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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 3.28.14

Posted on Fri, Mar 28, 2014

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ASSE Urges OSHA to Withdraw Electronic Reporting Proposed Rule

Posted on Fri, Mar 28, 2014

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 [...]

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

Posted on Fri, Mar 28, 2014

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 [...]

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ASSE Testifies at OSHA Silica Hearing

Posted on Fri, Mar 28, 2014

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 [...]

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OSHA Announces June 2-6 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction

Posted on Fri, Mar 28, 2014

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/ [...]

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CSB Shares FY 2015 Budget Justification

Posted on Fri, Mar 28, 2014

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 [...]

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OSHA Releases Temp Worker Compliance Bulletin

Posted on Fri, Mar 28, 2014

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 [...]

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OSHA Issues 2014 Site-Specific Targeting Plan

Posted on Fri, Mar 28, 2014

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 [...]

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OSHA 2014 Site Specific Targeting (SST) Plan and Strategic Partnerships

Posted on Fri, Mar 28, 2014

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), [...]

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OSHA Seeks Nominations for Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee

Posted on Fri, Mar 28, 2014

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 [...]

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Latest Compliance Assistance Resources from OSHA

Posted on Fri, Mar 28, 2014

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 [...]

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NIOSH Total Worker Health Program Calls for Abstracts for October Symposium

Posted on Fri, Mar 28, 2014

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 [...]

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PHMSA Adoption of Certain Special Permits and Competent Authorities into HazMat Regs

Posted on Fri, Mar 28, 2014

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 [...]

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OSHA Alliance-Sponsored Webinar on OSHA Emergency Response Standards

Posted on Fri, Mar 28, 2014

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 [...]

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MSHA Issues Guidance on Post-Accident Wireless Communication

Posted on Fri, Mar 28, 2014

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 [...]

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GAO Stuff on Whistleblower Program, Climate Change and Fed Rulemaking

Posted on Fri, Mar 28, 2014

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.  [...]

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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 2.26.14

Posted on Wed, Feb 26, 2014

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

Posted on Wed, Feb 26, 2014

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. [...]

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Fix Rulemaking Process and Begin with PELs, ASSE Tells House Subcommittee

Posted on Wed, Feb 26, 2014

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.  [...]

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Maryland Bills to Require Contractor Safety Prequalification Backed by ASSE

Posted on Wed, Feb 26, 2014

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 [...]

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OSHA Proposes Extending for 3 Years Cranes and Derricks Operator Certification

Posted on Wed, Feb 26, 2014

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 [...]

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OSHA Announces New MACOSH Membership

Posted on Wed, Feb 26, 2014

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 [...]

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Tales from DC: February 12 NACOSH Meeting

Posted on Wed, Feb 26, 2014

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 [...]

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FMCSA Proposes Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

Posted on Wed, Feb 26, 2014

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 [...]

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NIOSH Revises Buddy Breather Policy

Posted on Wed, Feb 26, 2014

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, [...]

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California Announces March 13 Meeting on Proposed Changes to Repeat Violations

Posted on Wed, Feb 26, 2014

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.  [...]

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OSHA Sets Whistleblower Complaint Rules under Food Safety Act

Posted on Wed, Feb 26, 2014

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 [...]

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HIOSHA Takes Back Manufacturing in Revised Agreement with OSHA

Posted on Wed, Feb 26, 2014

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) [...]

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California’s Final Refinery Safety Report Backs Inherently Safer Technologies

Posted on Wed, Feb 26, 2014

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 [...]

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CSB Responds to California Refinary Safety Report

Posted on Wed, Feb 26, 2014

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 [...]

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PHMSA Public Workshop on Pipeline Safety Management Systems

Posted on Wed, Feb 26, 2014

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 [...]

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CSB Applauds Code Revisions to Address Gas Blows

Posted on Wed, Feb 26, 2014

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 [...]

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DOL’s Inspector General Releases 2014 Audit Workplan

Posted on Wed, Feb 26, 2014

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 [...]

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EPA Proposes Changes to Environmental Radiation Standards for Nuke Power Operations

Posted on Wed, Feb 26, 2014

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 [...]

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GAO Stuff on Nanomanufacturing, FMCSA and Drinking Water

Posted on Wed, Feb 26, 2014

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, [...]

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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 1.31.14

Posted on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

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ASSE Comments on OSHA’s Silica Proposed Rule

Posted on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

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 [...]

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ASSE Nominates Ron Sokol to ACCSH

Posted on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

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 [...]

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Less Dollars for OSHA in Deal on 2014 Fed Spending

Posted on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

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, [...]

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OSHA Publishes Its 2014 Reg Intentions

Posted on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

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 [...]

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OSHA Seeks Input on Chem Safety Standards for Possible Rulemaking

Posted on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

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 [...]

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MSHA Releases 2013 Preliminary Fatality and Injury Data

Posted on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

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 [...]

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Tales from DC: Latest SBA OSHA/MSHA Roundtable Meeting

Posted on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

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 [...]

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SDOs Sue to Protect Voluntary Consensus Standards Copyright

Posted on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

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 [...]

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CSB Releases Draft Report on 2010 Tesoro Refinery Fatal Explosion

Posted on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

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 [...]

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OSHA Extends Comment Period on Electronic Reporting Proposed Rule

Posted on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

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 [...]

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

Posted on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

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 [...]

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NACOSH Meeting February 12

Posted on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

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

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OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee to Meet March 11

Posted on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

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

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EPA Publishes Final Rule to Implement Haz Waste Electronic Manifest System

Posted on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

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 [...]

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FMSCA Final Rule on Patterns of Safety Violations by Motor Carrier Management

Posted on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

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 [...]

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NYCOSH Says More Needed to Protect Emergency Responders in Disaster

Posted on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

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 [...]

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PHMSA Rulemaking to Adopt ASME and National Board Inspection Codes

Posted on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

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 [...]

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PHMSA Advisory Bulletin on Preparing Oil Spill Facility Response Plans

Posted on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

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.  [...]

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FCC Proposes Rule on Expanding Mobile Wireless on Aircraft

Posted on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

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 [...]

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GAO Stuff on Cruise Vessels and Clean Water

Posted on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

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

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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 12.20.13

Posted on Fri, Dec 20, 2013

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NIOSH Searching for PtD Coordinator

Posted on Fri, Dec 20, 2013

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 [...]

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OSHA Seeks Input on PSM Standard

Posted on Fri, Dec 20, 2013

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 changes to PSM [...]

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Whistleblower Complaint Filing Now Online

Posted on Fri, Dec 20, 2013

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 [...]

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OSHA Publishes Fall 2013 Reg Agenda

Posted on Fri, Dec 20, 2013

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 [...]

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Republican Senators Call for New Silica SBRFA Panels

Posted on Fri, Dec 20, 2013

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, 2013Liz Wolgemuth 202-228-4729 WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 – The senior Republican on [...]

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OSHA Publishes Direct Final Rule to Revise Mechanical Power Presses Standard

Posted on Fri, Dec 20, 2013

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 [...]

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Harkin Unveils Investigation on Fed Contractor Labor and Safety Law Violations

Posted on Fri, Dec 20, 2013

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 [...]

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CSB Calls for Safety Case Approach in California Refineries

Posted on Fri, Dec 20, 2013

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-the-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, California, December 16, 2013 – In a draft report released to the public today, [...]

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Incorporation by Reference Rulemaking Comment Period Extended

Posted on Fri, Dec 20, 2013

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, [...]

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FMCSA Provides Reg Guidance on Partial Short Haul Driver Rest Breaks

Posted on Fri, Dec 20, 2013

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 [...]

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CSB Develops Resource for High School Chem Lab Safety

Posted on Fri, Dec 20, 2013

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 [...]

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PHMSA HazMat Final Rule to Enhance Enforcement Procedures

Posted on Fri, Dec 20, 2013

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 [...]

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PHMSA 2014 Minimum Rand Drug Testing Percentage

Posted on Fri, Dec 20, 2013

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 [...]

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Electronic Reporting Under the Toxic Substances Control Act

Posted on Fri, Dec 20, 2013

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 [...]

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GAO Stuff on Rail Safety, DHS, and Oil and Gas Resources

Posted on Fri, Dec 20, 2013

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 [...]

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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 11.19.13

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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Electronic Reporting of Injury and Illness Data Proposed by OSHA

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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 [...]

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Public Meeting on Recordkeeping Proposed Rule

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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 [...]

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ACCSH Request for Nominations and December Meeting Announcement

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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 [...]

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OSHA Resources to Encourage Safer Chemicals and Better PELs

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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 [...]

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OMB Says Shutdown Halted Hundreds of OSHA Inspections and Consultations

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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 [...]

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OSHA Urges Retailers to Take Black Friday Workplace Safety Precautions

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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 [...]

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FACOSH Announces Meeting

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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  

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Tales from DC: Latest SBA Labor Safety Roundtable

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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 [...]

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Tales from DC: 50th Meeting of Railroad Safety Advisory Committee

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

From Law Offices of Adele Abrams, Esq., ASSE’s Federal Representative – On October 31, 2013, I represented ASSE at the 50th meeting of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee in Washington, DC.  This is a very large federal advisory committee – probably over 50 members were in attendance and they include representatives from most of the [...]

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OSHA Publishes New Tech Manual Section on Noise

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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 [...]

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MSHA Seeks Comments on Revised Instructions for Coal Mine Rescue Teams

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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 [...]

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A Veritable Ton of OSHA Compliance Assistance Resources Made Available

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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 [...]

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Obama Orders Fed Agencies to Prepare for Climate Change

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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.

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NTSB Questions FMCSA Effectiveness

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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. [...]

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OSHA Adopts Final Rule Updating Signage Standards Based on National Consensus Standards

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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 [...]

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Public Citizen Says Safety Training Reduces Construction Injuries and Fatalities

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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 [...]

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NIOSH Study Reinforces Connection Between Fire Fighting and Cancer

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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.

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Quebec Researchers Offer Workplace Carcinogen Guide

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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 [...]

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EU-OSHA Study Anticipates Green OSH Risks

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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 [...]

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PHMSA Proposed Rule on Failure To Pay Civil Penalties

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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

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PHMSA Safety Advisories on Unauthorized Filling of Compressed Gas Cylinders

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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 [...]

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BSEE Extends Comment Period for Production Safety Systems Proposed Rule

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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

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BSEE Updates Fees

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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  

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NIEHS Develops Nanomaterial Research Program

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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 [...]

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California Adopts Regulations to Require Safer Chemicals

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

On October 1, California adopted new regulations designed to create safer substitutes for hazardous ingredients in products sold in the state.  An article written by The Center for Effective Government outlines the new California regulations.  

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EPA Proposes New Emission Standards for Flexible Polyurethane Foam Production

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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. [...]

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GAO Stuff on Security and Nuclear Power

Posted on Tue, Nov 19, 2013

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 [...]

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