Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

NHTSA Estimates Traffic Fatalities Continued to Rise at Record Pace in First Nine Months of 2021

First published by USDOT

USDOT’s recently announced National Roadway Safety Strategy provides blueprint for action addressing crisis in traffic fatalities

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its early estimate of traffic fatalities for the first nine months of 2021.

NHTSA projects that an estimated 31,720 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes from January through September 2021, an increase of approximately 12% from the 28,325 fatalities projected in the first nine months of 2020. The projection is the highest number of fatalities during the first nine months of any year since 2006 and the highest percentage increase during the first nine months in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System’s history.

The new estimates come days after the U.S. Department of Transportation released the federal government’s new, comprehensive National Roadway Safety Strategy, a roadmap to address the national crisis in roadway fatalities and serious injuries by building multiple layers of protection with safer roads, safer people, safer vehicles, safer speeds, and better post-crash care. The strategy is complemented by unprecedented safety funding included in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

“People make mistakes, but human mistakes don’t always have to be lethal. In a well-designed system, safety measures make sure that human fallibility does not lead to human fatalities,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “That’s what we will be doing for America’s roads with the National Roadway Safety Strategy and the safe system approach that it embraces.”

“We have to change a culture that accepts as inevitable the loss of tens of thousands of people in traffic crashes,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s Deputy Administrator. “This will require a transformational and collaborative approach to safety on our nation’s roads.”

The early estimate report released today also provides the first look at state-level traffic fatality estimates during the pandemic. Compared to 2020, NHTSA projects that during the first nine months of 2021, fatalities increased in 38 states, remained flat in two states, and decreased in 10 states and the District of Columbia.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, vehicle miles traveled in the first nine months of 2021 increased by about 244 billion miles, an 11.7% increase from the same time in 2020.

The fatality rate for the first nine months of 2021 increased to 1.36 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, a marginal increase from the projected rate of 1.35 fatalities in the same time in 2020. However, the fatality rates in the second and third quarters of 2021 declined compared to 2020.

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT 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.

CVSA Supports the U.S. DOT’s National Roadway Safety Strategy

First published by CVSA

Photo: CVSA

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced the launch of its National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS) to address the crisis on our nation’s roadways. Almost 95% of our nation’s transportation deaths occur on our roadways and they are on the rise.

“Those lost are our family members, our friends, our colleagues, our neighbors,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Americans deserve to travel safely in their communities. Humans make mistakes and as good stewards of the transportation system, we should have in place the safeguards to prevent those mistakes from being fatal. Zero is the only acceptable number of deaths and serious injuries on our roadways.”

The NRSS incorporates the principles of an integrated Safe System approach with the goal of eliminating fatalities and injuries on our highways, roads and streets. The Safe System approach requires supporting a safety culture that places safety first and foremost in road system investment decisions. There are six principles that form the basis of the Safe System approach: deaths and serious injuries are unacceptable, humans make mistakes, humans are vulnerable, responsibility is shared, safety is proactive, and redundancy is crucial.

“The membership of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is comprised of commercial motor vehicle safety inspectors and officials and motor carrier industry representatives who are dedicated to transportation safety,” said CVSA Executive Director Collin Mooney. “Our membership is committed to supporting the U.S. DOT in its commitment to zero fatalities on our roadways through the implementation of identified safety priorities and the Safe System approach.”

Some of the priorities identified in the NRSS specific to the commercial motor vehicle enforcement and motor carrier industry communities include:

  • Implementation of the October 2021 final rule that requires state driver’s licensing agencies to access and use information obtained through the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and take licensing actions against commercial motor vehicle drivers who have drug or alcohol violations in the system and are not cleared to return to duty
  • Improved accuracy of commercial driver’s license (CDL) driver records and the identification of additional opportunities to use these more accurate records to take unsafe commercial motor vehicle drivers off the road more expeditiously
  • Increased highly visible commercial motor vehicle traffic enforcement targeting risky driving behaviors, especially speeding; the department identified speed enforcement, deployed equitably and applied appropriately to roads with the greatest risk of harm due to speeding, as a tactic that may provide significant safety benefits and save lives
  • The continued commitment to identifying high-risk companies and operators of commercial motor vehicles using a data-driven and performance-based approach, including roadside commercial motor vehicle safety inspections

The department’s renewed commitment to roadway safety encompasses priority actions in five categories: safer people, safer roads, safer vehicles, safer speeds and post-crash care. The recent passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides substantial resources and tools to improve safety and save lives and is a prime opportunity to leverage the NRSS.

“As we embark on this reinvigorated effort, we are relying on our partners to also identify and commit to near-term actions that will help make our collective efforts to reach zero a reality,” added Transportation Secretary Buttigieg.

“On behalf of the Alliance, I’d like to thank Transportation Secretary Buttigieg and the U.S. Department of Transportation for their leadership and action in this undertaking,” said Mooney. “We look forward to working together toward our shared vision of zero roadway deaths.”

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT 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.

OSHA alliance provides important workplace safety updates for technical guide assessing robot systems

First published by OSHA

WASHINGTON – Increasingly, U.S. industries are using robotic technologies to perform dangerous or repetitive tasks, and these systems are becoming more collaborative and mobile in nature. While these advances add new capabilities to work and the workplace, they also introduce new workplace hazards for those who work with, and alongside them.

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Association for Advancing Automation (formerly the Robotic Industries Association) formed an alliance to share technical knowledge, improve awareness about workplace hazards and appropriate safeguards, and identify needed research on the use of traditional industrial and emerging collaborative robotic technologies.

Recently, the alliance updated and expanded a chapter in the OSHA Technical Manual on Industrial Robot Systems and Industrial Robot System Safety. The collective effort has made significant updates to the manual, including up-to-date technical information on the hazards associated with industrial and emergent robot applications, safety considerations for employers and workers, and risk assessments and risk reduction measures.

The manual serves to guide OSHA compliance officers as they perform inspections at facilities with robotic systems, and provides a technical resource for safety and health professionals overseeing the use of robotic systems in workplaces.

“We value the efforts and expertise of the engineers at the Association for Advancing Automation and the researchers at NIOSH to enhance this important resource,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Douglas Parker. “Robot use will continue to expand, and employers have a responsibility to assess the hazards these new applications may introduce, and implement appropriate safety controls to protect the workers who operate and service them.”

The World Robotics 2021 Industrial Robots report estimates currently that more than 310,000 industrial robots now operate in U.S. factories. The continuing rise of robotics increases the risks associated with robotic systems’ hazards such as struck-by/caught-between, crushing and trapping, electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic and environmental.

“Our trade association has made the safety of people working around robots our top priority for nearly four decades,” said Association for Advancing Automation President Jeff Burnstein. “That’s why we developed R15.06 – the first industrial robot safety standard – in the early 1980s, and have regularly updated the standard as technology has improved. We are honored to be a part of the alliance with OSHA and NIOSH, to work together to get this vital information on safety into the hands of robot system users.”

“NIOSH’s partnership with OSHA and the Association for Advancing Automation is vital to addressing the rapid advances in robotics technologies in the workplace,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “This updated resource developed with the combined expertise of NIOSH, OSHA and A3, addresses a critical need for the most current information for health and safety professionals about working safely with robots in various workplaces—both those that have traditionally used robotic systems and those introducing new robotic applications.”

Learn more about robotics.

The Association for Advancing Automation is North America’s largest automation trade association representing more than 1,100 organizations involved in robotics, artificial intelligence, machine vision and imaging, motion control and motors, and related automation technologies.

NIOSH is the federal institute that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. Learn more about NIOSH.

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.

Women In Trucking Association Publishes Whitepaper on Same-Gender Training

First published by WIT


The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) has published a new whitepaper, “Same-Gender Training Policy: Recruiting and Protecting Female Drivers.” Same-gender cab sharing during over-the-road training has been a primary concern of current and prospective female truck drivers.

After receiving their commercial driver’s license, aspiring professional drivers typically accompany an experienced one on their route to become more confident, safer, and capable on the road, according to Ellen Voie, president and CEO of WIT. This not only could mean working exclusively with a stranger in close quarters for long hours during the day, it also means the potential of needing to sleep in the same vehicle, said Voie.

Some of the whitepaper outlines perspectives drivers hold specifically on same-gender training and its impact on female drivers in the industry. WIT conducted a driver safety and harassment survey to gain an understanding from professional drivers about their perceptions and experiences involving safety and harassment in the North American trucking industry. More than 430 professional drivers completed the survey from July through Sept. 2021.

Given that 46 percent of drivers in the WIT study indicated that they have had an unwanted physical advance made toward them at least once and another 52 percent know of someone who had an unwanted physical advance made toward them, it is understandable why the prospect of cab sharing with a member of the opposite gender concerns many women, said Voie.

The WIT survey found that while most drivers believe their truck cabs are safe, they also indicated knowledge of women falling victim to harassment or assault while sharing a cabin. “The Women In Trucking Association continues to press hard for companies to develop corporate policies that could help significantly shift this trajectory,” said Voie. There are a number of corporate policy recommendations on same-gender training that Voie recommends:

  •  Adopt a same-gender training policy that enables female professional drivers to have the option for a same-gender trainer when involved in on-the-road training activities.
  •  When having a same-gender trainer isn’t an option in instances involving female drivers, develop alternatives to help reduce or eliminate issues, such as ensuring that when sleeping arrangements need to be made that one of the parties has the ability to have a paid hotel room available to avoid the need to sleep together in the same cab.
  •  Encourage driving teams where partners who are friends, spouses, or in a committed relationship alternate their time behind the wheel on the same route.
  •  Upgrade in-cab safety technology where trucks are equipped with sound-enabled in-cab cameras and panic/emergency buttons in the sleeper and cabin areas.

This whitepaper is the first of a series focused on safety and harassment issues for women in the transportation industry. To download a copy of the whitepaper, click here:

To download the following charts, click here:

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT 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 Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction coming in May

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication


Photo: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)

Washington — The ninth annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction is set for May 2-6.

The voluntary event is intended to prevent fall-related deaths and injuries by raising awareness of hazards. Falls from elevation accounted for 351 of the 1,008 construction fatalities recorded in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

OSHA encourages all workplaces to participate by hosting an event, which can include a toolbox talk or a safety activity such as developing rescue plans, conducting safety equipment inspections or discussing job-specific hazards. Workers can take the opportunity to share fall or other job hazards with management.

The agency invites employers to share their stand-down stories by emailing or using the hashtag #StandDown4Safety on social media.

On Jan. 27, OSHA partner CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training will host a webinar on the importance of a year-round falls program. Registration is required.

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.


First published by MSHA
Photo: MSHA

Program targets mining areas in states with vaccination rates below 60 percent

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a new program designed to encourage and help America’s miners to get the COVID-19 protections that vaccinations offer.

The department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration will pilot the Mine Vaccine Outreach Program to deliver free vaccinations in mining communities and provide educational outreach to mining communities in Kentucky and Arizona on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that vaccination rates are below 60 percent in two states where a substantial number of mining operations exist.

Participation in MSHA’s Mine Vaccine Outreach Program is voluntary and free for mine operators in Kentucky and Arizona. Program representatives will collaborate with the states’ mine operators to identify convenient locations, coordinate with health professionals to administer vaccine services and develop communication programs to address the community’s questions and concerns. On Wednesday Jan. 26, the agency will hold a public vaccine clinic at the Kentucky Crushed Stone Association Safety and Education Seminar in Louisville, Kentucky. Also, MSHA will host two vaccination clinics in Arizona this week for mine employees at the Asarco Ray Mine in Kearny on Tuesday, Jan. 25, and Asarco Mission Mine in Sahuarita on Wednesday, Jan. 26.

“The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration exists to protect the safety and health of the nation’s miners from hazards in their workplaces,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Jeannette Galanis. “COVID-19 has killed more than 860,000 people in the U.S. alone and like other mining hazards, it demands we take action to prevent workers from suffering needlessly. Providing free COVID-19 vaccinations is a natural extension of our efforts to ensure safe workplaces.”

MSHA has selected Jazz Solutions Inc., an Ashburn, Virginia, IT solutions provider for federal, state and local governments, to administer the program.

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 Withdraws Vaccination and Testing ETS

First published by OSHA

Man receiving vaccination

Photo: OSHA

Statement on the Status of the OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard 

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is withdrawing the vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard issued on Nov. 5, 2021, to protect unvaccinated employees of large employers with 100 or more employees from workplace exposure to coronavirus. The withdrawal is effective January 26, 2022.

Although OSHA is withdrawing the vaccination and testing ETS as an enforceable emergency temporary standard, the agency is not withdrawing the ETS as a proposed rule. The agency is prioritizing its resources to focus on finalizing a permanent COVID-19 Healthcare Standard.

OSHA strongly encourages vaccination of workers against the continuing dangers posed by COVID-19 in the workplace.

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.

District court blocks COVID-19 vaccine requirement for federal employees

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Photo: CDC

Galveston, TX — The Biden administration can’t enforce its a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal employees, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled in a decision issued Jan. 21.

President Joe Biden signed Executive Order 14043 on Sept. 9. The order initially gave federal employees until Nov. 30 to get vaccinated or obtain an exemption. That deadline was pushed back to the new year. During oral arguments made over the telephone Jan. 13, the two sides “agreed that the soonest any plaintiff might face discipline would be Jan. 21.”

In his decision, Judge Jeffrey Vincent Brown writes that although the court believes in COVID-19 vaccinations and “the federal government’s power, exercised properly, to mandate vaccinations for its employees,” a key question remained. That is “whether the president can, with the stroke of a pen and without the input of Congress, require millions of federal employees to undergo a medical procedure as a condition of their employment?”

He concludes, in part, that because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision on OSHA’s emergency temporary standard on COVID-19 vaccination, testing and masking, the executive order was “a bridge too far.”

Brown also writes that the federal government could apply “less restrictive measures,” such as part- or full-time remote work, masking, and physical distancing.

“The government has not shown that an injunction in this case will have any serious detrimental effect on its fight to stop COVID-19,” the judge writes. “Moreover, any harm to the public interest by allowing federal employees to remain unvaccinated must be balanced against the harm sure to come by terminating unvaccinated workers who provide vital services to the nation.”

Brown also notes that a Dec. 9 press release from the White House states that the lowest vaccination rate among federal employees was 88%.

During a Jan. 21 press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that 98% of federal workers are in compliance. “Obviously, we are confident in our legal authority here,” she said.

The Department of Justice has filed an appeal, according to multiple published reports. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New Orleans, would have jurisdiction in that appeal.

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.

MSHA – Mine Fatality #35

First published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On December 6, 2021, a miner was fatally injured while he was working in a pan feeder under a chute.  While attempting to remove angle iron that blocked the chute’s gate from closing, he was engulfed by material that fell from a surge pile above the chute.  The victim died from his injuries on December 10, 2021.

Accident scene where a miner was fatally injured while he was working in a pan feeder under a chute.
Photo: Mine Safety and Health Administration
Best Practices:
  • Do not allow miners to travel on or below material that is on or above the sides of a bin, hopper, or chute.
  • Provide mechanical devices or other effective means to protect miners from entrapment by caving material.
  • Provide and maintain a safe means of access for all working places.
  • De-energize, lock out, tag out, and block machinery or equipment against hazardous motion before performing repairs or maintenance.
  • Examine work areas and equipment.  Correct defects, or report them to the operator.
  • Train miners to perform their assigned tasks safely.
Additional Information:

This is the 35th fatality reported in 2021, and the second classified as “Confined Space.”

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.

Study questions whether FMCSA’s ELD mandate for truckers ‘has improved safety’

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

East Lansing, MI — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s mandate on the use of electronic logging devices to record commercial motor vehicle driver hours of service “did not immediately achieve its goal of reducing accidents,” and may be linked to increases in unsafe driving behaviors and crashes, results of a recent study suggest.

The mandate took effect in December 2017. On April 1, 2018, inspectors were permitted to begin placing CMV drivers out of service for operating without ELDs, which are used in place of manual paper logs to track HOS.

Researchers at Michigan State University and the University of Arkansas analyzed data from about 4 million roadside inspections and all federally recordable crashes between Jan. 1, 2017, and Sept. 1, 2018. Although the mandate triggered significant improvement in driver compliance with reporting HOS, especially among smaller fleets, findings show that the number of incidents increased after the mandate went into effect.

For independent owner-operators, incidents climbed 11.6%, while fleets employing between two and 20 trucks experienced a 9% increase. The researchers also report an increase in violations for unsafe driver behaviors – including speeding, frequent lane changes, following too closely and hard braking – in conjunction with the mandate.

“These results call into question whether increased electronic monitoring has improved safety in this industry,” the researchers write.

After publishing the final rule in December 2015, FMCSA estimated the mandate would help prevent 1,844 crashes, 562 injuries and 26 fatalities each year.

“Drivers have reacted in ways the FMCSA has not fully anticipated, and these behaviors should be accounted for as the FMCSA revisits their hours-of-service policies,” Andrew Balthrop, study co-author and research associate at UA, said in a press release.

“Surprisingly, the number of accidents for the most affected carriers – those operators for whom the federal mandate was intended – did not decrease. In fact, following the implementation of the mandate, accidents among small carriers and independent owner-operators increased, relative to large asset-based carriers.”

ELDs record – at frequent intervals – vehicle information such as date, time, location, engine hours and miles, as well as identification information for the driver, vehicle and motor carrier.

Proponents of the mandate contend that relying on ELDs rather than paper logs to track HOS improves safety and efficiency. Opponents claim the rule violates drivers’ Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure and lacks concrete evidence that it increases safety.

CMV drivers must carry four items as part of the mandate:

  • A user’s manual that describes how to operate the ELD
  • A sheet listing step-by-step instructions on producing and transferring HOS records to an authorized safety official
  • A sheet that outlines ELD malfunction reporting requirements and protocol for maintaining records during such incidences
  • At least eight days’ worth of blank grids to chart record of duty status reports

The study was published in the March issue of the Journal of Operations Management.

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT 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.