Survey outlines trucking industry’s commitment to safety

Photo-Missouri-DOT

Washington — The trucking industry remains committed to maintaining and improving safety – and has the receipts to prove it.

Recently released data from the American Trucking Associations’ Safety Spend Survey shows that, in 2022, the industry invested an estimated $14 billion in technology, training and “other expenditures” to boost highway safety. That’s an increase of more than 40% from the most recent survey conducted in 2015.

ATA polled motor carriers with fleets of all sizes. Respondents represented nearly 160,000 trucks and 170,000 drivers, an association press release states. Fleets’ investments were organized under five categories: onboard safety technology, training, incentives, safety-related maintenance and compliance costs.

“The trucking industry’s highest commitment is to keep our roads, drivers and the entire motoring public safe,” ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said. “This report clearly demonstrates that safety isn’t just a slogan for our industry, it is our mission. While others talk about their commitment to safety, the trucking industry is doing the work and investing in lifesaving technology and training every day.”


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 Safety+Health an NSC publication

NIOSH announces winners of mine technology awards

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Photo: olegback/iStockphoto

Washington — Four organizations recently earned recognition from NIOSH for their use of technology and creativity to advance miner safety and health.

The 2023 NIOSH Mine Safety and Health Technology Innovations Awards were presented for the following categories:
Industrial minerals: Imerys was honored for redesigning a packing station and installing lift devices to mitigate repetitive-motion injuries related to lifting, as well as shoulder, arm and wrist twisting. NIOSH says the improvements “made a genuine difference in the working experience” while increasing the efficiency of the packing process.
Coal: Innovative Wireless Technologies and Arch Resources Inc. shared the award after collaborating on a next-generation wireless gas monitor that uses a multi-sensor platform. The tool produced real-time situational awareness and visibility of atmospheric conditions.
Metal: Hecla Mining reduced the all-injury frequency rate at its Lucky Friday Mine by more than half via the “underhand closed bench” mining method. The innovation, NIOSH said, improved proactive control of fault-slip seismicity in deep, high-stress, narrow-vein mining.

“Whenever private companies address health and safety issues with innovative approaches, everyone wins,” Steve Sawyer, director of the NIOSH Mining Program’s Pittsburgh Mining Research Division, said in a press release. “In mining, each operation has its own unique challenges, and solutions to these challenges need to be tailored to each mine.”

NIOSH presented the awards in conjunction with the Essential Minerals Association and the National Mining Association.


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

California silica ETS takes effect December 29

Comes in response to silicosis epidemic among artificial stone fabrication workers

Photo: CDC

California issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) on respirable crystalline silica that goes into effect December 29, 2023. The ETS comes in response to a silicosis epidemic among artificial stone fabrication workers in California and allows Cal/OSHA to quickly shut down an operation if work violates the ETS and endangers employees’ health.

It applies to general industry workers occupationally exposed to silica; it does not apply to construction, agricultural operations, or exposures that result from the processing of sorptive clays.

The ETS includes revisions to protect workers in high-exposure tasks such as grinding, cutting, polishing, and cleanup of artificial stone and natural stone containing more than 10 percent crystalline silica. Information published by Cal/OSHA defines artificial stone as “any reconstituted, artificial, synthetic, composite, engineered, or manufactured stone, porcelain, or quartz typically within a binding material. It contains more than 90 percent crystalline silica.”

The ETS makes changes to California Code of Regulations, Title 8, section 5204. Among the revisions are:

  • Additional employee exposure control precautions,
  • Expansion of the written exposure control plan,
  • Employee communication and training,
  • Respirator protection,
  • Employee exposure monitoring, and
  • Reporting silicosis and cancer cases.

Employers must implement section 5204, including all ETS requirements, in their workplaces if the work their employees perform meets the scope and application of that standard.


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 J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

MSHA completed impact inspections at 14 mines with histories of repeated safety, health violations in November 2023

Inspections resulted in 52 significant, substantial and 6 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 November 2023, issuing 184 violations and one safeguard.

The agency began impact inspections after an April 2010 explosion in West Virginia at the Upper Big Branch Mine killed 29 miners.

To date, MSHA’s impact inspections in 2023 have identified 2,491 violations, including 706 significant and substantial and 52 unwarrantable failure findings. An S&S violation is one that 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. Of the 184 violations MSHA identified in November, 52 were evaluated as S&S and six had unwarrantable failure findings. The agency completed these inspections at mines in Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

“The November 2023 impact inspection results show yet again the value of these inspections in identifying violations of mandatory safety and health standards,” said Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Chris Williamson. “But it is troubling that the findings of November’s impact inspections closely mirror those of others in 2023.”

“The Mine Act makes clear that the ultimate responsibility for the safety and health of miners lies with mine operators. MSHA will continue to publish the results of impact inspections and urges mine operators to take proactive steps to make certain they are protecting miners from injuries or fatalities. We are all troubled by the mining industry’s trend of increased fatalities this year. MSHA has worked to leverage all the tools Congress gave the agency – outreach, education and enforcement – to protect miners and will continue to look for ways to work together with the entire mining community in reversing this trend,” Williamson added.

The Hazen Mine in Hazen, North Dakota, was among the mines MSHA inspected in November. Selected given its enforcement history, the mine is operated by North Dakota Proppant. The inspection identified 30 violations, including 10 S&S and five unwarrantable failure findings. Specifically, MSHA inspectors found the following conditions existed at the Hazen mine:

  • Failure to provide and maintain guarding around moving machine parts. Overall, inspectors cited inadequate guarding most frequently during this inspection. The lack of appropriate protection from moving machine parts can contribute to fatal mine accidents and disabling injuries to miners.
  • Failure to provide safe access to working areas was the second-most frequently cited violation during this inspection. These conditions exposed miners to potential fall hazards. Earlier in 2023, MSHA issued a safety alert regarding the dangers associated with working at heights. The agency continues to remind operators and contractors of best practices for preventing falls, such as designing an effective fall prevention and protection program as well as providing task training.
  • Other serious violations including housekeeping violations, lack of berms around water, and equipment defects that were not corrected in a timely manner.

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

MSHA – Mine Fatality #37

MINE FATALITY – On November 13, 2023, a pit wall collapsed engulfing an excavator operator while he was outside of the excavator.

Accident scene where a pit wall collapsed engulfing an excavator operator while he was outside of the excavator.
Photo property of MSHA

Best Practices

  • Use appropriate mining methods when the material is steeper than its angle of repose.
    o    Install appropriate benches and trenches when necessary.
    o    Scale highwalls to eliminate hazards, e.g., steep slopes or overhangs.
  • Establish and discuss safe work procedures before beginning work. Identify and control all hazards associated with the work to be performed and the methods to properly protect miners.
  • Train miners to assess risks and hazards and correct or barricade hazards to prevent access before beginning work activities.

Additional Information

This is the 37th fatality reported in 2023, and the first classified as “Fall of Face, Rib, Side or Highwall.”


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

Visually Inspect Ocenco M20.3 – Safety Alert

 

Safety Alert 

Visually Inspect Ocenco M20.3
Ocenco M-20.3 units must be worn in the approved black case and visually inspected at the beginning of each work shift.

During mandated approval audits, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) evaluated 16 belt-worn M20.3 Ocenco units that had been in service at an active coal mine. The testing revealed that 3 of the 16 units were found to contain white sorbent dust inside the breathing bag. Miners coming into contact with sorbent material may experience respiratory distress and skin irritation. Visually inspect the M20.3 by looking through the clear base and checking for the presence of white dust within the clear breathing bag. Units with sorbent inside the breathing bag may not perform for their rated duration and must be removed from service immediately.

Ocenco M-20.3 units must be worn in the approved black case and visually inspected at the beginning of each work shift.  If stored, units must be visually inspected every 90 days.  More information can be found in the product manual.

https://www.ocenco.com/media/1024/m-203-instruction-manual-ocenco-inc.pdf

Best Practices

Inspection Overview from Manufacturer’s Manual

  • Verify the presence of tamper indicating ball on the latch lever.
  • Verify that the pressure gage is reading in the green zone.
  • Visually inspect unit for damage.
    • Sorbent dust in breathing bag visible through case. (see pictures above)
    • Case cracked, burned, deformed or excessively worn.
    • Excessive gap between the cover and base.
    • Damaged latch or cover band.
    • Dirt or debris visible through case.
    • Moisture visible through case.
  • Verify unit is within life cycle dates.

If the unit fails any part of the inspection, remove the unit from service.


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

FACE Report: Day laborer dies in a collapsed trench being dug to repair a sewer line

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Photo: NIOSH

Case report: #22CA003
Issued by: California State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Program
Date of report: Nov. 1, 2023

A plumber was asked by the manager of a mobile home park to repair a sewer line problem. No permits were obtained from the local municipal authorities, as is required. The plumber was self-employed and did not have a state-issued plumbing contractor’s license. To repair the sewer line, he hired four day laborers to dig a trench 4 feet wide, 30 feet long and 8 feet deep. Because of restricted space, the trench had to be dug with shovels. The process of digging the trench, which was not shored, exposed a 3-inch water line that was about 3 feet below grade and ran the length of the trench. No attempt was made to shut off the water line before work began or after it was uncovered. As two laborers were in the trench, about 8 feet below grade, the exposed water line above them suddenly broke. It began filling the trench with water and dirt that was being knocked loose from the pressurized water. When the day laborers above the trench witnessed this, they immediately attempted to rescue their co-workers. The water and mud were already up to the chests of the trapped laborers as their two co-workers above the trench tried to pull them out. It took about 10 minutes to pull one of the laborers from the mud-filled trench. The second laborer was completely submerged under the water and mud and was not able to be lifted out. Multiple fire and rescue departments arrived on the scene and removed the water from the trench with a vacuum. After eight hours, the victim was extracted from the trench and pronounced dead by paramedics. Cause of death was listed as traumatic asphyxia.

To help prevent similar occurrences, employers should ensure:

  • Trenches 5 feet deep or greater are properly shored, shielded or sloped.
  • Trenches are inspected by a competent person.
  • A licensed plumbing contractor is used to perform trenching and 
excavation work.
  • Day laborers are properly trained on hazards associated with working in a trench.

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

Tower workers: Are you using safety sleeves correctly?

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Photo: NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association

Dayton, OH — Communications tower workers using cable safety sleeves for fall protection must make sure the cable is secured and properly tensioned before starting work.

The reminder is part of a new video from NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association. The video highlights the continued collaboration between NATE’s Safety Equipment Manufacturers Committee and the University of Dayton’s Structures and Materials Assessment, Research, and Test (SMART) Laboratory. Together, the groups test equipment – under real-world conditions – that meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute.

The team performed more than 150 test drops. Its biggest takeaway?

“If you do not have tension on the wire rope, some of the sleeves will not function at all and may fall,” Joey Deuer, president and founder of Deuer Development, says in the video.

Other recommendations:

  • Only use the sleeve according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Ensure the user’s harness or body doesn’t contact the sleeve while climbing.
  • Don’t park unsecured sleeves on a cable while not in use; they may fall if the cable starts shaking.
  • Undamaged sleeves can be reused for rescue retrieval.


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

Managing workplace stress: Employers can help

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Photo: XiXinXing/iStockphoto

Mental health issues among workers really came to the forefront during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before, employers may have had a “grin and bear it” attitude toward mental health. But today they’re encouraged to talk with workers and find solutions to stress and other workplace challenges.

OSHA’s Safe Workplace Good Headspace initiative highlights ways employers can make a difference:

  • Acknowledge that workers may be experiencing “heightened levels of loneliness, isolation, uncertainty, grief and stress.” On top of that, they may be caring for children or older parents, or family members or loved ones who have medical or substance misuse conditions.
  • Work with the employee to identify factors that may be making it a challenge for them to get their jobs done. Can adjustments be made? Make it clear to them: “We want to brainstorm with you to identify ideas for improving the support we provide our workers.”
  • Reassure employees that you’re “open and receptive” to talking about their work stress by creating a trustworthy space. “We need you to be our ‘eyes and ears’ and alert us to problems that need correction.”
  • Offer your workers coping and resiliency resources, workplace and leave flexibilities without penalty, and other supportive networks and services.

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

Drive safely on black ice

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Photo: Willowpix/iStockphoto

On a list of winter driving hazards, black ice ranks high. A clear glaze that forms on surfaces because of a light freezing rain or because of melting and refreezing of snow or ice, black ice is especially dangerous because it looks like regular black pavement to drivers, the U.S. Forest Service says.

Although it can form on any road and “sneak up on you,” the National Weather Service says black ice frequently is found on roads that lack exposure to sunlight or are lightly traveled. Bridges, overpasses and the roads underneath overpasses are other common spots for black ice to develop.

If you drive over black ice, “the general rule is to do as little as possible and allow the car to pass over the ice,” USFS advises. “Black ice is often (although not always) patchy, so hopefully your tires will soon find traction.”

More tips:

  • Don’t slam on the brakes (this will likely cause your vehicle to skid) and keep the steering wheel straight. However, “If you feel the back end of your car sliding left or right, make a very gentle turn of the steering wheel in the same direction,” USFS says. “If you try to struggle against it by steering in the opposite direction, you risk skidding or spinning out.”
  • If your vehicle has an anti-lock braking system, put your foot on the brake, apply steady pressure and allow the car to pump the brakes as you skid. No ABS? Pump the brakes gently as you skid. Steer the car in the direction you want it to go.
  • Slow down and shift into a lower gear if you can. This gives you more control of your vehicle.
  • If your vehicle begins to drift off the road, USFS says to try to steer into objects that will cause the minimum amount of damage to your vehicle. “Ideally, steer into an empty field, a yard or a fluffy snowbank.”

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 Safety+Health an NSC publication