Not getting enough zzzs may up your risk of developing multiple chronic diseases

Original article published by Safety+Health

Is getting seven hours of sleep something you can only dream of? Results of a recent study suggest that falling two hours short of the recommended limit increases your risk of developing at least two chronic diseases.

Using data from nearly 8,000 British adults between 50 and 70 years old, researchers looked for links between sleep duration, mortality and whether participants had been diagnosed with chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes over 25 years.

Compared with the participants who slept up to seven hours a night, those who slept five hours or less a night at age 50 were 40% more likely to be diagnosed with multiple chronic diseases. They also had a 25% increased risk of mortality over the 25-year follow-up period.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends working-age adults get seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Older adults should get seven to eight hours.

“To ensure a better night’s sleep, it is important to promote good sleep hygiene, such as making the bedroom quiet, dark and at a comfortable temperature, before sleeping,” said lead study author Severine Sabia, a researcher at the University College London. “It’s also advised to remove electronic devices and avoid large meals before bedtime. Physical activity and exposure to light during the day might also promote good sleep.”

The study was published online in the journal PLOS Medicine.


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

Study explores top causes of driving-related deaths in oil and gas extraction industry

Original article published by Safety+Health

Washington — For oil and gas extraction workers, a combination of extended work hours, long commutes and insufficient sleep increases their odds of engaging in risky driving behaviors, according to a recent NIOSH study.

A previous study from the Centers for Disease Control in Prevention found that motor vehicle-related crashes are the leading cause of work-related deaths in the industry. To explore the underlying causes, NIOSH researchers – from October 2017 to February 2019 – surveyed 500 oil and gas extraction workers in Colorado, North Dakota and Texas.

Almost two-thirds of the respondents reported working 12 or more hours a day, while nearly half slept less than seven hours a night. The average round-trip commute time was about two hours. About a quarter of the workers reported falling asleep while operating a work vehicle or feeling “extremely drowsy” while driving at work more than once a month. Additionally, 17% said they nearly had crashed while driving at work within the past week.

Findings also show that although a majority of the workers’ employers had established vehicle safety policies covering near-miss crash reporting, fewer than half of the respondents indicated their employers’ policies included journey management (47%), fatigue management (42%) and maximum work hours (39%).

“These results underscore the need for employer policies to prevent risky driving events among workers in oil and gas extraction,” NIOSH says, adding that those policies should include “programs to limit long work hours, reduce long daily commutes, promote sufficient sleep and reduce drowsy driving.”

The study was published online in the American Journal of Industrial 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.

“Stand Against Impaired Driving” campaign materials

CPWR: Construction industry accounts for about half of job-related electrical deaths

Original article published by Safety+Health

Photo: The Center for Construction Research and Training

Silver Spring, MD — Roughly half of the fatal workplace injuries related to electricity exposure in a recent 10-year period occurred in construction, according to a new report from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.

Using 2011-2020 data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, researchers identified 1,501 fatal occupational electrical injuries in all industries. Of those, 49.1% involved construction workers. Additionally, 24.4% of nonfatal electrical injuries occurred in construction. CPWR says the industry employs 7% of the U.S. workforce.

Overall, fatal injuries were more often a result of direct exposure (58.8%) than indirect (38.9%). Direct exposure is associated with contacting a live wire, while indirect exposure may include operating a crane that touches a power line.

The researchers also analyzed OSHA enforcement data. Among their findings:

  • In 2020, establishments with fewer than 10 employees accounted for 71.5% of OSHA citations for violations of federal electrical standards, while comprising 81.4% of establishments overall.
  • By North American Industry Classification System code, 70.5% of citations for electrical standards involved specialty trade contractors; the NAICS code for construction of buildings (26.1%) and heavy and civil engineering construction (3.4%) followed. Specialty trade contractors accounted for 71.1% of fatal electrical injuries.
  • OSHA citations for violations of federal electrical standards decreased 73.5% from 2011 to 2021. Electrical standard citations comprised 2.7% of citations in construction in 2021 – down from 6.5% in 2011.

The report was published in the November issue of CPWR’s Data Bulletin.


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 #24

Original article published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On October 7, 2022, a mechanic was fatally injured when he was engulfed in material after he entered an air separator to clear a blockage.

Accident scene where a mechanic was fatally injured when he was engulfed in material after he entered an air separator to clear a blockage.
Best Practices:
  • Install mechanical flow-enhancing devices, such as mechanical vibratory devices, that can maintain material flow and prevent the need for miners to enter a confined space.
  • Mine operators should establish procedures to clear blockages and train all miners in the procedures.
  • Make sure miners wear a safety belt or harness equipped with a lifeline when entering a confined space, and that a second miner, similarly equipped, is attending the lifeline.
Additional Information:

This is the 24th fatality reported in 2022, and the first 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.

MSHA – Mine Fatality #23

Original article published by MSHA
MINE FATALITY – On October 1, 2022, a miner died while using a crane to remove a haul truck engine. The auxiliary line broke, causing the hook and ball assembly to fall and strike the miner.
Accident scene where a miner died while using a crane to remove a haul truck engine.  The auxiliary line broke, causing the hook and ball assembly to fall and strike the miner.
Best Practices:
  • Make sure cranes have functional anti-two blocking devices to automatically shut off the crane when the rigging on the hoist line gets close to the sheave at the end of the crane boom.
  • Make sure miners stay clear of suspended loads and use taglines when necessary for steadying or guiding suspended loads.
  • Make sure miners conduct thorough pre-operational inspections of all machinery, equipment, and tools prior to use.
Additional Information:

This is the 23rd fatality reported in 2022, and the eighth classified as “Machinery.”


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.

California Highway Patrol wants ELD requirement for intrastate truckers

Original article published by Safety+Health

Photo: Department of Transportation Flickr

Sacramento, CA — In an effort to “enhance commercial vehicle safety” and “create consistency between state and federal regulations,” the California Highway Patrol is proposing the state adopt regulations requiring the use of electronic logging devices for commercial motor vehicle carriers involved in intrastate operations.

CHP recently submitted to the California Office of Administrative Law an initial statement of reasons, contending the proposal would bolster safety by “improving compliance with the applicable hours-of-service rules and reducing the overall paperwork burden for both motor carriers and drivers.”

California regulations don’t require an ELD to record a driver’s record-of-duty status. The proposal would largely be consistent with federal ELD regulations promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, CHP says.

Exemptions would include:

  • Drivers operating under California’s 100 air-mile radius exemption
  • Drivers operating a CMV manufactured before 2000
  • Drivers operating a CMV in a driveaway-towaway operation
  • Drivers not operating more than eight days within any 30-day period
  • Authorized emergency vehicles

The deadline to comment on the proposal is Dec. 19.

Federal ELD regulations were under review for possible changes this fall. That public comment period closed Nov. 15.


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.

Fatal incident in Texas train yard involving a portable derail spurs FRA safety advisory

Original article published by Safety+Health

RRD22FR013-Preliminary.jpg

The National Transportation Safety Board released this photo of the derailment that killed a Union Pacific conductor in El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 29, 2022. Photo: National Transportation Safety Board and Union Pacific

 

Washington — In response to a recent fatal derailment at a Texas train yard, the Federal Railroad Administration has issued a safety advisory on the use of portable derails.

According to notice published in the Oct. 28 Federal Register, a 61-car Union Pacific Railroad train was traveling 9 mph when it struck a derailing device at 9:14 p.m. on Aug. 29 in El Paso, TX. The crew didn’t see the portable derail, which was placed on the track earlier in day to protect maintenance workers installing a switch in the yard. The conductor, who was riding in the lead car, was fatally injured when the car rolled over.

FRA emphasizes the importance of ensuring portable derails are visible in low-light conditions and that processes are in place to ensure the removal of these devices when they’re no longer necessary for on-track safety.

Some railroads, the agency notes, require workers to place a tag on the steering wheel of hi-rail vehicles when placing shunts on the track, adding that a similar process for placing portable derails would guard against workers unintentionally leaving portable derails on a track.

The agency recommends that railroad operators and contractors:

  • Review details of the El Paso incident with workers.
  • Ensure their safety manuals properly address the use of portable derails.
  • Equip any portable derails with a light or reflectors.
  • Include procedures that call for portable derails to be removed when no longer necessary.

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.

FMCSA Declares Texas Motor Carriers to be an Imminent Hazard to Public Safety

Original article published by FMCSA

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Texas Interstate Express LLC, USDOT No. 3818527, and PAC Express LLC, USDOT No. 3918055, related motor carriers located in the Houston area, to be an “imminent hazard” to public safety and ordered the motor carriers to immediately cease all interstate and intrastate operations.  The motor carriers were served the Federal order on November 11, 2022.

PAC Express LLC began operating after the FMCSA began attempting to conduct a compliance investigation on Texas Interstate Express LLC.  FMCSA had identified Texas Interstate Express for investigation based on the carrier’s widespread violations documented by FMCSA and its partners during roadside inspections.  Texas Interstate Express had more than double the national average vehicle out-of-service rate and almost ten times the national average driver out-of-service rate.  Texas Interstate Express shifted its operations over to PAC Express and operated as PAC Express despite the fact that Texas Interstate Express had been issued an Out-of-Service Order for failing to comply with a demand to produce the records required to conduct a compliance investigation.  During a subsequent FMCSA review of PAC Express, FMCSA found the motor carrier to be egregiously noncompliant with multiple Federal safety regulations, including violations in the following parts: Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing (49 CFR Part 382); Commercial Driver’s License Standards (49 CFR Part 383); Driver Qualification (49 CFR Part 391); Parts and Accessories Needed for Safe Operations (49 CFR Part 393); Hours of Service of Drivers (49 CFR Part 395); and Vehicle Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance (49 CFR Part 396).

Roadside inspections conducted on Texas Interstate Express demonstrated egregious violations such as using drivers who were prohibited in the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, using drivers who had no commercial driver’s license, using drivers who had no records of duty status, and allowing drivers to violate roadside out-of-service conditions.  In signed statements, two of Texas Interstate Express’ drivers stated to FMCSA that motor carrier official(s) at Texas Interstate Express and/or PAC Express instructed them to disregard being placed out-of-service for hours-of-service (HOS) violations and continue on with trips after the roadside inspectors were no longer monitoring them. The same two drivers stated that they were also instructed to avoid inspections and bypass scales and that they would be dispatched on trips that could not be made within HOS rules and without speeding.  As suggested by the findings of the roadside inspections on Texas Interstate Express and then PAC Express, PAC Express did not have a program to detect and deter the use of controlled substances by its drivers, did not have an effective program to ensure its drivers were qualified and licensed, did not have a program to control its drivers’ hours of service, and did not have a program to ensure its vehicles were appropriately inspected and repaired.

FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order states that Texas Interstate Express’ and PAC Express’ “…avoidance of compliance with the [safety regulations] and the Out-of-Service Order substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death for your drivers and the motoring public if your operations are not discontinued immediately.”

Failing to comply with the provisions of the Federal imminent hazard order may result in civil penalties of up to $29,893 for each violation.  Motor carriers may also be assessed civil penalties of not less than $11,956 for providing transportation in interstate commerce without operating authority registration, and up to $16,864 for operating a CMV in interstate commerce without USDOT Number registration.  Knowing and/or willful violations may result in criminal penalties.

A copy of the imminent hazard order issued to Texas Interstate Express and PAC Express is available here.


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.

Workplace stress and mental health: OSHA launches webpage

Original article published by Safety+Health

workplace-stress.jpg

Photo: osha.gov

Washington — A new webpage published by OSHA is intended to help employers and workers manage workplace stress while maintaining mental health amid a shifting work climate.

According to NIOSH, nearly 1 out of 5 U.S. adults live with a mental illness. World Health Organization data shows that 83% of U.S. workers experience work-related stress, while 54% find that work stress affects their home life.

“Stress can be harmful to our health and increase mental health challenges” that range from temporary grief and anxiety to clinical mental illness and substance use disorders, OSHA says. “While there are many things in life that induce stress, work can be one of those factors. However, workplaces can also be a key place for resources, solutions and activities designed to improve our mental health and well-being.”

The webpage features training resources, outreach materials and analyses of real-world solutions, as well as other information.

The agency says employers can help workers manage stress by:

  • Being mindful of the unique stressors affecting each employee.
  • Identifying factors that may make it harder for workers to get their jobs done and make adjustments, if possible.
  • Creating a safe and trustworthy work culture by making sure workers know they aren’t alone, their employer understands the stress they’re under, there’s no shame in feeling anxious and asking for help is important.
  • Providing access to supportive services such as coping and resiliency resources, as well as workplace and leave flexibilities without penalty.

“Addressing mental health and stress in the workplace is the right thing to do,” OSHA administrator Doug Parker said in a statement. “Stress is a major determinant of both mental and physical health issues and impacts workplace health and safety.”


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.