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

Posted in on Wed, Apr 9, 2014

ASSE and its Construction Practice Specialty are supporting fully OSHA’s June 2-6 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction.  ASSE urged its chapters and members to embrace this opportunity to demonstrate safety and health professionals’ leadership in reducing the leading cause of death in construction.  What ASSS members already do to help save workers lives should be [...]

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ASSE Backs Illinois Safety Consultant Immunity in Proposed WC Change

Posted in on Wed, Apr 9, 2014

On behalf of its member independent safety consultants in Illinois, ASSE opposed a bill (SB 3287) that would strip unfairly their current immunity from lawsuits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act but continue to protect insurers and companies who provide the same safety services.  ASSE said it opposed the bill because it would unfairly limit independent business [...]

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

Posted in 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 Public Meeting

Posted in 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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ASSE Urges OSHA to Withdraw Electronic Reporting Proposed Rule

Posted in on Wed, Mar 12, 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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Maryland Bills to Require Contractor Safety Prequalification Backed by ASSE

Posted in on Mon, Feb 24, 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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Fix Rulemaking Process, Begin with PELs, ASSE Tells House Subcommittee

Posted in on Thu, Feb 20, 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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ASSE Comments on OSHA Silica Proposed Rule

Posted in 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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Electronic Reporting of Injury and Illness Data Proposed by OSHA

Posted in on Fri, Nov 8, 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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ASSE Calls for Quick End to Government Shutdown

Posted in on Wed, Oct 16, 2013

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

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ASSE Comments on NIOSH Strategic Goals for Traumatic Injury Research

Posted in on Fri, Sep 27, 2013

ASSE provided comments in response to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) proposed Strategic Goals for its Traumatic Injury Research and Prevention Program.  ASSE commended NIOSH, saying that, overall, the goals reflect an appropriate intention to develop greater understanding of the most important risks our members face in this nation’s workplaces.  ASSE’s comments included suggestions to enhance NIOSH’s abilities in [...]

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ASSE Responds to OSHA Announcement of Silica Proposed Rule

Posted in on Tue, Aug 27, 2013

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

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ASSE President Kathy Seabrook Congratulates New Labor Secretary on Confirmation

Posted in on Tue, Aug 27, 2013

New Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez has been appointed and is on the job.  You can find out more about Secretary Perez from the Department of Labor website at http://www.dol.gov/_sec/.  ASSE responded with the following statement from President Kathy Seabrook on his confirmation by the Senate: “The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) congratulates Thomas [...]

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ASSE Supports Executive Order on Chem Facility Safety

Posted in on Tue, Aug 27, 2013

On August 1, President Obama issued an Executive Order intended to bring OSHA, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies together to address various issues related to the safety and security of chemical facilities.  The order can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/08/01/executive-order-improving-chemical-facility-safety-and-security.  Earlier this summer, ASSE had urged Congress to require [...]

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

Posted in on Tue, Aug 27, 2013

On July 25, the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) held a meeting to reiterate its concern over several recommendations to OSHA the Board has made over the years to encourage OSHA to amend and adopt certain standards related to chemical safety but have not been addressed.  The Board also voted on “Most Wanted Chemical Standard,” which [...]

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

Posted in on Thu, Jun 13, 2013

In a letter to the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, ASSE stated its support for the Administration’s proposal to fund the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB).  The Administration proposed funding CSB at $11.484 milion, an 8.8% increase over its current funding.  ASSE also requested report [...]

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Florida Governor Scott Signs ASSE-Backed Texting Ban Into Law

Posted in on Fri, May 31, 2013

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

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Highlights of ASSE GAC Annual Hill Visits in DC

Posted in on Thu, May 23, 2013

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

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ASSE Urges Obama to Advance I2P2 Rule as Fitting Response to West Explosion and 13 Deaths Daily in US Workplaces

Posted in on Mon, May 20, 2013

In a May 16 letter, ASSE urged President Obama to direct his Administration to move forward OSHA rulemaking on an injury and illness prevention program (I2P2) standard as an appropriate response to the April 19 fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, that took 15 lives as well as the nearly 13 lives lost each day in US workplaces.  A [...]

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ASSE Joins 221 Stakeholders in Fight for NIOSH ERCs and Ag, Farm and Fishing Research Program

Posted in on Thu, May 16, 2013

For the third year, the Obama Administration has proposed eliminating funding for the National Insitute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Education and Research Centers (ERCs) and the NORA Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (AgFF) research program.  In response, ASSE has joined with 220 other stakeholders in NIOSH and these programs to oppose the programs’ elimination in letters [...]

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ASSE and AIHA Call for Study to Move NIOSH

Posted in on Mon, Apr 22, 2013

Citing concerns over the agency’s lack of appropriate resources with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), ASSE and AIHA in a letter to Senator Tom Harken, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, to request a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study on whether National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) should remain within CDC and, if [...]

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Contractor Prequalification Bill Backed by ASSE in Maryland

Posted in on Thu, Apr 4, 2013

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

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Arizona Texting Ban Sponsor Speaks Eloquently in Defeat

Posted in on Wed, Apr 3, 2013

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

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ASSE Florida Members Back Legislative Effort to Ban Texting

Posted in on Wed, Apr 3, 2013

Inspired by fellow ASSE members’ effort to ban texting in Arizona, Florida’s ASSE members have joined in an effort to pass legislation that would ban texting in their state.  Letters to Senator Detert (R-Venice) and Representative Holder (R-Sarasota) back their legislation, SB 52/HB 13, which is seen as having a good chance of passing into law this year.  ASSE also [...]

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Arizona ASSE Members Back Texting Ban Bill

Posted in on Wed, Jan 30, 2013

On behalf of its nearly 600 Arizona members, ASSE voiced support for a bill (SB 1218) by Senator Steve Farley to prohibit text messaging while operating a motor vehicle in Arizona.  While ASSE’s own policy position calls for a total ban on the use of electronic devices while driving, ASSE saw that SB 1218 could serve as a significant first [...]

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Updating Consensus Standards is Focus of ASSE’s Comment on OSHA SIP IV Request for Info

Posted in on Wed, Jan 30, 2013

ASSE provided comments for the record of OSHA’s Standards Improvement Project – Phase IV Request for Information based significantly on its role as Secretariat to the ANSI-accredited A10 Committee for Construction and Demolition Operations and the ANSI/ASSE Z9 Committee for Health and Safety Standards for Ventilation Systems.  The comments included a detailed matrix of changes ASSE is urging OSHA to make to the 29 CFR 1926 [...]

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ASSE Asks for Public Hearing in Illinois Asbestos Abatement Rulemaking

Posted in on Fri, Jan 18, 2013

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

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ASSE Comments on Resignation of Secretary of Labor Solis

Posted in on Fri, Jan 18, 2013

Secretary Solis’ comments on her resignation can be found at http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/opa/OPA20130053.htm From a January 11, 2013, ASSE press release – American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) President Richard A. Pollock, CSP, responds to the recent resignation of U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis: “On the announcement of her resignation, ASSE thanks and congratulates Secretary [...]

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ASSE Backs Ron Sokol as ACCSH Public Member

Posted in on Fri, Jan 18, 2013

ASSE has nominated Ron Sokol, CSP, to serve as a public member on OSHA’s Advisory Committee for Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH).  Ron is the organizational leader for the Safety Council of Texas City, Texas, which works with employers and contractors to train construction workers in the petrochemical industry.  He is a member of the NIOSH NORA Construction Council and serves [...]

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Fed OSHA Seeking Response from AZ DOSH in Residential Fall Protection Complaint

Posted in on Thu, Dec 20, 2012

In response to ASSE’s effort on behalf of its Arizona members to see that the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health enforce federal OSHA’s residential fall protection standard,  ASSE received a letter from OSHA’s Phoenix Area Office outlining OSHA’s Complaint About State Program Administration (CASPA) investigation.  ADOSH has 30 days to respond to OSHA’s findings and requirements.  In the last minutes of [...]

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

Posted in on Thu, Dec 20, 2012

ASSE has been working with its local members in the New York and New Jersey areas to get help to those impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  At the personal request of Assistant Secretary David Michaels, ASSE, NSC and AIHA have reached out to companies to encourage them to donate PPE and other safety equipment to nonprofits [...]

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

Posted in on Thu, Dec 20, 2012

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

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ASSE Asks Members to Urge Employers and Other Organizations to Join 85-3 Campaign

Posted in on Thu, Dec 20, 2012

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

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ASSE Joins 85-3 Campaign

Posted in on Thu, Nov 1, 2012

ASSE has joined the 85-3 Campaign, which recognizes organizations and employers that, as part of their hearing protection strategy for workers, have adopted the 85 dBA noise protection level.  “On behalf of its nearly 35,000 member safety, health and environmental (SH&E) professionals, ASSE is pleased to join the 85-3 Coalition and looks forward to working with [...]

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ASSE Comments for 5-Agency Expert Form on Risk-Based Reg Approaches in Oil and Gas

Posted in on Mon, Oct 22, 2012

On September 20-21, OSHA, BSEE, EPA, PHMSA and the Coast Guard came together with stakeholders in the oil and gas industry in Texas City, Texas, to discuss regulatory issues facing the industry at the “Expert Forum on the Use of Performance-Based Regulatory Models in the US Oil and Gas Industry, Offshore and Onshore.”  Government Affairs [...]

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Understanding the Increased Focus on Enforcement by Federal OSHA

Posted in on Fri, Sep 14, 2012

Recognizing ASSE members’ responsibility for managing interactions with OSHA for their employers, the Government Affairs Committee thought it important that members understand as much as possible about the variety of administrative actions OSHA is taking to focus the agency’s enforcement efforts.  A summary of those various actions has been prepared by Adele Abrams, Esq., ASSE’s [...]

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ASSE Commends OSHA for VPP Review

Posted in on Tue, Sep 11, 2012

In a letter to Assistant Secretary David Michaels, ASSE commended OSHA for its report, Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Review. ASSE said the report was thoughtful, frank and helpful and that the report validated the value of VPP.  ASSE supported most of the report’s recommendations, including continuing to provide exemptions from programmed inspections for participants, expanded use [...]

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ASSE President Pollock Congratulates CSB Board Member John Bresland on His Retirement

Posted in on Mon, Sep 10, 2012

On behalf of ASSE’s members, President Rick Pollock congratulated John Bresland on his retirement from the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB).   His letter thanked Bresland for his leadership in helping CSB achieve deserved levels of respect and support.   Bresland’s commitment to CSB’s mission has given ASSE members insight and information into workplace [...]

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ASSE Nominates Jim Thornton for Reappointment to Chair MACOSH

Posted in on Fri, Aug 17, 2012

ASSE nominated James Thornton, CSP, CIH, for reappointment as Chair of OSHA’s Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health(MACOSH) in a letter to Assistant Secretary for OSHA David Michaels.  Jim has had a long and distinguished career committed to protecting workers in the shipbuilding industry and has demonstrated similar leadership in his profession.  As Chair of ASSE’s Government Affairs Committee, [...]

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ASSE Nominates Rixio Medina to Continue to Serve on NACOSH

Posted in on Tue, Aug 14, 2012

In a letter to Assistant Secretary David Michaels, ASSE nominated Rixio E. Medina, CSP, CPP, to continue to serve as a member of OSHA’s National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH).  Rixio is a leading expert in protecting workers and property in the petrochemical industry and a widely respected leader in the occupational safety and health community.  He is a [...]

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

Posted in on Mon, Jul 30, 2012

In a letter to U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry, ASSE urged adoption of recommendations made by OSHA’s Federal Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (FACOSH) to upgrade federal safety and health positions.  ASSE expressed full support FACOSH’s May 2011 recommendations to upgrade the GS-0018, Safety and Occupational Health Management job series:     That OPM delete the option of using experience alone as a qualification for the series [...]

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

Posted in on Thu, Jul 12, 2012

On June 27, the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing entitled “Promoting Safe Workplaces Through Voluntary Protection Programs.”  Among several issues its comments addressed, ASSE urged consideration that an OSHA standard requiring all employers, as in VPP, to have in place an injury and illness prevention plan (I2P2) may be the only way OSHA’s overall approach to workplace regulation can be in line with how the [...]

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At Arizona Members’ Request, ASSE Urges OSHA to Ensure ADOSH “At Least As Effective” in Fall Protection

Posted in on Mon, Jun 25, 2012

In a letter to Assistant Secretary David Michaels, ASSE urged OSHA to ensure that the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH) meets its obligation as a state plan to be “at least as effective as” federal OSHA and enforce fall protection for residential construction workers at 6 feet.   ASSE’s Arizona members requested the Society’s help in addressing the passage into law of Senate Bill 1441 that made [...]

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Industry Groups Challenge OSHA’s HazCom/GHS Rule

Posted in on Fri, Jun 15, 2012

OSHA’s HazCom/GHS final rule has been challenged in the US Court of Appeals, DC Circuit, by the American Petroleum Institute, the American Tort Reform Association, CropLife America and a coalition of five other industry groups, including American Chemistry Council (ACC).  The Chamber of Commerce has expressed support for the Petitions for Judicial Review. The Petitions do not provide [...]

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Norris and Howard Renew ASSE-NIOSH Partnership

Posted in on Thu, May 31, 2012

On May 7, ASSE President Terrie Norris and NIOSH Director John Howard signed a partnership agreement between ASSE and NIOSH.  The wide-ranging agreement aims to bring ASSE members and NIOSH staff closer together to advancing research and understanding of the value occupational safety and health brings to business and the American people, develop and disseminating information on worker safety [...]

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ASSE Opposes Effort to Undercut Development of Independent Consensus Standards

Posted in on Thu, May 31, 2012

In a comment to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR), ASSE strongly opposed possible rulemaking to amend OFR’s regulations defining “reasonably available” or change current requirements related to materials incorporated by reference (IBR) in regulations published in the Federal Register, as sought in a petition to OFR.  At issue is whether and how voluntary consensus standards should be made available when cited in a regulation.  ASSE said [...]

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

Posted in on Thu, Apr 12, 2012

ASSE has joined with 127 other NIOSH stakeholders to voice opposition to the Obama Administration’s proposed elimination of funding for Education and Resource Centers and the NORA Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (AgFF) research program in letters to leaders of the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, HHS, Education and Related Committees.  Congress rejected these same cuts in the FY 2012 budget, but the Administration is [...]

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Norris and Michaels Renew ASSE-OSHA Alliance

Posted in on Thu, Apr 5, 2012

On March 16, ASSE President Terrie Norris and Assistant Secretary David Michaels signed a renewed Alliance agreement between ASSE and OSHA.  The overall goal of the two-year Alliance is to promote best practices for reducing and preventing worker exposures to health and physical hazards.  More specifically, ASSE and OSHA will continue work together to address non-English or limited English-speaking workers especially through [...]

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Nano SNURs Can’t Overlook Engineering Controls, ASSE Tells EPA

Posted in on Mon, Mar 19, 2012

ASSE submitted a comment on an EPA proposed rule to set significant new use rules (SNURs) for chemical substances, 7 of which included carbon nanotubes.  For those substances involving nanotechnology, ASSE told EPA it could not ignore established industrial hygiene and safety practice, NIOSH and its own research by not requring the hierarchy of controls to be followed in protecting workers under the SNURs.  ASSE said, [...]

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ASSE States Support for OSHA Rescission of Residential Fall Protection Exemption

Posted in on Thu, Feb 23, 2012

In light of the criticism and complaints that have followed the OSHA’s directive rescinding the Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction, ASSE in a letter to Assistant Secretary David Michaels stated its support for the change in policy as a needed step forward in protecting workers.  ASSE also commended OSHA for its efforts to work [...]

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