Biden administration launches Heat.gov

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication
heatgov.jpg

Photo: HEAT.gov

Washington — The creation of a website with heat- and health-related information is one of several measures recently taken by the Biden administration in response to extreme heat “caused by climate change” and its impacts.

Heat.gov, the web portal for the National Integrated Heat Health Information System, is intended to provide real-time data and response resources to “equip local officials and the public with robust and accessible information,” a White House press release states. The website also features resources on extreme heat conditions and preparedness.

Similarly, OSHA is working on a standard that addresses heat illness in outdoor and indoor settings, and published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking in October.

In April, the agency launched a National Emphasis Program aimed at protecting workers from outdoor and indoor heat exposure. Since then, OSHA has conducted more than 500 heat-related inspections, focusing on 70 high-risk industries.


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

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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.

Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Information Session

First published by FMCSA

Photo property of FMCSA

The Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program (SDAP) will open its application portal for participation on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. Created by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the program acknowledges that safety is the highest priority for truck drivers. SDAP will help individuals between 18 – 20 explore interstate trucking careers and assist trucking companies in hiring and training new drivers through rigorous training standards – pairing each young driver with an experienced mentor. For more information, please view the SDAP Public Information Webinar  that covers training qualifications, participation requirements, and instructions about the application process.

Please contact safedriver@dot.gov with any additional questions.


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 info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Stop-work authority: USW publishes guide for workers

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

logo.jpg

Photo: United Steelworkers

Pittsburgh — A new guide on stop-work authority from the United Steelworkers is aimed at helping workers develop and bargain for programs that allow them to halt unsafe or unhealthy operations and processes until hazards are abated.

Developed by USW’s health, safety and environment department, Bargaining for Stop Work Authority to Prevent Injuries and Save Lives features four checklists for developing a stop-work authority process. It also details the importance of well-designed SWA programs and the pitfalls of ineffective programs that exist at many worksites.

Additionally, the free guide contains a “model negotiated SWA process and contract language won by a USW local union.”

The first part of the guide details how the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and other laws don’t include SWA, how common SWA programs are in workplaces, and how a voluntary consensus standard supports SWA.

“The unfortunate reality is that flawed stop-work programs exist at many worksites, and this booklet will help to change that,” USW International President Tom Conway said in a press release. “In addition, workers often face challenges, including retaliation, in their efforts to stop unhealthy or unsafe work.”

Added Debra Coyle, executive director of the New Jersey Work Environment Council: “By applying the guide’s lessons and winning stop-work authority, unions can better protect both their members and communities from chemical fires, explosions, toxic releases and other dangers.”


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.

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Boosts Investment in CDL Programs

First published by FMCSA

Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Drivers Programs

Photo property of FMCSA

With nearly 75% more funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this program will streamline CDL trainings to get more drivers on the road, reducing supply chain pressures and making goods more affordable for American families 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that the Biden Administration is following through on its Trucking Action Plan commitment by awarding more than $44 million in grants that will enhance road safety and make the process to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) more efficient. Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, States and other entities will be able to improve their CDL programs by reducing wait times, ensuring conviction and disqualification data is electronically exchanged, implementing regulatory requirements, and combatting human trafficking. These grants, awarded through the Commercial Driver’s License Program Implementation, will help get more qualified drivers on the road who can help meet supply chain demands.

The Department of Transportation made significant progress working with states to reduce CDL backlogs and wait times. Now through this funding, the Administration will create long-term resilience and avoid future delays for those who want to join this workforce.

“The Biden-Harris Administration has made it a priority not only to retain truck drivers in their important careers, but also to get more qualified truck drivers on the road,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Now, using funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are helping States bring safe, well-trained truck drivers into the workforce and ease pandemic-driven supply chain disruptions.”

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included a 74% increase in CDLPI program funds, which will also help address the rising number of roadway fatalities–a key component in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Strategy.

“FMCSA’s core mission is safety, and we’re proud to make investments that support the U.S. Department of Transportation’s ambitious goal of zero fatalities on our roadways,” said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Robin Hutcheson. “The grants we are announcing today are an important tool for reducing large truck crashes and supporting critical safety programs in every State.”

In total, nearly 60 percent of FMCSA’s annual budget provides States and local communities with grant funding to enhance commercial vehicle safety.

In addition to improving the process for CDLs, Secretary Buttigieg and President Biden’s Supply Chain Disruption Task Force have also been focused on the issue of truck driver retention as part of the Trucking Action Plan. Due to pay, parking shortages, and other challenges in the profession, retaining truck drivers has been a major challenge. As part of that effort, the Department has announced that it will undertake a driver compensation study and form a truck leasing task force, and also has clarified what programs in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law can be used to address truck parking.

Read more about FMCSA’s grants and financial assistance.


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 info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

COVID-19 and Construction

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

CPWR report highlights pandemic’s impacts

Silver Spring, MD — The rate of nonfatal illnesses in the construction industry jumped 81.4% during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic compared with the annual average for the previous four years, according to a new report from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.

Using data from that covered different time periods from 2016 to 2022, researchers found that the rate of nonfatal illnesses in the construction industry increased to 12.7 per 10,000 full-time equivalent workers in 2020 from an average of 7.0 per 10,000 FTEs over the four previous years. Overall, around 8,700 nonfatal illnesses were recorded in 2020, compared with an annual average of 4,600 over the previous four years.

The number of nonfatal respiratory illnesses increased to 5,300 in 2020 from an annual average of 425 from 2016 to 2019. That equates to a large spike in the rate per 10,000 FTEs, to 7.7 from 0.6 – a 1,183% increase.

Looking at COVID-19 vaccination rates by major occupational category in May, construction and extraction workers (52.4%) trailed all others and lagged far behind the percentage for all industries, which was 81.7. Those workers’ top reasons for not getting vaccinated, according to a Delphi Group survey that allowed respondents to choose more than one, were:

  • Distrust of COVID-19 vaccines (61.4%)
  • Distrust of the government (59.2%)
  • Don’t need a vaccine (58.7%)
  • Worried about side effects (55.8%)

“Construction work was deemed essential early in the pandemic,” the report states. “One of the most important steps to keeping construction workers safe on the worksite is the COVID-19 vaccine. The dramatic increases in nonfatal respiratory illnesses among construction workers highlight the pandemic’s impact on construction worker safety and health and the need for vaccinations.”

CPWR highlights its COVID-19 Construction Clearinghouse among its resources “on the science and benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine.”


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

Safe + Sound Week 2022

First published by OSHA

Recognize Safe + Sound Week 2022: August 15-21, 2022

 

Safe + Sound Week is a nationwide event held each August that recognizes the successes of workplace health and safety programs and offers information and ideas on how to keep America’s workers safe.

Why Participate?
Successful safety and health programs can proactively identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness, improving sustainability and the bottom line. Participating in Safe + Sound Week can help get your program started, energize an existing one, or provide a chance to recognize your safety successes.

Who Participates?
All organizations looking for an opportunity to recognize their commitment to safety are welcome to participate. Last year, more than 5,300 businesses helped to raise awareness about workers’ health and safety!

 

Safe + Sound Week August 15-21, 2022

Photo property of OSHA

Participating is as easy as 1-2-3!

Click below for more information.

Let us know you are participating this year by registering now.

Identify activities and events to plan and promote for your workplace or community. Check out our example activities, graphics, and other resources.

After you’ve completed your events, you can download a certificate and virtual challenge coin to recognize your organization.

 

 

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

 

Mine workers and breathing problems

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

East Lansing, MI — A recent study of workers at sand, gravel and stone mines in Michigan found a higher number of doctor visits for shortness of breath compared with workers in other production industries.

Researchers at Michigan State University examined lung disease as well as exposure to silica, various allergens and other irritants among more than 1,200 surface mine workers from around the state. They asked the workers, who each had at least 15 years of experience, to complete a questionnaire and provided them with free chest X-rays and breathing tests.

Results showed “an increased prevalence of seeing a doctor for shortness of breath, possible work-related asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,” according to an MSU press release. In the release, lead study author Hailey TenHarmsel, a research assistant in the MSU College of Human Medicine, said the nature of surface mining leaves workers vulnerable to various exposure risks.

Doug Needham is executive director of the Michigan Aggregates Association, which represents 85% of aggregate mining operators in Michigan. “We are making sure the health and safety of the work itself and companies doing air monitoring aren’t exposed to anything,” Needham said. “We put in air monitors on their chest throughout a normal eight-hour day, and at the end of the day, they turn them in and get tested to ensure they weren’t exposed to any limits that will cause them harm.”

The study was published online in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.


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 – Alarming rise in trench-related fatalities

First published by OSHA

22 workers have perished in first half of 2022

In 2022’s first six months, 22 workers have fallen victim to the deadly hazards present in trenching and excavation work – surpassing 15 in all of 2021 – and prompting the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration to launch enhanced enforcement initiatives to protect workers from known industry hazards. Alarming rise in trench-related fatalities

To stress the dangers of disregarding federal workplace safety requirements for trenching and excavation work, OSHA enforcement staff will consider every available tool at the agency’s disposal. These actions will place additional emphasis on how agency officials evaluate penalties for trenching and excavation related incidents, including criminal referrals for federal or state prosecution to hold employers and others accountable when their actions or inactions kill workers or put their lives at risk.

In keeping with its National Emphasis Program for excavations, OSHA compliance officers will perform more than 1,000 trench inspections nationwide where they may stop by, and inspect, any excavation site during their daily duties.

“The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is calling on all employers engaged in trenching and excavation activities to act immediately to ensure that required protections are fully in place every single time their employees step down into or work near a trench,” said Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker. “In a matter of seconds, workers can be crushed and buried under thousands of pounds of soil and rocks in an unsafe trench. The alarming increase in the number of workers needlessly dying and suffering serious injuries in trenching incidents must be stopped.”

“Every one of these tragedies could have been prevented had employers complied with OSHA standards,” Parker continued. “There simply is no excuse for ignoring safety requirements to prevent trench collapses and cave-ins, and leaving families, friends and co-workers to grieve when the solutions are so well-understood.”

A recent incident in central Texas highlights the dangers of trenching and an impetus for OSHA’s action. On June 28, 2022, two workers, aged 20 and 39, suffered fatal injuries in Jarrell, Texas, when the unprotected trench more than 20 feet deep collapsed upon them as they worked. Trench shields, which could have saved their lives, sat unused beside the excavation.

Trenching and excavation operations require protective systems and inspections before workers can enter. When employers fail to install trench protection systems or properly inspect the trench, workers are exposed to serious hazards, including risk of being buried under thousands of pounds of soil. By some estimates, a cubic yard of soil can weigh as much as 3,000 pounds, equal to that of a compact car.

States that operate their own Occupational Safety and Health plan have similar emphasis programs in place, and OSHA also encourages those states to consider additional measures, including criminal referrals for federal or state prosecution for trenching-related incidents.

Trenching standards require protective systems on trenches deeper than 5 feet and soil and other materials kept at least 2 feet from the edge of a trench. Additionally, trenches must be inspected by a knowledgeable person, be free of standing water and atmospheric hazards and have a safe means of entering and exiting prior to allowing a worker to enter.

“OSHA stands ready to assist any employer who needs help to comply with our trenching and excavation requirements,” Parker added. “We will conduct outreach programs, including safety summits, in all of our 10 regions to help ensure any employer who wants assistance gets it. The stakes are too important.”

OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program, free and confidential health and safety consulting program for small- and medium-sized businesses, will assist employers in developing strategic approaches for addressing trench-related illnesses and injuries in workplaces.

The agency also urges workers to contact their local OSHA or state plan office, or call 800-321-OSHA, if their employer requires working in or beside trenches that are not sloped, shored, or shielded and are five or more feet in depth.

OSHA’s trenching and excavation webpage provides additional information on trenching hazards and solutions, including a safety video. Alarming rise in trench-related fatalities


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.

Know the Warning Signs of Heat-Related Illness on Mining Sites

First published by MSHA

Photo property of USDOL

Mining is a tough job, and many mine and mill workers are exposed to hot working conditions, especially during the summer months. Mining at hot work sites is challenging and can turn dangerous without the proper precautions. Workers nationwide face similar challenges at hot work sites. During Extreme Heat Month, we aim to provide information and resources to prevent heat-related illnesses at work sites.

A “hot” work site is defined by several factors, including high air temperatures, high surface temperatures, high humidity and low air movement. Mine operators and owners need to ensure workers are properly trained and acclimatized so work sites remain safe.

All workers – and supervisors in particular – need to recognize the conditions of a “hot” job and should be provided heat-stress training on worker risk, prevention, symptoms, monitoring, treatment and personal protective equipment. The objective should always be to keep workers’ body core temperatures from rising above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).

These tips can help prevent dangerous – or even DEADLY– heat-related symptoms: 
  • Provide a work-rest regimen – acclimatization over an initial one- to two-week period, then frequent breaks and reasonably short work periods.

  • Pace tasks to avoid exhaustion.

  • Perform heavy tasks in cooler areas or at cooler times.

  • Rotate personnel on hot jobs.

  • Provide readily accessible cooler rest areas – 50 to 60 F (10 to 15 C).

  • Provide cool drinking water 50 to 60 F (10 to 15 C) near workers at all times.

  • Encourage or require all workers to drink a cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes.

  •  Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol and large amounts of sugar.

  • Drink lightly salted water (one level tablespoon of salt per 15 quarts of water for general use). See treatments for certain disorders for an alternate mix of salt and water.

  • Caution against drinking extreme amounts of water; generally no more than 12 quarts over a 24-hour period.

  • Provide sun blockers and proper protective clothing for individuals working in the sun.

If a worker does show signs of heat stress:  

DO:

  • Remove the victim from the heat.

  • Apply cool wet cloths.

  • Fan the victim but STOP if goose bumps or shivers develop.

  • Give water if victim is conscious.

  • Seek medical attention if there’s no improvement.

DON’T:

  • Give any stimulant, alcohol or cigarettes.

  • Apply ice directly to the skin.

  • Allow the victim to become so cold that shivering starts.

  • Leave the victim alone.

Help keep miners and all workers safe this summer by following these simple recommendations. Remember that owners, operators and supervisors are responsible for keeping workers safe and understanding how to prevent heat illness and injury.

You can find additional resources here:

OSHA: Heat Illness Prevention

MSHA: Heat Stress

MSHA: Heat Stress – Health Hazard Card


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.