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ASSE on the June Fall Protection Stand-Down

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

If you are an ASSE member, you should have gotten this email – http://www.asse.org/broadcasts/Safety-Stand-Down-5-24-14.html – from now former ASSE President Kathy Seabrook urging every member’s participation in the June 2-6 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction led by ASSE’s partners OSHA and NIOSH.  The email to every ASSE member followed various other messaging [...]

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Republican House Leaders Call for Ouster of CSB Chair

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

Following a June 19 hearing where testimony from US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) Chairman Moure-Eraso was heard, key Republican House leaders sent a letter to the White House called for a change in leadership at the CSB.  From the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee at http://oversight.house.gov/release/members-call-white-house-leadership-change-chemical-safety-board/ where a letter to the [...]

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Latest DoL Semiannual Reg Agenda

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

The Department of Labor (DoL) has released its latest Semiannual Reg Agenda.  The following summary was prepared by Adele Abrams, Esq.: The Obama Administration’s Spring 2014 Regulatory Agenda was released May 23, 2014.  This continues a trend of releasing the agenda on the eve of a holiday. The Regulatory Agenda is no longer published in [...]

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OSHA Launches Online Video Game for Identifying Workplace Hazards

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

OSHA has made available online, game-based Hazard Identification Training Tool for small business owners, workers and others interested in learning core concepts of hazard identification.  The tool is intended to teach small business owners and their workers the process for finding hazards in their workplace and to raise awareness on the types of info about workplace [...]

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NIOSH Announces PtD Tool to Incorporate Fall Prevention into Building Design, Renovation and Construction

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

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

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OSHA Delays Electric Rule Compliance Date by Nearly Four Months

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

OSHA has published an interim enforcement policy for its new final rule on Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution; Electrical Protective Equipment, which became effective July 10, 2014.  The policy delays enforcement of most new requirements for employers who are complying with the existing General Industry rule.  A memorandum issued to OSHA’s regional offices explains the interim [...]

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OSHA Stakeholder Meeting on Possible Standard to Protect Emergency Responders

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

Jim Ramsay, Chair of ASSE’s Educational Standards Committee under the Council on Professional Affairs and Program Director of Embry-Riddle University’s Homeland Security Program, will be representing ASSE at the meeting. From OSHA at https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=26154 June 4 WASHINGTON –The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has scheduled an informal stakeholder meeting to gather information as it considers developing a [...]

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FMCSA Reg Guidance on Records of Duty Status Generated by Logging Software

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has revised its regulatory guidance concerning records of duty status (RODS) generated by logging software programs on laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones. These programs are used by certain drivers to help them prepare RODS, but the devices with such software do not meet FMCSA’s requirements for automatic on-board [...]

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Federal Agencies Release Status Report on Improving Chem Facility Safety and Security

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

The Department of Labor, led by OSHA, together with the agencies of the Department of Homeland Security and the Environmental Protection Agency have released a status report (https://www.osha.gov/chemicalexecutiveorder/) on the efforts of their joint Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group to meet the mandates of Executive Order 13650 to improve chemical facility safety and [...]

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MSHA Final Rule on Lowering Miner Exposure to Coal Mine Dust Including Continuous Personal Dust Monitors

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

MSHA has announced that OMB has approved the information requirements contained in the final rule on Lowering Miners’ Exposure to Coal Mine Dust, Including Continuous Personal Dust Monitors published May 2014 in the Federal Register.  The effective date of the final rule and the related information collections is August 1, 2014. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-07/html/2014-15569.htm

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FMCSA Offers Regulatory Guidance on Commercial Drive Records of Duty Status Generated by Logging Software Programs

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has revised its regulatory guidance concerning records of duty status (RODS) generated by logging software programs on laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones. These programs are used by certain drivers to help them prepare RODS, but the devices with such software do not meet FMCSA’s requirements for automatic on-board [...]

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Comments Sought on Updated National HazMat Route Registry

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

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

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

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

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

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

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

EPA has published a Direct Final Rule to promulgate significant new use rules (SNURs) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for 13 chemical substances that were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMNs). Three of these chemical substances are subject to TSCA section 5(e) consent orders issued by EPA. Two substances, P-10-5 and P-11-339 have [...]

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EPA Provides Tool to Help Communities Protect Against Flooding

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

EPA has created a Flood Resilience Checklist to help communities prepare for, deal with, and recover from floods. The tool offers communities strategies including conserving land in flood-prone areas, directing development to safer areas; and using green infrastructure approaches, such as installing rain gardens, to manage stormwater.  The tool can be found at http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/index.htm

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NIOSH Documents 15 Years of Agriculture Injury Data and Research in New Publication

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

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

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New “Buy Quiet” Resources from NIOSH

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

From NIOSH – NIOSH Rolls-out New Web Resources to Support Buy Quiet Programs Figuring out how to turn down the noise in the workplace just got easier with the release of new Buy Quiet web resources from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The new, easy to use materials highlight the benefits [...]

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NIOSH Makes Funds Available to Improve State Workers’ Comp Surveillance and Intervention

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

ASSE members who may have relationships with their state’s workers’ compensation program may want to share the availability of this funding opportunity from NIOSH – The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Announces Workers’ Compensation Surveillance Funding Opportunity The purpose of this cooperative agreement is to compile, analyze, and disseminate workers’ compensation (WC) data [...]

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Latest Compliance Assistance Resources from OSHA

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

From OSHA’s Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs – Please see below for our monthly update on new OSHA compliance assistance resources, including Web resources and publications. See the New Compliance Assistance Products page for a continually updated listing of new resources. Construction National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction – Web Page Fall [...]

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CSB Approves Draft Report on Deepwater Horizon

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

From CSB at http://www.csb.gov/csb-board-approves-final-report-finding-deepwater-horizon-blowout-preventer-failed-due-to-unrecognized-pipe-buckling-phenomenon-during-emergency-well-control-efforts-on-april-20-2 where the full press release can be found – Houston, Texas, June 5, 2014— The blowout preventer (BOP) that was intended to shut off the flow of high-pressure oil and gas from the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico during the disaster on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig on April [...]

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California Report Urges More Rail Inspectors, Better Spill Response for Oil Shipped by Rail

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

A report by a group brought together by the California Governor’s Office has found that the state is not prepared to protect adequately the public and the environment from the risks of increased oil shipments by train.  The report along with an interactive Rail Risk and Response Map can be found at http://www.caloes.ca.gov/HazardousMaterials/Pages/Oil-By-Rail.aspx.  The twelve [...]

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Mizzou Research Finds Possible Link between Drilling, Health

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

A scientist from the University of Missouri recently published research suggesting a possible link between gas drilling spills and elevated levels of hormone disrupting chemicals in the gas patch areas of Garfield County in Colorado.  The study can be found at http://medicine.missouri.edu/news/0214.php

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NIOSH Video Highlights Research on Cops Riding Safer and Noseless Bike Seats

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

NIOSH has produced a video for YouTube to highlight its research on potential health effects from prolonged bicycling in police bicycle patrol units.  The video can be found at http://is.gd/bikeseat 

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UN GHS e-Learning Course Available

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

From OSHA’s Kathy Landkrohn, Health Scientist – Dear Stakeholders, We have just returned from the July session of the UN Sub-committee of Experts on the GHS.  While there, our colleagues from the UN Institute of Training and Research announced that they will run their GHS e-learning course from September 15 to November 23, 2014.  I [...]

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GAO Stuff on Alcohol Ignition Locks, CDC Lab Safety, Aviation Safety and Climate Change

Posted on Thu, Jul 17, 2014

Traffic Safety: Alcohol Ignition Interlocks Are Effective While Installed; Less Is Known about How to Increase Installation Rates. GAO-14-559, June 20.  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-559  Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/664282.pdf High-Containment Laboratories: Recent Incidents of Biosafety Lapses, GAO-14-785T, July 16 http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-785T Aviation Safety: Additional Oversight Planning by FAA Could Enhance Safety Risk Management, GAO-14-516, June 25  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-516 Climate Change Adaptation: DOD [...]

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ASSE Government Affairs Update – 5.23.14

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

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

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

From Jim Thornton, CSP, CIH, Chair of ASSE’s Government Affairs Committee: In the next couple of days, every ASSE member should be receiving an email from ASSE President Kathy Seabrook urging participation in the June 2-6 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction.  Even for those of us who do not work in construction, [...]

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ASSE Backs Illinois Safety Consultant Immunity in Proposed WC Change

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

Breaking News:  On Tuesday, May 20, The Illinois House voted to pass SB 3287, following the Senate’s lead.  The bill still needs to be signed by Governor Pat Quinn to become law.  The bill should reach the Governor’s desk by mid-June, after which he has 90 days to sign it. On behalf of its member independent safety consultants [...]

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ASSE and Friends of NIOSH Fight for NIOSH ERC and AgFF Research Programs

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

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 [...]

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ASSE, AIHA and NSC Join Together to Back OSHA and NIOSH FY 2015 Funding

Posted on Fri, May 23, 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 Sector Research Program.

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ASSE Gov’t Affairs Committee 2014 Capitol Hill Visits

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

From http://www.asse.org/en/index.php/govt_affairs/asse-govt-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. Agency meetings were held at OSHA, [...]

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Latest Developments on OSHA-Arizona Residential Fall Protection Faceoff

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

Thanks to ASSE’s Arizona Chapter and member Jeremy Bethancourt for contributing to this update – The ongoing drama between federal OSHA and the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH) over enforcement of OSHA’s 6-foot residential fall protection standard continues.   The latest development comes following a March 19 letter from Assistant Secretary David Michaels to ADOSH [...]

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OSHA Final Rule on Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

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

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

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

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

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OSHA Announces 2014 Heat Campaign

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

From Doug Kalinowski, Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs – OSHA is launching the 2014 Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Workers.  Thank you for all of your assistance in previous years, you have done a great job in helping us reach over 10.7 million workers and employers in over 4,000 meetings and trainings.  To [...]

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FTA Seeks Comments on Proposed Interim Safety Certification Training Program

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

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

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

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

The NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety has released its new 5-year strategic plan.  You can find the plan at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2014-122 and http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/updates/upd-05-01-14.html).  As NIOSH states, the plan will help, “advance understanding of the risk factors that place workers at risk of work-related motor vehicle crashes, evaluate a range of interventions to reduce these risks, [...]

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MSHA Issues Final Rule on Respirable Coal Dust

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

From MSHA – ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration today announced the release of a final rule to lower miners’ exposure to respirable coal mine dust in all underground and surface coal mines. The final rule continues the department’s efforts through its End Black Lung — Act Now! [...]

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OSHA Announces FY14 Susan Harwood Training Grant Program

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

OSHA has announced the availability of approximately $3.5 million for Susan Harwood Training Program Targeted Topic Training grants in two categories:  Targeted Topic Training and Targeted Topic Training and Educational Materials Development.  Also announced was the availability of approximately $3.5 million for Susan Harwood Training Program Capacity Building grants in two categories:  Capacity Building Developmental [...]

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NACOSH Nominations Sought

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

OSHA has published a request for nominations to its National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH).  OSHA states that terms of 8 current members end on May 21, 2014, and the terms of the other 4 members end January 22, 2015.  So, OSHA is accepting nominations for all 12 positions, including 4 public [...]

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GAO Weighs in on Responses to West

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

At the request of Congress, the General Accountability Office (GAO) studied possible responses to the April 2013 West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion.  The report, “Chemical Safety: Actions Needed to Improve Federal Oversight of Facilities with Ammonium Nitrate,” (GAO-14-274, May 19) GAO is recommending that federal agencies improve data sharing, that OSHA and EPA consider revising [...]

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NIOSH on Semi-Autonomous Vehicles

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

NIOSH’s Center for Motor Vehicle Safety has posted a blog on the emergence of semi-autonomous vehicles and their implications for employer policies for fleet management.  You can find NIOSH’s contribution to fleet safety at http://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2014/04/22/semi-autonomous-vehicles/

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OSHA Publishes Court-Ordered Remand of Vertical Tandem Lift Final Rule

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

OSHA has implemented a court-ordered remand of certain portions of its standard for vertical tandem lifts (VTLs).  The final rule implements the remand by limiting the application of the corner-casting and interbox-connector inspection requirements to shore-to-ship VTLs and removing the tandem lifts of platform containers from the scope of the VTL standard.  The final rule [...]

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OSHA Confirms Final Rule on Mechanical Power Press Standard

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

On November 20, 2013, OSHA published in the Federal Register a direct final rule that revised records contained in the Mechanical Power Press Standard.  OSHA stated then that it would withdraw the companion proposed rule and confirm the effective date of the final rule if the Agency received no significant adverse comments on the direct [...]

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OSHA Publishes Four Letters of Interpretation on Hazcom Rule

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

OSHA has published four letters of interpretation on its revised Hazard Communication Standard.  One letter provides guidance on how to classify health hazards of petroleum streams under the new rule.  The others address combustible dust, hazards not otherwise classified, and classification criteria for Single Target Organ Toxicity.  The March 4 letters can be found at [...]

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DOL OIG Report on MSHA Efforts to Deter Underreporting

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

The DoL’s Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) Office of Audit conducted a performance audit of MSHA actions to detect and deter underreporting of accidents and occupational injuries and illnesses from 2010 to 2012.  Basically, the report concluded that MSHA has taken steps to detect and deter underreporting of accidents but could do more to strengthen [...]

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Tales from DC: May 5 MSHA Stakeholder Meeting

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

From the Law Offices of Adele Abrams, Esq. – The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) convened a stakeholder meeting on May 5, 2014 to discuss trends in mine-related metal/non-metal fatalities since October 2013. Joe Main stated that these fatalities are an unacceptable trend that needs to be reversed. He did not take the position [...]

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Tales from DC: PHMSA Workshop of Safety Management Systems

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

On February 27, the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration held a workshop on safety management systems prompted by the API’s release of its draft draft recommended practice for pipeline safety management system requirements.  An API presentation explains the context.  This report is from the Law Offices of Adele Abrams, ASSE’s Federal Representative: Speakers: Jeff [...]

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A Ton of New Compliance Assistance Resources from OSHA

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

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

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Chemical Safety Board Approves Tesoro Refinery Investigation

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

From CSB.  More info can be found at http://www.csb.gov/tesoro-refinery-fatal-explosion-and-fire/  Statement by CSB Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso Commending Unanimous Board Approval of “Landmark” Tesoro Refinery Accident Investigation; Report and Recommendations Presented at Public Meeting in Anacortes, Washington, May 1, 2014 In a public meeting yesterday evening in Anacortes, Washington, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board approved a detailed and [...]

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Tales from DC: Latest SBA OSHA/MSHA Roundtable

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

From the Law Offices of Adele Abrams: On May 16, the Law Offices of Adele Abrams represented ASSE at the bi-monthly meeting of the Small Business Administration’s OSHA/MSHA roundtable. The following matters were discussed: Overview of MSHA’s New Lowering Miners’ Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust Rule: Shelia McConnell, MSHA Acting Director of Standards. MSHA [...]

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DOT Takes Emergency Action to Keep Crude Oil Shipments Safe

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

From Department of Transportation at http://www.dot.gov/briefing-room/us-dot-takes-new-emergency-actions-part-comprehensive-strategy-keep-crude-oil WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued an Emergency Order requiring all railroads operating trains containing large amounts of Bakken crude oil to notify State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs) about the operation of these trains through their states. Additionally, DOT’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Pipeline [...]

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FRA and PHMSA Issue Safety Advisory on Tank Cars Used to Transport Crude Oil by Rail

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

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

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GAO Stuff

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014

Reexamining Regulations: Agencies Often Made Regulatory Changes, but Could Strengthen Linkages to Performance Goals. GAO-14-268, April 11.  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-268  Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/662518.pdf Mine Safety: Basis for Proposed Exposure Limit on Respirable Coal Mine Dust and Possible Approaches for Lowering Dust Levels, GAO-14-345, April 9.  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-345 Petroleum Refining: Industry’s Outlook Depends on Market Changes and Key Environmental [...]

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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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