OSHA announces heat hazard alert

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced that its Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a heat hazard alert to remind employers of their obligation to protect workers against heat illness or injury in outdoor and indoor workplaces.

Federal law requires employers to provide safe, healthy working conditions

heat hazard

Photo: OSHA

The department also announced that OSHA will intensify its enforcement where workers are exposed to heat hazards, with increased inspections in high-risk industries like construction and agriculture. These actions will fully implement the agency’s National Emphasis Program on heat, announced in April 2022, to focus enforcement efforts in geographic areas and industries with the most vulnerable workers.

The action comes as President Biden announced new actions today to protect workers from extreme heat and new investments to protect communities, as historically high temperatures break records and expose millions of people to the serious dangers of heat in the workplace.

“Historically high temperatures impact everyone and put our nation’s workers at high risk,” said Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su. “A workplace heat standard has long been a top priority for the Department of Labor, but rulemaking takes time and working people need help now. Today, at the President’s request, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a heat hazard alert to make sure employers follow current standards and that workers across the country know their rights. This action, combined with OSHA’s increased heat-safety enforcement efforts, shows that we are determined to protect the safety and health of millions of people whose jobs become more hazardous in harsh weather.”

Since 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 436 people have died due to workplace heat exposure, with an annual average of 38 deaths between 2011 to 2019. In addition, an average of 2,700 cases involving heat illnesses lead to days lost at work, putting an additional economic burden on workers and employers. Statistics show that people who work in conditions without adequate climate-control face higher risks of hazardous heat exposure and that these situations disproportionately expose people of color to hazardous heat.

In October 2021, OSHA began the rulemaking process to consider a heat-specific workplace standard by publishing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings in the Federal Register.

Continue reading “OSHA announces heat hazard alert”

CVSA Releases 2023 International Roadcheck Results

On May 16-18, 59,429 commercial motor vehicles were inspected in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. as part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 72-hour International Roadcheck inspection and enforcement initiative. Eighty-one percent of the commercial motor vehicles and 94.5% of the commercial motor vehicle drivers inspected did not have any out-of-service violations and continued en route to safely complete their runs.


Photo: CVSA

Commercial motor vehicles without any critical vehicle inspection violations are eligible to receive a CVSA decal. During this year’s International Roadcheck, decals were applied to 14,032 power units, 5,814 trailers and 305 motorcoaches/buses, for a total of 20,151 decals throughout North America.

Conversely, CVSA-certified inspectors discovered at least one out-of-service violation on 19% of the vehicles inspected and, in turn, removed those 11,270 commercial motor vehicles from roadways until the out-of-service (OOS) violations were corrected. There were 17,479 vehicle out-of-service violations in total.

Inspectors also restricted 5.5% (3,256) of the commercial motor vehicle drivers inspected who were found to have at least one out-of-service driver violation, as identified in the CVSA North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria, from operating their vehicle. Those drivers were restricted from commercial travel until their out-of-service violations were addressed. There were 5,280 driver out-of-service violations in total.

A total of 116,669 violations were identified throughout the effort, which included all driver and vehicle out-of-service violations and violations that were not out of service, combined.

Each year, CVSA highlights certain aspects of the roadside inspection. This year, inspectors focused on anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and cargo securement. There were 2,975 cargo securement violations and 4,127 ABS violations – four were discovered on motorcoaches, 1,426 on power units and 2,697 on trailers.

Note: Not all cargo securement violations are out-of-service violations. The cargo securement total noted above is for all cargo securement violations – out-of-service and non-out-of-service violations combined. The cargo securement violations in table 1 are out-of-service cargo securement violations only. In addition, ABS violations are not out-of-service violations, which is why those violations are not included in table 1.  

A total of 949 safety belt violations were issued during this year’s International Roadcheck. Meaning, 1.6% of commercial motor vehicle drivers inspected were not wearing their safety belt.

Inspectors also checked commercial motor vehicles carrying hazardous materials/dangerous goods (HM/DG) to ensure they were being transported safely and compliant with federal regulations. During International Roadcheck, 2,853 HM/DG inspections were performed, and inspectors discovered 236 HM/DG-related out-of-service violations.

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.

Original article published by CVSA

MSHA finds 242 violations in June 2023 during inspections at 18 mines in 12 states

Identifies 71 significant & substantial violations, including 4 unwarrantable failure findings

WASHINGTON– The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that impact inspections completed by its Mine Safety and Health Administration at 18 mines in 12 states in June 2023 led the agency to issue 242 violations. The agency began impact inspections after the deaths of 29 miners in an explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in April 2010, one of the deadliest in U.S. history.

To date, MSHA’s impact inspections in 2023 have identified 1,435 violations, including 411 significant and substantial and 22 unwarrantable failure findings. An S&S violation is reasonably likely to cause a reasonably serious injury or illness. Violations designated as unwarrantable failures occur when an inspector finds aggravated conduct that constitutes more than ordinary negligence.

The agency conducts impact inspections at mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement due to poor compliance history; previous accidents, injuries, and illnesses; and other compliance concerns. Among the 242 violations MSHA issued in June, the agency evaluated 71 as S&S and found four to have unwarrantable failure findings. The inspections included mines in Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

“The Mine Safety and Health Administration remains troubled by the fact that our impact inspections continue to discover the same hazards we’ve identified as root causes for fatal accidents and that we know can cause serious occupational illnesses,” said Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Chris Williamson. “Mine operators are responsible for providing a safe and healthy work environment; this includes controlling miners’ exposure to health hazards like silica, preventing safety hazards such as unsafe electrical equipment and potential slips, trips and falls, and ensuring adequate workplace examinations and training.”

Two of the inspections in June provide examples of some of the hazards miners face.

On June 6, MSHA conducted an impact inspection at Kentucky Fuel Corp.’s WV-3 Surface Mine in Logan County, West Virginia, due to enforcement history and receiving hazardous condition complaints.

Continue reading “MSHA finds 242 violations in June 2023 during inspections at 18 mines in 12 states”

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces New Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is recognizing World Day Against Trafficking in Persons with several actions to raise awareness and prevent human trafficking, including new collaboration among transportation sector leaders and recognition of innovation at the state and local level.

Human Trafficking

“Transportation workers and the traveling public have a key role to play in the fight against trafficking – which is why it’s so important for everyone to recognize the signs and be prepared to report it,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Everyone can learn more about the signs of human trafficking and share the National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888) — an important resource to report a tip or ask for help.

Secretary Buttigieg announced the appointment of 15 members of the DOT Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking, which includes a cross-section of stakeholders from both industry and labor, including representatives from the aviation, bus, law enforcement, maritime, port, rail, and trucking sectors. Committee members also include lived experience experts and representatives of trafficking advocacy organizations and law enforcement. The Committee will develop a report with recommendations for countering human trafficking, and an assessment of best practices by transportation stakeholders and human trafficking violations involving commercial motor vehicles.

Secretary Buttigieg also announced the winner and runners up of the Department’s 2023 Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award, which incentivizes innovative and shareable solutions to combat human trafficking in the transportation industry.

  • 1st Place: Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking and the American Association of Port Authorities for their “Awareness Campaign to Help Prevent Human Trafficking in the Maritime Industry” proposal. It will conduct the first national, multilingual counter-trafficking public awareness campaign to raise awareness among port authority employees and seafarers.
  • 2nd Place: Houston Airports for its “Together We Will #EndHumanTrafficking” proposal to build on its comprehensive approach to combating human trafficking.  Their counter-trafficking proposal includes expanding community awareness ahead of major travel periods and holidays, expanding employee training to comprise human trafficking survivor voices, and providing financial support to local advocacy groups.
  • 3rd Place: Two Bowling Green State University faculty members for their “Higher Education on the Awareness Highway to End Human Trafficking” proposal to develop a counter-trafficking awareness toolkit. The proposed toolkit will serve as a resource guide for college and university faculty to create survivor-informed and evidence-based community impact projects for their students at transportation sites including transit, airports, trains, and highway rest areas.

Continue reading “U.S. Department of Transportation Announces New Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking”

Total Worker Health – A Broader Perspective on Health and Safety

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Heath (NIOSH), has been promoting the concept of Total Work Health (TWH) for a while now. Despite the years of research and every growing library of tools and resources, its possible (maybe even likely) the concept is still a little fuzzy. For that reason we are dedicating this month’s Safety Leadership post to help increase awareness of the concept and advance the TWH paradigm by sharing some of the related NIOSH offerings.

First – what is it? Well in NIOSH’s own words  – A Total Worker Health approach is defined as policies, programs, and practices that integrate protection from work-related safety and health hazards with promotion of injury and illness–prevention efforts to advance worker well-being. 

Another way of explaining is TWH programs looks at hazards and risks from a complete or comprehensive perspective with solutions that integrate health and safety along with the concept of worker well-being. This is quite different from traditional programs which have separated health from safety and failed to consider the impact of non-task related factors which can and do have significant impacts on a workers overall well-being.

The idea of workers going home in the same condition as when they arrived should consider all aspects of health including mental health. While TWH programs prioritize hazard free workplaces, they go beyond traditional physical hazards and consider addition factors, such as stress, directly related to work and how they can also impact worker’s personal and family lives as well. Beyond that, benefits and compensation evaluations are also considered as we all know financial insecurities and access to affordable medical care have a HUGE impact on our overall quality of life and ability to thrive.

Here is a look at the Hierarchy of Controls through a TWH lens

Worker Health

You can see how traditional practices would still fit and yet this model takes a much wider look.

Here are a few examples directly from the NIOSH page which helps to make the financial case for TWH:

  • High work stress: Research shows that high stress levels, especially when experienced for prolonged periods of time, can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Workers who report stressors like high job strain (high demands, with low levels of decision-making power) have an increased frequency of heart disease [Theorell et al. 2016]. Work-related stress can also lead to depression, which contributes to absenteeism, presenteeism (workers going to work when they are sick), disability, and unemployment, which lead to higher costs for employers [Schnall et al. 2016].
  • Paid sick leave: A NIOSH study found that workers with access to paid sick leave were 28% less likely to suffer nonfatal occupational injuries than workers without access to paid sick leave [Asfaw et al. 2012]. Another study found that providing paid sick leave could have saved employers $0.63 to $1.88 billion in reduced influenza-like illness-related absenteeism costs per year [Asfaw et al. 2017].

Use the link above to see the full list of research demonstrating the benefits to the organization.

Here are several other resources to help your organization fully assess the safety, health and well-being of your workers.

McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Check self-retracting lifelines in cold or wet conditions

Designed for working at height, self-retracting lifelines “extend and retract automatically, which keeps the lifeline in consistent tension while allowing the wearer to move around within a work area,” says the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development.

self-retracting lifelines

“If functioning properly, when the SRL detects a sudden increase in speed (such as from a fall), a locking mechanism in the housing immediately activates and stops the fall.”

However, cold and wet environmental conditions may cause the locking mechanism to seize, resulting in the cable continuing to spool out. If this happens, the fall won’t be arrested. To prevent this, do the following:

  • Ensure the locking mechanism hasn’t seized by rapidly pulling the cable to verify the components of the locking mechanism are functioning properly. Perform this action before the SRL is used for any task and then throughout the day.
  • Briskly pull out the cable to make sure the locking mechanism inside the housing responds to a sudden jerk on the cable. It should lock up similarly to how a seat belt does when a car comes to a sudden halt.
  • If the SRL gets wet, store it vertically to dry.

If the locking mechanism isn’t working, don’t use the SRL! Tell a supervisor immediately.

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.

Original article published by Safety+Health

‘Dire threat’: Lawmakers call for an OSHA heat standard

Washington — A group of Democratic lawmakers is pressing OSHA for the “fastest possible implementation” of a standard on protecting workers from extreme heat exposure.

heat standard

Photo: ST.art/iStockphoto

In a letter dated July 24, a coalition of 112 members of Congress led by Rep. Greg Casar (D-TX) calls on OSHA administrator Doug Parker and acting Labor Secretary Julie Su to address the “dire threat,” encouraging them to “mobilize all of the resources of the Department of Labor and the Biden administration that are necessary.”

The lawmakers ask for the standard to require employers to provide:

  • Adequate hydration
  • Rest breaks
  • Areas for rest breaks that are shaded (for outdoor work) or air-conditioned (for indoor work)
  • Medical services and training to address signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses
  • A plan for acclimatization to high-heat work conditions

OSHA published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on Oct. 27, 2021. The agency’s National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health formed a work group on heat injury and illness soon after.

On May 31, the work group presented a report and formal recommendations for a possible final rule to NACOSH, which accepted a motion to forward them to OSHA, along with a sample exposure control plan/heat illness prevention plan.

An OSHA spokesperson on June 22 told Safety+Health the agency recently initiated a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act panel review, the next step before a proposed standard is published.

In the letter, the lawmakers cite analysis from watchdog group Public Citizen estimating that, on average, occupational heat stress in the United States leads to 700 deaths and 170,000 illnesses and injuries annually.

“These heat waves are dangerous, they are life-threatening and – with the devastating effects of climate change – they are only getting worse,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said in a press release. “I urge the administration to move quickly to create this national heat standard to protect workers on the job.”

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.

Original article published by Safety+Health

MSHA issues alert on heat stress

Arlington, VA — The Mine Safety and Health Administration is reminding mine operators of best practices for preventing heat stress and treating workers who become overheated.

heat stress

Photo: MSHA

In a recently published safety alert, MSHA says signs of heat stress include hot – and often dry, red or spotted – skin. The victim may be confused, have a pale or flushed face, and experience muscle cramps from a loss of sodium.

To help prevent heat stress:

  • Provide cool drinking water near miners, and encourage them to drink a cup of water every 15-20 minutes.
  • Avoid drinks with caffeine and large amounts of sugar.
  • Use sunblockers and proper protective clothing.
  • Set up shaded areas for workers to take a break.
  • Rotate miners on hot jobs and schedule physically demanding tasks during cooler times

When treating symptoms, remove the miner from the hot area and apply cool, wet cloths to aid in recovery. Don’t apply ice directly to the skin or allow the miner to become cold enough for shivering.

Give the miner water if they’re awake. If no improvement occurs, seek medical attention.

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.

Original article published by Safety+Health

New Form I-9 announced

Employers can start using updated form for new hires on August 1

A new Form I-9 is available, and employers need to use the revised version after November 1. The updates include an option for remote review of employee documents.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published an announcement of the new form in a Federal Register notice on July 25. In a separate Federal Register notice, the agency said it will allow employers enrolled in E-Verify to remotely examine identity and employment authorization documents.

What’s different about the Form I-9?

The new Form I-9, which has a revision date of 08/01/23:

  • Has been slimmed down to one page,
  • Can be filled out on tablets and mobile devices,
  • Can be easily downloaded,
  • Includes a box that can be checked by eligible employers when the form’s documentation is reviewed under an alternative procedure (remotely),
  • Includes a standalone supplement (Supplement A) that is only filled out when a preparer or translator is used,
  • Includes a standalone supplement (Supplement B) that is only completed for reverifications and rehires,
  • Changes “alien authorized to work” to “noncitizen authorized to work,”
  • Clarifies the difference between “noncitizen national” and “noncitizen authorized to work,”
  • Updates the Lists of Acceptable Documents to include some acceptable receipts and links to information on extensions of employment authorization documents, and
  • Has 8 pages of instructions, rather than the 15 that accompany the current form.

Who needs to use the new Form I-9?

The Form I-9 must be used by all employers to verify the identity and employment authorization of new employees during the hiring process. Employers could begin using the new form on August 1. They may continue to use the prior version of the form, with a revision date of 10/21/19, through October 31, 2023.

As of November 1, 2023, however, all employers must use the new version of the Form I-9.

Employers do not need to complete a new Form I-9 for current employees who already have a properly completed Form I-9 on file.

The new form can be downloaded from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services I-9 website.

Remote review an option for E-Verify employers

The DHS announced that it will also allow E-Verify employers to remotely examine an employee’s identity and employment authorization documents.

To use the remote review option, employers must:

  • Be enrolled in E-Verify,
  • Examine and retain copies of all documents,
  • Conduct a live video interaction with the employee, and
  • Create an E-Verify case if the employee is a new hire.

Between March 20, 2020, and July 31, 2023, the agency has allowed flexibility for employers to remotely review employee documents because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employers that were participating in E-Verify during that time may use the new alternative procedure to satisfy the physical documentation requirement by August 30, 2023.

Employers not enrolled in E-Verify during this time must complete an in-person physical inspection of documents by August 30, 2023.

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.

Original article published by J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

FMCSA Removes Four Devices from List of Registered ELDs

Photo: FMCSA

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has removed ALL TRUCKERS ELD, GOLDEN ELD, PRIMELD, and SECURE ELD devices from the list of registered Electronic Logging Devices (ELD). FMCSA has placed these ELDs on the Revoked Devices list due to the companies’ failure to meet the minimum requirements established in 49 CFR part 395, subpart B, appendix A, effective July 25, 2023.

FMCSA will send an industry email to let motor carriers know that all who use these revoked ELDs must take the following steps:

  1. Discontinue using the revoked ELDs and revert to paper logs or logging software to record required hours of service data.
  2. Replace the revoked ELDs with compliant ELDs from the Registered Devices list before September 23, 2023.

Motor carriers have up to 60 days to replace the revoked ELDs with compliant ELDs. If the ELD providers correct all identified deficiencies, FMCSA will place the ELDs back on the list of registered devices and inform the industry and the field.

During this time, safety officials are encouraged not to cite drivers using these revoked ELDs for 395.8(a)(1) – “No record of duty status” or 395.22(a) – “Failing to use a registered ELD.”
During this time, safety officials should request the driver’s paper logs, logging software, or use the ELD display as a back-up method to review the hours of service data.

Beginning September 23, 2023, motor carriers who continue to use the revoked devices listed above would be considered to be operating without an ELD. Safety officials who encounter a driver using a revoked device on or after September 23, 2023 should cite 395.8(a)(1), and place the driver out-of-service (OOS) in accordance with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance OOS Criteria.

FMCSA strongly encourages motor carriers to take the actions listed above now to avoid compliance issues in the event that the deficiencies are not addressed in time.

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.

Original article published by FMCSA