Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

MSHA awards more than $10.5M in grants to support mine safety, health training across the nation

Supports delivery of federally mandated miner education in 46 states, territories 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that its Mine Safety and Health Administration has awarded more than $10.5 million in grants to reduce mining accidents, injuries and illnesses by supporting programs such as safety and health courses.

The agency is awarding the grants to support the delivery of federally mandated training and re-training for miners at surface and underground coal and metal and nonmetal mines, as well as miners engaged in shell dredging or employed at surface stone, sand and gravel mining operations. MSHA is awarding grants in 43 states and the Navajo Nation, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

“Training is a critical element in protecting the safety and health of our nation’s miners,” said Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Christopher J. Williamson. “Deficiencies in miner training continue to be a root cause of fatal accidents. These grants fund programs and training designed to reduce mining accidents, injuries and illnesses.”

States and territories apply for grant funding, which is administered by state mine inspectors’ offices, state departments of labor and state-supported colleges and universities. Recipients tailor their training programs to address their area’s mining conditions and hazards miners may encounter.  Continue reading»


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

Original article published by MSHA

U.S. DOT Announces Over $30 Million in Grants to Support Firefighters, Local Hazardous Materials Safety Planning and Response Efforts

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced today that it is awarding over $30 million to support first responders and strengthen local efforts to respond to hazardous materials incidents.

“Firefighters and other local public servants are the everyday first-responder heroes that we rely on to immediately run to the emergency,” said PHMSA Deputy Administrator Tristan Brown. “These grants provide our emergency responders the resources they need to train and effectively respond to hazardous materials incidents.”

PHMSA is awarding grants to states, territories, tribes and non-profits through six of its grant programs. This includes approximately:

  • $22 million for Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness grants for states, territories, and tribes to train first responders on hazardous materials response and to support the development, implementation, and improvement of emergency plans for local and tribal communities.
  • $4.7 million in Hazardous Materials Instructor Training grants to support the training of hazardous materials instructors that train employees working with hazardous materials and first responders.
  • $1.3 million in Supplemental Public Sector Training grants to support non-profit organizations that train hazardous materials instructors conducting first responder trainings.

Continue reading “U.S. DOT Announces Over $30 Million in Grants to Support Firefighters, Local Hazardous Materials Safety Planning and Response Efforts”

‘Nearly always preventable’: Help workers avoid hearing loss

Help workers avoid hearing loss

Photo: Gabrijelagal/iStockphoto

From the blare of a forklift-collision warning to the wail of an ambulance siren, noise can make us aware of hazards our eyes haven’t yet seen. But not all noise is helpful.

“At certain levels it can become hazardous,” NIOSH cautions. Repeated workplace exposure to noise that’s 85 dBA or louder can permanently damage workers’ hearing – and even contribute to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

The good news? “Noise-induced hearing loss is nearly always preventable,” NIOSH says. “Reducing workplace noise below 85 dBA is the best way to prevent occupational hearing loss and other effects from hazardous noise.”

Employers can help by:
Buying quiet. Buy Quiet is a prevention initiative that encourages companies to purchase or rent quieter machinery and tools to reduce worker noise exposure,” NIOSH says.
Monitoring workers’ hearing. NIOSH recommends annual audiometric testing (a hearing test that measures the lowest level of sound someone can hear) for workers who are regularly exposed to noisy environments. “Testing should be performed by a professional certified by the Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation or equivalent certification,” the agency adds.
Creating a noise map. Use a sound level meter to measure areas in the workplace that are loud, and then map out those locations for workers. No access to an SLM? You can use a sound measurement app. NIOSH has one – go to cdc.gov/niosh/topics/noise/app.html to find it.
Communicating with workers about noise exposure. Use plain language to explain the risks to your workers. NIOSH recommends sharing your noise maps and posting signs in noisy areas.

October is recognized as National Protect Your Hearing Month.


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

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Stay safe when using portable light strings

Stay safe when using portable light strings

Photo: mokee81/iStockphoto

OSHA requires employers to ensure work areas have sufficient lighting. Sometimes that means extra help is needed. “When adequate illumination is not obtainable by permanent lighting sources,” OSHA states in standard 1915.82(a)(4), “temporary lighting may be used as supplementation.”

One solution is portable light strings. These are electric lights connected along a cable, wire or string. The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services has tips on how to use them safely:

  • Before stringing the lights, inspect the wiring and fixtures for damage.
  • Ensure the plug has a ground prong – the third prong on the plug – and test it frequently.
  • Don’t string lights near combustible items. The bulbs can get hot. Even if they’re not in direct contact with the combustible items, “heat can build up slowly until the ignition temperature is reached.”
  • All bulbs should have guards installed. “Not only will this help prevent the bulb from coming in direct contact with a combustible, it can also protect you (or someone else) from coming in contact with the bulb and getting burned.”
  • Need to replace a broken bulb on the string? Put on gloves to protect against cuts, and then disconnect the power from the light string before replacing the bulb.
  • Don’t use an ordinary light string in an area that may contain flammable vapors. “When used within an enclosed or confined space, the space must be certified as ‘Safe for Hot Work’ if a conventional string is used. If the atmosphere is not ‘Safe for Hot Work,’ then ‘explosion-proof’ lights must be used.”

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

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

OSHA will seek public input, ideas to improve OSHA whistleblower program outreach, training at October meeting

Public comments must be submitted by Nov. 7, 2023

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration will hold an online meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023, to hear public comments and suggestions as part of its effort to improve outreach and training initiatives that support the federal whistleblower laws the agency enforces.

The meeting will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. EDT and is open to the public. The meeting will be offered in English and Spanish. Individuals interested in joining or participating in the meeting must register in English or in Spanish by Oct. 17, 2023. There is no cost to attend.

OSHA is seeking comments, ideas and other input in response to the following questions:

  • How can OSHA deliver better whistleblower customer service?
  • What kind of assistance can OSHA provide to help explain the agency’s whistleblower laws to employees and employers?

Comments may also be submitted to the Federal eRulemaking Portal assigned to Docket No. OSHA-2018-0005. Deadline for submitting comments is Nov. 7, 2023. Read the Federal Register notice for details.

Learn more about OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program.


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

Original article published by OSHA

MSHA announces findings of impact inspections at 14 US mines; identifies 246 violations of safety, health standards

Identified 94 significant, substantial violations; 17 unwarrantable failure findings

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that its Mine Safety and Health Administration completed impact inspections at 14 mines in 10 states in August, issuing 246 violations.

Begun after an explosion killed 29 miners in West Virginia at the Upper Big Branch Mine in 2010, monthly impact inspections are conducted 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 246 violations MSHA identified in August, 94 were evaluated as significant and substantial, or S&S, violations and 17 were found to have an unwarrantable failure finding. An S&S violation is one 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.

MSHA completed monthly impact inspections at mines in Alabama, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wyoming in August.

So far this year, the agency’s impact inspections have identified 1,969 violations, including 587 S&S and 40 unwarrantable failure findings.

Continue reading “MSHA announces findings of impact inspections at 14 US mines; identifies 246 violations of safety, health standards”

MSHA announce $1M in grants awarded to support mine safety, health awareness; education, training

Grants seek to bolster education, training for key risks facing miners

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of $1 million in grants to nine organizations in seven states to support education and training initiatives that will help identify and prevent unsafe working conditions in and around the nation’s mines.

Administered by the department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration, the Brookwood-Sago Mine Safety grant program will allow recipients to create training materials, promote and conduct mine safety training or educational programs, and evaluate the effectiveness of their efforts.

In awarding the grants, MSHA gave special emphasis to education and training programs that target miners at smaller mines and underserved populations in the industry. Training and education supported by the grants align with key MSHA priorities, ranging from better protecting miners from exposure to silica dust to mine rescues.

“The Mine Safety and Health Administration works collaboratively with industry, labor, academia and other stakeholders to protect the health and safety of all miners. Education and training is a vital tool in achieving this objective,” said Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Chris Williamson.

“In examining the mining industry’s troubling trend of fatalities this year, MSHA has found that training deficiencies continue to be a root cause of fatal accidents,” Williamson added. “The grants awarded today further key priorities of the agency and the Biden-Harris Administration, including preventing fatalities and serious accidents from safety issues, while also addressing miner health, such as preventing exposure to toxic materials like silica dust.”

Established under the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006, the grant program honors 25 miners who perished in mine disasters in 2001 at the Jim Walter Resources #5 mine in Brookwood, Alabama, and in 2006 at the Sago Mine in Buckhannon, West Virginia.

“These grants recognize the sacrifice of 25 miners who died needlessly in two of the nation’s worst mine disasters in the last 25 years,” Williamson said. “The recipients of our 2023 Brookwood-Sago Mine Safety grants share our determination to keep miners safe and healthy at mines across the nation.”  Continue reading»


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

Original article published by MSHA

Mobile Mining Operations & Equipment – Health Alert

HEALTH ALERT Mobile  
Mining Operations & Equipment

Best Practices
  • Control workplace environments to ensure compliance with the dust permissible exposure limits.
  • Engineering controls reduce dust at its source.

– Dust collector systems

– Enclosures and booths

– Use water for dust suppression

  • Sprays
  • Water Trucks

– Environmental cabs

  • Maintain equipment per manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Provide respiratory protection and ensure it is worn.
  • Have a compliant respiratory protection program (RPP).

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

Original article published by MSHA

Tower worker video offers overview of fall arrest lanyard testing

fall-arrest-lanyard.jpg
Photo: NATE: The Communication Infrastructure Tower Contractors Association

Dayton, OH — Communications tower workers: Always use lanyards with appropriate fall clearance – and never connect the equipment back to itself unless that’s the way the lanyard is designed.

Those are two of the top takeaways of a new video from NATE: The Communication Infrastructure Tower Contractors Association.

The video provides an overview of how NATE’s Safety Equipment Manufacturers Committee works with the University of Dayton’s Structures and Materials Assessment, Research, and Test (SMART) Laboratory to test equipment – under real-world conditions – that meet the standards of the American National Standards Institute.

Recent testing examined the impact of long-distance falls involving the use of factor 1 lanyards, in which fall protection is tied off to an anchorage point above the head, and factor 2 lanyards, in which the anchorage point is at foot level.

John Lamond, vice president of sales at GME Supply Co., says in the video that factor 1 lanyards are designed to limit the distance of potential falls, while the foot-level tie-offs for factor 2 lanyards may increase the fall distance.

Workers should never connect with a factor 1 lanyard when a factor 2 lanyard is necessary, NATE says.

“We wanted to make sure we replicated how they’re using them in the field, what situations are most dangerous and what they may not know impacts them as they’re using a specific lanyard as they work,” Lamond said.

In the video, Sheri O’Dell-Deuer, vice president at Deuer Developments, says the SEMC checks lanyards after testing to ensure the carabiner and gate still work properly, and that the stitching remains intact. The committee also determines whether the shock pack has been deployed.

The video is the most recent installment in NATE’s Climber Connection series, which promotes safe work practices for communication tower 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

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

House hearing explores concerns related to driverless trucks

Chris-Spear.jpg
Photo: House Highways and Transit Subcommittee

Washington — A centralized framework that emphasizes safety and lets innovation “thrive” is crucial for the federal regulation of autonomous trucks, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear says.

Speaking during a Sept. 13 hearing before the House Highways and Transit Subcommittee, Spear called on Congress to establish firm federal oversight to avoid a “patchwork” of state and local regulations that could “stifle the innovation” of automation “before it even has a chance to prove its worth.”

In Spear’s view, that includes “knee-jerk reactions” such as A.B. 316 – a proposed AV law in California that would have prohibited autonomous trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds from operating on state roadways without a person on board. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) vetoed the bill on Sept. 22.

In his opening remarks, Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR), who chairs the subcommittee, said a potential federal framework “should not be overly prescriptive, but instead create guardrails for the industry to grow with safety at the forefront.” He cited National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates showing that 94% of serious crashes can be attributed to driver-related factors such as speeding, fatigue, impairment and distraction.

Crawford said autonomous trucks can increase safety “by anticipating road dangers and mitigating or removing human error from the chain of events that lead to a crash.”

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), the subcommittee’s ranking member, cautioned that the technology’s potential benefits “must be carefully weighed against risks, especially when public roads are being used as testing grounds for new technologies.”

Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL), a former truck driver, said that although he isn’t opposed to autonomous trucking, he still has concerns related to its potential impact on issues such as cybersecurity and a perceived driver shortage.

“We can’t guarantee what hackers might be able to get into and put autonomous trucks at risk to our people,” Bost said. “I think we can put a lot of safety in there, but we’ve got to be very, very, very careful.”


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Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication