News

NAOSH North American Occupation Safety and Health Week
Category:
 
Mining-614053232
02/24/2017 2:00 PM

Shortcuts Are Killer

Most people have the necessary skills and knowledge to do our jobs well, and most of us don’t want to hurt ourselves or anyone else. So why do we take shortcuts that set up us and others for injury?

 
Rejected-183177563
02/22/2017 7:33 PM

Representative Byrne Seeks to Rescind OSHA Volks Recordkeeping Rule

Bradley Byrne (R-AL), chair of the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, has introduced a Congressional Review Act resolution to block an OSHA rule expanding recordkeeping requirements for injuries and illnesses. The so-called Volks Rule that would have given OSHA the authority to cite employers for failures to record or for misrecording workplace injuries or illnesses that occurred up to 5 years prior to when the citation is written.

 
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02/22/2017 3:12 PM

Labor pains, confirmation machinations, and Congress takes the week off

Secretary of Labor nominee Andrew Puzder withdrew his name from consideration late last week hours after reports surfaced that six Republican Senators were hesitant to support him.

 

Call for Awards Nominations

Each year the Practice Specialties (PS) and Common Interest Groups (CIG) are requested to award one of their members as the Safety Professional of the Year for their PS or CIG. If you know of a member within your PS or CIG whom you believe is worthy of this award, please feel free to nominate him/her. You may also nominate yourself if you wish.

 

Please join us for our Open Web Meeting (It's Free)

Wednesday , December 7, 2016 (60 minutes) 1:00 pm EST; 12:00 pm CST; 11:00 am MST; 10:00 am PST Find out about the new programs and initiatives in your Practice Specialty. This is a perfect opportunity to share your thoughts and ideas as well.

 
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Keene State WISE Students Offer Active Shooter Training

By Jamie Ingalls I am so proud of the work the students did to put this together! We had 58 people in all register, and 50 in attendance! Not bad for our first event. There is a future for the student ASSE WISE group at Keene State.

 
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WISE Member Coauthors OSH Textbook

WISE member Rosalene Graham, CSP, recently coauthored a textbook, Occupational Safety and Health. According to American Technical Publishers, the introductory text provides an overview of potential workplace hazards, safety practices and how various processes need to be managed to maintain a safe workplace.​

 

Tarheel Chapter WISE Clothing Drive

At the Tarheel Chapter November monthly meeting, the Tarheel ChapterWISE team sponsored a clothing drive to benefit Dress for Success, whose mission is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

 
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Making Training Fun and Effective - Part 2

Chris Vochoska presented Part 2 of Making Training Fun and Effective at the Bakersfield WISE Professional Development and Networking meeting on October 20th.

 

WISE Mentoring Program - New Matches!

Thanks to our smart and savvy mentors and dedicated and enthusiastic mentees, we kicked off the Fall Session with 14 matched pairs and 3 "re-ups"!

 

WISE Sponsors Needed

Invest in women in safety by sponsoring WISE.

 

Foundation - Consider making WISE part of your giving!

WISE offers a $1000 professional education grant each year through the ASSE Foundation.

 

Administrator Message

"Every day is a new beginning. Treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been, and look at what can be." -Marsha Petrie Sue Welcome 2017! Today is another chance to make things better and that’s what we do every day as part of our WISE mission. I am honored to be, once again, at the helm of WISE, this time as the Administrator.

 
WayneJones_1000
02/21/2017 2:02 PM

Wayne Jones: 1,005 Members ASSE Recruited & Counting

Wayne Jones, Ed.D., gives new meaning to the title "top recruiter." A professional member of ASSE's Southwest Chapter, Jones recently became the first-ever ASSE member to recruit more than 1,000 colleagues to join the Society.

 
Ladder_000018824100
02/15/2017 3:00 PM

ALI Designates March Ladder Safety Month

More than 300 people die each year in ladder-related incidents, and improper ladder use is consistently on OSHA’s 10 most frequently cited violations. To raise awareness among employers, employees and the public, American Ladder Institute (ALI) has declared March as National Ladder Safety Month.

 
iStock-598137192
02/09/2017 6:17 PM

External Microphones Improve Sound Measurement App Accuracy

Calibrated external microphones greatly improves the overall accuracy and precision of sound measuring iPhone and iPad apps, a NIOSH study published in The Journal of Acoustical Society found. According to the study, external microphones remove most of the variability and limitations associated with built-in smartphones.

 
CampusSafety-174823864
02/08/2017 9:45 PM

Campus Safety Challenges

ASSE’s Management Practice Specialty has started a Campus Safety Committee to facilitate opportunities for OSH professionals who work on some type of campus to connect. Jonathan Klane, who chairs the committee, wanted to try a different approach to explaining the range of challenges encountered in these environments. Read his post to learn more.

 
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02/08/2017 7:04 PM

House Democrats Introduce Bill to Strengthen Worker Health & Safety Law

Democrats on the House Education and the Workforce Committee reintroduced the Protecting America's Workers Act, legislation that would strengthen and modernize the OSH Act of 1970. The bill would also give OSHA tools to ensure that employers correct hazardous working conditions, protect whistleblowers and hold employers accountable for violations that cause death or serious injury to workers.

 
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02/07/2017 9:00 PM

Trump Makes Moves, Puzder Waits in the Wings, Congress Readies for Battle

Government Affairs Update, American Society of Safety Engineers

 
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02/07/2017 7:18 PM

Noise-Related Hearing Loss: Not Just a Work Problem, CDC Finds

One in four U.S. adults who think their hearing is good in fact have hearing damage. The latest Vital Signs report, “Too Loud! For Too Long!” from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that a lot of this damage is from loud sounds encountered during everyday activities, such as using a leaf blower or going to loud concerts. These activities can damage a person’s hearing just as much as working in an extremely noisy environment.

 
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02/07/2017 2:00 PM

EPA Issues Proposed TSCA Risk Evaluation Rule

EPA has proposed a rule about how the agency plans to conduct risk evaluations when determining whether a chemical substance presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment “without consideration of costs or other non-risk factors, including an unreasonable risk to a potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation, under the conditions of use.”

 
SM_NATEVideo_A10-48
02/06/2017 9:28 PM

NATE Video Promotes Safety in Communication Tower Industry

National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) has produced a video that highlights ANSI/ASSE A10.48. "This video is an outstanding resource for companies and workers,” says Josh Forrester of Vertical Limit Construction LLC in Wanamingo, MN. “Embracing and implementing the A10.48 standard into daily tower activities will enhance the culture of safety in the industry.”

 
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02/06/2017 6:59 PM

Trump Signs 2-for-1 Executive Order to Reduce Regulations

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Jan. 30 that will require agencies to cut two existing regulations for every new rule introduced.

 
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02/06/2017 6:00 PM

Wyoming, Texas Rated Worst for Smoke-Free Workplaces

Wyoming and Texas are the worst states for smoke-free workplaces, says the American Lung Association’s 15th annual State of Tobacco Control report for 2017. Both states received ALA’s lowest possible score—a zero—for smoke-free public and private work sites. Illinois, Maine, North Dakota, Oregon and Washington all received the highest possible grades for these categories.

 
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Safety Training: Gaining Employee Buy-In

Safety training is a leading tool implemented to promote incident and injury prevention. The objective of any training is to help people make safer decisions about actions they take in the workplace. "The catalyst to successful safety training is employee buy-in," says guest blogger Brei Richardson, "If employees are not sold on the information presented, they will not practice safer methods in the field."

 
Standards-182487035
02/01/2017 6:01 AM

Standards: Influencing the Practice of Safety

As we all know, OSHA standards are only a starting point for ensuring worker safety. Many are outdated and less protective than other measures. That is why voluntary consensus standards are so vital. The consensus process brings together diverse parties—companies, government agencies, academics, individuals and others—with a direct interest in the subject matter.

 
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Mental Health Issues Adversely Affect Physical Health, Survey Says

More than 80% of workers who have experienced mental issues say their physical health has been adversely affected, according to a survey of more than 4,000 British adults.

 
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01/30/2017 4:30 PM

Safety Tools, Checklists Aren't Enough to Save Lives

About 65% of workers say they have been in a situation where they had the proper safety tools to avoid a situation, but nobody listened to them. A recent ASSE webinar discussed new research surrounding psychological safety’s role in workplace safety.

 
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01/30/2017 2:00 PM

Change Safety Climate to Initiate Culture Change

"Culture can form at a glacier-like pace and feel just as difficult to move as a mountain of ice. It’s impossible to change culture overnight," says Gary Higbee, president/CEO of Higbee & Associates and a senior consultant with ASSE Diamond Sponsor SafeStart. While that fact may be frustrating, OSH professionals can make progress by focusing their attention elsewhere. "Forget about trying to enact a cultural change and focus instead on developing a workplace climate that takes safety seriously,"​

 
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01/27/2017 8:12 PM

Training Tips: ANSI/ASSE Z490.1 & Learning Objectives

In the January 2017 issue of PS, Jeff Dalto began a series of Training Tips articles that will analyze the recently updated ANSI/ASSE Z490.1, Criteria for Accepted Practices in Safety, Health and Environmental Training.

 
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EU-OSHA Publishes Visual Tool on Aging Workforce

Nearly 27% of the EU population is expected to be over age 65 by 2040. To help understand OSH issues in the context of the aging workforce, European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) carried out a 3-year project, “Safer and Healthier Work at Any Age,” to examine the safety and health of older workers and identify ways to ensure sustainable work.

 
5Steps-539830440
01/27/2017 2:00 PM

5 Steps to Effective Injury Management

Companies that work aggressively to provide the right treatment at the right time following an injury-producing incident have lower injury costs, fewer recordables and workers' compensation cases, and more engaged, successful employees.

 
iStock-526876575
01/26/2017 6:14 PM

NPR, NIOSH Investigations Reveal Scope of Black Lung Disease is Bigger than Reported

The surge of black lung disease’s most progressive form, Progressive Massive Fibrosis (PMF), is significantly larger than what federal regulators report, two new investigations have found.

 
SwedenWork
01/26/2017 3:22 PM

Shortened Workdays Bring Health, Happiness & Costs, Swedish Experiment Says

Sweden’s 2-year experiment for a 6-hour workday came to an end earlier this month with workers happy and pockets empty. The experiment was funded by the Swedish government to learn whether a shorter workday without payouts can boost productivity.

 
ASSE_RB_WWS_0117
01/24/2017 5:00 PM

ASSE RegBrief Examines OSHA's Walking/Working Surfaces Rule

In latest ASSE's RegBrief, Adele Abrams, the Society's federal representative, reviews key changes made in OSHA's walking and working surfaces rule, shares key compliance dates and highlights other standards affected by the changes.

 
WhiteHouse-503781146
01/24/2017 1:49 PM

Trump Administration Freezes Regulations Pending Review

In an e-mail on Jan. 25, 2017, Bruce Lundegren, assistant chief counsel from the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy, advised small business representatives about the Trump administration's "Regulatory Freeze Pending Review” memorandum, which was issued to heads of executive departments and agencies on Jan. 20. The memorandum "is designed to ensure that the President's appointees or designees have the opportunity to review any new or pending regulations."

 
SlipsTripsFalls-SafeStart
01/18/2017 2:00 PM

Solving Slips, Trips & Falls

Slips, trips and falls are a constant concern in many work environments. BLS reports that falls, slips and trips accounted for 27% (309,060 cases) of the total occupational injuries and illnesses in 2015, with falls on the same level being a leading type of event or exposure. In its Solving Slips, Trips & Falls Guide, ASSE Diamond Sponsor SafeStart reports that human factors, wet/slippery surfaces and housekeeping issues are the leading causes of slip/trip/fall incidents.

 
Incident-Investigation-521423664
01/13/2017 2:00 PM

Incident Investigations: 15 Key Steps

Most every OSH professional has conducted an incident investigation. Here are 15 steps to follow to ensure a quality investigation.

 
ManagementSystems-487078751

ISO 45001: Anticipating March 2018 Publication Date

According to an article posted by The Auditor, the much-anticipated ISO 45001 standard on occupational health and safety management systems may not be published until March 2018. Read on to see the latest timeline for publication.

 
ConvenienceStores-521386080
01/12/2017 2:00 PM

Protecting Convenience Store Employees Against Robbery

Convenience stores are a frequest target of robberies, putting store employees at increased risk of being injured or killed. The Kentucky Fatality Assessment Control Evaluation (FACE) program issued a hazard alert advising convenience store employers and employees on robbery safety.

 

ASSE Applauds OSHA for Recognizing the Importance of Sustainability in the Workplace

This statement is attributable to ASSE President Tom Cecich, CSP, CIH: “The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) applauds the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for recognizing, in its white paper, “Sustainability in the Workplace: A New Approach for Advancing Worker Safety and Health,” the great opportunity the corporate sustainability movement provides to encourage better commitment to worker safety and health."

 
01/11/2017 4:00 PM

Safety Climate: What It Means, Why You Should Measure It

What is safety climate and why should companies measure it. According to Emily Huang, lead author of the cover story in this month's Professional Safety, "Safety climate is one of the best leading indicators of future safety outcomes." She also notes that safety climate surveys help organizations identify benchmarks that provide insight into interventions.

 
RegAgenda-579425904
01/11/2017 2:00 PM

OSHA & MSHA Regulatory Agendas Issued

On Dec. 23, 2016, U.S. Department of Labor issued its semiannual regulatory agenda, covering its agencies including OSHA and MSHA. This is the final agenda issued under the Obama administration, and its contents will be subject to revision by the incoming Trump administration. However, because that transition will take time, OSH professionals can view this as a non-binding work plan for the agencies.​

 
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01/10/2017 4:00 PM

SeminarFest 2017 Preview: Becoming an Effective Independent Consultant

Deborah Roy is one of several SeminarFest speakers ASSE is featuring in anticipation of SeminarFest 2017, set to take place Feb. 9-16 in Las Vegas, NV. She recently talked with us about Becoming an Effective Independent Consultant, one of the seminars she will present at this year’s SeminarFest.

 
IATA-DGR-LabelMaster_pdf
01/10/2017 2:00 PM

IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations Updates Reflect New ICAO Technical Instructions

Every day, about $18.6 billion worth of goods are transported by air. We take our laptop computers, cell phones, hair spray and even our duty-free liquor for granted. But each item poses significant hazards if mishandled, poorly manufactured or is simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. No transport mode sees more dangerous goods regulatory changes than air transport. So it is essential to have a complete grasp of each year’s changes as soon as possible, writes guest blogger Neil McCulloch.​

 
CSHSOnly
01/09/2017 5:00 PM

OSHA Highlights Importance of Worker Sustainability in New White Paper

OSHA's "Sustainability in the Workplace: A New Approach for Protecting Worker Safety and Health" white paper supports the work of the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability (CSHS) by recognizing the sustainability framework as an opportunity to advance OSH. ASSE, AIHA, CSSE and IOSH founded CSHS to encourage organizations to consider the safety, health and well-being of workers as part of their sustainable business practice.

 
DistractedDriving-SafeStart
01/09/2017 2:00 PM

Distracted Driving: A Risk for All Businesses

Whether or not your company operates a fleet or employs professional drivers, distracted driving is a topic that should interest you. As ASSE Diamond Sponsor SafeStart explains, "Everyone drives or rides in a car. And that means distracted driving affects every single business in the world."

 
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Open meeting

Free WISE Open Web Meeting Wednesday 1/25/17. Join us at 1 PM Central to hear what WISE is up to and get ideas for how to locally network, mentor, and do student outreach to increase awareness of our profession.

 
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©iStockphoto.com/Antoine2K
01/06/2017 7:33 PM

OSHA Final Rule to Lower Beryllium Levels

OSHA has issued a final rule that lowers workplace exposure to beryllium, a metal material that can cause lung disease. The agency reports that beryllium can become highly toxic when it is processed in a way that releases airborne dust, fumes or mist into air that can then be inhaled by workers.

 
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01/06/2017 5:06 PM

New Article Offers Deep Dive In Automated Vehicle Safety

The Liberty Mutual Research institute for Safety has released “From Research to Reality” a document discussing automated vehicles and the changing role of the driver

 
ManagementSystems-487078751
01/06/2017 2:00 PM

The Future of the ANSI/ASSE Z10 Standard

As the global ISO 45001 OHS Management Systems Standard continues to develop, some OSH professionals have wondered about the future of the ANSI/ASSE Z10 OHS Management Systems standard. Because Z10 is widely recognized and was a base document referenced in drafting ISO 45001, the Z10 Accredited Standards Committee has decided to reaffirm the 2012 version of Z10 and to begin revising the standard during 2017.

 
Generations-513943028
01/05/2017 5:00 PM

Let's Have a Conversation: Rethinking Communication in Today's Workplace

Guest blogger Stephen Hughes (@AskSafetySteve) advises that face-to-face conversations can help bridge communication gaps in the workplace.

 
ASSE-Dubai2016
01/05/2017 4:35 PM

ASSE Goes Global With Train-the-Trainer Program

An update on ASSE's continuing education outreach in UAE and Saudi Arabia, including information on the global train-the-trainer program.

 
freelance-510949255
01/05/2017 3:00 PM

Howard Identifies OSH Challenges of Temporary, Contract & Gig Workers

NIOSH Director John Howard penned an article in American Journal of Industrial Medicine that tackles safety and health concerns affecting workers in nonstandard work arrangements such as temporary, contract or gig workers. A NIOSH Science Blog post highlights the article's key points.

 
BLS-Stats-509469360
01/05/2017 2:00 PM

Workplace Fatalities Highest Since 2008, BLS Says

Workplace fatalities were the highest since 2008, says the annual BLS Census of Fatal Occupational Injury report, which was released last month.

 
chemicals_288374
01/04/2017 9:18 PM

EPA Amends RMP Regulations for Chemical Facilities

EPA has amended its Risk Management Program regulations to reduce the likelihood of accidental releases at chemical facilities.

 
marijuana
01/04/2017 3:45 PM

Marijuana Users Have Abnormally Low Blood Flow to Brain, Study Says

Marijuana users have abnormally low blood flow to the brain, a new, large-scale study has found. The researchers were able to reliably distinguish (95% accuracy) marijuana users from 100 healthy controls by low blood flow to the hippocampus, a major component of the brain responsible for long-term memory and emotional responses, using the SPECT scans.

 
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01/03/2017 3:40 PM

Asbestos to be Banned in Canada by 2018

Canada plans to ban asbestos beginning in 2018 under new rules set forth by the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

 
Research-523825932
01/01/2017 6:01 AM

Safety Research: Show Me the Data

We must commit to being lifelong learners with curious and discerning minds. Furthermore, as a leading voice for the profession, ASSE must drive the expansion of our body of knowledge and push out the boundaries of what we know about the practice of safety. To achieve this, ASSE is working to establish an OSH research agenda.

 
12/21/2016 1:31 PM

OSHA’s Final Rule on Recordkeeping as “Continuing Obligation”

On Dec. 19, 2016, OSHA issued a final rule entitled “Clarification of Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness.” Read on for a brief explanation of the new rule.

 
WorkplaceViolence-537289272
12/20/2016 3:37 PM

OSHA Considering Workplace Violence Standard for Healthcare

OSHA is seeking public input on whether to propose a standard to prevent workplace violence in healthcare and social assistance settings. The submission deadline for comments is April 6, 2017.

 
ISO9001-614134596
12/19/2016 2:00 PM

Small Employers Can Implement Quality Management Systems, Too

Small businesses interested in implementing a quality management system (QMS) have a new resource: ISO 9001:2015 for Small Enterprises: What to Do? According to ISO, the guide offers practical advice and examples tailored specifically for small businesses; topics range from getting started to seeking certification.

 
Tracking_On-the-Job_Injuries_is_Easier_Than_Ever___United_States_Department_of_Labor

OSHA Chief Discusses Injury/Illness Tracking Rule

In a post on the Labor Department's blog, OSHA chief David Michaels provides some additional explanation of OSHA’s final rule to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. The post also includes a whiteboard video that offers further insight into how injury tracking rule uses behavioral economics to "nudge" employers to do more to prevent worker injuries and illnesses.

 
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12/16/2016 1:55 PM

Help Your Employees Recognize Cold-Weather Risks

CPWR, the Center for Construction Research and Training, issued a hazard alert for employees who work in cold weather. The alert describes the symptoms and risks of weather-related ailments such as hypothermia, frostbite and trench foot.

 
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EPA Moves to Fast-Track Five Chemicals Under New TSCA Law

The Environmental Protection Agency is fast-tracking five persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals under requirements established by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.

 
Greenlight-119740488
12/14/2016 2:00 PM

OSHA's David Michaels 'Optimistic' About Agency Under Trump

In an article with Bloomberg BNA, current OSHA Administrator David Michael's tells reporter Stephen Lee that he "expects Trump to leave OSHA alone because many of the agency's initiatives have taken on lives of their own, meaning Trump couldn't rescind them even if he wanted to."

 
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12/13/2016 2:00 PM

Study Says 4 to 5 Hours Sleep Imposes Same Risk as Drunk Driving

Drivers who get behind the wheel with 4 to 5 hours of sleep pose a similar risk as those by drunk drivers, a new study reports.

 
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12/12/2016 5:00 PM

Database to Bring Transparency to Drug, Alcohol Violations in Trucking Industry

Truck drivers who fail a drug and alcohol test will now be listed on a national clearinghouse, set to be established by by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

 
CSHSOnly
12/09/2016 4:30 PM

OSH Professionals Are Key to Creating Sustainable Organizations

During International Labor Organization's 16th Asia Pacific regional meeting held this week in Bali, Indonesia, Vincent Ho, vice president of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), spoke about the key role OSH professionals play in building sustainable organizations and highlighted the work being done by the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability (CSHS).

 
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12/09/2016 2:00 PM

OSHA Proposes 18 Standards Revisions

OSHA has proposed 18 revisions to its recordkeeping, general industry, maritime and construction standards to address provisions that may be confusing, outdated or unnecessary.

 
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12/08/2016 4:59 PM

Trump Expected to Name Fast-Food Exec Puzder Labor Secretary

The Wall Street Journal and other media outlets are reporting that President-Elect Donald Trump will name Andy Puzder as labor secretary. Puzder is CEO of CKE Restaurant Holdings Inc., which is the parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's

 
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12/08/2016 2:00 PM

Changes to NIOSH’s Coal Workers’ Medicial Examination Regulations Now in Effect

Coal miners became further protected against black lung disease Nov. 23 after a final rule took effect that establishes spirometry facility testing for coal miners’ health exams. The rule updates medical surveillance standards established in 1969.

 
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12/07/2016 4:54 PM

Mining Deaths Fall to All-Time Low in FY2016

A record-low 24 deaths led the 2016 fiscal year to be the “safest year in mining history” says data published by MSHA. Mining deaths decreased by nearly 37% from 38 fatalities recorded in FY2015, MSHA says.

 
Construction_5132160
12/06/2016 5:52 PM

New Resources and Information for the Construction Industry Released

OSHA has just released the Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs in Construction. The recommended practices are flexible and can be adjusted to fit small and large construction companies handling short-term or multi-year projects. Working with employees to implement a program offers benefits including improvements in production and quality; greater employee morale; improved employee recruiting and retention; and a more favorable image and reputation among customers, suppliers and​

 
ConfinedSpace-509988856
12/05/2016 2:00 PM

Three Key Updates in the Z117.1-2016 Confined Space Standard

The newly revised ANSI/ASSE Z117.1-2016 Confined Space Standard contains significant changes in three critical areas: identification and evaluation of a confined space, non-permit confined spaces and training.​

 
Compliance_41797156
12/05/2016 2:00 PM

OSHA's Anti-Retaliation Provisions Take Effect

With the anti-retaliation provisions in OSHA's injury and illness recordkeeping rule taking effect today, Dec. 1, 2016, ASSE has created an infographic that explains the provisions and offers some guidance on what OSH professionals and their companies should do to confirm that they are complying with the new requirements.

 
Volunteer_51484916
12/02/2016 2:00 PM

Moving From Compliance to Risk-Based Systems: Find a Few Risk Champions

Pam Walaski CSP, CHMM, offers a few tips for OSH professionals looking to make the switch from compliance based to risk-based systems in her November 2016 Professional Safety article, “Moving From Compliance to Risk-Based Systems". Walaski recommends finding risk champions. “As we deepen our professional understanding of risk-based approaches, identify our organizations’ high-risk work and shift from compliance to risk thinking, OSH professionals should also identify like-minded people.

 
RootCause-526145356
12/01/2016 3:11 PM

SeminarFest 2017 Preview: Moving Past Root Cause

Bob Edwards is one of several SeminarFest speakers ASSE is featuring in anticipation of SeminarFest 2017, set to take place Feb. 9-16 in Las Vegas, NV. He recently talked with us about the seminar he'll be presenting during the event.

 
Leadership-511318774
12/01/2016 6:01 AM

We Are All Safety Leaders

When a safety vacuum occurs in an organization, either something bad is going to happen or someone will rush to fill the void, for better or worse. OSH professionals are uniquely qualified to ensure that safety vacuums do not exist. Doing so requires leadership, and we must be clear that as OSH professionals we are all safety leaders.

 
Interdisciplinary-495266744
11/30/2016 2:57 PM

The Boy Scouts Are Right: Reflections on the Ties Between OSH & Emergency Management

The safety, security and emergency management disciplines share and compete for resources; attempt to protect the same clientele; struggle with a host of common issues; and lean heavily on the principles of risk management to anticipate, recognize, evaluate and control both life and occupational risks. Ultimately, and at the 10,000-ft level, each discipline is about protecting people, property and the environment using mindful and economically sustainable strategies and countermeasures.

 
OSHMS_29800076
11/30/2016 2:00 PM

Moving From Compliance to Risk-Based Systems: Deep Dive Into the Data

In her November 2016 Professional Safety article, “Moving From Compliance to Risk-Based Systems,” Pam Walaski CSP, CHMM, offers tips for making a switch between systems. She says a deep dive into data is necessary and can help along in the process.

 
Career_83910103
11/28/2016 2:00 PM

Moving From Compliance to Risk-Based Systems: Identify & Promote One New High-Impact Leading Metric This Year

In her November 2016 Professional Safety article, “Moving From Compliance to Risk-Based Systems,” Pam Walaski CSP, CHMM, offers tips for OSH professionals looking to make the switch. One tip is identifying and promoting one new high-impact leading metric within the year. Most organizations (including Walaski’s) still rely primarily on lagging indicators as the key measures of OSH program success.​

 
Examprep
11/22/2016 2:00 PM

So You Want to Pass the CIH Exam?

Many different OSH certifications are available to increase your marketability to employers and clients. To help you better understand these options, the volunteer Advisory Committee of ASSE's Industrial Hygiene Practice Specialty is developing a series of articles. This article focuses on the certified industrial hygienist (CIH) designation and shares study tips and links to useful free online resources.​

 
OccHealth_34717388
11/21/2016 2:00 PM

Moving From Compliance to Risk-Based Systems: Stop Saying “OSHA Says"

In her November 2016 Professional Safety article, “Moving From Compliance to Risk-Based Systems,” Pam Walaski CSP, CHMM, says OSH professionals must stop relying on compliance with regulations to ground recommendations to reframe the discussion between moving from system to system. Walaski says that avoiding starting off the conversation quoting OSHA regulations is best.

 
Micromanage

Micromanaging May Shed Years off Workers’ Lives, Study Says

New research suggests that workers with micromanaging bosses are more likely to die young. The research found that workers in highly demanding jobs with little control over their workflow were 15.4% more likely to die early than people with less demanding jobs. Meanwhile, workers with a high level of control in a high-demand job were 34% less likely to die early compared to people with low-demand jobs.​

 
11/17/2016 10:47 PM

OSHA Updates Walking-Working Surfaces Rule

OSHA issued a final rule to update its general industry Walking-Working Surfaces standards specific to slip, trip and fall hazards. The rule also includes a new section establishing employer requirements for using personal fall protection systems.

 
YoungWorker_12804135
11/17/2016 2:00 PM

Keeping Young Workers Safe

Through video and a Young Worker website, OSHA shares the important message that young workers have a right to a safe, health workplace, and to be trained on job hazards and safe work practices.

 
Risk_88250243
11/14/2016 3:00 PM

Moving From Compliance to Risk-Based Systems: Become The Expert

In her November 2016 Professional Safety article, “Moving From Compliance to Risk-Based Systems,” Pam Walaski CSP, CHMM offers tips for OSH professionals looking to make the switch.

 
2015_Shane_Bush
11/09/2016 2:40 PM

SeminarFest 2017 Preview: Predicting Errors Using Human Performance Measurement Tools & Managing Disruptive Industries

Shane Bush CPT, President of BushCo, Inc., Idaho Falls, ID, will be presenting both “Predicting Errors Using Human Performance Measurement Tools” and Disruptive Safety: Managing Safety in an Industry Facing Changes Forced by Competition” at SeminarFest 2017.

 
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Alleviating Job Burnout Can Improve Safety

Beth Genly takes a deep look into safety and job burnout in Professional Safety’s October 2016 issue. She lists five broad skills and behavior areas individuals can pay attention to when feeling burned out.

 
TimeChange

Three Tips to “Fall Back” into Fall

Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, Nov. 6. FEMA is reminding us that in addition to enjoying the extra hour of sleep, we can take a few simple steps to make our homes more disaster-resilient.

 
FutureEd_67650987
11/01/2016 5:01 AM

Reimagining Education at ASSE

Earlier this year, ASSE’s board of directors identified professional development as one of the Society’s strategic initiatives. We adopted the theme of “reimagining education” as a means of implementing that strategy.

 
Loud_systemsthinking_80991001
10/28/2016 3:40 PM

Major Risk: Moving From Symptoms to Systems Thinking

In the October 2016 issue of Professional Safety, James Loud, CSP, CHMM, posits that major risk is an organizational problem, not a personal problem. In his article, “Major Risk: Moving From Symptoms to Systems Thinking,” he says that OSH must move from symptoms to systems thinking to effectively address major risk and achieve sustainable safety.

 
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10/28/2016 3:16 PM

Exceed Expectations, Your Break From Average

Denis Baker, CSP, President of ASSE’s Oklahoma City Chapter and Vice President, Region III, recently spoke at the ASSE Leadership Conference as part of his presentation, “Exceeding Expectations, Your Break from Average”. In a recent blog post, Baker shared his 9 personal insights about expectations as well as 10 thoughts, tips and actions to help individuals exceed expectations. A few are listed below, be sure to visit Baker's blog for an in-depth list.

 

ASSE Statement on OSHA’s Updated Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs

"The best-performing companies employ occupational safety and health professionals to implement and manage safety and health programs throughout the U.S. and across the globe. These Recommended Practices can encourage more employers to embrace what ASSE members already know: applying the risk management principles inherent in safety and health management programs succeed in helping make workplaces safe and productive in companies of all sizes.

 
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10/27/2016 7:34 PM

ASSE ErgoPS Publishes Report: Ergonomics Practitioner Environmental Scan Survey

ASSE’s Ergonomics Practice Specialty (ErgoPS) polled more than 300 ergonomics practitioners to learn about the ergonomics training, skill and resource needs in the practitioners’ working area. Further, the group explored whether a good match exists between the practitioner and marketplace needs by conducting a comparison of current professional training and certifications available.

 
question_58162480

Top 5 Ways to Improve Safety: What Are Yours?

If you were to make a list of five ways to improve workplace safety and well being for employees, what would be on your list? Share your thoughts with us.

 
Roofer_3764061
10/27/2016 12:33 PM

OSHA Video Examines Fall Protection

Falls once again top the list of violations cited most frequently by OSHA compliance officers. In addition to a web page dedicated to fall protection, OSHA has a video that details the dangers of falls in construction and reroofing.

 
Silica_000087387009
10/27/2016 12:00 PM

CPWR's Work Safely with Silica Page Allows Visitors to Ask Questions

CPWR’s Work Safely with Silica page is a one-stop source on how to prevent silica hazards and protect workers. The page has resources on learning about a hazard, regulation requirements and offers users the ability to create a plan with a built in tool on the website. There is a new feature on the page available to those who may want to know more. The “Ask a Question” page allows users to ask a question of their own via form.

 
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istockphoto.com/RawPixelLtd
10/26/2016 1:00 PM

Charting Your ASSE Leadership Path

During ASSE's 2016 Leadership Conference in Oak Brook, IL, four current Society volunteer leaders shared how they became involved in ASSE. Their goal was to illustrate the many different ways members can help advance ASSE and support the OSH profession.

 
OccHealth_34717388
10/25/2016 1:00 PM

IOSH Guide Tackles Workplace Health

The mystery around the so-called “Cinderella to safety”—workplace health--is unpacked in a free guide from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

 
CaseStudy_33885222
10/24/2016 5:45 PM

Case Study Demonstrates Shared Responsibility for Temp Workers

OSHA, American Staffing Association and National Safety Council recently partnered on a fictional case study that provides staffing agencies and host employers information to better protect temporary workers. The case study also provides an example for which party could be found responsible for injury recordkeeping of temporary workers.

 
IMG_7407
10/24/2016 2:30 PM

SeminarFest 2017 Preview: Controlling Cognitive Bias & Uncovering the Causes of Catastrophic Events

Don Martin, M.P.H., CSP, CIH, senior vice president at DEKRA Insight, is presenting two sessions at SeminarFest 2017: “Cognitive Bias in Safety: Controlling the Consequences” and “Uncovering the Real Causes of Fatalities and Severe Loss.” Martin took some time to discuss the major role cognitive bias plays in safety and how to best analyze situations in which a catastrophic event has occurred.

 
fallprotection_889245
10/21/2016 7:15 PM

The New Fall Protection Code, ANSI/ASSE Z359.1-2016

The October 2016 issue of Professional Safety includes an article on the 2016 revision of ANSI/ASSE Z359.1, Fall Protection Code. The article offers a brief history of the revisions to the voluntary consensus standard through the years, and explains why the 2016 revision is a landmark change for manufacturers as well as companies that employ workers at height.

 
NeedtoKnow_48446358
10/21/2016 1:00 PM

OSHA Memo Explains Employee Involvement Provisions

OSHA has issued a memorandum to its regional administrators that provides further explanation of the employee involvement provisions of the agency's e-recordkeeping rule issued earlier this year. These provisions require employers to have a reasonable procedure for employees to report work-related injuries and illnesses, and incorporates explicitly the existing prohibition on retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses.

 
People_000010458084Large
10/20/2016 5:26 PM

ILO Releases New Book Detailing Stress Prevention at Work Checkpoints

International Labour Organization (ILO) has released a new book titled “Stress Prevention at Work Checkpoints” that details practical improvements for stress prevention in the workplace.

 
Compliance_41797156
10/20/2016 1:00 PM

OSHA Delays Enforcement of Employee Involvement Provisions of e-Recordkeeping Rule

OSHA has extended its enforcement delay for the employee involvement provisions of the rule to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses to Dec. 1, 2016. OSHA initially delay enforcement of these provisions until Nov. 10, 2016, to conduct additional outreach. The additional extension is in response to the request of a federal court hearing a challenge to the provisions.

 
Communications_Boretti
10/20/2016 1:00 PM

Communication Skills Integral for OSH Professionals, SeminarFest Speaker Says

SeminarFest presenter James Boretti explains why communications skills are so important for today's OSH professionals--and how these skills can help them engage senior leaders in their efforts.

 
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@istockphoto.comChristianChan
10/18/2016 4:35 PM

OSHA Releases Updated Safety & Health Program Guidelines

OSHA has published the long-awaited update to its Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs guidance.

 
CareerDevelopment
10/18/2016 1:02 PM

ASSE Joins National Conversation on Growing OSH Profession

The OSH Professionals Pipeline Work Group within OSHA's National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) is meeting today in Washington, DC. ASSE President Tom Cecich, CSP, CIH, and ASSE Vice President of Professional Affairs Jim Thornton, CSP, CIH, are representing ASSE, and Thornton will discuss some of the Society's initiatives to attract young people to the profession and support their career development.

 
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10/17/2016 10:33 AM

Air Force Safety Center Hosts ASSE in New Mexico

The Occupational Safety Division of the Air Force Safety Center (AFSEC) hosted representatives of the American Society of Safety Engineers on Sept. 7, 2016, to discuss ways to continue building on the relationship through collaboration and development of safety professionals.

 
Vehicle_63419805
10/13/2016 11:21 AM

New Issue of NIOSH's Behind the Wheel At Work Now Available

The NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety recently released a new issue of its quarterly eNewsletter, Behind the Wheel at Work.

 
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10/12/2016 1:36 PM

EPA Guide Offers Compliance Help for Agricultural Worker Protection Standard

EPA and Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative have released a how-to guide that helps explain compliance to EPA’s revised Worker Protection Standard.

 
Cleaning_62113410
10/12/2016 12:21 PM

Hazards of Professional Cleaning

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 2.3 million workers in building custodial services occupations in the U.S.; that total is expected to rise to 2.56 million by 2020. Cleaning workers face all types of dangers and hazards when performing their regular tasks, especially in these five categories: biological, chemical, physical, indoor air quality and stress.

 
Trish_Ennis_16_PD
10/10/2016 6:12 PM

SeminarFest 2017 Preview: Strategic Thinking for Safety Professionals

Former ASSE President Trish Ennis, M.S., CSP, ARM, CRIS, is presenting two sessions at SeminarFest 2017 – “Strategic Thinking for Excellence in Safety” and “Effective Communications for the Safety Professional.” Recently, Ennis took some time to discuss why strategic thinking and effective communication are essential to OSH professionals.

 
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10/10/2016 4:39 PM

ASSE ErgoPS Publishes Fifth of Five-Part Series: Ergonomics Practitioner Environmental Scan Survey

ASSE’s Ergonomics Practice Specialty (ErgoPS) polled more than 300 ergonomics practitioners to learn about the ergonomics training, skill and resource needs in the practitioners’ working area. Further, the group explored whether a good match exists between the practitioner and marketplace needs by conducting a comparison of current professional training and certifications available.

 
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10/05/2016 3:02 PM

October Is National Protect Your Hearing Month

October is National Protect Your Hearing Month and National Audiology Awareness Month. Occupational hearing loss is one of the most common work-related illnesses in the U.S. Approximately 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels at work, and an additional 9 million are exposed to ototoxic chemicals

 
truck_49991352
10/05/2016 2:11 PM

NIOSH Study Shows Drivers' Sleep Patterns Are Connected to Driving Performance

A study done by NIOSH in collaboration with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute examined sleep patterns of 96 commercial truck drivers during their non-work periods and evaluated the influence of these sleep patterns on subsequent performance during work periods. This was measured by safety-critical events (SCEs), which include crashes, near-crashes, crash-relevant conflicts, and unintentional lane deviations.

 
training_31152080
10/04/2016 9:07 PM

Improving Safety Through Participatory Learning

Engaging employees in learning is one of the most effective ways to help them transfer skills learned in the classroom to the shop floor. It also helps if you enlist them in training their family members to be safe.

 
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10/03/2016 9:11 PM

ASSE ErgoPS Publishes Fourth of Five-Part Series: Ergonomics Practitioner Environmental Scan Survey

ASSE’s Ergonomics Practice Specialty (ErgoPS) polled more than 300 ergonomics practitioners to learn about the ergonomics training, skill and resource needs in the practitioners’ working area. Further, the group explored whether a good match exists between the practitioner and marketplace needs by conducting a comparison of current professional training and certifications available.

 
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10/03/2016 12:00 PM

Get WISE!

ASSE President Elect Jim Smith, a WISE guy himself, encourages OSH professionals to consider signing up for the mentoring program offered by ASSE's Women in Safety Engineering (WISE) Common Interest Group.​

 
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10/01/2016 5:01 AM

The Business of Safety

As OSH professionals, we talk about incident rates, reportable injuries and illnesses, workers’ compensation losses and similar metrics. Our language is often confusing to business managers and executives. Their language is finance (or dollars, for short). as part of a management team, we must communicate in the language that corporate leaders understand. We cannot expect senior management to communicate in our terms.

 
WestTX
09/30/2016 3:00 PM

Court of Appeals Disallows OSHA Revision of PSM Retail Establishment Exemption

The DC Court of Appeals recently vacated OSHA's July 22, 2015 memorandum on Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals and Application of the Retail Exemption. Specifically, the Court of Appeals held the July 22, 2015, enforcement memo was a “standard” under the OSH Act and, therefore, required notice and comment in accordance with section 6 of the OSH Act.

 
Alliance-Logo
09/30/2016 1:00 PM

OSHA Alliance Construction Roundtable White Paper Aims to Reach Small Contractors

The OSHA Alliance Construction Roundtable has published a white paper, "Proposed Strategies for the Occupational Safety and Health Community to More Effectively Reach Small Contractors in Residential Construction," that aims to help OSH professionals reach small residential construction contractors.​

 
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©PrettyVectors
09/28/2016 1:00 PM

Zika Virus Resources

Using the online platform Storify, ASSE is providing an update with some facts about the Zika virus as well as links to the latest resources available from CDC.

 
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09/27/2016 7:26 PM

ASSE ErgoPS Publishes Third of Five-Part Series: Ergonomics Practitioner Environmental Scan Survey

ASSE’s Ergonomics Practice Specialty (ErgoPS) polled more than 300 ergonomics practitioners to learn about the ergonomics training, skill and resource needs in the practitioners’ working area. Further, the group explored whether a good match exists between the practitioner and marketplace needs by conducting a comparison of current professional training and certifications available.

 
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09/27/2016 1:00 PM

Get Onboard the ISO 45001 Train

ASSE member Sharon Kemerer, corporate OSH director for Baxter Healthcare, has been involved in helping the Society create its new ISO 45001 Certificate program. Read on to find a link to her video talking about the program.

 

ASSE President Thomas Cecich to Speak at 8th China International Forum on Work Safety in Beijing

American Society of Safety Engineers President Thomas Cecich, CSP, CIH will participate in an executive panel discussion on protecting workers at the 8th China International Forum on Work Safety in Beijing Sept. 27-29, 2016, a three-day event that is attracting safety experts from across the globe.​

 
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09/23/2016 4:49 PM

OSHA Awards $1.5 Million in Safety & Health Grants

OSHA awarded $1.5 million in 1-year federal safety and health training grants to 77 organizations. The awards were through the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, which provides grants to nonprofit organizations for the recognition, avoidance, and prevention of workplace safety and health.

 

ASSE Foundation Seeks Applicants for $275,000 in Scholarships and Professional Educational Grants

The American Society of Safety Engineers Foundation is offering more than $275,000 in scholarships and educational grants to students looking to complete their studies in occupational safety and health or professionals seeking to continue their education in the field.

 
HazChems_18859310
09/21/2016 6:58 PM

Hazardous Chemicals Toolkit Makes Up for Antiquated OSHA Standards

Tens of thousands of workers are made sick or die from occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals every year. How can we prevent this from happening? OSHA created a toolkit in 2013 to aid businesses in transitioning to the practice of safer chemicals.

 
PSA_Schlekeway
09/20/2016 1:00 PM

NATE's Todd Schlekeway Talks Communications Tower Safety

ASSE's Professional Safety recently spoke with Todd Schlekeway, executive executive director of National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE), about the newly released ANSI/ASSE A10.48-2016 standard on communications tower safety.

 
Construction_5132160
09/16/2016 2:05 PM

Small Construction Firms Behind Industry in Safety Measures, Study Says

Small firms lag behind larger firms in most safety management and safety culture measures, says a new report by The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR).

 

ASSE AND TIA Announce Effort to Raise Awareness Around Important New Communication Tower Standards

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) are launching a joint effort to raise awareness of new standards that are important for all workers and companies that install, alter or maintain communication towers.

 
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istockphoto.com/Bart Coenders

Respiratory Protection Resources From OSHA, NIOSH & ASSE

Respiratory protection is an ongoing challenge for employers. OSHA, NIOSH and ASSE offer a selection of resources designed to guide the selection, use and care of a wide range of respirators, employee training and program development.

 
WTC
09/09/2016 6:07 PM

NIOSH's World Trade Center Health Program Helps Responders

As the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks approaches, OSH professionals should remember just how much NIOSH is involved in helping first responders and other victims of the events of that day, all in addition to its core mission as the only federal resource for OSH research and education support.

 
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09/09/2016 1:43 PM

ASSE ErgoPS Publishes Second of Five-Part Series: Ergonomics Practitioner Environmental Scan Survey

ASSE’s Ergonomics Practice Specialty (ErgoPS) polled more than 300 ergonomics practitioners to learn about the ergonomics training, skill and resource needs in the practitioners’ working area. Further, the group explored whether a good match exists between the practitioner and marketplace needs by conducting a comparison of current professional training and certifications available.

 
Committee_64804139
09/08/2016 2:00 PM

EPA Seeks Nominations for New Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals

EPA is establishing a Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC). The 14-member committee will provide independent advice and expert consultation on the scientific and technical aspects of risk assessments, methodologies, and pollution prevention measures or approaches.

 

ASSE to Offer Safety Certificates in Key Global Markets

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the longest standing occupational safety and health professional society in the world, is establishing opportunities for safety and health professionals around the world to earn the Society’s Global Safety Management and Risk Assessment certificates.

 
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N95 Day: A NIOSH-Approved Holiday

Today is the 5th annual N95 Day, which focuses on respiratory protection awareness and proper use of N95 respirators. Read on for some ideas on how you can participate.

 

ASSE’s SeminarFest 2017 To Help Safety Professionals Enhance Their Skills

Occupational safety and health professionals looking to get ahead of the latest industry trends, prepare themselves for the adoption of the next global safety management system, or build on their professional certifications will be impressed with the content and experts lined up for the American Society of Safety Engineers’ SeminarFest 2017.

 
GHS_56130710
09/06/2016 1:41 PM

U.S., Canada Aligning on GHS

OSHA and Health Canada have developed a 2016-2017 Workplace Chemicals Work Plan that aims to aiign current and future requirements for classifying and communicating the hazards of workplace chemicals.

 

ASSE Webinar Offers Tips on Keeping Highway Construction Workers Safe

To share best practices on how employers and safety professionals can help keep these workers safe, the American Society of Safety Engineers is hosting a live webinar called Work Zone Safety for Highway Construction beginning at 11 a.m. Wednesday, September 7, 2016.

 
FEMANPM2016_logo_vFinal
09/01/2016 2:03 PM

September Is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month. What are your plans? Learn about resources available from FEMA to help you plan for and respond to emergencies.

 
CSHSOnly
09/01/2016 1:00 PM

Connecting Human Capital, OSH & Materiality

ASSE Fellows and former Society presidents Kathy A. Seabrook, CSP, CFIOSH, EurOSHM, and Darryl C. Hill, Ph.D., CSP, recently presented a webinar that examined the connection between human capital, OSH and materiality. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and the risks and opportunities they present are becoming increasingly important factors to the investment community.

 
iStock_84177951_XLARGE
09/01/2016 5:01 AM

Sustainability: Why You Should Care

How do we get more companies to include the protection of their human capital in their sustainability efforts? ASSE began to address this issue in 2009, when it formed a task force to examine how companies address OSH in their sustainability initiatives. As OSH professionals, we must promote the value of occupational safety and health in the global workplace for current workers, as well as for future workers

 
2015ErgoPractitionerReport_Part1_coverfull_150px
08/30/2016 4:08 PM

ASSE ErgoPS Publishes First of Five-Part Series: Ergonomics Practitioner Environmental Scan Survey

ASSE’s Ergonomics Practice Specialty (ErgoPS) polled more than 300 ergonomics practitioners to learn about the ergonomics training, skill and resource needs in the practitioners’ working area. Further, the group explored whether a good match exists between the practitioner and marketplace needs by conducting a comparison of current professional training and certifications available.

 
Vehicle_63419805
08/29/2016 7:47 PM

Register by Sept. 1 for Meeting on Center for Motor Vehicle Safety

CDC will hold a public web meeting to discuss future directions for NIOSH's Center for Motor Vehicle Safety (CMVS). The meeting will be Sept. 14, 2016, from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm EDT, and will be available only by remote access.

 
LaborLaw_86009087

Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces Guidance Published

On August 25, U.S. Department of Labor published final guidance on the Obama administration's Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces Executive Order. This law aims to ensure compliance with labor laws for employers awarded federal contracts by helping the government identity responsible companies with a history of labor law compliance.

 
Question_84170887
08/29/2016 5:14 PM

Nearly 14 Workers Die Each Day--Where's the Attention?

OSHA Administrator David Michaels has raised the issue of how the media and the public pay little attention to the nearly 14 deaths that occur each day in U.S. workplaces, especially when so much attention has been focused on the 14 deaths surrounding the Takata air bag scandal.

 
Brewery_48550044
08/29/2016 12:59 PM

Brewing Up Safety

Craft brewers have carved out a unique niche in the beer industry, and the segment continues to grow. Recent data from The Brewers Association shows that independent craft brewers now have a 12% market share in the industry. As market share grows so, too, do the number of operating breweries, up 15% in 2015, according to The Brewers Association. With that growth comes the need to hire more workers, and with more workers comes an even greater need to focus on workplace safety.

 

DOL publishes final guidance on Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces Order

On August 25th the US Department of Labor published final guidance on the Obama administration's Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces Executive Order.

 
Business_Pulse_-_Vehicle_Safety
08/25/2016 3:54 PM

Interactive Infographic Explores Motor Vehicle Safety at Work

The latest CDC Foundation Business Pulse interactive infographic examines motor vehicle safety at work, paying particular attention to four challenges facing businesses: fatalities, cost burden, complex risk, international business travel.

 
fallprotection_889245
08/23/2016 9:18 PM

ANSI/ASSE Z359.1 Revision Approved for Fall Protection Standard

The revision of ANSI/ASSE Z359.1, Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Components, recently received final ANSI administrative approval. Z359.1 underwent fundamental changes from the 2007 version. Essentially, it is a new standard with regard to technical content, not simply a revision of the requirements in the previous editions.

 

New Fall Protection Standard Makes Picking and Using Equipment Even Easier

In the world of fall protection, the amount of equipment available to prevent workers from being injured is as dizzying as the heights they climb do to their jobs.

 

ASSE Government Affairs Update -- June & July 2016

ASSE Government Affairs Update for June & July 2016

 
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noise_79291693
08/11/2016 3:56 PM

DOL, NIOSH Issue Noise Safety Challenge

OSHA, MSHA and NIOSH have partnered in a challenge to inventors and entrepreneurs that the agencies hope will result in a technological solution to workplace noise exposure and hearing loss.

 
Drone_62259362
08/10/2016 1:37 PM

Final Rule for Drones Aims to Spur Job Growth, Advance Scientific Research

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has created the first operational rule for routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) weighing less than 55 lb that conduct nonhobbyist operations. FAA reports the regulations will create new innovations safely, spark job growth and help advance scientific research.

 

First Safety Standard for Working with Communication Towers Approved

A new standard aimed at protecting workers who install, alter or maintain communication towers offers the first comprehensive approach reducing injuries and saving lives in industry that has rapidly expanded in recent years, said the American Society of Safety Engineers.

 
coal_15795584
08/09/2016 6:30 PM

MSHA’s Respirable Coal Mine Dust Rule Moves to Final Phase

MSHA is continuing its effort to prevent black lung disease among coal miners with its respirable dust standard, which took effect in 2014.

 

Remembering Jerry Ray, 1997-98 ASSE President

ASSE is sad to share news of the passing of Jerry Ray, ASSE’s 1997-98 President and a well-liked and highly respected leader of the occupational safety and health profession.

 
flooring_27380955
08/04/2016 5:24 PM

EPA Rule to Limit Formaldehyde Exposure

EPA has issued a final rule to reduce exposure to formaldehyde vapors from certain wood products produced domestically or imported to the U.S.

 
JerryRay

Remembering Jerry Ray, 1997-98 ASSE President

ASSE is sad to share news of the passing of Jerry Ray, ASSE’s 1997-98 President and a well-liked and highly respected leader of the occupational safety and health profession.

 

R. Ronald Sokol Appointed to the OSHA Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health

R. Ronald Sokol, a 29-year member of the American Society of Safety Engineers, was appointed to the OSHA Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH), which is charged with advising the agency on setting construction standards and policy matters affecting federally financed or assisted construction.

 
Risk_88250243
08/01/2016 5:01 AM

It’s All About Risk

The OSH profession is transforming. While regulatory standards will always be part of OSH programs, we deliver the greatest value to our organizations and clients when we use our technical knowledge to identify and assess risks, then apply our business skills to develop and communicate effective solutions. By doing so, we protect workers and ultimately contribute directly to our organizations’ success.​

 

Two Prominent ASSE Members Appointed to the NIOSH Board of Scientific Counselors

wo prominent members of the American Society of Safety Engineers were appointed to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Board of Scientific Counselors, a federal advisory committee formed to give the NIOSH director advice and guidance.

 
APA-NIOSH
07/25/2016 1:50 PM

Work, Stress & Health 2017 Proposals Due Oct. 31, 2016

Presentation proposals for Work, Stress and Health 2017 are due Oct. 31, 2016. The conference will be held June 7-10, 2017, in Minneapolis, MN. Read on to learn more about topics of interest.

 
07/19/2016 2:45 PM

OSHA & MSHA Penalties Significantly Raised

On July 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued an interim final rule raising civil penalties by nearly 80% in some cases, for occupational and mine safety and health violations, and certain other types of employment law infractions. The stated goal for the increase in all agencies was to conform to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act, as amended in 2015.

 
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Safety 2016 Poster Sessions Highlight OSH Research

Poster sessions at conferences offer students and academicians an opportunity to report on their research. At ASSE's Safety 2016, 31 posters were presented on topics ranging from employee involvement, emergency action plans and latex allergies to firefighter safety, modified risk assessment methods and culture change.

 
FuelTank_59045854

Steel Tank Groups Publish Guidance Document

Steel Tank Institute-Steel Plate Fabricators Association (STI-SPFA) have published an educational brochure to help owners understand the risks created by poor operations and maintenance procedures for monitoring and removing water from storage tank systems.

 
RecordKeeping_000006997453
07/18/2016 1:30 PM

New OSHA Reporting Requirements

On May 12, OSHA published the new injury and illness reporting rule. Under the new system, called “Improved Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses,” OSHA will post on-line injury information from a vast number of employers. The agency says that Information about the injured worker will be removed.​

 
PokemonGo_d9f3a65356_o
07/15/2016 4:30 PM

Pokemon Go Popularity Creates Public Safety Fears

The phenomenal success of Nintendo's Pokemon Go has brought with it an unexpected and likely unintended consequence--people placing themselves in danger.

 
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Compliance Assistance Resources From OSHA

During the third quarter of FY2016, OSHA issued a wide range of compliance assistance resources.

 
FallPro_22585370

Walking-Working Standard to OMB For Review

On June 22, OSHA sent final text of the walking-working surfaces rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for what is anticipated will be the last review before publication. This means the final rule could be published by late September.

 
Career_83910103
07/13/2016 1:36 PM

Advance Your OSH Career Through Professional Certification

Are you considering getting a professional designation such as the CSP? BCSP offers a seven-step guide to help you navigate the necessary steps as well as an online safety calculator.

 
cdc-70thanniversary-badge
07/12/2016 1:31 PM

CDC’s 7 Decades of Firsts

To celebrate its 70th anniversary, CDC has created a timeline of the many firsts the agency has experienced in helping prevent diseases around the globe.

 
pesticides_66234319
07/07/2016 2:57 PM

EPA Standard Protects Farmworkers & Their Families

In a recent EPA Forward blog post, EPA reminds farmworkers and their families of the protections provided by the agency’s updated Worker Protection Standard, revised last fall.

 
crisis_infographic

Shifting the Crisis Mind-Set

What does it take to implement a crisis-ready culture? An infographic from crisis management strategist Melissa Agnes offers a clear strategy for changing the organizational mind-set.

 
digital_56796376
07/06/2016 9:52 PM

Researchers Develop Map to Predict Hazards of Chemicals

A team of researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has developed what the team calls a map of the world’s chemical landscape. Essentially, it is a catalogue of 10,000 chemicals for which safety data is available that can be used to predict the toxicity of some 90,000 other substances in consumer products for which no such information exists.

 
LabSafety_74208469

Understanding the Top 5 Laboratory Hazards

According to OSHA, more than 500,000 workers are employed in laboratories in the U.S.Many occupational incidents that occur in laboratories can be avoided or minimized with proper preventive measures. Workrite Uniform Co. offers a top 5 list of laboratory hazards and how to prevent these hazards from causing injuries and illnesses.

 
SmallBiz_81607001
07/01/2016 7:00 PM

EU-OSHA Seeks to Improve Small Enterprise Safety

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) launched a project designed to identify success factors of policies, strategies and practical solutions to improve OSH in Europe’s micro and small enterprises (MSEs), which tend to be at greater risk of workplace injuries and illnesses than their larger counterparts.

 
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07/01/2016 4:05 PM

Meaningful Connections

ASSE's 2016-17 President Tom Cecich, CSP, CIH, shares his first message with ASSE members. His focus: making meaningful connections through ASSE.

 
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07/01/2016 3:59 PM

NIOSH Curriculum Addresses Home Healthcare Risks

Home healthcare caregivers typically work alone and often do not have the same protections against workplace hazards as their counterparts in traditional healthcare settings. To help these caregivers and the agencies that employ them, NIOSH has developed a web-based training curriculum.

 
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07/01/2016 1:49 PM

Bangladesh Accord Making Progress Slowly But Surely

he horrific images and stories published in the aftermath of the 2012 Tazreen Fashion factory fire and the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013 caused public outrage, protests and angry declarations from all corners. But the tragedies did more than just turn the world's spotlight on the plight of workers in the garment industry in Bangladesh and other developing countries. They also have brought about needed reform and alliances aimed at improving workers' safety and better protecting workers' rights.

 
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06/29/2016 1:00 PM

From Safety 2016: Right Time, Right Place – for Risk Assessment

Guest blogger Steve Minshall talks about his change encounter with Bruce Lyon at Safety 2016. Bruce has coauthored several articles in Professional Safety and now has coauthored the book Risk Assessment: A Practical Guide to Assessing Operational Risks. According to Minshall, it's a must-have for today's risk-focused OSH professional.

 
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06/28/2016 8:35 PM

CDC Develops Epidemiology Game App

CDC has developed an application called Solve the Outbreak that lets users take a peek into the world of epidemiology by getting to the bottom of a disease related mystery. CDC scientists try to solve disease outbreaks every day to help save lives and protect the public by figuring out how the outbreak started to help prevent it from spreading.

 
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06/28/2016 2:00 PM

From Safety 2016: The OSH Profession Comes Together

From guest blogger Chet Brandon: "Great opening day at Safety 2016! One of my favorite parts of the annual conference is the opening session. Most of the attendees are present in one big hall with a dramatically arranged stage. The large number of people, and the grand stage with our leadership owning it, gives a dramatic effect that helps me feel proud to be an OSH professional."

 
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06/28/2016 12:00 PM

From Safety 2016: Done in a Flash (Session, That Is)

Guest blogger attended his first flash session at ASSE's Safety 2016. These sessions are 15 minutes long and are held in the exposition hall. His conclusion? "The sessions are a good idea: they hold your attention; don’t take too long; and are conveniently located in the expo hall. Give ‘em a try – find out for yourself."

 
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06/28/2016 8:51 AM

From Safety 2016: How Opioid Abuse Affects the Workplace

The stories about the opioid abuse continue to grow, and the statistics are even more alarming. According to CDC, opioid overdose deaths have quadrupled since 1999, and its estimated that 78 people die every day in the U.S. Katherine Schofield, Ph.D., CSP, ARM, CHST, CSRM, from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, shared those facts in setting the stage for her presentation, “Preventing Opioid Overuse in Workers’ Compensation,” at ASSE’s Safety 2016 on Monday, June 27 in Atlanta, GA.

 
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06/27/2016 6:23 PM

From Safety 2016: An Update on ISO 45001

Today at ASSE’s Safety 2016 in Atlanta, GA, several leaders of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ANSI for the standard shared the latest updates on its development.

 
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From Safety 2016: Frans Johannson Inspires Conference Attendees

Frans Johannson, author of the best-selling The Click Moment, shared his unique perspective on what drives innovative ideas in an uncertain world during the open general session at Safety 2016 in Atlanta, GA. Johansson advised, "Find inspiration in industries, cultures and disciplines other than your own" to become the best innovator.

 
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06/27/2016 2:18 PM

From Safety 2016: ASSE Is Leading the Profession

Guest blogger Jeff Camplin offers his key takeways from ASSE's House of Delegates meeting and Mike Belcher's comments on the "Golden Age of Safety."

 
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06/27/2016 10:27 AM

From Safety 2016: An Attendee's Perspective

Guest blogger Chet Brandon, President-Elect of ASSE's Central Indiana Chapter and corporate safety officer and vice president, operations, at ATI Worksite Solutions, shares his experience from the first day at Safety 2016. "It is at this conference that I believe some of our profession’s best traits are on display: collaboration, inclusion and commitment," Brandon writes.

 
06/26/2016 8:00 PM

From Safety 2016: Members Honored, Society Year Reviewed During Annual Meeting

Today ASSE held its annual House of Delegates (HOD) meeting to kick off Safety 2016 events in Atlanta, GA. During the meeting, members were recognized for their contributions to the Society, the ASSE Foundation and the profession. Delegates also heard from ASSE President Mike Belcher and incoming president Tom Cecich.

 

From Safety 2016: Conference Underway

ASSE's Safety 2016 is underway in Atlanta, GA. ASSE staff, members and exhibitors already have been busy setting up booths and conference registration, finalizing speeches for the annual House of Delegates meeting and mapping out their plans for the week.

 
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06/24/2016 9:20 PM

Ergonomics Study Finds User Needs Vary for Standing Workstation Setups

A group of researchers set out to determine whether a study could help in the development of guidelines for the ideal setup of workstation components for a standing workstation similar to those for seated computer workstations.

 
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06/24/2016 1:02 PM

CDC Takes Aim at Legionnaires' Disease

In the June 2016 Vital Signs, CDC focuses on Legionnaires' disease and how employers can prevent outbreaks by implementing water management programs.

 

Government Affairs at Safety 2016

Safety 2016 will feature many opportunities to learn more about government affairs

 

David Michaels charges NACOSH to provide recommendations for more OSH professionals; ASSE comments

During a meeting this week, ASSE spoke with the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) about the OSH profession. NACOSH is a Congressionally-established advisory body to OSHA and NIOSH. The discussion focused on the need for more qualified safety professionals in the field and how stakeholders such as ASSE can work with NACOSH to encourage the growth of the profession.​

 

ASSE Government Affairs Update – April & May 2016

Safety 2016: ASSE’s Professional Development Conference & Exposition takes place in Atlanta, GA from June 26 through June 29, 2016. GA highlights: Monday, June 27, 4:30 pm: NIOSH Director John Howard shares his insights into the world of OSH research in a blockbuster session in Exhibit Hall B-1; Tuesday, June 28, 1 pm: OSHA Administrator David Michaels leads a plenary session in Exhibit Hall B-1, includes a Q&A

 

ASSE RegBrief on OSHA Enforcement Activity

Federal Representative Adele Abrams, Esq. explains how businesses and safety professionals will be affected as OSHA ramps up on enforcement.

 
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06/23/2016 1:25 PM

Tips for Protecting Young Workers in Retail

NIOSH recently developed a web page for young retail workers that includes safety tips for recognizing hazards and understanding the injuries they can cause.

 
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06/20/2016 1:43 PM

NIOSH Releases Hazard Recognition Simulator for Aerial Lift Operators

NIOSH has developed an aerial lift hazard recognition simulator to help potential aerial lift operators acclimate to aerial lift operation and to identify the common occupational hazards that can be present during use, such as depressions, crushing hazards, tip over hazards and others.

 

ASSE Applauds OSHA’s Efforts to Explore How to Attract More Professionals to the OSH Field

The American Society of Safety Engineers applauds Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels for charging NACOSH with exploring how OSHA and NIOSH might encourage more professionals to enter the occupational safety and health field.

 
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06/13/2016 1:06 PM

National Forklift Safety Day is June 14

Crown Equipment Corporation, one of the world’s largest material handling companies, is commemorating National Forklift Safety Day, sponsored by the Industrial Truck Association (ITA), on June 14, which recognizes and promotes the vital role everyone connected to the material handling industry plays in the creating and maintaining a safe working environment.

 
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06/09/2016 6:30 PM

Congress Passes TSCA Reform Bill

On June 7, 2016, Congress sent President Barack Obama a long-awaited and often-delayed bill that would regulate thousands of toxic chemicals in everyday consumer products. Obama is expected to sign the legislation.

 
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Better Injury & Illness Data Need for Meat & Poultry Industry

Injury and illness rates in the meat and poultry slaughtering and processing industry declined from 2004 through 2013, similar to rates in all U.S. manufacturing, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, yet hazardous conditions remain. Government Accountability Office recently issued a report specific to injury/illness data collection challenges in the meat/poultry industry that includes three recommendations for improvement

 
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Update: International Delegates Meeting on ISO 45001

The international standards-development community is meeting this week in Toronto, Ontario, to address public comments on the draft international standard (DIS) ISO 45001, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS): Requirements With Guidance for Use. ASSE is administrator of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group under the auspices of ANSI, the ISO member body for the U.S.

 
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©iStockphoto.com/rbv
06/03/2016 8:23 PM

Videos Explain NETS Electronic Novice Driver’s Road Map Tool

Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) has released two videos that explain the Electronic Novice Driver’s Road Map (eNDRM), which helps adults teach teens how to become safe, focused drivers. The videos, available on YouTube, introduce the eNDRM and provide instructions on how to use it. NETS recommends watching the videos before using eNDRM.

 
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©iStockphoto.com/Antagain
06/01/2016 4:50 PM

CPWR Toolbox Talk: Lyme Disease

As more people head to the outdoors in these approaching summer months, Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) reminds workers to be aware of ticks and the diseases they carry, particularly Lyme Disease.

 
06/01/2016 2:33 PM

Workplace Well-Being Linked to Leadership Support

A survey from American Psychological Association shows that support from senior leadership is a primary ingredient to the success of workplace well-being.

 
06/01/2016 2:02 PM

New Article Details Brand Waste Reduction Innovations

A recent article from Fortune details what several brands are doing to eliminate waste.

 
06/01/2016 1:56 PM

TranBC's Annual Cone Zone Campaign Begins

TranBC, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Online for British Columbia, has launched this year’s version of its annual Cone Zone campaign highlighting roadside worker safety.

 
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06/01/2016 5:01 AM

The Golden Age of OSH

The OSH profession is in midst of a golden age. Our profession is enjoying unprecedented levels of recognition, innovation, advancement and employment. We are making a significant positive impact on businesses around the globe as more organizations embrace safety as a core value. While much work remains, the future is certainly bright.

 

ASSE Board Appoints Dennis Hudson as New Executive Director

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Board of Directors has appointed Dennis Hudson as Executive Director effective June 1, 2016.

 
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05/23/2016 3:35 PM

ASSE RegBrief on OSHA's e-Recordkeeping Rule

On May 11, 2016, OSHA issued a final rule that will require employers in high-hazard industries to send their injury and illness data (which they must already collect) for posting on the agency’s website. To help members better understand what the rule will mean to them and their employers/clients, ASSE has published a RegBrief that presents an analysis of the final rule.

 

NIH to Host Telebriefing on Pathways to Prevention Workshop

On May 31, National Institutes of Health (NIH) will be hosting a telebriefing on the final report from the NIH Pathways to Prevention Workshop: Total Worker Health—What’s Work Got to Do With It? Independent Panel.

 
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05/19/2016 2:00 PM

Safety & Health Management System Performance Measurement

Occupational health and safety management systems (OHSMS) 
are receiving much attention in the safety community, as well as among regulators and consensus industry groups. “Safety Management Systems: Comparing Content & Impact,” by Joel M. Haight, Patrick Yorio, Kristen A. Rost and Dana R. Willmer, explores OHSMS in detail.

 

OSHA finalizes record-keeping rule

On May 12, OSHA finalized the new rule on electronic record-keeping, effective August 2016.

 
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05/17/2016 1:16 PM

Fleet Safety: Developing & Sustaining an Effective Program With ANSI/ASSE Z15.1

"Fleet Safety: Developing & Sustaining an Effective Program With ANSI/ASSE Z15.1," by Brian S. Hammer, Stephanie G. Pratt and Peggy Ross, discusses the risk of work-related motor vehicle crashes and how they cut across all industries and occupations.

 
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©iStockphoto.com/arinahabich
05/16/2016 4:00 PM

NFPA Podcast Explains Changes to 2017 National Electrical Code

NFPA reports the upcoming 2017 edition of the National Electrical Code is “jam-packed with emerging issues.” In the podcast episode, “Issues Addressed in 2017 National Electrical Code (NEC),” NFPA discusses three main issues the updated code will address: photovoltaic, direct current micro grids and energy storage systems.

 
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05/16/2016 1:00 PM

Revised Z117.1 Confined Spaces Standard Available Soon

Confined space entry can expose workers to a multitude of hazards, ranging from poor air quality, fire and residual chemicals, to noise, entanglement, temperature extremes and uncontrolled energy. Standards such as OSHA 29 CFR 1910.146 and ANSI/ASSE Z117.1, Safety Requirements for Confined Spaces, aim to help employers address these hazards. The latest revision of the widely used Z117.1 consensus standard will be available this summer.

 
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05/13/2016 2:42 PM

A Systematic Approach For Fleets Not Managed By DOT

Peggy Ross's article, "Fleet Safety: A Systematic Approach for Fleets Not Regulated by DOT," details how to manage cars, SUVs and small vans that employers offer to their employees.

 
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05/12/2016 2:20 PM

OSHA Rule Means Employer Injury Data Will Be Posted Publicly

In introducing OSHA’s recordkeeping rule that will require employers in high-hazard industries to send their injury and illness data (which they must already collect) for posting on the agency’s website, OSHA Administrator David Michaels called the rule a “simple change” that will improve safety for many reasons. ASSE opposed the rulemaking and issued a statement reiterating its concerns that the focus on lagging indicators is a step backward for the OSH profession.

 

ASSE Statement on OSHA’s Electronic Recordkeeping Rule

ASSE Statement on OSHA’s Electronic Recordkeeping Rule

 
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05/11/2016 1:00 PM

Stand-Down at Zoo Interchange

Walsh Construction’s Milwaukee office invited 3M Fall Protection to the Zoo Interchange construction site for a National Safety Stand-Down event. When building a bridge or highway interchanges, contractors are not only working at height, but they are doing so in low-light conditions where traffic is present. ANSI/ISEA recently updated the 107-2015 consensus standard standard for high-visibility safety apparel.

 
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05/10/2016 7:53 PM

Musculoskeletal Disorders: Five Common Management Approaches

Strategies used to manage musculoskeletal injuries range widely from reactive to proactive and are based on various approaches, including changing personal wellness, fitness and employee work behaviors, and changing the workplace to better fit employee capabilities.

 
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05/10/2016 7:15 PM

OSHA Publishes Guidance Documents on Temporary Workers

With its release of two guidance documents on temporary workers, OSHA reminds both host employers and temporary staffing agencies that they are responsible for temporary worker safety. The new documents address temporary workers in relation to HazCom, and safety and health training.

 
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05/10/2016 3:47 PM

Understanding Workplace Fatalities: A Resource From NIOSH

Each day, 13 U.S. workers die as a result of a traumatic injury. Companies typically investigate these incidents to identify causal factors and hopefully take action to prevent recurrence. Unfortunately, the findings of and lessons learned through those investigations may never be shared outside those organizations. However, OSH professionals can gain insight into work-related fatalities through the investigations conducted by NIOSH’s Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program.

 
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05/09/2016 8:36 PM

Aon Reports Findings on Ergonomics Program Management

To help organizations understand how their ergonomics programs measure up to others and how these programs are structured, Aon conducted a survey of OSH and ergonomics professionals about the function and effectiveness of ergonomics programs.

 
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05/09/2016 4:42 PM

22 Million Workers Exposed to Hazardous Noise Levels

A recent NIOSH study quantifies the disability-adjusted life years attributable to hearing impairment for U.S. workers exposed to occupational noise, and estimates the prevalence of six severity levels of hearing impairment by industry sector.

 
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05/09/2016 3:43 PM

AFL-CIO Reports on the State of Safety

This is the 25th year that AFL-CIO has produced its report on worker safety and health protections in the U.S. "Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect" provides a national and state-by-state profile of worker safety and health. It highlights the higher risk experienced by Latino workers, older workers and those in the oil and gas industry, as well as the growing problem of workplace violence.

 
05/09/2016 1:12 PM

Z117.1 Confined Spaces Standard Entering Final Revisions

ASSE members and Occupational Safety and Health Professionals continue to ask for a status on the pending revision of the ANSI/ASSE Z117.1 Standard (Safety Requirements for Confined Spaces) and the proposed new standard ANSI/ASSE A10.43. Both of these standards address confined space entry, but A10.43 is meant for construction and demolition operations. This article will focus on the current ongoing revision of Z117.1. There will be an additional article for A10.43.

 
05/05/2016 8:54 PM

Only 18% of Outdoor Workers Always Wear Sunscreen, Survey Finds

In a survey of U.S. adults who work outdoors at least half the time, Deb Group found that only 18% always wear sunscreen while on the job, despite their increased exposure to UV radiation and the accompanying increased risk of developing skin cancer and other problems.

 
05/05/2016 6:43 PM

NIOSH Launches National Agenda to Advance Total Worker Health

NIOSH recently launched its 10-year National Occupational Research Agenda to advance Total Worker Health (TWH) research, practice and policy.The 2016-2026 agenda addresses stakeholder comments and expands the definition of TWH, fine tuning what it means for a workplace to place priority on a hazard-free work environment that protects the safety and health of all workers.

 
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3M Capital Safety
05/05/2016 6:24 PM

Twin Cities Firms Host Safety Stand-Down

Historically, the leading cause of death of construction workers is falls. Throughout OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down this week, construction workers across the country have been taking a break from their work day to discuss fall protection. In the Twin Cities, three Minnesota-based companies came together to host Stand-Down event at the former Seven Corners Hardware site in St. Paul. Read on to learn more about what the firms did.

 
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05/04/2016 7:10 PM

Senators Introduce Bipartisan VPP Act

U.S. Senators Michael Enzi (R-WY) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) have introduced bipartisan legislation (S. 2881) that would make the OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) a permanent part of the workplace safety picture. An identical measure (H.R. 2500) was introduced last year in the U.S. House of Representatives.

 
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05/04/2016 4:30 PM

Information Silos Can Hurt Your Organization

Melissa Agnes, international keynote speaker on crisis management, discusses information silos and how they can affect an organization’s culture. Information silos may be ingrained within the workplace culture, so to break down these silos, employees must make small changes that chip away at the barriers.

 
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05/03/2016 10:40 PM

Fall Protection for Residential Housing Projects: Stand-Down Events in Arizona

In the U.S., falls remain a leading cause of death for construction workers. 3M Fall Protection partnered with several organizations in Arizona--including ASSE's Arizona Chapter--to spread the message about preventing falls during OSHA National Stand-Down events this week.

 
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05/03/2016 1:00 PM

Fall Protection in Focus: From Stand-Down to NAOSH Week to Safety 2016

Falls from height are a major cause of work-related injuries and illnesses across the U.S. That's why ASSE, throughout North American Occupational Safety Week, is asking members to support the OSHA/NIOSH/CPWR ​National Stan​d-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction.

 

ASSE Urges Participation in National Fall Prevention Events to Help End Worker Deaths from Falls

In 2014, 345 construction workers lost their lives in falls, the leading cause of death in construction. Adding in workers from all other industries, a total of 660 Americans at work lost their lives in falls at various heights, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. What may surprise most people is that nearly 2 out of every 3 were fatal falls were from 20 feet or less. Of these falls, 191 people lost their lives falling from 10 feet – the height of a basketball hoop – or less.

 
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Safety Stand-Down: 3M Capital Safety Helps OSHA Bring National Focus to Fall Prevention

Since May 2014, fall protection and safety leaders across the country have rallied to support OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down.The event offers a powerful platform from which experts can remind employers and workers of the prevalence of deaths and incidents from falls; make sure they understand the dangers they face each day; and give them access to the fall protection equipment and resources they need to protect themselves and their coworkers.

 
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05/01/2016 5:01 AM

The Right Plan & the Right People

As ASSE moves forward, I am confident that the board will continue to provide the oversight, resources and direction necessary to fulfill our mission. But there is another key piece of this process—the ASSE employees who oversee the Society’s day-to-day operations. This month, I would like to share with you some significant changes on that front.

 
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04/29/2016 8:39 PM

Ergonomic Benefits for Boomer Workforce

With trends such as a growing number of baby boomers staying in the workforce and an increasing number of women delaying retirement, the need to implement ergonomics in the workplace has become increasingly more apparent.

 

March Government Affairs Report

ASSE Government Affairs Update – March 2016

 
04/28/2016 4:37 PM

ASSE Asks You to Observe Workers' Memorial Day

My name is Michael Belcher. I am a certified safety professional and president of the American Society of Safety Engineers, the world’s oldest professional safety society. On behalf of my fellow 37,000 members and safety professionals everywhere, we ask you to take a moment to observe Workers’ Memorial Day.

 
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04/28/2016 4:22 PM

A Tribute to Workers

Earlier today, ASSE President-Elect Tom Cecich participated in a webinar hosted by East Carolina Univeristy to focus attention on Workers' Memorial Day. Read his remarks in our post.

 
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04/28/2016 1:58 PM

Dangers Remain for Many Workers in Bangladesh

In an article posted to the Women in the World section of the New York Times website, Colleen Curry reports on the dangers that garment workers in Bangladesh continue to face 3 years after the Rana Plaza collapse.

 
04/27/2016 12:39 PM

Study Says Drivers Understand Flashing Yellow Traffic Arrows Better Than Yielding on Green

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that approximately 22% of crashes that occur in intersections are associated with left-turning movements. Improving safety conditions for left turns has become an important issue to address both intersection design and traffic operations as a result.​

 
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04/27/2016 12:36 PM

CPWR Offers Webinar Ahead of National Safety Stand-Down

With the third annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction next week, May 2-6, CPWR is offering a series of resources for participants. The stand-down was conceived by OSHA in 2014 as part of the National Falls Campaign to raise awareness surrounding the severity of fall hazards in construction and the importance of preventing them. In the first 2 years, the stand-down reached more than 3.5 million workers.

 
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04/27/2016 12:33 PM

Upcoming National Safety Stand-Down Events Across the Country

The National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction takes place next week, May 2-6, across the country. The purpose of the stand-down is to raise awareness of preventing falls in the construction industry. Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction workers. Anyone who wants to prevent falls in the workplace can participate in the stand-down.​

 

EU-OSHA launches the Healthy Workplaces for All Ages campaign

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), the European Commission and the Netherlands’ EU Council Presidency, has launched its 2016-17 campaign, Healthy Workplaces for All Ages. This new campaign focuses on sustainable work and healthy aging from the beginning of working life and highlights the importance of risk prevention throughout a person’s career.

 

ASSE to Bestow Fellow Distinction on Two Women for Their Work in Occupational Safety and Health

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) today announced two past Society presidents -- Nancy McWilliams of Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Kathy Seabrook of Mendham, New Jersey -- will receive the honor of Fellow, its highest distinction, recognizing their career-long commitment to worker safety and their leadership in the occupational safety and health profession.

 

CDC & OSHA Warn Against Exposure to Zika at Work

CDC and OSHA issued new interim guidance for protecting workers from occupational exposure to Zika virus.​

 
04/25/2016 8:30 PM

Infographic: Off-Campus Housing Fire Safety

A U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) infographic is reminding students who want to live off campus to “see it before you sign it.” Checking to see if off-campus housing has important fire safety aspects will help ensure safety in the event of a fire and help prevent deadly fires.

 
04/22/2016 1:11 PM

The First Earth Day

In a guest post, Jay Brakensiek, CSP, recalls the first Earth Day in 1970.

 
04/21/2016 2:14 PM

NETS Offers Free Online Toolkit to Improve Seat Belt Usage

To help employers improve seat belt usage among employees and, in turn, reduce the human and financial toll of traffic crashes, NETS has developed a free online toolkit called 2seconds2click.

 
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04/20/2016 12:00 PM

ISO 14001 Webinar Explores New Environmental Standard

On Wednesday, April 20, Heather Ingraham, principal, environmental scientist at AECOM will present the "ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) for a New Era" webinar just in time for Earth Day. The presentation will offer a deep dive orientation of the newly organized standard, as well as give insight into the updated focus, conceptual approach and registration benefits to applications of this standard. It will also include an ISO 14001 case study of an ASSE member company.

 

ASSE Recognizes Thomas Kramer as the 2016 Edgar Monsanto Queeny Safety Professional of the Year

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) today announced Thomas Kramer, managing principal at LJB Inc., an Ohio-based civil engineering firm, as the 2016 Edgar Monsanto Queeny Safety Professional of the Year for his leadership in helping develop more than 18 fall protection standards.

 
04/14/2016 6:32 PM

GAO Report Calls for Better Protection Against Workplace Violence in Healthcare

U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report on the need to provide additional measures to protect the 15 million healthcare workers in the U.S. from workplace violence. The report reviews efforts by federal OSHA (and state OSHA plans) to address workplace violence in healthcare. OSHA does not currently require employers to implement workplace violence prevention programs, but does provide voluntary guidelines.

 

Zika Virus: NIOSH Offers Steps to Prevent Mosquito Bites

A new page on the NIOSH website provides information on the Zika virus, including information regarding travel, prevention and risks.

 
04/13/2016 8:17 PM

Trucker Groups Criticize FMCSA Approach to Safety-Fitness

A coalition of trucking interests has come out bluntly critical of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s efforts to put in place its proposed safety fitness determination rule.

 

Electrical Safety Foundation International Tackles Common Workplace Electrical Hazards

May is National Electrical Safety Month, and Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is raising awareness to educate the public about electrical safety hazards to reduce the number of electrical-related fires, fatalities, injuries and property loss.

 
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04/13/2016 6:15 PM

Characteristics of Original Thinkers

In his TED talk, “The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers,” organizational psychologist Adam Grant shares three things that he has learned about originals—what he calls people who “dream up new ideas and take action to put them into the world.”

 

NIOSH Offers Free Health Screenings for Miners

NIOSH is offering free, confidential health screenings to coal miners to provide early detection of the occupational lung disease known as black lung.

 
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04/12/2016 3:50 PM

NIOSH Releases Nail Gun Safety Videos

NIOSH has released a new series of videos in conjunction with the agency's Small Business Assistance Program and its Office of Construction Safety and Health. The videos, Know Your Nailer: Nail Gun Safety, provide brief and practical advice that contractors can use to prevent nail gun injuries on the worksite.

 
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04/12/2016 5:01 AM

INSHPO Framework Creates Road to Professionalization

In "Globalizing the Health and Safety Profession," the cover story in the March 2016 issue of OHS Professional from the Safety Institute of Australia, editor Craig Donaldson takes an in-depth look at INSHPO's OHS Professional Capability Framework and its implications for the profession.

 
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04/11/2016 1:42 PM

New Report Presents High-Level Gap Analysis of Worker Safety in Bangladesh

National Fire Protection Association recently issued "Bangladesh Ready-Made Garment (RMG) Industry High-Level Assessment Report." The document presents an independent review of efforts by the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety to improve worker safety.

 
04/06/2016 5:07 PM

New Climate Change and Health Document includes Effects on Workers

A new report by the U.S. Global Change Research Program shows the potential health effects of climate change on workers. The report, U.S. Global Change Research Program Climate and Health Assessment provides an overview of the potential health effects of climate change in the U.S., and breaks down specific areas of concern including vulnerable populations.

 
04/06/2016 3:51 PM

Construction Groups Seek Judicial Review of Silica Rule

Eight construction industry organizations have filed a petition for review of OSHA's final crystalline silica rule with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Among the issues of concern is the industry's stance that the permissible exposure limit included in the rule is technologically and economically infeasible.

 
04/05/2016 3:49 PM

MEWP Fatal Injury Rate Remains Constant Despite Growth

The fatal injury rate for mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) has remained constant, despite the increase of the total MEWP rental fleet and the number of rental days worldwide, according to IPAF’s release of the 2015 MEWP-related incident data. Both the data and its preliminary fatal injury rate calculations confirm that MEWPs are one of the safest ways to perform temporary work at height.

 

The ASSE Foundation Awards $275,000 in Scholarships & Professional Educational Grants

The American Society of Safety Engineers Foundation set a new record in 2016 by granting $275,000 in scholarships to 106 students pursuing college degrees, and safety professionals furthering their credentials, in occupational safety and health (OSH), at universities across the country.

 
04/05/2016 2:30 AM

How Small Businesses Can Prepare Before Disaster Strikes

According to Manta’s latest Wellness Index, 37% of business owners said that they do not think that they could recover from a catastrophic event such as a natural disaster. The Wellness Index is put together based on interactions with small business owners and subject-matter experts. Manta CEO John Swanciger recently spoke with Professional Safety about how small businesses can prepare for such events. ​

 
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Tracey Cekada

ASSE to Recognize Dr. Tracey Cekada as Outstanding Safety Educator of the Year

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) today announced Dr. Tracey Cekada, associate professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, as the William E. Tarrants, Outstanding Safety Educator of the Year for her proven excellence in teaching, research and service in the school’s Department of Safety Sciences.

 

Nominations open for WPAC

The Department of Labor is seeking nominations to the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee (WPAC). WPAC is comprised of 12 members, of which six slots will be available for a two-year term that begins December 1, 2016: Two management representatives Two labor representatives Two public representatives

 
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04/01/2016 5:01 AM

Our Strategic Outlook

ASSE's board of directors has been working diligently to assess the Society’s core competencies to identify which activities truly advance the OSH profession, add value to membership and distinguish ASSE from others. The group has identified four key areas of strategic importance: member communities, professional development, standards and the value of the profession.

 
03/31/2016 4:00 PM

OSHA Issues Eye and Face Protection Standard Final Rule

OSHA recently issued a final rule to revise its eye and face protection standards for general industry, shipyard employment, marine terminals, longshoring and construction by updating the references to national consensus standards approved by ANSI.

 
03/31/2016 2:20 PM

National Safety Stand Down is May 2-6, 2016

This year’s National Safety Stand Down will take place May 2-6 to coincide with ASSE’S NAOSH Week and National Construction Safety Executive’s Safety Week.

 

OSHA Releases Final Silica Rule

On Thursday, March 24, OSHA released the final silica rule: Key points: The new standard for silica exposure is 50 ug/m3 PEL. The construction industry has one year to comply, general industry two. Fracking gets an additional three years to come into compliance with the engineering controls.​

 

Infographic: Guide to the New ANSI and EN388 Cut Levels

International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) recently announced the new ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 Hand Protection Classification. The new standard brings many changes, one of which includes changing current cut testing practices to increase the accuracy in test results among glove manufacturers. Superierglove created an infographic to help make these changes easier to understand.

 
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03/24/2016 2:37 PM

OSHA Issues Long-Awaited Silica Rule

OSHA today issued a long-awaited final rule to limit worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The rule aims to reduce development of lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease. The agency estimates that the rule will save 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis each year, once its effects are fully realized. The rule is comprised of two standards, one for construction and one for general industry and maritime.

 
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03/17/2016 5:40 PM

10K+ Severe Injuries Reported to OSHA

In a new report penned by OSHA Administrator David Michaels, employers notified OSHA of more than 10,388 severe work injuries in 2015. These cases included 7,636 hospitalizations and 2,644 amputations. The report also breaks out the top 25 reporting industries.

 
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03/17/2016 3:00 PM

ASSE Member Leads Effort to Raise Awareness of Distracted Driving

As cofounder of Drive Smart Arizona, ASSE member Jeremy Bethancourt is leading a local effort in Arizona to raise the public awareness of distracted driving. A coalition of safety organizations, government bodies and businesses in the state, the group will debut billboards in Phoenix and Tucson urging drivers to stop risking their lives and the lives of others by texting and driving.

 
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03/17/2016 1:20 PM

ASSE Three Rivers Chapter Holds Presentation on ISO 45001

On March 11, 2016, Tim Fisher, ASSE’s director, practices and standards, spoke to members of ASSE’s Three Rivers Chapter about the proposed ISO 45001 global standard on occupational health and safety management systems.

 
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03/16/2016 8:11 PM

Join ASSE in Supporting Federal OSH Funding

ASSE is calling on members and the broader OSH community to contact their legislators and urge them to support the funding bills for OSHA and NIOSH. Take a couple of minutes to send a letter to your representatives in Congress to encourage them to join their colleagues in support of OSHA and NIOSH.

 
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03/16/2016 2:29 PM

Videos Provide Insights Into ISO 45001

ASSE has published a series of videos addressing the proposed ISO 45001 Standard for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. ASSE is administrator of the technical advisory group (TAG) to ANSI for the standard, which will address occupational health and safety systems.

 

Drive Smart Arizona to Post Billboards Urging Drivers Not to Text and Drive

Drive Smart Arizona, a coalition of safety organizations, government bodies and businesses in the state, will have billboards in Phoenix and Tucson debuting Thursday urging drivers to stop risking their lives by texting and driving. The initiative is part of a campaign for Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a National Safety Council observance that takes place every April.

 
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03/14/2016 4:00 PM

Safety Lately Podcast: A Conversation Between OSHA’s David Michaels & ASSE’s Mike Belcher

The latest edition of ASSE's Safety Lately podcast features ASSE President Michael Belcher, CSP and Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSH David Michaels.

 
03/14/2016 2:30 PM

Grainger Answers 5 Things You Need to Know About GHS

Do you have questions about the revised HazCom Standard, as it is now aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS)? Grainger’s GHS Frequently Asked Questions web page provides answers to some questions that may be of concern to industry personnel.

 
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03/10/2016 10:32 PM

NIOSH Seeks Public Comment on 1-BP Draft Document

NIOSH is seeking public comment on its draft document, NIOSH Criteria Document on Occupational Exposure to 1-Bromopropane (1-BP).

 
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ASSE President Mike Belcher represented ASSE at OSHA stakeholder meeting in Washington, DC
03/10/2016 6:30 PM

OSH Management Systems: What Safety Professionals Do Best

ASSE President Michael Belcher participated today in OSHA's stakeholder meeting on the Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines. Read on to learn what he said.

 
03/09/2016 9:22 PM

CPWR Foundations for Safety Leadership Webinar Is March 17

Linda Goldenhar, Director of Research and Evaluation at CPWR, will present a webinar-based CPWR Foundations for Safety Leadership (FSL) training course March 17, 2016. The webinar introduces construction workers, particularly those with supervisory responsibilities, to critical safety leadership skills and describes specific actions they can take to be an effective safety leader and improve job site safety climate.

 

60 Minutes Interviews Former Miners of the Upper Big Branch Mine

Three months after the conviction of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, 60 Minutes interviews former miners of the Upper Big Branch mine, victims' families, jurors and prosecutors to share stories and frustrations surrounding the trial.

 
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03/08/2016 5:30 PM

Incident Investigations: Four Critical Stages

In a recent post to On the Safe Side, a blog published by Peak Safety Performance, David Lynn talks about the four critical stages of incident investigation. Here's a quick recap of the stages and key steps to consider within each.

 
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©iStockphoto.com/Joshua Hodge Photography
03/07/2016 7:00 PM

EU-OSHA’s Next Healthy Workplaces Campaign Launches April 2016

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work’s (EU-OSHA) Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2016-17 is scheduled to launch April 14, 2016. The campaign, “Healthy Workplaces for All Ages” will focus on sustainable working lives, highlighting the importance of good safety and health management at any age, and providing practical tools and guidance in safety and health management.

 

ASSE & CPWR Release Safety Resources for Construction Workers

ASSE and the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) released a collection of construction safety materials in Spanish.

 
03/02/2016 6:00 PM

ASSE and CPWR Release Workplace Safety Resources for At-Risk Construction Workers

More than 50 Safety Tool Boxes now available in Spanish aim to protect vulnerable workforce

 
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03/01/2016 6:01 AM

Our Pursuit of Professionalism

As our professional association and primary advocate, ASSE is constantly reevaluating all the tenets of professional OSH practice to ensure that we anticipate and adapt to changing knowledge needs, understand the evolving work environment and thrive within any economy. To that end, ASSE has undertaken a series of initiatives in the past few years to put all members on the road to professionalism. This will produce many benefits for the profession and for each of us as well.

 
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02/25/2016 3:15 PM

U.S. TAG Makes Progress on ISO 45001 DIS

This week's meeting of the U.S. TAG on ISO 45001 is heading into the home stretch. The meeting has brought together thought leaders from nearly 50 U.S. organizations to work on the disposition of comments received to the draft international standard (DIS) and to develop the U.S. position for the upcoming ISO meeting this June.

 
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02/25/2016 2:00 PM

ASSE Comments on OSHA's Proposed Safety & Health Program Management Guidelines

In its comments to OSHA on the agency's proposed Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines, ASSE continued its advocacy of safety and health management systems as the "highest expression of our members' professionalism."

 

ASSE comments on OSHA Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is currently updating the Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines, last updated in 1989. These guidelines offer on overview of what the safety professional does and how to implement a safety management plan in the workplace. Although not legally binding, these guidelines are a powerful tool and an opportunity to communicate the value of the profession.

 
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02/23/2016 9:10 PM

CDC Report Warns of Fatal Exposure When Working With Hydrocarbon Storage Tanks

A recent report from CDC details a study of deaths among U.S. oil and gas workers exposed to a lethal combination of high concentration of hydrocarbon gases and vapors (HGVs) and oxygen-deficient atmospheres.

 
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02/18/2016 6:00 PM

ASSE Launches Dedicated ISO 45001 Website

ASSE has developed and launched a website dedicated to ISO 45001. The site is a comprehensive resource for information on the standard, its development and progress; related news articles and multimedia; as well as relevant educational resources.

 
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02/17/2016 8:41 PM

Making Safer Drivers Through Advanced Vehicle Safety Features

A guest post on the NIOSH Science Blog authored by Stephanie Pratt, Ph.D., and Rebecca Olsavsky discusses how to make safer, more knowledgeable drivers on and off the job by utilizing the advanced safety features found in newer vehicles.

 
02/17/2016 3:19 PM

OSHA Issues New HazCom Classification Guidance

Guest blogger Adele L. Abrams, Esq., CMSP, sums up OSHA’s long-awaited technical guidance for classification of chemicals under the revised HazCom-2012 standard.

 

Tristan Bainum of Alta, Iowa is Recipient of ASSE Foundation $10,000 Family Scholarship Award

The American Society of Safety Engineers Foundation is pleased to name Tristan Bainum of Alta, Iowa as a 2016 Family Scholarship Award recipient in the amount of $10,000.

 

Hannah Pinkerton of Lincoln, Nebraska is Recipient of ASSE Foundation $10,000 Family Scholarship

The American Society of Safety Engineers Foundation is pleased to name Hannah Pinkerton of Lincoln, Nebraska as a 2016 Family Scholarship Award recipient in the amount of $10,000.

 
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02/11/2016 3:00 PM

Newton's Third Law & the Power of Risk Assessments

Guest poster Greg Gerganoff takes a swing at applying Newton's Third Law, "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction," to safety--specifically to risk assessments.

 
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02/11/2016 2:30 PM

National Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction Webinar: Feb 16

The fifth year of the National Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction is here. To mark this, an hour-long webinar will bring together leaders from OSHA, NIOSH and CPWR to showcase the past successes of the campaign and its major event, the National Safety Stand-Down, as well as to highlight plans for 2016. The event takes place Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, at 2 pm EST.

 
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02/10/2016 6:57 PM

NHTSA Reports Increase in 2015 Traffic Deaths From Previous Year

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced its latest estimate of traffic deaths, which shows a 9.3 % increase for the first nine months of 2015.

 
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02/10/2016 3:00 PM

Update on Proposed ISO 45001

With the proposed ISO 45001 standard making its way through the stages of standards development, now is a good time to learn more about what it will mean to OSH practice and the OSH profession overall.​

 
02/09/2016 5:34 PM

OSHA Seeks NACOSH Nominations

National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) advises, consults with and makes recommendations to the secretaries of labor, and health and human services on matters relating to administration of the OSH Act, including regulatory, research, compliance assistance and enforcement issues.

 
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02/09/2016 2:30 PM

OSH Plans Are What We Do

OSHA wants to hear from OSH professionals about its updated Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines.These guidelines can be a calling card for OSH professionals once published, so ASSE members are encouraged to review the guidelines and submit feedback to OSHA.

 
02/05/2016 9:04 PM

What Are Your 2016 Risk Resolutions?

A guest post on the Risk Management/Insurance blog from Joe Kopko, CSP, offers 3 Risk Resolutions that are fundamental building blocks in developing and sustaining the fragile culture of an organization.​

 

ASSE Foundation Awards $8,750 to Three Universities to Help Fund OSH Program ABET Accreditation

The American Society of Safety Engineers Foundation recently awarded three universities a total of $8,750 to support efforts to have their occupational safety and health programs receive ABET accreditation.

 
02/04/2016 9:27 PM

CDC Offers Zika Virus Prevention Tips

The Zika virus, occurring in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, spread to Brazil in 2015 and has been reported in the continental U.S. as well as in U.S. territories, not locally, but from returning travelers. According to CDC, the “Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week."

 
02/04/2016 8:52 PM

Micro Learning: The Future of Workplace Training

Technology has played a major role in changing the landscape in which people learn. As attention spans shrink due to the immediacy of the Internet, traditional teaching methods are becoming less and less relevant. According to an eLearning Industry article, one way educators can adapt to newer learning styles is by learning to break down lessons into digestible chunks that can be delivered quickly.​

 
02/03/2016 9:42 PM

33 Tips for Mastering Conversation

Learn several ways to master the art and science of conversation, a critical skill for anyone but particularly for safety practitioners who deliver training, want to influence the C-suite and manage human resources.

 
02/02/2016 10:36 PM

STOP Occupational Skin Disorders

In 2010, more than 34,000 people were diagnosed with occupational skin disorders (OSDs), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but other data indicates that incidents may be up-to 50 times higher. To help organizations protect employees’ hands, Deb Group offers tips to prevent OSDs in the workplace.​

 
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Subject-matter experts at ASSE headquarters in Park Ridge, IL.
02/01/2016 7:40 PM

ASSE Continues Work to Frame the OSH Profession

On Friday, Jan. 29, ASSE brought together a group of subject-matter experts to continue the process of framing the OSH profession. The Society's efforts in this arena began with the OSH Competency Summitt last April in Des Plaines, IL. On Friday, the group reconvened to identify a set of student learning outcomes (or SLOs) within each domain that will guide higher education OSH programs.

 
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02/01/2016 3:00 PM

Coffee Workers at Risk for Lung Disease

New NIOSH research suggests that workers at coffee processing facilities may be at risk for a lung disease called obliterative bronchiolitis.

 
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02/01/2016 6:01 AM

Our Calling Card

OSHA's current effort to update its 1989 Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines represent an opportunity to advance OSH as well as the interests of OSH professionals. ASSE members are encouraged to review OSHA's list of questions and share their comments, The finished guidelines will be a useful calling card for every ASSE member to take to employers.

 
01/29/2016 8:18 PM

CSB Unanimously Approves Fertilizer Facility Explosion Final Report

On Jan. 28, 2016, CSB conducted a news conference regarding its draft final report on the April 17, 2013 fire and explosion at the West, Texas fertilizer storage facility. The board then held a public meeting in Waco, Texas, where the investigative staff presented the report, took public comment and then voted unanimously to approve the final report.

 
01/27/2016 3:47 PM

CSB Report on Fertilizer Company Explosion Available

CSB's Investigation Report into the April 2013 fire and explosion at West Fertilizer Company is now available for public preview.

 
01/26/2016 11:27 PM

UL Publishes Standard for Integrating OSH in the Workplace

UL’s Integrated Health & Safety Institute, published a new standard to highlight how closely aligning safety and health strategies can benefit an organization.

 
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01/25/2016 3:30 PM

Incorporating Safety Into Business Strategy

In a recent interview with Working Capital Review, L. Casey Chosewood, director of NIOSH’s Office for Total Worker Health, spoke about the importance of making worker health and safety part of an ongoing business strategy.

 
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01/25/2016 3:15 PM

What to Do in a Stalled Elevator

National Elevator Industry Inc. has released guidance on best practices for the public if an elevator stalls.

 
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01/18/2016 3:00 PM

White Paper Tackles Post-Boomer Workforce

A new white paper from Bruce Tulgan and RainmakerThinking Inc. discusses what it calls the “Great Generational Shift”—the transformation in the workforce in the wake of the Baby Boomer exodus. This is more than a change in numbers, the white paper says. Rather, it is an “epic turning point.”

 
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01/15/2016 3:00 PM

Workplace Injuries Cost $62 Billion Per Year, Liberty Mutual Says

According to the 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, workplace injuries and incidents that cause workers to miss 6 or more days of work cost U.S. employers almost $62 billion in 2013. The 10 most disabling work-related injuries account for more than $51 billion, or 82.5% of the total cost.

 
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01/14/2016 3:19 PM

NASA Maps Human Impact on Global Air Quality

NASA analysis of satellite observations shows air quality changes over time.

 
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01/13/2016 3:00 PM

Study Correlates OSH With Stock Market Performance

A new study sponsored by UL’s Integrated Health and Safety Institute adds to the growing evidence that a safe and healthy workforce correlates with a company’s performance and its ability to provide positive returns to shareholders. As one researcher concludes, "“The study supplements the growing body of research establishing correlation between a true culture of health, safety and well-being for workers and an organization’s competitive advantage in the marketplace.”

 
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01/13/2016 3:00 PM

It’s Good to Be Green & Safe

EU-OSHA E-Fact Sheet examines OSH hazards associated with green building--including how green projects can add new layers to well-known hazards.

 
01/08/2016 3:07 PM

Final Silica Rule Expected in February 2016

OSHA’s fall 2015 semiannual regulatory agenda projects that the final rule for occupational exposure to crystalline silica, which has been in development for more than 15 years, will be completed in Feb. 2016.

 
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01/08/2016 2:41 PM

Participate in Research on Latino Worker Incident Rates

Recent studies indicate that work-related incident rates among Latino workers continue to grow. ASSE's Safety Professionals and the Latino Workforce (SPALW) Common Interest Group has been assisting Ahmed Al Bayati, a Ph.D. candidate at Western Michigan University, with a research study related to the safety and health of the Latino workforce. The SPALW leadership team encourages ASSE members to support this important project by completing a 10-minute online survey.

 
01/01/2016 2:00 PM

Supporting Our Latino Community

Latinos have also changed the makeup of ASSE’s membership base and we have responded with various outreach activities--from translating technical materials to creating the Safety Professionals & the Latino Workforce Common Interest Group and forging relationships through events in Latin America. We must continue to make our products and services more culturally suitable, bring more Latino viewpoints into the Society’s leadership and strengthen our relations with the Latino community.

 
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12/28/2015 3:16 PM

Proactive Steps Help Prevent Workplace Violence

Carol Fredrickson, a presenter at SeminarFest 2016 and a former law enforcement officer, shares her insights on workplace violence--why it occurs, how it can be recognized and proactive solutions employers can take.

 
12/01/2015 3:30 PM

Growing in India, Growing Globally

In 2011, India was not yet viewed as a strategic market for ASSE. This changed quickly, and the country is now one of the Society’s most active global groups. From 2012 through 2014, chapter membership grew from the initial 40 members to nearly 400, and it has since surpassed 700. As we look to 2016, interest in forming ASSE chapters in Gujarat, Karnataka and New Delhi continues to build. This growth is fueled by a critical need to protect the lives of millions of workers throughout the country.​

 

ASSE Statement on OSHA’s Updated Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines

ASSE President Michael Belcher comments on OSHA's Updated Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines.​

 
11/01/2015 2:50 PM

Global Trends in OSH

ASSE’s global advocacy continues to expand as we foster and sustain OSH communities throughout the world. This month, I’d like to highlight five global trends that are affecting the OSH profession now and likely into the future.

 
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Rand McNally

Rand McNally Appointed to ASSE Board as Its First Public Director

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is proud to announce the appointment of Rand McNally as the Board of Directors’ first Public Director.

 

ASSE Applauds Two OSH Academic Programs for Receiving ABET Accreditation

Two more occupational safety and health academic programs have recently been awarded ABET accreditation. Receiving the accreditation for the first time are East Carolina University’s MS in Occupational Safety and Illinois State University’s BS in Safety.

 
10/01/2015 1:00 PM

The Rise of the Young Professionals

Today’s young professionals expect tangible benefits from their associations. Gone are the days when people join an association out of a sense of duty to their profession. Associations must offer appealing choices and provide new opportunities for people to participate in the process. Whether through enhanced mentoring relationships or other means, it is our duty to engage both younger and older members as we work to improve the member experience for all.

 

ASSE OFFERS GLOBAL OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH BEST PRACTICES AT SAFETY INDIA 2015

The American Society of Safety Engineers is proud to announce that the Honorable Minister of State for Science & Technology & Earth Sciences, Government of India, Shri Yalamanchili Satyanarayana Chowdary will inaugurate Safety India 2015 by sharing his thoughts on why this professional development conference is important to the future of India.

 

ProcessMAP Partners with ASSE Foundation to Support OSH Industry

ProcessMAP Corporation, the leading provider of cloud-based enterprise software for Health & Safety and Environment (HSE) solutions, announced today its partnership with the ASSE Foundation, the charitable arm of the American Society of Safety Engineers, in celebration of its 25th anniversary.

 

ASSE Congratulates Howard on Being Reappointed as Director of NIOSH

American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) President Michael Belcher’s statement congratulating Dr. John Howard on his reappointment to a third term as Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

 

ASSE’s SeminarFest 2016 Offers Safety Professionals Opportunities to Grow Skillsets

The American Society of Safety Engineers, the world’s oldest professional safety society, encourages occupational health and safety professionals to hone their knowledge and skills, including the potential of earning recertification points, by registering now for SeminarFest 2016, Feb. 5-11, 2016 in Las Vegas.

 

Does Our Profession Have a Marketing Problem?

This year, we are looking to elevate our public relationship efforts to new levels by refining our brand and creating a strong, resonant message about our profession. We want to develop a message that reaches audiences beyond our normal sphere of influence so more people come to understand the value of safety and what our members bring to the table. Our goal is to foster increased stakeholder acceptance of OSH as a worthwhile endeavor and to do so in a way that creates lasting change.

 

ASSE to Host Construction Safety Symposium in New Orleans This Fall

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is hosting a two-day Construction Safety Symposium featuring industry experts discussing the latest safety practices, innovation and risk management thinking from November 12-13, 2015 in New Orleans.

 
08/01/2015 3:08 PM

Going Global

Globalization is a defining trend of our time. As the middle class expands, so, too, do calls for social responsibility and improved worker rights, particularly when it comes to wages and safe, healthy working conditions. That’s where we as OSH professionals play a critical role, as we endeavor to protect people from harm and safeguard organizational assets. It’s a duty that transcends borders.

 

ASSE Salary Survey Reveals Strong Income Potential for OSH Professionals

A 2015 American Society of Safety Engineers survey of more than 9,000 occupational safety and health professionals reveals they earn an annual base salary on average of $98,000, an increase of $8,000 since the survey was taken two years ago.

 

Nominees Sought for the Inaugural D.L. Shah Trust / ASSE Safety India Awards

Committed to advancing the safety profession in India, American Society of Safety Engineers and D.L. Shah Trust announce the creation of the D.L. Shah Trust / ASSE Safety India Awards Program, intended to recognize the excellence and commitment of safety professionals in the fields of: occupational safety and health, environmental protection and sustainability.

 
07/01/2015 1:30 PM

Maximizing Our Capabilities

Our profession stands ready to leave its mark on society and to prosper as never before. But this will only happen if we maximize our capabilities, rise to the challenge and seize the opportunities in front of us

 

ASSE and OSHA SIGN FIVE-YEAR ALLIANCE AGREEMENT

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently renewed its alliance, signing a five-year agreement that will focus on construction safety, temporary workers and hazards within general industry.

 

The 2015 Monsanto Queeny Safety Professional of the Year Goes to Dustin G. Richartz

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is proud to announce Dustin G. Richartz as the winner of the 2015 Monsanto Queeny Safety Professional of the Year for his work in developing safety and health programs throughout his career.

 

ASSE Recognizes Four Members as Fellows and Safety Educator of the Year

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) today awarded four members, Richard King of Centennial, Colorado, George Pearson of Hockessin, Delaware, Bill Propes of Mesquite, Texas and R. Ronald Sokol of Friendswood, Texas, the Fellow Honor, its highest distinction, recognizing their lifetime of commitment to worker safety and their leadership in the occupational health and safety field.

 

The 2015 ASSE Safety Innovation Award Goes to Creator of Machine Safety Software

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) today named Jack Reiter, president and CEO of Machine Safety Management, the winner of the 2015 Award for Innovation in Occupational Safety Management for creating software that reduces machine guard accidents.

 

ASSE Foundation Awards $300,000 Grant to Study Workplace Fatigue

The American Society of Safety Engineers Foundation awarded a three-year, $300,000 grant to a University of Buffalo researcher who proposes the development of a sensor-based, real-time assessment system that will enable safety practitioners to better monitor workplace fatigue.

 
06/01/2015 3:01 PM

Mentoring Helps Shape Our Profession’s Future

We must do more now to increase interest in OSH as a profession. One way to achieve this is through active mentoring. Mentoring can take many forms. The only requirement for entering a mentoring relationship is the desire to exchange perspectives and share guidance.

 

A NIOSH and ASSE Report Explores Overlapping Vulnerabilities Facing Young Hispanic Immigrants in the Construction Industry

A joint report conducted by the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) concludes workers who are Hispanic, young and work for small construction firms likely face greater occupational safety and health challenges than almost any other employee segment or industry in the United States.

 
05/06/2015 4:50 PM

ASSE’s 2015 Triangle Award for Heroic Dedication Goes to John Teague

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is proud to announce John Teague as the winner of the 2015 Triangle Award for Heroic Dedication for his role in raising awareness of the dangerous of distracted driving across the State of Texas.

 

Our Profession's Path

The OSH field has long struggled with the idea of professionalization. The debate often centers on one key question: Do years of experience count, or are formal education and certification required? While we’ve not reached a consensus to date, we do know that we operate in a far more complex and global environment than existed just 10 years ago, much less 20, 30 or 50 years ago.

 

ASSE Supports Women’s Workplace Safety with Mother’s Day Public Service Announcement

In a first for the world’s oldest professional safety society and the safety profession, the American Society of Safety Engineers today released an online public service announcement promoting women’s occupational safety and health in honor of Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10.

 
04/24/2015 2:23 PM

Safety Lately

The inaugural Safety Lately podcast covers employee mental health, rulemaking for communication tower workers and proposed sea drilling regulations.

 

ASSE to Host SAFETY INDIA 2015 in Mumbai, India

The American Society of Safety Engineers, the world’s oldest professional safety society, is proud to bring SAFETY INDIA 2015, a two-day professional development conference and exposition, to Mumbai, India on October 15-17, 2015.

 

The ASSE Foundation Awards $273,000 in Scholarships & Professional Educational Grants

The American Society of Safety Engineers Foundation set a new record in 2015 by granting $273,000 in scholarships to 108 students pursuing college degrees, and safety professionals furthering their credentials, in occupational, safety and health, at universities across the country.

 

ASSE’s Professional Safety Journal: The Challenges in Achieving Perfect Workplace Safety

Zero-injury safety targets are easy to communicate and seem to be everywhere, but such goals can be counterproductive to a company’s efforts if the context in which they are used does not go beyond slogans and good intentions, according to the lead article in the April issue of the American Society of Safety Engineers’ Professional Safety Journal.

 
04/01/2015 1:30 PM

Research Is the Foundation of Our Practice

Evidence-based decision making is the cornerstone of our practice as OSH professionals. Decisions based on good science and sound technology legitimize the strategies we champion and the tactics we implement each day to protect millions of workers around the world. By supporting research and working to translate the findings into effective evidence-based solutions, we can eliminate hazards and prevent costly injuries and illnesses.

 

ASSE Supports Updating OSHA National Standards for Eye and Face Protection

ASSE Supports Updating OSHA National Standards for Eye and Face Protection

 

ASSE Signs Agreement with KOSHA to Advance Global Occupational Health and Safety Issues

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) signed a memorandum of understanding that will explore opportunities to collaborate, exchange technical information and conduct joint educational programs with the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA).

 

ASSE Webinar: What makes a great safety leader? Ask Paul O’Neill directly

The American Society of Safety Engineers invites safety professionals to register to learn how Paul O’Neill, the former chairman of Alcoa, transformed a company with an average safety record into one the safest manufacturers in the world, all while quintupling its market capitalization.

 
03/03/2015 3:00 PM

At-Risk Workers

The demographics of the global workforce have shifted over the past decade. The new normal consists of a wide range of employment arrangements, including temporary workers, seasonal workers, on-call workers and immigrant labor. As a profession, we must do more to safeguard at-risk workers who make up significant portions of today’s labor pool.

 

Registration opens for ASSE Webinar: Protecting Temporary & Non-Traditional Workers

The American Society of Safety Engineers invites safety professionals to register for its virtual symposium entitled, “Protecting Temporary and Non-Traditional Workers,” where they will learn the best practices in hiring and training this working class.

 

ASSE’s Professional Safety Journal: Outcomes-Based Accreditation Advances OSH Profession

Experts are calling for the development of minimum requirements to accredit academic programs in the occupational safety and health (OSH) profession.

 
02/01/2015 3:00 PM

What About the H in OSH?

The names of agencies such as OSHA and NIOSH contain the word health, and many of us refer to ourselves as occupational safety and health professionals. Yet, most of our efforts are focused on safety. Now is an opportune time for us to bring much-needed attention to the health-related aspects of our roles.

 

ASSE’s SeminarFest 2015 Offers Safety Professionals Opportunities to Grow Skillsets

The American Society of Safety Engineers, the world’s oldest professional safety society, encourages occupational health and safety professionals to hone their knowledge and skills, including the potential of earning recertification points, by registering now for SeminarFest 2015, Feb. 6-12, 2015 in Las Vegas.

 

ASSE Welcomes Second Member Chapter in Maharashtra, India

Expanding its reach in India, the American Society of Safety Engineers opens its second member chapter in Maharashtra.

 
12/31/2014 2:30 PM

Risk Management: Reputation Is Key

Texas City refinery. Upper Big Branch mine. Deepwater Horizon. Tazreen Fashions factory. Rana Plaza. Each of these tragedies was caused by a chain of events that included safety and health system deficiencies. They have something else in common, too: They all caused significant damage to the reputations of the organizations involved. So what does this mean to OSH professionals? It presents us with a significant opportunity to engage our executive leaders.

 

ASSE’s Professional Safety Journal: Mentors Help Ease Learning Curve for New Safety Hires

Companies that support a robust mentor program for new safety employees are more apt to reduce the learning curve they face and retain their services longer, an important feat considering competition to keep them will rise with an estimated 25,000 safety practitioners retiring by 2016.

 
12/02/2014 6:40 PM

ASSE & Fall Protection: Consensus Building, Cutting-Edge Solutions & Personal Commitment

Last month, as I was reviewing the BLS Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries for 2013, I noted that 574 of the 4,405 occupational fatalities—or 13%—were due to falls to a lower level. Most of those falls were related to construction activities. As most of us are also aware, fall protection typically resides near the top of OSHA’s annual list of most frequently cited violations.

 

ASSE Nigerian Chapter to Host Second Annual Professional Development Conference

American Society of Safety Engineers, the world’s oldest professional safety society, invites safety professionals to register for NIGERIA PDC 2015, a three-day professional development conference and exposition in Lagos, Nigeria on March 3-5, 2015.

 

ASSE Invites Kids to Enter Art and Video Contests Touting Workplace Safety

The American Society of Safety Engineers announces the kick-off of its 2015 Workplace Safety Poster and Video Contest in recognition of North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week.

 

CSB Warns of Danger in Hot Work on Tanks Containing Biological or Organic Material

Chemical Safety Board (CSB) investigators were deployed the Omega Protein facility in Moss Point, Mississippi, following a July 28, 2014 tank explosion that killed contract worker and severely injuring another.

 

NIOSH Seeks Comment on Draft Workplace Tobacco Policies Document

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is seeking public comment on a draft Current Intelligence Bulletin (CIB) Promoting Health and Preventing Disease and Injury through Workplace Tobacco Policies. The public comment period is open for 30 days, closing on September 15, 2014.

 

GAO Finds Too Few Safeguards for Drinking Water Near Fracking Wells

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) study of EPA’s oversight and enforcement program over the injection of fluid into wells associated with oil and gas production found that EPA is not doing enough to safeguard drinking water around the nearly 200,000 wells where fracking wastewater is injected deep underground. GAO concluded that EPA needs to take actions to ensure enforcement of regulations at both the state and federal levels.

 

California Proposes Major Changes to Refinery Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard

California’s Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) has developed a draft regulatory proposal for a new Cal/OSHA Process Safety Management Standard to “strengthen regulatory oversight” on California’s oil refineries.

 

OSHA Releases Earthquake Safety Information

OSHA has posted an online Earthquake Preparedness and Response resource on how to protect workers from earthquakes, which is available at https://www.osha.gov/dts/earthquakes/index.html

 

New OSHA Compliance Assistance Resources

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.

 

NIOSH Blogs on Food Industry Safety

A recent NIOSH Science Blog tackles food industry safety in a post entitled, “A Wrench in the Gear: Lockout/tagout in the food industry,” which can be found at http://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2014/07/07/loto/​

 

PHMSA Requests Help in Revising Emergency Response Guidebook

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published a notice asking for input on ways to improve its Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) as it develops the 2016 version, particularly from those who have experience using the ERG. The ERG is for use by emergency services personnel to provide guidance for initial response to hazardous materials incidents.

 

FMCSA Exploring Minimum Training for Entry-Level CDL License Applicants and Negotiated Rulemaking

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced that it is exploring the feasibility of conducting a negotiated rulemaking (Reg Neg) concerning entry-level training for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).

 

EPA on Emission Standards for Flexible Polyurethane Foam Production

EPA has published a rule that finalized the residual risk and technology review (RTR) conducted for the Flexible Polyurethane Foam (FPUF) Production source category regulated under national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP).

 

NIOSH Updates List of Drugs that Pose a Risk to Workers in Healthcare Settings

Healthcare workers who prepare or give hazardous drugs to patients, such as those used for cancer therapy, as well as support staff may face individual health risks when exposed to these drugs. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) estimates 8 million U.S. healthcare workers are potentially exposed to hazardous drugs in the workplace.

 

NIST Report Warns of 3D Printer Cyber Risks

A report recently published by the federal National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) documents a variety of risks associated with the use of 3D printers in industry and offers risk assessment tools to help address those risks.

 

MSHA Extends Comment Period on Criteria and Procedures for Assessing Civil Penalites

On September 16, 2014, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will publish a notice in the Federal Register extending the comment period from September 29 to December 3, 2014, on the Agency’s proposed rule for Criteria and Procedures for Assessment of Civil Penalties. In response to requests, MSHA is providing additional time for interested parties to comment on the proposed rule.

 

NIOSH Offers Tips on Helping Truckers Sleep Well

New NIOSH Resource Provides Quick Tips to Help Truckers Get a Good Night’s Sleep NIOSH Recognizes Truck Driver Appreciation Week Sept. 14–20, 2014

 

PHMSA Holding Public Meeting on National Pipeline Mapping System

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is holding a public meeting to discuss a National Pipeline Mapping System Information Collection revision that PHMSA proposed in a Federal Register notice on July 30, 2014.

 

PHMSA Guidance for Strengthening Pipeline Safety through Rigorous Program Evaluation and Meaningful Metrics

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a December 2012 Advisory Bulletin (ADB-2012-10) to remind operators of gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipeline facilities of their responsibilities under current regulations to perform evaluations of their Integrity Management (IM) programs using meaningful performance metrics.

 

Securement of Unattended Equipment

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has published a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend its brake system safety standards for freight and other non-passenger trains and equipment to strengthen the requirements relating to the securement of unattended equipment.

 
 

CSB Warns of Methanol Risks During Lab and Classroom Combustion Demonstrations

From CSB at http://www.csb.gov/statement-of-csb-chairperson-rafael-moure-eraso-warning-against-use-of-methanol-during-laboratory-and-classroom-combustion-demonstrations-in-the-wake-of-reno-nevada-muse​um-fire/ where the entire statement can be found.

 

Fed Report on Promoting Culture of Safety in Academic Chem Research

A Committee convened the U.S. National Research Council has release a report, “Safe Science: Promoting a Culture of Safety in Academic Chemical Research” aimed at establishing a strong, positive safety culture in academic chemical laboratories. Chemical hazards can be found in many academic fields and settings, including the biological sciences, medical schools, engineering disciplines, and art studios.

 

NIOSH Reports on Preliminary Field Studies of Worker Chem Exposures in Oil and Gas Extraction

NIOSH has published a science blog describing preliminary evaluations of worker exposures to specific chemicals during oil and gas extraction flowback and production testing activities. Included are descriptions of initial exposure assessments, findings, and recommendations to reduce worker exposures to potential hazards.

 

OSHA Extends November Crane Operator Certification Deadline for Three Years

OSHA has published a final rule extending its November 10, 2014, deadline for employers to ensure that crane operators are certified by three years until November 10, 2017. OSHA is also extending its employer duty to ensure that crane operators are competent to operate a crane safely for the same three-year period.

 

MSHA Proposed Rule on Fees for Testing, Evaluation, and Approval of Mining Products

MSHA has published a proposed rule to amend the its regulations for administering fees for testing, evaluation, and approval of products manufactured for use in mines. This proposed rule would revise the fees charged for these services.

 

MSHA Announces Public Hearings on Proposed Criteria and Procedures for Assessing Civil Penalties

MSHA has announced that it will hold two public hearings on the Agency's proposed rule for Criteria and Procedures for Assessment of Civil Penalties. The hearings will be held on December 4 at MSHA in Arlington, Virginia and December 9, 2014, in Denver, Colorado. Post-hearing comments must be received or postmarked by midnight Eastern Time on January 9, 2015.

 

OSHA and NIOSH Announce Recommended Practices to Protect Temporary Workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released Recommended Practices for staffing agencies and host employers to better protect temporary workers from hazards on the job.

 

Bill Perry Named Director of OSHA Standards and Guidance

OSHA names new director of its Standards and Guidance Directorate WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels has appointed Bill Perry as the new director of the agency's Directorate of Standards and Guidance, effective Aug. 24, 2014.

 

OSHA Calls for ACCSH Nominations and Announces Next ACCSH Meeting

Nominations for membership on OSHA’s Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) must be submitted by January 2, 2015. OSHA’s Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) will meet Thursday, December 4, 2014, at the Department of Labor in Washington, DC. ACCSH Workgroups will meet Wednesday, December 3, 2014.

 

PHMSA Issues Ebola Safety Advisory Notice

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a safety advisory to provide guidance on the DoT’s Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR, parts 171-180) for those who prepare, offer, and transport materials contaminated or suspected of being contaminated with the Ebola virus.

 

CDC and NIOSH Releases Fact Sheet and Guidance on Ebola

Emerging infectious diseases are those whose incidence in humans has increased in the past 2 decades or threaten to increase in the near future. These diseases, which respect no national boundaries, can challenge efforts to protect workers as prevention and control recommendations may not be immediately available.

 

OSHA Final Rule Updating Injury and Illness Reporting Requirements

OSHA has issued its finale rule updating the appendix to its Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting regulation containing a list of industries that are partially exempt from requirements to keep records of work-related injuries and illnesses due to relatively low occupational injury and illness rates. The updated appendix is based on more recent injury and illness data and lists industry groups classified by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

 

Summary of OSHAs Finalized New Recordkeeping Rules

On September 11, OSHA announced its final rule adopting new requirements for reporting severe injuries and updates list of industries exempt from record-keeping requirements. ASSE opposed the provisions related to reporting severe injuries. For ASSE members, a summary of new recordkeeping changes was prepared by Adele Abrams, Esq.

 

OSHA Publishes RFI on Chemical Management and Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs)

OSHA has published an RFI stating that the Agency is reviewing its overall approach to managing chemical exposures in the workplace and seeks stakeholder input about more effective and efficient approaches that addresses challenges found with the current regulatory approach.

 

Supplement to ASSE Comments OSHA Silica Proposed Rules Addresses "Competent Person"

During the questioning period of the March 21, 2014, public hearing for OSHA's proposed rule on respirable crystalline silica, OSHA's staff asked ASSE's witness, Adele L. Abrams, to supplement the Society's comments by elaborating on OSHA's proposal to require a “competent person” to be responsible for establishing and overseeing written access control plans where respirators and protective clothing would be required if silica over-exposures were anticipated.

 

ASSE Seeks Nominations for the 2015 Triangle Award

The American Society for Safety Engineers today announced the opening of nominations for the third annual Triangle Award for heroic dedication to the occupational safety and health profession. ASSE will accept nominations through April 1, 2015 and present the Triangle Award on May 6, 2015 in Washington, D.C. during ASSE’s weeklong observance of North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH Week).​

 

ASSE’s Professional Safety Journal: Design Gaps Cause 20% to 50% of all Safety Mishaps

Design-related safety issues in buildings account for 20% to 50% of all injuries or fatalities within an organization, yet most safety management systems do not capture or call attention to these factors, allowing these conditions to be repeated in existing and new structures.

 
11/01/2014 2:18 PM

Our Urgent Priority: Preventing Fatalities

On Sept. 11, 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries for 2013. A preliminary total of 4,405 fatal work-related injuries were recorded in the U.S. last year, and the rate of fatal work-related injuries for U.S. workers in 2013 was 3.2 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers.

 

ASSE Urges Employers to Protect Workers from Exposure to the Ebola Virus

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) encourages employers to review the latest government protocols established to protect workers who come in contact with people showing symptoms of the Ebola virus.

 

ASSE’s Professional Safety Journal: Incident Investigations Methods Maybe Flawed

Company supervisors who lead incident investigations are not qualified to offer recommendations for improving operating systems because they lack sufficient knowledge of hazard identification and analysis, and risk assessment.

 
10/01/2014 2:20 PM

Leadership in Safety

Why is it important to develop leadership skills? Beyond helping us be better volunteer leaders, these skills apply to every facet of our professional practice. As I have moved through various stages of my personal development as a leader, I have made several observations. I’d like to share three of them with you.

 
09/26/2014 6:19 PM

ASSE Backs NTSB Call for States to Adopted 0.05 BAC Level for Impaired Driving

Based on the development of Position Statement on the issue by ASSE’s Transportation Practice Specialty, ASSE offered the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) support for its call to adopt measures that can encourage states to reduce the legal standard of driver impairment due to alcohol consumption, as measured by blood-alcohol content (BAC), from 0.08% to 0.05%.

 
09/26/2014 6:15 PM

OSHA's New Recordkeeping Rules Summarized

On September 11, OSHA announced its final rule adopting new requirements for reporting severe injuries and updates list of industries exempt from record-keeping requirements. ASSE opposed the provisions related to reporting severe injuries.

 
09/26/2014 5:29 PM

2013 BLS Preliminary Fatality Numbers Show Overall Improvement but More Deaths Among Latino Workers and Contractors

Taken from BLS press release, at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cfoi.nr0.htm

 
NOIRS-2015

NIOSH Announces Call for Abstracts for NOIRS 2015

ASSE is a sponsor of NOIRS 2015, the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium. Please share this information with any safety and health researches you might know and encourage them to participate.

 
09/26/2014 5:17 PM

Tales from DC: Latest SBA OSHA and MSHA Roundtable

Latest SBA OSHA and MSHA Roundtable

 
09/25/2014 8:08 PM

GAO Stuff

GAO Stuff

 
09/04/2014 8:14 PM

ASSE Foundation’s 2015 Scholarship and Grant Program Now Accepting Applications

DES PLAINES, Ill. (Sept. 4, 2014) – The ASSE Foundation’s 2015 Scholarship and Professional Education Grant program is now accepting applications for students pursuing degrees in occupational health and safety and safety professionals working to advance their professional credentials.

 
09/04/2014 2:22 PM

Lifelong Learning

Ever since I was young, I have loved to learn. For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed the excitement of discovering the next new bit of information. Even today, each time I learn something new I discover 10 other things I want to know more about.

 
09/03/2014 8:20 PM

NIOSH Announces Call for Abstracts for NOIRS 2015 Injury Research Symposium

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in partnership with the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety (LMRIS), the National Safety Council (NSC), and the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR), will host NOIRS 2015 on May 19 to 21, 2015 at the Camp Dawson Training Center in Kingwood, West Virginia.​

 
08/28/2014 7:41 PM

ASSE's Professional Safety Journal: A New View of the Great Safety Pyramid

DES PLAINES, Ill. (Aug. 28, 2014) – Since its creation 83 years ago by H. W. Heinrich, the safety triangle offered a ratio formula that encouraged safety professionals to focus on the causes of minor injuries as a way to reduce the probability of having major accidents. It sparked a new way of interpreting safety data that may be flawed.

 
08/25/2014 7:44 PM

Applications International Corporation Pledges $250,000 to the American Society of Safety Engineers Foundation

DES PLAINES, Ill. (Aug. 25, 2014) – The American Society of Safety Engineers Foundation is proud to announce that Applications International Corporation (AIC) has pledged $250,000 over three years, partnering with the Foundation to strengthen the future of the safety profession through investing in education, leadership development and research.

 
08/07/2014 3:53 PM

ASSE Invites Safety Pros to Register for Webinar: Disaster Psychology – The Myths of Panic

DES PLAINES, Ill. (Aug. 7, 2014) – Can people be trusted in times of emergencies or does panic prevail?​

 
08/04/2014 2:24 PM

A New Day for ASSE

On June 8, 2014, ASSE’s House of Delegates overwhelmingly approved changes to the Society bylaws. The historic vote to restructure ASSE’s governance framework heralds a new day for the Society.

 
07/30/2014 3:52 PM

ASSE Foundation Asks Researchers to Submit Proposals for a Chance To Earn a $300,000 Grant Advancing Safety and Health in the Workplace

DES PLAINES, Ill. (July 30, 2014) – The American Society of Safety Engineers Foundation will award a three-year, $300,000 grant in 2015 to a researcher who best describes how a proposed study will mitigate the risks of injury and illness in the workplace. The grant represents the largest award given in the Foundation’s 24-year history.

 
07/22/2014 2:34 PM

OSHA Regions Get Policy Background Memo on Temp Workers

OSHA has issued a memorandum on its Policy Background on the Temporary Worker Initiative to its regional administrators. From Tom Galassi, Director of Enforcement Programs, the memo was posted July 21 on the OSHA web site. Temporary workers has been a key initiative of OSHA this year, as the Agency’s web page on the issue indicates.

 
07/11/2014 3:51 PM

Out-of-Service Equipment Pose Invisible Hazards If Not Handled Properly

DES PLAINES, Ill. (July 11, 2014) – Retiring equipment in the chemical processing industry may pose more danger than meets the eye as residual hazardous chemicals, live electrical connections or connections to in-service process machinery complicates how to safely remove these items from a plant, according to the July issue of the American Society of Safety Engineer’s monthly journal, Professional Safety.

 
07/01/2014 2:25 PM

ASSE Is a Member-Driven Organization

In a member-driven organization, members are actively engaged in the activities the organization performs. This includes participation and leadership at all levels in support of the organization’s strategic goals. Within ASSE, we as members are involved in all aspects of Society operations, from the elected Board of Directors to the activities carried out by councils, regions and chapters at the Society, region and local levels.

 
06/10/2014 3:49 PM

ASSE Recognizes Three Members as Fellows and Safety Educator of the Year

ORLANDO, FL. (June 10, 2014) – The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) today awarded three members, Gary Barnett of Ocean New Jersey, Thomas Cecich of Apex, North Carolina and Don Jones, Sr. from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the Fellow Honor, its highest distinction, recognizing their lifetime of commitment to worker safety and their leadership in the occupational health and safety field.

 
06/10/2014 3:48 PM

Trish Ennis Begins One-Year Term as New ASSE President

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 10, 2014) – Trish Ennis was installed Tuesday as the 100th president of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

 
06/03/2014 2:26 PM

Veto Bill Stripping Safety Consultants of Workers’ Comp Lawsuit Immunity, ASSE Tells Illinois Governor

A letter from ASSE President Kathy Seabrook on behalf of ASSE’s Illinois members urged Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to veto legislation (SB 3287 ) that would strip from independent safety consultants current immunity from lawsuits under the state’s workers’ compensation law. ASSE and its Illinois members also opposed the legislation before votes in the Illinois Senate and Assembly. The bill went to the Governor’s desk for signature on June 3.

 
05/23/2014 2:03 PM

ASSE Gov’t Affairs Committee 2014 Capitol Hill Visits

ASSE’s Government Affairs Committee met May 5-7 in Washington, DC, for the Committee’s annual Capitol Hill Visits, combining a Committee meeting with a day visiting key occupational safety and health agencies in which ASSE is a stakeholder and Congressional committee offices that impact occupational safety and health.

 

The 2014 ASSE Safety Innovation Award Goes to Ali Hasan Al-Failakawi

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 9, 2014) – The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) today named Ali Hasan Al-Failakawi the winner of the 2014 Award for Innovation in Occupational Safety Management for implementing a road safety program that helped reduce motor vehicle accidents.

 
05/19/2014 3:41 PM

Walt Disney Co. to Underwrite ASSE Foundation’s 20th Annual Silent Auction

DES PLAINES, Ill. (May 19, 2014) – The American Society of Safety Engineers Foundation is proud to announce that the Walt Disney Co. will be the sole major underwriter of the 20th annual Safety Matters Silent Auction June 8-11, 2014 in Orlando.

 
05/16/2014 9:27 PM

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). That funding level would counter the Administration's effort again this year to eliminate NIOSH's Education and Research Centers (ERCs) and the NORA Agriculture, Forestry​

 
05/16/2014 8:53 PM

ASSE Backs Effort to Save Independent Safety Consultant Lawsuit Immunity under Illinois Workers' Comp Law

On behalf of its member independent safety consultants in Illinois, ASSE has opposed a bill ( SB 3287 ) in both the Illinois Senate and House that aims to strip unfairly their current immunity from lawsuits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act but continue to protect insurers and companies who provide the same safety services. ASSE opposed the bill because it would unfairly limit independent business person’s ability to make a living, make it much more difficult for many Illinois compani​

 
05/14/2014 3:40 PM

ASSE Thanks Its Top 2014 Sponsors

DES PLAINES, Ill. (May 14, 2014) – The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the world’s oldest professional safety society with more than 36,000 members, thanks its highest-level sponsors for supporting its efforts in promoting occupational, safety and health programs and initiatives throughout the year.

 
05/13/2014 3:40 PM

ASSE Nigerian Chapter to Host Its First Professional Development Conference

CHICAGO, Ill. (May 14, 2014) – The American Society of Safety Engineers, the world’s oldest professional safety society, encourages safety professionals to register for NIGERIA PDC 2014, a three-day professional development conference and exposition in Lagos, Nigeria on May 21-23, 2014.

 
05/08/2014 3:37 PM

ASSE Offers Revised Edition of “Construction Safety and Management Engineering” Book

DES PLAINES, Ill. (May 8, 2014) – The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the world’s oldest professional safety organization, released the second edition of its popular “Construction Safety Management and Engineering” book with updated standards and technical issues in construction.

 
05/05/2014 3:33 PM

The Challenges of Harnessing the Potential of Safety Management Systems

DES PLAINES, Ill. (May 5, 2014) – As more companies shift to using safety management systems to monitor their occupational health and safety programs, the American Society of Safety Engineer’s monthly journal says the potential they hold may be lost if not properly integrated or measured against set goals. The devil is in the details.

 
04/25/2014 3:32 PM

ASSE SH&E Consultants Directory Now Available

DES PLAINES, Ill. (April 23, 2014) – The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the world’s oldest professional safety organization, is pleased to offer a directory guide filled with expert consultants to help nearly any business resolve safety, health, and environmental(SH&E) related issues.

 
04/22/2014 3:28 PM

ASSE’s 2014 Triangle Award for Heroic Dedication Goes to Stefan Bright

DES PLAINES, Ill. (April 22, 2014) – The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is proud to announce Stefan Bright as the winner of the 2014 Triangle Award for Heroic Dedication for his role in establishing a field manual, training and standards that reduced fatalities among professional window washers by 30 percent over the last two decades.

 
04/09/2014 9:31 PM

ASSE Urges Chapters and Members to Join in June 2-6 National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction

ASSE and its Construction Practice Specialty are supporting fully OSHA’s June 2-6 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction. ASSE urged its chapters and members to embrace this opportunity to demonstrate safety and health professionals’ leadership in reducing the leading cause of death in construction. What ASSS members already do to help save workers lives should be done on every construction worksite. ASSE has encouraged each chapter to hold a meeting on falls and to reach ou​

 
04/09/2014 3:27 PM

The ASSE Foundation Awards $227,000 in Scholarships & Professional Educational Grants

DES PLAINES, Ill. (April 9, 2014) – The American Society of Safety Engineers Foundation announced it set a new record in 2014 by granting more than $227,000 to 108 students earning occupational, safety and health degrees in universities across the country and safety professionals furthering their credentials.​

 
04/03/2014 3:26 PM

The Illusion of Being Invulnerable May Harm Employees at Work

DES PLAINES, Ill. (April 3, 2014) – No matter how many safety training courses emphasis how dangerous it may be to work with electricity, chemicals or cargo unless proper safety protocols are followed, there is always a percentage of employees who believe they aren’t vulnerable to such risks — until it’s too late.

 
03/28/2014 8:16 PM

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 annually; establishments with 20 or more employees to submit electronically the annual summary form; and certain employers to submit electronically other information on notification from OSHA. ASSE stated that it did not believe OSHA has explained adequately how collecting the information will actually improve workplace safety or how OSHA will manage the information collected. ASSE also said that publishing the information collected will make more difficult the efforts of safety professionals to focus companies on preventing hazards instead of reporting of injuries. On January 9, ASSE Government Affairs Committee Chair James Thornton said similar comments at OSHA’s public meeting on the proposed rule.

 
03/28/2014 8:15 PM

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, Forestry and Fishing Sector Research Program. You and the members of your chapter can join in the effort. April 1 and 2 Deadlines In both the Senate and House, “Dear Colleague” letters are being circulated to get Senators and Representatives to sign on to indicate their support for FY15 NIOSH funding, including the Education and Research Centers and the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Program. The National Safety Council has set up a CapWiz alert that you can use to contact members of Congress to encourage them to sign onto these letters. The deadline to sign both letters is April 1 st . Also, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Rep. George Miller (D-CA), Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Robert Scott (D-VA) are circulating Dear Colleagues in the Senate and House supporting the President’s requested level of $565.01 million for OSHA. The deadline to sign these letters is April 2 nd . The National Safety Council also has a CapWiz alert you can use to encourage support for the OSHA letters.

 
03/28/2014 8:14 PM

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. ASSE and AIHA testified together on the same panel, as a report on the day’s hearing describes. The hearings are scheduled to end on April 4, as OSHA’s schedule of appearances indicates.

 
03/28/2014 8:14 PM

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. Find out more about the effort at https://www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown/ Date: March 19, 2014 OSHA announces national stand-down for fall prevention in construction WASHINGTON – The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced a national safety stand-down from June 2 to 6 to raise awareness among employers and workers about the hazards of falls, which account for the highest number of deaths in the construction industry. "Falls account for more than a third of all deaths in this industry," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "We're working with employers, workers, industry groups, state OSH plans, and civic and faith-based organizations to host safety stand-downs that focus on recognizing hazards and preventing falls. We are getting the message out to America's employers that safety pays and falls cost." During the stand-down, employers and workers are asked to pause their workday to talk about fall prevention in construction, and discuss topics like ladder safety, scaffolding safety and roofing work safety. OSHA has also launched an official national safety stand-down website with information on how to conduct a successful stand-down. Afterwards, employers will be able to provide feedback and receive a personalized certificate of participation. The stand-down is part of OSHA's ongoing Fall Prevention Campaign , which was started in 2012 and was developed in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH's National Occupational Research Agenda program. The campaign provides employers with lifesaving information and...

 
03/28/2014 8:07 PM

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. I thank the administration for its support of this request. Funding the Board at its full requested level will also enable the agency to hire additional investigators, help complete ongoing cases, and take on new investigations into other fatal accidents that continue to occur throughout the country every year. The 2015 budget justification highlights a number of important successes for the CSB over the past year including a detailed report and recommendations released in April 2013, on the August 6, 2012, fire and explosion at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, California. Other accomplishments include the release of a final report on an explosion at a fireworks storage facility near Honolulu, Hawaii; a public meeting to release the CSB’s report on a combustible dust accident that killed two workers at the Carbide Industries facility located outside of of Louisville, Kentucky, and a public meeting to release the final report on a large explosion at the NDK America Inc. plant which launched debris 300 yards fatally injuring a member of the public. In 2013, the CSB deployed to a number of high consequence accidents including the fire and explosion at West Fertilizer in West, Texas, that fatally injured twelve emergency responders and at least two members of the public. And most recently the agency launched an investigation into the release of thousands of gallons of chemicals from a tank at Freedom Industries in Charleston, West Virginia, which impacted the water supply to hundreds of thousands of residents. The CSB plans to complete many of its open accident investigations and hold a number of public meetings in 2014. The board anticipates a highly productive year...

 
03/28/2014 8:07 PM

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. How to identify who is responsible for recording work-related injuries and illnesses of temporary workers on the OSHA 300 log is also included. OSHA’s effort on temp workers can be found at https://www.osha.gov/temp_workers/

 
03/28/2014 8:06 PM

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. The SST program is one of OSHA's main programmed inspection plans for high-hazard, non-construction workplaces that have 20 or more workers. The SST plan is based on data collected from a survey of 80,000 establishments in high-hazard industries. "By focusing our inspection resources on employers in high hazard industries who endanger their employees, we can prevent injuries and illnesses and save lives," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. As part of the SST-14 program, OSHA is conducting a study to evaluate the effectiveness of the program based on 1,260 randomly selected establishments. Programmed inspections of nursing and personal care establishments will continue under OSHA's Nursing and Personal Care Facilities National Emphasis Program. In addition to the SST program, OSHA implements both national and local emphasis inspection programs, which include programmed inspections, to target high-risk hazards and industries. OSHA currently has 13 National Emphasis Programs that intensify inspections on hazards or industries such as lead, silica, shipbreaking, trenching/excavations and process safety management, and approximately 140 Regional and Local Emphasis Programs .

 
03/28/2014 8:05 PM

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.pdf From the Law Offices of Adele Abrams, Esq. – Last month (February 26, 2014), OSHA issued directive 14-01 (CPL 02) announcing its 2014 Site Specific Targeting (SST) inspection plan. OSHA uses the SST for scheduling most of its “programmed” inspections in general industry. SST does not include construction, which has its own inspection targeting directive (CPL 02-00-155) and is based on information about “construction starts” available through a couple of different databases. OSHA uses information from injury and illness records collected under the OSHA Data Initiative (ODI) to identify individual establishments for inspections under the SST. As more employer-specific information is obtained electronically in the future – assuming the passage of OSHA’s current electronic reporting initiative -- the SST criteria will no doubt be affected. The directive for OSHA’s 2014 SST states that OSHA is using 2011 injury and illness data that was collected in the 2012 ODI. However, the “primary inspection list” under the 2014 SST consists of 1,260 establishments that were identified under the 2010 ODI, on which OSHA and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy are conducting a study of “recidivism rates of establishments that have been inspected.” If an Area Office completes its Primary Inspection List, it may then inspect establishments on its secondary inspection list, which are based on the establishment’s DART and DAFWII rates. Manufacturing establishments must have a DART rate at or over 5.0 or a DAFWII rate at or above 4.0 to be on the secondary list. Non-manufacturing establishments must have a DART rate at or above 7.0 or a DAFWII rate at or...

 
03/28/2014 8:03 PM

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. WPAC was established to advise and make recommendations to the secretary of labor and the assistant secretary for occupational safety and health on ways to improve the fairness, efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of OSHA's whistleblower protection activities. OSHA seeks to fill 12 committee positions that will become vacant Jan. 1, 2015. The agency is initiating staggered terms whereby six members will be appointed to one-year terms and six will be appointed to two-year terms. OSHA is seeking to fill one public, one State Occupational Safety and Health Plan, two management and two labor representatives to one-year terms. The agency also seeks to fill two management, two labor and two public representatives to two-year terms. Additionally, the committee will have three non-voting members selected by the secretary of labor who are government employees from other federal agencies that have jurisdiction over statutes with whistleblower provisions. Current committee members can be re-nominated. Nominations may be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov , the Federal eRulemaking Portal, by mail or facsimile. See the Federal Register notice for submission details. Nominations must be submitted by May 12, 2014. OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of Section 11(c) of the OSH Act, and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various securities laws, trucking, airline, nuclear power, pipeline, environmental, rail, maritime, health care, workplace safety and health regulations, and consumer product safety laws.

 
03/28/2014 8:00 PM

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. 1: Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Requirements (Mar. 2014) Hazard Communication Hazard Communication: Small Entity Compliance Guide for Employers That Use Hazardous Chemicals (OSHA Publication 3695) (Mar. 2014) Steps to an Effective Hazardous Communication Program for Employers That Use Hazardous Chemicals Fact Sheet (OSHA Publication FS-3696) (Mar. 2014) Health Care Safe Patient Handling: Preventing Musculoskeletal Disorders in Nursing Homes Brochure (OSHA Publication 3708) (Feb. 2014) Hospital Safety Fact Sheets (Feb. 2014) How Safe is Your Hospital for Workers? Learn More and Take Action (OSHA Publication 3688) Worker Safety in Your Hospital. Know the Facts (OSHA Publication 3689) How Safe is Your Hospital for Workers? A Self-Assessment (OSHA Publication 3690) Communications Towers Communication Towers Web Page (Feb. 2014) Fatal Facts: Fall from a Telecommunications Tower (OSHA Publication FF-3710) (Jan. 2014) § DOL Blog: No More Falling Workers (Communications Towers) (Mar. 2014) Whistleblower Protection Filing Whistleblower Complaints under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act Fact Sheet English (OSHA Publication FS 3714) (Feb. 2014) Spanish (OSHA Publication FS 3715) (Feb. 2014) Filing Whistleblower Complaints under the Affordable Care Act Fact Sheet – Spanish (OSHA Publication FS 3712) (Feb. 2014) § DOL Blog: OSHA Protects Your Right to Speak Up at Work (Mar. 2014) Emergency Preparedness Response Tornado Preparedness and Response Web Page – English and Spanish (Feb. 2014) Mold Hazards During Disaster Recovery Fact Sheet (OSHA Publication FS-3713) (Feb. 2014) Work-Related Asthma Do You Have Work-Related Asthma?...

 
03/28/2014 7:56 PM

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. NIOSH is soliciting proposals for posters, pre- and post-symposium workshops, plenary sessions and two types of concurrent sessions – scientific paper or practice/intervention sessions and symposia sessions. The deadline for abstract submission is March 24, 2014.

 
03/28/2014 7:55 PM

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. According to PHMSA, special permits allow a company or individual to package or ship a hazardous material in a manner that varies from the regulations if an equivalent level of safety is maintained. An approval is a written consent required under an international standard (i.e., International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, International Civil Aviation Organization's Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air) or specifically provided for in the HMR, and is issued by the Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety. PHMSA states that the revisions are intended to provide wider access to the regulatory flexibility offered in special permits and approvals and eliminate the need for numerous renewal requests while maintaining an appropriate level of safety. This regulation is effective April 17, 2014. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-03-18/html/2014-05630.htm

 
03/28/2014 7:54 PM

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 to attend a free Webinar from 2:00-3:00 pm EST on Wednesday, April 2, 2014. The Webinar, co-sponsored by OSHA and ASA, will address OSHA’s Emergency Action Plans (29 CFR 1910.38) and Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (29 CFR 1910.120) standards, and the difference in applicability between the two; incidental releases versus emergency response operations; required plans and procedures; training of covered workers; and available compliance assistance and outreach products. Participants will also have the opportunity to ask questions following the presentation. Do you have questions regarding what to do in the event of an emergency such as a fire, bomb threat, or explosion? Join Sven J. Rundman III, Supervisory Industrial Hygienist, Directorate of Enforcement Programs, Office of Health Enforcement (OHE), USDOL-OSHA, for the free webinar, which will review OSHA standards and guidance related to emergency action planning and emergency response for all types of businesses. Alliance Program participants interested in attending this Webinar should register as soon as possible by clicking here . If you need additional information regarding the webinar please contact Bill Willson ( willson.bill@dol.gov ) .

 
03/28/2014 7:50 PM

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. The two-way communication systems currently include infrastructure underground to provide untethered communications with miners. What is the purpose of this bulletin? The following guidance is provided to assist mine operators in developing post-accident two-way communication between underground and surface personnel and electronic tracking for their Emergency Response Plans (ERPs). http://www.msha.gov/regs/complian/ppls/2014/PPL14-V-01.pdf

 
03/28/2014 7:45 PM

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.pdf Federal Rulemaking: Regulatory Review Processes Could Be Enhanced, by Michelle Sager, director, strategic issues, before the Subcommittee on the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Federal Programs and the Federal Workforce, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. GAO-14-423T, March 11. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-423T Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/661539.pdf Whistleblower Protection Program: Opportunities Exist for OSHA and DOT to Strengthen Collaborative Mechanisms. GAO-14-286, March 19. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-286 Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/661769.pdf

 
03/28/2014 7:42 PM

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, Forestry and Fishing Sector Research Program. You and the members of your chapter can join in the effort. April 1 and 2 Deadlines In both the Senate and House, “Dear Colleague” letters are being circulated to get Senators and Representatives to sign on to indicate their support for FY15 NIOSH funding, including the Education and Research Centers and the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Program. The National Safety Council has set up a CapWiz alert that you can use to contact members of Congress to encourage them to sign onto these letters. The deadline to sign both letters is April 1 st . Also, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Rep. George Miller (D-CA), Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Robert Scott (D-VA) are circulating Dear Colleagues in the Senate and House supporting the President’s requested level of $565.01 million for OSHA. The deadline to sign these letters is April 2 nd . The National Safety Council also has a CapWiz alert you can use to encourage support for the OSHA letters.

 
03/28/2014 6:42 PM

ASSE Testifies at OSHA Silica Public Meeting

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. ASSE and AIHA testified together on the same panel, as a report on the day’s hearing describes. The hearings are scheduled to end on April 4, as OSHA’s schedule of appearances indicates. (Photo: AIHA Vice President Daniel Anna and A​

 
03/20/2014 3:21 PM

Carretillas elevadoras: Prevención de riesgos de colisión

El martes 10 y miércoles 11 de febrero de 2014 en Málaga (España) el Comité Internacional de Seguridad / International Safety Panel (ISP) de la International Cargo Handling Coordination Association International Ltd. (ICHCA) celebró su 71 reunión periódica, a la que asistí como observador en mi calidad de miembro individual de ICHCA.

 
03/12/2014 7:50 PM

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 annually; establishments with 20 or more employees to submit electronically the annual summary form; and certain employers to submit electronically other information on notification from OSHA. ASSE stated that it did not believe OSHA has explained adequately how collecting the information will actually improve workplace safety or how OSHA will manage the information collected. ASSE also said that publishing the information collected will make more difficult the efforts of safety professionals to focus companies on preventing hazards instead of reporting of injuries. On January 9, ASSE Government Affairs Committee Chair James Thornton said similar comments at OSHA's public meeting on the proposed rule.

 
03/11/2014 3:15 PM

ASSE-ME Chapter to Host 2014 Professional Development Conference & Exhibition

CHICAGO, Ill. (March 11, 2014) – The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the world’s oldest professional safety society, announces its Middle East Chapter will host the 2014 Professional Development Conference and Exhibition (PDC&E) from March 16-20, 2014 in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

 
03/03/2014 4:14 PM

ASSE Responds to the Death of Former Assistant Secretary of Labor Joe Dear

DES PLAINES, IL (March 3, 2014) – American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) President Kathy Seabrook responds to the passing of Joe Dear, former assistant secretary of labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration:

 
03/03/2014 4:13 PM

The Challenge of Responding to a Hazardous Material Emergency and Treating Its Victims

DES PLAINES, Ill. (March 3, 2014) – The moves onsite safety professionals make to decontaminate a manufacturing chemical spill involving employee exposure and the information they provide emergency responders will determine how fast that employee receives medical attention.

 
02/26/2014 5:02 PM

ASSE Government Affairs Update - 2.26.14

ASSE Government Affairs Update - 2.26.14

 
02/26/2014 5:00 PM

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. John Kline, Rep. Todd Rokita, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Richard Hudson Witnesses: Mr. Brad Hammock, Mr. Scott VanderWal, Ms. Randy Rabinowitz, Ms. Maury Baskin Chairman Walberg opened the meeting with a prepared statement. He addressed concerns over the President’s threats during the State of the Union to act and use Executive Orders if Congress does not advance his agenda. Chairman Walberg was disturbed by the threat to Congress’ Constitutional powers and potential violations of the Administrative Procedure Act, which outlines the formal rulemaking process federal agencies, such as OSHA, are required to follow. He urged the administration to reverse course, and furthered enumerated his concerns by expanding on OSHA’s use of Guidance Letters instead of pursing formal rulemaking. Rep. Courtney, the senior democratic member, also opened with a prepared statement detailing what he believes to serious problem with a lack of resources and power afforded to OSHA. Which in turn, he believes is hampering OSHA’s ability to protect the workforce. His statement continued to include comments on Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL’s) being out of date, the length of time to create a final rule or standard, and several workplace accidents (the explosions at West, TX and Middletown, CT) in efforts to confirm his opinion. Rep Courtney also believes the consensus between management and workers is for new OSHA standards and enforcement. Mr. Brad Hammock, a shareholder at the law firm of Jackson Lewis, testified on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Prior to joining the private sector, Hammock worked in the Department of Labor Solicitor’s Office with...

 
02/26/2014 4:55 PM

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. “ASSE has never been an organization that believes a new standard is the answer to a workplace risk,” President Kathy Seabrook wrote. “From that measured perspective, ASSE has no difficulty in telling the Subcommittee that the time has long passed when Congress needed to give OSHA better tools to advance more reasonably its rules.” Measures ASSE identified from its Draft Occupational Safety and Health Reform Bill included moving towards risk-based regulatory approaches, encouraging better use of collaborative rulemaking, and enabling OSHA to update its standards with voluntary consensus standards. ASSE also said that, if no other measure can be advanced, Congress should build on bipartisan agreement that OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) need to be updated.

 
02/26/2014 4:51 PM

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 safety and health. “The importance of prequalification of contractors and subcontractors in managing the safety and health of workers on construction sites is widely understood by ASSE’s members and is an assumed best practice among the best construction employers,” ASSE President Kathy Seabrook said. Letters expressing support went to sponsors Senator Karen Montgomery and Delegate Brian McHale . Chairs of the Senate Finance Committee and House Economic Matters Committee were urged to adopt the legislation in their committees.

 
02/26/2014 4:50 PM

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. Until that date, employers still have added duties under the standard to ensure that crane operators are trained and competent to operate the crane safely. Comments are due March 12, 2014. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-02-10/html/2014-02579.htm

 
02/26/2014 4:49 PM

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. Conrad, North Pacific Fishing Vessel Owners' Association; Kelly J. Garber, APL Ltd.; Robert Godinez, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers--Iron Ship Builders; LCDR John F. Halpin, MD, MPH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health; Lesley E. Johnson, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; George S. Lynch, Jr., International Longshoremen's Association; Christopher John McMahon, U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration; Timothy J. Podue, International Longshore and Warehouse Union; Donald V. Raffo, General Dynamics Corp.; James A. Rone, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries; Arthur T. Ross, Texas Terminals, L.P.; Amy Sly, Marine Chemist Association; Kenneth A. Smith, U.S. Coast Guard; and James R. Thornton, American Industrial Hygiene Association. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-02-04/html/2014-02262.htm

 
02/26/2014 4:47 PM

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). There were three presentations, discussed below, plus one working group report concerning safety of temporary workers. Dr. David Michaels was the first speaker and he gave a summary of OSHA initiatives and regulatory activities. First, he discussed the impact of sequestration and the 16-day government shutdown on OSHA. The agency tried to avoid furloughs during sequestration but did so at the expense of cutting activities such as training (other than for inspectors), VPP recertification that involved travel, worker center assistance, and meetings with state partners that involved travel. About one-third of consultation visits were stopped due to lack of funding. OSHA also discontinued the use of outside contractors to field calls from its 800 “help line” and used OSHA personnel instead, which is said was more effective. There is now a heightened demand for training in 2014 due to the cutbacks in 2013, and inspector training will increase due to hiring of many new CSHOs. Despite this, OSHA still conducted 30,000 onsite visits during 2013. Michaels discussed briefly the crystalline silica rulemaking, which is an effort he said began with Frances Perkins in the 1930s. The comments are closed now and hearings will begin in March and probably last two to three weeks. He also referenced the proposal to modernize recordkeeping by requiring electronic submission of data. He said this will be useful to help OSHA identify facilities with high injury rates, especially those considered small employers (for whom data are typically not reviewed by OSHA0. More importantly, he said, this standard will function as “behavioral economics”: it will encourage...

 
02/26/2014 4:46 PM

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. The proposed rule would require FMCSA-regulated motor carrier employers, Medical Review Officers, Substance Abuse Professionals, and consortia/third party administrators supporting DOT testing programs to report verified positive, adulterated, and substituted drug test results, positive alcohol test results, test refusals, negative return-to-duty test results, and information on follow-up testing. The proposed rule would also require employers to report actual knowledge of traffic citations for driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The proposed rule also would establish the terms of access to the database, including the conditions under which information would be submitted, accessed, maintained, updated, removed, and released to prospective employers, current employers, and other authorized entities. Finally, it would require labs that provide FMCSA-regulated motor carrier employers with DOT drug testing services to report annual, summary information about their testing activities. This rule is mandated by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. Comments are due April 21, 2014. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-02-20/html/2014-03213.htm

 
02/26/2014 4:44 PM

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.” The change is being made coincident with additional requirements for the use and operation of these devices in the NFPA 1981, 2013 edition. The change will be applicable only to SCBAs meeting the requirements of NFPA 1981, 2013, or subsequent editions. More specific information can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/resources/pressrel/letters/InterestedParties/lttr-02182014.html

 
02/26/2014 4:43 PM

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. It would change the geographic limit of a repeat citation to statewide for fixed locations. Thus, an employer’s repeat violation in San Francisco would be a repeat violation for a citation issued to the same employer’s in San Diego. Thanks for Tom Butler of ASSE’s California Government Affairs Committee for sharing this information. http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/DoshReg/repeat-violations/meeting-notice.pdf

 
02/26/2014 4:42 PM

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. The interim rule establishes procedures and time frames for the handling retaliation complaints under the Act, including procedures and time frames for employee complaints to OSHA, investigations by OSHA, appeals of OSHA determinations to an administrative law judge (ALJ) for a hearing de novo, hearings by ALJs, review of ALJ decisions by the Administrative Review Board, and judicial review of a decision. The interim final rule is effective February 13, 2014. Comments are due April 14, 2014. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-02-13/html/2014-03164.htm

 
02/26/2014 4:40 PM

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. Hawaii will resume responsibility over manufacturing (NAICS 31 through 33) except refineries (NAICS 324) and any other private sector facilities that include processes covered by the Process Safety Management standard (29 CFR 1910.119). The changes are effective February 14, 2014. According to OSHA, Hawaii's Department of Labor and Industrial Relations has taken the initial steps in rebuilding the capacity of HIOSH, is committed to redeveloping the state plan, has increased its staff recruitment to reach its staffing benchmark, and has increased its inspection activity by 148% over the prior fiscal year. Under the 2012 agreement, federal OSHA retained coverage over all federal employees and sites, private sector maritime activities, private sector employees within the secured borders of all military installations where access is controlled, and US Postal Service including contract workers and contractor operated facilities, and assumed coverage over agriculture and most of general industry including facilities that include processes covered by the Process Safety Management standard as well as provisions of general industry and construction standards appropriate to hazards found in that employment. Hawaii retained coverage over the construction industry, transportation and warehousing, and state and local government as an employer. All terms of the 2012 OSA remain in effect, except that HIOSHA will resume responsibility over Manufacturing (NAICS 31 through 33) except Refineries (NAICS 324) and any other private sector facilities that include processes covered by the Process Safety Management standard (29 CFR 1910.119). Federal OSHA will also enforce provisions of the Act...

 
02/26/2014 4:37 PM

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. The report recommends making inherently safer technologies mandatory for the 21 refineries in the state, as well as root cause analysis after significant incidents. The Report can be found at http://www.calepa.ca.gov/Publications/Reports/2014/RefineryRpt.pdf .

 
02/26/2014 4:36 PM

CSB Responds to California Refinary Safety Report

Statement from CSB Board Chair Rafael Moure-Eraso at http://www.csb.gov/statement-from-chairperson-rafael-moure-eraso-on-california-refinery-safety-interagency-working-group-final-report/ -- I heartily applaud the findings and recommendations contained in the final report of the California Interagency Working Group on Refinery Safety entitled “Improving Public and Worker Safety at Oil Refineries.” It’s an initiative undertaken by Governor Jerry Brown following the 2012 Chevron refinery fire in Richmond, California. This report is an important milestone for improving refinery safety across the State of California and effectively addressing many of the CSB’s safety recommendations contained in our Chevron refinery accident report released in April 2013. The working group’s final report includes a number of strong recommendations which are in alignment with the CSB’s recommendations: that refineries should implement inherently safer systems to the greatest extent feasible; use formal techniques to evaluate the effectiveness of process safeguards; and perform damage mechanism hazard reviews to ensure corrosion hazards are accurately identified before accidents occur. Furthermore the Working Group report recommends requiring companies to complete root cause analyses after significant accidents or releases, to explicitly account for human factors and organizational changes, and to perform periodic safety culture assessments. Finally, the report indicates California will continue to pursue broader regulatory reforms, including what is called the “safety case” system that is already used overseas as well as in the U.S. space and nuclear sectors. The safety case system is extensively discussed in a CSB draft report that was made public in December 2013. Under the safety case system, refineries would have to demonstrate in advance to a competent, well-funded regulator that they have eliminated or properly managed process safety risks using modern standards and...

 
02/26/2014 4:35 PM

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. This workshop will be webcast with an opportunity for attendees and viewers to pose questions to the panelists and moderators. Four panels will present their experience with SMS from industries outside the energy pipeline world including aviation, chemical, nuclear, and health care. Panels will address the role and value of SMS, the role of leadership at the top through the lower ranks in making SMS work, the value of ``safety assurance'', and the growing recognition of the role of safety culture in ensuring attainment of key safety objectives. The public workshop will held on Thursday, February 27, 2014, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., e.s.t. Comments are due April 14, 2014. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-02-11/html/2014-02855.htm

 
02/26/2014 4:34 PM

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. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) today commended the International Code Council (ICC) and its members for revising the International Fire Code (IFC) and International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC) to prohibit the unsafe practice that killed six workers in a tragic explosion at the Kleen Energy power generation facility in Middletown, Connecticut. This week marks the fourth anniversary of the accident. Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso said, “All of us at the CSB were pleased to learn that the 2015 International Fire and Fuel Gas Codes prohibit the conduct of ‘gas blows,’ an inherently unsafe pipe cleaning methodology. We commend the ICC for this tremendous step forward.” ICC’s action aligns with a similar prohibition developed by the National Fire Protection Association, acting on a CSB urgent recommendation. On February 7, 2010, contract personnel at Kleen Energy, a natural gas-fueled power generation plant then under construction, were conducting an operation known as a “gas blow,” whereby large quantities of natural gas are forced through piping at high pressure to remove any debris that could damage the turbine upon startup. The gas and debris were released to the atmosphere, accumulated in a congested area and ignited, triggering a massive explosion that killed six and injured at least fifty. The CSB concluded that the practice of using flammable gas to clean piping is inherently unsafe, and that alternative non-flammable methods, such as blowing with compressed air, are efficient and readily available. The ICC is a non-profit association whose model codes and standards are used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. According to the ICC, the IFGC and IFC are in use or adopted in more than 40 states, the...

 
02/26/2014 4:32 PM

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. We will assess the performance of MSHA’s labs to determine if they have established and complied with standards for testing and analyzing samples of gasses, rock dust, and other materials. MSHA Emergency Response Plans—New. We will review MSHA’s oversight of mine operators’ emergency response plans to determine if MSHA provided appropriate review and oversight of emergency response plans that underground coal mines are required by law to submit. Coal Slurry Impoundments Agreements—New. We will determine if MSHA has agreements in place and has established working relationships with other agencies also tasked with reviewing and monitoring the safety of coal slurry impoundments. OSHA’s Usage of National Emphasis Programs (NEPs) and Local Emphasis Programs (LEPs)—New. OSHA uses its National and Local Emphasis Programs to target high-hazard industries associated with severe injuries and fatalities. We will determine the extent results from NEPs and LEPs were analyzed and used to impact working conditions in targeted high-hazard industries. Adequacy and Timeliness of Abatement Verification—New. Federal OSHA abatement verification regulations require employers to submit documents demonstrating that abatement is complete for each willful or repeat violation, and for any serious violation for which OSHA indicates in the citation that such abatement documentation is required. OIG will review if OSHA properly conducted timely abatement verification of safety or health violations cited during inspections. MSHA Oversight of Accident and Injury Reporting—Carried Over. We will continue our work to determine if the process for discovering unreported...

 
02/26/2014 4:29 PM

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). Issued in 1977, these standards limit radiation releases and doses to the public from normal operation of nuclear power plants and other uranium fuel cycle facilities – facilities involved in the milling, conversion, fabrication, use and reprocessing of uranium fuel for generating commercial electrical power. These standards were the earliest radiation rules developed by EPA and are based on nuclear power technology and the understanding of radiation biology current at that time. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is responsible for implementing and enforcing these standards. Comments are due June 4, 2014. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-02-04/html/2014-02307.htm

 
02/26/2014 4:27 PM

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.gov/multimedia/podcasts/660285 Federal Motor Carrier Safety: Modifying the Compliance, Safety, Accountability Program Would Improve the Ability to Identify High Risk Carriers. GAO-14-114, February 3. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-114 Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/660609.pdf Drinking Water: EPA Has Improved Its Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Program, but Additional Action Is Needed, GAO-14-103, January 9 http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-103

 
02/24/2014 9:31 PM

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 safety and health. "The importance of prequalification of contractors and subcontractors in managing the safety and health of workers on construction sites is widely understood by ASSE’s members and is an assumed best practice among the best construction employers," ASSE President Kathy Seabrook said. Letters expressing support went to sponsors Senator Karen Montgomery and Delegate Brian McHale . Chairs of the Senate Finance Committee and House Economic Matters Committee were urged to adopt the legislation in their committees.

 
02/20/2014 10:45 PM

Fix Rulemaking Process, 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. "ASSE has never been an organization that believes a new standard is the answer to a workplace risk," President Kathy Seabrook wrote. "From that measured perspective, ASSE has no difficulty in telling the Subcommittee that the time has long passed when Congress needed to give OSHA better tools to advance more reasonably its rules." Measures ASSE identified from its Draft Occupational Safety and Health Reform Bill included moving towards risk-based regulatory approaches, encouraging better use of collaborative rulemaking, and enabling OSHA to update its standards with voluntary consensus standards. ASSE also said that, if no other measure can be advanced, Congress should build on bipartisan agreement that OSHA's Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) need to be updated.

 
02/06/2014 4:11 PM

Safety Professionals Need to Examine How They Manage OHS Incident Reports

DES PLAINES, Ill. (February 6, 2014) – If a worker is injured slipping from a ladder while accessing an electrical panel, does this incident warrant more training on the employee’s part on how to properly use a ladder or does it call into question larger organizational issues that should be addressed?​

 
02/05/2014 4:10 PM

ASSE Invites Kids to Enter Art and Video Contests Touting Workplace Safety

DES PLAINES, Ill. (February 5, 2014) – In the world of workplace safety, a good day is when no injuries occur.

 
01/31/2014 10:03 PM

ASSE Government Affairs Update - 1.31.14

ASSE Government Affairs Update - 1.31.14

 
01/31/2014 10:03 PM

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. It would also set an action level of 25 µg/m3, the TLV set by ACGIH. Implementation of feasible engineering and administrative controls, improved medical surveillance and proactive exposure monitoring in situations where exposures above the PEL can be anticipated are also covered. These requirements are generally consistent with the recommended best practices established in the ASTM E1132 Standard Practice for Health Requirements Relating to Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica , (general industry) and the ASTM E2625 Standard Practice for Controlling Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica for Construction and Demolition Activities . The rulemaking covers the three forms of crystalline silica – quartz, cristobalite, and tridymite – and applies to general industry as well as the construction and maritime industries.

 
01/31/2014 10:01 PM

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. Ron also serves on NIOSH’s NORA Construction Council and is currently working to raise awareness among ASSE members of the NIOSH/OSHA fall protection campaign that is continuing this year. ( https://www.osha.gov/stopfalls/ and http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/updates/upd-04-30-13.html ).

 
01/31/2014 9:59 PM

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. outlining provisions for the key occupational safety and health agencies -- January 31, 2014 This week the House and Senate are expected to take up the 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill, to fund most of the federal government for the remainder of the 2014 fiscal year. The Omnibus Appropriations follows the agreement last month on a two-year budget plan. OSHA Total funding for OSHA under the bill is $552,247,000. That compares to the 2013 Continuing Resolution (CR) funding of $568 million, and the Administration budget request of $571 million. The areas of the budget reduced from the 2013 CR level are federal enforcement ($2 million), state programs ($5 million), and federal compliance assistance ($8 million). In addition, standards and whistleblower enforcement, which were proposed for significant increases in the Administration proposed budget, will receive approximately the same level funding as the 2013 CR. The bill includes the previous riders regarding small business and family farms. In addition, the conference report includes a provision “encouraging” OSHA to work with the Department of Agriculture before moving forward with “any attempts to redefine and regulate post-harvest activities, to include, but not limited to, storing, drying, grinding, and other activities necessary to market farm products to subsequent users in the agricultural value chain, and clarify that this exemption [for small farming operations] shall apply to on farm post-harvest activities.” MSHA Total funding for MSHA is $375,887,000. That is approximately the same level as MSHA received under the 2013 CR. The Administration had proposed increases in enforcement and other program areas, off-set in part by eliminating the State Grants...

 
01/31/2014 9:57 PM

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 . Although the agenda is ambitious and all indications are that the long period of little OSHA rulemaking moving forward due to political considerations is over, any intentions to take action or dates announced by OSHA need to be taken with a grain of salt. While OSHA is required to include its intentions in this notice, its intent does not always match its resources, legal review or various unlistable factors, political or otherwise, that the agency must take into account when moving rulemaking forward. At the prerule stage is rulemaking on bloodborne pathogens with findings to be issued May 2014; infectious diseases for which SBREFA (Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act) panels are to begin January 2014; reinforced concrete in construction with SBREFA panels to begin April 2014; and preventing backover injuries and fatalties for which SBREFA panels are to begin June 2014. Over the last few years, ASSE has participated in stakeholder meetings on infectious diseases and backovers. Proposed rules that OSHA has begun or intends to pursue in 2014 include occupational exposure to crystalline silica, on which ASSE has commented; occupational exposure to beryllium for which OSHA intends to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in April 2014; combustible dust that will begin SBREFA review in April 2014; injury and illness prevention program (I2P2) for which an notice of proposed rulemaking is intended for September 2014, although the scheduled January 2012 SBREFA review has yet to begin; confined space in construction for which a final rule before publishing is scheduled for February 2014; and electric power transmission and distribution/electrical protective equipment, publication of which was scheduled for November 2013. The only completed action is...

 
01/31/2014 9:06 PM

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.html ordering federal agencies to determine how to improve chemical facility safety and security, OSHA has asked for comments on potential revisions to its Process Safety Management (PSM) standard, Explosives and Blasting Agents standard, Flammable Liquids standard, Spray Finishing standard, and PSM enforcement policies. In this Request for Information (RFI), the Agency asks for information and data on specific rulemaking and policy options, and the workplace hazards they address. OSHA will use the information received in response to this RFI to determine what action, if any, it may take. Comments are due March 10, 2014. https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=FEDERAL_REGISTER&p_id=24053 . Also, an update of the agencies’ progress in meeting the Executive Order can be found at https://www.osha.gov/chemicalexecutiveorder/index.html .

 
01/31/2014 9:05 PM

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. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration, 42 miners died in work-related accidents at the nation's mines in 2013, an increase from the 36 miners who died in 2012. While mining fatalities occurred at a record low rate for the first three quarters of 2013, during the fourth quarter of 2013, six coal miners and nine metal/nonmetal miners died in mining accidents, a significant increase from the same period in 2012, when four coal miners and two metal/nonmetal miners died. "Mining deaths are preventable, and those that occurred in 2013 are no exception," said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "While we have made a number of improvements and have been moving mine safety in the right direction, the increased number of metal/nonmetal deaths makes clear we need to do more to protect our nation's miners. "It takes the entire mining community to continue to reach new milestones in health and safety," he added. "Miners need the reassurance that they will return home safe and healthy after every shift." Last year, there were 20 coal mining and 22 metal/nonmetal mining fatalities, compared with 20 and 16, respectively, in 2012. Four mining deaths in 2013 involved contractors (two each in coal and metal/nonmetal), marking the fewest number of contractor deaths since MSHA began maintaining contractor data in 1983. Fourteen of the coal mining deaths occurred underground and six occurred at surface operations. In metal/nonmetal mining, five deaths occurred underground, and 17 occurred at surface operations. The most common causes of mining accidents in 2013 involved machinery and powered haulage equipment. West Virginia had the most coal mining deaths, with six, and...

 
01/31/2014 9:02 PM

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. January 31, 2014 On January 24, 2014, I represented ASSE at the bimonthly meeting of the Small Business Administration’s OSHA/MSHA Roundtable. The first topic was an update by Michael Marshall of OSHA on Executive Order (EO) 13650, concerning improvement of chemical facility safety and security (prompted by the 2013 disaster in West, TX) and the related OSHA Request for Information (RFI) on Process Safety Management standard changes. SBA’s Bruce Lundegren asked the association representatives present if there was a coalition formed yet to provide feedback to OSHA and there does not appear to be one. Lundegren offered to help “connect” anyone interested in such an effort. EO 13650 directs the federal government to improve operational coordination with its state and local partners; enhance federal agency coordination and information sharing; modernize policies, regulations and standards; and, work with stakeholders to identify best practices. A working group has been formed to implement the EO, with representatives from DHS, USDA, DOJ, DOL, DOT and EPA. When asked if the Chemical Safety Board was involved with this initiative, Marshall said only to the extent that CSB has a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with OSHA. The working group is involved with the following actions: Develop a plan for regulators, emergency responders, facility owners and operators, and communities to work together and assess their ability to share explosive material storage data and chemical facility anti-terrorism standards data (CFATS – a DHS program). Implement a federal interagency pilot program on chemical facility safety and security, including developing standard operating procedures for managing risks, improving MOUs and...

 
01/31/2014 9:01 PM

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) against PublicResource.org for copyright infringement. The organization runs a website that posts codes and standards without the organizations’ permission.​

 
01/31/2014 9:00 PM

CSB Releases Draft Report on 2010 Tesoro Refinery Fatal Explosion

From CSB at http://www.csb.gov/csb-investigation-finds-2010-tesoro-refinery-fatal-explosion-resulted-from-high-temperature-hydrogen-attack-damage-to-heat-exchanger/ -- Seattle, Washington, January 29, 2014—The April 2010 fatal explosion and fire at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Washington was caused by damage to the heat exchanger, a mechanism known as “high temperature hydrogen attack” or HTHA, which severely cracked and weakened carbon steel tubing leading to a rupture, according to a CSB draft report released today. The draft report makes far-reaching recommendations to the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Governor and State Legislature of the State of Washington to more rigorously protect workers and communities from potentially catastrophic chemical releases. The draft report is available at www.csb.gov for public comment until Sunday, March 16, 2014. Comments should be sent to tesorocomments@csb.gov . All comments received will be reviewed and published on the CSB website. “Seven lives were tragically lost at the Tesoro refinery in 2010,” said Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso, CSB chairperson. “I believe the draft report does an outstanding job of tracing this complex accident to its roots: a deficient refinery safety culture, weak industry standards for safeguarding equipment, and a regulatory system that too often emphasizes activities rather than outcomes. The report is a clarion call for refinery safety reform.” Using sophisticated computer models, the investigation found the industry-wide method used to predict the risk of HTHA damage to be inaccurate, with equipment failures occurring under conditions the deemed to be safe from HTHA. It cited deficiencies in the company’s safety culture that led to a “complacent” attitude toward flammable leaks and occasional fires. Investigators also determined that during the unit startup, Tesoro did not correct the history of hazardous conditions or limit the number of people involved in the...

 
01/31/2014 8:51 PM

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 occupational injuries and illnesses. Comments are now due March 8, 2014. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-01-07/html/2014-00010.htm

 
01/31/2014 8:50 PM

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. Comments may be provided to the NIOSH docket by February 25, 2014, or given orally at a public meeting scheduled for February 13, 2014, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Eastern Time, at the Robert A. Taft Laboratories, 4676 Columbia Pkwy., Cincinnati, OH 45226, in the Taft Auditorium. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-12-27/html/2013-31066.htm

 
01/31/2014 8:49 PM

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.htm

 
01/31/2014 8:49 PM

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.htm

 
01/31/2014 8:47 PM

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. “Today’s action is a key step in bringing the oversight of these potentially dangerous materials into the 21 st century,” said Mathy Stanislaus, EPA assistant administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “Once fully implemented, the national e-Manifest system will provide greater access for emergency responders to information about the types and sources of hazardous waste that are in transit between generator sites and waste management facilities.” The final rule authorizes the use of e-Manifests to track hazardous wastes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. This will allow the current process, which requires paper forms, to be streamlined and greatly reduce the millions of paper manifests produced each year. The Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act requires EPA to issue a regulation authorizing the use of electronic manifests as the legal equivalent of the current paper manifest forms used to track shipments of hazardous waste from a generator’s site to the ultimate site of disposal. EPA’s goal is to promote the greatest possible use of electronic manifests. The e-Manifest program is the vanguard of the agency-wide initiative to develop new tools to reduce the reporting burden on regulated entities, and provide the agency, states and the public with easier access to environmental data. EPA estimates the national e-Manifest system will ultimately reduce the burden associated with preparing shipping manifests by between 300,000 and 700,000 hours, and result in cost savings of more than $75 million per year for states and industry. In line with the agency’s e-Enterprise principles, the...

 
01/31/2014 8:45 PM

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 controlling influence over their operations, or operate multiple entities under common control to conceal noncompliance with safety regulations. These amendments implement section 4113 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), as amended by section 32112 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The effective date is February 21, 2014. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-01-22/html/2014-01174.htm

 
01/31/2014 8:44 PM

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. The report concludes that, although improvements have been made in protecting emergency response workers since 2001, further steps are needed to protect responders, including increased reliance on the hierarchy of controls of hazards, improving respiratory protection and updating exposure limits. NIOSH Director John Howard, who also was given responsibility for overseeing the 9/11 WTC health funds, wrote the foreward to the report.

 
01/31/2014 8:42 PM

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) in response to petitions for rulemaking from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors (National Board), and the Pressure Vessel Manufacturers Association (PVMA). PHMSA proposes to allow the use of the 2013 edition of the ASME's Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section XII (Section XII) for the design, construction, and certification of cargo tank motor vehicles, cryogenic portable tanks and ton tanks. PHMSA also proposes to authorize the use of the 2013 edition of the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors' National Board Inspection Code (NBIC), as it applies to the continuing qualification and maintenance of ASME constructed cargo tank motor vehicles, cryogenic portable tanks, and ton tanks constructed to standards in ASME's Section XII, and existing cargo tank motor vehicles and portable tanks constructed to Section VIII, Division 1. Comments are due March 31, 2014. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-12-30/html/2013-31046.htm

 
01/31/2014 8:41 PM

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 substantial designation. PHMSA states that plans must also be updated whenever new or different operating conditions would affect the implementation of a response plan and that operators should utilize Appendix A Part 194--Guidelines for the Preparation of Response Plans and submit them electronically to PHMSA. This bulletin also notifies that FRPs found to meet the requirements of PHMSA's regulations at Part 194 will be posted on PHMSA's Web site for public viewing and that PHMSA will redact certain information, such as personally identifiable information and certain security related information. This document also alerts operators and their plan submitters to common errors in plans that require amendment prior to PHMSA's issuance of approval. Finally, PHMSA encourages onshore oil pipeline operators to consider replacing incorporations by reference in their FRPs with a summary of referenced material or a copy of the full document. www.­gpo.­gov/­fdsys/­pkg/­FR-­2014-­01-­28/­html/­2014-­01515.­htm

 
01/31/2014 8:41 PM

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. These rule changes would give airlines, subject to applicable Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of Transportation (DoT) rules, the choice of whether to enable mobile communications services using an Airborne Access System and, if so, which specific services to enable. The proposed rules would also replace an existing patchwork of regulatory prohibitions on airborne use of mobile services in some, but not all, of the heavily used mobile wireless bands with a consistent regulatory framework that explicitly forbids airborne use of mobile services in those bands unless they are operating on an aircraft equipped with an Airborne Access System. Comments are due February 14, 2014. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-01-15/html/2013-31203.htm

 
01/31/2014 8:39 PM

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.gov/multimedia/podcasts/660048 Clean Water Act: Changes Needed If Key EPA Program Is to Help Fulfill the Nation's Water Quality Goals. GAO-14-80, December 5. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-80 Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/659497.pdf

 
01/31/2014 7:48 PM

ASSE Comments on OSHA 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. It would also set an action level of 25 µg/m3, the TLV set by ACGIH. Implementation of feasible engineering and administrative controls, improved medical surveillance and proactive exposure monitoring in situations where exposures above the PEL can be anticipated are also covered. These requirements are generally consistent with the recommended best practices established in the ASTM E1132 Standard Practice for Health Requirements Relating to Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica , (general industry) and the ASTM E2625 Standard Practice for Controlling Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica for Construction and Demolition Activities . The rulemaking covers the three forms of crystalline silica – quartz, cristobalite, and tridymite – and applies to general industry as well as the construction and maritime industries.

 
01/27/2014 4:09 PM

ASSE to Host Its First Professional Development Conference in India

CHICAGO, Ill. (January 27, 2014) – The American Society of Safety Engineers, the world’s oldest professional safety society, is proud to bring SAFETY INDIA 2014, a two-day professional development conference and exposition to Chennai, India on May 26-27, 2014.

 
01/16/2014 4:07 PM

Tablets and Apps Are Changing How Occupational Health and Safety Pros Do Their Jobs

DES PLAINES, Ill. (January 16, 2014) – The phrase “information at your fingertips” has never been truer than with today’s tablet technology. The ability to access email and the Internet, as well as record audio and video from nearly any location has forever changed how we communicate and do our jobs.​

 
12/20/2013 5:32 PM

ASSE Government Affairs Update - 12.20.13

ASSE Government Affairs Update - 12.20.13

 
12/20/2013 5:31 PM

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. If you know of anyone qualified and interested in leading this effort, please share this NIOSH notice below. Coordinator for NIOSH Prevention through Design Program NIOSH intends to announce recruitment of an industrial hygienist or safety engineer to coordinate the Prevention through Design initiative. The position is rated as a GS-14 and is located in Cincinnati. Prevention through Design is a national initiative to design out occupational hazards in facilities, processes, tools, equipment, molecular products, and the organization of work. The position will be posted at www.usajobs.gov probably next week and will be open for three weeks. The position job title is Interdisciplinary Industrial Hygienist/Safety Engineer. The Job Announcement Number is HHS-CDC-D2-1016378.

 
12/20/2013 5:29 PM

OSHA Seeks Input on PSM Standard

In response to President Obama’s 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 ), OSHA has published a Request for Information requesting comments on potential revisions to its Process Safety Management (PSM) standard, its Explosives and Blasting Agents standard, potential updates to its Flammable Liquids and Spray Finishing standard, and potential chan​

 
12/20/2013 5:27 PM

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. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration will now be able to file complaints online. The online form will provide workers who have been retaliated against an additional way to reach out for OSHA assistance online. “The ability of workers to speak out and exercise their rights without fear of retaliation provides the backbone for some of American workers’ most essential protections,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “Whistleblower laws protect not only workers, but also the public at large and now workers will have an additional avenue available to file a complaint with OSHA.” Currently, workers can make complaints to OSHA by filing a written complaint or by calling the agency’s 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) number or an OSHA regional or area office. Workers will now be able to electronically submit a whistleblower complaint to OSHA by visiting www.osha.gov/whistleblower/WBComplaint.html . The new online form prompts the worker to include basic whistleblower complaint information so they can be easily contacted for follow-up. Complaints are automatically routed to the appropriate regional whistleblower investigators. In addition, the complaint form can also be downloaded and submitted to the agency in hard-copy format by fax, mail or hand-delivery. The paper version is identical to the electronic version and requests the same information necessary to initiate a whistleblower investigation. OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of 22 statutes protecting employees who report violations of various securities laws, trucking, airline, nuclear power, pipeline, environmental, rail, public transportation, workplace safety and health,...

 
12/20/2013 5:25 PM

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. The Fall 2013 agenda was issued on November 26, 2013 (Thanksgiving week) with virtually no publicity by most federal agencies with entries in the regulatory agenda, including the Department of Labor. The regulatory plan is available on the federal government website, http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaMain , but is no longer being published in the Federal Register, as was the case for many years. The OSHA and MSHA sections of the fall 2013 agenda provide an updated list and timetable for regulations that the two agencies are working on. According to the agenda, OSHA is working on 28 rulemakings, some more significant than others. The agenda lists rulemakings as being in “prerule stage”, “proposed rule stage”, and “final rule stage” based on the anticipated steps in the next 12 months. Among the new rules that OSHA plans to finalize during 2014 is one that the agency has worked on, off and on, for many years, “walking working surfaces and personal fall protection systems (slips, trips and fall prevention)”. The rulemaking would update OSHA’s current “Parts D and I” regulations (29 CFR 1910 Parts D & I). An issue in that rulemaking is whether OSHA will include requirements regarding fall protection on mobile equipment. OSHA has previously indicated that it would not do so without an additional opportunity for public comment. Another rule scheduled to be finalized in 2014 is a change to OSHA’s recordkeeping and reporting requirements. The rule would change which industry sectors are exempt from recordkeeping. As proposed, the rule would also change the current requirement that employers report (to OSHA) any workplace fatality or event resulting in...

 
12/20/2013 5:24 PM

Republican Senators Call for New Silica SBRFA Panels

From Senate HELP Committee website at http://www.help.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/?id=80720fd6-4fab-40c0-b076-6bb3eb5d1227 Alexander, GOP Colleagues Call on Administration to Conduct Proper Assessment of Proposed Rule on Silica Exposure Request 90-day extension on comment period and formation of new small business review panel rather than decade-old report Thursday, November 21, 2013 Liz Wolgemuth 202-228-4729 WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 – The senior Republican on the Senate labor committee today led 15 of his Republican colleagues in calling on the Obama administration to conduct a proper assessment of a proposed rule on workplace silica exposure. In a letter to David Michaels, the Assistant Secretary of Labor, the senators requested that the comment period for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) proposed rule on Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica be extended and that a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel be convened. The letter was signed by Alexander and Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), David Vitter (R-La.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) They wrote: “Last month, you announced an extension of the comment period by 47 days, which we appreciate. However, we believe OSHA should provide stakeholders a full 90 day extension to give them adequate time to fully review this complex proposal and provide valuable feedback. We also request all other corresponding dates within the proposed rule be extended by the full 90 days. In addition, we respectfully request that OSHA convene a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA). This is an important step to ensure that the concerns of small businesses...

 
12/20/2013 5:19 PM

OSHA Publishes Direct Final Rule to Revise Mechanical Power Presses Standard

OSHA is making two main revisions to its Mechanical Power Presses Standard. First, OSHA is revising a provision that requires employers to develop and maintain certification records of periodic inspections performed on the presses by adding a requirement that they develop and maintain certification records of any maintenance and repairs they perform on the presses during the periodic inspections. Second, OSHA is removing the requirement from another provision that employers develop and maintain certification records of weekly inspections and tests performed on the presses. OSHA states that this rulemaking is part of the Department of Labor's initiative to reduce paperwork burden and remove 613,600 hours of employers’ paperwork burden while maintaining employee protection. OSHA published a companion proposal sue of the Federal Register taking the same action. This direct final rule will become effective on February 18, 2014 unless OSHA receives a significant adverse comment on this direct final rule or on the companion proposal by December 20, 2013. If OSHA receives adverse comment, it will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-11-20/html/2013-27695.htm

 
12/20/2013 5:18 PM

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.cfm?i=349183 – December 11, 2013 Investigation Represents the First Comprehensive Report to Connect Dots Between Federal Contracts and Labor Law Violations Forty-Nine Contractors Engaging in Significant Labor Law Violations Received $81 Billion in Taxpayer-Funded Contracts in 2012 Alone WASHINGTON, D.C.—An investigation into the federal contracting process unveiled today by U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, revealed widespread labor law violations among major government contractors. The investigation found that almost 30 percent of companies receiving the highest penalties for violations of federal labor law are also federal contractors. Specifically, the 49 federal contractors accountable for large-scale labor law violations were responsible for almost 1,800 separate enforcement actions taken by the Department of Labor and paid $196 million in back wages and initial penalties over a recent six-year period. The report shows that these 49 contractors received more than $81 billion in taxpayer dollars in 2012 alone, and demonstrates that the current federal contracting process fails to hold contractors accountable for major or repeated labor law violations. Harkin unveiled the report today during an address at the Center for American Progress Action Fund titled “How the Federal Contracting System Harms Workers and Taxpayers.” The report, titled “Acting Responsibly? Federal Contractors Frequently Put Workers Lives and Livelihoods at Risk” is the result of a year-long investigation by HELP Committee majority staff. It identifies the shortcomings of the current federal contracting process and offers a list of solutions to remedy these problems to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent in a way that promotes compliance with federal law and improves the quality of life for working...

 
12/20/2013 5:17 PM

CSB Calls for Safety Case Approach in California Refineries

From CSB at http://www.csb.gov/in-wake-of-chevron-2012-pipe-rupture-and-fire-in-bay-area-csb-draft-report-proposes-overhaul-of-refinery-industry-regulatory-system-in-california-and-urges-adoption-of-t​he-safety-case-regime-to-prevent-major-chemical-accidents/ In Wake of Chevron 2012 Pipe Rupture and Fire in Bay Area CSB Draft Report Proposes Overhaul of Refinery Industry Regulatory System in California and Urges Adoption of the Safety Case Regime to Prevent Major Chemical Accidents Richmond, Cali​

 
12/20/2013 5:16 PM

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. Comments are due January 31, 2014. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-11-20/html/2013-27987.htm ASSE commented on the previous stage of this rulemaking, at http://www.asse.org/en/index.php/press_releases/asse-opposes-federal-rulemaking-to-undercut-development-of-voluntary-consensus-sa​fety-and-health-standards/

 
12/20/2013 5:14 PM

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 time limits. These drivers are subject to the break requirement and must prepare a record-of-duty-status (RODS) for the day. The intent of the break rule would be satisfied if drivers in these situations take a break at the earliest safe opportunity after exceeding the short haul limits and explain in a RODS annotation why the rest break was not taken within the required 8 hours of the last off-duty break of at least 30 minutes. The effective date of this guidance is December 19, 2013. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-12-19/html/2013-30205.htm

 
12/20/2013 5:09 PM

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. The message features Calais Weber, an accident survivor, who on January 23, 2006, at age 15 was burned over 40 per cent of her body during a chemistry demonstration performed by her teacher at a prestigious boarding school she attended in Ohio. In her own words, Calais describes the demonstration, called the “rainbow experiment,” that was meant to show how various mineral salts produce different color flames when burned. Mineral salts were mixed with highly flammable methanol in small dishes. CSB Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso said, “This is a new kind of video safety message for the CSB. Too often, chemical accident victims –survivors as well as fatalities -- are forgotten as time goes on. In this video, Ms. Weber tells a painful and poignant story that we hope resonates in high school and academic labs across the country.” The video is a follow up to “Experimenting with Danger,” concerning laboratory accidents in three major universities. In “After the Rainbow” Calais describes how she was standing in the first row as matches were dropped into each little dish. When one flame began to dim, Calais’s teacher reached for a gallon-sized bottle of methanol. She began to pour the liquid on the open flame, and it exploded. “And because I was right in front, I got the brunt of it, “Calais recalls. “I remember thinking, ‘I’m on fire. Oh, my gosh, I’m on fire.’” While attending school, Calais worked as a model. After the accident, she spent two and a half months in a hospital where she endured painful treatments and numerous surgeries, including facial skin grafts. She now volunteers with Angel Faces, a program designed to empower young women with facial...

 
12/20/2013 5:08 PM

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. PHMSA is amending the package opening provision to include procedures for an agent of the Secretary of Transportation to open packages of perishable hazardous materials and to notify the responsible party that an agent has exercised a safety inspection or investigation authority. PHMSA is also establishing equipment requirements for agents. Enhanced inspection, investigation, and enforcement procedures were previously established through rulemaking. This final rule codifies changes to federal hazardous materials transportation law and to ensure transparency and consistency for hazardous materials inspectors across all modes of transportation. Because it affects only agency enforcement procedures, no additional compliance costs to industry are associated with this final rule. The final rule is effective November 1, 2013. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-10-02/html/2013-23894.htm

 
12/20/2013 5:07 PM

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. PHMSA reminds operators that drug and alcohol testing information must be submitted for contractors performing or ready to perform covered functions. Also, PHMSA states that, for calendar year 2013 reporting, PHMSA will not mail the ``user name'' and ``password'' for the Drug and Alcohol Management Information System (DAMIS) to operators, but will make the user name and password available in the PHMSA Portal ( https://portal.phmsa.dot.gov/pipeline ). http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-11-27/html/2013-28384.htm

 
12/20/2013 5:06 PM

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. EPA is requiring the use of electronic reporting in order to minimize the paperwork burden associated with the underlying regulatory requirements and to minimize the cost to the federal government for the creation, collection, maintenance, use, dissemination, and disposition of information. It will also improve the quality and use of information to strengthen decisionmaking, accountability, and openness in government and society, as well as provide for the timely dissemination of public information and in a manner that promotes the utility of the information to the public and makes effective use of information technology. The final rule is effective March 4, 2014. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-12-04/html/2013-28510.htm

 
12/20/2013 4:56 PM

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.pdf Department of Homeland Security: DHS's Efforts to Improve Employee Morale and Fill Senior Leadership Vacancies, by David C. Maurer, director, homeland security and justice issues, before the House Committee on Homeland Security. GAO-14-228T, December 12. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-228T Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/659643.pdf Oil And Gas Resources: Actions Needed for Interior to Better Ensure a Fair Return, GAO-14-50, December 6 http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-50

 
12/12/2013 3:55 PM

ASSE Signs Agreements with COSHA and ISHA to Advance Global Occupational Health and Safety Issues

CHICAGO (December 11, 2013) – The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) signed memorandums of understandings that will explore opportunities to collaborate, exchange technical information and conduct joint educational programs with the largest occupational health and safety organizations in China and Taiwan.

 
12/04/2013 3:55 PM

U.S. Companies May Reduce Work-Related Injuries By Implementing Ergonomic Risk Assessments

DES PLAINES, Ill. (December 2, 2013) – The rise of work-place injuries related to musculoskeletal disorders, which is costing U.S. businesses more than $20 billion a year, may be reduced if companies included ergonomic risk assessments as part of their occupational health and safety management systems, according to an article in the December issue of Professional Safety.

 
11/26/2013 3:53 PM

American Society of Safety Engineers Leaders Attend Kuwait Chapter’s Professional Development Conference

DES PLAINES, Ill. (November 26, 2013) – Creating a safe work environment cannot be perceived as simply checking off boxes on a compliance list. Safety professionals must prove their value beyond such stereotypes by demonstrating how risk reduction is an essential competitive advantage to profitability.​

 
11/26/2013 3:51 PM

American Society of Safety Engineers Brings NAPO to the U.S.

DES PLAINES, Ill. (November 21, 2013) – Move over Smokey Bear. Make room Mr. McGruff. There is a new educational character hitting U.S. classrooms to teach kids about the importance of playing it safe, even while you are working.

 
11/19/2013 9:36 PM

ASSE Government Affairs Update - 11.19.13

ASSE Government Affairs Update - 11.19.13

 
11/19/2013 9:35 PM

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. Under the proposal, employers with more than 250 employees would be required to submit records quarterly to OSHA. Employers with between 250 and 20 employees in certain industries with high injury and illness rates would submit annual summaries. Of interest: Audio of the teleconference. Former Alcoa Chairman Paul O’Neill joined Assistant Secretary Michaels and expressed his support for the proposal based on the importance of a system for reporting injuries throughout the Alcoa organization in achieving Alcoa’s high level of safety. Assistant Secretary Michael’s official remarks on the teleconference. OSHA’s press release . A 90-day comment period ends February 6, 2014. OSHA will hold a public meeting on January 9 in Washington, D.C.

 
11/19/2013 9:35 PM

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. The proposed rule is a limited rulemaking to amend OSHA's recordkeeping regulations to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information employers are already required to keep. The public meeting will be held on Thursday, January 9, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, DC. The deadline to request to attend the meeting as a speaker or an observer is Friday, December 13, 2013. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-11-15/html/2013-27366.htm

 
11/19/2013 9:34 PM

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. Nominations for ACCSH membership are due January 6, 2014. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-11-07/html/2013-26646.htm

 
11/19/2013 9:33 PM

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. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today launched two new web resources to assist companies with keeping their workers safe. While many chemicals are suspected of being harmful, OSHA’s exposure standards are out-of-date and inadequately protective for the small number of chemicals that are regulated in the workplace. The first resource OSHA has created is a toolkit to identify safer chemicals that can be used in place of more hazardous ones. This toolkit walks employers and workers step-by-step through information, methods, tools and guidance to either eliminate hazardous chemicals or on make informed substitution decisions in the workplace by finding a safer chemical, material, product or process. The toolkit is available at http://www.osha.gov/dsg/safer_chemicals/index.html . “We know that the most efficient and effective way to protect workers from hazardous chemicals is by eliminating or replacing those chemicals with safer alternatives whenever possible,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. OSHA also created another new web resource: the Annotated Permissible Exposure Limits, or annotated PEL tables, which will enable employers to voluntarily adopt newer, more protective workplace exposure limits. OSHA’s PELs set mandatory limits on the amount or concentration of a substance in the air to protect workers against the health effects of certain hazardous chemicals; and OSHA will continue to enforce those mandatory PELs. Since OSHA’s adoption of the majority of its PELs more than 40 years ago, new scientific data, industrial experience and developments in...

 
11/19/2013 9:32 PM

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. OSHA furloughed the majority of its staff and responded only to fatalities, catastrophes and imminent-danger situations during the shutdown.

 
11/19/2013 9:31 PM

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. This year marks the fifth year anniversary of the death of a worker killed upon opening a large store for an after-Thanksgiving Day Black Friday sales event. In 2008, the worker was trampled to death when shoppers rushed through the store entrance to take advantage of the holiday sales. Retailers can avoid similar tragedies through crowd management and safety precautions. "The busy shopping season should not put retail workers at risk of being injured or killed," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “OSHA urges retailers to take the time to adopt a crowd management plan and follow a few simple guidelines to prevent unnecessary harm to retail employees." OSHA sent letters to major retailers as well as retail and fire associations nationwide reminding employers and fire chiefs about the potential hazards involved with large crowds at retail stores during the holiday season when sales events attract a higher number of shoppers. Retailers are encouraged to use the safety guidelines provided in the OSHA fact sheet they received, “ Crowd Management Safety Guidelines for Retailers ,” in addition to their own procedures. They were also reminded to maintain appropriate access to exit routes and ensure that exits are not blocked. Crowd management plans should, at least, include: On-site trained security personnel or police officers. Barricades or rope lines for pedestrians that do not start right in front of the store's entrance. The implementation of crowd control measures well in advance of customers arriving at the store. Emergency procedures in place to address potential dangers. Methods for explaining approach and entrance procedures...

 
11/19/2013 9:30 PM

Opportunity to Comment on NIOSH Half-Mask Inward Leakage Standards

On September 17, 2013, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) held a public meeting concerning inward leakage performance requirements for the class of NIOSH-certified non-powered air-purifying particulate respirators approved as half-facepiece respirators for protection from particulate-only hazards. The purpose of this meeting was to share information and to seek stakeholder feedback, in identified topic areas, concerning the development of inward leakage performance standards. Questions concerning the identified topics of specific interest were included in the meeting notice published in the Federal Register on September 4, 2013. Written comments were to be received by October 18, 2013. HHS/CDC received a request from a stakeholder for additional time to comment on this notice. In consideration of this request HHS/CDC is reopening the public comment period through December 31, 2013. Comments are due December 31, 2013. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-11-19/html/2013-27445.htm

 
11/19/2013 9:29 PM

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.htm

 
11/19/2013 9:28 PM

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. In addition to an “open mike” discussion of OSHA’s proposed rule on respirable crystalline silica, there were also presentations from OSHA, followed by discussion and questions, on OSHA’s recently posted (on the OSHA website) resources on Hazardous Chemicals, and on OSHA’s proposed rule to require reporting of injury and illness records. OSHA’s New Resources on Hazardous Chemicals – Staff from OSHA’s Directorate on Standards and Guidance gave a short presentation and walk-thru of two new web resources on the OSHA website. One is what OSHA refers to as the “annotated PELs,” which is a side-by-side comparison of OSHA PELs, Cal/OSHA PELs, NIOSH RELs, and ACGIH TLVs. The second resource is a “Safer Chemicals Toolkit,” which OSHA staff described as a “framework” for employers to evaluate eliminating and/or substituting chemicals used in the workplace. There were some interesting points brought out during the discussion of these resources. One is that in conjunction with publishing the “annotated PELs,” OSHA stated that it was doing so in large part because the OSHA PELs are not protective. That led to questions about the possible use of the “annotated PELs” guidance document in a general duty clause case. OSHA staff responded that the guidance document created “no new legal obligations” and “did not change any legal obligations.” A similar disclaimer is included on the website. The “Safer Chemicals Toolkit” webpage does not directly list or provide specific examples of chemical alternatives or substitutes, but links to other websites and resources that do have lists of alternatives and “safer substitutes.” It also includes a place for users to submit their own examples and “success stories.” That led to some questions regarding OSHA’s quality...

 
11/19/2013 9:27 PM

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 50 th meeting of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee in Washington, DC. This is a very large federal advisory committee – probably over 50 members were in attendance and they include representatives from most of the railroad associations and some less intuitive groups: American Chemistry Council, American Public Transportation Association, American Petroleum Institute, the Chlorine Institute, Institute of Makers of Explosives, the Fertilize Institute, groups from Canada and Mexico, and multiple unions. The committee tends to focus on safety solely and are not currently addressing occupational health issues for railroad workers. It was noted during the meeting that OSHA is getting more active in railroad safety and health issues. Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo gave an introductory statement noting the impact of the October 2013 government shutdown on his agency and the fact that they are playing “catch up” now. He briefly discussed an accident in Quebec which cost 47 lives and noted how a significant amount of crude oil and ethanol is now being transported by rail and this requires examination. FRA has issued an emergency order preventing trains from moving unintentionally, and they are working with PHMSA with the goal of safely transporting oil and gas. He said that the US rail system is extremely safe and 2012 had the best safety record in history. Despite this, FRA is looking to add “safety redundancy standards, practices, testing and training … to look at everything through a fresh set of eyes, identify gaps and close them.” The agency will also add a webpage to inform the public about RSAC recommendations and how they are implemented. Other actions planned include looking at the issue of corrosion in tank cars, HAZMAT transport regulations to see if they need revision, and best practices for securing trains. They are...

 
11/19/2013 9:17 PM

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. The chapter provides technical information and guidance to help Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) evaluate noise hazards in the workplace. The content is based on currently available research publications, OSHA standards, and consensus standards. The chapter is divided into six main sections: Following the introduction , the second section provides background information about noise and noise regulations and an overview of noise controls. The third section describes worksite noise evaluations , including noise measurement equipment, noise evaluation procedures, and noise sampling. The fourth section offers investigative guidelines (including methods for planning the investigation) and outlines a strategy for conducting noise evaluations. The fifth section describes noise hazard abatement and control, including engineering and administrative controls, hearing protection, noise conservation programs, cost comparisons between noise hazard abatement options, and case studies. The final two sections provide references used to produce this chapter and resources for obtaining additional information. The appendices provide a glossary of terms, sample calculations, and expanded discussion of certain topics introduced in the chapter.​

 
11/19/2013 9:17 PM

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. The MINER Act of 2006 requires MSHA to update these criteria every 5 years. The revised instruction guides update existing mine rescue training materials referenced in the criteria to certify coal mine rescue team qualifications. MSHA states that the revised instruction guides provide improved advanced mine rescue training for coal mine rescue teams by including additional exercises to provide more hands-on skills training to enhance team performance when responding to an actual mine emergency. Comments are due November 25, 2013. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-24/html/2013-22804.htm

 
11/19/2013 9:16 PM

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 stories. This update also includes products developed through the OSHA Alliance Program by Alliance Program participants and reports issued by the NIOSH Fatali​

 
11/19/2013 9:10 PM

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." The order also created an interagency Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience that will be responsible for overseeing federal efforts at fighting climate change.

 
11/19/2013 9:09 PM

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. “’While FMCSA deserves recognition for putting bad operators out of business, they need to crack down before crashes occur, not just after high visibility events,’ said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman” NTSB’s press release can be found at http://www.ntsb.gov/news/2013/131107.html .

 
11/19/2013 9:08 PM

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. Since it received no significant adverse comments, OSHA has confirmed that the direct final rule became effective as a final rule on September 11, 2013. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-11-06/html/2013-26336.htm

 
11/19/2013 9:07 PM

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. The report also estimates that the financial impact of fatal construction injuries to New York City in 2011 and 2012 was more than $180 million.

 
11/19/2013 9:06 PM

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. The study’s abstract can be found at http://oem.bmj.com/content/early/2013/10/14/oemed-2013-101662.abstract .

 
11/19/2013 9:05 PM

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.ca/media/documents/PubIRSST/RG-796.pdf . IRSST estimates that 28 percent of cancers may be work-related.

 
11/19/2013 9:04 PM

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. Green Jobs and Occupational Safety and Health Report is meant to help anticipatesnew and emerging risks in green jobs in order to ensure that the jobs are good for the environment but also for workers’ safety and health.

 
11/19/2013 9:03 PM

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. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-24/html/2013-22952.htm

 
11/19/2013 9:02 PM

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., 12120 Cloverdale Street, Detroit, MI 48021, improperly filled and offered for transportation high pressure compressed gas cylinders (DOT Specification 3A, 3AA and 3AL) without verifying that they met the appropriate safety requirements for continued use. The US DOT PHMSA was alerted on July 5, 2013 and verified on July 9, 2013 that Komer Carbonic Corp. filled and transported compressed gas cylinders without verifying their suitability for continued service. Komer Carbonic Corp. fills and offers cylinders containing Carbon dioxide, for restaurants and other establishments. For more information, contact Komer Carbonic Corp.: Mr. Dave Bamford, President or Mr. Mike Bamford, Vice President, 12120 Cloverdale Street, Detroit, MI 48204, Telephone 313-931-7373, to arrange for the return of these empty cylinders. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-24/html/2013-23080.htm PHMSA also has issued a safety advisory to notify the public of the unauthorized marking of high pressure compressed gas cylinders by Beauchesne Fire Equipment located at 21 Freeman St. Attleboro Falls, MA. For more information, contact Chris Michalski, Senior Hazardous Materials Investigator, Eastern Region, Office of Hazardous Materials Safety, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 820 Bear Tavern Road, Suite 306, West Trenton, NJ 08034. Telephone: (609) 989-2256, Fax: (609) 989-2277 or, via email: chris.michalski@dot.gov . http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-24/html/2013-23104.htm

 
11/19/2013 9:02 PM

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.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-27/html/2013-23520.htm

 
11/19/2013 9:01 PM

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.htm

 
11/19/2013 8:59 PM

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) interact with living systems, to develop predictive models for quantifying ENM exposure and assessing ENM health impacts, and to guide the design of second-generation ENMs to minimize adverse health effects.

 
11/19/2013 8:57 PM

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 .

 
11/19/2013 8:55 PM

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. In light of our review, we are proposing amendments that would prohibit the use of hazardous air pollutant-based auxiliary blowing agents for slabstock foam production facilities. In addition, the EPA is proposing amendments to correct and clarify regulatory provisions related to emissions during periods of startup, shutdown and malfunction; to add provisions for affirmative defense; to add requirements for reporting of performance testing through the Electronic Reporting Tool; to revise compliance dates for applicable proposed actions; to clarify the leak detection methods allowed for diisocyanate storage vessels at slabstock foam production facilities; and to revise the rule to add a schedule for delay of leak repairs for valves and connectors. Comments are due December 4, 2013. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-11-04/html/2013-24276.htm

 
11/19/2013 8:53 PM

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.gov/products/GAO-13-743 Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/658274.pdf Nuclear Weapons: Information on Safety Concerns with the Uranium Processing Facility. GAO-14-79R, October 25. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-79R Aviation Security: TSA Should Limit Future Funding for Behavior Detection Activities, GAO-14-159, November 8 http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-159 Maritime Security: DHS Could Benefit from Tracking Progress in Implementing the Small Vessel Security Strategy, GAO-14-32, October 31 http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-32

 
11/13/2013 3:48 PM

The Center for Safety and Health Sustainability’s Statement on OSHA’s New Proposal to Make Work Injury Data Public

DES PLAINES, IL (November 8, 2013) – The Center for Safety and Health Sustainability welcomes the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s efforts to broaden transparency in the reporting of worker injuries in proposed rulemaking the agency announced yesterday.

 
11/08/2013 10:07 PM

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. Under the proposal, employers with more than 250 employees would be required to submit records quarterly to OSHA. Employers with between 250 and 20 employees in certain industries with high injury and illness rates would submit annual summaries. Of interest: Audio of the teleconference. Former Alcoa Chairman Paul O'Neill joined Assistant Secretary Michaels and expressed his support for the proposal based on the importance of a system for reporting injuries throughout the Alcoa organization in achieving Alcoa's high level of safety. Assistant Secretary Michael's official remarks on the teleconference. OSHA's press release . A 90-day comment period ends February 6, 2014. OSHA will hold a public meeting on January 9 in Washington, D.C.

 
10/24/2013 10:32 AM

Process Safety Management Improves Worker Safety, Focusing on Avoiding Incidents in Oil Refineries and Chemical Plants

November ASSE Professional Safety journal examines how the implementation of process safety management has minimized incidents at India’s Essar Oil

 
10/16/2013 8:01 PM

ASSE Calls for Quick End to Government Shutdown

ASSE President Kathy Seabrook called for an end to the government shutdown, saying that federal agencies like OSHA, NIOSH, MSHA, CSB and the EPA were "established by Congress in response to calls by the American people for help in protecting them from workplace-related risks. No American worker should lose their life because of the inability of those who lead our government to work together to provide those protections."

 
10/16/2013 4:29 PM

STATEMENT: ASSE Urges Congress, President to Protect U.S. Workers by Coming to a Resolution on Government Shutdown

This Statement is attributable to: Kathy A. Seabrook CSP, CMIOSH, EurOSHM, President, American Society of Safety Engineers

 
09/27/2013 6:56 PM

ASSE Government Affairs Update - 9.27.13

ASSE Government Affairs Update - 9.27.13

 
09/27/2013 6:55 PM

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. ASSE commended NIOSH, saying that, the goals overall reflect an appropriate intention to develop greater understanding of the most important risks our members face in this nation’s workplaces. ASSE’s comments included suggestions to enhance NIOSH’s abilities in reducing falls in the construction industry, in expanding understanding of biotechnology-based fall control measures, reducing occupational injuries and deaths due to motor vehicle incidents, and reducing occupational injuries and deaths from stationary machine entanglements.

 
09/27/2013 6:53 PM

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-silic​a-proposed-rule/ . An ASSE task force of members will be developing a comment on the proposed rule. OSHA has proposed to amend its existing standards for occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA has made a preliminary determination that employ​

 
09/27/2013 6:52 PM

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. Perez on fatal occupational injuries in 2012 WASHINGTON – Preliminary results from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries released today show a reduction in the number of fatal work injuries in 2012 compared with 2011. Last year, 4,383 workers died from work-related injuries, down from a final count of 4,693 fatal work injuries in 2011. Based on preliminary counts, the rate of fatal workplace injuries in 2012 was 3.2 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, down from a rate of 3.5 per 100,000 in 2011. In response, Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez issued the following statement: “Workers in this country have the right to return home safe and healthy at the end of a work day. Despite that right, poor safety conditions cause thousands of people each year to lose their lives at work. “I am greatly encouraged by the reduction in workplace fatalities, even in a growing economy. It is a testament to the hard work of employers, unions, health and safety professionals and the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Mine Safety and Health Administration. Through collaborative education and outreach efforts, and effective law enforcement, these numbers indicate that we are absolutely moving in the right direction. “But to me these aren’t just numbers and data – they are fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, who will never come home again. “We can and must to better. Job gains in oil and gas and construction have come with more fatalities, and that is unacceptable. That’s why OSHA has undertaken a number of outreach and educational initiatives, including a campaign to...

 
09/27/2013 6:50 PM

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. The advisory is in response to President Obama's August 2013 executive order "Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security." The advisory provides lessons learned for facility owners and operators, emergency planners and first responders from recent incidents, including the ammonium nitrate explosion in West, Texas, in order to prevent similar incidents. The EPA press release offers further details.

 
09/27/2013 6:49 PM

NIOSH PtD Program Releases Education Modules

From NIOSH at http://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. Each module outlines the motivations for PtD, encourages inclusion of worker health and safety considerations early in the design process, and identifies hazards associated with the topic. The Architectural Design and Construction Education Module covers site planning and excavation, specific building elements such as skylights, solar panels and green roofs, general safety considerations, and hazards associated with decommissioning a building. The Reinforced Concrete Design module covers concrete design, detailing, fabrication and erection processes. Examples are provided to enable structural engineers and detailers to incorporate PtD into their reinforced concrete designs. Topics in the Structural Steel Design Education Module include the steel design, detailing, fabrication and erection processes. Examples are provided to enable structural engineers and detailers to incorporate PtD into their steel designs. The Mechanical-Electrical Systems Education Module covers electrical hazards and presents NORA goals for working with electricity. A wind farm case study demonstrates effective PtD solutions for fall protection. The research facility case study identifies PtD concepts applied to mechanical-electrical systems safety. This module contains five short videos in the PowerPoint version. In the Adobe version, links are provided to access captioned videos through the internet.

 
09/27/2013 6:48 PM

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. Participants have the opportunity to earn certificates for Construction and General Industry training. Participants can choose from a variety of topics such as occupational safety and health standards for the construction or general industry, safety and health management, accident investigation, fall hazard awareness, and recordkeeping. Courses are available at OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers nationwide.

 
09/27/2013 6:47 PM

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. The proposed rule would differentiate the requirements for operating dry tree and subsea tree production systems on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and divide the current subpart H into multiple sections to make the regulations easier to read and understand. The changes in this proposed rule are necessary to bolster human safety, environmental protection, and regulatory oversight of critical equipment involving production safety systems. Comments are due October 21, 2013. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-22/html/2013-19861.htm BSSE has also made a correction to that proposed rule in a later Federal Register, at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-04/html/C1-2013-19861.htm .

 
09/27/2013 6:46 PM

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. Researchers analyzed 2003-2010 data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) and compared occupational highway transportation deaths among workers aged 55–64 years and those 65 years and older with those among workers aged 18–54 years. Workers aged 65 or more had the highest overall fatality rate (3.1 highway transportation deaths per 100,000 full-time-equivalent [FTE] workers per year), which is more than three times that of workers aged 18–54 years (0.9 per 100,000 FTE workers). The pattern held across demographic and occupational categories. The article can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6233a1.htm?s_cid=mm6233a1_w .

 
09/27/2013 6:46 PM

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.php?utm_campaign=asse&utm_content=bh&utm_medium=Argyle%2BSocial&utm_source=twitter&utm_term=2013-08-23-12-00-00 .

 
09/27/2013 6:45 PM

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. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released today two new factsheets, one for employers and another one for parents and young workers that provide recommendations on how to prevent motor vehicle crashes on the job. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of work-related fatalities among young people (ages 16-24) in the United States. It is important that parents, employers and drivers understand the risks that can lead to crashes among young drivers and learn how they can help prevent motor vehicle crashes among young workers. “Young people are the future of our workforce and bring fresh ideas and energy into the workplace, however their lack of experience may also place them at higher risk of workplace injuries,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “Resources, like these fact sheets, are important in helping everyone understand how we can make the workplace safe, while embracing these new workers.” These new fact sheets, available on the NIOSH website, outline the risk factors that place young drivers at greater risk of motor vehicle crashes, present case reports and provide learning points and recommendations for young drivers, parents, and employers on how to stay safe on the job. Information on federal and state laws, as well as additional resources, is also provided. To download copies of the factsheets, go to http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2013-152/ and http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2013-153/ . The facts heets were developed by the NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety, which coordinates research and prevention activities related to motor vehicle crashes, the leading cause of work-related fatalities among U.S. workers. For more information on the Center for Motor Vehicle Safety, visit http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/motorvehicle/NCMVS.html .

 
09/27/2013 6:43 PM

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.gov/in-safety-message-csb-chairperson-rafael-moure-eraso-calls-for-regulatory-coverage-of-reactive-chemicals-following-the-west-ferti​lizer-explosion-and-fire-/ .

 
09/27/2013 6:41 PM

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. For example, line speeds would increase from the current 140 birds a minute to 175 under the proposal. Critics have argued that increasing line speeds will harm workers, including increased ergonomic injuries. The GAO recommends that USDA “(1) collect and analyze information to determine if the young hog pilot project is meeting its purpose and (2) clearly disclose to the public limitations in the information it relied on for the proposed rule to modernize poultry slaughter inspections.” The USDA has agreed with GAO’s recommendations.

 
09/27/2013 6:40 PM

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 $10.1 million through the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program to 70 nonprofit, community and faith-based organizations; employer associations; labor unions; joint labor and management associations; and colleges and universities. This program provides one-year grants to fund education and training programs for workers and employers to help them: recognize workplace safety and health hazards, implement injury prevention measures and inform them of their rights and responsibilities. “These grants reflect the department’s commitment to ensuring all workers and employers have the tools and skills to identify hazards and prevent injuries,” said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “By further advancing a culture of workplace safety and health, we help to eliminate the false choice between enhancing workplace safety and productivity.” The program supports in-person, hands-on training, educational programs and guidance on creating training materials. Some of the intended beneficiaries of these additional resources for training are: small-business employers; workers and employers in industries with high injury and fatality rates; and vulnerable workers, including those who are young, have limited English proficiency and are difficult to reach. Approximately $1.6 million in targeted training grants have been awarded to 18 organizations not included in the FY 2012 program. OSHA has designated the following topics: fall protection in construction; agricultural safety, including grain handling operations; hair and nail salon hazards; ergonomic hazards; hazard communication for chemical exposure; injury and illness prevention programs; and workplace violence. OSHA also awarded approximately $8.5 million in follow-on grants...

 
09/27/2013 6:38 PM

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 at http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/ashp/media/OSH-standards-aircraft-cabin-crewmembers.pdf . On August 27, FAA published a notice that the policy had been adopted. The notice outlines the comments the FAA received on the policy. That notice can be found at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-27/pdf/2013-20841.pdf . Under the policy, OSHA standards on hazardous chemicals, exposure to bloodborne pathogens, hearing conservation programs, recordkeeping, and access to employee exposure and medical records will apply to cabin crews. FAA retains responsibility for flight crews in operation. The OSHA news release can be found at http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/osha/OSHA20122373.htm .​

 
09/27/2013 6:37 PM

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. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) worked with healthcare stakeholders, including nursing and labor organizations, academic groups, other government agencies, and Vida Health Communications, Inc. to develop the course. The multi-media training incorporates lesson text, videos depicting workplace violence incidents, testimonials from real nurses, and lesson quizzes. Nurses can also receive continuing education credits for completing the online course. On average, over the last decade, U.S. healthcare workers have accounted for two-thirds of the nonfatal workplace violence injuries involving days away from work across all industries. These workers face the risk of both physical violence and non-physical violence, such as verbal abuse, on the job. NIOSH and partners found through their work that there is a lack of workplace violence prevention training being offered to nurses and other healthcare workers. This new on-line course helps to fill this gap by providing a convenient, free way for nurses, as well as other healthcare workers, to gain this training and earn continuing education units. “No worker should be afraid of violence in their workplace, especially those who commit their lives to the care and treatment of patients,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “This course shows how innovative ideas for developing trainings and strong partnerships can help to address this preventable workplace hazard.” Focus groups and stakeholder meetings were used to develop and test the course content and design. The course is separated in to 13 units, each expected to take approximately 15 minutes to complete. It is also designed so that participants can restart the course where they last left it, allowing them the ability to manage their time when...

 
09/27/2013 6:36 PM

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.htm

 
09/27/2013 6:35 PM

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 is also proposing to make non-substantive edits and to clarify regulatory language in certain provisions. PHMSA states the proposed changes are relatively minor and would not require pipeline operators to undertake any significant new pipeline safety initiatives. Comments are due October 15, 2013. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-16/html/2013-19348.htm

 
09/27/2013 6:35 PM

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. The revisions are based on eight petitions received from the regulated community and four National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Recommendations. The ANPRM outlines the petitions and NTSB recommendations, identifies a preliminary estimate of costs and benefits from the petitions, pose several questions, and solicit comments and data from the public. Under Executive Order 13563, Federal agencies were asked to periodically review existing regulations. The questions posed in this ANPRM and responses by commenters will be used in conjunction with a retrospective review of existing requirements aimed to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal existing rules that are outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome. Comments are due November 5, 2013. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-06/html/2013-21621.htm

 
09/27/2013 6:32 PM

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. The LRCs may develop a dangerous leak due to a defective seal. Hazardous liquid and natural gas pipeline operators should verify if they have any TDW LRCs subject to the recall by reviewing their records and equipment for installation of these LRCs. Operators with TDW LRCs should discontinue use immediately and contact TDW for further recall instructions. Operators can obtain recall information through TDW's Web site at http://lrc.tdwilliamson.com/ or by calling TDW at 888-770-7085. This document can be viewed on the PHMSA home page at: http://www.phmsa.dot.gov . http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-28/html/2013-20910.htm

 
09/27/2013 6:31 PM

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.htm

 
09/27/2013 6:30 PM

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. The EPA is announcing reconsideration of and requesting public comment on three issues raised in the petitions for reconsideration. The EPA plans to issue a final decision on these issues as expeditiously as possible. The EPA is seeking comment only on the three issues. The EPA is not proposing any changes to its regulations. Comments are due November 4, 2013, or 30 days after date of public hearing if later. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-05/html/2013-21626.htm

 
09/27/2013 6:29 PM

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 or certain agents or toxins from entering onto a highway-rail grade crossing unless there is sufficient space to drive completely through the grade crossing without stopping. This action is in response to section 112 of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Authorization Act of 1994, as amended by section 32509 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The intent of the changes is to reduce highway-rail grade crossing crashes. The rule is effective October 25, 2013. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-25/html/2013-23375.htm

 
09/27/2013 6:28 PM

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.pdf Modernizing the Nuclear Security Enterprise: Observations on NNSA's Options for Meeting Its Plutonium Research Needs. GAO-13-533, September 11. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-533 Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/657746.pdf Cargo Tank Trucks: Improved Incident Data and Regulatory Analysis Would Better Inform Decisions about Safety Risks. GAO-13-721, September 11. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-721 Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/657756.pdf Food Safety: More Disclosure and Data Needed to Clarify Impact of Changes to Poultry and Hog Inspections. GAO-13-775, August 22. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-775 Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/657145.pdf

 
09/27/2013 6:22 PM

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. ASSE commended NIOSH, saying that, overall, the goals reflect an appropriate intention to develop greater understanding of the most important risks our members face in this nation’s workplaces. ASSE's comments included suggestions to enhance NIOSH's abilities in reducing falls in the construction industry, in expanding understanding of biotechnology-based fall control measures, reducing occupational injuries and deaths due to motor vehicle incidents, and reducing occupational injuries and deaths from stationary machine entanglements.

 
09/26/2013 4:40 PM

Healthcare Worker Injury Rates Among the Highest of any Profession

October ASSE Professional Safety journal shines light on overlooked workplace injuries among healthcare workers which costs the industry $13 billion

 
09/17/2013 4:41 PM

American Society of Safety Engineers Releases Newest Version of the Z359 Fall Protection Code

With recently released Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing that falls from heights continue to be one of the leading causes of workplace injuries and fatalities, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has recently announced the release of the newest version of ANSI/ASSE Z359 Fall Protection Code Version 3.0.

 
09/12/2013 4:42 PM

Study Suggests Ethics Education Critical for Current and Future Safety Professionals

September ASSE Professional Safety journal article highlights the importance of incorporating ethical reasoning into safety curriculum

 
08/29/2013 4:43 PM

Clear Communication with Safety Professionals During Contract Stage Can Reduce Safety Concerns on Construction Sites

September ASSE Professional Safety journal article highlights the need to include safety management in the earliest phases of construction contracts

 
08/27/2013 10:03 PM

ASSE Responds to OSHA Announcement of Silica Proposed Rule

UPDATE: On September 12, OSHA published the proposed rule in the Federal Register. OSHA has announced publication of the long-awaited proposed rule to set a standard aimed at addressing workplace risks posed by silica. As indicated in an ASSE-prepared summary of the proposed rule, OSHA proposes to lower its Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, which is 50 percent of the current PEL and consistent with NIOSH's Relative Exposure Limit (REL). ASSE iss​

 
08/27/2013 9:10 PM

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: “The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) congratulates Thomas Perez on the confirmation of his appointment as the next Secretary of the Department of Labor. ASSE fully expects Mr. Perez’ leadership will support continuing positive relationships with the Department and agencies under his direction with which ASSE members are most often engaged – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Mine Safety and Health Administration. “ASSE is encouraged that the Administration has chosen someone with experience in leading a state occupational safety and health plan. The perspective Mr. Perez gained in that role, we trust, will help him in ensuring that OSHA and MSHA have the resources they need to help protect workers and that the measures these agencies take are fairly balanced between enforcement and cooperative efforts. ASSE is also confident that, from his experience, Mr. Perez recognizes the importance of seeking out the perspective of safety, health and environmental professionals on the front lines of protecting workers in any effort the Department undertakes to advance workplace safety and health. We look forward to working with Mr. Perez."

 
08/27/2013 9:07 PM

ASSE Supports Executive Order on Chem Facility Safety

On August 1, President Obama issued an Executive Order 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.gov/the-press-office/2013/08/01/executive-order-improving-chemical-facility-safety-​and-security . Earlier this summer, ASSE had urged Congress to require the Administration similarly ​

 
08/27/2013 8:30 PM

ASSE Comments on CSB Call to Update OSHA Chem Standards, Most Wanted Standard Vote

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. The Board also voted on “Most Wanted Chemical Standard,” which it determined was combustible dust. Information on the CSB meeting can be found at http://www.csb.gov/events/csb-public-meeting-to-vote-on-key-safety-recommendations-and-initiate-most-wanted-program/ . ASSE provided the following comment for the meeting: Thursday, July 25, 2013 ASSE STATEMENT ON U.S. CHEMICAL SAFETY BOARD MEETING Safety and health professionals appreciate CSB effort to bring attention to need for advance protections from the risks posed by chemicals in workplaces This statement is attributable to: Kathy A. Seabrook, CSP, CMIOSH, EurOSHM, ASSE President “The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) appreciates the leadership demonstrated by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) in holding a public meeting July 25, 2013, to bring attention to the need for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to advance standards that can help ensure all employers take responsibility for managing the risks of explosions in the workplace. This meeting not only is an opportunity for the occupational safety and health community to come together and discuss needed changes in standards. It also should help remind us of our shared responsibility to provide employers, workers, safety and health professionals, and emergency responders with the necessary tools for helping manage the risk of workplace explosions, whether or not OSHA is able to advance these standards. “Realistically, any call to advance OSHA standards must take into account that the key obstacle to improving those standards is not necessarily OSHA. Our nation’s process for adopting or even improving workplace safety and health standards is broken and in...

 
08/23/2013 4:46 PM

U.S., Russia Workplace Safety Organizations Join Efforts to Advance Global Occupational Health and Safety

One month after signing an agreement to work with Chinese workplace safety professionals, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) today announced it will work with Russia’s National Association of Centers for Occupational Safety and Health (NACOT) to, among other initiatives, improve “vocational training and professional development of managers and consultants in the field of occupational safety,” according to a memorandum of understanding signed during ASSE’s recent national convention ​

 
08/23/2013 4:45 PM

ASSE Responds to OSHA’s Proposed Rule to Protect Workers Exposed to Crystalline Silica

This Statement is attributable to: Kathy A. Seabrook CSP, CMIOSH, EurOSHM, President, American Society of Safety Engineers

 
08/12/2013 8:43 PM

ASSE Government Affairs Update - 8.12.13

ASSE Government Affairs Update - 8.12.13

 
08/12/2013 8:40 PM

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.php/press_releases/statement-by-asse-president-kathy-seabrook-csp-cmiosh-e​uroshm-on-confirmation-of-thomas-perez-as-secretary-of-labor/ : "The American Society of Safety Engi​

 
08/12/2013 8:39 PM

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.gov/the-press-office/2013/08/01/executive-order-improving-chemical-facility-safety-and-security . Earlier this summer, ASSE had urged Congress to require the Administration si​

 
08/12/2013 8:36 PM

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. The Board also voted on “Most Wanted Chemical Standard,” which it determined was combustible dust. Information on the CSB meeting can be found at http://www.csb.gov/events/csb-public-meeting-to-vote-on-key-safety-recommendations-and-initiate-most-wanted-program/ . ASSE provided the following comment for the meeting: Thursday, July 25, 2013 ASSE STATEMENT ON U.S. CHEMICAL SAFETY BOARD MEETING Safety and health professionals appreciate CSB effort to bring attention to need for advance protections from the risks posed by chemicals in workplaces This statement is attributable to: Kathy A. Seabrook, CSP, CMIOSH, EurOSHM ASSE President “The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) appreciates the leadership demonstrated by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) in holding a public meeting July 25, 2013, to bring attention to the need for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to advance standards that can help ensure all employers take responsibility for managing the risks of explosions in the workplace. This meeting not only is an opportunity for the occupational safety and health community to come together and discuss needed changes in standards. It also should help remind us of our shared responsibility to provide employers, workers, safety and health professionals, and emergency responders with the necessary tools for helping manage the risk of workplace explosions, whether or not OSHA is able to advance these standards. “Realistically, any call to advance OSHA standards must take into account that the key obstacle to improving those standards is not necessarily OSHA. Our nation’s process for adopting or even improving workplace safety and health standards is broken and in dire...

 
08/12/2013 8:32 PM

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 . Below are the actions OSHA is expected to move forward this year and the next step for each action Prerule Stage Bloodborne Pathogens - End Review and Issue Findings: 10/00/1 Definition and Requirements for a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory - Request for Information: 12/00/13 Proposed Rule Stage O ccupational Exposure to Crystalline Silica – NPRM: 07/00/13 Occupational Exposure to Beryllium – NPRM: 10/00/13 Final Rule Stage Confined Spaces in Construction - Final Rule: 12/00/13 Electric Power Transmission and Distribution; Electrical Protective Equipment - Final Rule: 07/00/13 Long-Term Actions Occupational Exposure to Food Flavorings Containing Diacetyl and Diacetyl Substitutes – Next Action Undetermined

 
08/12/2013 8:28 PM

OSHA Requires Federal Agencies to Report Injury and Illness Data to BLS

From OSHA – Aug. 2, 2013 OSHA announces changes to recordkeeping rule for federal agencies to improve tracking of federal workplace injuries, illnesses WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued a final rule that will require all federal agencies to submit their OSHA-required injury and illness data to the Bureau of Labor Statistics every year. This data will allow OSHA to analyze the injuries and illnesses that occur among the more than two million federal agency workers and develop training and inspection programs to respond to the hazards identified. "This change provides OSHA an opportunity to collect injury and illness data from all federal agency establishments," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "The data will help us streamline and improve programs to reduce occupational hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses and deaths within the federal workforce." Other changes to the recordkeeping rule include amending the date when agencies must submit their annual reports to the secretary of labor and the date when the secretary must submit a report to the president. The rule will also restate that volunteers are considered employees of federal agencies and explain how volunteers' injuries should be recorded in agency injury and illness logs. The rule will clarify the definition of federal establishment and explain when contract employees should be included on an agency's log. Collection of establishment level information will enable OSHA to develop programs to assist agencies in meeting their injury and illness targets under the Protecting Our Workers and Ensuring Reemployment initiative. The POWER Initiative, which covers fiscal years 2011 through 2014, was established by President Obama to extend prior federal government workplace safety and health efforts by setting aggressive performance targets, encouraging the collection and analysis of data on the causes and...

 
08/12/2013 8:27 PM

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. OSHA is withdrawing this rule based on stakeholder concerns that proposed changes, though relatively minor, would discourage employers from participating in the program. “The On-site Consultation Program, including recognition through the Safety and Health Recognition Program, is a valuable way to assist small-business employers who are working to improve their workplaces,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “We remain committed to encouraging participation in this program.” The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for 29 CFR 1908, Consultation Agreement, published Sept. 3, 2010, provided clarification of the length of the exemption period provided to “recognized” sites that have been removed from OSHA’s programmed inspection schedule and the initiation of certain unprogrammed inspections at both sites that have achieved recognition and sites undergoing a consultation visit. See the Federal Register notice on the withdrawal of proposed rule. OSHA administers and provides federal funding for the On-site Consultation Program, which offers free and confidential safety and health advice to small- and medium-sized businesses across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. Employers who successfully complete a comprehensive on-site consultation visit, correct all hazards identified during the visit and implement an ongoing safety and health program to identify and correct workplace hazards may achieve status in OSHA’s Safety and Health Recognition Program (SHARP). Exemplary employers who receive SHARP status receive an exemption from OSHA’s programmed inspection schedule during a specified period.

 
08/12/2013 8:26 PM

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 hazardous materials rolled down a descending grade and subsequently derailed resulting in 42 fatalities with 5 persons still reported missing. Following the incident, FRA issued Emergency Order No. 28 regarding the securement of trains, and FRA and PHMSA are also issuing this safety advisory. This safety advisory discusses the circumstances surrounding the accident and makes certain safety-related recommendations to railroads operating in the US. This safety advisory also provides notice of FRA's intent to schedule an emergency meeting of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee to discuss this accident and potential regulatory actions to prevent similar future accidents from occurring. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-07/html/2013-19211.htm

 
08/12/2013 8:25 PM

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. The Agency continues to reiterate that in the event of an underground coal mine emergency, a miner should seek escape as the first line of defense. Responses will assist MSHA in determining if changes to existing practices and regulations would improve the overall strategy for survivability, escape, and training to protect miners in an emergency. MSHA will review the comments to determine what actions, if any, the Agency will take in response to comments. Comments are due October 7, 2013. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-08/html/2013-19029.htm

 
08/12/2013 8:24 PM

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.gov/public/reports/oa/2013/18-13-004-10-105.pdf .

 
08/12/2013 8:23 PM

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. ACCSH, established under the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, advises the secretary of labor and assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health on construction standards and policy matters. The full committee agenda includes remarks from Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, updates on rulemaking projects from OSHA's Directorate of Construction and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. In addition, the committee will consider and make recommendations on items from the proposed Standards Improvement Project IV and discuss OSHA's temporary worker initiatives and outreach training program. Aug 22 to Aug 23, 2013 10:00 to 1:00 U.S. Department of Labor 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Room C-5515, 1A-B Washington, DC 20210 Event Web site

 
08/12/2013 8:21 PM

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. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health today issued a hazard alert to urge employers that use 1-bromopropane (1-BP) to take appropriate steps to protect workers from exposure. “The use of 1-bromopropane has increased in workplaces over the last 20 years,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “Workers exposed to this toxic chemical can suffer serious health effects, even long after exposure has ended. Hazardous exposure to 1-BP must be prevented. Employers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their workers.” Exposure to 1-BP has been associated with damage to the nervous system among workers, and it has been shown to cause reproductive harm in animal studies. The chemical is used in degreasing operations, furniture manufacturing, and dry cleaning. The hazard alert was issued in response to information on the increased use of 1-BP as a substitute for other solvents as well as recent reports of overexposure in furniture manufacturing. 1-BP was nominated as a chemical of concern in OSHA’s Web Forum to Identify Hazardous Chemicals. Workers can be exposed to 1-BP by breathing in vapors or spray mists and by absorption through the skin. The most effective way to protect workers from exposure is to eliminate the use of 1-BP, substituting the chemical with a less toxic substance or less hazardous material. Replacement chemicals also may have associated hazards that need to be considered and controlled. Engineering controls to reduce worker exposure to 1-BP include isolation of workplace operations and the installation of proper ventilation systems. Other controls, such as a reduction in the time a worker is exposed to the chemical, should also be...

 
08/12/2013 8:20 PM

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. The MOU allows OSHA and HECS to collaborate on implementing the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling in their respective jurisdictions, as well as any future developments of the GHS. “Today we live and work in a global environment with varying and sometimes conflicting national and international requirements,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “Through GHS and now this MOU, OSHA and Health Canada have forged a relationship to jointly provide concise information to protect those exposed to hazardous chemicals.” During a ceremony today at U.S. Department of Labor headquarters in Washington, D.C., Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health signed a partnership agreement with Suzy McDonald, director general, Workplace Hazardous Materials Directorate, HECS. Under the agreement, OSHA and HECS will establish a working group to reduce systematic barriers between the systems responsible for occupational safety and health of workplace chemicals and collaborate to reach common positions for the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the GHS about proposed updates to the system, among other goals. OSHA is participating in the US-Canada High Level Regulatory Coordination Council to improve regulatory cooperation and adopt compatible approaches to promote economic growth, job creation and benefits to consumers and businesses through increased regulatory transparency and coordination. OSHA aligned its Hazard Communication Standard with the GHS in March 2012 to provide a common, understandable approach to classifying...

 
08/12/2013 8:19 PM

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. The guidance reminds them of current regulatory requirements addressing this type of operation. PHMSA is issuing this guidance in coordination with OSHA and EPA, and in consultation with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-07-12/html/2013-16672.htm

 
08/12/2013 8:18 PM

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. PHMSA is also reformatting the procedural regulations pertaining to certification agencies. These actions clarify regulations with respect to PHMSA's fireworks approval process and provide regulatory flexibility in seeking authorization for the transportation of Division 1.4G consumer fireworks. The effective date is August 15, 2013. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-07-16/html/2013-16986.htm

 
08/12/2013 8:18 PM

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. It featured presentations by three government personnel: Doug Kalinowski of OSHA, and Tom Cunningham and Matt Gillen of NIOSH, along with a panel of private sector representatives. Kalinowski, who heads OSHA’s directorate of cooperative and state programs, provided an update in those areas. Kalinowski noted that things either happen fast at the federal level or take forever. He said that d