How will Biden’s vaccine mandate impact workers, companies?

First published by Reuters

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WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden announced new mandates on Thursday to spur Americans who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 to get a shot. The measures apply to more than 100 million workers, but it is not known how many of those are already vaccinated.

Here is a look at what the measures do and do not do:


That would cover an estimated four million federal employees and workers on government contracts.

In addition, the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will issue a rule using emergency authority in the coming weeks to require employers with more than 100 employees to ensure their workers get vaccinated or get tested weekly. That would have an impact on some 80 million private sector workers.

OSHA said the new Emergency Temporary Standard will also “apply to public sector state and local government workers, including educators and school staff, in the 26 states and two territories with a state OSHA plan.”

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will further issue a rule requiring vaccinations for workers in most healthcare facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement, including hospitals, dialysis centers, ambulatory surgical settings, and home health agencies – about 17 million healthcare workers. It estimated more than half of them – 64% of hospital staff, 62.7% of nursing home staff, and 54.7% of workers at dialysis facilities – have already been vaccinated.


Federal workers have roughly 75 days to get themselves vaccinated, the White House indicated.

For healthcare workers, the CMS is issuing a so-called interim final rule, which becomes effective immediately upon official publication, in mid-to-late October.

The agency has urged all workers who are not currently vaccinated to begin the process immediately.

The clock for private sector workers doesn’t start ticking until the Department of Labor actually issues its rule, expected in coming weeks. After that, they are likely to have a period of 50 to 90 days to comply, officials said.


The federal employee mandate includes “limited exceptions for legally recognized reasons, such as disability or religious objections,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act forbids discrimination against any employee based on an “individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” A very small number of religious groups in the United States have a theological objection to vaccines, which they say interfere with divine providence.

The vaccines are not recommended for people with allergies to some ingredients.


Federal workers who refuse to get vaccinated will first receive counseling and ultimately face termination if they persist in refusing.

Companies that don’t comply with the rule could be fined nearly $14,000 per violation.

It is not immediately clear how the CMS can enforce compliance, but the agency has the authority to terminate agreements with entities that violate its regulations.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

OSHA Awards $11.6M in Grants

First published by OSHA

US Department of Labor awards more than $11.6M in grants
to educate workers, employers on workplace safety, health

Harwood Grants focus on targeted training, awareness, creation of safety programs

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced the award of more than $11.6 million in grants to 93 nonprofit organizations nationwide to fund education and training on hazard recognition and prevention, and on rights of workers to safe workplaces and the responsibilities of employers to provide them.

Derived from the Susan Harwood Workplace Safety and Health Training program, the grants awarded by OSHA in fiscal year 2021 are in the Targeted Topic Training, Training and Educational Materials Development, and Capacity Building categories. The grants are a critical part of OSHA’s effort to educate workers and assist employers.

OSHA awards these grants to nonprofit organizations, including community and faith-based groups, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor-management associations, colleges and universities. Target trainees include small-business employers and underserved vulnerable workers in high-hazard industries.

The grants honor the late Susan Harwood, former director of OSHA’s Office of Risk Assessment. In a 17-year career with the agency, she helped develop federal standards to protect workers from bloodborne pathogens, cotton dust, benzene, formaldehyde, asbestos and lead in construction.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s workers by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, education, and assistance. Learn more about OSHA.

Learn more about the 2021 Susan Harwood Training Grant Program recipients.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

SABC Mining Alliance Meetings

First published by SABC

We’re Back, So Save the Date!

SABC is resuming Mining Alliance Meetings and we look forward

to welcoming you to our next luncheon meeting.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Doubletree at 445 S. Alvernon

1-4 pm

Don’t miss this opportunity to catch up with colleagues for lunch

and presentations by Arizona mining companies and

keynote speaker Rep. Paul Gosar.

More information about how to RSVP is coming soon, so mark down the date and look for upcoming emails.



It is our privilege and pleasure to work with the mining community in supporting issues and creating events to advance the future of our industry. We rely on your contributions to enable us to do the best job we can for you! Visit our Supporter link to donate… and thank you!


Bill Assenmacher, Co–Founder SABC               

Rick Grinnell, Co-Founder, SABC

For further information please contact:

Rick Grinnell, Southern Arizona Business Coalition

P.O. Box 26945 • Tucson, AZ. 85726

520.247.3268 (c) •

MSHA – Mine Fatality #26

First published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On September 15, 2021, a 33-year-old contract welder was fatally injured when he crawled 40 feet into a 30-inch-diameter stainless-steel pipe.  The victim was welding a joint from the outside of the pipe, and then entered the pipe to troubleshoot issues related to argon gas leakage.  Coworkers found him unresponsive.

Accident scene where a contract welder was fatally injured when he crawled 40 feet into a 30-inch-diameter stainless-steel pipe
Photo property of MSHA
Best Practices:
  • Remove dangerous working materials and gasses by means of a high volume of fresh airflow before entering confined spaces.
  • Assess risks and hazards before beginning work activities to determine what personal protective equipment (PPE) and atmospheric testing is needed prior to entry and during work execution.
  • Test atmospheres from a safe location with a calibrated gas monitor capable of detecting harmful and noxious gasses before entering and continuously while working in confined spaces.
  • Designate a miner to maintain contact with the miner entering a confined space in the form of visual or voice contact, or signal lines.
  • Ensure miners use the appropriate PPE, including dry, flame-retardant clothing and respiratory protection equipment, such as powered air-purifying respirators.
  • Train miners to identify confined spaces and understand their associated hazards.
Additional Information:

This is the 26th fatality reported in 2021, and the first classified as “Other.”

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

New website offers health and safety resources for farmers and ranchers

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Photo property of AgriSafe Health 

Covington, LA — Helping farmers and ranchers navigate occupational risks and providing information on health and safety issues is the goal of the AgriSafe Health Hub, a new website.

Launched by the AgriSafe Network, an international nonprofit representing health and safety professionals, the website combines the organization’s learning management system, which includes fact sheets, webinars and safety information, with health topics such as COVID-19, heat-related illness, opioids and mental health.

“Finding trusted health information can be difficult, especially when you need information specifically for the occupational hazards associated with farming,” Sarah Dauterive, web technologies librarian at AgriSafe, said in a press release. “This new space serves as a hub for the people working in agriculture to find specific information to their needs, both from AgriSafe and our trusted partners.”

According to the release, which cites data from NIOSH, agriculture ranks among the most hazardous industries. Recent statistics show that about 100 agricultural workers suffer a lost-work-time injury each day.

McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.


N95 respirator approval, fit testing and efficiency: New fact sheets from NIOSH

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

N 95 masks

Washington — NIOSH has issued a pair of fact sheets on filtering facepiece respirators, detailing how to tell if an N95 is approved by the agency as well as procedures for fit testing and testing filtration efficiency.

With an NIOSH-approved respirator, “you can be confident that it is working as expected” as long as it is properly maintained, is worn and used correctly, fits properly, and is replaced as recommended by the manufacturer.

“NIOSH only approves respirators that pass its strict quality assurance and performance requirements,” the agency says. During its tests, NIOSH uses a “near worst-case penetrating aerosol size (i.e., particles that are best able to make it through a filter).” An N95 respirator must block at least 95% of those particles, which typically measure at 0.3 microns in diameter.

The fact sheet on fit testing and filtration efficiency testing covers the types of fit tests: qualitative and quantitative. It also includes a short checklist to ensure an N95 is protecting the user.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

OSHA has a new initiative to protect workers from hazards of extreme heat

First published by OSHA

What to Know About OSHA's Heat Enforcement Initiative: On days with a heat index of 80 degrees or higher, OSHA staff will prioritze heat-related interventions and inspections of work activities.

                                               Photo property of OSHA

WASHINGTON – To combat the hazards associated with extreme heat exposure – both indoors and outdoors – the White House today announced enhanced and expanded efforts the U.S. Department of Labor is taking to address heat-related illnesses.

As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s interagency effort and commitment to workplace safety, climate resilience, and environmental justice, the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is initiating enhanced measures to protect workers better in hot environments and reduce the dangers of exposure to ambient heat.

While heat illness is largely preventable, and commonly under-reported, thousands of workers are sickened each year by workplace heat exposure. Despite widespread under-reporting, 43 workers died from heat illness in 2019, and at least 2,410 others suffered serious injuries and illnesses. Increasing heat precipitated by climate change can cause lost productivity and work hours resulting in large wage losses for workers. The Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center estimates the economic loss from heat to be at least $100 billion annually – a number that could double by 2030 and quintuple by 2050 under a higher emissions scenario.

To emphasize its concern and take necessary action, OSHA is implementing an enforcement initiative on heat-related hazards, developing a National Emphasis Program on heat inspections, and launching a rulemaking process to develop a workplace heat standard. In addition, the agency is forming a National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health Heat Injury and Illness Prevention Work Group to provide better understanding of challenges and to identify and share best practices to protect workers.

“Throughout the nation, millions of workers face serious hazards from high temperatures both outdoors and indoors. Amid changing climate, the growing frequency and intensity of extreme heat events is increasing the dangers workers face, especially for workers of color who disproportionately work in essential jobs in tough conditions,” said U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. “As Secretary of Labor, my priority is to make sure we are taking appropriate action to keep workers healthy and safe on the job.”

OSHA implemented an intervention and enforcement initiative recently to prevent and protect workers from heat-related illnesses and deaths while they are working in hazardous hot environments. The newly established initiative prioritizes heat-related interventions and inspections of work activities on days when the heat index exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

“While agricultural and construction workers often come to mind first when thinking about workers most exposed to heat hazards, without proper safety actions, sun protection and climate-control, intense heat can be harmful to a wide variety of workers indoors or outdoors and during any season,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Jim Frederick.

The OSHA initiative applies to indoor and outdoor worksites in general industry, construction, agriculture and maritime where potential heat-related hazards exist. On days when a recognized heat temperature can result in increased risks of heat-related illnesses, OSHA will increase enforcement efforts. Employers are encouraged to implement intervention methods on heat priority days proactively, including regularly taking breaks for water, rest, shade, training workers on how to identify common symptoms and what to do when a worker suspects a heat-related illness is occurring, and taking periodic measurements to determine workers’ heat exposure.

OSHA Area Directors across the nation will institute the following:

  • Prioritize inspections of heat-related complaints, referrals and employer-reported illnesses and initiate an onsite investigation where possible.
  • Instruct compliance safety and health officers, during their travels to job sites, to conduct an intervention (providing the agency’s heat poster/wallet card, discuss the importance of easy access to cool water, cooling areas and acclimatization) or opening an inspection when they observe employees performing strenuous work in hot conditions.
  • Expand the scope of other inspections to address heat-related hazards where worksite conditions or other evidence indicates these hazards may be present.

In October 2021, OSHA will take a significant step toward a federal heat standard to ensure protections in workplaces across the country by issuing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on heat injury and illness prevention in outdoor and indoor work settings. The advance notice will initiate a comment period allowing OSHA to gather diverse perspectives and technical expertise on topics including heat stress thresholds, heat acclimatization planning, exposure monitoring, and strategies to protect workers.

The agency is also working to establish a National Emphasis Program on heat hazard cases, which will target high-risk industries and focus agency resources and staff time on heat inspections. The 2022 National Emphasis Program will build on the existing Regional Emphasis Program for Heat Illnesses in OSHA’s Region VI, which covers Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

Read the statement by President Biden on Mobilizing the Administration to Address Extreme Heat.

Learn more about OSHA.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

2021 Road Safety Student Art Contest

First published by FMCSA

Announcement Recognizes National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Deputy Administrator Meera Joshi today announced the winners of the 2021 Road Safety Student Art Contest via a congratulatory video.

“Every year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration asks young artists to help raise awareness about how important it is to keep people safe on the road – and this year’s submissions were terrific,” said Secretary Buttigieg.  “I want to thank every student who chose to share your art with us.”

“You’ve used art to create powerful and important messages,” said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Meera Joshi in congratulating all of the winners, adding, “What you’ve done with color and images drives home the message of safety in a way words alone just cannot.”

The winning artwork of the following 12 students will be showcased in the U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters building in Washington, D.C., as well as featured in the 2022 Road Safety Student Art calendar that will be available later this year.

Grand Prize winners:

Kindergarten – 5th Grade Category: Avni Choudepally, Cary, North Carolina
6th – 8th Grade Category: Amy Lin, Belle Meade, New Jersey
7th-10th Grade Category: Abigail Regnier, Jefferson City, Missouri
11th – 12th Grade Category: Olivia Stone, Anchorage, Alaska

FMCSA People’s Choice Art Contest Awards Winners:

Aaban Mahmood, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
Abby Chan, Crofton, Maryland

Honorable Mention recipients:

Pranav Balakrishnan, Plano, Texas
Preetiggah Sudhakar, Simpsonville, South Carolina
Yohann Lee, Studio City, California
Karthikeya Vattem, McDonald, Pennsylvania
Lynn Sun, Livingston, New Jersey
Noah Cho, Wheaton, Illinois

This year’s Road Safety Student Art Contest challenged students ranging from kindergarten through high school to design and create motivational artwork providing safety messaging for all roadway users — truck and bus operators, passenger vehicle drivers, motorcyclists, scooter riders, bicyclists, skateboarders, and pedestrians.

Conducted annually, the contest is sponsored under FMCSA’s Our Roads, Our Safety Partnership, which comprises more than 30 governmental, safety, industry, and private organizations.  Every roadway traveler, young to old, can help save lives and reduce injuries by always making safety a priority.  Always buckle up, avoid becoming distracted, stay alert, and pay attention when entering crossways.

The young artists call on commercial truck and bus operators to do their part for safety, while also reminding everyone to give large commercial motor vehicles extra room to maneuver.  Never cut in front of a large truck or bus, never tailgate, and most importantly, avoid lingering in the drivers’ blind spots – “The No Zone” – along the sides, immediately in front, and behind the vehicle where you cannot be seen.

The art contest winners are announced this week as truck drivers throughout the country are being honored for their contributions to keeping the economy moving and safely delivering essential goods.

During National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, the Nation recognizes the absolute vitalness of the trucking industry to the Nation’s supply chain and overall health of our economy,” said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Joshi.  “All our food, medicines, fuel, supplies we need to survive – everything is transported by a professional truck driver.  In just the past eight months, millions of grateful Americans have been protected from the pandemic thanks to countless hero truck drivers who delivered the COVID-19 vaccines.  We owe them an incredible debt of gratitude,” she added.

To learn more about the Road Safety Student Art Contest and to see the winning entries, visit

NOTE TO EDITORS: High-res photos of the winning artwork is available at

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

National Farm Safety and Health Week set for Sept. 19-25

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Photo: University of Minnesota

Peosta, IA — A series of daily webinars is planned for National Farm Safety and Health Week, scheduled to take place Sept. 19-25.

The theme of the 78th annual event is “Farm Safety Yields Real Results,” a reminder that safety is a vital part of agriculture, according to a press release from the AgriSafe Network, an international nonprofit representing health and safety professionals.

The 10 free webinars will focus on topics relative to agricultural health and safety pros, health care providers, producers, and farmworkers. The event will feature daily themes as well:
Sept. 20: Tractor Safety & Rural Roadway Safety
Sept. 21: Overall Farmer Health
Sept. 22: Safety & Health for Youth in Agriculture
Sept. 23: Agricultural Fertilizer & Chemical Safety
Sept. 24: Safety & Health for Women in Agriculture

National Farm Safety and Health Week has taken place during the third week of September every year since 1944, when the National Safety Council coordinated the project. The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety at Northeast Iowa Community College’s Peosta campus later took control of developing and disseminating each year’s campaign materials.

According to 2018 data from NIOSH, around 2 million full-time workers were employed in production agriculture. Every day, about 100 agricultural workers suffer an injury that results in lost work time.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

FMCSA again extends regulatory relief for truckers carrying pandemic-related goods

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

regulatory relief for truckers

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is extending its temporary hours-of-service exemptions and other regulatory relief for commercial truck drivers transporting items intended to assist with COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts.

Announced Aug. 31, the extension of Emergency Declaration 2020-002, initially issued March 13, 2020, and expanded and modified multiple times, is scheduled to remain in effect through Nov. 30.

Regulatory relief is extended to drivers who are transporting:

  • COVID-19 vaccines; constituent products; and medical supplies and equipment, including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines
  • Medical supplies and equipment for the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19
  • Supplies and equipment to help curb the spread of COVID-19, including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants
  • Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of stores or distribution centers
  • Gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and ethyl alcohol
  • Supplies to assist individuals impacted by the “consequences” of the pandemic (e.g., building materials for individuals displaced or otherwise impacted as a result of the emergency)
  • Livestock and livestock feed

Drivers making routine commercial deliveries, “including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration,” are not covered under the exemption.

“To be eligible for the exemption, the transportation must be both (i) of qualifying commodities and (ii) incident to the immediate restoration of those essential supplies,” FMCSA says.

The regulatory relief doesn’t extend to safety regulations concerning speed limits, fatigue, texting/phone use while driving, crash documentation and out-of-service rules, among others.

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.