH Reestablished

OSHA has published a notice that the charter of the Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (MACOSH) has been reestablished, at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-04-12/html/2013-08654.htm Jim Thornton, Chair of ASSE’s Government Affairs Committee, also chairs MACOSH.
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Temporary Reduction of HazMat Registration Fees

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published a final rule to meet its responsibilities under the federal hazardous materials transportation law that requires DOT to adjust the amount of the annual registration fee to account for any unexpended balance in the Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) Fund.
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PHMSA Final Rule on Revision of Max and Minimum HazMat Civil Penalties

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is revising the references in its regulations to the maximum and minimum civil penalties for a knowing violation of the federal hazardous material transportation law or a regulation, order, special permit, or approval issued under that law.
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EPA Proposed Rule on Emissions for Mineral Wool Production and Wool Fiberglass Manufacturing

In a proposed rule and notice of public hearing, EPA has proposed chromium and particulate matter (for metals) standards for wool fiberglass gas-fired glass-melting furnaces at area sources and adds these sources to the category list in the Urban Air Toxics Strategy.
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GAO Stuff on FAA, Chemicals, Superfund and Livestock

Aviation Safety: FAA Efforts Have Improved Safety, but Challenges Remain in Key Areas, GAO-13-442T, April 16 http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-442T Toxic Substances: EPA Has Increased Efforts to Assess and Control Chemicals but Could Strengthen Its Approach, GAO-13-249, March 22  http://www.gao.
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Contractor Prequalification Bill Backed by ASSE in Maryland

ASSE and its members in Maryland expressed support for a bill (HB 1486) that would require the Maryland Department of Labor to develop and adopt a safety questionnaire and a safety rating system for the state’s public sector employers to use to help ensure that bidders for public sector construction projects can demonstrate a commitment to worker

ASSE Florida Members Back Legislative Effort to Ban Texting

Inspired by fellow ASSE members’ effort to ban texting in Arizona, Florida’s ASSE members have joined in an effort to pass legislation that would ban texting in their state.
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AZ Texting Ban Bill Sponsor Speaks Eloquently in Face of Defeat

Facing certain defeat on the Arizona Senate floor, Senator Steve Farley still spoke with eloquence and calm determination in support of an amendment that would move forward his bill (SB1218) to ban texting in the state. Senator Farley’s defense of the effort and the debate against it was captured YouTube.
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OSHA Alliance Publication Recognizes ASSE and Members for Sandy Help

The following article appeared in the March 2013 issue of the Alliance Quarterly Review, a publication of OSHA’s Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs.
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ASSE at OSHA Stakeholder Meetings on Backing

On February 5, ASSE member Odean Slaton represented ASSE at OSHA’s stakeholder meeting on the issue of backing that was held in Arlington, Texas.  The report from that meeting and a previous meeting in Washington, DC, is now available at http://www.osha.gov/doc/topics/backover/otherresources.html.
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OSH Political Season Begins in DC

The political season for occupational safety and health has begun, as uncertainty over how long the impact of sequestration on safety and health-related agency budgets continues.  The current effort to reform the OSH Act and Mine Act are summarized below by ASSE’s Federal Representative, Adele Abrams, Esq.
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NIOSH Announces New Lead for PtD Program

The PtD Program is a key safety initiative of NIOSH.  A variety of ASSE members were involved in its beginnings and continue to support its efforts.  More information on the program can be found at  http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/ptd/ From Paul A.
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OSHA and NIOSH April 10 Free Webinar on Preventing Deadly Falls in Construction

From OSHA and NIOSH – At 11 a.m. EST on April 10, OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Occupational Research Agenda Construction Sector Council will co-moderate a free webinar on preventing deadly falls in construction.
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NIOSH Blogs Michigan Research on Amputations

NIOSH’s Science Blog (http://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2013/03/amputations/) has reported on research from Michigan State University and the Michigan Department of Community Health on work-related amputations.
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New OSHA Resource to Protect Emergency Workers at Combustible Dust Fires

From OSHA – April 1, 2013 WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today published Firefighting Precautions at Facilities with Combustible Dust*, a new, informative booklet that outlines safe procedures for emergency responders who may face fires and explosions caused by combustible dust.
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OSHA Launches Young Worker Resources

From OSHA Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs – OSHA has launched a focused effort to raise awareness about new resources for young worker safety and health.  Young workers are a vulnerable population.
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CSB Holding April 24 Public Meeting on Fatigue Prevention in Oil and Gas, Seeks Comments

From CSB – March 18, 2013 Washington, DC, March 18, 2013 ­– Today the U.S.
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OSHA Publishes White Paper on Severe Violator Program

OSHA has made available its own white paper (http://www.osha.gov/dep/enforcement/svep_white_paper.
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OSHA Revokes Obsolete Variances for Cylindrical Steel Tanks

OSHA has published a notice revoking 24 obsolete variances it granted between 1975 and 1977 to 24 companies engaged in the construction of cylindrical steel tanks.
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PHMSA Finalizes Amendments to HazMat Rule

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has amended its Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to make miscellaneous amendments to update and clarify certain regulatory requirements.
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PHMSA Advisory on Unauthorized Marking of Compressed Gas Cylinders

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a Safety Advisory Notice advising that it has confirmed the marking, service and/or sale of certain high pressure DOT specification cylinders marked with a requalification identification number (RIN) without performing a valid hydrostatic requalification test.
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PHMSA Incident and Accident Reports Available Online

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published a notice of the online availability of revised forms PHMSA F 7100.2—Incident Report–Natural and Other Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipeline Systems and PHMSA F 7000-1–Accident Report–Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Systems.
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Free GHS Webinar for OSHA Alliance Participants

From OSHA, with which ASSE has an Alliance – Subject: Invitation to attend OSHA Hazard Communication Standard 2012 Webinar “GHS and the US Manufacturer” – Wednesday, April 10, 2013.
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GAO Stuff

Consumer Product Safety Commission: Awareness, Use, and Usefulness of SaferProducts.gov. GAO-13-306, March 11.  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-306 Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/652918.
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Updating Consensus Standards is Focus of ASSE Comment on OSHA SIP 4 Request for Info

ASSE provided comments for the record of OSHA’s Standards Improvement Project – Phase IV Request for Information based significantly on its role as Secretariat to the ANSI-accredited A10 Committee for Construction and Demolition Operations and the ANSI/ASSE Z9 Committee for Health and Safety Standards for Ventilation Systems.
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Arizona ASSE Members Back Texting Ban Bill

On behalf of its nearly 600 Arizona members, ASSE voiced support for a bill (SB1218) by Senator SteveFarley to prohibit text messaging while operating a motor vehicle in Arizona.
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MSHA Issues POV Final Rule

MSHA has revised its regulation for pattern of violations (POV).  According to MSHA, “The final rule simplifies the existing POV criteria, improves consistency in applying the POV criteria, and more effectively achieves the Mine Act’s statutory intent.
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ACCSH Special Meeting on Construction Signs Proposed Rule and Cranes Tech Amendments

OSHA has announced that its Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) will hold a special meeting March 18, 2013, in Washington, DC, to consider a proposed rule to update OSHA’s standard on Accident Prevention Signs and Tags in construction and proposed technical amendments and corrections to the Cranes and Derricks standar

OSHA Rulemaking on Affordable Care Act Whistleblower Procedures

OSHA has published interim final and seeks comments on regulations governing employee protection (whistleblower) provisions of the Affordable Care Act, giving protections to employees of health insurance issuers or other employers who may have been subject to retaliation for reporting potential violations of the law’s consumer protections (e.
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OSHA Releases 2013 Targeted Inspection Plan to Protect Federal Workers

From OSHA – Jan. 24, 2013 WASHINGTON — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued its annual inspection plan of federal agency establishments under its Federal Agency Targeting Inspection Program directive for fiscal year 2013.
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NIOSH Seeks Comment on Strategic Plan for Nano Research and Guidance

NIOSH seeks comment on the types of hazard identification and risk management research that should be considered for updating the NIOSH FY2013-FY2016 nanotechnology strategic plan.  Comments are due March 19.
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OSHA Updates Non-Mandatory Appendix for Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Labs

OSHA has published in the Federal Register a technical amendment to update a non-mandatory appendix in OSHA’s Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories to include the contents of the latest National Academy of Sciences publication entitled, “Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Management of Chemical Haza

DoL IG Targets OSHA and MSHA in 2013 Workplan

The Labor Department’s Inspector General has released its Audit Workplan for 2013, available at http://www.oig.dol.gov/public/reports/oa/2013/FY-2013-Audit-Workplan.pdf.
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MSHA Releases 2012 Preliminary Fatality Data

From MSHA – [01/31/2013] Fatality rates at an all-time low, while annual number of deaths is 2nd lowest ARLINGTON, Va. — Preliminary data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration released today indicates that, in 2012, mining fatality rates reached an all-time low for the second straight year.
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MSHA Files Record Temporary Reinstatement Requests on Behalf of Miners

From MSHA - [01/29/2013] US Labor Department’s MSHA continues increased emphasis on miner discrimination complaints 46 requests for temporary reinstatement made in 2012 WASHINGTON — The U.S.
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NIOSH-Funded Study Finds Link Between Low Wages and High Blood Pressure

Research recently published in the European Journal of Public Health and partially funded by NIOSH has found links between low pay and high blood pressure, as described in the NIOSH Science Blog at http://go.usa.gov/49nd.  According the blog, low socio-economic status has been linked to hypertension, but the reasons why have been unclear.
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EPA Solicits Public Comment for the National Enforcement Initiatives

EPA seeks comments on its National Enforcement Initiatives for fiscal years 2014-2016 and proposals for new sectors or other important strategic areas.  The current EPA initiatives in Air, Water, Energy Extraction and Hazardous Chemicals can be found at Current National Enforcement Initiatives.  Comments are due February 27.
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GAO Finds OSHA NRTL Program Could Use Improvements

The General Accounting Office (GAO) has published a review of OSHA’s Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) Program.  The GAO found that OSHA’s process for accrediting NRTLs is lengthy due to the scope of staff members’ responsibilities and unclear application procedures for accreditation.
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Study on Older Worker Fatal Falls in Construction

  “Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society” has published a study by The Center for Construction Research and Training that found older workers had higher rates of fatal falls than younger workers in construction, with results that were significant in 11 of 14 construction occupations.  http://hfs.sagepub.
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MSHA Bulletin on Use of the Coal Dust Explosibility Meter

MSHA has released a Program Information Bulletin (PIB) is to advise the underground coal mining community that NIOSH recently published a report on the Coal Dust Explosibility Meter (CDEM), which can be found at http://www.msha.gov/regs/complian/PIB/2013/pib13-01.asp.
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EPA Makes Public Comprehensive Info on US Chemical Use

EPA has released its 2012 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) information on more than 7,600 chemicals in commerce. The CDR database contains comprehensive use and exposure information on the most widely used chemicals in the US.
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PHMSA Public Forum on State One-Call Exemptions

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has announced it will hold a public forum on state one-call exemptions.  The forum will be held on March 14, 2013, in West Palm Beach, Florida at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.
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EPA Final Rule on Emission Standards for Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines

The EPA is finalizing amendments to its national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants for stationary reciprocating internal combustion engines.
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PHMSA Advisory Bulletin on Accident and Incident Notification Time Limit

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published an Advisory Bulletin to notify owners and operators that, as required by the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011, the agency will issue a proposed rule to revise telephonic reporting regulations to establish specific time limits for tele

DOE Seeks Info on Conservation Standards for Commercial Air Conditioning and Heating Equipment

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is initiating an effort to determine whether to amend current energy conservation standards for certain commercial air-conditioning and heating equipment.
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DOE Considering Conservation Standards for Commercial and Industrial Fans and Blowers

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is considering energy conservation standards for commercial and industrial fans and blowers.  DOE has prepared a Framework Document that details the analytical approach and scope for the rulemaking and identifies several issues on which DOE is particularly interested in receiving comments.
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EPA Final Emission Standards for Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Boilers

EPA is taking final action on reconsideration of certain issues related to the emission standards to control hazardous air pollutants from new and existing industrial, commercial and institutional boilers at area sources.
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OSHA Setting Whistleblower Procedures for Complaints Under Seaman Protection Act

OSHA seeks comments on the interim final text of regulations governing the employee protection (whistleblower) provisions of the Seaman’s Protection Act, as amended by Section 611 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010, which transferred to OSHA the administration of the whistleblower protections previously enforced only through private

EPA Final Rule on Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste

EPA has published a final rule containing decisions made when it granted reconsideration in December 2011 of its March 2011 final rule, “Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources and Emissions Guidelines for Existing Sources: Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incineration Units.
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GAO Stuff on Pipelines, Climate Change and DHS

Pipeline Safety: Better Data and Guidance Could Improve Operators’ Responses to Incidents, by Susan A. Fleming, director, physical infrastructure issues, before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. GAO-13-284T, January 28.  http://www.gao.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – January 18, 2013

ASSE Government Affairs Priorities for 2013

ASSE members should be aware that 2013 might very well prove to be an historic year for occupational safety and health professionals.  Although Labor Secretary Solis has resigned, it is expected that Dr. David Michaels will remain as Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA.
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ASSE Asks for Public Hearing in Illinois Asbestos Abatement Rulemaking

Concerned with the lack of outreach to safety and health professionals and the quick action taken to adopt amended rules, ASSE filed a comment asking that the Illinois Department of Public Health hold a hearing on the changes to its rules governing Asbestos Abatement for Public and Private School and Commercial and Public Buildings.
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ASSE Comments on Resignation of Labor Secretary Solis

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis has resigned.  You can find her resignation statement at http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/opa/OPA20130053.htm. Of course, now that Secretary Solis has submitted her resignation, the game in DC is to figure out who the next Secretary of Labor will be.  Thanks to Stephen Lee at BNA for most of these these.
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OSHA Publishes New Reg Agenda

OSHA’s new Regulatory Agenda can be found at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owasrch.search_form?p_doc_type=UNIFIED_AGENDA&p_toc_level=0. From Adele Abrams, Esq., ASSE’s Federal Representative – On January 8, 2013, the Department of Labor’s Fall 2012 Regulatory Agenda was published in the Federal Register.
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OSHA Issues Latest Inspection Plan under SST

From OSHA – January 8, 2013 WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued its annual inspection plan under the Site-Specific Targeting 2012 program to direct enforcement resources to workplaces where the highest rates of injuries and illnesses occur.
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MSHA Releases Final Rule on Pattern of Violations

The following summary is prepared by Adele Abrams, Esq., ASSE’s Federal Representative – On January 17, 2013, MSHA posted its Final Rule revising Pattern of Violations (POV) procedures.
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Dr. Beth Rosenberg Confirmed as New CSB Board Member

The US Senate confirmed Dr. Beth J. Rosenberg as a board member of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB).  For 15 years Dr. Rosenberg has been a member of the faculty of the Public Health Program at Tufts University School of Medicine.
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CSB Releases Report on 2011 Hawaii Fireworks Explosion

From CSB – CSB Report says Honolulu Fireworks Disposal Explosion that Killed Five Workers Resulted from Unsafe Practices, Lack of National Guidelines, and Lack of Safety Provisions for Federal Contractors Washington, DC, January 17, 2013 – In a final report set to be considered today, the U.S.
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OSHA and MSHA Hazard Alert on Diesel Particulate

OSHA and MSHA have issued a hazard alert on the health effects of diesel particulate.  Find the alert at http://www.msha.gov/alerts/012013DPMAlert.
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OSHA Holding Stakeholder Meetings to Address Backovers

ASSE is participating in the February 5 meeting in Arlington, TX.  From OSHA – December 17, 2012 WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has scheduled five informal stakeholder meetings to solicit comments on preventing injuries and fatalities from vehicle backovers.
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FAA Proposes Increased OSHA Oversight of Flight Attendants

From OSHA – [11/30/2012] WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration, working with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, today proposed a new policy for addressing flight attendant workplace safety.
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Campaign Underway to Free Silica Rulemaking from White House

While ASSE has urged the White House to move forward an OSHA silica standard, ASSE does not have a positon on what a silica standard should be at this time.
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EPA and CPSC Collaborate on Nano Health Impact Research

From EPA and CPSC – December 11, 2012 WASHINGTON, DC—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) are collaborating in a worldwide research effort to assess any potential impacts of nanomaterials on people’s health and the environment.
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DOT Issues Statement on Impact of State Marijuana Laws

The Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a notice stating its view of the impact state recreational use laws have on the department’s regulation on the use of marijuana by transportation employees.
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OSHA Seeks Comments on Updating Construction Industry Standards

Comments are due February 4.  From OSHA – Dec. 6, 2012 WASHINGTON –The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is issuing a Request for Information to initiate the fourth phase of its Standards Improvement Project (SIP).
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First Meeting of OSHA Whistleblower Advisory Committee Set for January 29

OSHA’s newly formed Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee (WPAC) will meet January 29, 2013, in Washington, DC, at the Department of Labor from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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Tales from DC: November 29-30 ACCSH Meeting

From Adele Abrams, Esq., ASSE’s Federal Representative – On November 29th and 30th, I represented ASSE at OSHA headquarters for a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety & Health (ACCSH), chaired by Eric “Pete” Stafford, with OSHA representative Ben Bare and NIOSH representative Matt Gillen.
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PHMSA Sets 2013 Minimum Rate for Random Drug Testing

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has determined that the minimum random drug testing rate for covered employees will remain at 25 percent during calendar year 2013.
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PHMSA Advisory Bulletin on Integrity Management Program Evaluations

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued an Advisory Bulletin to remind operators of gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipeline facilities of their responsibilities, under Federal integrity management regulations, to perform evaluations of their integrity management programs using meaningful performance metr

New OSHA Online Tool to Protect Against Cadmium Risk

From OSHA – Dec. 11, 2012 OSHA releases online tool to help protect workers exposed to cadmium WASHINGTON — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today released a new interactive online tool to help protect workers exposed to cadmium.
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NIOSH Video on Oil and Gas Rig Removal Safety for Truckers

NIOSH has published a video covering rig move safety for truckers in the oil and gas fields.  NIOSH says the video “helps make sense of the organized chaos” that accompanies a rig move and highlights some easy ways to lower the risk of being injured or killed when moving to a new location.  See the video on YouTube at http://www.
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EPA Final Rule on Emission Standards for Chemical Manufacturing Area Sources

In January 2012, the EPA proposed revisions to several provisions of the final National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Chemical Manufacturing Area Sources.  The proposed revisions were made, in part, in response to a petition for reconsideration following the promulgation of an October 2009, final rule.
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PHMSA Advisory Bulletin on Exceedances of Max Allowable Operating Pressure

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued an Advisory Bulletin to inform owners and operators of gas transmission pipelines that if the pipeline pressure exceeds maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) plus the build-up allowed for operation of pressure-limiting or control devices, the owner or operator must

PHMSA Final Rule on HazMat Harmonization with International Standards

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published a final rule amending the Hazardous Materials Regulations to maintain alignment with international standards by incorporating various amendments, including changes to proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, a

PHMSA Rulemaking on Transportation of Lithium Batteries

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published a notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comments on the impact of changes to the requirements for the air transport of lithium cells and batteries adopted into the 2013-2014 International Civil Aviation Organization Technical Instructions on the Transport of Dangerous

Senate Committee Holds Hearing in WV on Pipeline Safety

From the Democratic Press Office – Hearing to be held Jan 28, 2013, at 12:00 AM in Charleston, WV. WASHINGTON, D.C.— Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV announced that the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a field hearing on “Pipeline Safety: An On-the-Ground Look at Safeguarding the Public.
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DEA Rulemaking on Disposal of Controlled Substances

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is proposing requirements to govern the secure disposal of controlled substances by both DEA registrants and ultimate users to implement the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-273).
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GAO Stuff

Product Safety Laboratories: OSHA’s Accreditation Process Needs Reexamination, GAO-13-88, December 11 http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-88 Passenger Rail Security: Consistent Incident Reporting and Analysis Needed to Achieve Program Objectives, GAO-13-20, December 19 http://www.gao.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – November 28, 2012

ASSE Joins with NSC and AIHA to Back OSHA and NIOSH Budgets

In an effort to help make sure the purpose and value of OSHA and NIOSH is not lost in the fervent and highly political debate on the federal budget now underway in Washington, DC,  ASSE joined with the National Safety Council (NSC) and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) to raise a united voice in support of the budgets for those ag

ASSE Issues Call for Help for Hurricane Sandy Clean-Up Workers in Need of PPE

ASSE has been working with its local members in the New York and New Jersey areas to get help to those impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
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ASSE Asks Members to Urge Employers and Other Organizations to Join 85-3 Campaign

ASSE is asking its members to reach out to employers and other organizations to join the Society as members of the 85-3 Campaign.  As the invitation from the campaign indicates, the 85-3 Campaign recognizes organizations and employers that, as part of their hearing protection strategy for workers, have adopted the 85 dBA noise protection level.
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OSHA Seeks Nominations to ACCSH

The OSHA Assistant Secretary has invited interested persons to submit nominations for membership on the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH).  Nominations are due January 7, 2013.  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-11-07/html/2012-27208.
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DoL Inspector General Finds OSHA SST Program Needs Improvement

The Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) undertook a performance audit of OSHA’s site-specific targeting (SST) program.
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OSHA Issues Final Rule Updating Head Protection Standards Based on National Consensus Standards

OSHA has confirmed the effective date of its direct final rule revising the Head Protection standards for general industry, shipyard employment, marine terminals, longshoring, and construction by updating the reference to a standard published by a standards-developing organization, the American National Standards Institute.
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OSHA Announces Whistleblower Protection Program Director

From OSHA – US Department of Labor’s OSHA announces new Whistleblower Protection Program director WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Heath Dr. David Michaels today announced Beth Slavet as the new director of the agency’s Whistleblower Protection Program.
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EU Publishes Case Studies and Lit Review on Leadership and OSH

From EU-OSHA – Oct 29, 2012 A new EU-OSHA report looks at the corporate leadership factors on which success depends.
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OSHA Issues Instruction for CSHOs Inspecting Highway Work Zones

OSHA on October 16 issued an Instruction intended to help Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) safely inspect roadway and highway construction work zones and to issue consistent citations for violations, according to OSHA. You can find the Instruction at http://op.bna.com/dlrcases.nsf/id/mcan-8z7s3g/$File/OSHA%20directive%20CPL_02-01-054.
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OSHA Seeks Paperwork Comments on PSM Standard

OSHA has asked for comments on its required proposal to extend the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) approval of the information collection (paperwork) requirements specified in the Standard on Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals.  Comments are due January 7, 2013.  http://www.gpo.
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FEMA Seeks Comments on Criteria to Evaluate Emergency Response and Preparedness for Nuclear Power Plants

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is soliciting comments from stakeholders and interested members of the public on the scope of future revisions to “Criteria for Preparation and Evaluation of Radiological Emergency Response Plans and Preparedness in Support of Nuclear Power Plants,” (NUREG-0654/FEMA-REP-1, Rev. 1).
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EPA Issues Direct Final Rule on SNURs for Twenty Chemical Substances

EPA is promulgating significant new use rules (SNURs) for 20 chemical substances that were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMNs). Eight of these chemical substances are subject to consent orders issued by EPA.
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PHMSA Seeks Comments HazMat Incident Data Collection

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) requests comments and information to be used for an assessment to improve the collection, analysis, reporting, and use of data related to accidents and incidents involving the transportation of hazardous materials.
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NIST Sets National Construction Safety Team Advisory Committee Meeting

The National Institute of Standards and Technology of the Department of Commerce has announced an open meeting of the National Construction Safety Team (NCST) Advisory Committee on Monday, December 10, 2012 from 8:30 to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time.
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FMCSA Proposes Punishing Carrier Operating Authority for Patterns of Safety Violations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed amendments to its regulations that would enable the Agency to suspend or revoke the operating authority registration of motor carriers that have shown egregious disregard for safety compliance or that permit persons who have shown egregious disregard for safety compliance to act o

GAO Stuff

Critical Infrastructure Protection: An Implementation Strategy Could Advance DHS’s Coordination of Resilience Efforts across Ports and Other Infrastructure. GAO-13-11, October 25.  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-11  Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/650/649704.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – October 24, 2012

ASSE Comments on Five Agency Expert Forum on Risk Based oil and Gas Reg Approaches

On September 20-21, OSHA, BSEE, EPA, PHMSA and the Coast Guard came together with stakeholders in the oil and gas industry in Texas City, Texas, to discuss regulatory issues facing the industry at the “Expert Forum on the Use of Performance-Based Regulatory Models in the US Oil and Gas Industry, Offshore and Onshore.
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OSHA and NIOSH Spanish Nail Gun Resource Another SPALW Success

Growing out of ASSE’s Alliance with OSHA, dedicated members of ASSE’s Safety Professionals and the Latin Workforce (SPALW) special interest group have been contributing many hours in helping translate and otherwise providing assistance to OSHA in developing products for Spanish-speaking workers.
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OSHA Extends Temp Enforcement Measures for Residential Construction to December 15

From Department of Labor  – August 30, 2012 WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will extend for three months its temporary enforcement measures in residential construction.
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Workplace Fatalities Decrease Slightly in 2011

On September 20, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released workplace fatality data 2011.  From the press release, available at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cfoi.
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Appointments to ACCSH Announced

From DoL – September 27, 2012 Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis appoints 6 members to Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health WASHINGTON – Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced the appointment of four new members and re-appointment of two current members to the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health.
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NACOSH Meeting Set for November 15

OSHA’s National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) will meet in at the Department of Labor in Washington, DC, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, November 15, 2012.  The NACOSH Effectiveness Measures Work Group will meet from 1-4 p.m., Wednesday, November 14, 2012.  http://www.gpo.
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OSHA Final Rule Establishes Concurrent Fed Enforcement in Hawaii

OSHA has made a final decision to modify the Hawaii State Plan by reinstating concurrent federal enforcement authority over occupational safety and health issues in the state, pending the necessary corrective action by the state plan in order to once again meet the criteria to receive a “final approval” from OSHA.
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OSHA Enhances Variances Webpage to Improve Understanding of Approval Process

Sept.
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PHMSA Launches Pipeline Safety Update Website

DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has created a new website called Pipeline Safety Update to provide information on pipeline safety, which is available at http://opsweb.phmsa.dot.gov/pipelineforum/pipeline_safety_update/index.
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OSHA Establishes Whistleblower Alternative Dispute Resolution Pilot Program

From OSHA – Tuesday, October 2, 2012 2:32 PM US Department of Labor’s OSHA announces alternative dispute resolution pilot program for whistleblower complaints WASHINGTON – The U.S.
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EPA Final Rule on Pulp and Paper Industry Emissions

EPA has published a final rule setting the residual risk and technology review conducted for the pulp and paper industry source category regulated under national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants.
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NIOSH Resources and OSHA Heat Campaign Evaluation from Twitter

If you are on Twitter, a ton of resources from different NIOSH areas are shared there.
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PHMSA Advisory on Communication During Emergency Situations

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued an Advisory Bulletin to remind operators of gas, hazardous liquid, and liquefied natural gas pipeline facilities that operators should immediately and directly notify the Public Safety Access Point (PSAP) that serves the communities and jurisdictions in which those pipelines

OSHA Training Institutes Announced

From OSHA’s Office of Outreach Services – OSHA has announced the renewal of four new OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers and the renewal of 24 existing OTI Education Centers.  OTI Education Centers offer training courses on OSHA standards and other occupational safety and health issues around the country.
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EU Develops Online Small Business Risk Assessment Resources

From EU-OSHA at https://osha.europa.
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EU Report on Managing Workplace Stress and Psychosocial Risks

From EU-OSHA – Most European companies still don’t have procedures for managing workplace stress and other psychosocial risks, despite the increasing threat that they pose to Europe’s workers.
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FMCSA Holding Public Session on Hours of Service in Santa Barbara

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced it is holding a public listening session to solicit information, concepts, ideas, and information on hours-of-service (HOS) requirements for drivers of passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).
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PHMSA Proposes Special Permit and Competent Authority HazMat Amendments

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend the Hazardous Materials Regulations to incorporate provisions contained in certain widely used or longstanding special permits and certain competent authority approvals that have established safety records.
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PHMSA Safety Advisory on Unauthorized Marking of Compressed Gas Cylinders

The Pipeline and hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a safety advisory to notify the public of the unauthorized marking of high pressure compressed gas cylinders by George Welding & Supply Co., Inc. located at 205 Tombs Lane, Montoursville, PA.
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GAO Stuff

Homeland Security: DHS Requires More Disciplined Investment Management to Help Meet Mission Needs, by John Hutton, director, acquisition and sourcing management, before the Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management, House Committee on Homeland Security. GAO-12-1029T, September 21.  http://www.gao.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – September 12, 2012

See items below on the GA page

Understanding the Increased Focus on Enforcement by Federal OSHA

Recognizing ASSE members’ responsibility for managing interactions with OSHA for their employers, the Government Affairs Committee thought it important that members understand as much as possible about the variety of administrative actions OSHA is taking to focus the agency’s enforcement efforts.
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ASSE Commends OSHA for VPP Review

In a letter to Assistant Secretary David Michaels, ASSE commended OSHA for its report, Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Review. ASSE said the report was thoughtful, frank and helpful and that the report validated the value of VPP.
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ASSE Nominates Jim Thornton for Reappointment to Chair MACOSH

ASSE nominated James Thornton, CSP, CIH, for reappointment as Chair of OSHA’s Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health(MACOSH) in a letter to Assistant Secretary for OSHA David Michaels.
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ASSE President Pollock Congratulates CSB Board Member John Bresland on His Retirement

On behalf of ASSE’s members, President Rick Pollock congratulated John Bresland on his retirement from the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB).   His letter thanked Bresland for his leadership in helping CSB achieve deserved levels of respect and support.
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Fed Agencies Hold Stakeholder Meeting on Performance-Based Safety in Oil and Gas Industry

ASSE and its Oil and Gas Practice Specialty will be represented at this meeting by Government Affairs Committee members Gene Barfield, Ron Sokol and staff.
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BSEE Finalizes Safety Rule for Offshore Drilling

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), part of the Interior Department, on August 15, 2012, issued a final safety rules for offshore drilling that fine-tuned emergency rules put into place following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
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OSHA Issues Direct Final Rule on Cranes and Derricks in Demolition and Underground Construction

From OSHA –
August 17, 2012
OSHA issues Direct Final Rule to apply worker safety and health requirements for cranes and derricks to demolition and underground construction
WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today issued a direct final rule and notice of proposed rulemaking that applies the requirements of the

OSHA Issues Revised Directive on Enforcing Inspections of Longshoring Operations

August 10, 2012
OSHA releases updated “Tool Shed” directive on procedures for eliminating workplace hazards in the marine cargo handling industry
WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued a revised directive* providing enforcement guidance for inspections of longshoring operations and at marine termin

OSHA Announces Harwood Grant Recipients

From OSHA - September 11, 2012 WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration today awarded $10.
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BLS Wants to Restart Job Data Collection in Green Technologies

On September 17, 2012, the Department of Labor (DOL) has submitting the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) sponsored information collection request (ICR) titled, “Green Technologies and Practices Survey,” to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval.
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PHMSA Rulemaking on HazMat Harmonization with International Standards

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has proposed amendments to the Hazardous Materials Regulations to maintain alignment with international standards by incorporating various amendments, including changes to proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, air transp

EPA Oil and Natural Gas New Source Performance Standards

EPA has revised its new source performance standards for volatile organic compounds from leaking components at onshore natural gas processing plants and new source performance standards for sulfur dioxide emissions from natural gas processing plants. Standards for certain oil and gas operations not covered by existing standards are also revised.
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PHMSA Proposes Revisions to Fireworks Regulations

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to revise the Hazardous Materials Regulations that apply to the approval of Division 1.
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GAO Stuff on Aviation, Oil and Gas, Mine Safety and More

Aviation Security: 9/11 Anniversary Observations on TSA’s Progress and Challenges in Strengthening Aviation Security, GAO-12-1024T, September 10 http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-1024T Oil and Gas Management: Interior’s Reorganization Complete, but Challenges Remain in Implementing New Requirements. GAO-12-423, July 30.  http://www.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – August 15, 2012

ASSE Urges Adoption of FACOSH Recommendations to Upgrade Fed Safety and Health Jobs

In a letter to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, ASSE urged adoption of recommendations by OSHA’s Federal Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (FACOSH) to upgrade federal safety and health positions.
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ASSE Nominates Rixio Medina to Continue to Serve on NACOSH

In a letter to Assistant Secretary David Michaels, ASSE nominated Rixio E. Medina, CSP, CPP, to continue to serve as a member of OSHA’s National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH).
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Sunstein Leaves OIRA

The often controversial Cass Sunstein has left as Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the White House.  ASSE itself weighed in on the Society’s concern (at http://www.asse.org/en/index.
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OSHA Seeks Nominations for NACOSH

OSHA has requested nominations for membership on NACOSH. The terms of four NACOSH members will expire on December 8, 2012.  Nominations are due September 10, 2012.  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-07-25/html/2012-18174.
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OSHA Seeks Nominations for FACOSH

OSHA has invited interested individuals to submit nominations for membership on the Federal Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health (FACOSH).  Nominations are due September 4, 2012.  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-07-05/html/2012-16468.
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OSHA Seeks Nominations for MACOSH

OSHA has invited interested persons to submit nominations for membership on the Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health.  Nominations are due September 17, 2012.  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-08-02/html/2012-18878.
Read more >

CSB Releases Preliminary Findings on Deepwater Horizon

From CSB – Houston, Texas, July 24, 2012 – In preliminary findings to be released today at a public hearing in Houston, U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) investigators examining the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf report that companies like Transocean and BP, trade associations, and U.S.
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NIOSH Board of Scientific Counselors Meeting Set for September 18

NIOSH has announced a meeting of its Board of Scientific Counselors (BoSC) for September 18, 2012, at NIOSH headquarters in Washington, DC.  The meeting is open to the public but limited by the space available.  The meeting room accommodates approximately 50 people.
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Serious Gap between Nano Risks and Risk Communication, Says EU-OSHA

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has issued a report that found a “serious gap” between understanding potential risks involved in handling nanomaterials at work and the communication of those risks in the workplace.
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MSHA Announces Availability of Brookwood-Sago Mine Safety Grants

MSHA has announced the availability of $1,250,000 in grant funds for educational and training programs to help identify, avoid, and prevent unsafe working conditions in and around mines.
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NIOSH Study Finds Workers with Paid Sick Leave Less Likely to be Injured on the Job

A NIOSH-funded study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that workers with access to paid sick leave were 28% less likely than workers without access to paid sick leave to be injured on the job.  You can access the study at http://www2a.cdc.gov/nioshtic-2/BuildQyr.
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NIOSH Develops Emergency Responder Health Monitoring and Surveillance System

NIOSH, working with the U.S. National Response Team and a number of federal agencies, state health departments, labor unions, and volunteer emergency responder groups, has developed the Emergency Responder Health Monitoring and Surveillance (ERHMS) system.
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New OSHA-NIOSH Resources for Workers Using Cleaning Chemicals

Through its cooperative programs, OSHA has made available a new OSHA-NIOSH infosheet PDF, “Protecting Workers Who Use Cleaning Chemicals,” that provides employers with guidance on choosing safer cleaning products, safe work practices, worker training and better cleaning methods.
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OSHA Makes Available Resources on Hazards of Recycling Fluorescent Bulbs

Through its cooperative programs, OSHA has made available a fact sheet and a Quick Card to assist employers and workers in understanding the hazards that mercury poses and how to work safely when crushing or recycling tubular or compact fluorescent bulbs.
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PHMSA on Incorporating Rail Special Permits into HazMat Regs

In a final rule, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has amended the Hazardous Materials Regulations to incorporate provisions contained in certain widely used or longstanding rail special permits that have general applicability and established safety records.
Read more >

EPA Seeks Comments on Study Comparing Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes and decaBDE Flame-Retardant Coatings

EPA has announced a 60-day public comment period for the external review draft document titled, “Nanomaterial Case Study: A Comparison of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes and Decabromodiphenyl Ether Flame-Retardant Coatings Applied to Upholstery Textiles” (EPA/600/R-12/043A).
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EPA Identifies Substitutes for Toxic Flame Retardant Chemical

From EPA – July 30, 2012 WASHINGTON – In its quest to identify possible substitutes for a toxic flame retardant chemical known as decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a draft report on alternatives.
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EPA Seeks Comments on Engaging Communities in Environmental Justice Efforts

As part of its ongoing efforts to integrate environmental justice into all of its programs, EPA is seeking comments on ways that EPA and permit applicants can meaningfully engage communities in the permitting process.
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PHMSA Looking for Ways to Reduce Burdens in Reverse Logistics Supply Chain

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) to identify ways to reduce the regulatory burden for those who ship consumer products containing hazardous materials in the “reverse logistics” supply chain.
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OSHA Final Rule on Whistleblower Claims under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act

OSHA has issued a final rule governing employee protection (“whistleblower”) claims under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (STAA), to implement August 2007 statutory changes to STAA as part of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007.
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PHMSA Advisory Bulletin on Pipeline Facilities After Railway Accidents

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued an advisory bulletin to alert all pipeline owners and operators of the circumstances of the Cherry Valley, Illinois, derailment and remind them of the importance of assuring that pipeline facilities have not been damaged either during a railroad accident or other event oc

PHMSA Proposed Rule on Administrative Procedures, Updates and Technical Corrections

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to update the administrative civil penalty maximums for violation of the pipeline safety regulations to conform to current law, update the informal hearing and adjudication process for pipeline enforcement matters to conform to current l

BSEE Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee Meeting in Anchorage

The Department of Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has published a notice of a meeting of its Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee at the Anchorage Marriott Downtown Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska, on Wednesday, August 29, 2012, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday, August 30, 2012, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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GAO Stuff on Air Pollution, Influenza and Women in Pipelines

Air Pollution: EPA Needs Better Information on New Source Review Permits. GAO-12-590, June 22.  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-590 Podcast – http://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/592560 Influenza Pandemic: Agencies Report Progress in Plans to Protect Federal Workers but Oversight Could Be Improved. GAO-12-748, July 25.  http://www.gao.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 7.12.12

All of OSHA Should be VPP, ASSE Tells House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections

On June 27, the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing entitled ”Promoting Safe Workplaces Through Voluntary Protection Programs.
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At Request of Arizona Members ASSE Urges OSHA to Ensure ADOSH At Least as Effective in Fall Protection

In a letter to Assistant Secretary David Michaels, ASSE urged OSHA to ensure that the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH) meets its obligation as a state plan to be “at least as effective as” federal OSHA and enforce fall protection for residential construction workers at 6 feet.
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OSHA Sends Electric Power Rule to OMB

OSHA has sent its draft final Electric Power rule to OMB for review, arriving June 27, 2012, as noted on the OMB website at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eoDetails?rrid=122106.
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Updating OSHA Standards Based on Consensus Standards on Head Protection

OSHA has issued a direct final rule to revise the personal protective equipment (PPE) sections of its general industry, shipyard employment, longshoring, and marine terminals standards on requirements for head protection.
Read more >

OSHA Seeks Nominations for New Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee

From OSHA – June 12, 2012 OSHA seeks nominations for membership on its Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is requesting nominations for membership on the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee (WPAC).
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NIOSH Publishes Guidelines on Working with Nanomaterials in Research Labs

In May, NIOSH published the document General Safe Practices for Working with Engineered Nanomaterials in Research Laboratories   [PDF - 2.13 MB] providing recommendations on engineering controls and safe practices for handling engineered nanomaterials in laboratories and some pilot scale operations.
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OSHA and NIOSH Issue Hazard Alert on Hydraulic Fracking

From OSHA’s Office of Outreach Services and Alliances – OSHA and NIOSH have issued a hazard alert on protecting workers in hydraulic fracturing operations from silica exposure.
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CSB Releases New Strategic Plan

From CSB – July 12, 2012      Washington, DC, July 12, 2012 – The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) today released its 2012 – 2016 strategic plan.
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New CSB Video on Inherently Safe Design and Tech from 2008 Bayer Explosion Investigation

From CSB –
Washington DC July 11, 2012 – The US Chemical Safety Board today released a new safety video that examines the concept of inherent safety and its application across industry; “Inherently Safer: The Future of Risk Reduction” stems from the August 28, 2008, explosion that killed two workers and injured eight others at the Bayer Cro

Seattle MACOSH Meetings Set for July 24-25

From OSHA – June 6, 2012 OSHA will hold meeting of the Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will hold a meeting of the Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (MACOSH) July 24-25, 2012, in Seattle.
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OSHA and BP Settle on 2009 Texas City Explosion

From OSHA – June 12, 2012 BP agrees to pay more than $13 million and abate violations in settlement agreement with US Department of Labor Penalty stems from citations for more than 400 process safety management violations cited at Texas refinery in October 2009 WASHINGTON – The U.S.
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PHMSA on HazMat Harmonization with Various UN Recommendations on Dangerous Goods Transport

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in response to administrative appeals and seeks public comment on proposals generated as a result of amendments adopted in an international harmonization final rule published in the Federal Register.
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OSHA on Nail Salon Workers

From OSHA’s Office of Outreach Services and Alliances – OSHA has issued a publication called Stay Healthy and Safe While Giving Manicures and Pedicures: A Guide for Nail Salon Workers (OSHA Publication 3542).  This publication provides information to help nail salon workers stay healthy and safe while giving manicures and pedicures.
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FMCSA Final Rule on Driver-Vehicle Inspection Report for Intermodal Equipment

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has eliminated the requirement for drivers operating intermodal equipment (IME) to submit–and intermodal equipment providers (IEPs) to retain–driver-vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs) when the driver has neither found nor been made aware of any defects in the IME.
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PHMSA Pipeline Safety Advisory Bulletin on Mechanical Fitting Failure Reports

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued an Advisory Bulletin to provide owners and operators of gas distribution pipeline facilities clarification for completing the Mechanical Fitting Failure Report Form, PHMSA F 7100.1-2.
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Misc. PMSA Amendments on DOT Specification Cylinders

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) to consider amendments to the HazMat Regulations (HMR) to revise requirements for the manufacture, use, and requalification of DOT specification cylinders.
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EPA Emission Standards for Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines and New Source Standards for Stationary Internal Combustion Engines

EPA is proposing amendments to the national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants for stationary reciprocating internal combustion engines.
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EPA on Emission Standards for Storage Vessel and Transfer Operations, Equipment Leaks, and Closed Vent Systems and Control Devices

On March 26, 2012, the EPA proposed the National Uniform Emission Standards for Storage Vessels and Transfer Operations, Equipment Leaks, and Closed Vent Systems and Control Devices (Uniform Standards). The EPA is extending the deadline for written comments on the proposed amendments by 90 days.
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GAO Stuff on Contractor IDs and Oil Dispersants

Government Is Analyzing Alternatives for Contractor Identification Numbers.  GAO-12-715R, June 12.  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-715R  Oil Dispersants: Additional Research Needed, Particularly on Subsurface and Arctic Applications, GAO-12-585, May 30. http://www.gao.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 5.31.12

ASSE Opposes Effort to Undercut Development of Independent Consensus Standards

In a comment to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR), ASSE strongly opposed possible rulemaking to amend OFR’s regulations defining “reasonably available” or change current requirements related to materials incorporated by reference (IBR) in regulations published in the Federal Register, as sought in a petition to OFR.
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Norris and Howard Renew ASSE-NIOSH Partnership

On May 7, ASSE President Terrie Norris and NIOSH Director John Howard signed a partnership agreement between ASSE and NIOSH.
Read more >

ASSE Asks Members to Join in Fight for NIOSH ERC and AgFF Programs

ASSE called on each of its members to join in the fight against the Obama Administration’s proposed elimination of funding for Education and Resource Centers and the NORA Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (AgFF) research program by writing emails to key members of the U.S. Senate and House.
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Government Affairs at Safety 2012

The following is a list of sessions at Safety 2012 that involve those in government who contribute to the success of ASSE’s professional development conference, plus a few other issues of interest to ASSE’s own ongoing efforts to advance the profession.  Hope to see you in Denver.
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GAO Publishes Study on OSHA Standard-Setting Process

(See also item on Senate HELP Hearing on this subject.) At the request of Congress, the General Accountability Office (GAO) studied why it takes OSHA so long to finalize a standard.
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GAO Publishes Study on Safety Incentives Programs

On April 9, the Government Accountability Office published a study, “Workplace Safety and Health:  Better OSHA Guidance Needed on Safety Incentive Programs,” (GAO-12-329), which can be found at http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-329.
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OSHA and NIOSH Join in Fall Prevention Push

From OSHA’s Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs – OSHA, NIOSH, and NIOSH’s National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Construction Sector Council have launched a campaign to prevent falls in construction.
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OSHA Launches 2012 Heat Campaign

From OSHA’s Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs – OSHA has launched its 2012 campaign to prevent heat illness in outdoor workers.  To those of you involved in last year’s campaign, we thank you for your support and look forward to working with you again this year.
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OSHA Established Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee

The Secretary of Labor has published the intention to establish the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee (WPAC) to advise, consuls with, and make recommendations to the Secretary and the Assistant Secretary of OSHA on ways to improve the fairness, efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of OSHA’s whistleblower protection activities.
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Tales from DC: Cass Sunstein and Future of Voluntary Consensus Standards at SBA

From Adele Abrams, Esq., ASSE’s Federal Representative – On May 18, 2012, I represented ASSE at the bi-monthly meeting of the Small Business Administration’s OSHA/MSHA roundtable.
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Senate HELP Holds Hearing on OSHA Standard Setting Process

On April 19, the Senate Commitee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing entitled, “Time Takes Its Toll:  Delays in OSHA’s Standard-Setting Process and the Impact on Worker Safety.”  the hearing can be watched at http://www.help.senate.
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Tales from DC: Senate HELP Hearing on OSHA Standard Setting Process

From Adele Abrams, Esq.
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NIOSH Resources on Integrating Workplace Safety and Health and Individual Health

From L. Casey Chosewood, MD , Senior Medical Officer and Anita L.
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EPA Draft Guidance on Oil and Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Activities Using Diesel Fuels

EPA seeks comments on a draft document that describes Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program guidance for permitting the underground injection of oil- and gas-related hydraulic fracturing (HF) using diesel fuels where the EPA is the permitting authority.
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WTC Health Program Rules Finalized for Adding New WTC Related Health Conditions

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 amended the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act) to establish the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program. The PHS Act requires the development of regulations to implement portions of the WTC Health Program established within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
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Tales from DC: MSHA Stakeholders Meeting on Noise and Fall Protection

April12, from Adele Abrams, Esq.
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PHMSA Issues Advisory Bulletin on MAOP Verification of Records

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued an Advisory Bulletin to remind operators of gas and hazardous liquid pipeline facilities to verify their records relating to operating specifications for maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) required by 49 CFR 192.
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EPA Proposed Rule on Medical Waste Incinerators and New Stationary Sources

In October 2009, the EPA adopted amendments to its 1997 new source performance standards and emissions guidelines for hospital/medical/infectious waste incinerators in response to a 1999 remand of its 1997 hospital/medical/infectious waste incinerators regulations by a federal appeals court.
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EPA Proposes Electronic Reporting Under TSCA

EPA is proposing to require electronic reporting for information that must be submitted under Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) section 4 (pursuant to test rules and enforceable consent agreements (ECAs)), TSCA section 8(a) Preliminary Assessment Information Rule (PAIR), and TSCA section 8(d) Health and Safety Data Reporting rules.
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PHMSA HazMat Final Rule on Packages Intended for Transport by Aircraft

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is amending the Hazardous Materials Regulations to require closures of inner packagings containing liquids within a combination packaging intended for transportation by aircraft to be secured by a secondary means or, where a secondary closure cannot be applied or it is impracticable

Examinations of Work Areas in Underground Coal Mines for Violations of Mandatory Health or Safety Standards

MSHA has revised its requirements for preshift, supplemental, on-shift, and weekly examinations of underground coal mines to require operators to identify violations of health or safety standards related to ventilation, methane, roof control, combustible materials, rock dust, other safeguards, and guarding, as listed in the final rule.
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OSHA Competition to Be OSHA Training Institute Education Centers

OSHA has announced the opportunity for interested non-profit organizations, including qualifying trade associations, labor unions, and community-based and faith-based organizations that are not an agency of a state or local government to submit applications to become an OSHA Training Institute Education Center and deliver standard classroom instruc

Miscellaneous PHMSA HazMat Amendments

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has proposed to make miscellaneous amendments to the Hazardous Materials Regulations to update and clarify certain regulatory requirements.
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FMCSA Issues Reg Guidance on Tank Vehicle Endorsements

On May 9, 2011, FMCSA published a final rule titled “Commercial Driver’s License Testing and Commercial Learner’s Permit Standards.” Among other things, the rule revised the definition of “tank vehicle.
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GAO Stuff on NRC, DOE, Oil Shale

Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Natural Hazard Assessments Could Be More Risk-Informed.   GAO-12-465, April 26.  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-465  Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/590430.pdf Nuclear Safety: DOE Needs to Determine the Costs and Benefits of Its Safety Reform Effort.  GAO-12-347, April 20.  http://www.gao.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 4.12.12

ASSE Joins in Opposing NIOSH AgFF and ERC Funding Cuts in FY13 Administration Budget

ASSE has joined with 127 other NIOSH stakeholders to voice opposition to the Obama Administration’s proposed elimination of funding for Education and Resource Centers and the NORA Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (AgFF) research program in letters to leaders of the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, HHS, Education

Norris and Michaels Sign Renewed ASSE-OSHA Alliance

On March 16, ASSE President Terrie Norris and Assistant Secretary David Michaels signed a renewed Alliance agreement between ASSE and OSHA.  The overall goal of the two-year Alliance is to promote best practices for reducing and preventing worker exposures to health and physical hazards.
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Nano SNURs Can’t Overlook Engineering Controls, ASSE Tells EPA

ASSE submitted a comment on an EPA proposed rule to set significant new use rules (SNURs) for chemical substances, 7 of which included carbon nanotubes.
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OSHA Looking for Info on Reinforced Concrete in Construction, Preventing Backover Injuries and Fatalities

OSHA has published a Request for Information on employee safety risks in two areas, reinforcing operations in concrete work (construction only) and fatal backovers by vehicles and equipment (all industries).
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Latest in the Federal Budget Fight over OSHA and MSHA

On March 28, 2012, DoL Secretary Hilda Solis testified before the House Appropropriations Subcommittee On Labor, Health And Human Services, Education And Related Agencies.  Her testimony, at http://www.dol.gov/_sec/media/congress/20120328_solis.
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Responsibility for Upper Big Branch at Issue in DC

On March 27, Assistant Secretary for MSHA, Joe Main, testified before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce about MSHA’s investigation into the April 2010 Upper Big  Branch mine explosion in West Virginia that killed 29 miners.  You can read his testimony at http://www.dol.gov/_sec/media/congress/20120327_Main.htm.
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OSHA Revises Hazard Communication Standard

From OSHA QuickTakes – To better protect workers from hazardous chemicals, OSHA has revised its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), aligning with the United Nations’ global chemical labeling system (GHS). The revised standard, once implemented, will prevent an estimated 43 deaths and result in an estimated $475.
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OSHA Issues Memo on Safety Incentive and Disincentive Policies

From OSHA QuickTakes –
In a March 12 memo to OSHA Regional Administrators and whistleblower investigative staff, OSHA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary Richard Fairfax addressed workplace policies and practices that can discourage workers from reporting injuries and could constitute unlawful discrimination and a violation of section 11(c) of the

New OSHA NEP for Nursing and Residential Care Facilities

April 5, 2012 US Labor Department’s OSHA announces new National Emphasis Program for Nursing and Residential Care Facilities WASHINGTON – The U.S.
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EPA Announces Fines for Lead RRP Violators

April 5, 2012 EPA Fines Violators of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced three enforcement actions for violations of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) and other lead rules.
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ASSE Transportation Practice Specialty Develops Resource on Avoiding Distracted Driving

In time for Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April, ASSE’s Transportation Practice Specialy has developed a new tip sheet on “Avoiding Distracted Driving” available on a newly established Prevent Distracted Driving ASSE website providing additional distracted driving resources.
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OSHA Announces Harwood Grant Availability

OSHA announced the availability of approximately $1.2 million for Susan Harwood Training Program Grants under the following categories: Targeted Topic Training, and Training and Educational Materials Development Grants.  Grant applications must be received electronically by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30 p.m., E.T.
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CSB Seeks Comments on Draft Strategic Plan

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) announced it is requesting public comments on its draft 2012-2016 CSB Strategic Plan. The draft plan is an update of the 2007 – 2012 CSB Strategic Plan, and includes the CSB’s strategic goals, strategic objectives, and associated measures for managing and evaluating agency operations. CSB Chairperson Dr.
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Employers with High injury and Illness Rates Get a Letter from Dr. Michaels

From OSHA QuickTakes – To help employers understand and improve their injury and illness rates, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, Dr. David Michaels sent letters to approximately 14,900 workplaces with high rates of days away from work, restricted work or job transfer in 2010.
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California Adopts New PELs

From OSHA QuickTakes – To better protect workers who may be exposed to chemical contaminants, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board has adopted lower permissible exposure limits (PELs) for carbon disulfide, hydrogen fluoride, sulfuric acid, and toluene.
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Michigan Regulatory Reinvention Report Targets Safety Rules

Michigan’s Office of Regulatory Reinvention released a report,  “Recommendations of the Office of Regulatory Reinvention Regarding Workplace Safety Regulations” calling for changing more than 300 Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) rules exceeding federal regulations and eliminating more than 6oo other MIOSHA

Tales from DC: SBA Office of Advocacy OSHA and MSHA Roundtable Meeting

On March 30, 2012, the Small Business Association, Office of Advocacy held its OSHA/MSHA roundtable, and Justin Winter, Esq. of the Law Office attended on behalf of ASSE.
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OSHA Confirms Direct Final Rule Revising Standards Referenced in the Acetylene Standard

OSHA has confirmed the effective date of its direct final rule revising the Acetylene Standard for general industry by updating the reference to a standard published by a standards-developing organization, the Compressed Gas Association.
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DoT Creates Commercial Bus Safety App

As its Twitter post indicates – “There’s no value in skimping on #safety. Know your carrier w/new mobile #bus #app http://bit.ly/GCJOdM” – the Department of Transportation has created a phone app to check on the safety of commercial bus lines.  At, DoT says about the app at http://fastlane.dot.
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PHMSA Advisory Bulletin on Post Accident Drug and Alcohol Testing

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued an Advisory Bulletin concerning its regulations in Part 199 requiring pipeline operators and operators of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities to conduct post-accident drug and alcohol tests of covered employees.
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PHMSA Advisory Bulletin on Drisco8000 High Density Polyethylene Pipe

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued an Advisory Bulletin to alert operators using Driscopipe[supreg] 8000 High Density Polyethylene Pipe (Drisco8000) of the potential for material degradation.
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CSB Develops Policy on Employee Participation in Investigations

From CSB – Washington, DC, March 7, 2012 — The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) announced today that it has developed a new policy on employee participation in investigations that the Board hopes will enhance the vital role played by plant workers in determining root causes of incidents and promoting facility safety.
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PHMSA Rulemaking on Pipeline Damage Prevention Programs

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking to revise the Pipeline Safety Regulations to establish criteria and procedures for determining the adequacy of state pipeline excavation damage prevention law enforcement programs; establish an administrative process for making a

PHMSA Seeks Comments on Leak and Valve Studies

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published a Notice of Public Comment offering all stakeholders an opportunity to comment on the scope of recently commissioned studies involving leak detection systems and valves.
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PHMSA Advisory Bulletin on Cast Iron Pipe

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued an  Advisory Bulletin to owners and operators of natural gas cast iron distribution pipelines and state pipeline safety representatives.
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PHMSA Advisory on Implementing National Registry of Pipeline and Liquefied Natural Gas Operators

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued an Advisory Bulletin advising owners and operators of pipeline facilities of PHMSA’s plan for implementing the national registry of pipeline and liquefied natural gas operators.
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OSHA Seeks Applications to Become OTI Training Institute Ed Centers

From OSHA – April 12, 2012 US Department of Labor’s OSHA seeks applications from organizations interested in becoming OSHA Training Institute Education Centers WASHINGTON – The U.S.
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GAO Stuff on Food, Pilot Training, Freight Carriers and Pipelines

 Food Safety: Preslaughter Interventions Could Reduce E. coli in Cattle.  GAO-12-257, March 9.  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-257  Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/590/589162.pdf Aviation Safety: FAA Has An Opportunity to Enhance Safety and Improve Oversight of Initial Pilot Training, GAO-12-537T, March 20 http://www.gao.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 3.2.12

ASSE Responds to Rep. Walberg Commentary on I2P2

 ASSE sent the following letter to the editor in response to a commentary by Representative Tim Walberg (R-MI), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, which is responsible for workplace safety and health issues.    Dear Washington Examiner: In response to Rep.
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ASSE States Support for OSHA Rescission of Residential Fall Protection Exemption

In light of the criticism and complaints that have followed the OSHA’s directive rescinding the Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction, ASSE in a letter to Assistant Secretary David Michaels stated its support for the change in policy as a needed step forward in protecting workers.
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Consider Lower Noise PEL Instead of Econ Feasibility Interpretation, ASSE Tells OSHA

Adding to previous comments opposing OSHA’s Interpretation of Provisions for Feasible Administrative or Engineering Controls of Occupational Noise, ASSE suggested in a letter to Assistant Secretary David Michaels that a more valuable measure to reduce noise exposures would be lowering OSHA’s permissible exposure limit (PEL) for noise from

OSHA Delays I2P2 – Small Businesses Wanted for SBREFA Panel

As the email messages below from SBA and OSHA indicate, OSHA is delaying sending information on its I2P2 rulemaking to the SBA for SBREFA review.   Also, if you have a small business client, they may want to participate in the SBREFA process.  Contact information is below, or let Dave Heidorn know at dheidorn@asse.org.
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OMB Clears Final OSHA HazCom Rule

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office of Management and Budget has concluded its regulatory review of OSHA’s long-awaited rulemaking to align more closely U.S. hazard communication requirements with the UN’s Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of classifying and labeling chemicals.
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2013 Administration Budget Request for Fed Safety Agencies – NIOSH ERCs and AFF Research Again Targeted

On February 13, the White House released and sent to Congress the Administration’s 2013 Budget Request.  The following is from Adele Abrams, who is ASSE’s Federal Representative, summarizes Budget Requests for the workplace safety agencies, OSHA, MSHA, NIOSH and CSB.  NIOSH The 2013 Budget Request for NIOSH is $249.
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Reorg for OSHA Whistleblower Program

OSHA press release – March 1, 2012 WASHINGTON – Moving forward with continuing efforts to strengthen employees’ voices in the workplace, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced a major restructuring of its Office of the Whistleblower Protection Program.
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Upper Big Branch Mine Superintendent Charged with Felony Conspiracy

From the US Attorney’s Office, Southern District of West Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/wvs/press_releases/Feb2012/attachments/022212Gary_May_UBB_release.html Feb. 22, 2012                    UPPER BIG BRANCH MINE SUPERINTENDENT CHARGED WITH FELONY CONSPIRACY CHARLESTON, W.Va.
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OSHA Extends Temporary Enforcement Measures in Residential Construction

From OSHA – February 15, 2012 WASHINGTON –The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will extend for six months its temporary enforcement measures in residential construction.
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CSB Calls for OSHA Dust Standard on Imperial Sugar Explosion Anniversary

From CSB –
Statement from CSB Chairman Moure-Eraso on the Four Year Anniversary of the Catastrophic Imperial Sugar Explosion – Chairman Continues to Encourage Industry to
Support a Combustible Dust Standard and Applauds Success of Recommendations
 Tuesday, February 7, 2012, marks the fourth anniversary of the massive sugar dust explosion tha

MSHA Says Metal and Nonmetal Mine Compliance Improving

From DoL – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration today announced that overall compliance with safety and health regulations is improving among the nation’s more than 12,000 metal and nonmetal mining operations.
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NASA Buy Quiet Roadmap Updated

From NASA – The NASA Buy-Quiet Process Roadmap, an online tool for navigating the procurement of low-noise equipment, has a new home.  The Roadmap, which has been upgraded and updated over the past several months, is part of the NASA EARLAB Auditory Demonstration Laboratory website, which is now located at http://buyquietroadmap.com.
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Nurse Miscarriages Linked to Chemicals at Work

From NIOSH eNews – A new NIOSH study finds a greater-than-expected risk of miscarriages among nurses, associated with occupational exposures to hazardous drugs. The full study is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002937811024707.
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Study Links Solvent Exposure to Increased Parkinson Disease Risk

 From a Twitter post by NIOSHConstruct Construction @ NIOSH, comes a study in the Annals of Neurology reporting that exposure to specific solvents may increase risk of Parkinson Disease.  See the abstract at http://bit.ly/AgsCf2.
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EPA Issues Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Sites

From EPA – February 16, 2012 New permit includes more protections for waterways, shaped by important public and stakeholder feedback WASHINGTON – The U.S.
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EPA Final Rule on Electronics Manufacturing Heat Transfer Fluid Provisions

The EPA has finalized technical revisions to the electronics manufacturing source category of the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule related to fluorinated heat transfer fluids. EPA has finalized amendments to the definition of fluorinated heat transfer fluids and to the provisions to estimate and report emissions from fluorinated heat transfer fluids.
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GAO Stuff on Pipelines and Superfund

Safety Effects of Less Prescriptive Requirements for Low-Stress Natural Gas Transmission Pipelines Are Uncertain.  GAO-12-389R, February 16.  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-389R Superfund: Status of EPA’s Efforts to Improve Its Management and Oversight of Special Accounts, GAO-12-109, January 18.  http://www.gao.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 2.2.12

Study Finds Quarter Trillion Cost in 2007 Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

The Milbank Quarterly, a journal of population health and health policy, has published a study by J. Paul Leigh of UC-Davis estimating the national costs of occupational injury and illness among US civilians in 2007.  The abstract can be found at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-0009.2011.00648.x/full.
Read more >

RAND California Study Indicates What Makes an I2P2 Standard Work

A RAND Corporation study conducted by John Mendeloff and others for the California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation provided an evaluation of the effectiveness of California’s I2P2 standard.  The preliminary draft of the report can be found at https://www.dir.ca.gov/chswc/Reports/2012/IIPPEvaluation.
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OSHA Issues I2P2 White Paper Ahead of Proposal First Look

As the Small Business Administration begins the process of engaging what will be a panel of small businesses in a review of a proposed OSHA injury and illness prevention program (I2P2) standard through the SBREFA process that all OSHA rulemaking must undergo (http://www.sba.
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ASSE Stands Against Reported California Effort to Corner PEL Work for CIHs

On behalf of its nearly 3,000 members in California, ASSE sent a letter to the sponsor of state legislation that has been reported will be used by the California Industrial Hygiene Council (CIHC) to ensure that only CIHs would be able to supervise or direct the monitoring of control methods for PELs in California workplaces.
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ASSE Nominates Gary Lopez to ACCSH

ASSE nominated Gary Lopez to OSHA’s Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH).  Gary is a widely respected Professional Member of ASSE with strong experience in managing workplace safety and health risks in the construction industry.
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OSHA Releases Fall 2011 Reg Agenda January 2012

On January 20, the Department of Labor announced its Fall 2011 regulatory agenda.  The agenda itself can be found at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owasrch.search_form?p_doc_type=UNIFIED_AGENDA&p_toc_level=0.
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Four Final Rules on MSHA Reg Agenda

As with OSHA, the Department of Labor’s Statement of Regulatory Priorities explaining the agenda in the context of its overall Good Jobs for Everyone initiative as well as its Plan/Prevent/Protect Compliance Strategy (http://www.dol.gov/regulations/2010RegNarrative.htm) can be found at http://www.dol.gov/asp/regs/Fall2011RegAgenda.pdf.
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Study Finds 2007 Costs of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses $250 Billion

 The Milbank Quarterly, a journal of population health and health policy, has published a study by J. Paul Leigh of UC-Davis estimating the national costs of occupational injury and illness among US civilians in 2007.  The abstract can be found at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-0009.2011.00648.x/full.
Read more >

OSHA Analyzes the Costs of Falls in Construction

From OSHA QuickTakes – A new OSHA PowerPoint presentation shows the heavy financial cost resulting from falls in construction. OSHA analyzed workers’ compensation data for injuries resulting from falls from elevations suffered by roofers and carpenters.
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Duke Study Finds Obesity Increases Workers Comp Costs

From the study, which can be found at http://www.dukehealth.org/health_library/news/10044 “Gaining too much weight can be as bad for an employer’s bottom line as it is for a person’s waistline.
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OSHA Reminds Employers to Post Injury and Illness Summaries Beginning Feb. 1

From OSHA QuickTakes – Beginning Feb. 1, employers who are required to keep the OSHA Form 300 Injury and Illness log must post a summary of the log. Employers must post OSHA’s Form 300A from Feb. 1 to April 30, 2012 in a common area wherever notices to workers are usually posted.
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OSHA Updates Directive for Fed Worker Targeted Inspection Program

From OSHA QuickTakes –  OSHA recently updated its Federal Agency Targeting Inspection Program (FEDTARG) directive for fiscal year 2012. FEDTARG directs programmed inspections of federal agency establishments that experienced high numbers of lost time injuries during FY 2011.
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MSHA Announces Third Phase of Rules to Live By

From MSHA – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration today (January 31) launched the third phase of an outreach and enforcement program designed to strengthen efforts to prevent mining fatalities.
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MSHA Announces 2011 Fatality Data

From MSHA – 01/05/2012 MSHA releases preliminary fatality data for 2011 ARLINGTON, Va. — Preliminary data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration released today reveal that 37 miners died in work-related accidents at the nation’s mines in 2011.
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National Academies Lays Out Research Strategy for Nano Risks

The National Academy of Sciences has issued a report A Research Strategy for Environmental, Health, and Safety Aspects of Engineered Nanomaterials stating that, because not enough is known about the potential risks nanomaterils pose to health and the environment, those risks need to be studied further.
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Its Inspector General Says EPA Must Manage Nano Risks Better

 From the summary at http://www.epa.gov/oig/reports/2012/20121229-12-P-0162_glance.pdf . “We found that EPA does not currently have sufficient information or processes to effectively manage the human health and environmental risks of nanomaterials.
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OSHA Posts Summary Report of Stakeholder Meeting on Preventing Occupational Hearing Loss

ASSE was represented at this meeting by Tom Cecich, VP for the Council on Professional Affairs – From OSHA QuickTakes – OSHA held an informal stakeholder meeting Nov. 3, 2011, on preventing occupational hearing loss to provide a public forum and gather information on the best practices for noise reduction in the workplace.
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Feds Issue Memo on Engaging in Voluntary Consensus Standards Activities

The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) have issued a memorandum clarifying principles for federal engagement in voluntary consensus standards activities to address national priorities.  Sent to the leadership of U.S.
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New NIOSH Dust Monitor is Commercialized

 The NIOSH Office of Mine Safety and Health Research in Pittsburgh has developed a new personal dust monitor that recently was commercialized as the Personal Dust Monitor 3600 (PDM).  NIOSH believes the monitor will modernize how coal dust exposure in the mining industry is monitored.
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New OSHA Training Videos in English and Spanish on Respirator Use

From OSHA QuickTakes – OSHA has posted a series of 17 videos to help workers learn about the proper use of respirators on the job. These short videos, nine in English and eight in Spanish, provide valuable information to workers in general industry and construction.
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Tales from DC: US-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council on GHS

From Adele Abrams, Esq., ASSE’s Federal Representative – On January 31, 2012, I represented ASSE at a meeting of the US/Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) at the US Department of Commerce.
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CSB Calls for National Fire Code for Hazardous Waste Handling in Ohio Investigation

From CSB – December 26, 2011 Investigation Details:  EQ Hazardous Waste Plant Explosions and Fire; Veolia Environmental Services Flammable Vapor Explosion and Fire   Today as many people enjoy a holiday season spent with friends and family, I would like to call attention to a recent tragedy that occurred late last week in eastern Ohio.
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Environmental Group Uses Health Costs to Argue Against Coal in Kentucky

  The Kentucky Environmental Foundation has issued a report using health research to make an argument against the use of coal in Kentucky.  The report is available at The Health Impact Assessment on Coal and Clean Energy Options in Kentucky.
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CSB Video on TN Hoeganaes Incidents that Killed 5

From CSB – Washington DC, January 5, 2012 – The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) today released a new safety video depicting three accidents involving combustible iron dust at the Hoeganaes Corporation in Gallatin, Tennessee.
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New OSHA Spanish Translations of Intro to OSHA for Outreach Training Program

From OSHA’s Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs – OSHA has issued Spanish translations of the “Introduction to OSHA” component of its Outreach Training Program curriculum.
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EU Parliament Approves Review of Strategy for Safety and Health at Work

From the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work – The Parliament’s report highlights the need to protect women, young people, ageing and migrant workers in Europe’s workplaces. MSDs and work related stress are pointed out as main areas of concern for European enterprises in relation to OSH.
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EU-OSHA Offers Guide on Incentives

From the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work – This Guide on Economic Incentives Schemes is intended to serve as a practical and user-friendly guide to help incentive providers to create or optimise their own economic incentive schemes.
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EPA on Penalties for On-Highway Heavy-Duty Diesel Engines

EPA is taking final action to make nonconformance penalties (NCPs) available to manufacturers of heavy heavy-duty diesel engines in model years 2012 and 2013 for emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOX).
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PHMS Publishes Random Drug Testing Rate

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has given notice of its minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing for covered employees, which will remain at 25 percent during calendar year 2012.  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-18/html/2012-740.
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PHMSA on National Registry of Pipeline and Liquefied Natural Gas Operators

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a notice advising owners and operators of pipeline facilities of PHMSA’s plan regarding the implementation of the national registry of pipeline and liquefied natural gas operators.  The national pipeline operator registry became effective on January 1, 2012.
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OSH Responsibilities Switch from DoE to TOSHA at Some Oak Ridge Facilities

An Addendum to the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Labor and the Department of Energy has been signed to transfer employee safety and health authority from the Department of Energy (DOE) to the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA) at two existing building complexes and three other parcels of land at

EPA Issues National Mercury Pollution Standards for Power Plants

From EPA – December 21, 2011   Historic ‘mercury and air toxics standards’ meet 20-year old requirement to cut dangerous smokestack emissions   WASHINGTON – The U.S.
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EPA Releases Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data from Large Facilities

From EPA –
January 11, 2012
2010 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data from Large Facilities Now Available
First release of data through the national GHG reporting program
WASHINGTON – For the first time, comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) data reported directly from large facilities and suppliers across the country are now easily accessible to the pu

GAO Stuff

Hardrock Mining: BLM Needs to Revise Its Systems for Assessing the Adequacy of Financial Assurances.  GAO-12-189R, December 12 (8 pages) http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-189R Chemical Assessments:  Challenges Remain with EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System Program.  GAO-12-42, December 9.  http://www.gao.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 12.20.11

ASSE Supports NTSB Call for Ban on Use of Portable Electronic Devices While Driving

The following press release carried ASSE’s message supporting the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) call for a nationwide ban on driver use of portable electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle.  NTSB’s press release can be found at http://www.ntsb.gov/news/2011/111213.
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ASSE Nominates Ron Sokol for NACOSH

In a letter letter to Assistant Secretary for OSHA David Michaels, ASSE nominated Ron Sokol, CSP, for NACOSH.
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ASSE and OSHA Meet to Discuss Risk Management Issues

On November 21, 2011, an ASSE delegation consisting of President Terrie Norris, Jim Newberry, Thad Nosal, Manager of Gov’t Affairs and Policy Dave Heidorn and ASSE’s Federal Representative Adele Abrams met at OSHA headquarters with OSHA staff members that included Assistant Secretary David Michaels, Glenn Shor of the California Division of Work

OSH Agencies in FY 2012 Funding Bill

 As indicated in this news release from the House Appropriations Committee Chairman at http://appropriations.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=272984, Congress on December 16  passed into law the Conference Report on the Consolidated Appropriations Act of Fiscal Year 2012.
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Corporate Culture Cited as Root Cause of Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster: 369 citations, $10.8 Million in Civil Penalties

From Department of Labor –   The 20-month investigation into the worst coal mining disaster in 40 years came to an end this week. In back-to-back meetings with family members and the public, Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Mine Safety and Health Administration Joseph Main, Solicitor of Labor M.
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Secretary Solis on Upper Big Branch Agreement

From the Department of Labor at http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/msha/MSHA20111738.htm 12/6/2011 – Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today issued the following statement in response to the agreement announced today among the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia, the U.S.
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Congress Passes Bipartisan Pipeline Safety Bill

As this information from a Congressman at http://shuster.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=49&itemid=241 and a Senator at http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ContentRecord_id=3ab185f7-3754-4373-b5ef-91e013061d20 indicate,  Congress can agree on something and that’s a pipeline safety bill.
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Tales from DC: December 14-15 NACOSH Meeting

From the Law Offices of Adele Abarms, ASSE’s Federal Representative – On behalf of ASSE I attended the 2-day meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) on December 14-15, 2011, held at the Department of Labor Perkins Building.  Dr.
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Tales from DC: December 15 ACCSH Meeting

From the Law Offices of Adele Abrams, ASSE’s Federal Representative – OSHA held a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) from Dec.13-16, 2011, in Washington, D.C.  The Law Office represented ASSE at the portion held on Dec. 15th.
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National Academy Calls for System Safety Approach in Offshore Drilling

 The following is a press release from the National Academies of Science from http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=13273 Dec.
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DC Circuit Court Upholds OSHA’s Multi-Employer Citation Policy

From OSHA QuickTakes – The D.C. Circuit upheld OSHA’s multi-employer citation policy, in a Dec. 14 decision against Summit Contractors Inc. OSHA cited the company for providing electrical equipment without ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to its subcontractors in violation of section 1926.
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OSHA Launches NEP on Chemical Facilities

From OSHA – OSHA issued a new National Emphasis Program (NEP) for chemical facilities to protect workers from catastrophic releases of highly hazardous chemicals. The new NEP replaces OSHA’s 2009 pilot Chemical Emphasis Program that covered several OSHA regions around the country.  The program (http://www.osha.
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OSHA Publishes Direct Final Rule on Acetylene Standard

From OSHA QuickTakes –                      OSHA published a revision to its Acetylene Standard in the December 5, 2011, Federal Register that replaces a reference to an outdated consensus standard with an updated reference that reflects current industry practices in the acetylene industry.
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FMCSA and PHMSA Issues Final Rule on Restricting Use of Cellular Phones

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) have published a final rule amending the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to restrict the use of hand-held mobile telephones by drivers of commercial motor vehicles

OSHA Advances NAOSH Week

ASSE greatly appreciates all that OSHA through its alliance program has done to support NAOSH Week.
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OSHA Seeks Nominations to ACCSH

OSHA has invited interested persons to submit nominations for membership on ACCSH.  Three new employer representatives, three new employee representatives, one new representative of state safety and health agencies, and one new public representative will be appointed. Nominations are due January 23, 2012.  http://www.gpo.
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New Findings Show Construction Workers Face Higher Occupational Risks

From NIOSH eNews – Dr.
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Enzi Raises Concern Over Delay in Naming BLS Commissioner

From Senator Enzi’s office – November 29, 2011                                                                                                    Enzi Concerned with Delayed Nominations for Labor Agency Questions Labor Sec.
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Nail Gun Safety Website Launched

From NIOSH eNews – Dr. Hester Lipscomb of Duke University in conjunction with CPWR-The Center for Construction Research and Training—launched a new website http://www.nailgunfacts.org/ on December 2. The website provides video interviews with workers, and information on how nail guns work and how to prevent nail gun injuries.
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Department of Labor Settles Litigation on Illinois Grain Bin Deaths

From Department of Labor at http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/osha/OSHA20111702.htm. The U.S.
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OSHA Proposes Revoking Variances for Cylindrical Steel Tank Construction

OSHA states that, between 1975 and 1977, it granted permanent variances to 24 companies engaged in the construction of cylindrical steel tanks.
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OSHA Seeks Comment on Handling Retaliation Complaints under Sarbanes-Oxley

By interim final rule, OSHA is amending regulations governing employee protection (retaliation or whistleblower’) claims under section 806 of the Corporate and Criminal Fraud Accountability Act of 2002, Title VIII of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which was amended by sections 922 and 929A of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Pr

OSHA Announces Safe Workplaces Photo Contest Winners

From OSHA at http://www.osha.gov/osha40/photo-winners.html OSHA is pleased to announce the winners of our Picture It! Safe Workplaces for Everyone photo contest. Thank you to all who submitted their images of workplace safety and health. Please visit the DOL Flickr page to see additional contest submissions.
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EPA Makes Formerly Confidential Chemical Info Available

From EPA –  November 28, 2011   WASHINGTON – As part of Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s commitment to enhance the U.S.
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Public Hearings for Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions and CAFE Standards

EPA and NHTSA have announcing public hearings for  their joint proposed rules “2017 and Later Model Year Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards,” published in the Federal Register on December 1, 2011.
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PHMSA Issues Notice of Changes to Pipeline Safety Regulations

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to make miscellaneous changes to the pipeline safety regulations. The proposed changes would correct errors, address inconsistencies, and respond to rulemaking petitions.
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EPA Proposed Rule on Mineral Wool Production and Wool Fiberglass Manufacturing Emissions

EPA has proposed amendments to the national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants for mineral wool production and wool fiberglass manufacturing to address the results of the residual risk and technology review that the EPA is required to conduct by the Clean Air Act.
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PHMSA Rulemaking on Use of Excess Flow Valves in Gas Distribution Systems

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) in response to a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has made a safety recommendation to PHMSA that excess flow valves be installed in all new and renewed gas service lines, regardless of a customer’s class

EPA Final Rule on Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Surface Coating and Wood Furniture Manufacturing Emissions

EPA has published a final rule finalizing the residual risk and technology review conducted for the national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants for Shipbuilding and Ship Repair (Surface Coating) and Wood Furniture Manufacturing Operations. The final rule became effective November 21, 2011.  http://www.gpo.
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EPA Final Rule on Primary Lead Processing Emissions

EPA has published a final rule concerning the residual risk and technology review conducted for the Primary Lead Processing source category regulated under national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP).
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EPA Approves Alternatives to Hydrofluorocarbons in Freezers

From EPA – December 14, 2011 First time that hydrocarbon substitutes will be widely used in the U.S. WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has added three hydrocarbons as acceptable alternatives in household and small commercial refrigerators and freezers through EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program.
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GAO Stuff

Environmental Protection Agency: Actions Needed to Improve Planning, Coordination, and Leadership of EPA Laboratories, by Dave C. Trimble, director, Natural Resources and Environment, before the Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment, House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.  GAO-12-236T, November 17.  http://www.gao.
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ASSE Commends NIOSH for NAOSHW Report

In a letter to Director John Howard, ASSE commended NIOSH for the publication of its National Assessment of the Occupational Safety and Health Workforce report (http://www.cdc.
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NIOSH on the NAOSHW Report

From NIOSH – National Assessment of the Occupational Safety and Health Workforce Released A national survey and assessment of the occupational safety and health workforce has been completed by Westat under contract with NIOSH.
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Tales from DC: OSHA Stakeholders Meeting on Preventing Occupational Hearing Loss

On November 3, Tom Cecich, VP for CoPA, represented ASSE at OSHA’s “Conversation with Stakeholders:  Preventing Hearing Loss” held in response to the Agency’s withdrawal of its economic feasibility interpretation concerning employers’ responsibility to provide engineering controls.
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Efforts to Ensure Qualified Fed OSH Professionals Advance

A too often overlooked issue in occupational safety and health are the qualifications of those responsible for managing safety, health and environmental risks on a worksite.
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ASSE Announces Approval of PtD Voluntary Consensus Standard

From NIOSH – The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) recently announced the approval of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/ASSE Z590.3 standard, “Prevention through Design: Guidelines for Addressing Occupational Risks in Design and Redesign Processes.
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ASSE Website Hosts NIOSH PtD Conference Presentations

From NIOSH – Prevention through Design—a new way of doing business: a report on the National Initiative on August 22 – 24, 2011 at the Omni Shoreham hotel in Washington, DC.  ASSE was a sponsor of the event.
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Howard Outlines PtD Efforts

If you have not seen it, NIOSH Director John Howard in the October e-NEWS outlined the various efforts NIOSH and others are undertaking to champion safety through its Prevention through Design (PtD) initiative, including ASSE’s new voluntary consensus standard.
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FACOSH to Meet December 1

From OSHA – WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will hold a meeting of the Federal Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health (FACOSH) Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011, in Washington, D.C. The Secretary of Labor recently renewed the council’s charter for another two years.
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OSHA and NIOSH Collaborate on New Nail Gun Safety Resource

From OSHA and NIOSH – NIOSH and OSHA are pleased to announce the release of Nail Gun Safety: A Guide for Construction Contractors. While nail guns may boost productivity, they also cause tens of thousands of painful injuries each year.
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CSB Finds Explosions at Oil and Gas Production Sites Put the Public at Risk

From CSB – Hattiesburg, MS, October 27, 2011 – The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) today released a new study of explosions at oil and gas production sites across the U.S.
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Tales from DC: House Hearing on Ensuring a Responsible Reg Environment

From the Office of Adele Abrams, Esq.
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OSHA Announces 2011 Top Ten Citations

From OSHA – OSHA announced the top ten most frequently cited standards following inspections of worksites by federal OSHA during FY 2011. The Scaffolding and Fall Protection standards in Construction were the top two most cited, maintaining their positions from FY 2010.
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NTSB Recommends FMCSA Ban Use of Cell Phones in Trucks

In a Highway Accident Report for a March 2010 truck-tractor semitrailer median crossover collision with a 15-passenger van in Munfordville, KY, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended the following to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) –
“Prohibit the use of both handheld and hands-free cellular tele

OSHA Modifies Guidance on Use of Particular Shock Absorbing Lanyard

OSHA’s memo explaining the modified guidance can be found at  http://www.osha.gov/doc/interpretations/I20110822.html.
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OSHA Offers New Publication on Trench Collapses

From OSHA QuickTakes –   OSHA has three new guidance products to educate employers and workers about the hazards in trenching operations.
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New OSHA Resources from Office of Cooperative Programs

OSHA has issued the following new or updated Web pages and publications containing compliance assistance resources: Web Pages: §         Marine Hanging Staging section of Shipyard Employment eTool (Oct. 2011) §         Seasonal Flu Web page (Oct.
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EPA and National Archive Hold Student Multimedia Contest

From EPA – WASHINGTON – The National Archives in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the launch of a student multimedia contest, “Document Your Environment”.
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EPA Webinar to Help Industry on TSCA Chemical Data Reporting

From EPA – EPA will host a webinar to assist industry with the reporting process for the 2012 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM EST.  The webinar is intended for industry stakeholders who will be reporting in response to the CDR requirements.
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EPA Seeks Comment on Disposing Coal Combustion Residuals

EPA invites comment on additional information it obtained in conjunction with the proposed rule: Hazardous and Solid Waste Management System:  Identification and Listing of Special Wastes; Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals From Electric Utilities that was published in the Federal Register on June 21, 2010 (75 FR 35127).
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Hawaii State Plan No Longer Covering Military Installations

OSHA has approved a change to Hawaii’s occupational safety and health state plan to exclude coverage of private sector employers and employees at all military installations.
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Michigan OSHA Stops Covering Indian Tribes

OSHA has approved a change to the state of Michigan’s occupational safety and health state plan to exclude coverage of establishments on Indian reservations which are owned or operated by employers who are enrolled members of Indian tribes.
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OSHA Updates Grain Handling Topics Page

From the Office of Cooperative Programs – As part of our efforts to keep OSHA’s cooperative program participants informed of the agency’s activities, I wanted to let you know that OSHA has updated its Grain Handling Safety and Health Topics Page with new statistics and updated information on preventing grain dust explosions.
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OSHA Offers New Construction Safety Videos

From the Office of Cooperative Programs – OSHA has issued 12 educational videos about hazards in the construction industry.  Each video presents a worksite incident based on actual accidents that resulted in worker injury or death, followed by a summary of corrective actions for preventing these types of accidents.
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Next Meeting of UN Subcommittee of Experts on GHS

From Mary Frances Lowe, EPA, Office of Pesticide Programs –
Because of your past interest in the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), I am writing to inform you of upcoming meetings of the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the GHS and  associated working groups (December 7-9, 2011), and the UN Institute for

Gulf Coast Task Force Releases Ecosystem Restoration Strategy for Review

From EPA, October 5 – Agenda outlines blueprint for reversing decline of Gulf Coast ecosystem WASHINGTON - The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, chaired by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P.
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GAO Stuff

EPA Health Risk Assessments: Oversight and Sustained Management Key to Overcoming Challenges, GAO-12-148T, October 6 (12 pages) http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-148T Climate Monitoring: NOAA Can Improve Management of the U.S. Historical Climatology Network.  GAO-11-800, August 31.  http://www.gao.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 9.26.11

ASSE Says Latest BLS Workplace Fatalities Report Should Be a Call to Action

In response to BLS data BLS data showing little change in workplace fatalities between 2009 and 2010, ASSE President Terrrie Norris issued the call to action below, pointing out the variety of efforts ASSE is undertaking to take a new and different approach to improving worker safety and health.
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ASSE Urges OIRA to Let OSHA Silica Rulemaking Move Forward So All Stakeholders Can Be Heard

In a letter to Cass Sunstein, Administrator of the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the White House, ASSE urged his office to do everything possible to advance OSHA rulemaking on Occupational Exposure to Crystalline Silica so that ASSE’s members can play a meaningful part in seeing that

ASSE Comments on Proposed OSHA Reporting Changes

In a comment for the record, ASSE said it could not support proposed changes to OSHA’s fatality and hospitalization reporting rules from the current requirement that employers report within 8 hours fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of 3 or more employees to 1 or more employees and to add the requirements that amputations b

CSP Recognized in California Standards

The Certified Safety Professional is being recognized in California’s OSH standards.  According to an ASSE member familiar with the issue, “The issue was raised by an ASSE member CSP…It merely defined CSP as one certified by the BCSP, not the National Speakers Association, who also issues CSP designations to Certified Speaking Professionals.
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OSHA Issues New Whistleblower Investigations Manual

From OSHA – September 21, 2011 WASHINGTON – The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a new edition of its Whistleblower Investigations Manual, one of a series of measures to improve OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program that were announced in August.
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BOEMRE Releases Report on Deep Horizon

On September 14, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) and the US Coast Guard Joint Investigation Team issued their report casting blame for the Deep Horizon oil spill and the deaths of 11 workers. BOEMRE’s press release for the report can be found at  http://www.boemre.gov/ooc/press/2011/press0914.htm.
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Wright and Wark Complete Terms at CSB

From CSB – Statement by CSB Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso Congratulating Board Members William Wright and William Wark on Completion of Their Terms September 23, 2011 – Today I wish to applaud William E. Wright and William B. Wark on their five year terms as CSB Board Members, which were completed yesterday.
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OSHA Awards $10.7 Million in Harwood Training Grants

From OSHA – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration today awarded $10.
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OSHA Issues Directive on Workplace Violence

From OSHA’s Cooperative Programs – OSHA has issued a directive called Enforcement Procedures for Investigating or Inspecting Incidents of Workplace Violence (OSHA Instruction CPL 02-01-052, Sep. 8, 2011).
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MSHA Proposes Rule on Proximity Detection Systems for Continuous Mining Machines in Underground Coal Mines

MSHA is proposing to require underground coal mine operators to equip continuous mining machines (except full-face continuous mining machines) with proximity detection systems.
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Obama on Withdrawal of Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards

In the news has been the Administration’s withdrawal of draft ozone national ambient air quality standards.  Below is the President’s full statement on that action, which can be found at  http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/09/02/statement-president-ozone-national-ambient-air-quality-standards.
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OSHA Issues Hazard Alert on Formaldehyde Dangers to Hair Salon Workers

From OSHA – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a revised hazard alert to hair salon owners and workers about potential formaldehyde exposure from working with certain hair smoothing and straightening products.
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DoT Proposes Banning Electronic Cigarettes on Aircraft

The Department of Transportation is proposing to amend its existing airline smoking rule to explicitly ban the use of electronic cigarettes on all aircraft in scheduled passenger interstate, intrastate and foreign air transportation.
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Interstate Chemical Threats Workgroup Reaches Out

From ICTW – The Interstate Chemical Threats Workgroup was formed in 2002, following the events of 9/11. The workgroups purpose is to share knowledge, materials and resources on chemical threats and to promote cross-disciplinary awareness in chemical preparedness.
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OSHA Posts Educational Video on Preventing Fatal Falls in Residential Construction

From OSHA – OSHA’s narrated Residential Fall Protection slide presentation is the latest compliance assistance tool available to help the residential construction industry comply with the requirements of the agency’s Fall Protection standard.
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New York DoL to Hold Safe Patient Handling Conference

 From OSHA –  The New York Department of Labor’s Division of Safety and Health is cosponsoring the 5th annual Safe Patient Handling Conference October 18-19 at the Albany Marriott Hotel in Albany, NY.
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PHMSA on Compatibility with IAEA Radioactive Material Regs

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), in coordination with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), is proposing to amend requirements in the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) governing the transportation of Class 7 (radioactive) materials based on recent changes contained in the International Atomic Energy Agency

FMCSA Says Fed Safety Regs Not Applicable to Farm Vehicles

 The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sought public comment on three issues related to the applicability of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to operators of farm vehicles, including the interpretation of interstate commerce as it applies to movement of farm products; whether farmers operating under share-cro

PHMSA Safety Notice on Transport of DoT Special Permit Packages

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a safety notice alerting the regulated community to the importance of adhering to federal requirements when offering and transporting hazardous materials in DOT Special Permit (SP) packages.
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FMCSA Final Rule on Saddle-Mount Braking Requirements

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) amends the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to eliminate the requirement for operational brakes on the last saddle-mounted truck or tractor in a triple saddle-mount combination, except when a full mount is present.
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GAO Stuff on Drugs in Drinking Water to Homeland Security

Environmental Health: Action Needed to Sustain Agencies’ Collaboration on Pharmaceuticals in Drinking Water, GAO-11-346, August 8 (57 pages)  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-346  Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d11346high.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 8.31.11

ASSE President Norris Comments on Flat BLS Fatality Data

The Bureau of Labor Statistics data can be found at http://bls.gov/news.release/cfoi.nr0.htm. AMERICAN SOCIETY OF SAFETY ENGINEERS SAY THE JUST-RELEASED FATAL OCCUPATIONAL INJURIES REPORT FOR 2010 SHOULD BE A CALL TO ACTION DES PLAINES, IL (August 30, 2011) – The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) sees the release of the U.S.
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Tales from DC: ASSE at OSHA Infectious Disease Stakeholder Meeting

On Friday, July 29, Joe Klancher represented ASSE at OSHA’s Stakeholder Meeting on Occupational Exposure to Infectious Disease held at the Department of Labor in Washington, DC.  Joe is the Administrator of ASSE’s Healthcare Practice Specialty.  Joe participated in the morning session of the two-part meeting held July 29.
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NIOSH Seeks Comments on Carcinogens and RELs

 NIOSH has published a notice stating it intends to review its approach to classifying carcinogens and establishing recommended exposure limits (RELs) for occupational exposures to hazards associated with cancer.
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OSHA Issues Directive on Corporatewide Settlements

 From OSHA – OSHA issued a new compliance directive June 22 that updates the agency’s directive for administering Corporate-Wide Settlement Agreements (CSAs) with employers.
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DoL Unveils Enhanced Enforcement Database

The new data base can be found at http://ogesdw.dol.gov/.  From Department of Labor –  US Department of Labor improves enforcement database Updated site includes increased search capabilities and visual enhancements WASHINGTON – The U.S.
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OSHA Strengthening Whistleblower Program

OSHA has released a report at http://www.whistleblowers.gov/cover_memo.html documenting an internal review of its Whistleblower Protection Program that calls for a variety of changes to the program – Aug. 1, 2011 WASHINGTON – In a continuing effort to improve the Whistleblower Protection Program, the U.S.
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OSHA Issues Hazard Alert on Worker Engulfment and Suffocation in Grain Bins

From OSHA – Aug. 17, 2011 WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a Hazard Alert and an illustrated hazard wallet card explaining the dangers of working inside grain storage bins.
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OSHA Releases Mobile App to Protect Workers from Heat

From OSHA – August 11, 2011 SANDY, Utah – As part of continuing educational efforts by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration about the dangers of extreme heat, Secretary of Labor Hilda L.
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NIOSH NORA 2011 Symposium Highlights

 From the Director’s Desk, John Howard, M.D., August eNews 2011—  Highlights From the NORA 2011 Symposium: Achieving Impact Through Research and Partnerships In July, the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) community hosted a symposium on achieving impact through research and partnerships.
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DoL Proposes Changes to Improve Safety for Child Ag Workers

From Department of Labor at http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/whd/WHD20111250.htm [08/31/2011] US Labor Department proposes updates to child labor regulations Aims to improve safety of young workers employed in agriculture and related fields WASHINGTON — The U.S.
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NIOSH Seeks Comments on NORA Processes

From NIOSH – As NORA reaches the halfway point of its second decade, NIOSH is conducting a review of the processes of NORA to learn how adjustments can be made to maximize outcomes through 2016. We are interested in your comments on NORA processes, activities and accomplishments, and suggestions for the future.
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NIOSH NORA Manufacturing Sector Conference September 7-8 in Cincinnati

From NIOSH – The NORA Manufacturing Sector Conference will be held September 7–8 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The purpose of the conference is to serve as a national call for action to identify and develop partnerships to improve occupational safety and health in manufacturing.
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NIOSH Manual Materials Handling Workshop October 11-12 in Cincinnati

From NIOSH –  Join NIOSH for the upcoming Manual Materials Handling Workshop: Matching Solutions to Problems, October 11–12, at the Hyatt Regency in Cincinnati, Ohio.
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DOE Seeks Comments on Collaborative Worker Safety and Health Training Document

From NIEHS –
The Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Training Center (NTC), within the Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS), teamed with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and the Volpentest HAMMER Training and Education Center (HAMMER) to establish a model for collaborative safety training across DOE

Follow NIOSH FACE Program on Twitter

Like a lot of NIOSH programs, its Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program is now on Twitter.  The program identifies and investigates work situations at high risk for injury and then formulates and disseminates prevention strategies to help SH&E professionals and others to intervene in the workplace.
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FRA Final Rule on Railroad Employee Hours of Service

The  Federal Railroad  Administration (FRA) has issued a final rule amending its hours of service recordkeeping regulations to add substantive hours of service regulations, including maximum onduty periods, minimum off-duty periods, and other limitations, for train employees (e.g.
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EPA Proposes Emission Standards for Aircraft Engines

EPA has issued a proposed rule proposing several new NOX emission standards, compliance flexibilities, and other regulatory requirements for aircraft turbofan or turbojet engines with rated thrusts greater than 26.7 kilonewtons (kN).
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EPA Criteria for Evaluating Human and Environmental Effects under DfE Program

From EPA – The Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics has posted final criteria for evaluating human and environmental effects under EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) Alternatives Assessment program.
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PHMSA Notice on Damage to Pipeline Facilities Caused by Flooding

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued an advisory bulletin to all owners and operators of gas and hazardous liquid pipelines to communicate the potential for damage to pipeline facilities caused by severe flooding.
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EPA Seeks Comment on Policy to Ensure Scientific Integrity

From EPA – August 5, 2011 EPA Releases Draft Policy for Ensuring Scientific Integrity Agency seeking public comment WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today is releasing its draft Scientific Integrity Policy for public comment.
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Administration Proposes Fuel Standards for Trucks and Buses

From EPA –
August 9, 2011
White House Announces First Ever Oil Savings Standards for Heavy Duty Trucks, Buses
Saving $50 billion in fuel costs and over 500 million barrels of oil

WASHINGTON – Today, President Obama will meet with industry officials to discuss the first-of-their-kind fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas pollution standards for w

September is OSH Month in Illinois

From NIOSH – Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn recently proclaimed September 2011 as Occupational Health and Safety Month to recognize the importance of the first national conference on Eliminating Health and Safety Disparities at Work, September 14–15 in Chicago, co-sponsored by NIOSH.
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PHMSA ANPRM on Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) on whether changes are needed to the regulations governing the safety of gas transmission pipelines.
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GAO Stuff on Climate Engineering, Haz Waste and Cost of Enviro Litigation

 Climate Engineering:  Technical Status, Future Directions, and Potential Responses.  GAO-11-71, July 28.  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-71  Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d1171high.pdf  Podcast – http://www.gao.gov/podcast/watchdog_episode_69.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 7.25.11

ASSE Backs CSB Rebuke of Florida on Public Sector Protections

ASSE Press Release –
                                                                  �
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF SAFETY ENGINEERS AGREE WITH FED AGENCY’S REBUKE OF FLORIDA FOR FAILING TO ACT ON PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYEE SAFETY
DES PLAINES, IL (July 20, 2011) –  The American

Michaels Speaks, the EU Listens

Last week, Assistant Secretary for OSHA David Michaels spoke to the European Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs in Brussels, Belgium.  One of the points he made was about working more closely with Europe in dealing with global worker safety issues.  See the speech at http://www.dol.
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CSB Tells Florida Its Response to Recommendations on 2006 Daytona Beach Explosion Unacceptable

From CSB – CSB Declares Florida’s Failure to Adopt CSB Recommendation on Protecting Public Workers “Unacceptable;” Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso asks State to Reconsider Legislation             Washington, DC, July 18, 2011 – The U.S.
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ASSE Backs CSB Action on Florida Failure to Protect Public Sector Workers

ASSE Press Release –
                                                                   
American Society of Safety Engineers News
Protecting people, property and the environment since 1911
For Immediate Release                              Contac

OSHA Seeks Nominations to FACOSH

The Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA has invited interested parties to submit nominations for membership on the Federal Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (FACOSH), which advises the Assistant Secretary on federal employer safety and health. Nominations are due September 6, 2011.  http://www.gpo.
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OSHA Revises Commercial Diving Directive

From OSHA at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.
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PHMSA on Enforcement Proceedings Involving an Informal Hearing

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is notifying operators of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline facilities of the creation of a dedicated ``Presiding Official'' for informal pipeline enforcement hearings and the process operators can expect when requesting an informal hearing.
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DoL Releases Spring 2011 Reg Agenda

The Department of Labor has released its Spring, 2011 Regulatory Agenda, listing the rules and regulations which agencies plan take actions on in the next 12 months.
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I2P2: Howard on the California Experience

In the current discussion over OSHA’s efforts to advance rulemaking on an injury and illness prevention program (I2P2) standard, former Cal OSHA Chief and current NIOSH Director John Howard has given presentations on California’s experience with an I2P2 standard.  On July 15, Dr.
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CSB Calls for Tighter Toxic Gas Handling

From CSB –
CSB Investigation Finds Three DuPont Accidents in Belle, West Virginia, Resulted from Numerous Safety Deficiencies including Lack of Safe Equipment Design, Ineffective Mechanical Integrity Programs, and Incomplete Investigations of Previous Near Misses
Proposed Recommendations to Call for OSHA, Industry Groups to Tighten Safeguards for

OSHA Issues Hazard Alert on Scissor Lifts

 From OSHA’s Cooperative Programs –  OSHA has issued a hazard alert about the dangers of using scissor lifts to film events.  A scissor lift is a portable, hydraulic-powered lift with a platform that can be raised into the air directly above the base.
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OSHA Issues New Corporate-Wide Settlement Agreements Directive

From OSHA QuickTakes –  OSHA issued a new compliance directive June 22 that updates the agency’s directive for administering Corporate-Wide Settlement Agreements (CSAs) with employers.
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OSHA and FDA Sign MOU

 From OSHA QuickTakes –  OSHA signed a memorandum of understanding June 16 with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizing the importance of close cooperation and collaboration between the FDA and OSHA–two enforcement agencies responsible for preventing injuries and illnesses.
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OSHA 4-State Local Emphasis Program on Powered Industrial Trucks

From OSHA QuickTakes –  OSHA recently initiated Local Emphasis Programs (LEPs) in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi focused on reducing fatalities and serious injuries related to powered industrial trucks.
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Tales from DC: NACOSH Meeting June 22

From Adele Abrams, Esq., ASSE's Federal Representative -- On June 22, 2011, I represented ASSE at a meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety & Health (NACOSH) at OSHA headquarters. There were a few handouts, which have been scanned and sent via email.
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PHMSA Revises List of Hazardous Substances and Reportable Quantities

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a final rule amending the Hazardous Materials Regulations by removing saccharin and its salts from the list of hazardous substances and reportable quantities.
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GAO on Biofuels, Safe Water

 Biofuels:  Challenges to the Transportation, Sale, and Use of Intermediate Ethanol Blends.  GAO-11-513, June 3.  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-513  Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d11513high.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 6.27.11

In 100th Year of Safety, ASSE Offers OSH Reform Legislative Proposal

In the 100th year of ASSE and modern occupational safety, ASSE offered leaders of the key U.S. Senate and House of Representative committees responsible for workplace safety and health oversight draft legislation to address needed reforms in federal law to help improve U.S. workplace safety and health.
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Secretary Solis Congratulates ASSE on 100th Anniversary

In a video played first at the opening session of Safety 2011 in Chicago, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis congratulated ASSE on its 100th Anniversary, noting OSHA’s 40th Anniversary, ASSE’s alliance and the shared goal of the Department of Labor, OSHA and ASSE in helping make sure all jobs are safe jobs.
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ASSE Backs FY 2012 MSHA Budget Request

ASSE expressed support for MSHA’s $384.3 FY 2012 budget request in a letter to House Appropriations Committee leaders.  ”We believe that safety in mines will be enhanced not by ‘less MSHA’ but by ‘a better MSHA,’” the letter stated.
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North Carolina ASSE Members Urge Senator Hagan to Back VPP Bill

A letter on behalf of ASSE’s members in North Carolina urges Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) to join in sponsoring  the Voluntary Protection Program Act (S. 807), a bill to place OSHA’s Voluntary Protectiion Program into the Occupational Safety and Health Act, ensuring that OSHA will continue the program.
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Dawn of New Leadership in Safety Research at NIOSH

The following is a June 27 email from NIOSH Director John Howard – It is my pleasure to announce that Ms. Dawn Castillo has accepted the position of the Director of the NIOSH Division of Safety Research (DSR), effective July 3, 2011.
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OSHA’s Standards Improvement Project Final Rule

OSHA has published the final rule for Phase III of its Standards Improvement Project (SIP-III), the third in a series of rulemaking actions to improve and streamline OSHA standards. SIP removes or revises individual requirements within rules that are confusing, outdated, duplicative, or inconsistent.
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DoL Seeks Comment on Preliminary Plan to Reduce Reg Burden

The Department of Labor (DOL) prepared a preliminary plan to review its existing significant regulations and has published a notice to invite comment on the plan.  On January 18, 2011, President Obama issued Executive Order 13563, ``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.
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OSHA Proposed Rule on Recordkeeping

From OSHA’s Cooperative Programs – OSHA has issued a proposed rule to revise two aspects of the agency’s recordkeeping and reporting requirements for work-related injuries and illnesses.
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Law Passed in Last Congress Advances Safety Professionalism

In the last days of the last Congress, the Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act of 2010 (FBPTA) was passed into law (PL 111-308).  You can find the bill at http://www.tisp.org/tisp/file/Federal%20Buildings%20Personnel%20Act.pdf.
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MSHA Publishes Rock Dust Final Rule

From MSHA – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration today announced that a final rule will be published June 21 in the Federal Register on the maintenance of the incombustible content of rock dust.
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Tales from DC: Education and Workforce Hearing on OSHA and State Plans

From the Law Offices of Adele Abrams, Esq.
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OSHA Announces 3-Month Enforcement Phase-In for Residential Fall Protection

From OSHA – OSHA announced June 9 a three-month enforcement phase-in period to allow residential construction employers to come into compliance with the agency’s new directive to provide residential construction workers with fall protection.
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OSHA Seeks Applications for $4.7 Million in Harwood Safety and Health Training Grants

From OSHA – OSHA is soliciting applications for $4.7 million in Susan Harwood Safety and Health Training Grants. The grants are available to nonprofit organizations to provide safety and health training and education for workers and employers.
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Report from June 7 FACOSH Meeting

From OSHA – The Federal Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health (FACOSH) met June 7 to discuss safety and health issues of importance to federal agencies. During the meeting, the Emerging Issues subcommittee reported to FACOSH members on their progress in reviewing the existing permissible exposure limits for hazardous substances.
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MSHA Holding Upper Big Branch Public Briefing June 29

From MSHA –  MSHA News Release: [06/23/2011] US Labor Department’s MSHA to hold June 29 public briefing on investigation of Upper Big Branch Mine explosion ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S.
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EPA Releases Databases of Chemical Toxicity and Exposure Data

From EPA – June 15, 2011     Searchable databases on chemical toxicity and exposure data now available– The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making it easier to find data about chemicals.
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OSHA Revises Outreach Training Program Requirements

From OSHA’s Cooperative Programs –  OSHA has revised the requirements and procedures for its voluntary Outreach Training Program to improve the quality of classes and ensure the integrity of authorized trainers.
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EPA Proposes Pesticide Nano Policy

From EPA –   June 9, 2011   EPA Proposes Policy on Nanoscale Materials in Pesticide Products   WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today it plans to obtain information on nanoscale materials in pesticide products.
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EPA Removes Confidentiality for 150+ Chemicals

From EPA – June 8, 2011 EPA Removes Confidentiality Claims for More Than 150 Chemicals Part of continuing effort to protect Americans’ health by increasing access to chemical information WASHINGTON – In order to ensure the public has as much information as possible about the health and the environmental impacts of chemicals, the U.S.
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NIOSH Calls for Hearing Loss Prevention Awards Nominations

From NIOSH – Nominations are now being accepted for the 2012 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards.™ The awards are given by NIOSH in partnership with the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA) to recognize excellence in hearing loss prevention. The deadline for self-nominations is September 1, 2011.
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Register for NIOSH Eliminating Health and Safety Disparities at Work Conference

From NIOSH – Registration is now open for a two-day conference on occupational health and safety disparities, which will be held in Chicago, Illinois.
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NIOSH Extends Abstract Deadline for NORA Manufacturing Conference

From NIOSH – The NORA Manufacturing Sector Council will be accepting abstracts for presentations and posters through June 30 for the NORA Manufacturing Sector Conference, September 7–8, Hyatt Regency, in Cincinnati, Ohio.  http://www.team-psa.com/NORAMNF2011/aboutNora.
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New OSHA NEP Targets Primary Metals Industries

From OSHA –  June 2, 2011  New OSHA National Emphasis Program will help protect workers from chemical and physical hazards in the primary metals industries  WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued a new directive establishing a National Emphasis Program for the Primary Metals Industries.
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PHMSA HazMat Final Rule on Storing Explosives During Transportation

 The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published a final rule in coordination with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) approving the use of the National Fire Protection Association Standard (NFPA) 498–Standard for Safe Havens and Interchange Lots for Vehicles Transporting Explosives (2010

PHMSA Safety Advisory on Unauthorized Marking of Compressed Gas Cylinders

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published a notice advising the public that PHMSA has recently confirmed an undetermined number of certain (aluminum) cylinders were improperly marked and represented as DOT specification 3AL cylinders.
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New MSHA Training Tools on Miner Rights and Responsibilities

From MSHA –  [06/23/2011] New MSHA training tools address miners’ rights and responsibilities ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 6.1.11

ASSE Supports FY 2012 Budget Request for OSHA

In a letter to House Appropriations Committee leaders, ASSE stated its support for the Administration’s FY 2012 budget request for OSHA.  If adopted, the $583.4 million request would give the agency a 4.3 percent increase over OSHA’s FY 2010 budget.
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Bipartisan Effort to Codify VPP Backed by ASSE

Bipartisan legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate and House to place  OSHA’s Voluntary Protectiion Program (VPP) into law and ensure the program’s future has received ASSE’s support.  In letters to Senators Enzi and Landrieu for S 807 and Representatives Petri and Green for HR 1511, ASSE expressed its strong support for VPP.
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ASSE Government Affairs Committee’s Annual Capitol Hill Visits

ASSE’s Government Affairs Committee (GAC) met in Washington DC May 1-3 in conjunction with NAOSH Week for a meeting and to conduct its annual Capitol Hill Visits.
Read more >

Weigh in on Proposed Administration Cuts to NIOSH

Repeating the message from previous GA Updates and a blast to all ASSE members, it’s by no means too late to tell Congress how you feel about the Obama Administration’s proposal to cut NIOSH’s Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing research program and support for Educational Resource Centers.  Go to  http://www.asse.org/en/index.
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Regulatory Reform and OSHA

OSH news sources and blogs have been busily discussing the Administration’s recent efforts to engage in regulatory reform.  The lead for this effort has been taken by Cass Sunstein, Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the White House.
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OSHA Reopens Record for Comment on Ergo 300 Column Rulemaking

OSHA has reopened the rulemaking record to allow interested persons, particularly small businesses, to comment on the information gathered and on issues raised during the small business teleconferences that OSHA and the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy co-sponsored on April 11-12, 2011.
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Tales from DC: March 17 House Appropriations Hearing

From Gary Visscher of The Law Office of Adele Abrams, ASSE’s Federal Representative: 
 On behalf of ASSE, on March 17, 2011 I attended the hearing of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies , where Secretary of Labor Solis testified on the Administration’s proposed 2012 budget for the Department

NIOSH Seeks Comments on Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation/Prevention Program

From NIOSH – The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is seeking stakeholder input on the progress and future directions of the Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program (FFFIPP). Since its initiation in 1998, NIOSH has sought public input to help plan and direct the goals and objectives of the FFFIPP.
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New OSHA Online Tool to Help with Recordkeeping

From OSHA –  The U.S. Department of Labor has issued the OSHA Recordkeeping Advisor (http://www.dol.gov/elaws/OSHARecordkeeping.htm), a new Web tool to help employers understand their responsibilities to report and record work-related injuries and illnesses.
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MSHA Releases Upper Big Branch Mine Investigation Interview Transcripts

From MSHA – ARLINGTON, Va. - The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration today released 25 transcripts of witness interviews from the investigation of the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion that occurred in April 2010.
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US District Court Backs OSHA Subpoena of Insurer in Grain Engulfment Case

From OSHA at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=19815 CHICAGO – A U.S. district court has upheld a subpoena issued by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration requesting documents from Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Co.
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New OSHA Region 6 Administrator

From OSHA – John M. Hermanson was recently named regional administrator for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Region 6, which encompasses the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
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New OSHA Worker Rights Products in Chinese and Vietnamese/Young Worker Bookmark

From OSHA Cooperative Programs –  OSHA has issued several new outreach products on worker rights.  These include a new Vietnamese version of the “We Are OSHA – We Can Help” flyer and new Chinese versions of the Workers’ Rights Wallet Card (horizontal).  You can find these products on the Workers’ Rights Outreach (http://www.
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Free NIOSH Hearing Protection Publication

A soft cover copy of NIOSH’s ‘State of the Art in Hearing Protection’ is available for free if you email your mailing address to rrd1@cdc.gov.  This is the March-April 2011 issue of a bi-monthly inter-disciplinary journal.  More info can be found at www.noiseandhealth.org.
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CDC Says US Vehicle Crash Deaths Cost $41 Billion

From CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2011/p0511_crashdeathcosts.html CDC Finds Annual Estimated Cost of U.S.
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MSHA Holds Public Hearings on Underground Coal Work Area Exams/PoV Rulemaking

MSHA has announced it will hold four public hearings on the Agency's proposed rules for Examinations of Work Areas in Underground Coal Mines (Examinations of Work Areas) and for Pattern of Violations. Each hearing will cover the major issues raised by commenters in response to the respective proposed rules.
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EPA Significant New Use Rule on Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

EPA has issued a significant new use rule (SNUR) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for the chemical substance identified generically as multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT).
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FCSMA Finale Rule on CDL License Testing/Permit Standards

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has amended its commercial driver's license (CDL) knowledge and skills testing standards and established new minimum federal standards for states to issue the commercial learner's permit (CLP).
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FMCSA Final Rule on Hours of Service Exception for Railroad Signal Employees

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) amended its hours-of-service (HOS) regulations to adopt regulatory language consistent with the statutory exemption for certain railroad signal employees operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in connection with railroad signal work.
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NIOSH Study on Impact of Business Cycle on Workplace Injuries

From NIOSH – A recent NIOSH study published in the Journal of Safety Research identified cyclically sensitive sectors and explored potential mechanisms through which the business cycle affected the incidence of nonfatal workplace injuries across different sectors.
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NIOSH Seeks Comments on Preventing Respiratory Diseases from Dampness in Buildings

NIOSH is asking for public comment on a NIOSH Alert: Preventing Occupational Respiratory Disease from Dampness in Office Buildings, Schools, and other Nonindustrial Buildings. The alert’s purpose is to give workers and employers guidance for respiratory disease prevention and appropriate environmental response to damp building conditions.
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OSHA Surveys Employers to Better Design Rules and Outreach

From OSHA – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched a survey of private sector employers as a tool toward better designing future rules, compliance assistance and outreach efforts.
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OSH in CDC Health Scientists’ 10 Great Public Health Achievements

The CDC, in the May 20 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6019a5.htm) has published a list of the 10 great public health achievements occurring in the last decade, between 2001-2010, of which occupational safety is one.
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OSHA Issues Memo on VPP Incentives

Assistant Secretary David Michaels in April issued a memorandum outlining Agency policy and procedures for the review of incentive programs at VPP worksites.
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PHMSA Advisory on Annual Report Deadline for Gas

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued an advisory bulletin advising owners and operators of gas transmission and gathering systems and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities that they have until August 15, 2011, to submit their Calendar Year 2010 Annual Reports.
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FACOSH June 7 Meeting, Member Appointment Announced

OSHA’s Federal Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health (FACOSH) will meet June 7, 2011, at the Department of Labor in Washington, DC.   Also, Secretary Solis appointed Edward A. Hamilton, Sr., U.S. Department of Justice, to complete an unexpired term on FACOSH. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-05-18/html/2011-12190.
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PHMSA Meetings on Pipeline Seam Welds/Improving Risk Assessment and Recordkeeping

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has announced public meetings to address recent pipeline incidents involving seam weld anomalies, gaps in data and recordkeeping and driving a stronger focus on better managing these challenges.
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PHMSA Applies Safety Regs to All Rural Onshore Hazardous Liquid Low-Stress Lines

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published a final rule amending its pipeline safety regulations to apply safety regulation to rural low-stress hazardous liquid pipelines not covered previously by safety regulations.
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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 4.29.11

New Law Regulating Handling of Toxic Drugs in Washington State

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed into law a bill (SB 5594) to regulate the handling of hazardous drugs.
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Federal OSH Agencies Fare Well in New CR – EPA Slashed

In the latest Continuing Resolution for the remainder of FY 2011, the April 11 deal that is now up for a vote in Congress nearly $40 billion is cut from the federal budget through September.  EPA is cut 16%, one of the biggest percentage cuts in the whole bill, $1.6 billion less than FY 2010.
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OSHA Issues Guidance On Fall Protection In Residential Construction

To help comply with its December directive, OSHA has issued new guidance on fall protection in residential construction to help employers prevent fall-related injuries and deaths.  Find it at  http://www.osha.gov/doc/guidance.html.
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Weigh in on NIOSH Cuts

Repeating the message from the previous GA Update and a blast to all ASSE members, it’s by no means too late to tell Congress how you feel about the Obama Administration’s proposal to cut NIOSH’s Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing research program and support for Educational Resource Centers.  Go to  http://www.asse.org/en/index.
Read more >

CSB Budget Request Gets ASSE Support

ASSE stated its support for the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board’s (CSB) FY 2012 budget request of $12.8 million in letters to Senate and House leaders of the Appropriations Subcommittees on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies.
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ASSE Supports Member Jones for CSB

In a letter to the White House, ASSE stated its support for Jerry L. Jones, a member, to be nominated to the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.
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ASSE Comments on MSHA PoV Proposed Rule

ASSE submitted comments on the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s Proposed Rule Pattern of Violation (PoV) intended to strengthen MSHA’s ability to find that a mine has a recurring pattern of violations requiring heightened oversight by MSHA.
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Federal OSH Agencies Fare Well in New CR – EPA Slashed

In the latest Continuing Resolution for the remainder of FY 2011, the April 11 deal that is now up for a vote in Congress nearly $40 billion is cut from the federal budget through September.  EPA is cut 16%, one of the biggest percentage cuts in the whole bill, $1.6 billion less than FY 2010.
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DoL Launches National Heat-Related Illness Outreach Campaign

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced on April 26 a national outreach initiative by OSHA to educate workers and their employers about the hazards of working outdoors in the heat and steps needed to prevent heat-related illnesses.  The Department’s announcement can be found at http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/osha/OSHA20110594.htm.
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Democrats and Republicans Join in Seeking Codification of VPP

Senators Michael Enzi (R-WY) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) [S 807] and Representatives Thomas Petri (R-WI) and Gene Green (R-TX) (HR 1511] have introduced bipartisan legislation that would put into law OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program.  Senator Enzi’s statement on introduction can be found at http://drownehs.com/Documents/VPP%20Act%20statement.
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House Democrats Reintroduce Byrd Mine Safety Bill

House Democrats reintroduced the Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act.  ASSE commented on the bill last year.  The following is a summary from Democrats on the House Committee on Education and the Wokforce, available at http://democrats.edworkforce.house.gov/blog/2011/04/robert-c-byrd-mine-safety-prot.shtml. The Robert C.
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OSHA Holding Expert Forum on Regulatory Options to Address Combustible Dust Hazards

From OSHA –  WASHINGTON – Since 1980, nearly 150 workers have been killed and more than 850 injured in combustible dust explosions. To explore methods for preventing such explosions, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration invited outside experts to participate in a Combustible Dust Expert Forum May 13, 2011.
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Attend the NIOSH PtD Conference August 22-24 in DC

The draft agenda for the August 22-24 NIOSH conference Prevention through Design:  A New Way of Doing Business – Report on the National Initiative can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/ptd/a-new-way/.  The conference marks the mid-point of the PtD National Initiative.
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Attend the NIOSH NORA Symposium July 11-12

NIOSH has announced that registration is now open for the NORA Symposium 2011: Achieving Impact through Research and Partnerships to be held July 11–12 in Cincinnati OH. https://www.team-psa.com/NORA2011/aboutNora.asp.
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PHMSA Seeks Restrictions on Cell Phone Use by HazMat Drivers

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has
issued a proposed rule to restrict the use of hand-held mobile
telephones, including hand-held cell phones, by drivers during the
operation of a motor vehicle containing a quantity of hazardous
materials requiring placarding under Part 172 of the 49 CFR or any
quantity of a sele

OSHA Revised Outreach Training Program

From OSHA – OSHA revisions strengthen Outreach Training Program  WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration revised its voluntary Outreach Training Program requirements and procedures to improve the quality of outreach classes and ensure the integrity of its authorized trainers.
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MSHA Inspectors Get New Online Tool to Detect Flagrant Violations

MSHA News Release: [04/19/2011] ARLINGTON, Va. - The U.S.
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New Law Regulating Handling of Toxic Drugs in Washington State

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed into law a bill (SB 5594) to regulate the handling of hazardous drugs.
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MSHA Makes Agency Audit Results Public

MSHA announced it has posted on its website audit reports by the agency’s Office of Accountability from 2008 to 2010. A report summarizing these audits was provided to the House and Senate Appropriations committees in March 2010.  MSHA’s news release can be found at http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/msha/MSHA20110564.htm.
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NIOSH Study Asks If Business Cycle Affects Nonfatal Workplace Injuries

From NIOSH –  A recent NIOSH study published in the Journal of Safety Research identified cyclically sensitive sectors and explored potential mechanisms through which the business cycle affected the incidence of nonfatal workplace injuries across different sectors.
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EPA Proposes New Air Toxic Standards for Polyvinyl Chloride Production Facilities

 From EPA –  April 18, 2011  Standards would cut harmful emissions that impact local communities  WASHINGTON – The U.S.
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EPA Announces Action Plans to Address MDI and TDI Risks

From EPA – April 13, 2011 EPA Announces Actions on Two Chemicals to Reduce Harm to People WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released action plans to address the potential health risks of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), toluene diisocyanate (TDI), and related compounds.
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NIOSH and Carcinogens

Paul Schulte, Ph.D., Director, NIOSH Education and Information Division, has written a column for NIOSH eNews laying out NIOSH’s history of addressing workplace carcinogen risks.  From the introduction, “Estimates of the fraction of cancers attributable to occupation vary.
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FMCSA Updates CDL Info System State Procedures Manual

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed to amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to incorporate by reference the most recent version of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, Inc.
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NIOSH Resource Shows Risks of Japan Radiation Dispersal

From NIOSH – A new NIOSH Web page provides information to help workers, employers, and occupational health professionals stay informed about ongoing federal activities to address the release of airborne contamination from the damaged Japanese power plant. The page will be updated as new information becomes available. http://www.cdc.
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New Nano Safety System Tested

From NIOSH – NIOSH researchers recently evaluated the effectiveness of a portable HEPA-filter local exhaust ventilation system as a possible tool for controlling exposure to nanoparticles from metal oxides.
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Study Details Common Teen Driving Errors in Serious Crashes

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and State Farm Insurance Companies ® have published a study that identifies the most common errors teen drivers make leading to serious crashes.  The study found a virtual tie among the top three errors – Lack of scanning needed to detect and respond to hazards.
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ASSE Gov’t Affairs Update – 4.5.11

CALL TO ACTION: Oppose Proposed FY ’12 Cuts to NIOSH Ag, Forestry and Fishing Program and ERCs

Please join ASSE in opposing the Obama Administration’s proposed FY 2012 budget elimination of two significant NIOSH activities - the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (AFF) Program and Educational Research Centers (ERCs).
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ASSE Opposes Administration’s Proposed FY ’12 Cuts to NIOSH Ag, Forestry & Fishing and ERCs

ASSE voiced opposition to the Obama Administration’s proposed FY 2012 budget cuts to two significant NIOSH activities - the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (AFF) Program and Educational Research Centers (ERCs).
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ASSE Opposes U.S. House Cuts to OSHA in FY 2011 Budget Battle

In a letter to the leadership of the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related  Agencies, ASSE stated its opposition to significant cutbacks to OSHA funding proposed in the House of Representatives’ HR 1 as a Continuing Resolution for the remainder of the federal government’s

ASSE and 110 Other Stakeholders Join to Oppose FY ’12 NIOSH Budget Cuts